12 Best Horizon Forbidden West Weapons [Expert’s Recommendations]

Through our Horizon Forbidden West best melee and bow weapons guide, you'll be able to choose the right weapons to fight Machines.

Horizon Forbidden West allows players to choose from a wide range of weapons, such as Bows, Spears, Blastslings, and much more. Each one is different from the others, and some are extremely powerful. Today, to help you select the right weapons for your journey, we are going to write down a Horizon Forbidden West best weapons guide.

Key Takeaways
  • Best Weapons in Horizon Forbidden West:
    • Hunter Bow: Deals high damage and swiftly eliminates enemies.
    • Frost Blasting: Performs Freeze Attacks, aiding in early-game battles.
    • Prototype Spike Thrower: Detonates explosives for massive damage against machines.
    • Wings of the Ten: Immobilizes targets with adhesive rounds.
    • Death-seeker’s Shadow: Destroys armor and inflicts electric damage with fast draw time.
    • The Skykiller: Uses various spikes for substantial damage output.
    • The Sun Scrouge: Features upgradable Coil Slots, quick draw time, and elemental arrow options.
    • Carja’s Bane: Specializes in close-range combat with armor-piercing and fire damage.
    • Tinker’s Pride: Sets explosive wires to trap and damage enemies.
    • Forgefall: Legendary Sharp Shoot bow with exceptional range and damage output.
    • Ancestor’s Return: Legendary Shredder Gauntlet launching disks for increased damage.
    • The Blast Forge: Equipped with armor-piercing bolts for unparalleled power.

Best Weapons & Comparison Table

Check out the stats of Horizon Forbidden West’s best weapons below:

WeaponBest ForTypeBase DamageBuildupEffect
Hunter BowBest Versatile Bow For Early-Late StagesHunter Bow60.0-- Impact Damage
- Fire
-Tear
Frost BlastslingBest Enemy Freezing WeaponBlastsling14.030.0- Front
Prototype Spike ThrowerBest Explosive Damage WeaponSpike Thrower20.0-- Impact Damage
- Explosive Damage
Wings of the TenBest Weapon For Immobilizing EnemiesBlastsling127.0211.0- Explosive Damage
- Adhesive
Death-Seeker’s ShadowBest Armor Penetrating WeaponHunter Bow32.0175.0- Impact Damage
- Shock
- Tear
The SkykillerBest Versatile Spike ThrowerSpike Thrower151.0108.0- Explosive Damage
- Impact Damage
- Fire
The Sun ScrougeBest Weapon With Elemental Damage OptionsHunter Bow38.0238.0- Fire
- Frost
- Acid
Carja’s BaneBest Fire Damage Armor Piercing WeaponWarrior Bow14.042.0- Impact Damage
- Tear
- Fire
Tinker’s PrideBest Weapon For Explosive Wire TrapsTripcaster211.0-- Impact Damage
- Explosive Damage
ForgefallBest Weapon For Powerful Long-Ranged CombatSharpshot Bow25.0232.0- Impact Damage
- Plasma
- Tear
Ancestor’s ReturnBest Boomerang Like GauntletShredder Gauntlet59.065.0- Impact Damage
- Tear
- Acid
- Shock
The Blast ForgeBest Heavy Armor Penetration WeaponBoltblaster37.0-- Impact Damage
- Explosive Damage

Horizon Forbidden West Best Weapons Detailed

I’m going to mention a total of twelve weapons that I found to be useful in the game. Keep in mind that this is just my personal preference, and you might find some other weapons better than these. So without any further ado, let’s dive into the list of best melee and bow weapons in Horizon Forbidden West.

Hunter Bow

Best Versatile Bow For Early-Late Stages
Damage Handling Draw Time Reload Speed Max Range Ammo per Pack
60 80 0.57s 0.625s 70m 10
  • Why I Chose This: Provides great usage in early game stages as well as late. Good damage and potential to be upgraded.

The Hunter Bow is an essential starting weapon in Horizon Forbidden West, providing decent damage output throughout the game. While it starts with a single Coil Slot, I found that upgrades can significantly enhance its effectiveness. With the ability to use Acid Arrows, it becomes even more formidable, allowing players to deal increased damage to enemies, especially in the early stages of the game.

