Horizon Zero Dawn: How to Get the Best Weapons

Horizon Zero Dawn: How to Get the Best Weapons

To survive the mech-filled wilderness of Horizon Zero Dawn, you'll need to get kitted up with the best weapons.

Just like every other loot item scattered throughout the world of Horizon Zero Dawn, Aloy's weapons are color coded by rarity, starting at green for uncommon and building all the way up to purple at very rare. This Horizon Zero Dawn weapons guide will tell you how to get the best weapons in the game.

On this page:

How to Get the Best Weapons in Horizon Zero Dawn

While the lower tiered weapons like green and blue can be found out in the wild, the higher-grade, purple weapons can only be purchased from certain merchants once Aloy eventually reaches the city of Meridian.

Better weapons will be able to fire different ammunition and come with more slots for modifications. These elemental types of ammo will be your biggest ally when you have to take on bigger and more powerful machines. Many of these weapons call for a combination of Metal Shards and Machine Hearts. Hearts are a random drop, so if you’re looking for them, go and hunt in the areas on the map that have those machines.

For more tips, strategies, and guides for navigating the mechanized world of Horizon Zero Dawn, check out our Horizon Zero Dawn Walkthrough.

Best Weapons List

Shadow Ropecaster - 500 Metal Shards + 1 Snapmaw Heart.
Fires ropes to tie down and immobilize machines.
Base rating of 150 tear damage.

You can get away with playing the whole game without using one of these. But if the ropecaster is a major part of your arsenal, then this is the best one to get.

Shadow Sling - 650 Metal Shards + 1 Crystal Braiding
Fires Freeze, Shock, and Fire Bombs

Crystal Braiding can be dropped by Rockbreakers, Behemoths, Stormbirds, Thunderjaws, or Deathbringers. Check out our main guide to defeating Horizon Zero Dawn's biggest enemies for tips on defeating these monsters.

Shadow Hunter Bow - 650 Metal Shards + 1 Watcher Heart
Fires Hunter, Hardpoint, and Fire Arrows

This is the best standard bow in the game. That’s why it only takes a handful of shards plus a Watcher Heart. Watchers are basically everywhere, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one.

Shadow Tripcaster - 750 Metal Shards + 1 Scrapper Heart
Fires Shock, Explosive, and Fire Traps

This weapon starts with just Shock Traps, but you’ll need the additional ones once you start taking on the larger machines.

Shadow War Bow - 800 Metal Shards + 1 Trampler Heart
Fires Shock, Freeze, and Corruption Arrows

The War Bow does low damage, but fires environmental payloads. It's helpful when used against enemies in a vulnerable state.

Shadow Sharpshot - 800 Shards + 1 Sawtooth Heart
Fires Hardpoint, Tearblast, and Harvest Arrows

The Sharpshot Bow delivers serious damage at the cost of speed. It’s slow, so you’ll have to make your shots count. Eventually, when you get the ability to shoot three arrows at once, this bow can deal massive damage to enemy machines. Hardpoint Arrows will be your best friend on the battlefield.

Shadow Rattler

- 950 Shards + 1 Board Skin + 1 Rabbit Skin + 1 Fox Skin
Fires standard, Shock, and Freeze rounds

There’s a reason this weapon costs so much. It’s basically like a machine gun, and it can deal serious damage to an enemy. Skins are hard to come by, though. They are random drops from those specific animals, so take one out any time you see one and hope for the best.

Shadow Blast Sling - 1400 Shards + 1 Lancehorn Heart
Fires Explosive and Proximity Bombs.

For more on Horizon Zero Dawn be sure to check out our review. Elsewhere, there's our look at whether the game's RPG mechanics measure up against its competition.

In other news

NPD: PS5 Sets New US Console Launch Records While Switch Holds Strong

A strong debut for Sony hasn't stopped Switches from flying off shelves.

The Last of Us Part 2 Takes Home Top Prize at The Game Awards: Here Are All the Winners

Hades, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and Among Us did get some well-earned love too.

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Receives a Surprise Ray Tracing Performance Mode Update on PS5

Can't choose between 60 FPS and ray tracing? There's a new mode for you.

Quantic Dream Announces Publishing Deal for Dustborn, From the Makers of Dreamfall

Red Thread's dystopian road trip may end up being the first title published by David Cage's newly independent studio.

You may also like

Cyberpunk 2077 Review: Death by a Thousand Cyber-Cuts

Even if you get beyond the bugs, it's just not worth it.

Stardew Valley Just Got Beaches, Fish Tanks, Swimming Ducks, and a Whole Lot More

Nearly five years on, Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone just pushed what he says is Stardew's "biggest update yet."

Alien: Isolation Is Free on Epic and Just As Good as It Was in 2014

Get the motion tracker and don't go in the vents.