Horizon Forbidden West Skills Guide

Horizon Forbidden West Skills Guide

Remember the skill tree from Horizon Zero Dawn? That one page with four skill columns, each with eight to 12 skills to unlock? It was remarkably straightforward with each tree containing stealth, combat, gathering, and mounted combat, respectively.

Well, throw that all away because the skill tree in Horizon Forbidden West is a cluttered mess across six different screens with various weapon skills locked behind specific playstyles. Want to improve your Shredder Gauntlet or Blast Sling? You’ll need to invest points into passive skills, which are focused on combat with low health. Meanwhile, the Spikethrower active skills are contained exclusively within the tree that upgrades mounted combat. It’s a bit of a mess, honestly. And that’s before you consider that you need to navigate around these nodes exclusively with the thumbsticks. Quick D-pad navigation isn’t supported.

In this guide, we’ve transcribed every single skill in Horizon Forbidden West so you can see what each of the six trees offers at a glance without spending 30 minutes going from node to node in the menus.

Warrior Skill Tree

The Warrior Skill Tree unlocks more powerful melee combos so you can stop randomly swinging at foes. It also contains all abilities for the Warrior Bow.

Valor Surge

Once your Valor meter has been filled, you can unleash a Valor Surge to provide you with a large buff or unique ability.

Critical Boost: Powered by a special mode in your Focus, gain a greater chance to land Critical Hits and increase Critical damage.

Critical Hit Chance: +35/45/55%
Critical Hit Damage: +50/75/100%
Critical Strike Damage: +75/100/150%
At Rank 2 – Critical Hits stagger enemies.
At Rank 3 –

Critical Hit Instant Knockdown Chance: 10%
Weapon Technique Cost: -50%
Weapon Technique Extra Critical Chance: +15%

Melee Might: Attach a power module to your spear to deal 100% more damage with melee attacks for a limited time.

Melee Damage: +100/200/300%
At Rank 2 – Spear Energy Buildup: +50%
At Rank 3 – Unlimited Spear Energy, Power Attacks knock down targets.

Active Skills

Resonator Blast (Melee): First, strike an enemy with melee attacks to build up energy on your spear. Then, when fully charged, tap R2 to energize your target. Finally, switch to a bow and shoot the energy on the target to deal a large amount of damage.
Nora Warrior (Melee): A powerful melee combo common among Nora warriors, useful in knocking down small machines and staggering longer ones. (R1, R1, R1, R2)
Block Breaker (Melee): Immediately break an enemy’s weapon guard and leave them vulnerable to a follow-up attack. (R1, R1, R2)
Aerial Slash / Jump-Off (Melee): Jump off an enemy to quickly reposition yourself and create distance. Shooting your target with an arrow immediately after a Jump-Off deals extra damage. (R1, Hold R2)
Halfmoon Slash (Melee): Close in on an enemy with a quick strike. Can also be used to connect or break out of combos.
The Destroyer (Melee): A risky flurry of melee attacks that deal a massive amount of damage.
Energy Surge (Melee): Energize your spear quickly with a powerful final strike.
Spinning Scythe (Melee): Build up to a powerful spin that strikes all surrounding enemies and clears the area around you.
Spread Shot (Warrior Bow): Fire 5 arrows in a horizontal spread. Hold longer before firing for a tighter spread. Uses your currently selected arrow type and depletes a medium amount of weapon stamina.
Melee Detonator (Warrior Bow): Fire a special arrow that attaches to an enemy for a limited time. Detonate it with a melee attack to deal extra damage. Attack multiple arrows to trigger a stronger explosion. Uses up to 2 arrows of your currently selected weapon and depletes a small amount of weapon stamina.
Burst Fire (Warrior Bow): Fire 3 arrows of your currently selected type in a quick burst. Depletes a small amount of weapon stamina.

Passive Skills

Keep in mind that most of these skills can be upgraded a second time to increase the bonus. For now, we have only included the base buff.

Melee Damage: Deal 30% more damage with Light and Heavy Attacks.
Energized Duration: Targets remain energized 30% longer.
Critical Strike+: Critical Strike deals 25% more damage. Stun or knock down an enemy, then approach and tap R1 to execute a Critical Strike.
Resonator Blast+: Deal 30% more damage with Resonator Blasts.
Power Attack+: Power Attacks deal 20% more damage.
Resonator Damage: Deal 50% more damage when energizing a target.
Resonator Buildup: Energize your spear 30% faster.

Trapper Skill Tree

Investing in this tree improves how effective your food is and how powerful traps are. It also contains all abilities for Tripcasters and Ropecasters.

Valor Surge

Once your Valor meter has been filled, you can unleash a Valor Surge to provide you with a large buff or unique ability.

Elemental Fury: Bolster your resolve and increase the buildup and effects of elemental attacks while gaining a greater resistance to elemental damage.

