Horizon Zero Dawn Guide: Completing the Ancient Armory quest to get the best armor in the game

Like any good RPG, Horizon Zero Dawn has a selection of outfits you can wear to customize your particular version of Aloy. One is more hidden than most, however, and requires some fairly specific actions to unlock.

It's actually an outfit we'd recommend, so we thought it pertinent to do a page to help direct you all to it. Here we're going to explain how to complete the Ancient Armory Quest, where to collect all the power cells, and then how to unlock the Shield-Weaver armor for your efforts. 

The great thing about this quest line is that while it's rated level 25 you can actually start this quest in the very first area of the game. If you know how you can complete it very early indeed, and this powerful armor will do well by you all the way through the game - it's stupidly powerful. We might even go so far as to say it's overpowered!


How to start the Ancient Armory Quest for the secret Shield-Weaver Armor - the best armor early on

In order to get the option of getting the Shield-Weaver armor you need to start the Ancient Armory quest to begin with. To do this all you need to do is find your first power cell or stumble upon the bunker where you'll pick up the armor in the latter stages of the quest.

The location we need is actually very simply and honestly marked on the map as 'Bunker', and you'll find it on the Western side of Mother's Embrace (aka the starting area), where it borders with the Carja Territories. Climbing the Tallneck at Devil's Thirst might also help. Eventually the ruins symbol will pop on your map - when it does, prioritize heading straight there.

Head down into the Bunker - there's nothing of note to worry about here, so just dig deep into the bunker and eventually you'll come across the locked room. Inside that room is the Ancient Armor. That's our prize, right there behind unsmashable glass. Typical.

In order to open the door(s) to get to the armor you'll need power cells. We'll talk about where to get those in a moment.

How to unlock the Bunker Hololocks in the Ancient Armory Quest

Look to the right when facing away from the dungeon entrance to find a hololock. This one requires two power cells. Once you have them you can slot them in, which will then prompt you with a puzzle. The solution to the puzzle is depicted to your right, but for the record here's the answer: Up, Right, Down, Left, Up (L-R).

Once you're through this first part of the puzzle you'll then be faced with a second hololock. Don't panic too much - this is the last one before you get the ancient armor, and this one requires three power cells. These will have to be gathered over a little more time, but can still be grabbed quite early on.

Once you have the power cells necessary, slot them into the hololocks. More puzzles! The same applies as previously, though these are the answers: Right, Right, Left, Up, Right, Left (L-R).

Once both of these hololocks are open and puzzles solved you'll get your hands on a treasure box. Open it up for your reward: the Shield-Weaver outfit.


Where to find the all Power Cells for the Ancient Armory Quest

In order to open the path to pick up your Shield-Weaver armor you'll need several power cells. These can all be grabbed relatively early on, but you will have to complete some main story missions to get them all. Remember, you need all five to unlock all the parts of the Bunker, but only two for the first lock.

Ruins Power Cell - Collectible right away

The first power cell you need is found in the Ruins, and you can grab this as soon as the game's prologue is over. Remember the dungeon Aloy explored as a child during the tutorials? It's in Mother's Embrace. Return there as an adult as soon as you can.

Look for areas blocked by stalactites and stalagmites and smash those blockages away with your spear and your adult strength. There's loot hidden here, and among it is a power cell. 

All-Mother Power Cell - Main Quest The Womb of the Mountain onwards

The second power cell can be found during the main quest 'The Womb of the Mountain', the prologue. When Aloy wakes up in the All-Mother Mountain, look for a room with a large locked bunker door lit up red. Look to the left here to spot a tunnel, and down here you'll find this power cell. You can get this either during the mission or any time later by returning to this area.

Maker's End Power Cell - Main Quest Maker's End onwards

The third power cell can be grabbed during or after the quest Maker's End. You'll be climbing Faro's Skyscraper/tower as part of the quest. The final goal of the quest is a room high up in the tower, but look above the elevator shaft and follow an alternate path to get even higher up in the building. At the very top of the building is this power cell.

The Grave-Hoard Power Cell - Main Quest The Grave-Hoard onwards

The fourth power cell is hiding away in a location accessed during or after the main quest The Grave-Hoard. You'll enter some ruins; once you reach the main hall, go exploring into every side room you can. The power cell isn't exactly hidden - it's just a little off the beaten path.

GAIA Prime Power Cell - Main Quest The Mountain That Fell onwards

Your fifth and final power cell is found inside GAIA Prime, which isn't accessible until the main quest titled The Mountain That Fell. If you can, grab this during the mission - much less of a headache.

Keep going through the dungeon until you view the hologram of Faro and some scientists. Your next way forwards will be on a zipline, but ignore that for now. Instead head back outside near the stairs. You're looking for ledges that will give you a climbing path that heads down. Climb down to the lower level. Down here, follow the purple lights and you'll eventually get to the power cell. 

With all the cells in hand, head on back to the Bunker to claim your armor! If you're geared up, consider shifting to our guides on the best skills to grab early on, how to level up quickly, and our general beginners tips.