Horizon Zero Dawn How to Beat Thunderjaw

Thunderjaw is one of the enemy robotic animals you’ll encounter in Horizon Zero Dawn. It’s a formidable war machine not to be taken lightly. It has a wide variety of powerful weapons and very resilient armor. In this guide, we’ll show you how to kill Thunderjaw in Horizon Zero Dawn, what its weaknesses are and the best strategies.

Horizon Zero Dawn How to Beat Thunderjaw Guide
Horizon Zero Dawn How to Beat Thunderjaw Guide

Thunderjaw Boss Strategy

Thunderjaws might just be the most difficult machine to take down. It has many attacks, in both ranged and close combat. It can kill you very quickly if you’re not careful and quick. Fortunately, there is a strategy that will take it down with relative ease. Emphasis on relative. It’s more difficult than it might seem. For this strategy, you’ll need a Sharpshot Bow, ideally a Shadow Sharpshot Bow, as well as teardown arrows. The arrows are an absolute must.

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The strategy is to fire a teardown arrow into one of the Disc Launchers located on the Thunderjaw’s sides. One teardown arrow should dislodge a launcher completely, making it yours for the taking. Try to distract the beast away from the launcher, then run over and pick it up. You’ll be significantly slower when wielding such a heavy weapon, always keep that in mind. Unload everything into the Thunderjaw. Be careful when choosing the time to shoot, since the discs fly fairly slowly. You can try to incapacitate the Thunderjaw using traps to make sure that you hit it.

You can (and probably should) repeat the process with the second launcher. Depending on how precise you are, the Thunderjaw should be pretty hurt by now. A lot of its armor is probably gone at this point as well. Its weak spots are open for you to destroy. Don’t get me wrong, the robot can still hurt you plenty, but you’ll have a much easier time finishing it off now.

There are a few skills you can buy to help you out. One of them is Heavy Lifter in the Brave skill tree. That will help you move faster when you pick up the Disc Launcher. Other helpful skills are Lure Call and Call Mount + from the Forager skill tree. Lure Call will allow you to call the Thunderjaw away from the launcher. Call Mount + lets you summon a mount to distract the Thunderjaw away from you.

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A language teacher and video game enthusiast turned rogue, Joe is on a quest to become the ultimate gaming journalist. This is somewhat hampered by his belief that the golden age of gaming ended with the PlayStation One, but he doesn't let that stop him. His favorite games include Soul Reaver and Undertale. Other interests are D'n'D, dad rock, complaining about movies, and being the self-appointed office funny man, which nobody else agrees with.

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  1. A

    A more reliable strategy is:

    0. Before starting the fight, use the tripcaster to lay 6-7 shock wires (as close to directly on top of each other as possible).
    1. Load 2 tear arrows (sharpshot bow, requires doubleshot skill), and fire your initial shot at the end of the Thunderjaw’s tail; this removes its most high damage and difficult to evade weapon.
    2. The Thunderjaw will rush you (and may stop once or twice to blast its cannons at you along the way, if you’re far back from it). Stay behind your shock wires and evade its ranged attacks as needed; take a few potshots with your tear arrows if you want, however your main goal is to lure it into your tripwires.
    3. When the Thunderjaw hits your tripwires it will be stunned/incapacitated. Use this opportunity to quickly unload tear arrows into both disc launchers (middle), both cannons (front), and radar (top-center, optional), or its tail if your initial shot missed; if you have some extra time, also hit the armor panels on its neck to expose the Thunderjaw’s heart. You now only need to worry about melee attacks and the infrequently used (and easy to avoid) laser attack.
    4. As the now-weaponless Thunderjaw gets up, switch to your ropecaster and tie it back down. You now have two options:
    5a. Grab one of the disc launchers you knocked off earlier, and unload on the helpless machine. When it runs out of shots, repeat from step #4; or
    5b. Ensure that the Thunderjaw’s neck armor has been removed (so that its heart is exposed), hit the incapacitated machine with freeze arrows until frozen (requires war bow), and the unload precision arrows (sharpshot bow) into its heart (this is very effective with the tripleshot skill, and can deal 2000+ damage/volley). When it starts to get back up, repeat from step #4.

    After 2-3 tiedowns it should be dead (or close to it), and Aloy shouldn’t have taken a scratch.

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