Horizon Zero Dawn is making its way across the internet after a spectacular release week. It’s not out in all regions yet, and most of the web is running off of review copies, so here’s our picks of the best tips to get you started on your mech-warfare adventure.
Loot everything you see and upgrade every carry capacity as fast as you can. In the world of Horizon Zero Dawn it’s far better to have too much than too little. If you’re still searching for that one element to bring your master weapon together, don’t forget to take advantage of the ability to set waypoints for certain items. Highlight whatever you need at a merchants and then be on your merry way as an errand is set up specifically to find you the loot you desire.
It’s also worth keeping an eye out for corrupted machines as their loot tends to be much rarer. In general, enemies drop loot of varying value, but at least for the first ten hours or so, you should really be picking everything up – you never know. On top of this, put all that booty to good use and start crafting immediately – you’ll be amazed how many paths are opened up to you via crafting even early into the game.
Tagging and Focusing
The focus tool is your new best friend here and provides the backbone for many Horizon Zero Dawn tips and tricks out there. Essentially, the focus tool can tell you everything you need to know about an enemy in order to execute a clever and exciting attack sequence.
Tagging enemies allows you to keep tabs on them even when you turn off focus – essential to making sure you don’t get surrounded while distracted. Entering an enemy area also becomes much less daunting when you scan your foes and discover all their weaknesses and attributes. The focus tool also allows you to highlight an enemy’s patrol route by clicking R1 when prompted.
Never forget your old friend the trap. Thinking ahead pays off when facing larger enemy hordes, and this planning becomes a necessity once you start meeting fiercer foes.
It’s all well and good hitting an enemy with a fire arrow, or shocking them but in Horizon Zero Dawn that’s not enough.
Pay close attention to the icon that appears above the enemy’s head and make sure you keep attacking them with these status weapons until that meter gains a glowing white outline. It’s one of the best ways to ground an enemy, and you often look great doing it.
Lure and Silent Strike
The lure and silent strike skill combo is a particular favourite among stealthers. It provides the ability to call enemies over to your secluded location and follow up with a savage killer blow before they’ve seen you. A great way to pick off a pack one by one and feel like a boss doing it.
At the very start of the game, ensure you pick up a set of maps from the nearby merchant – they’re incredibly useful for locating those sacred collectables.
The first time you visit each merchant, you are actually given the opportunity to pick up a free treasure box full of resources and, if you’re lucky, the odd mod. Simply scroll down to the “Treasure Boxes” tab and grab your free box of randomly generated items. Ensure you complete this process with every merchant you meet before you start spending those valuable metal shards. There’s nothing worse than buying something you’re then offered for free – just ask any PSPlus member.
Weapons are hard to come by in the Horizon Zero Dawn worlds. You’re best bet is to head straight to any merchant as soon as you enter a new region and grab some armour and tools from them. While merchants in a single region tend to sell the same items, moving into other areas are vital purely for the chance to build a weapon set.
Weapons and Mods
It’s worth holding onto a weapon of each type, and investing in upgrading your weapons as often as possible. Using those mod slots, ensure that each weapon is designed to take down an enemy in a certain way.
Each weapon comes with mod slots, with the more powerful or upgraded weapons carrying more slots. Mods vary in rarity and power, ranging from fairly replenishable fire mods to the rare standard damage enhancements. Stick with these damage boosts for your bow – it’s the most used in combat so it would make sense to crank it up from the beginning, though the aforementioned fire mods shouldn’t be ignored due to a large number of enemies’ fire vulnerabilities.
Be careful messing around with mods however, because if you haven’t invested in the Tinker Ability, a mod can’t be retrieved from a weapon or armour set. This means that when you eventually decide to change it depending on your situation, your trusty previous mod is lost forever.
The override ability is learnt a far way into the game, and allows you to hack a mech and temporarily form an alliance in the heat of battle. Learning how to override every different enemy you come across in this world will be an arduous task.
These skills are learned through Cauldrons – which it would be in your best interest to explore readily, but with a lot of preparation behind you. These mountain caves can often be deviously tricky, and present their own boss finales before rewarding your efforts with a new override ability. Make use of them though, because the override ability is one of the unsung heroes of the game that makes for an intensely exciting combat mechanic. Cauldrons can be found dotted throughout the map, indicated by small purple mountains.
Let us know if you have any Horizon Zero Dawn tips or tricks up your sleeve, and stay tuned this week for our Nintendo Switch extravaganza!