12 Tips to Become a Better Machine Hunter in Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn is out in stores, so we’ve asked the developers at Guerrilla for are a few tips to help budding machine hunters survive in the wilderness. Take these rules to heart and you’ll be bringing down your first Thunderjaw in no time!

 
 

1. Find Your Focus

Use your Focus to identify machines, inspect their components and elemental weaknesses, and keep track of their patrol paths. Be aware that Aloy’s movement and actions are limited while the Focus is active – so it’s best used against machines when you are hidden. 

 
 

2. Set Up Traps

Before initiating combat against a machine, set up traps in the areas that you anticipate it will pass through. Once the machine becomes aware of your presence it will either pursue you or try to escape, but your traps will ensure that its movements are hindered and its health is reduced.

 
 

3. Exploit Weaknesses

Many machines are vulnerable to specific types of elemental damage, from fire to extreme cold. Use your Focus to check for these weaknesses, and equip yourself with weapons and ammunition that deal the corresponding elemental damage. 

4. Remove Weapon Components

Most machines are equipped with special weapon components that will target you in combat. These components can be torn off with a few well-placed Tearblast arrows – and in some cases, picked up and wielded against their former owners. 

 
 

5. Even the Odds

If you’re faced with overwhelming odds, you can try to even them by overriding a few machines to fight on your behalf – or by targeting them with Corruption Arrows. Hang back and watch them attack their fellow machines, then move in to pick off the survivors. 

6. Keep Moving

Agility and mobility are Aloy’s greatest assets, so take advantage of them whenever possible. There’s no stamina bar to limit you from sprinting or dodging as much as you like. Aloy’s dodge roll in particular is a vital move for evading machine attacks.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Check Your Ammo

Don’t let yourself run out of ammunition mid-fight! You can quick-craft more ammo for your currently equipped weapons by bringing up the Weapon Wheel with L1, selecting the desired ammo type, and holding the X button.

 

 

 

 

 

8. Know When to Run

If you accidentally alert powerful machines to your presence or feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew in a fight, don’t be afraid to run away! Breaking line of sight with your assailants or finding more favorable ground can buy you time to heal up and formulate a new strategy. 

9. Visit the Merchants

While consumable items such as traps and ammo can be crafted from the plants and machine parts you gather in the wilds, certain goods – such as weapons and attire – can only be purchased from the merchants found in settlements and hunting grounds.

10. Sell Unneeded Items

Keep your inventory free from clutter. You can sell unneeded machine components and other valuable items, such as old world artifacts, to the merchants for metal shards. These are used both as currency and as a primary crafting resource. 

11. Track Your Errands

Many items sold by the merchants require a combination of metal shards and animal or machine resources to purchase. If you don’t have the required resources for a purchase, simply press the square button to track collection of the resources as an errand. 

 
 

 

 

 

12. Upgrade Your Pouches

If you find that your pouches are running out of space, you can craft bigger ones using the resources you find in nature. From the Modifications menu, select ‘Carry Capacity’ in the Modifications menu and select the pouch you wish to upgrade.

Obviously this list isn’t exhaustive, and we encourage you to develop your own tactics and approaches for hunting machines!