There are a lot of Horizon Zero Dawn robots to kill, and more in the The Frozen Wilds DLC. Each one has different characteristics that affect combat as well as strength and weakness to exploit and avoid. Success in both Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds depends on learning how to manage a range of threats.
There are 27 Horizon Zero Dawn robots to find in total across the main game and DLC. That's a cross a range of very different classes, as well as variants. The key thing is that it's possible to make things really hard for yourself if you miss a trick or don't fully grasp the options at hand, so read on to find out the best way to turn them into spare parts.
The first creature in the game, which will knock you out if it gets half a chance, watchers alert every machine nearby with a mighty screech if they see you. Take them out quickly and without causing a fuss - if you can. These velociraptor-like machines are most vulnerable to being shot in the eye. Funny, that. A couple of well-placed arrows in their ocular orifice will take them down in no time. Or you can get close and stealthily whack them with a spear if you have the ‘silent strike’ ability. Just watch out for their leaping attack and the flaming laser balls they’ll fire your way.
Along with watchers, Striders are some of the first enemies you'll encounter, and they're pretty easy to deal with as long as you don't let yourself get cornered. Either get in close and hack them once you learn the override ability (then use them as a mount), or use a fire arrow on the blaze canister on its backside to take it out. If you’re lucky it’ll damage any nearby enemies too in a huge explosion, as blaze is the equivalent of a molotov cocktail.
Similar to giant reindeers, these would-be herbivores are about as easy to take down as a strider. Lure them close with a whistle from the tall grass, then silently strike them to take them down in one hit. Or, if you don’t mind running the risk of making an entire herd of them scatter, aim for the blaze canisters on their haunches to deal a chunk of damage. Fire at their antlers to disable their ramming attack too if they look like they’re about to charge.
Scrappers are some of the first robots that'll give you a real hard time in Horizon, as they often come in packs and can whittle your health down easily if you're not careful. They'll use a laser gun along with a pounce attack, which when paired with its saw-blade mouth makes them a bit of a pain. Dodge liberally, and bring your hardpoint arrows or shock weaponry to take out its powercell on its hindquarters, or the gun on its back.
These hunks of metal are a tad stronger than ordinary Watchers, so you’ll need to stay low and quiet to take them out. If you’ve got the multiple arrow perk, notch up a couple in your bowstring and fire at the eye - just make sure the question mark above their head doesn’t turn into an exclamation mark. A stealthy silent strike is a surefire way to take them out quickly, as long as you make sure you don’t get spotted.
Broadheads are big, bull-like robots you'll see wandering around once you make it into the more arid lands of Horizon: Zero Dawn. They're a bit like grazers - they'll tend not to attack unless disturbed, but they have a blaze canister on their backs like the Striders that you can blow up with fire arrows. Or, if you use armor-piercing weapons, you break off its horns to prevent it from charging you. They’re also mountable, so an especially tanky steed is just one override away.
Bigger, angrier grazers, these machines have drills for antlers and aren’t afraid to let you know it. You guessed it: aim for these protrusions first to disable their charging attack, and bear in mind that you’re probably taking on a handful at a time. Put down traps before attacking to get rid of a couple at once, or use tripwires to stall multiple Lancehorns while you take down their buddies. Stealthily killing them one by one from the long grass is your best bet, as these machines get angry quickly.
These big ostrich-like bots will turn you into a whimpering wreck if you don't know how to deal with them, as they can stun you with a powerful sonic blast and call for reinforcements if you don't take them out fast enough. Hiding is a tricky strategy too, as they can send out a pulse which’ll detect you if you’re laying low in the tall grass. Use shock weaponry and armor-piercing arrows to take out the antenna on their head if you want to be extra careful. Aim for the lung sacs on their chest to cause the most damage and disable their sonic attack, or fire at the blue canisters on their haunches.
Imagine a Charger got really, really angry. That’s a Trampler. The bisons of the machine word, your priority with these should be shooting their horns so they can’t charge you and then trample you whilst you’re staggered. It’s likely you’re dealing with a whole herd too, so consider using bombs to cause large areas of effect, or a ropecaster to tie some of them down whilst you deal with the others. They’re not particularly difficult; just make sure you don’t get cornered.
The Sawtooth is the first big boss fight you'll come across in Horizon, but once you get a few levels under your belt, you'll be able to take them out easily. The sabretooth-cat-like robots have a blaze canister like other robots, but they keep it on their underbelly, so you'll need to use your rope caster to pin it down to reach it. Or simply pelt it with fire arrows until it's good and toasty, then lay into it with your armor-piercing bolts. Or you can prepare the area beforehand with tripwires and traps to make short work of the feline machine.
If you’re feeling benevolent you can simply fire a couple of arrows at the large claw holding the massive canister to their back. The canister will pop out, you can sprint in and pick it up and then flee. If not, I recommend attacking from the behind as much as possible. Their pincers make for some devastating frontal attacks, but luckily they’re pretty slow. Disable these bits first, then make sure you stay behind it to get the most strikes in with the least risk possible.
These big guys are pretty deadly, especially if they hang out with a crowd of other, more nimble beasts like watchers. Either they’ll charge at you and make a huge dent in your health, or shoot flames out of their mouth and fry you from a pretty impressive distance. Use your ice attacks on its body to freeze it, then take out the big blaze cargo sac on its back to take out its flamethrower. Use flame arrows to cause a massive explosion if you have a flair for the dramatic. When it lifts its head up to use its flamethrower aim for the green glands around its neck, as - unfortunately for the Bellowback - these respond well to being shot repeatedly.
These guys, as you’ll have guessed, use frost instead of fire. Frost makes anyone it hits much more susceptible to damage, so you’ll understand why they should be avoided unless you want a tricky fight. Like the Flame Bellowback, aim first for the giant container of liquid on their back to cause a huge explosion - fire arrows come in handy here as frost types are often susceptible to it. Then don’t forget to target the glands either side of its head to take out its spewing-frost-and-death attack.
Chargers…well, they charge at you. So dodging is pretty essential with this fight. They're like big rams, and when alerted they'll speed towards you astonishingly fast. Treat them like more aggressive Broadhorns, aiming for the horns and the blaze canister on its hindlegs. Also consider tying some down with a ropecaster, as they’re a melee-based attacker and will be helpless when they have their face planted in the grass.