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.
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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.
- 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.