Things to Do First – Horizon: Zero Dawn Wiki Guide

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Be sure to also check out our list of What Horizon Doesn’t Tell You.

Starting Skills

After completing the tutorial missions A Gift From the Past and Lessons of the Wild, Aloy will possess three skill points to unlock new abilities with.

We recommend purchasing Silent Strike, Concentration and Lure Call as your starting skills. Silent Strike and Lure Call work well in tandem to allow you to eliminate nearby machines without engaging or alarming the ones nearby. Concentration functions similarly, allowing you more time to line up bow shots – this is especially useful for taking out Watchers before they can raise an alarm.

Bigger Bags

One of the first things you’ll want to improve is your carrying capacity. We specifically recommend focusing on crafting upgrades for your Resource Satchel first, since this will allow you to carry more items you scavenge from enemies and around the world.

You’ll spend the first few hours of the game in The Embrace – this is the best location for hunting wildlife in the game, since the Machines in this area are less threatening than anywhere else. After completing the tutorial missions, spend some time hunting boar, turkey, rabbits, foxes and fish – you’ll need their pelts and bones to craft more elaborate satchels and pouches.

Scavenger Skills

After leveling up a few more times, you’ll want to focus your skill points on purchasing abilities in the third column of the Forager skill tree.


The Gatherer and Scavenger skills are helpful for crafting, and Disarm Traps is helpful, too ( being able to collect unused traps and tripwires is a great relief on resource management). The Tinker ability, however, may be the most important one in the game, as it allows you to keep modifications when removing them from weapons and outfits instead of destroying them.

Tutorials Earn Free XP

After acquiring a new weapon or ammo type, be sure to enter your Quest menu and set the newly-added Tutorial quest as active, then complete the objective.

This is a great way to earn bonus XP quickly, helping you power through the early levels of the game.

Commit Weak Spots to Memory

It may seem daunting, but being able to recognize a machine’s vulnerabilities without your Focus will be a valuable skill during combat.

Scan every machine you encounter and take note of where their vulnerabilities lie – and what types of damage will be most effective against them!

Don’t Hoard Resources

Outifts, weapons and special items are cheap in the world of Horizon – don’t be stingy and hold onto every single item that you scavenge early on.

You can trade them to merchants for currency or better items, and if you run out you can always acquire more.

Collect Power Cells

There are five hidden power cells to be found throughout the main campaign that will trigger a special side quest to unlock some very powerful armor. Keep your eyes peeled during your journey – or find them all here.

SharpShot Bow

While you can get through the early stages of the game with only your Hunter Bow and Tripcaster, make sure to purchase a Carja Sharpshot from the traders past the Embrace gate.

It’s TearBlast arrows will prove invaluable against larger machines – especially Ravagers, Glinthawks and ThunderJaws.

Get a Free Ropecaster

If you trust your ability to tackle any foe with merely a bow and some tripwires, don’t bother purchasing a Ropecaster from any of the vendors – you’ll receive a free one during the quest Maker’s End (though it is several hours into the main storyline).

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