The Horizon Forbidden West complete walkthrough and strategy guide will help you through every Main Quest of Horizon Forbidden West, in addition to detailing tips, tricks, and strategies for defeating every major machine encountered, as well as finding the location of every last Collectible and Datapoint that you can find throughout the main story.
Horizon Forbidden West Full Walkthrough and Main Quest Guide
Horizon Forbidden West has plenty of Side Quests, Activities, Cauldrons, and even more to explore post-game. To help prevent spoilers, the following Main Quests have been broken up into three separate categories – early-game, mid-game, and late-game.
Also, see our comprehensive Side Quests and Errands guides. Quests in Forbidden West have been overhauled and are made to feel even more rewarding than ever before, as you’ll be rewarded with hefty XP, unique cosmetics, and powerful weapons.
Horizon Forbidden West Early-Game Main Quest Walkthroughs
The initial main quests in Horizon Forbidden West will reintroduce you to Aloy and ultimately set the tone for the game. Throughout these early quests, you’ll be guided through the basics of the game.
Minor Spoiler Warning: The table below includes the names of all early-game Main Quests.
|Recommended Level||Main Quest Name||Rewards|
|3||Reaching For The Stars||+500 XP|
|4||The Point Of the Lance||+1500 XP|
|5||To the Brink||+2500 XP, +2 Skill Points|
|7||The Embassy||+3500 XP, +2 Skill Points, +1 Carja Blazon Face Paint|
|10||Death’s Door||+5000 XP, +2 Skill Points|
|15||The Dying Land||+9000 XP, +2 Skill Points, +1 Utaru Whisperer Face Paint|
|17||The Eye of the Earth||+11,050 XP, +2 Skill Points|
Horizon Forbidden West Mid-Game Main Quest Walkthroughs
Spoiler Warning: The table below includes the names of all mid-game Main Quests.
|Recommended Level||Main Quest Name||Rewards|
|17||The Broken Sky||+8,500 XP, +2 Skill Points, +1 Tenakth Conqueror Face Paint|
|18||The Kulrut||+9,000 XP, +2 Skill Points|
|20||Cradle of Echoes||+10,000 XP, +2 Skill Points|
|22||The Sea of Sands||+11,000 XP, +2 Skill Points|
|24||Seeds of The Past||+12,000 XP, +2 Skill Points|
Horizon Forbidden West Late-Game Main Quest Walkthroughs
End-Game Spoiler Warning: The table below includes the names of all end-game Main Quests.
|Recommended Level||Main Quest Name||Rewards|
|26||Faro’s Tomb||+13,000 XP, +2 Skill Points|
|30||Gemini||+15,000 XP, +2 Skill Points|
|31||All That Remains||+2 Skill Points|
|32||The Wings of the Ten||+16,000 XP, +2 Skill Points, +1 Tenakth High Marshal Outfit, +1 Tenakth Reaver, + Regalla’s Wrath Bow|
|35||Singularity||+17,000 XP, +2 Skill Points|
Horizon Forbidden West: Tips and Tricks for Beginners
If you’re just about to get started with the game, this section of our Horizon Forbidden West guide is for you. Below are some Horizon Forbidden West tips and tricks that will help you out in the early goings.
Catch Up on the Lore
Horizon Forbidden West picks up the story following the events of Horizon Zero Dawn, the first game in the series. If you’ve played it, you should hopefully remember the complex, layered narrative that’s at the very heart of these games. We would highly recommend playing through the first game before tackling Forbidden West. However, if you can’t or don’t want to play Zero Dawn — or maybe it’s just been a while — we would recommend at least familiarizing yourself with its plot. There is a lot to unpack if you’re to understand Aloy’s journey.
Fortunately, we have a comprehensive guide that recounts the major events of the Horizon timeline:
Again, there’s so much that is established in that first game, and while Horizon Forbidden West does offer a very quick briefing before the game begins, it might not be quite enough, especially if you’re a brand new player. The above guide should give you a far better understanding of what’s happening in this fascinating setting.
Pick Up and Loot Everything
There are resources everywhere in Horizon Forbidden West, and you’ll need basically all of it. This is because all the materials you find will be good for something, whether it’s crafting useful traps and potions, or purchasing new gear from merchants. Even super-common resources like Medicinal Skybrush and Ridge-Wood are worth picking up if they’re on the way to where you’re going. In fact, those two items allow to quickly heal and craft arrows respectively, so they’re arguably some of your most important pick-ups.
You should not only get into the habit of picking up stuff found naturally in the world. There are also hundreds of chests dotted around the map, and if you see one, you should definitely loot it for all it has. The same goes for any machines or humans you kill; loot their corpses for some potentially very valuable materials.
