Table of Contents
- Horizon: Zero Dawn - FAQ/Walkthrough
- Video Walkthrough
- Main Quests
- A Gift From the Past
- Lessons of the Wild
- The Point of the Spear
- Mother's Heart
- The Proving
- The Womb of the Mountain
- A Seeker at the Gates, Part 1
- The War-Chief's Trail
- Revenge of the Nora
- A Seeker at the Gates, Part 2
- The City of the Sun
- The Field of the Fallen
- Into the Badlands
- The Sun Shall Fall
- Maker's End
- The Grave-Hoard
- To Curse the Darkness
- Deep Secrets of the Earth
- The Terror of the Sun
- The Heart of the Nora
- The Mountain That Fell
- The Looming Shadow
- The Face of Extinction
- Side Quests
- In Her Mother's Footsteps
- The Forgotten
- Ancient Armory
- Insult to Injury
- A Daughter's Vengeance
- A Moment's Peace
- Death from the Skies
- Heap of Trouble
- Acquired Taste
- Blood on Stone
- Robbing the Rich
- Weapons of the Lodge
- Honor the Fallen
- Fatal Inheritance
- Sunstone Rock
- Hunters' Blind
- Sun and Shadow
- Cause for Concern - Farewell
- Traitor's Bounty
- Queen's Gambit
- Odd Grata
- Hunting for the Lodge
- Luck of the Hunt
- Shortage of Supplies
- In Foreign Lands
- To Old Acquaintance
- Hammer and Steel
- Demand and Supply
- Deadliest Game
- A Curious Proposal
- Sun's Judgement
- Healer's Oath
- Bandit Camps
- Bandit Camp: Devil's Thirst
- Bandit Camp: Hollow Fort
- Bandit Camp: Two-Teeth
- Bandit Camp: Gatelands
- Bandit Camp: Blackwing Snag
- Bandit Camp: Shattered Kiln
- Tallneck: Devil's Thirst
- Tallneck: Sun-Steps
- Tallneck: Copper Deeps
- Tallneck: Spearshafts
- Tallneck: Rustwash
- Hunting Grounds
- Nora Hunting Grounds
- Valleymeet Hunting Grounds
- Greatrun Hunting Grounds
- Sun Furrows Hunting Grounds
- Spurflints Hunting Grounds
- Corrupted Zones
- Audio Datapoints
- Hologram Datapoints
- Text Datapoints - Quests
- Text Datapoints - World
- Text Datapoints - Machines
- Scanned Glyphs
- Machine Information
- Machine Catalogue
- Watcher & Redeye Watcher
- Fire Bellowback
- Freeze Bellowback
- Contact Information
- Version History
- Copyright & Disclaimer
|If you like this guide or think it is useful, please hit the button at the top of this guide or on the scrolling header where it says "Would you recommend this FAQ?". Conversely, if you think this guide needs improvement you can click the button and leave a comment anonymously.|
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|Author: Stephanie B. - krystalnexus [at] yahoo [dot] com|
Current Version: Ver 1.01 - May 8, 2017
Thank you for visiting my guide.
If you find yourself on this guide, then you're likely looking for help to complete a certain task or find a certain item. I spend hundreds of hours writing guides for fun, but my ultimate goal is to help people get through these games with ease. I love it when I receive emails from people saying they were able to complete a game because of my guide or simply have a question, so please feel free to contact me via the email in the Contact Information section of this guide.
My purpose for this guide is to help you complete Horizon: Zero Dawn with a 100% game experience via a step-by-step walkthrough. This means it will cover all Main Quests, Side Quests, and Errands while also providing information on where to obtain all Collectibles and Datapoints. I do my best to make these walkthroughs with as few spoilers as possible, so they have limited in-game event descriptions and are designed to guide you, not play the game for you.
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|Up: Use Medical Pouch|
Left / Right: Switch Item Shortcut
Down: Use Item
|Crouch / Slide|
|Gather Materials / Search Carcass|
Highlight Track (Focus Mode)
|Heavy Attack / Fire Weapon (Aim Mode)|
Tag Target (Focus Mode)
Horizon: Zero Dawn does a good job of explaining the basic game mechanics and features, but some mechanics are slightly hidden or improperly explained in a what that helps you fully utilize them to their maximum potential. The following section covers these gameplay features, as well as basic information that may be obvious to some players.
Survival against the machines is the most important component in Aloy's adventure, especially outside the relative safety of All-Mother's Embrace. Aloy's health (HP) is indicated by the bar in the upper left of the HUD, which will be diminished when she receives damage from machines or other hazardous environmental effects, and if Aloy reaches zero HP she will die.
