Horizon Forbidden West Dreadwing Location

Learn everything there is about the Dreadwing machine in Horizon Forbidden West, its location as well the best strategy to defeat it.

Our guide to the Horizon Forbidden West Dreadwing Location entails everything that you will need to know firsthand when tackling this machine for the first time in your playthrough. It is a challenging heavyweight machine that can easily kill Aloy if you’re not careful enough. You will need its parts in order to upgrade your weapons and armor, which can easily be missed if you don’t tear them down first in the fight. Despite that, if you are looking to farm the Dreadwing with efficiency, then you will need to follow a detailed strategy.

Key Takeaways
  • The Horizon Forbidden West’s Dreadwing is one of the deadliest heavyweight machines in the game, and its appearance is based on Bats.
  • Players can find the Dreadwing in two different locations, one of which is the official site marked by the game:
    1. The first location is the site marked on the map, which is near the LATOPOLIS old world site in the south of the map in the Desert region.
    2. Alternatively, players can find another Dreadwing on the west side of the Arena, but caution is advised as they’ll also have to take on a Stormbird along with it.
  • Players can acquire an array of resources via the Dreadwing, as most parts are detachable, but you will most likely have to focus on acquiring the Metal Fangs for high-level gear upgrades.
  • There are a variety of attacks that the Dreadwing can use, but most include its deadly swipe attacks using its wings, the acid spit as well as the shockwave-inducing tremor stomps.
Important: The following Dreadwing guide was based on the normal difficulty version of the fight but the tactics and strategy used here can be applied to all versions of the fight, even on Ultra Hard.
Before You Start: You will first need to complete the Seeds Of The Past quest in the game in order to unlock and fight against the Dreadwing machine in the open world.

Dreadwing Locations In Horizon Forbidden West

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The 1st Location (Image Captured by Us)

As stated previously, you will first need to complete the Seeds of the Past mission to access the Dreadwing machine, but once you do, you should be able to make it spawn on the map. As shown in the image above, this is the only officially known site of the Dreadwing on the map, which is towards the South in the desert region. It will usually spawn the normal variant.

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The 2nd location (Image Captured by Us)

However, if you feel like you handle an extra bit of challenge and want to fight against the Apex variant during nighttime, then you can venture to the location we have marked above. The only problem is that you will not only have to deal with a Dreadwing but also a Stormbird. Fighting against both can be chaotic. The location is a little towards the West side of the Maw of the Arena, where you engage in gladiator battles against machines.

But again, we strongly advise just using the first and only marked site by the game to farm its loot; unless you feel confident in taking both machines down with ease, then you’re welcome to head to this location.

Loot Table And Parts

We have organized a descriptive table for you down below, which details every part of the Dreadwing as well as which part has a chance to drop what kind of items:

BodyMetal Bite, Metal Shards, Braided wire, Deadwing Circulator, Large Machine core, Dreadwing Primary nerve, Volatile Sludge, Machine muscle, Crystal Braiding, Metal bone, Luminous Brainstem, Sturdy HardplateNone
Flash BlindersBraided wire, Crystal Braiding, Sturdy HardplateDetachable: The component can be detached with tear damage
Metal FangDreadwing Metal fangDetachable
Metalbite sacMetalbiteExplosive: The component explodes when destroyed
Stamina Drain ContainerVolatile SludgeDetachable
SparkerSparkerChain Reaction: Triggers an elemental explosion if shot with shock damage
Resource ContainerBlastpaste, Braided wire, Sturdy Hardplate, Large Machine Core, Dreadwing Primary nerve, Luminous BrainstemDetachable
Bomb LauncherUsable WeaponDetachable
Stealth GeneratorBraided wire, Sturdy Hardplate, Luminous BrainstemDetachable
AntennaBraided wire, Sturdy Hardplate, Dreadwing Primary nerveDetachable
Damage Dampener ContainerVolatile sludge, PurgewaterDetachable
Noxious ContainerVolatile SludgeDetachable
RadarBraided wire, Sturdy Hardplate, Deadwing CirculatorDetachable
Purgewater CanisterPurgewaterChain Reaction

How To Defeat The Dreadwing

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The Dreadwing information (Image Captured by Us)
  • Weaknesses: Fire damage
  • Resistances: Frost, Shock, and Acid damage
  • Override Cauldron: KAPPA Overrides

Unlike most battles in the game, the Dreadwing may seem intimidating at first sight, but if you’re an experienced player like me who’ll battle it for the first time via a main story quest, then you should have little to no trouble.

Now that we have covered the location of the Dreadwing in Horizon Forbidden West let’s dive deeper and discuss the best loadout for Aloy and the optimal strategy to take it down with ease, starting with the Machine’s main move list of attacks.

Attack Movelist

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Dreadwing Attacks (Image by eXputer)

While the Dreadwing primarily focuses attacks that revolve around using its wings to slash you from the air or on the ground, there are a few attacks that you need to focus on avoiding, which are as follows:

  • Wing Slash: Whilst on the ground, the Dreadwing will charge forward at you and try to slash you with one of its wings.
  • Spin Strike: The Dreadwing will spin in a 360 motion while charging up into the air, causing a large wind-like AoE attack that can damage you if caught within its radius.
  • Pulse Stomps: The Dreadwing will charge at you whilst relentlessly stomping on the ground and unleashing concussive shockwaves, which can stun you if you don’t dodge out of it.
  • Acid Spit: The Machine will unleash this attack from the air as it will shoot Acid 2-3 times, so we strongly advise dodging it timely to avoid it.

