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Beginner Tips

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Horizon Forbidden West is a massive, open-world game. It can be overwhelming for new players while returning veterans will still need to re-orient themselves with the new and improved mechanics. In our Beginner’s Tips page, we will list down some very useful tips to help new players get started. Returning players of the franchise can also use these tips to get their bearings back as they explore the Forbidden West.

Consider playing in Performance Mode

This tip is applicable to PS5 owners only since the PS5 version of the game has the option to toggle the graphical setting between Performance and Resolution Mode. Resolution Mode has no framerate lock and is meant to display the game’s best quality in 4K. However, this also means that you will encounter framerate dips especially in action-packed sequences or intense battles. You can do this by accessing the Settings > go to Visual tab > then toggle the Graphics Mode option to “Favor Performance”.

Performance Mode on the other hand locks the framerate in a smooth 60 fps all throughout, which is quite welcome if you’re in the middle of intense fights or doing some platforming during exploration. On top of that, the game still looks stunning when playing in this setting, with the added benefit of consistent and reliable framerate.

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Customize Accessibility Options

The game offers several accessibility options that you can modify to your liking. A couple of options we can recommend is the option to keep climbable surfaces highlighted (instead of pinging your focus to display them momentarily) and the option to slow down time even further whenever you open your weapon wheel.

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Scan Machines Using your Focus

There are a lot of different machines in the game so scanning them ahead of time whenever possible gives you a chance to plan your attack and even examine individual parts. You can even “Tag” certain parts, which will highlight the part in bright pink/purple, making it easier to aim to. As a general rule, it’s always a good idea to tag Key Resource parts first. These are special and rare parts that are needed to upgrade various weapons and materials.

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As you play the game, you’ll eventually memorize which parts to target and what ammo to use against different enemies. Some machines even have different variants; thankfully their weak spots, parts, and drops remain mostly the same. If you want more time to study the machine, you can press the touchpad to open the machine’s details in the notebook. This will pause the game and will give you more detailed information about the machine you just scanned - including their variants that you have scanned so far.

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Tear Machine Parts for Better Loot

There are several ways of instantly and quickly killing different machines. However, doing so will also destroy some highly-valuable parts. That said, always prioritize tearing off Key Upgrade parts, and container parts that may contain additional resources. Don’t bother with the parts that will be retained even after the machine’s destruction. As described above, use your Focus to scan machines and highlight their valuable parts before engaging. Prioritize tearing the parts that will get destroyed once the machine is defeated.

Additionally, always carry a weapon with high Tear damage to do this job. Shredder Gauntlets and Hunter Bows have decent Tear stats but the best ones so far are Sharpshot Bows that utilize Tear Precision Arrows like the Cleaving Sharpshot Bow below. This bow allows you to snipe specific machine parts at great distances, often giving you time to hide and relocate as you methodically tear down their valuable parts. I personally carried this bow around even when I already have access to Legendary weapons and will still keep it until I get a better variant to replace it.

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Learn the various elemental and damage types

It can be confusing at first but thankfully, the game will give you the necessary help in learning this vital information. Different machines have different parts that react differently to certain damage types. Memorizing which ammo type to use against certain enemies will not only make the battle easier, it will also help you manage your resources since you won’t be wasting precious special (elemental) ammo while doing negligible damage. You can always review these different elemental damage in detail by checking your Notebook > Tutorials > Attacking > Elemental Damage.

Acid damage is generally useful on most machines and against all human enemies, regardless of armor type. Apply enough acid to trigger the Corroding effect. This effect deals damage over time that damages both their armor and health, while weakening the armor’s resistance against damage - allowing you to deal more damage. Try out the various Hunting Grounds scattered in the game since they also serve as tutorial or training sites while also awarding you for clearing their challenges.

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Hunt Wildlife for Pouch Upgrades and Meat

While hunting machines will give you tons of much needed materials for upgrading your weapons and armor, don’t forget to hunt various animals that you encounter since they drop materials that can be used to upgrade your pouches. Upgrading your pouches increases the amount of ammo and arrows you can carry which is very helpful when exploring the unforgiving Forbidden West. Additionally, you can also gather different qualities of meat that you can use to order food from various cooks in the game. Use your Focus to highlight nearby animals, and even tag them so you can easily track and hunt them.

Eventually, you’ll also need to collect fish parts. Since there’s no fishing mechanic in the game, you have to swim and chase after certain fish types until you’re close enough to grab them. This is particularly hard without the Diving Mask. You’ll need to continue with the main story to get this useful gear and allow you to swim underwater indefinitely without issues.

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Forage for Plants

Foraging in the wild allows you to collect medicinal berries that you can use to heal yourself, as well as herbs and other plants that can be used for cooking. Always grab some plants along the way to keep your medicine pouch full. Any excess you collect will be automatically transferred to your stash anyway.

Seek Out and Activate Campfires and Shelters First

Horizon Forbidden West’s world can be quite unforgiving and dangerous. Thankfully, the world is also rife with scattered campfires and shelters where you can save your game and use as convenient fast-travel points. Be warned however that some campfires are not in safe spots; there’s a chance that you’ll be spotted by wandering machines or there are even hostiles in the actual campfire’s vicinity. Shelters on the other hand have your stash, workbench, and a seat to progress the time. When exploring, it's always a good idea to find these locations first and use them regularly.

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Keep Fast Travel Kits handy at all times

These consumables will allow you to fast-travel anywhere in the world to any campfire you’ve discovered. Not only that, you can even use this to exit a sunken cavern or any body of water to avoid drowning. Of course, you can always fast travel for free between campfires but it won’t hurt carrying around a few of these kits in case of emergencies. Besides, crafting them is particularly cheap anyway so there’s really no excuse not to carry some with you.

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Always keep a variety of weapons

A trusty Hunter Bow is almost always recommended, due to their balanced damage and speed. However, as you obtain more weapon types, make sure to always carry weapons with different ammo types. Sure, you can always pause the game and manually equip your preferred weapons but assigning them to shortcuts will make combat much smoother and faster. Consider avoiding equipping weapons with overlapping ammo types as well to maximize your weapon slots.

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Don’t go too crazy upgrading low-quality gear

Upgrading your armor and weapons is a must. However, do remember that you’ll eventually gain access to Legendary (gold) gear later on. Feel free to upgrade your gear especially if the materials required can be obtained easily. For other gear that require absurdly rare materials like Greensilver and Legendary machine parts, I’ll highly recommend keeping them for now and save your valuable upgrade resource for the legendary weapons. Just upgrade your gear based on the relative ease of procuring the parts for them.

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Take your time in the Daunt

The Daunt is the valley where you’ll start your adventure. Of course, you can always breeze through the story to reach the Embassy in Barren Light (where you’ll gain access to the titular Forbidden West), but you’ll be missing out on a ton of quests and activities that will help you prepare for the exploration of the unforgiving western landscape. I highly suggest completing all possible sidequests and activities in the Daunt before moving on with the story. That way, you’ll be much prepared to face the greater challenges ahead.

That’s all our basic beginner tips for Horizon Forbidden West. With these tips in mind, you’ll surely get hold of the game’s mechanics and learn more along the way. We hope that these tips help you in your exploration and adventure. For more content regarding Horizon Forbidden West, please refer to our online guide here at Supercheats.

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