Horizon Zero Dawn Guide: Beginner's Tips

Horizon Zero Dawn has just been released, and there’s much excitement to be had over this stunning new IP from Guerrilla Games. It contains vast and dense areas that will easily make you lose track of the time in the real world, for you’ll be too distracted by all that there is to look at and interact with. The scale of this game and the number of things to do can be overwhelming, especially at the beginning when you first step into the world beyond the walls of the Nora tribe.

But don’t worry: We’ve got you covered. Here are some of our beginner tips for Horizon Zero Dawn to make your experience with the game a little easier.


Horizon Zero Dawn: Top Tips & Tricks for Beginners

Collect Everything

From the first few moments when you step into the world of Horizon Zero Dawn, you’ll see that there is a generous amount of supplies scattered across the field. The game knows you might have a tough time with an upcoming boss or that you’ll need to craft several rounds of ammo on the fly. That’s why all these items are laid out in front of you – so take advantage of this! I know that for every boss battle, I went in with a full medicine pouch and came out with it nearly empty. After every boss battle, the first thing I would do is hunt for medicinal herbs, pick up materials for ammo crafting, and hunt a few monsters for some components for my ammo.

Increase the Capacity of Your Medicine and Potion Pouch

This is vital. It’s one of the very first things I did early in the game. Progressing through a majority of the game and its challenges with three to four full bars of medicine made my experience a lot easier – and most importantly, a lot more fun. Boss battles get incredibly intense, and feeling secure because I had a large supply of medicine and room for several potions allowed me to think more clearly when forming a strategy, as well as to feel like I could experiment a little without having to worry about dying.

During a Boss Battle, Search the Area for Items

All boss battles take place in areas filled with supplies like medicinal herbs, potions, and more. If you’re in a pinch and need more health or ammo for crafting, chances are that they’re scattered around the area you’re fighting in. Dodge your way to them and restock to get back into the fight.

Prioritize Skills

Getting some good skills early on makes a huge difference. We’ve got a guide on the top ten skills you should grab right away, but to be even more specific here, you should probably work on getting Silent Strike, Concentration, Lure Call, and Herbalist first.

Use Lure Call

Don’t forget this ability just because you’ll use it with the D-pad, where your potions and other important items you’ll often be reaching for are. Lure Call is more useful than you’ll initially think. Want to get a nice amount of EXP by eliminating a large group of monsters? Do this easily by hiding in a nearby bush and just luring the monsters to you one by one to kill them with Silent Strike. You won’t have to panic over alerting all of them at once and getting chased out of the area.  

Buy the Ropecaster Early On

Seriously, it’s probably the most useful weapon for all your boss battles. Certain boss battles are extremely difficult if not impossible to beat without it. It’s also magical against flying enemies like Glinthawks and Stormbirds, which are incredibly hard to aim at because of their speed. The Ropecaster will render enemies immobile for some time, allowing you to destroy them. Once one rope is detached, you can just keep firing it to keep a monster down and vulnerable to all your attacks.

Aim for Every Machine’s Detachable Parts

Unless it’s a weak enemy that you can kill with a Critical Hit or Silent Strike, make sure to use your focus and aim to only hit a machine’s weak parts. If you attack these parts enough, or with one or two Tearblast Arrows from a Sharpshot bow, you’ll do a considerable amount of damage and weaken a tough enemy. If it’s a difficult and large monster, don’t waste your ammo or time on hitting its body; hit its weak points. The Focus highlights them for a reason!

Don’t Ignore Bandit Camps

Horizon Zero Dawn is full of compelling story-focused quests both in the main story and in its side content. It’s understandable that you’ll want to skip out on the Bandit Camp sidequests, which have very little story. You go to a camp, take out the many bandits, and free the hostages. But don’t ignore these quests; they often provide a generous amount of EXP. If you’re in need of leveling up for the next main quest, take a look at the Bandit Camps category in the Quests section of your menu and do those quests.

Talk to All Merchants for Sample Resource Supply Boxes

When you come across a new merchant, talk to them, and get a free resource supply box. These boxes tend to have good items like potions, crafting supplies, and travel packs. And most importantly: They’re free!

Armed with these tips, you're now ready to jump into the world of Horizon Zero Dawn, which is currently out for the PlayStation 4. Happy hunting!

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