While we have covered most of the important attacks, during some cases, the Dreadwing will tend to fly overhead and launch acids from his front, so dodging to the side during that is preferred. It is also worth stating that this machine will more than likely use its camouflage ability to go invisible for a brief period, which you can easily interrupt. You can also use cleansing potions to recover from its AoE screeches or blind attacks.


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The Loadout (Image by eXputer)

The recommended loadout that we personally used against the Dreadwing is listed below and shown in the image we have provided above:

  • Bolt Blaster: The Blast Forge
  • Hunter Bow: The Sun Scourge
  • Ropecaster: Elite Ropecaster
  • ArmorNora Thunder Warrior
  • Valor Surge: Ranged Master

Aside from the Elite Ropecaster (which you can purchase from the merchant at Thornmarsh), each of these weapons can be traded for medals, which are earned via completing battles in The Arena.

You can still use any weapon you want, provided that they are somewhat upgraded to combat the Dreadwing, but we went with these to efficiently kill it for farming purposes. Activating the Ranged master valor surge will boost our DPS using the Boltcaster to easily take down the machine.


As you approach the Dreadwing, it is worth keeping in mind that he will use his scanner to instantly track your location and begin the encounter. The radius of the scan covers roughly 15-20 meters and has a cooldown of around 20 seconds before it pings the scanner again. During that time, you can quickly sneak up on the Dreadwing while it’s perched upside down in its bat-like state to take out its front metal fangs.

Regardless of whether you had the first strike at the machine in stealth or not, let’s begin with how you need to strategically use your loadout effectively.

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Using the Ropecaster (Image by eXputer)
  • Tying It Up: Begin the fight immediately by shooting the Ropecaster at the Dreadwing, which will immobilize it to the ground since it’s difficult to fight whilst it’s in the air.
  • The number of ropes needed to fire at it in order to take it down will depend on how far you’ve upgraded the Ropecaster, but you should have enough time to do the next step easily.
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Tear down the Metalfangs (Image by eXputer)
  • Metalfangs: You will need the Dreadwing’s Metal fangs in order to upgrade most of your weapons and armor. Hence, as the Dreadwing drops on the ground via the Ropecaster, you should quickly aim and shoot down its metal fangs located on the mouth, as we have depicted in the image above.
  • Immobilizing it again: The next course of action is how the Dreadwing will take flight again since we will be taking out its metal fangs as a priority, so prepare to dodge any of its attacks carefully and use your Ropecaster at the same time to take it down once more.
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Freezing the Dreadwing (Image by eXputer)
  • Freezing: Once it’s tied down again for a brief period, equip your Sun Scourge bow or any of the best bows with the frost elemental arrows and begin firing at the machine to build up frost on it, which in turn will help increase our damage to finally take it down in the next step.
  • We know the frost element is one of the Dreadwing’s resistance, but trust us when we suggest how freezing it will greatly help with the damage we inflict using the Boltcaster. 
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Battling the Dreadwing (Image by eXputer)
  • Unleashing The Boltcaster: The Boltcaster is easily one of the best weapons in Horizon Forbidden West, especially if you’re using the Blast Forge, which is a must-have since it has impact bolt ammo.
  • Essentially, you need to fire the Boltcaster immediately after freezing the Dreadwing, and we recommend doing it on its back, where you can find a number of detachable parts that can deal huge damage when broken.
  • We highly recommend activating the Valor Surge at this point to further boost your damage which will easily melt the health of the Dreadwing in a matter of seconds.
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Destroying the Acid Pouch (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)
  • A few other combat tips we can suggest are to use the ‘slide-into-dodge roll’ technique to grant more immunity frames to Aloy, which will allow her to easily evade almost any attack, as well as use the smoke bombs to get breathing room from the fight to heal up or reload the Boltcaster.
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Dreadwing defeated (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)
  • Lastly, it is worth mentioning that players can also target the Acid pouch on its front chest which will explode when dealt enough damage, making the Dreadwing suspectible to the Acid element.

Summing It Up

Horizon Forbidden West is easily one of the best open world games with a rich combat and stunning photorealistic graphics that can encapsulate any gamer on their first playthrough. As you can see in the following Subreddit Post, the Dreadwings can be a tenacious machine to fight for quite a few players.

If you think you have what it takes to overcome it then you might easily be able to take down the new machines in the Burning Shores expansion of the game too. Our Review of Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores discussed many of the ups and downs of the game, as well as the latest changes and new content introduced with the DLC which can easily impress fans.

But for now, this concludes our guide to the Horizon Forbidden West Dreadwing Locations as well as the detailed strategy to defeat it. If you have any further questions related to the guide or the game in general then be sure to let us know in the comments below! As always, eXputer wishes you luck!

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Sameer Tahir

When Sameer first acquired a Gameboy Advance nearly fifteen years ago, he instantly fell in love with video games. His passion for gaming hasn't wavered to date, and currently, he rejuvenates the experience by drafting video game guides at eXputer.

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