How to find the Diving Mask in Horizon Forbidden West and breath underwater

Horizon Forbidden West breathe underwater diving mask
(Image credit: Sony)

To breathe underwater in Horizon Forbidden West you'll need to unlock the diving mask. You'll have probably encountered loads of areas and objects that suggest you'll need to dive deeper later. Once you have the mask you'll open new areas to explore, access new locations, and find resources and items otherwise hidden away in deep water. Most importantly, you can unlock the Horizon Forbidden West diving mask much sooner if you know what mission to do. 

The West Diving Mask gives you unlimited oxygen, letting you dive under water for as long as you want in Horizon Forbidden West. There's no time or depth limit. That obviously massively opens up the world for exploitation and you'll probably immediately have a backlog of places you need to revisit when you get it. So lets take a look at the mission and objectives you need to find in order to breathe underwater in Horizon Forbidden West

Warning: there are minor spoilers for the plot of Horizon Forbidden West below. These are mainly mission names and objectives but it's as minimal as we can make it while still letting you know what to do.

How to breathe underwater in Horizon Forbidden West

(Image: © Sony)

To breathe underwater in Horizon Forbidden West you need to find a Diving Mask, a special item that provides a permanent oxygen supply and allows you to stay down for hours at a time. It's found as part of the Sea of Sands quest to find the Poseidon AI, one of three missions you can choose at a critical point in the story.

Where to get the Horizon Forbidden West Diving Mask

Horizon Forbidden West breathe underwater diving mask

(Image credit: Sony)

Aloy unlocks the diving mask while looking for the Poseidon AI in the Sea of Sands quest. Aloy meets three characters who want to get an object underwater, but it's too deep to reach. That leads to a plan to craft a Diving Mask which Aloy can keep if she can help them get the item. 

To make the diving mask you will have to find the following crafting resources in Horizon Forbidden West:

  • 1 Compressed Air Capsule
  • 1 Machine Knee Cap
  • 1 Synthetic Membrane

Aloy won't have them yet and you won't find them randomly in the world - they're specific, contextual crafting items you only need for the diving mask. 

How to craft the Diving Mask and get all the components

Horizon Forbidden West breathe underwater diving mask

(Image credit: Sony)

The first thing you'll get is the Compressed Air Capsule. This is by far and away the easiest component - just dive into the flooded elevator shaft and it's on the diving bell halfway down. 

After that there's a special hunting objective wherein Aloy is sent after a group of Bellowbacks for the Synthetic Membrane and Leapslashers for the Knee Cap. However, they're not where they're usually found, so a tracking objective sees Aloy follow purple footprints revealed by her Focus through nearby ruins. Along the way you'll encounter numerous other machines groups, but these are entirely optional if they're not the herd you're looking for. 

Once you find the herd, the Bellowbacks are weak to Frost (shooting their tank can blow them up and inflict the brittle status), while the Leapslashers can explode if you hit the power coils on their back with electrical shock damage. Otherwise stay agile and try to fight them individually - Bellowbacks like to shoot ranged elemental explosives, while the Leapslashers use fast melee strikes. 

Once you scavenge the pieces you need bring them back to the NPCs, who will help you build it. They'll present a workbench where you can make the Diving Mask with three pieces you've scavenged - a permanent upgrade you can use for the rest of the game.

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.

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