How To Get The Hunter Bow

  • You don’t need to do anything to get this weapon, as you’ll start the game with the Hunter Bow. 
  • Good damage.
  • Great for early stages as well as later on.
  • Available early on in the game.
  • Only a single coil slot for upgrades.

Frost Blastsling

Best Enemy Freezing Weapon
Horizon Forbidden West Best Weapons
Frost Blastsling – Horizon Forbidden West Weapon
Frost Damage Buildup Effect
14 30 Frost
  • Why I Chose This: The freeze ability comes in handy when fighting against powerful foes.

The Frost Blastsling is among the initial weapons you’ll acquire in Horizon Forbidden West. It deals high damage and freezes enemies, facilitating quick eliminations. While its Frost Bombs are costly to craft, from my experience they’re potent against tough foes. However, its effectiveness diminishes as you progress, prompting a transition to more powerful weapons.

Another Read: Horizon Forbidden West Regalla’s Wrath weapon

How To Get The Frost Blastsling

  • The “Reach for the Stars” story quest unlocks the weapon.
  • Varl provides Frost Blastsling during the mission.
  • Encounter a powerful opponent, Slitherfang providing an opportunity to test Frost Blastsling.
  • Great damage for early game stages.
  • Allows slowing of enemies using the freeze effect.
  • Frost Bombs can be expensive.

Prototype Spike Thrower 

Best Explosive Damage Weapon
Best Horizon Forbidden West Weapons
Prototype Spike Thrower – Horizon Forbidden West Weapon
Damage Explosive Damage Effect
20 70
  • Impact Damage
  • Explosive Damage
  • Why I Chose This: A very powerful weapon for the early stages of the game. The effectiveness it provides against machines and powerful foes.

The Prototype Spike Thrower is a standout weapon in Horizon Forbidden West, renowned for its exceptional power. Obtainable early in the game, it comes with explosives that detonate shortly after impact, dealing massive damage to the target and nearby enemies.

It is also effective against both regular foes and formidable adversaries like the Shell Snapper, in my opinion its armor-penetrating capability and explosive nature make it a formidable choice despite its initial draw time.

How To Get The Prototype Spike Thrower

  • Weapon acquisition tied to completing an Errand in Chainscrape.
  • Errand unlocked after completing the “To the Brink” main quest and merchants re-open their shops in Chainscrape.
  • Completion of Errand grants access to the weapon.
  • High damage and explosive capabilities.
  • Can deal with a plethora of enemies.
  • Has a slow draw time.

Wings of the Ten

Best Weapon For Immobilizing Enemies
Horizon Forbidden West Best Weapons
Wings of the Ten – Horizon Forbidden West Weapon
Explosive Damage Type Effects
127 Ranged Weapon
  • Explosive Damage
  • Adhesive
  • Why I Chose This: The ability to immobilize enemies is super useful when fighting against powerful enemies. Tho the time limit can be short against powerful foes but it’s still great.

Another Blastslings that I would like to mention is the Wings of the Ten. While the Frost Blastsling is amazing and all, the Wings of the Ten is somewhat better than it. In my opinion, the thing that makes it one of the best weapons to use is its ability to immobilize its targets.

The Wings of the Ten immobilize foes with adhesive rounds for swift eliminations, ideal against enemies like Burrowers. They require fast follow-up attacks for maximum efficiency and offer versatility in combat, despite being challenging to obtain.

How To Get The Wings of the Ten

  • Weapon acquisition requires collecting 12 Black Box voice recorders that are scattered across the map.
  • Complete Seeds of the Past and Sea of Sands story missions before collecting boxes.
  • A Vine Cutter and Diving Mask obtained from missions are required for collecting boxes.
  • Missions become available after completing more than half of the game’s story.
  • Wings of the Ten was not accessible before completing these missions.

The 12 Black Boxes in Horizon Forbidden West can be found at different wrecks in the following locations:

  • Whitewatch Peaks
  • No Man’s Land
  • Jagged Deep
  • Salt Bite
  • Memorial Grave
  • Bleeding Mark
  • Stillsands
  • Promontory
  • Raintrance
  • Stand of the Sentinels
  • Isle of Spires
  • Bonewhite Tear

You can also follow the locations we have marked in the image below to get them quickly.

Black Box Locations
Black Box Locations
  • Immobilize enemies using adhesive rounds.
  • Versatile.
  • Not as easy to acquire.

Death-Seeker’s Shadow

Best Armor Penetrating Weapon
HFW Best Weapons
Death-Seeker’s Shadow – Horizon Forbidden West Weapon
Damage Type Tear Effects
52 Ranged Weapon 175
  • Impact Damage
  • Tear
  • Shock
  • Why I Chose This: The way this weapon obliterates enemy armor is mind-blowing. It had to be on my list.

The Death-Seeker’s Shadow, a legendary weapon in Horizon Forbidden West, excels at armor destruction and inflicts electric damage. Its quick draw time enables rapid targeting, making it effective against fast foes. With five Coil Slots for upgrades, in my opinion, it becomes even more potent in skilled hands, proving invaluable against all types of enemies.

How To Get The Death-Seeker’s Shadow Bow

  • Weapon acquisition involves earning access to the Arena.
  • Compete in the Arena and Hunting grounds to acquire medals.
  • Need to gather a total of 80 medals.
  • Purchase the weapon from the Merchant at the Arena’s entrance after acquiring the required number of medals.
  • High damage.
  • Has the ability to penetrate through enemy armor.
  • Quickdraw time.
  • It can be a little difficult to acquire.

The Skykiller

Best Versatile Spike Thrower
Horizon Forbidden West Best Weapons
The Skykiller – Horizon Forbidden West Weapon
Damage Explosive Damage Draw Time Reload Speed Max Range
43 151 0.6s 0.39s 80-100m
  • Why I Chose This: The high damage and the versatility it provides against different enemy types.

The Skykiller is yet another weapon on our Horizon Forbidden West melee weapons list that can deal significantly more damage with each hit. Like the Prototype, this one is also a Spike Thrower, only that it is a little better than it.

The Skykiller, a top Spike Thrower in Horizon Forbidden West, from my experience it offers versatility with Explosive and Flaming spikes. Explosive Spikes excel at breaking armor, while Flaming Spikes are effective against unarmored foes. With five Coil Slots for upgrades, reload speed perks, and a 15% aerial damage bonus, it’s a formidable choice for various combat scenarios.

How To Get The Skykiller

  • Spike Thrower is obtained through “The Way Home” side quest which is available after completing the GEMINI story mission.
  • Acquisition of Spike Thrower occurs in the game’s final stages.
  • The objective of the side quest: return a gyrocompass from ship wreckage.
  • The side quest is lengthy which requires preparation for challenges.
  • High damage.
  • Has versatile ammo types.
  • Has 5 coil slots for upgradability.
  • Is available quite later on in the game.

The Sun Scrouge

Best Weapon With Elemental Damage Options
The Sun Scourge
The Sun Scourge – Horizon Forbidden West Weapon
Damage Handling Draw Time Reload Speed Max Range Effect
37 80 0.57s 0.17s 60m
  • Fire
  • Frost
  • Acid
  • Why I Chose This: The different elemental arrows this bow has can be used against a plethora of enemies.

The Sun Scrouge, a legendary hunter bow in Horizon Forbidden West, boasts five Coil Slots for upgrades, enhancing its power. With a quick draw time, it excels at targeting fast-moving enemies and dealing significant damage to armored foes. Its versatility is further highlighted by its ability to utilize fire, ice, and poison elemental arrows.

Overall, I’ve found from my experience that it’s one of the game’s top weapons, offering various perks including Instant Brittle Chance, Agility Damage, and Overdraw Damage.

How To Get The Sun Scourge

  • To get this weapon, you will need to conquer every Rebel Camp available in the game.
  • There are a total of five Rebel Camps in the game which are as follows:
    • Easter Lie – Located in Barren Light, north of the Salvage Camp.
    • Breached Rock – Can be found in the Mountains, west of Scalding Spear. 
    • The Hive – Located in the Mountains west of Scalding Spear.
    • Fenrise – Located in the bottom right of the Jungle Biome.
    • Devil’s Grasp – Located southwest of Vegas, at the bottom-left part of the Desert Biome.
Rebel Camps
Rebel Camps

After you successfully clear out these five Rebel Camps, a new side quest will pop up in which you’ll need to take down the sixth and final Rebel Camp and defeat Asera in the process. Upon completing the side quest, you will get rewarded with the Sun Scrouge. 

