Horizon Zero Dawn is a masterpiece. It contains heart-stopping visuals, a gripping sci-fi storyline, and gameplay that takes the best elements from most AAA games without getting too repetitive. Even today, there are still new players who are considering buying it, own it but haven’t started playing it yet or are planning on picking it up to enjoy it all over again. While Horizon Zero Dawn already has a lengthy tutorial opening section, here are a few tips and tricks you can keep in mind to make your first or second playthrough more fun than ever before.
Hoard your resources
The open-world in Horizon Zero dawn is filled with plants, wildlife, scrapped machinery, and a variety of other gear and resources. These resources are useful for crafting gear and medicine, which are part of the core game mechanics. While Horizon Zero Dawn has a fun map to traverse and some of the best open-world gameplay mechanics out there, you wouldn’t want to be stuck in your story because of a lack of resources or need to take long, time-consuming detours to farm resources. Instead, the first tip is to simply hoard resources whenever you find them. Becoming an indiscriminate hoarder for every crafting material in your path is a very good idea that you will thank yourself for.
Tagging enemies with the R3 button is a god-tier gameplay mechanic in Horizon Zero Dawn. You will learn about the focus mechanic during the tutorial section and will find that it is the most useful tool in your arsenal. The R3 button will bring up a glowing purple sphere around you and allow you to tag enemies. This ability has a good range and can see past walls as well as track enemy patrols. Tagging every enemy you see will help you keep track of them even when your Focus is off. Scanning enemies also highlights their weaknesses, which can give you a much-needed edge in combat.
Watch the icons
Generally, unless you are making way too much noise, enemies are not aware of your presence. This is a good thing, as the game provides you with clear indicators on whether the enemy has noticed you or not. If an enemy detects you, a gray symbol appears above them, the gray circle progressively fills up with yellow if they continue to be aware of your presence. This leads to enemies investigating the source of the disturbance. You should be worried if the yellow circle becomes red, as this means that the enemy knows where you are and will come to attack you. If a robot doesn’t have an ‘?’ or ‘!’ above its head, it hasn’t seen you. You can take advantage of this and move in for a stealth kill instead of engaging in a full-scale battle every time you encounter an enemy.
Gather your allies
The Override mechanic is another great gameplay feature that allows you to hack into robots and temporarily turn them into your ally. Your new robot allies are great assets on the battlefield and can even help you make a quick exit in case of an emergency. Other machines such as Chargers and Striders can be mounted and used as transportation. You’ll eventually come across more Cauldrons, which are large, high-tech dungeons that unlock further override commands, allowing you to control even larger beasts. Keep an eye on your map for them. But be warned: they can be difficult at times, so prepare yourself before going in.
Set up traps
Horizon Zero Dawn is a game that encourages taking time and preparing instead of simply going in with your arrows flying. If you are going up against bosses or other high-level creatures, then traps are your best friend. Traps can be found in your Tools and you can cycle through them using left and right on the d-pad. Use your Focus with R3 to learn the path of your enemy and set up the trap accordingly. There is nothing quite as satisfying as a trap that does what it was meant to do.
Stay on the lookout for campfires
Campfires are the only method of fast travel in this game, which can be tough because the world is a large and difficult one to traverse on your own. Thankfully, the world is filled with many campfires that the player can come across by simply exploring. We recommend touching every single campfire in your path to be on the safe side.
Exploit enemy weaknesses
As I have said before, Horizon Zero Dawn is a game that rewards planning and preparation. The machines that roam the land come in all shapes and sizes. From easy to dispatch enemies to giant monstrosities. Having a plan is the best way to be able to deal with these enemies and still come out on top. Because no matter how big your enemy, they will always have a weakness that you can exploit. From shock arrows to tripwires, every enemy encounter is like a puzzle to solve, and the answer depends entirely on your approach. Every single encounter gives you the ability to hone your stealth, planning, and attacking skills. This is just another one of the countless reasons why Horizon Zero Dawn is so popular. Have fun with the game by treating each encounter as a puzzle and planning your attack based on the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent.