The just released Horizon: Zero Dawn offers a very robust experience that features a lot of customization in how you handle everything. We’ve already given you some tips on a variety of topics, but this time we thought a more general guide on starting out in the game would be helpful.
This guide is certainly not the end all be all list of beginner tips, but they are some of the tips that we felt would help you early on based on how the game moves on from that point.
Do As Many Sidequests As You Can
The main story of Horizon: Zero Dawn is obviously the focus, but you will notice before too long that the main quest difficulties are getting very hard. These will recommend certain levels for taking them on. You can try them underleveled, but you will want to start taking on any sidequests that you can find. Whenever you get to a new area, always be on the look out for the green exclamation point that signifies someone you can talk to for some sort of quest. In addition, there are also the Cauldrons, Bandit Camps, and more that you can take on, so make sure to take advantage of all the XP you can earn from doing these.
Go For The Most Useful Skills First
This tip is actually one that we spent an entire guide on, which you can check out here. In short, check out all of the skills at the start and plan strategically on which ones you want to unlock, as you are not locked out of any from the start other than needing the few prerequisites that you can easily unlock.
Pick Up Any Resources You Find
Horizon: Zero Dawn is made up of a huge world map that you can explore, and all throughout that map are resources for you to collect. This resources are found as part of the land itself, such as the very prominent Ridgewood, but there are also plenty that you will find by inspecting the destroyed machines and human corpses in the game. Items like the aforementioned Ridgewood and Metal Shards are vital to search for, as not only can they be crafted for more arrows, but Metal Shards are the main form of currency in the game essentially. The only bad thing about picking up everything is part of our next tip.
Try To Upgrade Resource Bags ASAP
While you are trying to pick up everything that you can, you will pretty quickly realize that you are running out of room in your resource bag, not to mention you filling up the other bags like the weapon one and such. The good news is that you can upgrade these bags very early on, though you will need the correct resources. While you may not see wild animals as much as the machines, definitely kill any of them that you see as you will need their meat for the different bags.
Be Careful With Trading Resources Early
The game also offers a ton of different weapons, outfits, traps, and more that you get via trading with merchants. Some of these items are affordable, but there are also plenty that will see your Metal Shards and other items drain very quickly. As a result, don’t just start spending wildly because you can afford items. Maybe wait a bit and see if other merchants have better items that would be more useful, rather than you upgrading too early and finding yourself without enough trade bait for the items you really want.
Use Your Focus To Your Advantage
In Horizon: Zero Dawn’s intro, you are introduced to the Focus that Aloy finds in the old world of the machines that plays a central role in the rest of the game. This piece of tech allows her to scan the environment, notably the enemies. Whenever you see enemies of any sort, try to find tall grass or some sort of hiding spot and scan said enemies. By doing this, you can see their name, strengths and weaknesses, as well as the path they are moving on. You should take full advantage of this by tagging the enemy so that you can see it without the Focus being activated. Doing the same with tracking is also very useful, so make sure to get the jump on your enemies by planning ahead with the Focus.
Save, Save Save
This tip is very obvious, but I can’t overstate it enough. Horizon: Zero Dawn has a giant world, so you will be traveling a lot. As you cross the lands, you will constantly come across campfires that you can save at. These campfires give you the option to do a Quick Save or a Manual Save. Anytime you see a campfire show up on the map, definitely try to find it and save. Not only does this save you for if you are killed, but it also adds a new fast travel location for you to access, which leads to our final tip.
Get the Golden Fast Travel Pack Early
We already explained in another guide how the game has what is known as the Golden Fast Travel Pack, which allows you to use fast travel as much as you want, versus the requirement otherwise of using a Fast Travel Pack each time. It may take a little grinding for the items needed, but it is very worth it, especially once the world starts to really open up.
If you have some idea of your own based on your time with Horizon: Zero Dawn, definitely feel free to share them in the comments below.