Horizon Zero Dawn robots - what they all are and how to kill them

Horizon Zero Dawn robots - Stalker

Horizon Zero Dawn robots

Not nearly as creepy as their human counterparts, Stalkers love to ambush. They can literally turn invisible. Fun. Watch for the telltale water-like sheen in the bushes, and fire off a couple of tearblast arrows to disable their invisibility. These critters move fast, so whilst you’re busy rolling and putting some distance between you and them, aim for their yellow section on their haunches to cause the most damage. They throw themselves sideways when they leap, so don’t stop moving just because they’ve landed. They also spew out mines which will make a really loud screech when you step on them, alerting them to your position. Yay. Make sure to keep an eye on the ground for any red beams of light whilst you’re running around. 

Horizon Zero Dawn robots - Glinthawk

Horizon Zero Dawn robots

The Glinthawk is a majestic beast, soaring high above the land and pelting you with deadly snowballs from above. Luckily for you, it's weak against fire, so use whatever flame abilities you have to take them out. They're also much easier to deal with once they’re grounded, so use your ropecaster a few times to ensnare them, and rush in for a critical hit or some free shots from your bow and arrows. Watch out for their swooping attacks (it’s worth investing in a long roll perk to get out of the way fast) and aim for their chest to disable their frost attack, or their wings to ground them quickly. 

Horizon Zero Dawn robots - Corruptor

Horizon Zero Dawn robots

TL; DR: Kill it with fire! Corrupters are vulnerable to the stuff, so your priority should be fire arrows. A giant cylinder on top of their metal bodies spews out grenades, and taking it out is the best way to minimise grief for yourself later on in battle. Keep dodging and rolling, and watch out for its rock-throwing attack - hit its tail to disable this pesky trick. It’ll jump up high and try to land on you, so when you’ve baited it, get ready to fire off a flurry of arrows once it’s grounded. A good trick is to set a trap where you are, and then roll away at the last second so it triggers a beautiful explosion. Just don’t let it land on you. 

Horizon Zero Dawn robots - Ravager

Horizon Zero Dawn robots

Ravagers are essentially bigger, deadlier versions of scrappers - they've got a super-fast close-range attack, and a cannon mounted on their side to kill you from afar. They're weak to a variety of abilities - fire on the body, ice on the freeze canister on their stomach, shock on the power cell on its back, and armor-piercing on the cannon itself. Fun fact: if you shoot off its cannon, you can pick it up and use it yourself. Handy in a pinch.

Horizon Zero Dawn robots - Snapmaw

Horizon Zero Dawn robots

Massive, angry crocodiles that always move in packs of at least two, your first priority should be aiming at them from a distance as they can get up close surprisingly fast. First - and this is critical - use a bunch of tearblast arrows to blow off their armour, because if you don’t you won’t stand a chance against them. Seeing as they have a frost attack they’re vulnerable to fire, but if you use some precision arrows to aim for the glands underneath their head (they’ll lift their head up before firing frost at you) you can cause a snowy explosion, rendering them frostbitten and susceptible to extra flame damage. If they get close they’ll hit you with a tail attack, so you want to stay as far away as possible. 

Horizon Zero Dawn robots - Rockbreaker

Horizon Zero Dawn robots

The Rockbreaker is a formidable foe, digging its way underground and popping out without warning to try and slice at you with its many, many buzzsaws. Taking this guy out can turn into a battle of attrition, as you use freeze attacks to slow it down, and then follow up with armor piercing shots to chip away at its digging arms. If you can get a good shot at its fuel sac on its underbelly, you'll do a decent chunk of damage, too.

Horizon Zero Dawn robots - Behemoth

Horizon Zero Dawn robots

These colossal, heavy-hitting machines hang around in pairs, so (you guessed it) make sure you stay sprinting, rolling, and generally getting out of the way. Tearblast arrows are a must, to get rid of their tough armour and expose more of the giant yellow cylinder on their underbelly, which’ll take huge damage and it’s the primary thing you want to aim for. They have a devastating charge attack, or will thrust their head into the ground and churn up rocks in your direction, so make sure to remain either behind them or to their side when fighting. Plus they can levitate rocks in a circle around them, then blast them outwards. They’re not fast (but FYI: they’re sure as hell not slow), so it’s worth putting down some traps to lure them into as they won’t catch up with you *that* quickly. 

