There are many weapons you can use in Horizon Zero Dawn. Each weapon category caters to a different play style, and you’ll choose your loadout according to your approach. The best weapons in each category are only available later on in the game, and are very rare. In this guide, we’re going to show you the best weapons in Horizon Zero Dawn, where to find them and how much they cost.Note: Almost all of the weapons are bought from vendors. They’ll become available after you beat enough of the main game. Keep checking each new vendor you meet – all of them should be available as you reach Meridian.
Tearblaster is a unique weapon you can get as a quest reward. You’ll get it by completing the Hunter’s Blind side quest, obtained from Ahsis at the Hunter’s Lodge. The weapon shoots out compressed air in bursts and uses special ammo. Although unremarkable at first sight, it’s amazing at stripping a machine’s armor in mere moments, without the need to aim.
The shadow version of the ropecaster is the best one there is. It’s used to tie down and incapacitate machines, leaving them open to a critical hit. Since the weapon does no damage by itself, the only real upside to having is more modification slots – this one has three. It costs 500 metal shards and a snapmaw heart.
The sling is used to inflict groups of enemies with elemental vulnerabilities. It has 40 handling and 3 mod slots. It can shoot fire (damage over time), frost (lower damage resistance) and shock (stun) grenades. You can buy it for 650 metal shards and a crystal braiding.
Shadow Hunter Bow
The hunter bow is great for spamming arrows, essentially. It’s good at short to medium range, and trades accuracy and power for speed. You can modify it 3 times, and it has 80 handling. It can use regular (15 dmg, 25 tear), fire (damage over time) and precision (high tear) arrows. It costs 650 metal shards and a watcher heart.
The tripcaster is used to set tripwire traps. The shadow version has 30 handling and can set shock (stun), fire (damage over time) and blast (250 dmg) traps. It also has 3 modification slots, which can further increase its damage output. You canm buy it for 750 metal shards and a scrapper heart.
Shadow War Bow
The war bow is similar to the sling – it’s bad at doing damage, but it can spread elemental effects, albeit to one target at a time. The best version has 50 handling and 3 enhancement slots. It can shoot shock (stun), frost (lowers damage resistance) and corruption (makes enemies attack each other) arrows. You’ll need 800 metal shards and a trampler heart if you want to get it.
Shadow Sharpshot Bow
This is Horizon’s sniper rifle. It’s slow, but it does the most damage. It comes with 20 handling, and you can install 3 mods onto it. It can shoot regular (60 dmg, 15 tear), tear (0 dmg, 100 tear) and scrap (10 dmg, 50 tear) arrows. You can purchase it for 800 metal shards and a sawtooth heart.
The rattler is like a shotgun. It shoots a blast of bolts with a large spread. It’s devastating from close up, but practically useless at longer ranges. It has 100 handling, and you can set it up with 3 modifications. You can choose from regular (pure damage), shock (stun) and frost (lower damage reduction) bolts. If you want it, you’ll need to get 950 metal shards and skins from a boar, a rabbit and a fox.
Shadow Blast Sling
The blast sling uses projectiles which explode and do a lot of damage in an area of effect. It has three modification slots and 40 handling. The grenades you can use all do a bunch of damage, but in different ways: impact (100 dmg, explodes on hit), proximity (75 dmg, explodes when there are enemies around) and frag (150 dmg, sends shrapnel flying). It’s pretty expensive – you need 1400 metal shards and a lancehorn heart.