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Damage Type Guide

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Horizon Forbidden West is a stunning, massive, open-world game. Combat is an integral part of the game and other than the skills and weapons, you also have to consider various damage types and how they’ll affect the flow of battle. In this short article, we will discuss the different damage types and how you can use them to your advantage.

Horizon Forbidden West’s combat is not straightforward. There are certain factors like the type of damage dealt, elemental damage, status effects, and even parts of machines or human enemies you target. Damage types play a huge role in effective combat. Encounters with deadly machines in the unrelenting wilderness can be unforgiving so taking them out quickly will always be in your best interest.

Common Damage Types

There are three common damage types as listed below:


This is the standard damage type that can reduce health and destroy components, if the impact damage is higher than the Tear damage. Several ammo types in the game deal varying amounts of Impact and Tear damage though you’ll find this damage type often in Hunter Bows. Destroyed components won’t drop any loot.


This damage type specializes in removing components from machines - perfect for farming various parts and scraps needed for upgrading your weapons and outfit. Components are easily torn off with Tear damage if its value is higher than Impact damage. Tear damage doesn’t reduce the target’s HP that much so it’s a perfect weapon for removing parts and weapons from the target without killing it. Detached components will always contain loot though the chance of getting valuable scrap will still depend on luck.

Ammos like the Tear Precision Arrows (used by certain Sharpshot Bows) have some of the highest Tear damage values in the game. Complement this further by equipping Sharpshot Tear Damage and Component Tear coils to further improve the Tear Damage value. If you find a Sharpshot Bow capable of carrying this ammo type, keep it until you get a better version of it since it will always serve its purpose reliably, regardless of enemy type.


This is one of the most powerful damage types in the game and capable of dealing damage and destroying components in a small AoE from the point of explosion. Explosive damage is highly effective against large machines since the blasts can stagger them and easily disarm their deadly weapons if you hit the right spot. Spike Throwers, Blastslings, and Tripcasters usually have explosive ammo.

The main downside is that this damage type can easily destroy several machine components at once, especially if they’re located near one another. Since destroyed components don't have any loot, it’s a good practice to use Tear damage to remove components before pummeling the target with impact and/or explosive damage to kill it to maximize the loot you can collect.

Elemental Damage Types

Elemental State Buildup occurs when a target is hit by an elemental ammo, damaged by an elemental canister/container in the environment, or damaged by their own elemental component/canister. Once the buildup gauge is full, the elemental status will be applied. The elemental state gauge will slowly deplete over time. Only one elemental state can be active at any given time; applying the same type of elemental damage will not prolong the elemental state gauge or stack the effects.

Elemental State Description
Fire Burning enemies take damage over time.
Shock Shocked enemies are stunned for a brief period of time, making it easier to target hard-to-hit components.
Frost Frost inflicts Brittle status once fully built-up. Enemies under this state will be initially restricted in movement and will receive extra damage from Impact attacks.
Acid Once fully built-up, enemies inflicted with Acid will be in a Corroding state. This deals damage over time, including their armor. The armor will also block less damage from attacks, making it easier to dismantle the armor and reveal the more vulnerable layer beneath.
Purgewater When fully built-up, Drenched status is applied. Drenched enemies become more susceptible to Frost and Shock build-up, and for the duration of the status, their elemental attacks will become temporarily unavailable for the duration of the elemental state.
Plasma Once fully built-up, Plasma Blast state is applied. This state does not restrict or debuff the target but a time-delayed explosion will trigger once the gauge depletes. Deal more Impact damage while this state is active to trigger an even powerful explosion.

Thanks to the several weapon slots available, you can easily carry several weapon types with their own set of normal and elemental ammo. Remember to always use your Focus to scan enemies before engaging them to identify their weaknesses, components, and valuable loot/parts. Combine the usage of these ammo to get the best results and give you a lot of options when dealing with a wide variety of enemies.

That concludes our Damage Type Guide for Horizon Forbidden West. We hope that this information helps 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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