Best Weapon Skills in Horizon Forbidden West


Horizon Forbidden West has a ton of alternatives to just firing a gun at an enemy. There’s Bravery Boosts, Passive Boosts, Traps, and Weapon Techniques, all of which make combat more diverse and make it easier to take down those tricky machines.

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Going through the skill tree, there are quite a few techniques, but it’s good to know the best one for each weapon. Going into battle unprepared is always a dangerous choice, so make sure you have the best technique equipped for the weapon you are using. They are sure to help you out even in the deadliest of situations.

8 Triple Notch – Hunter Bow

Forbidden Horizon Western Hunter Bow

You can load up to three arrows of your currently equipped triple nock type. To do this, press R1 while aiming to add another arrow, then fire the arrows using R2. Preparing to charge arrows means you’ll have to get out of attack range before getting back into the fight, but the extra damage is worth it.

Triple notch can be good if it’s targeting the weak points of a fearsome machine or to reduce the health of rebels with heavy weapons. As long as you’re hiding behind something when loading into arrows, triple notch will come in handy.


7 Penetrating rope – Ropecaster

Tripcaster Horizon Forbidden West

The Ropecaster is one of the best weapons to use in Horizon Zero Dawn. While not as handy for combat in Forbidden West, it can be a great tool for locking down nimble machines (which usually make dodging difficult). Penetrating Rope attaches to any part of an enemy, even armor, without the need to fully draw the weapon first.

Ropecasters draw speed takes a while, so even tethering a rope faster is extremely useful to start tethering an enemy. Rope does not use ammo but depletes a medium amount of weapon stamina.

6 Ripper Mine – Ripper Gauntlet

Horizon Forbidden West Shredder Gauntlet

The Chipper Mine technique launches a chipper that ricochets off its point of contact before hovering in place and dealing shock damage to anyone within range. Mine Shredder uses two crushers of the currently selected type, using a medium amount of weapon stamina.

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Arguably one of the coolest weapons in the game, the Shredder Gauntlet is perfect for close to medium range targets that you can’t quite land a solid hit on. When enemies are moving too fast to target weak spots, but you need to lower health, use the Gauntlet and its chipper ability.

5 Extended Shot – Warrior’s Bow

Horizon Forbidden West Warrior Bow

Fire five arrows in a horizontal spread with the Spread Shot technique active to quickly fire at enemies in front of you. Spread Shot uses a medium amount of stamina, but can be a nice trick to bide your time while you rack up the resources for more powerful weapons.

The Warrior’s bow and its attacks are usually the go-to for quick albeit minor damage, which is great for human enemies or weaker machines like burrowers. Using any warrior bow weapon technique also means that you won’t have to wait long before you can shoot, unlike other weapon techniques.

4 Burst Dodge – Blastsling

Horizon Forbidden West Blastsling

Equip burst dodge to launch a flurry of bombs in front of you while automatically dodging backwards. Firing a Blastsling is great but can be tricky as you need to be close to the intended target for the attack to land, which is why auto-dodge is so beneficial.

Pick an ammo type, the target is also flimsy, and use burst dodge while in range for a better chance of downing the enemy. Then follow it up with a critical hit or use Sharpshot arrows to knock down some components.

3 Sustained Burst – Boltblaster

Horizon Forbidden West Boltblaster

Unleash an entire clip of bolts with the sustained burst weapon technique, the catch being that you have to stand still to see it through. Staying in one spot shouldn’t be a problem though, as dodging while the Boltblaster is equipped is incredibly difficult. Instead of the usual roll that Aloy does to dodge, she will instead jump on the ground, making rolling nearly impossible.

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Sustained burst is a good shout for taking on bigger machines like Tiderippers, Behemoths, Slitherfangs and Tremortusks since adding elemental damage to these machines takes much longer than with the smaller ones. Using a sustained blast will drain a large amount of weapon stamina.

2 Focused Shot – Pointed Bow

Horizon Forbidden West Sharpshot Bow

Focused Shot is one of the techniques available for the Sharpshot Bow, which allows you to increase your weapon’s zoom while aiming, firing a powerful shot that deals more damage than usual. And while it will take a few seconds to activate this attack or any attack with a Sharpshot Bow, the technique can be incredibly powerful against enemy weak spots.

For example, if you’re fighting a Slitherfang, you can use aimed fire to knock down a heavy weapon and then shoot components with that heavy weapon. Focused Firing depletes a medium amount of weapon stamina and uses the currently selected ammo type.

1 Split Point – Spike Thrower

Horizon Forbidden West Spike Thrower

The Division Peak is about halfway through the Machine Master section of the skill tree, which also includes upgrades to replace machines and improve mount health. Use the Split Spike to launch a spike that splits into multiple projectiles impacting a large area – the perfect tactic for damaging machines that move in groups.

Even the standard approach of firing a spike without using a technique is a great idea, as they can quickly attach to enemies, with some even dealing bonus damage over time. Although to split the tip, it will deplete a medium amount of weapon stamina when used.

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