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The best outfits and armor in Horizon Forbidden West

If you never played the original Horizon game and only saw the action-packed marketing for Horizon Forbidden West, then you could be forgiven for assuming it was a straightforward open-world action game. While that is still true, the game also puts a lot of focus on the RPG elements it incorporates with those more flashy, high-action mechanics. Aloy, your main character, has multiple skill trees, abilities, weapons, and armors to find, craft, upgrade, and equip depending on the situation or preferred method of play. All those different tribal outfits you see, adorned with scraps of metal and bone in equal measure, are for more than just looking cool.

Outfits were a somewhat important part of Horizon Zero Dawn, but there weren’t that many of them and you could typically get away with just wearing the one with the highest defense and not worrying about it. Horizon Forbidden West not only includes way more options for armor but they are far more specialized and even broken down into multiple categories for rarity and which type of player they’re best for. If you want to make a fashion statement and still trounce your machine foes, here are the best outfits and armor in Horizon Forbidden West.

Note: There will be some mild spoilers for how to obtain some armors that are tied to quests.

Further reading

Different types of armor

Aloy looks out over a beach in Horizon Forbidden West.

Just like your weapons, armor will all be marked with a different color to denote its rarity. These go as follows:

  • Green is uncommon.
  • Blue is rare.
  • Purple is very rare.
  • Orange is legendary.

Obviously, we will be focusing on the legendary tier of armors since they will be the best ones available in the game. However, just because an armor is of a higher tier than what you currently have doesn’t automatically make it the better choice for you. Aside from raw rarity, each armor is also suited to a different focus that aligns with the six different skill trees. If you need a refresher, those are:

  • Warrior
  • Trapper
  • Hunter
  • Survivor
  • Infiltrator
  • Machine Master

Depending on which tree you most heavily invest in, you will want to wear different armor to complement the abilities and strengths afforded by that specific tree. We’ll break down our top pick for which armor is best for each of the six skill trees, plus how you can get them.

Best armor for each skill tree focus

Aloy looks over a gorgeous open world in Horizon Forbidden West.

Warrior

This is technically the second-best Warrior armor we know of, but we’ll get to why we chose it at the end. The Oseram Wayfarer is still a great choice, especially since you can get it much earlier on than most high-tier armors. You can get it by visiting the merchants in Plainsong and buying it for 399 Metal Shards and 1 Widemaw Circulator. At the base level it will give you 11 Melee, 10 Impact, 26 Purgewater, and 8 Plasma resistance, but -1 to Shock. You do get one Weave slot to buff up your Shock resistance if you want, and it gives a flat +1 to Melee Damage and Potion Proficiency. It isn’t too costly to upgrade, either, so you can rock this set for a good while if you invest in it.

Trapper

Next up we have the legendary Carja Stalker Elite set. This set will be a bit of a grind to get since you will need to earn 54 Arena Medals and train them in at The Maw arena merchant. Once you accomplish that feat, though, you’re rewarded with an impressively strong armor set. Starting with the positives, the resistances are 32 for Melee, 35 Impact, 50 Frost, 35 Shock, 33 Purgewater, and 35 Plasma. On the downside, your Fire and Acid resistances take a massive -38 hit.

In terms of skills, Trapper fans rejoice. You get +2 Trap Limit, +1 Quick Trapper, +1 Smoke Bomb Capacity, +1 Nimble Crafter, +1 Low Profile, and +1 Quiet Movement.

Hunter

Sticking with Aloy’s roots as a Nora, the best Hunter set has to be the Nora Thunder Warrior. You can get this armor set exactly like the previous one, for 54 Arena Medals at The Maw. Here’s the breakdown on resistances: 34 Melee, 50 Impact, 38 Fire, 33 Shock, 35 Purgewater, and 35 Acid. Your weaknesses, because there always will be some, are -40 to Frost and -38 to Plasma, which isn’t too terrible.

For skill buffs, you can look forward to +2 Concentration, +1 Deep Concentration, +1 Concentration Regen, +1 Stamina Regen, +1 Stealthy Ranged, and +1 Heavy Weapon.

Survivor

The peak Survivor class armor is the legendary tier Tenakth Vanquisher. If you guessed it would cost you 54 Arena Medals at The Maw shop, you’re right on the money. Here’s all the resistances this spiky set offers: 33 Melee, 34 Impact, 36 Frost, 37 Shock, 35 Purgewater, and 50 Acid. For that you give up -40 to Fire and Plasma.

The skills on offer are best for players who like to play a little more risky than most. You get +2 Low Health Valor, +1 Low Health Melee, +1 Low Health Defense, +1 Evader, +1 Low Health Ranged, and +1 Valor Surge Master.

Infiltrator

In a shocking twist, the best Infiltrator armor set, the Utaru Winterweave, doesn’t come from the Arena. Instead, go to the Stitcher merchant in Thornmarsh and pay up a heavy fee of 2,000 Metal Shards, 1 Apex Dreadwing Heart, and 1 Tremortusk Circulator. Your investment will pay off with these balanced resistances: 35 Melee, 35 Impact, 35 Frost, 36 Shock, 34 Purgewater, and 50 Plasma. What you need to watch out for will be the -39 to Fire and -42 for Acid damage.

The skills attached to this armor will make you as sneaky as Solid Snake. You get +2 Quiet Movement, +1 Quiet Spear, +1 Low Profile, +1 Smoke Bomb Capacity, +1 Silent Strike, and +1 Silent Strike Heal.

Machine Master

This isn’t likely to be the most popular skill tree for most people to go into first, but if you’re one of the brave ones then spend 2,000 Metal Shards, 1 Apex Slitherfang Heart, and 1 Tremortusk Circulator on the Tenakth Tactician set available at the Stitcher merchant in Thornmarsh. For that cost your resistances will get the following buffs: 36 Melee, 35 Impact, 50 Fire, 33 Frost, 35 Shock, and 35 Plasma at the cost of -38 Purgewater and -40 Acid.

The skills, naturally, will all buff your relationship and teamwork with machines. You get: +2 Lasting Override, +1 Machine Elemental, +1 Machine Health, +1 Quiet Movement, +1 Mounted Archer, and +1 Mounted Defense.

Best armor overall

Aloy wearing Oseram Artificer armor.

Now that we’ve covered the best armor in each skill set, we have to mention the one set that is arguably best no matter what your focus is in Horizon Forbidden West. This is technically a Warrior-specific set, which is why we gave an alternative on that pick, but is still great for all of them. We also hesitated on recommending it early because it is quite the ordeal to get. We’re talking about the Oseram Artificer set.

The only way to get your hands on this legendary set is by completing the Keruf’s Slavage Unlimited quest, which requires you to complete 17 individual Salvager Contracts given by different characters in Barren Light, Hidden Ember, Thornmarsh, and Scalding Spear. After doing all the requests of these other characters, you can finally go back to Keruf and finish up the quest, resulting in you earning the Oseram Artificer set.

For resistances, it doesn’t get much better than 51 Melee, 35 Impact, 33 Fire, 33 Shock, 35 Purgewater, and 36 Acid. Your tradeoffs are somewhat harsh, though, with -40 to both Frost and Plasma. For skills, no one can go wrong with +2 Power Attack, +1 Resonator Buildup, +1 Resonator Damage, +1 Valor Surge Master, +1 Resonator Blast, and +1 Energized Duration.

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