10 Best Horizon Forbidden West Early Game Tips

Horizon Forbidden West throws you into a dynamic, open-world where new machines continue to dominate the landscape. If you played the first game, you must be aware of lots of in-game mechanics, including finding all tallnecks, locating cauldrons to override machines, and much more. Yes, the sequel packs tons of new machines along with many taken from the first game, and playing the game can get overwhelming, especially in the early hours. That is why we have curated Horizon Forbidden West best early items and tips guide so that you can streamline your experience and maybe die a little less while playing story or side quest missions.

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Horizon Forbidden West Early Game Tips

We have listed down the ten best tips that can better Aloy’s journey of reviving GAIA. Most of these tips can be implemented or be kept in practice from the early game, but you’d see the fruits of your labor in the mid-to-late game. So, read out tips and prioritize doing them in the game to get an edge and get a hold of the massive world Guerrilla Games has designed.

Climbing Annotations

Horizon Forbidden West takes the traversal element up a notch than the prequel. Aloy can pretty much climb places you’d not expect. However, to know the climbing points or anchor points where Aloy can actually grab is a bit of a hassle. You will need to do a Focus scan to see the visible points that she can grab onto.

Luckily, there is an easy fix or workaround to avoid scanning the environment every time you want to scale heights. Turning On the climbing annotations by going to Visual Tab from the Game Settings tab will highlight all climbable points for you. This easy fix of in-game visual setting is such a blessing as you’d know where exactly Aloy can climb or not.

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Unlock Acid Arrows

If you are just starting Horizon Forbidden West, the first tip we have for you is to get access to acid elemental arrows in the game. It is pretty much easy-to-acquire as you don’t need high-end machine parts, hundreds of metals shards, or other challenging tasks to complete. All you need to do is visit a workbench in the open-world of in the settlements and upgrade your starting Hunter bow in the game to get acid arrows.

Horizon Forbidden West early Items
Acid arrows Horizon Forbidden West

Most of the machines that you will encounter in the early hours of Horizon Forbidden West have a weakness for acid elements. You can cause chain reactions by hitting the same elemental tanks connected to these machines or pour them into acid by shooting acid arrows and building the acid status effect. It makes taking down machines or their respective parts a lot easier task than shooting simple arrows. So, get acid arrows as early as you can in the game.

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Unlocking Weapon Types

Just like the first game, Horizon Forbidden West’s weapon arsenal focuses heavily on ranged weapons. Sure, there is a dedicated melee skill tree to invest skill points and get better and do melee damage, but the variety of ranged weapons, such as bows, you get in Horizon Forbidden West is unparalleled to melee weapons.

That being said, you must unlock all weapon types and their elemental effect as early as possible to combat not just regular machines but the apex ones as well. Bow and unique arrow types are excellent for combat, but you’d be surprised to know how much great the rest of the weapon arsenal is in Horizon Forbidden West.

Skills, Builds, And PlayStyle

early game playstyles
Skills and builds

Obtaining as many skill points in the early game should be your concern in Horizon Forbidden West. It is because the difficulty suddenly rises, and combat will get overwhelming soon as you progress a couple of story missions. Investing skill points into proper skills should give you a unique playstyle.

The builds in Horizon Forbidden West can be made by investing skills properly into skill trees that you utilize most. For example, if you are not into stealthy playstyle, then you should invest most of your skill points in the Hunter, Warrior, and Survivor skill tree. That will give you an edge while taking out machines head-on.

Similarly, unlocking more skill points in trapper, infiltrator, and machine master will give you a stealthy build and lean your gameplay experience from direct confrontations to stealthy approaches. There is no cap on how many skills you can unlock in Horizon Forbidden West. The game has plenty of quests and activities besides the main story to get you enough skill points to buy all skills from the six skill trees.

Campfires For Free Fast Travel

Horizon Forbidden West early Items
Campfire for fast travel and quicksave

The open world of Horizon Forbidden West is massive and not just ground level but underwater as well, though there are only specific areas with underwater locations. In any case, going from point A to B while running on foot, mounting chargers, or flying mount such as using Sunwing may not be the ideal solution. That is why fast travel is just a blessing.