Horizon Zero Dawn robots - Thunderjaw

Horizon Zero Dawn robots

These apex predators aren't kidding around. They're able to shoot fire, ice, dash in for quick close-quarter tail attacks, attack you from afar with a high-powered disc launcher, are covered in armor plating, use movement-seeking missiles, and have an enormous health bar. Tearblast arrows are essential, and if you have the perk, fire off three at once to cause maximum damage and get rid of its armour. Do this thrice and you should be in with a chance of winning. As a top tip, if you can always fire more than one arrow at once, as a single one will do almost nada. Also never, ever, EVER stop moving. Its missile attack will track you, so if you stay still too long they’ll seek you out easily. If you see blue beams of light hitting the ground, it’s a sign missiles are about to follow those paths so get rolling asap. 

Sprint round to its side and fire at its bright orange heart to cause the most damage, and using frost bombs (which it’s especially vulnerable to) will freeze it up to make it soak up more damage. To help even the odds, go for the blaze canisters on its back, or shoot off its disc launcher and pick it up and use it against the beast. Shoot out the data nexus on the top of its head to disable its scanning ability, which will be able to seek you out if you’re hiding nearby. A fight with one of these is going to take everything you can muster, so bring your best armor, a ton of health potions, and expert dodging skills.

Horizon Zero Dawn robots - Stormbird

Horizon Zero Dawn robots

These avian machines won’t come to ground very often, so arrows are your only hope here. Use tearblast ones to get rid of some of its armour before aiming for the frost cannon on its chest, which’ll be firing area-of-effect bombs unless you put it out. There’s a blaze canister either side of its neck which should be your next priority, as hitting it’ll cause high damage indeed. When the stormbird is briefly on the ground hit it with some shock bombs to stun it temporarily, then take out the orange canisters on its wings to make sure it can’t return to the air. 

Warning, though: it can briefly use a shield when it’s grounded, which will protect it from your arrows and give you a nasty jolt of electricity if you run into it. Using a ropecaster will tie it to the ground for a few precious seconds as well as letting you get a couple more hits in, so stock up on ropes. Consider investing in the Oseram arrow-breaker armour to reduce the damage you’ll take from its ranged attacks. 

Horizon Zero Dawn robots - Deathbringer

Horizon Zero Dawn robots

These guys actually aren't as deadly as their name implies - as long as you know how to take them out. Their body is weak against fire and shock attacks, so wear it down with a few elemental blasts and tearblast arrows, then once it's weakened it'll expose its squishier orange bits. Use your sharpshooter bow’s precision arrows and aim for anything on it that glows. Once it's back up and running, repeat the process until it's dead, making sure to roll frequently to keep from getting hit, of course.

Horizon Zero Dawn robots - Corrupted machine

Horizon Zero Dawn robots

Corrupted machines are essentially deadlier versions of robots you've already faced. Many of the same tactics apply, but they're stronger, can take more of a beating, and leave trails of red goo around that can suck away your health if you walk into it for too long. Their corruption does give them one unifying trait, however - they're all weak against fire. Bring any combustible weapon you can get your hands on and and lay into them until they're toast.

Horizon Zero Dawn robots - Daemonic machine

Horizon Zero Dawn robots

Like the Corrupted machines, Daemonic machines have a bit more health and are more aggressive - meaning they're more likely to pursue you if you piss them off. Unlike the Corrupted machines, they don't leave a trail of red goo that hurts you when you step in it - instead they have a faint black smoke emanating from their robot bodies. But as far as we can tell, it doesn't harm you. Their attacks will take care of that side of things in no time, though - don't worry. 

Horizon Zero Dawn robots - Frostclaw

Horizon Zero Dawn robots

First thing’s first: Frostclaws might look like clumsy, heavy machines. They’re not. Like the Scorcher and Fireclaw, they can erupt into bursts of devastating speed, closing the gap between you and them in the blink of an eye. Plus, they throws balls of ice. So my first bit of advice is to never stop moving. Roll permanently until you see that they’re in the final stage of an attack that will - hopefully - be far away from you. At the last stage of each attack the robot won’t be able to change its direction, so it’s the perfect time for you to notch up three arrows and let rip. 

