Horizon Zero Dawn is an action RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world. The game has a decent system of explaining things and pointing you in the right direction, but some things need clarification. Our Horizon Zero Dawn tips & tricks guide offers insight into some of the elements you might not be aware at the start of your playthrough.
- To make it easy on yourself, you have to level up and earn skill points. This is accomplished by finishing quests and killing enemies. Each level gives you one skill point and 10 health points.
- Do not neglect side activities like tallnecks, bandit camps and corrupted zones. They bring extraordinary amounts of experience and skill points. They are rather easy to complete as well. Once you get into the desert area, you should complete all tallnecks side activities.
- Completing all five tallneck side activities will give you 37500 experience points, 5 skill points and reveals the entire map. Although some of them are meant for higher level characters, you can complete them all at the lower levels.
- All six of the bandit camps bring 53000 experience points, while the 11 corrupted zones net you 72000 experience.
- There are cave dungeons called Cauldrons. Completing them will allow you to override certain machines. They might consume a bit of your time, but the advantage you gain after completing them is more than valuable later on. They are not mandatory, but their impact early on is significant. You can complete some of the hardest quests by just letting the overridden machines fight for you.
- When you have some skill points, you’ll want to put them in three specific skills at the start – silent strike (silent takedown on small machines and humans), concentration (slow time while aiming) and critical hit (high damage attack on downed enemies). They cost 1 skill point each.
- Your next skill points should go toward the end of one of the skill trees. The one we like the best is the Call Mount +, from the Forager tree. This skill allows you to call an overridden mount at all times, when possible. This ability is great not only because it shortens the time you spend travelling on foot, but also because the enemies will most likely go for the mount, rather than you. This buys you time to bring down a couple of them.
- While fighting the machines, the most important thing is to scan them, to discover their vulnerable parts and weaknesses. Once you scan each monster for the first time you’ll get that specific machine’s entry in the notebook. Be sure to take some time to read it. The knowledge you’ll gain will make fights fairly easy.
- Different weapons have different types of attacks. Take the time to read about them in the inventory menu. Some of them, like Tearblast charge and arrow, are mandatory while fighting large mobs, as they remove the pieces of armor in one hit. These pieces can even be picked up later on for additional resources.
Inventory management tips
- While playing you can collect various resources from the wild that help you craft ammo and heal up. The plant that fills up the medicinal pouch is called Valley’s Blush. It has four bright red flowers. Remember what it looks like while you’re outside. It will save you time deciding which resources to get.
- The need to choose which resources you pick comes from the fact that you can only carry a few of them. Your inventory is small at first, and you should consider upgrading it through the crafting system. This is why killing the wildlife at the start is important.
- The wildlife drops valuable resources like meat, bones and skins. These items are used for increasing the pouches’ capacity and for fast traveling.
- Fast traveling is possible once you have at least one fast travel pack, and have discovered a bonfire. Fast travel packs can be crafted from 15 ridge-wood, 1 fatty meat and 1 bony meat. Ridge-wood is gathered from the bushes around the map, while meat comes from animals. Later on in the game, pay attention to the vendors. At one point, they will start selling the golden fast travel pack (50 metal shards, 1 fox skin, 10 fatty meat). This item provides unlimited fast travel to discovered campfires and settlements.
- To stop the flooding of the inventory with materials, be sure to visit vendors from time to time and sell them unnecessary items. There are even items whose sole purpose of being sold to merchants for metal shards. Cycle through the inventory to find them, and sell them first to free more inventory space.
- The best outfit is obtained from collecting 5 power cells hidden in the main missions, and the best weapons come from vendors and the final hunting ground quest.