If you've ended up here looking for the Horizon Forbidden West power armor then check that link for a guide on Aloy's updated shield armor.
Horizon Zero Dawn power cells are a particularly important commodity, because finding them all will grant you access to the Shield Weaver armor, which without doubt offers the best protection in the game. If you can track down all five power cells available in Horizon Zero Dawn, this recharging shield armor can be yours, and it basically makes Aloy invincible so long as you avoid taking too much damage so it has time to recharge. You can get your hands on this Shield Weaver armor as part of the Ancient Armory quest, which requires locating a secret bunker then solving a few puzzles once you've located all of the Horizon Zero Dawn power cells, which is what we're here to help you with.
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So there is a bit of travel involved to see this through. However, it is absolutely worth it because the Shield Weaver armor is a literal game changer. The protective energy barrier cancels out all damage. It'll deplete as it does but recharge quickly meaning that, as long you can find space for it to restore energy, you'll basically never get hurt again.
Coming up we'll cover how to trigger the quest and get the bunker location, as well as all the Horizon Zero Dawn power cell locations, and the puzzles solutions.
Finding the Horizon Zero Dawn power cell quest
In order to find the Horizon Zero Dawn power cells you'll have to first trigger the relevant quest. To do that head to the middle of the Embrace on the eastern side of the world map where Aloy initially starts the game. Here you'll find a ruin south-west of Devil’s Thirst - look for some rusty pylons near a large rock formation. Climb up to the top of the rocks and drop down into a small underground lake, then follow it until you come to a rip in the rock face which’ll lead into an ancient, high-tech bunker.
You’ll see the Shield-Weaver armor as soon as you walk in, but getting it isn't quite as easy. Around to the right you'll see a locked door to the room where the armor is kept, sealed by five locks. Two are working and three aren't, requiring power cells to become operational. Beyond this door you'll need another another three power cells to open the locks that hold the armor. Your examinations will trigger the Ancient Armory quest and leave you with five Horizon Zero Dawn power cells to find. Here's how to do that.
Horizon Zero Dawn power cells locations
The Horizon Zero Dawn power cells are scattered around the entire map and some are tied to areas opened up by quests so this isn't something you can complete straight away. You'll need a degree of patience. Head back to the bunker when you can to start the mission, and then just keep an eye out for relevant missions and areas that tie into it. If you open up the initial mission and then tick the power cells off as you go you can get hold of the armor quite a way before the end of the game, which can make the later stages much easier.
Horizon Zero Dawn power cells location 1: Ancient ruins
At the beginning of Horizon Zero Dawn a young Aloy will fall into an old, abandoned high-tech facility underground. Unsurprisingly she makes her way out of it without a problem, but when you start playing the grown-up Aloy you’ll want to head back there asap. After you make your way through the set of bunker doors you had to work out how to unlock as a child, there’s a doorway straight ahead of you blocked by stalactites. Smash them with your spear to open up a way into the room, and you’ll see the Horizon Zero Dawn power cell right in front of you. It’ll have a green diamond hovering above it.
Horizon Zero Dawn power cells location 2: All-Mother Mountain
The second Horizon Zero Dawn power cell is in All-Mother mountain, which you’ll find yourself in after The Proving questline. Once you’ve found all of your things in the large room, don’t follow Teersa to the left. Instead go straight forward towards the locked bunker door, which will have a bright red glowing hologram on it. Turn to the left, look down and you’ll see a tunnel. Crawl through it to the end and the next power cell will be waiting for you there.
Horizon Zero Dawn power cells location 3: Maker's End
Fans of climbing will love where the third Horizon Zero Dawn power cell is: right at the top of the Faro skyscraper. Aloy voyages there as part of the Maker’s End quest which will take you to - yes, you guessed it - the Maker’s End ruins. Scale up to the very top of the tower, to Faro’s office. Once you’re outside turn around and clamber up to the platform at the bottom of the large strut stretching upwards, which ends in the tip of the skyscraper. There are handholds sneakily placed up the wall which you’ll want to haul yourself up - simply follow them all the way to the top, where the green power cell will be waiting.
Horizon Zero Dawn power cells location 4: Grave-Hoard
The fourth power cell is hiding at the Grave-Hoard, which you’ll be sent to as part of (surprise surprise) the ‘Grave-Hoard’ main quest. Once you’ve solved the three lock puzzles to get the ancient bunker doors open, go through the doors and continue straight ahead, opening another set of bunker doors on the left of the corridor. The main ‘Grave-Hoard’ quest will have you run straight past it, so all you have to do is look down and the Horizon Zero Dawn power cell will be at your feet, beside a supply crate and some mushrooms.
Horizon Zero Dawn power cells location 5: GAIA Prime
Lastly, you’ll have to have the ‘The Mountain That Fell’ quest. Make your way to GAIA Prime, and once you’ve seen the hologram depicting Faro talking to the alpha scientists in the boardroom, make your way back down the stairs. Do not make your way down the zipwire. Instead go to the ledge to the left of it, outside of the ruined metal structure and to the left of the curved metal struts, and carefully move towards the edge of the cliff. An option will pop up to ‘drop down to ledge’, revealing a secret path down to a hidden-in-plain-sight area. Move towards the left and Aloy will find the path downwards. Once you get to a ledge, drop down and make your way to the right, jumping up to a higher platform with some medicinal mushrooms on it. Make you way inside the purple-lit room and voila. To your right there’ll be the Horizon Zero Dawn power cell on a shelf.
Solving the Shield-Weaver armor door power cell puzzle
Once you’ve made your way back to the ruins, make your way around to the right and slot two Horizon Zero Dawn power cells into the broken hologram slots. The holograms will jump into life, but you’ll have to swivel them into a specific position to make the doors open. A display on the right will display five 24-hour time codes: 1200, 1500, 1800, 2100, and 0000.
If you imagine each lock is a clock face, it doesn’t take too much pondering to work out that you’ll have to match the position of the holographic locks to these times. From right to left move the red section to these positions: top, right, bottom, left, and top.
Unlocking the Shield-Weaver armour clamps
Now you can glimpse the futuristic (or, more accurately, ancient) armor up close, but you can’t quite get your mitts on it yet. Make your way through the doors on the left of the room to find five more holographic locks. Once you’ve crammed the remaining three Horizon Zero Dawn power cells into each gap, another code will pop up on the left. This time it has the following numbers displayed: 90, 270, 360, 450, and 630.
Seeing as these are codes denoting angles, you’ll have to turn the red sections (from left to right) to the following positions: right, left, top, right, and left. Boom! Now the clamps are open and you can complete the quest, getting a Shield-Weaver treasure box as a reward. Inside is the best armor in Horizon Zero Dawn. Enjoy.