There are two ways to restore Aloy's HP:
- The Medicine Pouch, indicated by the green bar below Aloy's health, can be filled by gathering various herbs and will gradually restore HP
- Health Potions, which can be crafted and found, instantly heals a set amount of HP
In addition, if Aloy is damaged below 25% HP she'll automatically regenerate HP until she returns to 25%, provided she can avoid damaged long enough for the ability to kick in.
At the start of the game you'll be prompted to choose a difficulty setting to determine what level of challenge you want for Aloy's journey. This setting modifies the damage dealt to Aloy, as well as the damage she does to machines, but does not affect drop rates or the amount of experienced gained.
|Difficulty||Dmg. to Enemies||Dmg. to Aloy|
Aloy's capabilities are based on her current level, which starts at level 1 and can be increased by gaining experience through combat or completing quests. With each level increase, Aloy gains a 10 health (HP) increase and a single Skill Point.
As Aloy gains levels and completes main quests and some side quests, she'll gain Skill Points that can be used to purchase abilities. While some abilities are passive, increasing the size of your Medicine Pouch or increasing the amount of time a machine will remain overridden, quite a few increase Aloy's combat abilities by allowing her to perform special attacks or increasing the number of arrows that she can nock on her bow at one time.
The most important tool in the game, the Focus can be used for anything from scanning Datapoints to analyzing and highlighting hidden information in the world. While primarily used to scan the machines to learn their weak points, the Focus can also be used to tag enemy paths or locate tracks left by individuals. To activate, press R3 to bring up the scan reticule and target a machine, animal, Datapoint or other object for more information. While active, Aloy's movements slow to a crawl and disable the ability to access the Weapon Wheel or Items.
Horizon: Zero Dawn works on a "mission" or quest based progression, meaning that you'll always have an objective. Whether you're focusing on the Main Quests or optional content, the goal and next objective for each quest is clearly listed in the Quest tab of the Main Menu. The result of this system is that when a quest is set to the current active quest, via the Main Menu, the game will automatically place waypoint markers on the map to indicate the location of the next objective. These waypoint markers can be seen by opening up the Map in the Main Menu or via the compass at the top of the HUD.
As you explore the world, you'll automatically activate campfires when Aloy approaches them. While important, due to the fact that they allow you to save your game progression, campfires also become Fast Travel points. To Fast Travel, bring up the Map in the Main Menu as select any activated campfire (marked in green) and press to Fast Travel to its location. Note that you must have at least one Fast Travel Pack in your inventory.
Every weapon, outfit, modification, resource, and consumable item you find or craft in the game is carried in Aloy's inventory. Unlike many games, Horizon has an inventory management system that allots a certain number of spaces available for each category of item, such as Resources. Once these allotted spaces are full, Aloy will be unable to collect additional items of that category until you make more space by dropping items, selling items at a Merchant, or consuming them.
While inventory is limited, you can craft capacity upgrades for each of Aloy's bags by visiting the Crafting tab in the Main Menu. Each upgrade requires a certain number of resources of varying types, such as animal skins and Metal Shards, but will expand the maximum number of items within the given category that Aloy can carry.
Mastering the Crafting system is essential for survival in the wilds and allows Aloy to use Resources to create consumable items and ammunition, modify weapons and outfits, and increase her inventory capacity. All Crafting Recipes and capacity upgrade require a set number of different Resources, and Metal Shards, to create and can be accessed via the Crafting tab in the Main Menu. Note that ammunition can be crafted on the fly from the Weapon Wheel and modifying weapons and equipment does not require anything, except a modification slot and modification node.
Resources are essential for keeping Aloy armed with plenty of ammo and supplies, but resources can be found in more locations than simply looting machine carcasses. Supply Caches are loot containers placed throughout the world, often in towns and bandit camps, that contain a random set of items and resources in larger quantities than found on machines. Make sure to keep an eye out for these one-time only containers, as they can stock up Aloy when she runs low on supplies.
Treasure Boxes, like Supply Caches, are loot containers that contain a random set of items based on the type of treasure box they area. Unlike Supply Caches, Treasure Boxes are stored in the Inventory > Treasure Boxes tab of the Main Menu and can be opened at any time to retrieve the contents inside. These special boxes can be obtained by defeating enemies, completing quests, or purchased at Merchants.
There are four types of collectibles in the game: Vantage Points, Ancient Vessels, Metal Flowers, and Banuk Figures. While collecting these items offers very little, in terms of rewards or benefits, they do give you additional story information and can be traded in when you reach the Carja capital of Meridian for treasure boxes.
Datapoints are Horizon's version of backstory and exposition, via data logs that can be found throughout the world. While there is no trophy or reward for collecting Datapoints, they offer the most in-depth information on the events of the past.
The majority of Horizon: Zero Dawn's gameplay revolves around combat against machines. While the game does offer some basic combat information and tutorials on how to use each weapon, the following will focus on covering any information that players may find lacking within the game.
