There are several Horizon Zero Dawn Thunderjaws to take on in the game, although after your first encounter you might not be too keen on another round. However, there's plenty of XP and resources to be had if you can kill one and, if you tackle them in the right order, you should be able to approach them as your skill level and gear improves.
For such a prominent and obvious challenge the Horizon Zero Dawn Thunderjaw can be surprisingly elusive. If you only follow the Horizon Zero Dawn main storyline, you’ll fight one, near the end of the game. However, there are actually five in the game to find.
General Thunderjaw tips
Horizon Zero Dawn Thunderjaws are basically a small walking war. They pack a range of heavy weaponry with targets and area of affect ordinance. You are not going to win a head on so follow a few basic tips:
- Lay traps - If you can, lay as many traps as you have. Put them down as both part of a coordinated initial attack and lure it into them for extra damage at the start. Also use them as a way to escape by scattering them around to buy some space if you can draw it in when things get frantic.
- Learn the patterns - read the different movements to predict what it's going to do next. Thunderjaws usually have a tell before each attack so learn them and that way you won't be surprised. If in doubt: dodge.
- Use the Terrain - Thunderjaws can smash through a lot of small rocks, but not everything. If you're being overwhelmed then use large rocks and the terrain to buy some time and cover.
- Take out it's weapons first and use them - This isn't going to be a quick battle so concentrate on using Tearblast and Hardpoint arrows to knock off weapons and armor. When you do knock a weapon off, lead the Thunderjaw away so you can double back and use its own guns against it.
This Horizon Zero Dawn Thunderjaw is definitely for beginners. Well, as beginnery as these things can get. Head to the arid plateau to the north-east of Meridian where you'll find the easiest Thunderjaw fight. That's mainly because it's lurking alone without any other robots close by to get in the way. Because it's basically a one on one, you can focus on it alone and learn its attacks and a patterns uninterrupted.
The grasslands at the western edge of the eastern grassy section of the map will provide a little more challenge. As well as the Horizon Zero Dawn Thunderjaw, there are some Broadheads grazing nearby that can easily get involved. However, there's also plenty of rocks to hide behind or use in a pinch, and long grass to hide in if you want to use stealth to even things out.
Head to the snowy mountains at the very north of the map and you'll find one of the more challenging Thunderjaws. As well as the beast itself there are tramplers nearby that will charge as soon as things kick off, as well as a far more dangerous behemoth convoy that will really spoil your day once it gets involved.
Thunderjaw 4 (and 5)
In the middle of the desert area of the map you'll find a pair of Thunderjaws to take on. As well as having to deal with two at once, it all takes place in a fairly open canyon floor with few places to hide. This area also has grazers at one end, and glinthawks at the other, which can add painfully to the confusion if things go really badly.