In the later stages of Horizon Zero Dawn, Aloy will come face to face with the most intimidating enemies that the game has to offer. These include the obvious Thunderjaw and Corruptor, but certain others like Glinthawks can also offer a hefty challenge to the player. This guide will tell you how to take down the biggest machines in Horizon Zero Dawn.
In case you need help on any other areas of Horizon Zero Dawn, we have useful guides like how to find all six Banuk figures in the the game, as well as how to craft the most powerful mods for the best weapons.
Some general advice for all of these monsters is to be equipped with some good equipment. Definitely pick up the Shadow Sharpshot Bow and the Shadow Hunter Bow. The former comes equipped with tearblast arrows, which are essential in exposing these giants’ weak spots and turning their own weapons against them.
Horizon Zero Dawn's Biggest Machines
Corruptor - The Corruptor is a large, four-legged machine that takes control of other machines around it. Concentrate on eliminating easy-to-kill minions like Watchers or Striders first. Killing a Strider is as easy as shooting them with one shot from the Sharpshot Bow into their weak spot on their back. Once the Striders are down, concentrate fire on the Corruptor's weak points on its upper body. Its heatcore is just next to its eye and is vulnerable to any type of attack. The Corruptor’s two weapons, the grenade launcher and spike launcher, are vulnerable to tear damage, and its body is weak to fire damage. Hitting those weapons with tear damage will take them out of commission.
The Corruptor has fast and devastating attacks that cover ground quickly, so don’t stay in one spot for too long. Keep moving around the arena and keep distance between you and it. Keep launching arrows into the weak points until it falls.
Thunderjaw - The Thunderjaw is one of the more intimidating machines in the game. It looks almost like a huge T-Rex, but its attacks are fairly telegraphed, making them easy to dodge. If you have tearblast arrows, concentrate on the Thunderjaw’s disc launcher located just above its left leg. After a few successful tearblast shots, the disc launcher will no longer be a threat. It can then be picked up and used against it, which you should do because the discs do a huge amount of damage to the machine.
If the machine is still standing after the disc launcher has been depleted, hit it with a few more tearblast shots to its midsection, back, or tail. This will remove the protection of the Thunderjaw’s outer layer and will leave it vulnerable. Almost all of its weak points are vulnerable to tear damage, so light it up with some hardpoint arrows. Tearblast arrows have a good tear rating, but are best used to expose weak points. Don’t use them on the weak points themselves.
The Thunderjaw has a few attacks that launch projectiles at you, but they are easy to dodge. It’s laser grid that gets shot from its head can be dodged by running or rolling to the left or right. Dodge an attack and then line up your shot at a weak point.
Stormbird - The Stormbird is basically a big version of the Glinthawks. Fortunately, you only have to fight one Stormbird at a time. This machine can be a challenge because it moves quickly on the ground and in the air. Concentration is your friend here. Slow down time and choose your shots carefully. For more information about useful skills like Concentration to get early, check out Horizon Zero Dawn: The Skills You Should Focus on First. Light up its wings and the lightning gun on its chest with tearblast arrows. Once its glowing orange parts are exposed, hit it with fire arrows.
Since it attacks from high in the air, it can be easy to dodge with your roll ability. This gives you a few frames of invincibility, so don’t be afraid to spam it when you’re in a tough situation.
Rockbreaker - The Rockbreaker is big, but it’s slow and predictable. Distance is your best friend against this machine. If it starts spitting rocks at you, don’t run to the left or right, since it sprays in a wide enough arc that you won’t be able to outrun it. Instead, run away from the blast. They won’t be able to touch you if you avoid them in that fashion.
Aim for its digging arms first. Hit them with tearaway arrows. This will cause massive damage and will blast away some of the armor. Every other weak point is vulnerable to any type of damage, so hit them with your strongest arrows. Aim for the fuel sac on its belly and the exhaust port on the back.
Snapmaw - Snapmaws are some of the easiest machines to take out once you have some experience with them. They have two large blaze canisters on their backs that stick straight up. They start out encased in metal, so hit them with a couple of tearblast arrows to expose them. Then just hit the two canisters with fire arrows. That will cause a huge explosion that hits the Snapmaw with massive damage, as well as any other machines who happen to be nearby. Both explosions should all but kill the machine. Then all you have to do is just hit it with a few fire arrows to finish the job.
Deathbringer - Don’t let this hunk of metal intimidate you. Many of the machines you meet in the wild are a tougher battle. You’ll first see the Deathbringer from high up on a balcony. The best course of action is to take out the foot soldiers on the ground level. Once you do, you won't have to worry about any more minions spawning. If the Deathbringer spots you, be sure to rappel down quickly. Otherwise, it will destroy the balcony and you’ll fall to your death.
Once you’re on the ground, target its two machine gun turrets on the left and right side of its body. Hit them a with a couple of tearblast arrows to neutralize them. Start heating up the Deathbringer to raise its temperature, which will eventually expose its cooling rods. Once those rods are exposed, hit them with your hardest hitting weapon. I used the Sharpshot precision arrows.
Even though the Deathbringer is mobile, it’s still really slow. Just run circles around it, dodging its rocket fire. When you have to shoot its cooling rods, use your Concentration to slow down time. That will give you the opportunity to line up your shot without getting hit by incoming fire. Repeat this a few times, and the Deathbringer is as good as scrap.
For more tips, strategies, and guides for navigating the mechanized world of Horizon Zero Dawn, check out our main hub for guide info, tips, item locations and more. You can also find info on the best weapons as well as the skills you should focus on first.