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The best weapons in Horizon Forbidden West

Spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t played Horizon Zero Dawn, or knows nothing about the lore of the franchise, but Horizon Forbidden West actually takes place in the distant future. On one hand, the massive robot dinosaurs might tip people off to this fact, but the contrasting state of humanity, which are more tribal and primitive in their appearance and level of technology, could easily fool some into thinking this game was set in the past. Aloy herself is adorned in a multitude of older-looking garments, but what really throws people off is her choice of weaponry.

Most of the marketing for Horizon Forbidden West features Aloy wielding her iconic bow and arrow. Sure, that is your default, and most reliable, form of weaponry, but there are tons of other tools you can, and should, take advantage of in your fight against these massive machines. Aside from bows, you have Boltcasters, Tripcasters, Blastslings, and more. But which are the best? If you want to be the apex predator in Horizon Forbidden West, here are the best weapons you can get, plus how to get them.

Note: Some light spoilers ahead for how to acquire some Legendary-tier weapons, some of which are tied to quests.

Further reading

Best Hunter Bow

The Sun Scourge bow.

No, we’re not talking about the specific bow named Hunter Bow that you begin the game with, but the best Hunter Bow class of weapon. We were slightly torn between two options for this, with The Sun Scourge just edging out the Death-Seeker’s Shadow, although the latter does have the cooler name. In order to get this Legendary item you need to finish the First Forge quest, but you only unlock that quest once you clear all the Rebel Camps, of which there are five scattered around the map, so it might take a while. Once you do, a sixth and final camp will show up, concluding with you getting the Sun Scourge.

This is a great all-around bow. It fires very quick, has a 15% bonus Overdraw Damage, 10% Agility Damage, and 2% Instant Brittle chance. Later on you can unlock even more bonuses in the form of Reload Speed and damage to airborne enemies, but you can work around that with the five coil slots you can eventually fill. It can also use fire, ice, and acid arrow types, which is a good spread for most situations.

The Death-Seeker, as an alternative, is more focused on dealing armor damage, which is just a bit more situational than the all-around great Sun Scourge, and has fewer perks and coil slots.

Best Warrior Bow

Aloy collecting a legendary weapon.

Unlike the Hunter Bow, there’s way less debate about which Warrior Bow is the best, and that’s because the Carja’s Bane exists. For all your close encounters, this compact bow will never let you down, but you’ll have to unlock it first. This will be a gauntlet, literally, as you need to beat all four of the Gauntlet Runs in Horizon Forbidden West. These are essentially races where you mount up and compete for the best time. Manage to set the record on all four courses and you will get this amazing Legendary weapon for all your time and efforts.

This is not only a really strong weapon for its class but also is very strong at piercing armor, plus it can use fire arrows for a bit more utility. It will give you 10% bonus Agility Damage as well as Corroding Enemy Damage, but lacks Knockdown Power and Melee Follow Up until you upgrade it, so make sure you get the kill with this weapon fast. You start with three coils, but can unlock two more for a fully stocked and stacked Warrior Bow that won’t let you down when you need it most.

Best Sharpshot Bow

If you’re more of a high-precision, ranged, one-shot-one-kill kind of hunter, you are probably already drawn (pun intended ) to the Sharpshot Bow types. If so, then the Forgefall is your Holy Grail of a weapon. Before getting into the details, you can find this Legendary bow in the Arena shop, but for the very high price of 80 Arena Medals, which you earn by competing in the various Hunting Grounds in Horizon Forbidden West. Getting that many will probably require you to already have some top-tier weapons on hand anyway, so don’t get discouraged if you can’t get it right away.

Looking at the Foregfall itself, what’s not to like? It deals insane amounts of damage, has awesome range, and can use armor piercing and plasma ammo options. It starts off with a huge 25% increase to Draw Speed and 10% to Concentration Damage, and can later unlock Overdraw Damage, Aerial Enemy Damage, and Shocked Enemy Damage. As usual, it can eventually get up to five coils as well. It is a bit harder to handle, and a bit slower, but considering all the benefits, fights might not even last long enough for that to matter.