The only close-range weapons in Horizon are Aloy's makeshift Spear, which is gained at the start of the game, and the upgraded Lance, gained much later. Both weapons are limited to light attacks () and heavy attacks (), but special attacks like Silent Strike and Critical Hit can be purchased from the Skill tree to increase the variety of attacks.
The majority of Aloy's attacks are mid to long-range attacks, using a varied of bows and slings, and are the heart of Horizon's combat system. Each weapon type, such as Hunter Bow or Sharpshot Bow, has a unique set of arrows and upgraded versions of each bow, such as the Carja or Shadow, will increase the type of arrows each bow type can shoot. While bows are primarily used for damage, through Hunter Arrows and Precision Arrows, some arrows focus less on damage and more on tearing machine components off enemies. In addition, the War Bow adds elemental arrows that can be used to create status effects on enemies.
In addition to bows, Aloy can use slings and a Rattler to vary your combat style based on the needs of each encounter. Unlike bows, slings lob projectiles in an arcing style and have a slower rate of fire, typically made up for by increased power. There are two types of slings: the basic sling that fires elemental bombs that can be used to create status effects on enemies, like the War Bow, and Blast Slings, which fire damaged explosive grenades. The Rattler, on the other hand, is a rapid fire, low damage, weapon that fires burst of bolts, similar to an automatic crossbow.
Aloy can equip up to four weapons at a time, in addition to the Spear/Lance, via the Inventory tab in the Main Menu. Once equipped, Aloy can switch between the weapons on the fly by holding to select the weapon of your choice, allowing you to mix up your strategy no matter the situation. In addition, the Weapon Wheel can be used to craft ammunition on the fly by simply hovering over the ammo type and holding .
Placing tripwires and traps in advance, before engaging in combat, in the path of the machines can give you a leg up in battle. The Tripcaster, introduced through the early campaign, allows Aloy to fire two pivots into the ground to create a tripwire between the two points. While the Tripcaster only starts with a Shock Wires, upgraded versions will grant you access to more useful versions such as Blast Wires.
There are also three types of consumable traps: Blast Traps, which deals damage when it explodes (proximity), Detonating Blast Traps, which deals damage when it explode (contact or destroyed), and Shock Traps, which shock enemies when it explodes (proximity).
While straight damage is the primary way to defeat enemies in Horizon, some weapons offer additional effects that are highly valuable.
|Type||Effect (Machine)||Effect (Human)|
|Damage||Reduces HP with no secondary effect|
|Tear||Deals no damage, but tears/explodes certain components and armor||Knockdown|
|Fire||Fire build-up that deals damage over time when inflicted|
|Shock||Stuns and downs enemies, opening them up to Critical Strikes|
|Freeze||Slows movement and increase "Damage" up to 200%||Slows movement and increases "Damage" up to 50%|
|Corruption||Enemies become hostile to all units, including allies*|
*Note that Corrupted machines can not be corrupted by arrows to attack each other.
Modifications are special items that can be equipped to Aloy's weapons and outfits to increase their abilities for offensive or defensive means. Modifications come in three varieties: Common, Rare, and Very Rare.
Most weapons allow you to equip a number of different types of modifications (Fire, Freeze, Tear, Handling, etc) based on the weapons abilities and ammunition types. While equipping a weapon with the first modification you get may seem like a good idea, choosing mods that suit your gameplay style and ammo usage should be considered when placing mods in each weapon. For example, if you rarely use Shock Arrows vs. Freeze Arrows, you'll likely want to equip the War Bow with Freeze mods over Shock mods.
Note that you will be unable to un-equip modification from your weapons and outfits until you purchase the "Tinker" skill, but modifications can be overwritten with another mod.
In order to protect themselves, machines have armor plates over their bodies and absorb 90% of the damage dealt and sometimes protect their weak points. These armor plates have their own HP and tearing threshold, so removing them is essential for defeating difficult and dangerous enemies. That being said, elemental attacks such as Fire and Freeze will have full potency, even when striking an armor plate.
Since machines are constantly in the production, which is explained throughout the story, they can evolve to better protect themselves. This evolution occurs after defeating enough machines of the same type, such as 15 Striders, and results in additional armor plates appearing on the evolved variant.
At a certain point in the game, Aloy will gain the ability to override and control machines. This will allow Aloy to "recruit" powerful machines to fight alongside her in combat and sometimes ride them as mounts to travel quickly across terrain. To override a machine you'll need to approach a machine without entering combat and press and hold to hack into the machine until the Override Gauge completely fills. Note that Aloy will only be able to override a limited number of machines when she gains this ability, but can expand her capabilities by completing Cauldrons.
