Released in the early of 2017, Horizon Zero Dawn quickly received thousands of positive reviews and critics for its immersive story as well as a well-polished gameplay. The game comes with everything you would want to see in a role-playing action title: great story, stunning visuals, addictive combats, a massive open world environment, and awesome sound effects.

Excited? Let’s find out all about these in this article!

1. What Is Horizon Zero Dawn About?

Horizon Zero Dawn takes us to the post-apocalypse world of Horizon, where long ago a disastrous accident wiped out almost lives on Earth. Left people were forced to go back to the less-advanced tribal society due to the invasion of machine-like creatures.

  • Platform: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
  • Game genres: Action RPG, open world adventure
  • Game mode: Single player

Players will play as Aloy – a female hunter who has been living as an outcast for her whole life. She decided to take on her own adventure to find out the mysteries kept hidden from the world and the dangers from which she was kept sheltered.

Horizon Zero Dawn features some of the most exciting and complex combat systems with a wide range of weapons, tactics and enemies from all sizes. On top of that, players will have a true open world where they can freely explore and investigate every map while interacting with various creatures.

2. Horizon Zero Dawn Game Concepts

Here are some of the important concepts which will help you get familiar with the game.

HZD gameplay - Aloy walking on a rope
HZD gameplay – Aloy walking on a rope.


There are three different types of weapons that your character can use:

  • Ranged weapons: These are extremely useful in long- or mid-range combats, which will ensure your safety while dealing with more powerful enemies. Five of them are sold by merchants (Bows, Sling, Blast Sling, Ropecaster, Rattler) and can be purchased anytime you have enough money. Some others must be obtained from quests or looting the bodies of your enemies.
  • Melee weapons: Because range attacks are Aloy’s main strength, you won’t like to see her in melee combats often. Two melee weapons, which Aloy can have, are the Spear – the default melee weapon, and Sylens’ Lance – replace the Spear once you acquire it. The two cannot be purchased or sold anywhere and will remain with you until the end of your journey.
  • Stealth weapons: A great feature in Horizon Zero Dawn’s combats is the ability to set traps and lure the enemies into it while fighting. There are three types of stealth weapons: Tripcaster, Traps, and Blast Sling. All can be purchased at the merchants or crafted yourself using the materials obtained from your enemies.


There are many things you can do in Horizon Zero Dawn aside from completing the main quests and side quests.

  • Errands: You can run some errands for others to receive valuable prizes. The tasks are usually simple and rewarding, so you should definitely complete them once you have time.
  • Hunting grounds: These are a set of various activities in the game where hunters can hone their skills and earn prizes. Most importantly, your goal should be to climb on the hunter rank to claim yourself the title of “the best hunter.” There are currently six known hunting grounds; five of them are protected by the Keepers and the last one is located in the Cut – an area in the Banuk’s territory.
  • Cauldrons: The underground facilities are built by mankind to recover a lifeless Earth. This is where the machines are created and also where you can obtain the abilities of Overriding, which allows you to turn a human-hostile machine creature into a friendly, cooperative one.
horizon zero dawn gameplay in a bridge


  • Grazer: It is a small, deer-like species in Horizon Zero Dawn. They’re weak and can be hunt down fairly easy.
  • Stormbird: It is a huge flying machine bird with devastating attacks, both in range and melee. You don’t want to challenge it if you’re not well-equipped.
  • Thunderjaw: Machines which have names related to nature elements are often awfully strong. The Thunderjaw is as scary as the Stormbird.
  • Watcher: These tiny yet deadly creatures are not much of a threat if they’re alone. But they are primarily deployed in groups and will give you a lot of trouble once being engaged.
  • Corruptor: What makes this ancient machine deadly isn’t its brute strength, but rather the ability to enslave and enhance others to make them their minions.
  • Shell-Walker: This machine comes with medium size and process certain threats to any human who try to approach it.
  • Broadhead: It is a small-sized machine with no ranged ability and can be easily taken down after a few critical shots. However, they do make a really good ride once being overridden.
  • Tallneck: It is the only creature in its class which is not hostile to human. Once being overridden, a Tallneck can provide the mounter a huge amount information of structures, machine sites, and human settlements over a huge area.
  • Snapmaw: It is a quick, powerful creature that resembles a crocodile. It is quite hard to kill a Snapmaw as its own weakness is the eyes.
  • Sawtooth: This one is extremely aggressive and fierce, which can immediately attack any human on sight.
  • Scrapper: It is small and quite easy to deal with.
  • Glinhawk: in spite of not being as deadly as a grazer, a Glinhawk can shoot down powerful ice beam paralyzing any human in range.


  • Ancient Vessels: It’s a type of collectible and can be traded for valuable Treasure Boxes.
  • Banuk Figures: The figures are considered a valuable artifact by the Banuk tribe. You can trade these to them, in exchange for special Treasure Boxes.
  • Metal Flowers: Like other collectibles, you can trade this one to the Carja merchant Kudiv for a Treasure Box.
  • Stranded Items: There are three items scattered in the map. Once obtained, you can trade them for a Mysterious Box.
  • Vantage Points: These are time capsules that tell the story of Bashar Mati and depict the world before the disaster.

3. What Players Do in Horizon Zero Dawn?

Horizon Zero Dawn – The Thunderjaw

Main Quests

As a child, Aloy obtained a Focus – a small augmented device which can greatly enhance her perceptive senses. Being an outsider for her whole life, Aloy has a great desire to be able to prove herself worthy to the Nora people. And she has done it by winning a competition called the Proving. But upon her victory, the tribe was suddenly attacked. Rost – her father, sacrificed himself to save her by confronting the head of the culprits – Helis.