Your best friend will be a quick press of R3. Doing so will send out a “ping” from Aloy’s Focus device, which will highlight items you can pick up in the surrounding area. Oh, and while Aloy does have a personal carry limit, don’t worry — any surplus stuff you acquire will be automatically sent to her Stash, which you can access from any Shelter or settlement in the game. There’s no excuse — pick everything up.
You Can Craft More Ammo on the Fly
Because the majority of combat is handled with projectile weapons like bows and slingshots, ammunition reserves are very important in Horizon Forbidden West — especially early on, when you can’t carry very much of anything. Fortunately, you’re able to craft more arrows, bombs, and bolts whenever you like, provided you have the resources necessary.
Open the weapon wheel by holding L1. Highlight the ammo you need, and then simply hold X to craft more. This goes hand-in-hand with the above tip, by the way; picking up resources frequently should mean you can craft most of your ammo without worrying about running low on materials to do so.
Scan Machines with the Focus
By holding R3 for a second, Aloy will pull up the Focus interface. While in this state, you can’t move very fast, but that’s not the point — the point is getting valuable information about the machines you’re about to fight.
Using the right stick, you can hover the reticle over a machine, and the game will pull up a window that explains which machine you’re looking at and provides a breakdown of its strengths and weaknesses. If a machine is weak to fire, for example, any fire weapons or traps you use will deal more damage to it. By the same token, if a machine is strong against fire, those same weapons will have little effect on them. Additionally, when you scan a machine, the Focus will highlight some parts of it that can either be broken off or contain useful resources.
Scanning machines is key to learning how best to deal with them and learning about their strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerable components will often make the difference between success and defeat. Make it a habit!
Don’t Forget About Tear Damage
Tear damage is a mechanic that’s pretty unique to the Horizon series, and it’s a very important aspect of combat you should understand. As mentioned above, using elemental weaknesses against machines puts you at a big advantage, but using ammo with Tear properties is just as useful, if not more so.
This type of damage affects a machine’s component parts. Each machine in the game has lots of armor plates, weapons, and other components that can be stripped away. If a component suffers enough Tear damage, it will be removed from the machine, an act that itself usually deals a blow to the enemy’s health bar.
However, there’s more to it than that. If you remove the armor, you will expose parts of the machine that are more vulnerable to damage, letting you land some bigger hits. If you remove a machine’s weapons, you will not only strip them of one of their attacks, but you will also then be able to wield that weapon against them, and those things are strong. Finally, removing certain parts from a machine can yield some of the game’s most desirable resources. When you’re looking to buy weapons and upgrades, or want to upgrade the ones you already have, you will often need specific components from specific machines, and these require some precision and, yes, Tear damage to acquire.
Campfires Are Your Friend
Across the expansive map of Horizon Forbidden West, you’ll notice it’s dotted with hundreds of Campfires. These serve a couple of very important purposes, and they shouldn’t be ignored.
The game does autosave every so often, but at a Campfire, you can perform a Quick Save with the Triangle button or a Manual Save with Square — it’s worth at least popping a Quick Save at any Campfire you reach. This is just to safeguard your progress; Horizon Forbidden West can be a surprisingly challenging game, and when a machine stomps you into the ground, you’ll be thankful for your vigilant Campfire saves.
The second reason Campfires are great is that they not only act as fast travel points, but they also allow you to fast travel for free. You can fast travel from any location, but doing so requires the use of a Fast Travel Pack, which takes up resources to craft. Meanwhile, fast traveling from a Campfire doesn’t cost you anything. If there’s a Campfire nearby and you want to skip to another part of the map, it’s worth making the short walk over and saving your materials for other things.
Sell Valuables to Get Lots of Metal Shards
Metal Shards are the main form of currency in the world of Horizon Forbidden West, and you’ll need lots of them if you want to buy new equipment and items.
You will gather Metal Shards from all kinds of places — looting machines you’ve killed, opening treasure chests, completing missions — but you mustn’t forget that you can sell stuff, too. As you play through the game, picking up everything that isn’t nailed down (as you should), you will naturally accrue a collection of valuable items in Aloy’s inventory.
Under the Inventory tab in the touchpad menu, scroll down to Resources. The first section is labeled ‘Valuables to Sell’. These items are purely for selling to merchants and vendors and serve no other purpose. This means these items are always safe to sell, and if you sell a bunch at once, you’ll get a big boost to your Metal Shard count.
Approach most merchants in the game and you’ll be able to tab over to Sell rather than Buy. Scroll down to Resources, and press Triangle on each of the items you want to sell. Once you’re happy, hold X and you’ll sell all the highlighted goods at once.
It’s worth noting you can sell other items, like machine parts or food items, but you’ll want to keep most of these things handy so you can craft stuff, make upgrades, and so on.
Horizon Forbidden West Ending Explained
Finished Horizon Forbidden West and have questions about the ending or are simply looking to jump ahead and see how the game ends? Check out our complete Ending Explained guide as we break down the events of the final quest and the potential future of the series.