Each individual Cauldron presents a hefty challenge to Aloy in Horizon Zero Dawn, but these challenges don't come without reward, as it will give the player the ability to override different types of machines out in the open world. This Horizon Zero Dawn Cauldrons guide will give you all the Cauldron Locations and tell you how to conquer them.
The first three cauldrons begin with some platforming puzzles, followed by a boss fight with a heavy machine. This is telegraphed by the fact that each cauldron has a bunch of medicine pack pickups. Be sure you stock up before you reach the end. Here’s where you can find each Cauldron and what to expect.
For a guide on how to override and mount machines and which Cauldrons let you override which machines, check out Horizon Zero Dawn: How to Override Machines and Ride Mounts.
North of Mother’s Crown
This is like an introductory cauldron. There are a few Watchers patrolling the hallways of Sigma. You can take them out easily with a well-placed arrow to the eye, or stealthily avoid them altogether. When you can’t jump to another platform, you’ll see an assembly line of machines hovering overhead. You’ll have to jump to them and ride it to the next destination. Be sure to loot the glowing pyramids for some good loot and a decent amount of Metal Shards.
Like all Cauldrons, the end will have a large machine and an energy shield with a few Watchers patrolling the perimeter. Take out the Watchers before jumping down into the arena. Once you’re down on the ground level, climb one of the pillars and use your staff to start the override process. This will set the Fire Bellowback in the center free.
The Fire Bellowback has a bunch of large weak points. It’s large cargo sac on its back is vulnerable to all types of damage, and the same goes for its curved throat area. If you can hit its blaze canister at the base of its tale, that will cause massive damage. The rest of its body is weak to freeze damage. Use those strategies to take it out, and then override the terminal in the center of the arena. This will unlock new machines for you to override.
South of the center of the map; East of the Greatlands Camp
This cauldron gets a little trickier in the platforming department. Look out for rotating wheels on the walls. By shooting them with an arrow in the center, the direction of these wheels can be reversed. Sawtooths patrol the halls of this cauldron. It’s best to avoid them with stealth. If you’re feeling brave, you can override them, but you’ll have to face the consequences if you botch the approach.
In order to move into the next chamber, you’ll have to sneak past the Sawtooth and find an override portal to open the energy gate. That portal can be found right at the base of the gate. Then you’ll have to head up the ramp to the second level and ride one of the rotating wheels to the next level.
Continue through the halls of the Cauldron and pick up the healing plants along the way. You’ll eventually reach the chamber with a couple of Snapmaws in the energy shield. They are easy enough to handle. Just tag their blaze canisters with tearaway arrows to expose them. Once they’re exposed light those canisters up with fire arrows and stay clear of the explosion. For more tips for handling Snapmaws and other giant monstrosities, check out Horizon Zero Dawn: How to Take Down the Thunderjaw, Coruptor, and All the Biggest Machines. Once they’ve been taken care of, override the pillar in the center and enjoy your new lineup of overridable machines.
Southwesternmost part of the map, directly south of Meridian
This Cauldron is different from the others. You deal with mostly human cultist enemies over machines, making it a much easier fight. Stay to the weeds and take them out one by one with well-placed headshots. Once they’re all eliminated, you’ll find the the override pillar in the center. The fight isn’t over yet, though.
You’ll have to defend the pillar for two minutes as machines and cultists descend upon your location. Fortunately, the cultists and machines will fight each other. Use your focus to tag the incoming enemies. Take down a leader with a strong weapon first. Then grab that weapon and use it against the machines and humans. Once the two minutes are up, you’ll be able to override the pillar once more and then you’ll get a fresh list of machines to override.
Northwest Corner of the map, just southeast of Maker’s End
You won’t be able to get into the front door thanks to the two stalks in front of it. You’ll have to take them out first. Just shy of the front door that has an energy wall, there’s a rock pillar that you should use to climb into the cave opening at the top. Now you’re in Cauldron Zeta.
This is the most straightforward of the cauldrons, as there are no platforming puzzles to solve. Just head inside until you find the Thunderjaw that you’ll have to take down. There are a few Watchers walking around down at the ground level of the boss arena that you'll want to take out before you rappel down.
Get your Tearblast Arrows ready. As soon as the Thunderjaw leaves its energy shield, light up the two disc launchers on its back with Tearblast Arrows. Then go pick them up and use them against it. If you land the majority of your disc launcher shots, it should be enough to slay the beast. Fortunately, there aren’t any other minions you need to deal with.
For more tips, strategies, and guides for navigating the mechanized world of Horizon Zero Dawn, check out our Horizon Zero Dawn guide. You can also find info on the best weapons as well as the best skills to get for Aloy when you start the game.