Once overridden, machines will remain allied to Aloy for a certain amount of time, though this can be extended or removed through Skills, and gain a boon to their defensive and offensive capabilities. This means that overridden machines make great allies in difficult situations, but be wary of attacking overridden machines as it will reduce the time remaining in Aloy's control (even if set to indefinitely through Skills).
Corrupted machines are found in special zones, known as Corrupted Zones, where they patrol in an active alert status. Stronger than their non-corrupt counterparts, corrupted machines are highly aggressive and weak to Fire. In addition, corrupted machines are immune to being overridden or corruption by Aloy and only appear within their zones or through story events.
Note that I will be doing a whole Video Playthrough of this, identical to the text here, which you can watch here:
After selecting the language of your choice, enjoy the beautiful opening cutscene, in which Rost takes a baby Aloy to the top of the Sacred Mountain for her naming ritual.
After experience being shunned by a woman in the village, Aloy runs off in anger and accidentally falls into a cavern to automatically begin this quest.
After the cutscene, take either of the tunnels to a small gap beneath some stalactite and press to crouch through the opening. Head left down the metal stairs and through a partially open doorway and then continue straight through the next room to a stairwell. Head up the stairs and follow the path until you drop into a new room with a corpse for a scene, in which Aloy will gain her Focus. This piece of technology is going to be extremely important as you progress through the game, as it allows Aloy to access machines and see things that others would overlook.
Toggle Aloy's Focus off by pressing and head up the stairs to the waypoint, on the closed door, and then press again. Look right and follow the pipes back to their source in the nearby room and then circle around the room to find an entrance. Inside, use your Focus to scan the Code Nexus and Holo Lock and then match the two circles by rotating the red section until it is at the bottom to unlock the door.
Return to the door and examine it to open the doorway and then head straight toward the stalactite and stalagmites straight ahead. On the brightly lit machine to the left you should see a circle with a hexagon inside it, which indicates Datapoints. Activate your Focus and scan the device beneath the circle to unlock the Audio Datapoint - For Director Evans [08/63], which you can play now or later through your Main Menu. Continue down the nearby stairwell until Aloy notices another body and scan it for a scene that unlocks the Hologram Datapoint - Happy Birthday Isaac! [01/22] and then squeeze through the door at the back of the area.
Head right after passing through the door to a side room with the Audio Datapoint - Log: Connor Chasson [06/63] on the desk and Audio Datapoint - Full Stop [07/63] on a corpse and then backtrack and continue. Head up another stairwell to reach the community room and make sure to check each of the bodies for:
- Audio Datapoint - Log: Connor Chassen [01/63]
- Audio Datapoint - Log: Skylar Rivera [02/63]
- Audio Datapoint - Log: Jackson Frye [04/63]
- Audio Datapoint - Log: Ella Pontes [03/63]
- Audio Datapoint - Log: Mia Sayied [05/63]
You can now follow the linear path to reach the exit of the cavern, where Rost will help pull you out for a scene.
Unlock: After completing A Gift From the Past
After completing the previous quest, Rost will take Aloy out to learn how to survive in the wilds of the Embrace.
Follow Rost to the nearby plant, marked with a triangle with a leaf inside it, and press to gather the salvebrush and then press Up on the to use the medicine. The amount of health, indicated by the orange bar in the upper left of the screen, that you'll gain when you use the Medicine Pouch depends on the amount of medicine stocked up, indicated by the green bar below the health bar.
Continue to follow Rost until he stops and crouches and then press to crouch and follow him into the tall grass. After the scene, wait for the Watcher to pass before crossing to the opposite side of the path and then wait for another Watcher to pass before following Rost to another patch of tall grass. Wait for the final Watcher to pass before you continue to follow Rost for another scene with one of the Nora tribe members, Teb, and then continue to follow Rost. After Rost scares off the herd of Striders, gather three rocks on the side of the road, marked with the same icon as the salvebrush, and then continue to follow Rost for another scene.
The objective is to lure the Watcher toward Rost to enable him to kill the machine by holding Down on the to aim the rock near Rost and then releasing it to throw the rock. With the Watcher dead, head down to Rost's position and hold near the body of the Watcher to loot it and then gather some ridge-wood from the nearby tree stocks for the materials to craft arrows. You can now hold to open the Weapon Wheel, make sure you're selecting the Hunter Arrow Pack with the , and then hold to craft 20 arrows. Follow Rost into the tall grass for a scene and then use your Focus to scan the Strider to highlight the canister on the back.
It's a good idea to scan any new machine and press the for an in-depth view in Aloy's Notebook. This will not only show you each of the weak points on a machine, but note the type of weakness that part has - such as Tear, Fire, Ice, etc.