Later, Nora learned that she was targeted because her face resembles an Old World scientist called Dr. Elisabeth Sobeck, and she was found as an infant near a foot of a sealed door. She then took on her adventure to get her revenge to the cult and find out the mysteries about her origin. And your journey begins from here.

Solving the hologram in Horizon Zero Dawn
Solving the hologram in Horizon Zero Dawn

There is a total of 22 different main quests in the game with each of them being considered only 1% of the game completion. All quests must be completed in a certain order so you can reach your final quest. The two first main quest will serve as tutorials so you can get used to the mechanics. Moreover, upon finishing the final quest, your game will be reset to the stage prior to the second last quest. Afterward, you can freely enjoy the world of Zero Dawn and explore the side missions.

Side Quests

These are the optional missions which don’t require completion in order to finish the game. But they’re quite tempting as the rewards are often valuable. Here is how you can find and complete those quests.

Moreover, Guerilla Games has recently released an expansion, Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds, which takes place in the Cut – an area of the Banuk tribe. In this add-on, Aloy, Aratak – the local chieftain, and his cousin discover an Old World facility where they find another GAIA’s subsystem called CYAN. Moreover, the evil existence of HEPHAESTUS is also trying to corrupt CYAN to his command.

The Frozen Wilds will be available after the players leave the Embrace during the quest A Seeker at the Gates. But they shouldn’t try their luck unless they reach level 30 and above because the creatures here are often awfully strong.

4. What Is Fun Playing Horizon Zero Dawn?

horizon zero dawn strider control
Driving with a strider

As Aloy, players will have the chance to immerse themselves in a massive world with gorgeous graphics, especially when you’re playing in a PS4 Pro. On top of that, the sound effects are impressive, which greatly enhances your overall experience.

Horizon Zero Dawn comes with an exciting combat mechanism where you must take on a wide variety of foes in different sizes and shapes, both humans and machines. Moreover, there is a large category of different weapons for you to choose from, each with their own unique abilities that can be used to gain the upper hand during the battles.

The game takes place in a post-apocalypse world where humans are no longer the master of the planet, which isn’t entirely a new setup. But the way they organize the pieces together to create a profound story and thrilling adventures make this a worthy title for PS4.

You can even override different machines to make them your allies and enable some of their fantastic features. Or you can make them your minions, rides, or even observatories with full radar and tracking systems.

5. Crafting Recipes

For those who are new to this title, it is essential to master basic recipes which can be used to craft various useful items. Here is a quick guide for all essential potions and how to make them using collected ingredients.

  • Full Health Potion – restores you back to full health.
    Ingredients: 5x Rich Meat + 5x Fatty Meat + 5x Bony Meat
  • Health Boost Potion – can be used to restore health or give a 150 HP boost that reduces its effect.
    Ingredients: 3x Fatty Meat + 5X Bony Meat
  • Health Potion: restores 150 HP
  • Ingredients: 2x Rich Meat + 3x Fatty Meat
  • Resist Fire Potion: provides 75% Fire resistance in 90 seconds
  • Ingredients: 3x Fire Kiln Root
  • Resist Freeze Potion: provides 75% Ice resistance in 90 seconds
  • Ingredients: 3x Freeze Rime Root
  • Resist Shock Potion: provides 75% Thunder resistance in 90 seconds
  • Ingredients: 3x Shock Wax Root

6. HZD Questions and Answers

How many side quests are there in Horizon Zero Dawn?

There are 22 side quests in the base game, each counting toward 1% game completion. In The Frozen Wilds, there are 9 additional side quests. 

How many main quests are there in Horizon Zero Dawn?

There are a total of 22 main quests in the game.

How many bandit camps are there in Horizon zero dawn?

There are 6 Bandit Camps throughout Horizon Zero Dawn.

How many tribes are there in HZD?

There are 3 tribes: the Nora, the Carja, and the Oseram.

What machines can you override in HZD?

– PSI Overrides: Tallneck, Control Tower, Watcher, Broadhead, Charger, Redeye Watcher and Strider.
– SIGMA Overrides: Grazer, Lancehorn, Sawtooth, and Scrapper.
– RHO Overrides: Longleg, Ravager, Shell-Walker, Snapmaw, and Trampler.
– XI Overrides: Behemoth, Fire Bellowback, Freeze Bellowback, Glinthawk, and Stalker
– ZETA Overrides: Rockbreaker, Stormbird, and Thunderjaw
– EPSILON Overrides (The Frozen Wilds): Fireclaw, Frostclaw, and Scorcher

How many cauldrons are on the Horizon?

There are a total of 4 Cauldrons to find. On the map, they are marked with small triangle symbols with a puzzle to complete. Upon completion, you will be able to override some machines.

Can you override corrupted machines?

No, you can’t.

7. More gameplay screenshot

horizon zero dawn over the bridge
horizon zero dawn the world beyond the secret land
The world beyond the secret land…
horizon zero dawn mystery
horizon zero dawn gameplay mountain road
horizon zero dawn the mountain
The Mountain
Horizon Zero Dawn the corrupted machine
Horizon Zero Dawn – The corrupted machine
Aloy watching the corrupted machines attacking the castle
Aloy watching the corrupted machines attacking the castle
horizon zero dawn gameplay near the river
horizon zero dawn gameplay in the snow mountain
horizon zero dawn flying lantern into the sky
Flying lanterns in HZD
horizon zero dawn a walking line of tribers
A walking line of tribers
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