Horizon Forbidden West is a game rich in story and beautiful nuanced details. It’s this sharp attention to the smallest aspects of the world, which makes it feel so alive. The living, breathing story of the Horizon series is thanks in part to the amazing technology behind it but also in another part to its comprehensive world-building.
We could write a whole compendium on the Horizon series, but what we want to highlight today are the creatures that give life to the world. We’re talking about the different machines, that live together with nature to form their own intricate ecosystem. It’s great reading up about all the different machines and how they contribute to the circle of life in Horizon.
There are a total of 43 types of machines in Horizon Forbidden West but only 22 are new to the game. So we’re going to focus on those for this bestiary. It would be crazy to cover all 43! (Or would it?) In this guide we’ll expand on machine behaviours, elements, overrides and everything you’ll need for the game.
Warning: Slight story spoilers for Horizon Forbidden West.
The Different Types Of Machines
Before we can head straight into all the different machines it might be helpful to designate their classes. There are four different types in Horizon Forbidden West and they can be classified as such:
Acquisition Class: This describes machines designed to harvest resources. They’re shaped like herbivores in the original game and have blaze canisters.
Reconnaissance Class: Recon or Reconnaissance machines are the ones that act as sentinels and look out for threats. For example, Watchers from the first game.
Combat Class: These machines are specifically designed to attack threats and typically have the form of predatory animals. Think Sawtooths or Stalkers.
Transport Class: Machines designed to carry cargo or canisters around the world. For example, Shell-Walkers.
Additionally, while not a class, Horizon Forbidden West also marks the debut of Apex and Elemental variants in machines.
Apex machines are variations of other machines that have fewer weaknesses and black armour that’s more resistant to damage. They’re more dangerous and should be approached more carefully.
Elemental machines are variants of machines that have additional elemental abilities and attacks.
A herd machine that uses its tusks to dig up resources. If provoked, it can unearth scrap and augment it with elemental material for use in ranged and melee attacks.
|Class: Acquisition||Level: 13 / 23 (Apex)|
|Weakness: Shock||Strength: Acid|
|Override: Repair Bay: TAU||Mountable: Yes|
|Variants: Acid, Fire, Apex|
The Bristleback was created by GAIA to terraform the land and it resembles a large warthog. The boar-like head of the machine has two metallic protrusions at the front, resembling tusks. While its mouth contains two circular saws for grinding up pieces of scrap or earth. They put it in their mouth and cover it with blaze or acid, depending on which canisters are on their back, to ram or throw at enemies.
A common recon machine that emits high-pitched sound to alert allies and stun enemies. It can tunnel underground and resurface in unexpected locations.
|Class: Reconnaissance||Level: 5|
|Weakness: Fire||Strength: None|
|Override: Cauldron: MU||Weak Point: Eye|
Burrowers were designed by GAIA to guard other terraforming machines from external dangers such as wild animals. Burrowers behave much like Watchers, usually traveling in groups. They can emit high pitched sounds to alert their allies while also stunning their enemies. They differ from Watchers with their ability to swim and tunnel underground. Once they do this stay alert as they will often resurface in unexpected locations.
A fierce and agile scavenger that uses its claws and tail to salvage scrap. It clings to walls with ease and uses powerful fire attacks against enemies.
|Class: Acquisition||Level: 21 / 34 (Apex)|
|Weakness: Purgewater||Strength: Fire, Plasma|
|Override: Cauldron: CHI||Variants: Fire, Plasma|
Clamberjaws are similar to monkeys and were created to salvage scrap. They are fierce, fast, agile, travel in large packs and can cling to walls with ease. They possess a range of abilities that debilitate opponents, including throwing flaming scrap, concussive screeches, and using chemicals in their tails that prevent the consumption of items.
A fast and agile combat machine covered in razor-sharp blades. It is often encountered in small packs and is capable of a variety of deadly melee attacks.
|Class: Combat||Level: 16 / 26 (Apex)|
|Weakness: Shock||Strength: Acid|
|Override: Cauldron: IOTA||Mountable: Yes|
|Variants: Fire, Acid, Apex|
Clawstriders can be seen moving in packs, and appear to be highly aggressive. Resembling robot Velociraptors, they are equipped with powerful, chainsaw-like jaws. Fast and agile, they will relentlessly pursue any quarry that enters their land. The Clawstrider is highly territorial and will closely guard their land and the machines within.
A large and powerful flying combat machine. Its attacks include a range of disruptive status effects, making it a dangerous and tenacious enemy.
|Class: Combat||Level: 26 / 40 (Apex)|
|Weakness: Fire||Strength: Frost, Shock, Acid|
|Override: Cauldron: KAPPA||Mountable: No|
Dreadwings are massive new machines, resembling hulking bats. When docile, they are often seen hanging upside down from ruins, buildings or cliff faces. Much like a Stalker, the Dreadwing has the ability to turn invisible, use radar and can send out beams of light to blind Aloy. They come equipped with a range of bombs that they can lob as powerful projectiles as well as an array of swift, powerful melee attacks.
Dreadwings are responsible for deploying Metal Flowers.
A herd machine that dissolves natural resources to convert them into biofuel. Its horns can clap shut with great force and shoot fire attacks over great distances.
|Class: Acquisition||Level: 14|
|Weakness: Frost||Strength: Fire|
|Override: Cauldron: MU||Mountable: No|
|Variants: Fire, Plasma|
Fanghorns look similar to the Grazers and Lancehorns and their purpose is to help clean up the remains of terraforming. Churning the soil with their antler-like tools, they can clamp their horns together to act like a plough. Be careful though because they can do the same thing to charge at a threat. The horns are also able to shoot fire. Fanghorns are generally found in herds and are skittish around humans, fleeing as often as they fight.
A Plowhorn that has been modified for combat. It is equipped with powerful ranged weapons and fire attacks.
|Class: Combat||Level: 18 / 28 (Apex)|
|Weakness: Acid, Purgewater||Strength: Fire, Shock|
|Override: Repair Bay: TAU||Mountable: No|
The Grimhorn is an advanced and far deadlier version of the Plowhorn that was augmented by HEPHAESTUS. They’ve been modified, with new heavy weapons installed on their backs that are filled instead with Blaze, and its rear hips are armed with Cluster Launchers. These augmentations allow the Grimhorn to be able to spew flames from its horns and shoot cluster rockets from its launchers. The launchers can be shot off and used as a weapon.
Grimhorns are not encountered in the open world and only appear in quests. You’ll encounter them in the quests: The Dying Lands, Gemini, The Second Verse and Cage Fight in the Arena.