Best Blastsling

The Wings of the Ten weapon menu.

It might seem silly for what is basically a slingshot to have such different stats, but here we are. Wings of the Ten is your Legendary peak for this heavy-damage-dealing weapon type. This weapon is tied to the 12 Black Box collectibles, plus beating the Seeds of the Past and Sea of Sands main quests in order to reach them all. Find them all and the weapon is yours.

Aside from raw power, what makes Wings of the Ten especially great is its ability to stun targets, which is made all the easier when using adhesive ammo. Basically, if you get one good hit in, you can essentially stun lock some machines into oblivion. Starting perks include 5% Critical Hit Chance and 15% Critical Hit Damage, with Overdraw Damage, Close Range Damage, and a small Instant Plasma Blast Chance coming in at the end. Add some coils in and you’ve got a deadly bomb launcher.

Best Spike Thrower

The Skykiller weapon menu.

Spike Throwers are a cool name for a weapon type, but The Skykiller is just too awesome to ignore. Thankfully, it can back up its name with power. The downside is that The Way Home, the mission tied to getting this weapon, is locked until you nearly beat the final story mission in Horizon Forbidden West. Look out for that quest and enjoy bringing this weapon along to close out the main quest and carry you through any extra content you have yet to do.

This Spike Thrower gets stronger and stronger with each hit you land, plus has regular, explosive, and flaming ammo capabilities, allowing you to adapt to whatever enemy type you’re up against. The perks are also exceptional, starting with 10% Reload Speed and 15% Aerial Enemy Damage, then evolving to have Overdraw Damage, Draw Speed, and Burning Enemy Damage.

Best Tripcaster

The Tinkers pride weapon.

Tripcasters are an odd weapon type, but very satisfying once you learn how to use them effectively. The best of them, Tinker’s Pride at the top of that heap, do more than just restrain your targets. The big drawback is just how difficult it is to get, meaning many people might not see the full potential of this weapon type at all. To get Tinker’s Pride you need to not just beat every Hunting Ground Trial in Horizon Forbidden West but do so with a perfect score to earn enough medals to buy this amazing weapon.

Like a normal Tripcaster, you use Tinker’s Pride to set up traps that explode when tripped, but this one allows you to pick from three different explosive types for massive versatility. But the perk for causing continual damage is the unsung hero of this weapon. Here’s how the perks break down: 15% Damage Over Time and 10% Knockdown Power to start, followed by Instant Brittle Chance and Knockdown Damage.

Best Shredder Gauntlet

The Ancestor's Return weapon menu.

A brand new tool in Horizon Forbidden West, the Shredder Gauntlet is just pure fun to use. It isn’t quite the same as throwing and recalling the Leviathan Axe, but it has a similar enough function to make it stand out and have a place in your arsenal. The best of the bunch has to be Ancestor’s Return. This weapon, as the name gives away, is the final reward for finding and solving every Relic Ruin, collecting all the Ornaments, and turning them in to Stemmur.

Somewhat like The Skykiller, the Ancestor’s Return deals more damage the more you hit, and catch, the disk in a row. Keep up your combo, and you can quickly melt enemy health bars, especially if you use acid or shock ammo. It comes with 10% Agility Damage and 25% Draw Speed, with Concentration Damage, Component Tear, and Critical Hit Chance waiting behind upgrade levels.

Best Boltblaster

Last, but not least, we have to give you a Boltblaster option, and in Horizon Forbidden West, the Legendary option is The Blast Forge. Now, these weapons are meant as kind of your last-resort types, and The Blast Forge will be a welcome sight in those dire situations. If you want to see it for yourself, you will need to scrounge up 80 Medals and purchase it at the Arena, so grind out those Hunting Ground Trials.

Aside from just dealing nasty amounts of damage, it can also use three different ammo types, including piercing and explosive rounds as if it weren’t deadly enough. Perks are almost unnecessary, but you’re getting 25% Draw Speed and 5% Critical Hit Chance off the bat, with Overdraw Damage, Reload Speed, and Instant Shocked Chance down the road.

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