Follow the instructions to aim your bow at the eye or canister on the Strider and then hold to draw the bow and fire. Make sure you draw the bow back enough that the arrow will fly straight enough and far enough to blow the canister off the Strider's back and then continue to fire arrows at the Strider until it goes down. You can now loot the canister, if it flew off the Strider, and the Strider's carcass and then follow Rost for a scene.
The objective is to reach Teb on the other side of the clearing without being spotted by the numerous Watchers and Striders. The good news is that the Striders will remain grazing the whole time, meaning they won't spot you unless you walk right up to their face. That being said, you'll need to stay in the tall grass to avoid being spotted by the Watchers, while moving from each patch of tall grass to reach Teb.
Scan the nearest Watcher and press to highlight the Watcher's path and then cross to the next patch of tall grass once the Watcher passes. Make sure to allow the Watchers to finish walking and begin to scan the area before you cross, as you can be spotted if you rush to get across the path when they are already stationary. Repeat this process to reach Teb for a scene and then make your way through the tall grass, toward the waypoint, avoiding one more Watcher to reach Rost for another scene.
Flashpoint are decision-making events that allows you to choose how Aloy will react to a situation, but they don't affect the story.
Unlock: After completing Lessons of the Wild
After the cutscene, note the Grazer-like training dummies around Rost's home. There are a total of 23 training dummies in the Nora Land, the Embrace and the Sacred Lands, that can be knocked over with as single heavy attack to unlock the Trophy: Downed 23 Grazer dummies. You'll also want to visit the campfire nearby to perform a Quick Save or Manual Save, allowing you to choose how much control over your progress, as well as creating a Fast Travel point.
The game will Auto Save after most events, but it's always good to have other "controlled" saves in case you need to load a back-up file. The game will store up to 5 Auto Saves and Quick Saves, while you can make as many Manual Saves as you wish.
Before heading anywhere, open the Main Menu and go to the Skills tab to access the Skill Tree. While all skills will help Aloy as she wanders through All-Mother's land and beyond, there are some skills that will make your life much easier.
- Silent Strike allows you to one-shot unaware machines instead of making every encounter a fight
- Concentration allows you to zoom in and slow down time by pressing R3 while aiming
- Lure Call allows you to call machines to your location in tall grass, followed by a Silent Strike
Make your way down the mountain toward the waypoint to spot Rost on the cliff and then climb up the wall to speak with him. You can choose how much information you learn from NPCs when you speak with them by selecting the options without the "waypoint" icon next to them to gain additional insight. After the scene, jump onto the zipline to leave Rost behind and explore the Embrace.
The animals in the world aren't just for show! Killing an animal and looting it's carcass sometimes grants you a Bone or Skin for that type of animal, which can be used for Crafting capacity upgrades for your gear.
At this point you'll be able to obtain and complete the following:
Completing the optional quests will grant you experience and Skill Points, which will make the Main Quests much easier to complete.
Karst is located to the southeast of Mother's Cradle, between the town and the Southern Embrace Gate. In order to purchase the Tripcaster you'll need to obtain a Scrapper Lens by defeating Scrappers, so make sure you have one on you before speaking with him.
In addition to the Tripcaster, you should at least purchase the Sharpshot Bow, as it's Precision Arrows do significantly more damage than your standard Hunter Arrows. The basic War Bow is pretty useless, as the Tripcaster already has Shock Wires, though you might want to purchase the Ropecaster to tether machines to the ground.
Every NEW merchant you encounter offers a Free Sample Box, which you should always purchase.
If your did the additional quests you've likely collected plenty of Blaze from Striders and Metal Shards from other machines to craft Fire Arrows, so make sure to craft the maximum number you're able to hold and then head to the Northern Embrace Gate and speak with Rost. After discussing any additional dialogue with Rost, rest at the campfire for a scene to exit the Embrace.
Once outside the Embrace, follow the road and kill the Watcher on the way and then continue onto a rock for another scene. Afterwards, drop to the ground and head into the tall grass on the other side of the road and then scan the Sawtooth and mark it's path. Wait for the Sawtooth to head to the other side of the area and then place Shock Wires along the path, making to place them at decent intervals along the path. The reason you want to place multiple wires, despite the fact that a single Shock Wire is enough to stun a Sawtooth, is that the Sawtooth can jump over wires during its attacks.
This is a good place to make the Tutorial: Tripcaster your active quest, since tutorials must be active to complete.
Wait for the Sawtooth to circle around and hit your first Shock Wire, which should stun it, and then pump it full of Fire Arrows until the Fire icon over the Sawtooth's head is full and a white circle appears around the icon, which means that the Sawtooth is burning and will receive fire damage over time. While the Sawtooth is down you can also aim a Fire Arrow at the Blaze canister on it's belly to blow up the canister and do massive damage, as well as adding the Fire effect.
