Horizon Zero Dawn lets you use literal bows against futuristic robots. Yes, they may have the mental capacity of dinosaurs, but still, they can give you trouble from time to time. If you’re finding it hard to go toe-to-toe with these bots, you’d do well to read our guide about the best Horizon Zero Dawn weapons.
With a wide array of armaments at her disposal, choosing the perfect tools for Aloy can be a daunting task. So, we’ve curated a list of the 10 best weapons in Horizon Zero Dawn, taking into account their utility, effectiveness, and versatility. With this Horizon Zero Dawn best weapons list, the odds can even out between you and the metal beasts.
Unveiled as part of the Frozen Wilds expansion, the Improved Stormslinger reigns supreme as the most powerful weapon in the game if you’re just measuring based on raw damage.
This electrically charged behemoth is exceptionally deadly against enemies vulnerable to electricity, which is most robots in the game. With the ability to unleash devastating bolts of electricity, Aloy can quickly dispatch even the most formidable foes.
Though it may take time to acquire, the Improved Stormslinger is undoubtedly a game-changer for experienced players facing tough adversaries. You can find it in the “Geared Up: Stormslinger” side quest.
Lodge War Bow
This bow boasts exceptional power and significantly boosts elemental damage. Notably, owning this weapon requires a display of skill, meaning not just any player can get their hands on it. While it may take some effort to obtain, the Lodge War Bow is a must-have for those seeking to enhance their ranged combat abilities, particularly with elemental attacks.
You can earn the Lodge War Bow by completing the Hunters Lodge trials, but just know that these are quite challenging.
Shadow War Bow
One of the most powerful war bows in the game, the Shadow War Bow offers 50 handling and three mod slots, providing versatility and adaptability in battles. Apart from the elemental arrows found in other bows, the Shadow War Bow also includes a unique corruption arrow.
When used with a corruption arrow, the enemy machine becomes an ally for a short period, turning the tide of battle when facing multiple foes. This exceptional tool can be a lifesaver when confronting overwhelming odds, especially when fighting bosses that have minions.
You can buy this bow in Meridian for 800 Metal Shards and one Trampler Heart.
Also found exclusively in the Frozen Wilds expansion, the Improved Icerail is a versatile weapon that combines ice damage with freezing effects, as you can imagine.
Its ice cannon delivers substantial damage while immobilizing enemies, making it a good choice for close-range combat or panicked encounters. Though not the ideal weapon for all situations, the Improved Icerail is an excellent addition to Aloy’s arsenal, adding a unique dynamic to her combat strategies.
Grab it by completing the “Geared Up: Icerail” side quest.
Lodge Blast Sling
For those inclined towards slings, the Lodge Blast Sling is a game-changer. Acquired through the completion of Hunters Lodge trials, this weapon boasts superior handling, nearly double that of its closest competitor.
Its ability to launch vials and proximity bombs at enemies provides Aloy with a means to deal substantial damage in a single blow (great for hit-and-run tactics). While it may lack the accuracy of a bow and arrow, the Lodge Blast Sling compensates with its exceptional handling and damage potential.
The Lodge Ropecaster excels in conserving resources, making each rope last longer and reducing the need for materials. With 70 handling and three additional mod slots, it enhances Aloy’s ability to immobilize large enemies efficiently, offering a safe way to inflict damage without exposing herself to unnecessary risk.
Unlocking the Lodge Ropecaster involves completing the Hunting Grounds challenges, granting access to a superior version of this utility weapon.
The Shadow Tripcaster is a valuable tool for setting traps and gaining the upper hand in combat. With three mod slots and 30 handling, Aloy can deploy tripwires that deal damage when triggered.
Additionally, it includes a Fire Wire that inflicts significant fire damage, providing Aloy with a potent offensive tool. Properly placed traps can lead enemies into ambushes, offering a strategic advantage in battles.
You can buy it from Daytower for 800 Metal Shadows and one Scrapper Heart.
Banuk Champion Bow
Yet another part of the Frozen Wilds DLC, the Banuk Champion Bow is an upgraded version of the base game’s war bow.
It introduces an “overdraw” mechanic, enabling Aloy to hold her aim for longer without compromising the shot’s precision or power. This enhanced bow offers higher base stats than its predecessors, making it a formidable choice for those looking to tackle the challenges of the DLC expansion.
Look for Bluegleam merchants across the Cut if you want to buy this bow. Be mindful, as you can only purchase it once per playthrough.
The Shadow Rattler is akin to a shotgun, excelling in close-range combat.
While it sacrifices accuracy for the ability to deliver rapid bursts of damage, it can be highly effective when you use it appropriately. However, it’s essential to understand that using the Shadow Rattler necessitates a more aggressive playstyle.
This weapon becomes accessible once Aloy reaches Meridian, making it a more attainable option compared to some of the DLC weapons.
Shadow Hunter Bow
Aloy’s trusty Hunter Bow serves as her starting weapon, and the Shadow Hunter Bow is the pinnacle version of this reliable armament.
With 80 handling and three mod slots, it boasts superior damage and tear capabilities, making it a versatile choice for various combat scenarios. Whether Aloy faces formidable foes or needs to strip armor from heavy machines, the Shadow Hunter Bow proves its worth time and again.
The best part? It’s easy to obtain. There’s a purple variant in Daytower that costs 650 Metal Scrap and one Watcher Heart. This and another fast, close-range tool might be all you need as far as Horizon Zero Dawn best weapons go.
You’ll soon be ready for Horizon Forbidden West and its newer challenges.