  • Excellent damage output with quick draw time.
  • Versatile elemental type arrows.
  • 5 coil slots for greater upgradability.
  • Has moderate range.

Carja’s Bane

Best Fire Damage Armor Piercing Weapon
Horizon Forbidden West Best Weapons
Caja’s Bane – Horizon Forbidden West Weapon
Damage Tear Handling Reload Speed Max Range Draw Time
35 83 80 0.17s 25m 0.57s
  • Why I Chose This: Provides great usage against fast enemies and is versatile. Can also be upgraded.

In Horizon Forbidden West, when fast enemies close in, Carja’s Bane proves invaluable. This legendary warrior bow delivers substantial damage per shot and excels in close-quarters combat. Capable of piercing armor, it’s effective against tough opponents and deals fire damage, aiding in swift eliminations. Its versatility makes it ideal for countering foes like Frostclaws, which employ freeze attacks.

The Carja’s Bane warrior bow in Horizon Forbidden West features five Coil Slots and initial perks of 10% Agility Damage and 10% Corroding Enemy Damage. Additional perks unlock as you progress with the weapon. While obtaining it requires effort, I can assure you that it proves quite effective against aggressive robots, making battles easier once acquired.

How To Get The Carja’s Bane

  • Legendary warrior bow acquired by completing all four Gauntlet Runs.
  • Gauntlet Runs are racing tournaments requiring riding a Charger.
  • Objective: Be the first to complete a lap.
  • Races become increasingly challenging with each completion.
  • Locations of Gauntlet Runs: Dry Yearn (west of Plainsong), Cliffs of the City (west of Thronmarsh), Bonewhite Tear (west of Bulwark), and The Stillsands (amidst ruins of Las Vegas).
  • Completion rewards Carja’s Bane which is a potent weapon for close combat.
  • Excels in close-range combat.
  • High damage and does fire damage.
  • Has Armor-piercing capability.
  • Limited range and slow draw time.

Tinker’s Pride

Best Weapon For Explosive Wire Traps
Horizon Forbidden West Best Weapons
Tinker’s Pride – Horizon Forbidden West Weapon
Damage Mod Slots Reload Speed Max Range Effects
211 3 0.22s 18.5m
  • Impact Damage
  • Explosive Damage
  • Why I Chose This: The armor penetrating ability this weapon has with the effective crowd control capability.

The Tinker’s Pride Tripcaster in Horizon Forbidden West offers effective enemy trapping and damage with its wired traps, detonating upon enemy contact. Its versatility from my experience is highlighted by three types of explosive wires. With armor-destruction capabilities and five Coil Slots for upgrades, it proves formidable in combat. Additionally, its damage-over-time perk adds to its effectiveness in battles.

How To Get The Tinker’s Pride

  • Tinker’s Pride is considered one of the most difficult weapons to obtain in Horizon Forbidden West.
  • Acquisition requires completing each hunting ground trial with perfection.
  • Failure to achieve full points in any trial results in the inability to gather enough medals for purchase.
  • Great damage with using explosive wires.
  • Excels against enemies that have armor.
  • 5 coil slots for upgrades.
  • Will require skill and precision.

Forgefall

Best Weapon For Powerful Long-Ranged Combat
Forgefall
Forgefall – Horizon Forbidden West Weapon
Damage Tear Draw Time Reload Speed Max Range Cost to buy
179 179 1.15s 0.84s 90m 80 Arena medals
  • Why I Chose This: Great long-ranged superiority this weapon provides with devastating damage.

If you’re looking for a bow that can help you destroy your target in seconds, then your search should end after acquiring Forgefall. This is a Legendary Sharshot Bow capable of delivering powerful Plasma attacks to its targets. 

The Forgefall in Horizon Forbidden West offers an excellent range for safe distance combat, though it’s slightly slower. I’ve found that its power, armor-piercing rounds, and Plasma blasts compensate for this. With five Coil Slots and perks like a 25% Draw Speed boost, it’s formidable. Overall, it’s one of the best weapons, offering range and potent attacks.

How To Get Forgefall

  • The weapon is available for purchase from Merchant outside the Arena for 80 medals.
  • Medals are acquired through completing Hunting Grounds and participating in the Arena.
  • Competing in the Arena is challenging so I advise players to enter with good weapons.
  • Entering the Arena without adequate weaponry may result in repeated defeats and wasted time.
  • Great damage with long-ranged combat capabilities.
  • Enhanced draw speed and concentration damage with perks.
  • Slow draw time.

