Horizon Forbidden West is the second game in the Horizon series. This sequel boasted a bigger map, longer run time and a world to explore with new factions, quests and loot! But before you get overwhelmed or lost in the West. Here are my top 5 tips to help guide you along the way.
Tip 1- Get The Most Out Of Exploration
Horizon Forbidden West is a huge game and when you're released from the lengthy tutorial, you’ll want to explore its vast world. But don’t get carried away. Due to the games sprawling nature there are many areas off limits. For this reason, it’s best to spend time churning through the main story until you unlock key gear. These items will uncover secret areas and help you gather collectibles.
But exploration is a balancing act. At times you’ll have to deviate from the main story and complete side quests to build up XP. To make things a bit easier I’ve noted down the gear that Aloy will obtain during her journey and how this gear is used to unlock the map.
- Pullcaster – This special item is the first one you’ll get, and you’ll gain it just before you leave the starting area in the Daunt. I would get this one as soon as you can as it will make exploring the Daunt a lot easier and save climbing time.
- Igniter – Not long after, you’ll unlock the Igniter. This clears red crystal areas. These are usually blocking loot chests or collectibles. Without giving too much away you might want to follow the Hades questline to get this, sooner rather than later.
- Vine Cutter – About midway through the story you’ll gain access to the Vine Cutter. This lets you destroy metal flowers which in turn opens new areas. This isn’t an essential item, but it can limit later exploration.
- Diving Mask – Finally, this great bit of kit isn’t unlocked till the latter half of the game. It allows Aloy to breathe underwater indefinitely. This will help you loot precious Greenshine and reach new caverns and locations.
Overall, you’ll have to play through a large chunk of the game before you acquire the diving mask. This does make exploration difficult as you cannot explore large bodies of water which are teaming with valuables. So, my tip would be to push through the main story first, complete a few side quests for XP and then go on a collectible hunt once you’ve got the diving mask.
Tip 2 – Use The Scanner
Scanning was always a part of the first game but in Forbidden West, scanning isn’t just helpful its essential. Like before, the scanner will highlight climbable walls and interactable objects. With the addition of the pullcaster, scanning will now help you locate grapple points and beams.
Furthermore, scanning machines now displays new information. Not only can you see which ammo will do the most damage, but you can also highlight their movements and scan removeable parts. When scanning machine parts, you can see what items it will give you. Some parts provide resources and others are integral for upgrading armour or weaponry. To make sure you tear these parts of before killing the machine you can tag them in bright purple, so you know where to aim. Being able to view upgrades is helpful as finding parts to improve your arsenal don’t come cheap.
Finally, the scanner in Horizon Forbidden West lets you view chain reactions. If machines aren’t partial to fire arrows the scanner will tell you which parts will cause a chain reaction. Shoot a Bellowback enough in its sac and it will cause the component to explode and deal massive damage to the enemy. By using the scanner and this approach you can make fast work of larger enemies and get your elemental ammo ready for the fight.
In short, make sure you scan as it will help you navigate the environment, collect key upgrade components and destroy the big nasties.
Tip 3 – Collect All Resources
The best thing about this game is Aloy’s new magical stash. Gone are the days of limited capacity. In Forbidden West, Aloy can pick up an abundance of materials as any excess will be sent to her stash. The stash can be found at settlements or campfires on the map. This means if you’re running low, you can easily fill up on herbs.
As you move through the West, you’ll also collect ingredients. These are important to as you can take them to chefs and convert them into meals. Meals act as limited stat buffs. Having a few cooked meals in your bag can come in handy when you're in a Cauldron with no healing. It’s a nice feature that can help you in tricky combat encounters. Machines will just have to wait as you chomp down on Beanweed Bites. Yum!
A new currency in Horizon Forbidden West is an item called Greenshine. If you see a green glow, make sure you head toward it as Greenshine can help you buy rare components and upgrade your gear. The more you have the better chance you’ll have of securing advanced upgrades and trading materials.
As you traverse the West make sure you grab everything that isn’t stuck down. All resources can come in handy and with no capacity limitations, you never have to fear item management or full bags again.
Tip 4 – Engage In These Side Hustles
There are many side quests along the way which will help you explore the lore of the old world, the Forbidden West and introduce you to new environments. However, there are some activities in the world that aren’t steeped in story but are worth doing for the rewards.
- The Hunting Grounds – The Hunting Grounds are mini challenges where you dispatch machines within a time limit. The better you do the more medals you win. These medals can later be used to purchase rare weaponry from the Arena’s vendor. Furthermore, completing trials will reward you with components, coils, weaves and shards which will help you upgrade existing gear. Completing Hunting Grounds early will help you advance your arsenal.
- The Arena – About midway through the game you will unlock the Arena. After you have done this, you will have access to the Arena vendor. It is here you can trade in your hunting medals for juicy rewards. The Arena also has a host of challenges for you to complete. These will reward you with more medals to trade. They're also helpful for trying new tactics and weaponry.
- Fighting Pits – Fighting Pits can be found at most settlements and contain melee challenges. These challenges help you learn new melee combos. You can then use these when exploring and make light work of human enemies. Additionally, if you complete all the Fighting Pits and take on The Enduring you will be rewarded with a permanent spear boost!
Don’t get me wrong, there are some great side quests in this game, all of which you should do but if you want to gain some quick XP and gear upgrades you can’t miss out on the above!
Tip 5 – Get These Skills First
Unlike other games, Horizon Forbidden West will provide enough skill points for you to max out all 6 skill trees. However, this tip is more about where you should spend those first points.
- Potent Medicine – This skill should be one of the first you get as it improves healing capabilities and medicinal berries heal you quicker. And you will want them to work fast as you jump out of the way of Glinthawks.
- Medicine Capacity – Pairing nicely with potent medicine this will let you carry more berries in your pouch. In the early stages of the game this is helpful as you will find yourself overwhelmed by Bristlebacks and other hardy enemies.
- Plant Forager – To make use of the medicine capacity skill you'll need to get plant forager. This skill costs 2 skill points but will let you pick up double berries every time. This will fill up your pouch quickly and your stash will seem endless if you acquire this early on.
- Concentration – Under the Hunter tree there are 2 great concentration skills. Concentration+ and deep concentration. Try to aim to get both as soon as possible. The first allows you to slow down time when aiming which is great for shooting off machine components and getting headshots. The second is an upgrade and will make it last longer. Each skill only costs 1 point!
- Ammo Expert – Also under the Hunter tree you will find this skill. It won’t come cheap at 2 skill points, but it will let you craft more ammo for the same price. Having this passive perk will let you get more arrows for your parts.
- Triple Notch – This advanced skill won’t be easy to get early but it's one I would aim for. This skill allows you to notch up to 3 arrows on your hunter bow. As this is a rapid firing weapon you can deal lots of damage quickly.
- Splitting Spike – My favourite skill in the Machine Master tree is the splitting spike skill. The spike thrower is by far my favourite weapon. You can pick the weapon up in the Daunt in the quest found at Chainscrape, ‘A Bigger Boom’. This skill splits your spike into 3 mini ones when thrown. It causes huge area damage which is good when you have a group of machines or humans in your way. Although this skill isn’t a necessity you will enjoy watching the carnage it can inflict.
There are loads of skills to buy and try out but in the early game choose the ones that give you passive stat buffs and aid your playstyle.
And there you have it! My top tips to conquer the Horizon Forbidden West. Have fun exploring or don’t if you haven’t got that diving mask yet!