Weapon Techniques are an all-new suite of abilities for Aloy in Horizon Forbidden West that allow her to use in-game weapons in new ways, making them more powerful. These abilities can also make Aloy stronger in certain situations, matching your playstyle.
Every weapon type in the game has a weapon technique, including all of Horizon Forbidden West’s best weapons and some of the new weapons like the Spike Thrower. But the more powerful ones upgrade returning weapons in new ways that really increase their power, especially against the bigger fighting machines. Some of these techniques are also effective against human fighters, especially those from the game’s three different bow types. In fact, they’re so good that the entire category made it to our list of best skills in Horizon Forbidden West.
But how do you activate these weapon abilities and which ones are available for each weapon type? Well, this article contains everything you need to know about Horizon Forbidden West Weapon Techniques.
Horizon Forbidden West Weapon Techniques
Horizon Forbidden West’s weapon abilities can be found in the game’s skill tree. and are unlocked with skill points.
Weapon techniques can be used using the shoulder buttons on the controller and the triggers, with different combinations used for different weapons. For example, you might be asked to hold L2 to aim, then press R1 to fire a powerful shot from a knee.
Here are all the weapon skills in Horizon Forbidden West broken down between the different weapons in the game and which skill tree they belong to:
- Burst fire – Fire three arrows of the currently selected type in a quick burst. (Warrior Skill Tree)
- Melee Detonator – Fire a special arrow that attaches to an enemy for a limited time. Detonate it with a melee attack to deal extra damage. Multiple arrows can be attached for a stronger explosion. (Warrior Skill Tree)
- spread blow – Shoot five arrows in a horizontal spread. Hold longer before pulling for a tighter spread. (Warrior Skill Tree)
- High volley – Shoot a volley of high arrows to rain down on your enemies. (Hunter Skill Tree)
- Triple notch – Load up to 3 arrows of the currently selected type. Shoot normally to unhook all arrows simultaneously. (Hunter Skill Tree)
- Reverse Shot – Shoot special arrows that do no damage but can stun or knock down machines. (Hunter Skill Tree)
- Reinforced shot – Fire a powerful shot from a kneeling position. (Infiltrator skill tree)
- Double notch – Load a second arrow of the currently selected type. Shoot normally to release both arrows simultaneously. (Infiltrator skill tree)
- Focused shot – Increase your weapon zoom while aiming and fire a powerful shot that deals bonus damage. (Infiltrator skill tree)
- fast wire – Quickly launch a Tripwire of the currently selected type with a predefined length. Wire explodes or deactivates after a limited time. (Trapper Skill Tree)
- Penetrating Rope – Pull a rope that can attach to any part of an enemy, including armor, without needing to fully draw the weapon. (Trapper Skill Tree)
- Blast spread – Fire 8 bolts of your currently selected type in a wide spread at close range. (Hunter Skill Tree)
- Sustained gust – Release an entire clip of bolts while standing still. (Hunter Skill Tree)
- Ultra Shot – Fire a burst of special explosive bolts that can hit targets at long range. (Hunter Skill Tree)
- bouncing bomb – Fire an explosive bomb that gets more powerful with each bounce, up to a maximum of 3 bounces. (Survivor Skill Tree)
- Burst Dodge – Launch a flurry of bombs in front of you while automatically dodging backwards. (Survivor Skill Tree)
- sticky bomb – Fire a mob of your currently selected type that sticks to its target and explodes after a delay. Attach multiple bombs to deal extra damage. (Survivor Skill Tree)
- spike trap – Throw a spike that becomes a trap upon impact with the environment. (Machine Master skill tree)
- Propelled tip – Launch a powerful long-range spike that explodes on impact or when landing near a target. (Machine Master skill tree)
- splitting tip – Launch a spike that splits into multiple projects to impact a wider area. (Machine Master skill tree)
- Triple shredder – Launch 3 grinders of your currently selected type. A single grinder can be recovered and reused. (Survivor Skill Tree)
- chipper mine – Throw a crusher that ricochets off its point of contact before hovering in place, dealing shock damage to targets within range for a limited time. (Survivor Skill Tree)
- electric grinder – Throw a special grinder that deals extra damage to a target. Crusher does not return after impact. (Survivor Skill Tree)
This covers everything there is to know about this new mechanic in Horizon Forbidden West. For more on the weapons and skill tree in the game, check out our overview of the best Valor Surges in Horizon Forbidden West.