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Tips and Tricks: How to Survive HORIZON ZERO DAWN

Tips and Tricks: How to Survive HORIZON ZERO DAWN

You’ve probably watched all of the trailers, seen the gameplay videos, and even read our review. If so, now you’re probably thinking, “I’m ready to conquer the world of Horizon: Zero Dawn.” Right? Wrong! But don’t worry, we’re here to help with a list of tips and tricks for ho to survive your adventures as the ultimate bow-wielding badass Aloy. Let’s get the party started.

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Scout the enemy

At first glance, the world of HZD might seem daunting, especially when you run into some of the larger machines. Don’t worry–breathe. Every mechanical beast that you’ll face has at least one weakness, if not more. The Focus device you’ll get at the beginning of the game will give you all the information you need. A quick scan of each beast will highlight their fragile spots, including an elemental weakness if they have one.

Knowing where and how to strike is critical in situations where you’re faced with powerful enemies. Some will even explode if you hit it with fire arrows. So, while this may be obvious, I can’t emphasize enough that you should scan everything.

Once you get to the bigger enemies like the Thunderjaw (one of the biggest machines you’ll face), a quick scan will reveal their deadly artillery, which you can then shoot off.  When hit correctly, especially with a tear arrow, the heavy weapons will drop to the ground and in turn, used against the beast. These usually have a limited amount of ammo, but they will take down a Thunderjaw in a matter of seconds.

Horizon Zero Dawn FEAT

Stock up on resources

One of the really great features of this game is the ease of crafting on the go. This means that you’re only seconds away from restocking your arrows in the heat of the battle. But you’ll need resources. Luckily for you, the world is littered with all the tools you need. Redwood and medicinal plants are located everywhere, so make sure to grab as much as you can. These two resources alone will give you arrows and make sure you’re always alive. When you take down a machine, make sure to salvage their parts because this will allow you to craft fire arrows, or other elemental artillery.

Bandit camps will also have a good amount of valuable resources that are well worth the effort. Making sure you’re always stocked up is important for survival.

Horizon Zero Dawn Img

Hunting is essential

You probably already know that it’s important to hunt down machines because they give you the necessary resources to craft ammo, but what isn’t explained thoroughly enough is that hunting non-mechanical critters like rabbits and foxes is almost as critical. These little dudes will give you the resources to craft your pouches and other valuable tools. You get storage pouches for weapons, armor, ammo, mods, and so on. Making sure you upgrade these with the resources from animals is important because you don’t ever want to run out of room in your storage when salvaging rare items. Of course you can drop whatever you want to make room, but who wants to do that every time they find a rare item? Exactly.

Horizon Zero Dawn Bots

Stealth is your friend

Like in most games, you’ll start off HZD pretty vulnerable. Your weapons aren’t all that powerful, and Aloy isn’t quite the machine-hunting beast just yet. But that doesn’t mean you have to be at a complete disadvantage. The game is littered with tall grass that you can crouch in to get a tactical advantage. You can either use the cover to avoid altercations or use it to lure an enemy over for a fatal strike. It’s incredibly useful.

That’s why it’s also important to keep an eye on armor that’ll increase your stealth stats, and then you can even use mods to further increase that stat. The HUD also gives you an indicator of your visibility at all times. Using your Focus will also reveal the enemies’ patrol path, which is useful when you’re trying to avoid a losing battle.

For a game that doesn’t advertise itself as a stealth title, it sure handles the mechanic very well. The element of surprise is a powerful thing.

Horizon Zero Dawn Hunt

Mad for mods

Through exploration and machine salvaging, you’ll find plenty of mods that will increase fire damage to increase your stealth stats. Don’t forget to use them. Every weapon and every armor set (with one exception), can use these mods. Depending on the rarity of your weapon or armor, they can have up to three mod slots that you can mix and match with. This will help immensely on your adventure. Each mod is usable once, but maxing out a branch on one of the skill trees allows you to remove and replace any mod without losing it.

Taking down some of the bigger machines will typically yield very rare mods (purple), so be on the lookout for that when trying to turn Aloy into the ultimate huntress.

When you’ve progressed far enough with a powerful Aloy, I would suggest keeping the very rare mods and selling the rare and common pick ups.

Horizon Zero Dawn Fence

Fast travel

The world of HZD is absolutely massive, so large that traveling around on foot becomes extremely time-consuming. Thankfully, you’re given some consumables that grant the ability to fast travel. Unfortunately however, these delightful objects can only be used once. That’s why getting the Golden Fast Travel Pack, which allows the player to fast-travel an unlimited number of times, as soon as possible is essential. This is a special item that’s eventually purchasable through merchants. Once it shows up in the merchant’s inventory, all you need to do is grab the prerequisite items and have enough shards on you.

Horizon Zero Dawn Review FEAT

Quick progression

Want to level your skills up quickly? Pay attention to the side quests. I know that sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s important to go into your quest log to try to figure out which quests are worth completing other than the obviously important main story missions. Some side quests offer a good chunk of experience points which eventually turn into a usable skill point that can then be used to purchase a skill upgrade, while other tasks actually give you a skill point straight up in addition to XP. These are the ones you need to be on the lookout for.

Talk to anyone that’ll give you a mission (they’re marked with an exclamation point on the map), even if you don’t plan on doing it right away. It will be stored in your missions log, along with their subsequent reward. Mitigate which ones to tackle. Doing this will assure you max out your skills way before you hit the level 50 cap.

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Busy HUD

The default settings for the HUD reveals your mission, level, compass, visibility, and even your mission marker; it’s incredibly busy. If you’re someone who’d be stressed out by that, worry not. You can go into the settings and remove some (or all) of these indicators that you feel are overkill. I wouldn’t suggest removing your visibility marker or compass, but the mission tracker and level meter are pretty hard on the eyes.

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Photo Mode

Remember when everyone laughed at the DualShock 4 for having a share button? Little did we know it would become such a popular feature, so much so that even the Nintendo Switch is equipped with a similar feature. The Photo Mode included in the game is incredibly easy to use. At any point in time you hit the pause button and simply scroll down to the Photo Mode. Once there, you’ll have a bevy of settings to tweak.

Some of the easier settings to mess with include: the time of day (so you can get the perfect lighting),  filters, and even borders, to dress things up a bit. Changing the shot around is as simple as moving the thumb-stick until you get the perfect angle. You can also control the aperture, depth, and focus—so make sure to get as creative as you can.

Action shots look really stellar (four of the images on here are my own captured shots), so I’d suggest taking a break when in battle to get some kick-ass snapshots.

These are just a few of the tips that should exponentially increase your chances of survival. The rest is up to you guys. Make sure to share your favorite screenshots and other tips you found useful during your adventure. Shoot your thoughts into the comments section below.

Images: Guerilla Games, PlayStation

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