Once the Sawtooth is dead, loot the carcass of the machine for a scene with Rost to complete this quest.
Reward Boxes can be opened by going your Inventory in the Main Menu and selecting Treasure Boxes.
Unlock: After completing The Point of the Spear
Make your way to the northern part of the Embrace to find Rost near the bridge leading to Mother's Heart and speak with him. After a heartfelt goodbye, head to the entrance to Mother's Heart for a scene to enter the village.
There isn't much to do in Mother's Heart, as most people are enjoying the festivities, so follow the path right to find the "old friend" Teersa was speaking about. Teb will offer Aloy the Nora Brave for free, which you can purchase from his shop, and not far up the road you'll also find Karst. There are a few places you can sit down to enjoy the festivities, marked with a hand icon, but the only one worth visiting is the one with the elder telling the story of All-Mother and the Metal Devil.
When you're ready to continue, head up the hill for a scene with the Carja and then speak with the man nearby wearing a Focus for another scene. You can then speak with Erend, who joins the conversation once Olin leaves, for more information on the Sun King and the Red Raids. After you're done speaking with Erend, head down the hill toward the Blessing Ceremony to meet up with Teersa again for another scene.
After the ceremony, speak with Olin to confront him about his behavior and then head to the Hunter's Lodge for another scene. Confront Bast, the boy who threw a rock at Aloy when she was a child, and then talk to Vala for additional dialogue before laying down to rest.
Unlock: After completing Mother's Heart
After the cutcene in which the Nora hopefuls climb the icy mountain you'll need to take down a Grazer to obtain a Proving Trophy. Set down a Shock Wire along the Grazer's path to stun at least one Grazer and finish it with a Critical Strike and then loot the trophy. After another scene, quickly finish off another Grazer to obtain a second trophy and then head uphill to the Brave Trail.
Climb up the path until you trigger a scene with the Proctor to start along a different path and then take the zipline. Cross the overturned tree and jump up to grab onto a ledge and then head straight up until you return to your feet. Hop onto another ledge straight ahead and make your way right along the cliffside to solid ground and then head down another overturned tree to rappel off the right side of the cliff. Follow the path up another cliff wall and over the remains of a machine and then climb up one more cliff wall and cross an overturned tree to reach the zipline to the finish line.
After the cutscene, head to the right of the attackers to find a ledge that you can climb up and then sneak around and Silent Strike the archers. Don't be afraid to loot the bodies of the attackers for items unique to human enemies and Health Potions before you finish off the last enemy to trigger a scene. You'll be teleported back down to Vala's location, so make your way to the same ledge to attack the archers again while watching out for the melee units.
After defeating the second wave, another scene will trigger and you'll be up against a new enemy with a Deathbringer Gun. Keep the rocks between yourself and the gunman until you finish off any melee units that rush Aloy and then hit the gunman with Fire Arrows while making sure you fight him away from the archers to avoid as much damage as possible. Use heavy attacks to stun the gunman and finish him off and then pick up his gun to finish off the archers for a scene.
Unlock: After completing The Proving
After the cutscene, head out of the room and right to find Aloy's clothes and Focus and then head through the two doors nearby. In the next area, turn right to a locked door and crawl through the nearby vent to find a Power Cell - used for the Ancient Armory quest - and then backtrack and cross to the opposite room to find Aloy's gear and the other Focus for another scene. You can now follow Teersa through the mountain until she stops and then speak with her for another scene to learn about Aloy's birth.
Follow Teersa out of the mountain for another scene and then head down the path to the village and speak with Teb for some additional information. Once you're ready, climb the nearby ladder to speak with Resh about the Proving to trigger a scene.
You'll want to set down Shock Wires near the gate entrance as soon as the cutscenes ends, which should stun the Striders as they bust through the gate doors. Use Precision Arrows to finish off the downed Striders while making sure to keep your distance from the Corrupter when it enters the village and then move around to avoid being cornered by the Corrupter. Try and draw the Corrupter away from the remaining Striders and then rush over and knock the Striders over with a heavy attack and finish them with a Critical Strike.
Once the Corrupter is the only enemy left, scan it to learn its weak point and then use Precision Arrows on the Grenade Launcher and Spike Launcher. Make sure to keep moving around the village to stay at a distance from the Corrupter, while watching out for the jump attack that can launch it quite a distance, and use Concentration to get in critical strikes on its weak points. Once the Corrupter is down, loot the carcass for the part that allows it to take over other machines.
At this point you'll be able to leave the Embrace to search outside its borders. This opens up the majority of the Sacred Lands for exploration and will unlock a number of quests. How you tackle the mixture of Main Quests, Side Quests, and Collectibles is completely up to you.
