Horizon Forbidden West XP And Metal Shard Farming

Skill points and metal shards are two core elements in Horizon Forbidden West that can make Aloy overpowered in the early, mid, and late game. Guerilla Games have added tons of side activities besides the story quest so that you can complete and earn XP and skill points faster and get skills. Still, the skill trees are revamped in the sequel, and there are so many skills to invest skill points. The same is the case with metal shards, as you have more than a dozen of weapons, armors, and weapon mods variety. While you can still play the game, earn XP and metal shards naturally as you progress. You can, however, go through a cheesy approach of farming XP and metal shards in Horizon Forbidden West.

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Horizon Forbidden West XP And Shard Farming Spot

We know that farming beats the purpose of playing and progressing the story of the game, or the challenges you get to face may have a toned-down difficulty because you overpowered your character via farming. That being said, some players just love a cheesy approach and have this eagerness to buy or unlock it all, and in the case of Horizon Forbidden West, players who’d want to farm will likely do because they want to have the best weapons, best bows, and best armors in the game.

Whatever approach you take, you can still unlock all skills from the skills trees buy all weapons, armor, and weapon mods even after ending the story mode. Also, this is a legit way of farming XP and farming shards and does not involve any glitch or exploit that can have consequences later on your PSN account. While you are at it why not read our Horizon Forbidden West Relic Ruins and Survey Drones guides, and get these collectibles for PSN trophies.

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Unlocking The Shelter Point

Horizon Forbidden West XP Farming
XP Farming point

Before we actually move towards fighting the Thunderjaw, the first thing you should do is visit and access the campfire located at the Shelter. Here is an image for your reference. The shelter point is not far from the Thunderjaw site, which makes it the perfect spot for farming XP, machine parts, and shards. If you have it unlocked already then fast travel there. 

The Shelter campfire for farming
The Shelter campfire

Another excellent reason why we think this method or farming point generates the quickest and the highest amount of XP and shards is that The Shelter point has everything you need. You have a workbench to upgrade your weapons, a campfire to save or change the time cycle, and Aloy’s stash. The Shelter offers the complete package a farm point should have in Horizon Forbidden West.

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Going To Thunderjaw Site

Horizon Forbidden West XP Farming
XP and metal shard farming machine

After you are all caught up at the Shelter point, look for the Thunderjaw site at the bottom right of the map. Here is an image for your reference, in case your map still has fog. You must realize by now how close the Thunderjaw site is to the Shelter campfire point. We at Exputer think developers put it intentionally so that players who love cheese moves can grind Thunderjaw site to farm XP, machine parts, and shards in Horizon Forbidden West. Well, that is just our thought; what do you make of it? Share it with us in the comments section below.

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Strategy To Destroy Thunderjaw Faster

Now that you’ve discovered the spawn or refresh point and the Thunderjaw site, which contains only one large-sized machine, the next step should be to take it down faster. The quicker you destroy Thunderjaw, the faster you’d be able to loot valuable resources from it and earn XP in Horizon Forbidden West. That is why we have devised a short strategy that is efficient and effective in taking out Thunderjaw.

Climb Rocks

Thunderjaw destroying strategy
Strategy to beat Thunderjaw faster

You’d notice the Thunderjaw machine is circulating rocks higher than its own height in this area. You must use this to your advantage because the machine cannot deal with melee attacks while you are at the top of these rocks. This is the biggest strategic advantage you can utilize while fighting Thunderjaw, which is a menace in dealing with powerful melee attacks such as charged attacks and head bash.

Acid Arrows

Horizon Forbidden West XP Farming
Acid arrows weakness of Thunderjaw

If you scan Thunderjaw while sitting on top of rocks, the first thing you’d notice is that the machine is weak towards acid damage. Now, if you are very early in the game, then you may or not have unlocked acid arrows in Horizon Forbidden West. They are pretty easy to unlock as you will need to upgrade your Hunter bow, the starting weapon. Upgrading it for just one level will grant you access to craft and use acid arrows, a weakness that most early game machines have in Horizon Forbidden West.

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Purgewater Damage And Chillwater Canister

Farm XP faster Horizon
Purgewater and chillwater canister

The second weakness you’d notice after scanning Thunderjaw via Aloy’s focus is the purgewater damage. Purgewater damage dealing ranged weapons unlock a bit later in Horizon Forbidden West after you make decent story progression. So, for an early game XP, metal shard, and machine parts in Horizon Forbidden West, we’d recommend sticking to acid arrows.

Horizon Forbidden West XP Farming
Best Frost Damage Bow Horizon Forbidden West

Besides dealing with the purgewater damage, you can also shoot the chillwater canister of the Thunderajaw with a frost elemental attack. We used our Frostbite Warrior bow to target the chillwater canister and caused a chain reaction which later caused the elemental explosion.

Detach Disclauncher

XP and metal shard farming method Horizon
Use disc launcher against Thunderjaw

A detailed focus scan will reveal that you can actually remove or detach the disc launcher attached at Thunderjaw’s back. Removing this part will allow you to equip the machine’s weapon and use it against Thunderjaw itself. The disc launchers have limited ammo, but the weapon does a massive amount of damage on Thunderjaw. The whole XP and metal shard farming in Horizon Forbidden West can be made faster if you use the disc launchers.

Detach Tail

Horizon Forbidden West XP Farming
Legendary item Thunderjaw tail

Thunderjaw’s tail contains the legendary machine part, and breaking it will allow you to loot it later after the machine is down. You must be mindful that if you did not remove or break Thunderjaw’s tail before destroying the machine, then you won’t be getting it after looting for machine parts.

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Horizon Forbidden West XP And Shard Farming Tips

Now that you know the location or whereabouts of the Thunderjaw machine for XP, metal shards, and machine parts farming, let’s get down to a few more tips to expedite the process.

Toggle The Story Mode

Story Mode For Easy Loot
Story Mode For Easy Loot

This may sound ridiculous, and most of the players may already know that if you toggle the difficulty of Horizon Forbidden West to “Story” mode only, you will change how loot works. Essentially, you will no longer need to worry about targeting individual machine parts to scavenge them later after destroying the machine.

So, the way it plays out in our XP farming guide is that when you toggle this setting from whatever you had, you will be able to get Thunderjaw’s tail. Also, this is the only machine part that gives you the highest amount of metal shards when sold to a merchant.

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Focus on Ranged Weapons

While damaging and taking out Thunderjaw is still the goal to get XP and other valuables faster, you must stick to ranged weapons such as bow and acid elemental effects. It is because once you step down from the rock and attack Thunderjaw using a disc launcher, you are pretty much vulnerable. If you are following our farming method in the mid-game, then your Aloy must be pretty much geared to take a few hits. However, if you want to be cheesy and do this in the early game, then be wary of Thunderjaw, as this machine is not easy to destroy.

Sell Thunderjaw Tails And Resources

Horizon Forbidden West XP Farming
Thunderjaw Loot Items

Assuming you understood the farming process and have successfully managed to destroy Thunderjaw, the next step should be to visit a merchant in a nearby settlement and sell the valuables. Of course, you can keep a few number of tails for future upgrades, but you can sell the rest of the scavenged parts for quick metal shards.

That is pretty much everything you need to know about farming XP, metal shards, and machine parts in Horizon Forbidden West. Did you try our method yet? Have you got another farming spot in the game? Let us know more of your thoughts in the comments section below.

Next: Horizon Forbidden West Regalla’s Wrath

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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.