However, fast traveling is not free unless you visit and activate the campfires scattered throughout the map. You can still use fast travel equipment to get the job done, but it is not free. So, look for campfires and activate them while completing story missions, venturing the side-quests, and hunting down machines.

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Finding Tallnecks

Tallnecks clear map's fog
Tallnecks overriding

Nearly all of the Horizon Forbidden West’s open-world is clouded if you see the map. You can clear the fog or cloud to see clearly, but that can be done in two ways: visiting locations on foot or finding and interacting with Tallnecks. The latter option is a much better choice than literally walking or running the whole map. However, the catch is you can’t just find and climb Tallnecks easily.

First, you need to find tallnecks locations and then strategize how to climb these tallest machines in Horizon Forbidden West. Some of the tallnecks will require Aloy to have specific equipment to climb; otherwise, you can’t just reach its head from where you can override the machine.

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Scavenge Machine Parts

Horizon Forbidden West early Items
machine scavenging

Machines are the meat of Horizon Forbidden West –irony: how I mentioned machines and meat. In any case, practicing your target on live targets and scavenging for machine parts is the activity you’d be doing in the game while playing story quest or free-roaming.

Even though you get to scavenge machine parts after a silent takedown, the real deal is when you break machine parts that give Aloy unique items required for purchasing, upgrading weapons, armor, and more. You can always trade these rare machine parts for metal shards in Horizon Forbidden West, which can later be used to buy very rare or legendary weapons, outfits, and more.

Animal Skin

Horizon Forbidden West early Items
Skinning animals for resources

The wildlife is abundant in Horizon Forbidden West. You may get difficulty spotting enemies, but using the Focus will highlight nearby enemies. Animal skin can be acquired after killing the wildlife. You can sell the skin to merchants in settlement for quick metal shard grab or keep it for important pouch upgrades in Horizon Forbidden West.

Yes, you can increase your inventory carrying capacity by upgrading your pouch, and that can be done if you have particular animal skin. The wildlife inhabitance changes based on the terrain you roam; if you are in the mountains, you’d have a great chance of spotting bighorn sheep spot boar. The same is the case of finding rabbits, raccoons, pelicans, and other small-sized animals. You need to visit unique locations and hunt the wildlife for pouch upgrades which are very helpful during the mid-to-late game.

Greenshines

Horizon Forbidden West Early Game Tips
Greenshines for upgrades

Greenshine resource is a glowing green crystal-look-alike rock that is valuable for Aloy’s upgrades. The merchants in the settlements and camps will also give you a good amount of metal shards if you sell greenshines to them.

Most greenshines are tucked behind rocks, under bridges, underwater, or places where you’d have low expectations of finding a valuable resource. If you want a valuable Horizon Forbidden West early game tip, then this is it.

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Side-Quests

side activities types to get XP and metal shards
side activities types

Side quests are equally at par with main missions in Horizon Forbidden West. They are short, have fewer cutscenes but have a decent amount of dialogue and NPC interaction. Side quests are designed so well that you’d find extra dialogues in main missions if you have played certain side quests first before doing the main ones.

Side quests also give you skill points, which you can use to create a certain build in Horizon Forbidden West. You’d get to face machines in many side missions, explore the game’s lore and take a peek into the previous game’s story as well.

Overall, for early game tips in Horizon Forbidden West, we’d recommend taking your time off from doing story quest back-to-back. Take a back seat and start exploring the world of the game by completing the side quests.

That is pretty much everything you need to know about early game Horizon Forbidden West tips to get you started in the dynamic and versatile open-world of the game. Have you played the game yet? Are you playing it on PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5? Share your thoughts with us about Horizon Forbidden West in the comments section below.

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Irfan Ansari


With four years of Video Game Journalism and Tremendous love for Gaming, Irfan loves chatting and writing everything about video games.