Before leaving the Embrace, return to Mother's Heart and purchase the maps to make all Collectibles on your map.
Return to Rost's home and examine the grave outside the gates for some additional dialogue and collect the Metal Flowers - Mark I (B) on the cliffside nearby and then return to the ruins that Aloy fell into as a child for the Metal Flowers - Mark I (A) and a Power Cell for the Ancient Armory quest. You can also speak with Enara in Mother's Heart to begin the Side Quest - Insult to Injury.
Unlock: After completing The Womb of the Mountain
Head to the Strider site in the center of the Embrace and hide in the tall grass and then call over one of the Strider's with Lure Call. Once the Strider reaches Aloy, press and hold to hack the machine. Hacking machines will allow you to have them fight as allies and sometimes allow Aloy to ride them as mounts.
Ride the Strider to the Main Embrace Gate and pass through the gate for a scene and then speak with Varl to accept the Main Quest - The War Chief's Trail.
You now have access to the whole of The Sacred Lands and the following quests:
- Side Quests - Ancient Armory, Insult to Injury, A Daughter's Vengeance, A Moment's Peace, and Underequipped
- Errands - Hunting for the Lodge, Sanctuary, and Luck of the Hunt
While you won't be able to complete the Ancient Armory or Hunting for the Lodge until you have access to the Sundom, you can begin them in The Sacred Lands to add them to your queue. In addition, by starting Hunting for the Lodge you'll have access to the first of the Hunting Grounds, which reward a lot of experience.
- Tallneck: Devil's Thirst
- Bandit Camp: Devil's Thirst, Bandit Camp: Hollow Fort, and Bandit Camp: Two-Teeth
- Nora Hunting Grounds & Valleymeet Hunting Grounds
- Cauldron SIGMA
- Vantage Points - Air Combat Academy, Colorado Springs, Explorer Museum, Denver Stadium, Sterling-Malkeet Amphitheater, and Bridal Veil Falls
- Metal Flowers - Mark I (C), Mark I (D), Mark I (E), Mark I (F), Mark I (G), Mark I (H), Mark I (I), Mark I (J), Mark II (B), Mark III (C)
- Ancient Vessels - Arches, DroneHop, Wayfarers, Miriam, USRC, KZ
- Banuk Figures - My Claim, I Name You, Punishment
Unlock: After completing A Seeker at the Gates, Part 1
Head to the massacre site to the north of Mother's Rise and examine the Corrupter and then activate Aloy's Focus and scan the area before examining a Watcher carcass. You can now talk to the survivor that arrives for a scene and make your way southeast of the Tallneck in Devil's Thirst to find the abandoned campsite. Activate Aloy's Focus and scan the bow, campfire, bandage, and arrowheads and then examine each for additional dialogue before following the tracks for a scene. a scene.
After meeting up with Sona, follow her to a nearby encampment with cultist and corrupt machines and then quietly approach the encampment. You can use the tall grass on the upper level of the encampment to eliminate the majority of the cultists and corrupted Watchers, but it seems that the Nora will eventually join the fight and stealth becomes less of an option.
Once you've clear the encampment, speak with Sona for a scene and then use Aloy's Focus to find some tracks that lead to datapoint. You can now return to Sona and Varl to inform them of the location of the remaining cultists to complete this quest.
Unlock: After completing The War-Chief's Trail
Head to Red Echoes to the north of Mother's Crown and rest at the campfire for a scene to meet up with Sona and the other Nora. There are three encampments in Devil's Grief that you'll need to clear, each with an alarm and a number of cultists:
The first camp is directly east of the campfire and has a Corrupted Watchers patrolling outside the ruins. Head to the right (south) side of the ruins and climb up the rubble to sneak in the back of the encampment and then quietly take out the cultist near the alarm before disabling it. You can now finish off the remainder of the cultists and another Watcher fairly easily.
The second camp is to the southeast of the first one and is on a structure built over some water. Due to the water and open space it's hard to sneak around in this area and the alarm bell is directly in the center of the area. Stay on the outskirts of the area and defeat the cultists with Fire Arrows while trying to stay undetected. If you are spotted, make sure you can see the alarm and kill any cultist that heads toward it to call in reinforcements.
The third camp is to the north of the previous camp or northeast of the first camp and has a number of cultists. Sneak through the tall grass to the partially destroyed stone wall on the south side of the camp and then shoot a Fire Arrow into the Blaze on the stationary cultists back to explode it. This should disorient the other cultists and allow you sneak up on any of the cultists that investigate.