Ancestor’s Return

Best Boomerang Like Gauntlet
Horizon Forbidden West Best Weapons
Ancestor’s Return Horizon Forbidden West Weapon
Impact Buildup Draw Time Reload Speed Max Range Source
59 65 0.89s 0.32s 80m Dukkah
  • Why I Chose This: The elemental effects this weapon provides and can pierce enemy armor with ease.

The Ancestor’s Return in Horizon Forbidden West is a Legendary Shredder Gauntlet that launches a returning disk, dealing damage and piercing armor. It inflicts poison and electric damage, increasing with each catch and throw. I have to admit that mastery of this weapon requires practice to improve proficiency and accuracy.

Overall, the Ancestor’s Return is a fun weapon to use. You can get creative with it and take down your opponents in a variety of ways. 

How To Get The Ancestor’s Return

  • Legendary gauntlet acquisition involves collecting nine ornaments from Relic Runs.
  • After collecting all nine ornaments you need to deliver them to Stemmur.
  • Stemmur exchanges ornaments for the Ancestor’s Return.
  • The locations of the Relic Runs are mentioned below:
    • No Man’s Land
    • Restless Weald
    • The Daunt
    • Long Coast
    • Isle of SPires
    • Stillsands
    • Dry Yearn
    • Runner’s Wild

You can see the map below to see exactly where these Relic Ruins are. As for the ninth Relic Ruin, it can only be accessed during the “Night of Lights” side mission. 

  • Deals poison and electrical damage.
  • Armor-piercing capability.
  • Requires practice to fully master.

An Interesting Read: Horizon Forbidden West Flying Mount

The Blast Forge

Best Heavy Armor Penetration Weapon
The Blast Forge
The Blast Forge – Horizon Forbidden West Weapon
Damage Draw Time Reload Speed Max Speed
37 0.456s 0.17s 50m
  • Why I Chose This: The raw power this weapon provides greatly helps against powerful enemies.

The Blast Forge is a powerful Boltblaster in Horizon Forbidden West, ideal for facing tough foes head-on. It boasts immense power and three types of armor-piercing bolts, including explosives. With perks enhancing draw speed, critical hit chance, and overdraw damage, it becomes exceptionally lethal in combat, especially against formidable enemies like Tremortusks and Slitherfangs.

Overall, The Blast Forge stands out as the premier weapon in Horizon Forbidden West, reliable in nearly every scenario. While overkill against regular enemies, it’s indispensable for serious threats. In my opinion, its true power lies in its ability to turn the tables on unsuspecting adversaries.

How To Get The Blast Forge

  • The weapon is available for purchase from Arena’s Merchant for 80 medals.
  • Medals are obtained by completing multiple Hunting Grounds.
  • High requirements necessitate the completion of several Hunting Grounds before obtaining the weapon.
  • Great damage and armor-piercing capabilities.
  • Explosive bolts.
  • Consumes a lot of ammo.

My Take On The Best Weapons

horizon forbidden west hours
My hours in HFW (PSN: Liontamer55460)

In my personal opinion, and being well-versed with the combat of the game, especially on the Ultra Hard difficulty in NG+, the Blast Forge and Carja’s Bane are easily my favorite weapons to use. If you’re a veteran player like me, you would know just how ridiculously overpowered Boltblasters are, especially when combined with the Ranged Master Valor Surge.

Lastly, the Warrior Bows instantly became my favorites early on in the game just because of how Warrior Bows, as a new weapon archetype, feel like the best solution in up close situations. When used correctly, you can use the Carja’s Bane to rip through Frozen Machines with relative ease, considering their DPS rate.

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Usama Mehmood is a Games Specialist, and writer on eXputer who's either hunting for the richest loot in Destiny 2 or endlessly playing his favorite games such as Yakuza or Final Fantasy. Usama has been gaming for 15+ years during which he has accumulated 4000+ hours on Destiny 1 & 2. His constant adoration for video games has allowed him to pursue eXputer as a platform to showcase his striving talents in writing helpful articles. Get familiar with Usama's extensive gaming library on his Steam, PSN, and Xbox profiles.

Experience: 2+ Years || Mainly Covers Reviews And Guides

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