The upcoming Hard Mode in Breath of the Wild will have its own save slots. Starting a Hard Mode (or Master Mode) run will allow you to keep the save file from your Normal Mode playthrough. The new mode is a part of the upcoming Master Trials DLC, coming out on June 30th.
One of the major complaints surrounding Zelda BOTW is the fact that starting a new game completely erases your previous save file. If you want to start a second playthrough, you have to create a new Nintendo Switch or Wii U profile. This design decision has baffled everybody that has played the game, and has probably caused several broken controllers worth of damage at least.
The upcoming Zelda Breath of the Wild Master Trials DLC will introduce a new Hard Mode, or Master Mode, among other things. Players have shown a bit of apprehension, since they were afraid that starting a Hard Mode run would erase their previous save files. However, that won’t be the case. Hard Mode will use a completely separate save slot, according to Nintendo UK’s website (via Polygon).
Master Mode will be a true treat for hardcore players. For starters, you can only make two save data slots, where the normal game allowed six. Also, all enemies will start off as more powerful versions of themselves (read: no Red Bokoblins, you’re starting off with blue). Also, enemies will spot you more easily, and will slowly regain health.
The other contents of the Master Trials DLC include the Korok Mask (which alerts you when a Korok is nearby), the Travel Medallion (allows for easier fast-travel), The Trial of the Sword, Hero’s Path (marks where you’ve been on the map), a bunch of new outfits, and more.
The Master Trials is the first of two DLC packs planned for Breath of the Wild. The second one is The Champion’s Ballad, coming out this holiday season.