Once you've cleared all three camps, head to the tallest tower in Devil's Grief to speak with Sona and Varl and then follow Varl to the Ring of Metal. Speak with Varl to enter the Ring of Metal and then follow the upper level until you reach the end, above two cultists. As Varl instructs, stand over the one on the right and perform a Strike From Above, if you have the skill purchased, and Varl will take out the other cultist. Use Aloy's Focus to spot the next group of cultists and enter the tall grass behind the one on the left and then kill him once Varl is in location to drop down on the other. Follow Varl to a final group of cultists and head through the tall grass to take the one on the left and then climb over the rubble nearby for a scene.
Slide down the hill and enter the tall grass when the Bellowback nearby turns away and then lure the cultist in the trench to your location to kill him. Another cultist should head down the walkway above the trench, toward the Bellowback, so lure him over to kill him off and then follow the trench while crouching to avoid making any noise. On the other side of the trench, make sure the Watcher to the left is on the far side of its path before continuing straight into some more tall grass and then use a Fire Arrow to light the Blaze inside the hut for a scene.
Once the Nora join the fight you'll need to take out the cultists and machines to complete this quest. Focus your attention on any Watchers while you aim Precision Arrows at the green sacs on the back and gullet of the Bellowback. Once you do enough damage to one of the sacs the fire inside will ignite and explode, doing significant damage to the Bellowback and any cultists nearby.
Sona will head to Mother's Crown, where you can speak with her for the Errand - Shortage of Supplies.
Head to Mother's Crown in the Sacred Lands and speak with Marea to learn of the fort, Daytower, that sits between the Nora lands and the Carja capital of Meridian.
In order to gain access to the fort you'll first need to clear out two Corrupted Zones in the Sacred Land. Corrupted Zones are areas of the map where you'll encounter corrupted version of the machines, which have higher HP and do Corruption damage through the red liquid that they ooze.
The first Corrupted Zone that you may have run across was located just southeast of the Main Embrace Gate, near the Air Combat Academy Vantage Point. If you've already cleared this area you'll start this portion of the quest with a 1/2 cleared and will only have to clear one of the other four Corrupted Zones in the Sacred Lands.
Once you've cleared the required Corrupted Zones, head to the western edge of the Sacred Lands to Daytower. The gate is under attack by a Corrupter, Scrapper, and Watcher that you'll need to clear out before you can approach the gate commander to gain access to Daytower and complete this quest.
You now have access to the whole of The Carja Sundom and the remainder of the quests and activities. While you can head straight to Meridian and continue the story at this point, it's advised that you spend some time exploring the region in order to increase Aloy's level and upgrade her skills before progressing.
At Daytower, make sure to speak with Balahn and Zaid to advance A Daughter's Vengeance and I suggest completing the following before heading to Meridian:
- Side Quests - Death from the Skies, Heap of Trouble, Acquired Taste, A Daughter's Vengeance, and Blood on Stone
- Errands - In Foreign Lands and To Old Acquaintance
- Tallneck: Sun-Steps & Tallneck: Copper Deeps
- Bandit Camp: Gatelands
- Greatrun Hunting Grounds & Sun Furrows Hunting Grounds
- Cauldron ZETA & Cauldron RHO
- Vantage Points - Eagle Canyon
- Metal Flowers - Mark II (A), Mark II (C), Mark II (E), Mark II (F), Mark II (G), Mark II (H), Mark III (J)
- Ancient Vessels - Odyssey
- Banuk Figures - Mother
Unlock: After completing A Seeker at the Gates, Part 2
Make your way to Meridian and approach the checkpoint for a scene to learn about a crackdown after Erend's sister, Ersa, and a group of vanguards were ambush by the Shadow Carja. The guard won't let Aloy pass, and uses some choice words, but luckily Erend arrives just in time to discuss the recent events.
Follow Erend through Meridian's street, passing some protesters, until you reach Olin's home and then use Aloy's Focus to scan the carpet in the corner of the room to find a hidden hatch. After the scene, head upstairs and climb the ladder to a pallet of stacked ingots and then push it off the edge to bust through the floor below. Head back downstairs and enter the hatch to Olin's secret workshop and scan the room to find the Hologram Datapoint - A Message For Olin [02/22], a map, and Scanned Glyph - Olin's Journal [12/18]. You can now speak with Erend to provide evidence of Olin's betrayal - Erend will also ask Aloy to investigate what happened to Ersa at Red Ridge Pass.
In Meridian, you'll be able to start a number of quests and access to the Hunter's Lodge, if you've been completing the Hunting Grounds, to advance the Hunting for the Lodge quest. This is a good time to explore the lower half of the Carja Sundom, known as The Jewel:
- Side Quests - Honor the Fallen, Robbing the Rich, Weapons of the Lodge, Fatal Inheritance, Sunstone Rock, and Sun and Shadow
- Errands - Hammer and Steel, Demand and Supply, Hunting for the Lodge, Hunters' Blind, A Curious Proposal, and Sun's Judgement