The Frostclaw fights on both all fours and its hind legs. Hind legs makes it move slower, and exposes its vulnerable underbelly, but if it rears up it’s probably about to engage its frost spear attack. It pounds the ground with its claws to create frosty spikes that burrow their way towards you and will stay where they erupt for a while, making your fighting space significantly smaller. Or it’ll look like it’s charging up as blue light swirls around it and it’ll charge at you, damaging you if it gets too close with its icy aura and becoming much harder to damage...as it’s encased in ice. Duh. Roll out of the way of these attacks and don’t stop until all the ice has emerged from the ground - it’s best not to attack during this phase, as the Frostclaw can launch into a second attack surprisingly quickly. 

Get close with a weapon that’s a bit too deadly - like the forgefire which you’ll get from a bandit leader - and the Frostclaw will bring up a rock shield. Seriously. It’ll thrust it into the ground and then push it towards you. You want to long roll your way behind the Frostclaw as soon as you see it bring the shield up, as it can’t turn around particularly quickly. Or it’ll swipe at your with claws of frost (hench the name), but they’re not particularly hard to dodge. 

If you’re close and you don’t see it bring up a shield, you’re in trouble. Because that means the Frostclaw will probably do its bodyslam move. It twists round and throws itself onto its back, creating a shockwave that’ll knock Aloy to the ground. Like the ice attack, I wouldn’t recommend firing anything at it before, during, or after this attack - way too risky as it happens quite fast. 

So, now you know the Frostclaw’s pattern of attack, make sure you keep your distance. Fire flame arrows into the orange bit on its side, and use precision arrows against its blue sections. If you’re lucky, they’ll explode and damage it. Even better is if you can override a nearby machine and use that to distract it while you whittle its health away from a distance. 

Horizon Zero Dawn robots - Fireclaw

Horizon Zero Dawn robots

The good news is that the Fireclaw is basically identical to the Frostclaw. Instead of ice, it uses lava and fire to try and maul Aloy. So simply follow the guide above for the Frostclaw, although this time have your Icerail handy. Or wield your Stormslinger, which does much more damage in a shorter amount of time (but isn’t as effective against fire types like the Fireclaw). 

Oh, but they are stronger than Frostclaws. So you’re really going to want to practise on Frostclaws before taking these on. If you can, override a powerful machine that’s close by to distract it. Even if it’s a couple of Grazers, anything that takes the focus off you is a very good thing

Horizon Zero Dawn robots - Scorcher

Horizon Zero Dawn robots

Like the Frostclaw, this one’s a doozy. The cat-like Scorcher is faster and 100% more fiery. Same advice as before: keep rolling and keep your distance. Make your first priority shooting off its mine launcher on its back, as it’ll fire mines at you when you’re far away and you don’t want that. It can get up close and personal by launching one of its swipe attacks, where it’ll leap towards you as it swipes with one claw. It can alter the distance on this, going either quite far or a shorter distance if you’re close. Beware, though: if it does a shorter leap, it can follow it up straight away with an identical second attack.

As soon as you see it start to jump, roll - and I know this sounds mad - towards it. As the Scorcher will be airborne, you’ll nip underneath it and will be able to shoot it from beneath, especially useful if you have the skill that slows down time while you’re sliding and aiming at simultaneously. Plus it takes a split second longer for it to do a complete 180 to face you, giving you an extra second to land in another shot. 

Same goes for this as a Frostclaw: if you get too close, it’ll do a bodyslam move where it can create one of two things. The Scorcher could make a ring of fire emanating outwards from it. Or (this is the worse option) a wave of flame that’ll home in on you, so it can’t be avoided by rolling out of the way. It’s best to run from both these attacks. 

Make sure to keep your Icerail handy when fighting the Scorcher, and notch up three frost arrows using your War Bow straight off. Launch arrows its way when it’s just finished an attack, or do the same while staying as far away as possible once you’ve destroyed its mine launcher. Good luck.

Horizon Zero Dawn robots - Control Tower

Horizon Zero Dawn robots

Unlike the Scorcher, Fireclaw, or Frostclaw, the Control Tower is easy. Shoot the yellow cannister that appears after it sends out a purple burst of Daemonic energy to do massive amounts of energy. However, it will destroy the tower. There’s something much sneakier you can do. Sneak up and override the tower. It’ll send out an electrical pulse that’ll stun all the Daemonic machines in the area. They’ll become temporarily immobile, letting you do some takedowns to get rid of a chunk of their health. Considering how powerful they are, this is really useful. Really. Useful. 

David Roberts
David Roberts lives in Everett, WA with his wife and two kids. He once had to sell his full copy of EarthBound (complete with box and guide) to some dude in Austria for rent money. And no, he doesn't have an amiibo 'problem', thank you very much.