The Stamina Wheel, also known as the Stamina Gauge, measures Link's stamina in Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild. It is depleted by doing strenuous activities such as running, climbing, swimming and pushing boulders.
Breath of the Wild
Link can cook "Energizing" Meals and Elixirs to recover different amounts of stamina. There are also "Enduring" Meals and Elixirs that extend the Stamina Wheel with extra, yellow stamina which does not return after being depleted. The green stamina wheel can be increased by 1/5 by exchanging four Spirit Orbs for a Stamina Vessel at a Goddess Statue. A maximum of three full green rings (1 base, 2 extra), plus two yellow rings can be held. This means ten Vessels (from forty Orbs) in total for the extra two green rings. If the player chooses full hearts (30 total, 27 acquired), there will be only enough vessels for 1.4 extra green rings (1.6 with The Champions' Ballad DLC); whereas full stamina will limit the player to a maximum of 27 permanent hearts (28 with DLC). It is not possible through regular means to have both full health and stamina due to the limited allotted containers/vessels given.
Link can exchange between Stamina Vessels and Heart Containers at the Horned Statue in Hateno Village at a total cost of 20 rupees, after the statue pays 100 rupees to take a vessel and charges 120 rupees to give it back. The first exchange does not cost rupees, but every exchange henceforth comes at a charge.
The stamina wheel's effects depend on different circumstances. Complete depletion of the wheel will cause Link's actions to cease momentarily in different ways depending on the given activity:
- If swimming, Link will drown and lose one heart;
- If climbing, Link will lose his grip and fall; this will result on either a significant loss of hearts depending on the height, and even death;
- If taming a horse or a rideable animal, Link will fall from it;
- If running, Link will perform a slow trot until the wheel replenishes;
- If performing a spin attack with a double-handed weapon, the wheel will be depleted and Link will perform a finisher attack; if Link tries to perform another spin attack, he'll perform an attack while stumbling.
- If paragliding or performing a mid-air arrow shot, Link will fall from the height and incur a loss of hearts, or die.
The wheel depletes at different rates also depending on Link's actions. Bounding while climbing a wall or swimming will deplete the wheel faster, but Link will cover the distance at a shorter time.
There are places in Hyrule where not even 3 stamina wheels are enough to scale, like the deepest parts of Tanagar Canyon, and there are water-bound locations that cannot be reached by solely swimming, like Eventide Island, requiring stamina-replenishing meals and elixirs to do so.
Exceptions and Replenishment Resources
Mostly related to paragliding, Link's Stamina Wheel will replenish itself automatically if he's inside a heavy updraft and falls momentarily, like at the Flight Range and during the aerial attack against the Divine Beast Vah Medoh.
Link will not spend stamina while performing normal melee attacks, Perfect Guards, Perfect Dodges or Flurry Rushes. However, performing charged attacks like rotating attacks with single or two-handed weapons, or repeated spear attacks, will deplete the stamina wheel.
Aside from stamina-replenishing meals and elixirs, the wheel's depletion can be ameliorated through different ways, like using the Climber Set or the Zora Set for faster climbing and swimming respectively, or by consuming speed-enhancing meals and elixirs. There are also armors that reduce the stamina consumption of stamina-depleting attacks related to the Master Sword.
Link is only susceptible to temporary fatigue, so sleeping has no effect in stamina replenishing other than places where paying for special beds awards temporary stamina wheels. Free beds also have no extra effects on stamina.