Which Horizon Forbidden West Aether, Poseidon, or Demeter quest should you do first?

Horizon Forbidden West Aether, Poseidon, or Demeter quest
(Image credit: PlayStation)

The Horizon Forbidden West Aether, Poseidon, or Demeter choice presents you with a branching path leading to three possible missions, and as they're levelled at 17, 22, and 24 respectively you should be able to freely decide between them if you've been working through a decent number of side quests. If you've made sufficient progress, we suggest the Level 22 Sea of Sands and Level 24 Seeds of the Past options first, as these will reward you with two pieces of essential gear to aid your future explorations – the breathing mask so you can go further underwater, and the Vine Cutter to chop down any plants that cover your path.

Obviously, there are spoilers ahead, but assuming you're here because you've reached the choice, you'll know roughly what's going on. We won't outline the full mission specifics here though, just to preserve some element of surprise. Instead we'll cover just the basic Horizon Forbidden West Aether, Poseidon, or Demeter rewards to help you choose how to progress through them.

The Horizon Forbidden West Aether, Poseidon, or Demeter choice explained

horizon forbidden west aether poseidon demeter

(Image credit: PlayStation)

Once you've retrieved Gaia and set up your mountain base, you'll be told you need to recover three subordinate AI functions to boost Gaia's power - Aether, Poseidon and Demeter. Each requires one of the following quests: 

  • The Broken Sky, Level 17 - Travel to Tenakth territory to retrieve AETHER
  • The Sea of Sands, Level 22 - Travel to the ruins of Las Vegas to retrieve POSEIDON
  • Seeds of the Past, Level 24 - Travel to the the far western coast to retrieve DEMETER

While you can do these in whatever order you like, we would recommend doing the Sea of Sands to get Poseidon first. This mission will unlock the Horizon Forbidden West diving mask that will let you breathe underwater.

horizon forbidden west aether poseidon demeter

(Image credit: PlayStation)

Obviously this is a really useful piece of kit for exploration that will let you reach a lot of new areas - there are loads of sunken caverns and deep waters you can't access until you get it.

After that, the Seeds of the Past/Demeter option will get you the Vine Cutter which will clear any Horizon Forbidden West Metal Flowers you can't otherwise get past. Generally you'll only find crafting resources and collectibles behind these barriers, but it helps you build up more supplies as you go.

Finally the Broken Sky mission to get Aether unlocks Tear arrows which blow components off machines. These are a vital tool for getting specific machine parts off without destroy them, but not quite as game changing to exploration as the diving mask or Vine Cutter. 

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Leon Hurley
Managing editor for guides

I'm GamesRadar's Managing Editor for guides, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.