Elemental Buildup: +100/150/200%
Elemental State Duration: +50/75/100%
Elemental Damage Resistance: +20/25/40%
At Rank 3: Triggering an elemental state with a direct hit causes an elemental blast.

Trap Specialist: Powered by a special mode in your Focus, increase the effects of traps and tripwires while this Valor Surge is active.

Trap and Tripwire Damage: +50/75/100%
Trap and Tripwire Elemental Buildup: +25/50/75%
Trap and Tripwire Knockdown Power: +25/50/75%
At Rank 2 – Trap Effect Radius: +60/100%
At Rank 3 – Instantly launches a set of hovering mines around you.

Active Skills

Penetrating Rope (Ropecaster): Fire a rope that can attach to any part of an enemy, including armor, without needing to fully draw the weapon. Does not use up any ammo. Depletes a medium amount of weapon stamina.
Quick Wire (Tripcaster): Quickly launch a Tripwire of your currently selected type with a preset length. Wire explodes or deactivates after a limited time. Depletes a small amount of weapon stamina.

Passive Boosts

Keep in mind that most of these skills can be upgraded a second time to increase the bonus. For now, we have only included the base buff.

Quick Trapper: Place traps in faster in the field. (Now takes 1.6 seconds.)
Skilled Salvager: Recover 25% more and higher quality resources when deconstructing traps and tripwires.
Nimble Crafter: Craft tools, traps, and potions 15% faster.
Trap Limit: Place more traps and tripwires on the field at the same time. (Max now 3.)
Food Duration: Skill boosts and other effects from food now last 4.5 minutes.
Resilient Trapper: Take 15% less damage when triggering your own trap or tripwire.

Hunter Skill Tree

If you’re mostly focused on ranged combat, this is the skill tree for you. Upgrades include weapon stamina and concentration buffs. It also contains all abilities for Hunter Bows and Boltblasters.

Valor Surge

Ranged Master: Bolster your resolve and deal more damage with ranged weapons for a limited time.

Ranged Weapon Damage: +50/75100%
Health Recovered per Hit: 5/7/10%
At Rank 2 –

Weapon Technique Damage: +20/40%
Weapon Stamina Regen: +100/200%

At Rank 3 – Machines killed by a ranged attack trigger a Shock explosion.

Powershots: Bolster your resolves and deal more damage for a certain number of shots with Bows, Boltblasters, Ropecasters, and Spike Throwers.

Number of Powershots: 3/4/5
Ranged Damage: +150/225/300%
At Rank 2 – Concentration Return per Hit: 15/25%
At Rank 3 – Instantly refills selected ammo. Powershots do not use up ammo.

Active Skills

Spread Blast (Boltblaster): Fire 8 bolts of your currently selected type in a wide, short-range spread. Depletes a medium amount of weapon stamina.
Sustained Burst (Boltblaster): Unleash an entire clip of bolts while immobile. Uses all of your currently loaded bolts, even if your attack is interrupted. Depletes a large amount of weapon stamina.
Ultra Shot (Boltblaster): Fire a burst of special explosive bolts that can hit targets at long range. Uses up to 10 bolts of your currently selected type and a medium amount of weapon stamina.
Knockdown Shot (Hunter Bow): Fire a special arrow that does not damage but can stagger or knock down machines, leaving them vulnerable to follow-up strikes. Uses 3 arrows of your currently selected type and depletes a medium amount of weapon stamina.
High Volley (Hunter Bow): Fire a high-arcing volley of arrows to rain down on your enemies. Uses your currently selected arrow type and depletes a medium amount of weapon stamina.
Triple Notch (Hunter Bow): Load up to 3 arrows of your currently selected type. Fire normally to release all arrows simultaneously. Depletes a small amount of weapon stamina.
Workbench Expert: Craft ammunition at the Workbench using fewer resources than in the wilds.

Passive Boosts

Keep in mind that most of these skills can be upgraded a second time to increase the bonus. For now, we have only included the base buff.

Concentration+: Increase your Concentration limit by 50%, prolonging use.
Deep Concentration: Concentration depletes 15% more slowly, prolonging use.
Concentration Regen: Recover Concentration 100% faster.
Weapon Stamina+: Increase your weapon stamina limit by 20%.
Stamina Regen: Recover weapon stamina 50% faster.
Valor Surge Master: Build up valor 25% faster.
Ammo Expert: Craft more ammunition from the same amount of resources.
Heavy Weapon+: Deal 5% more damage while using a heavy weapon.

Survivor Skill Tree

This is a weird tree that not only improves your ability to heal more quickly and with fewer resources, but also rewards you for staying at a low amount of health. It also contains all abilities for Blastslings and Shredder Gauntlets.

Valor Surge

Toughened: Consume a special potion to restore health and gain resistance to status effects.

Health Regained Every 2 Seconds: 30/50/80
Melee Damage Resistance: +15/25/50%
At Rank 2 – Crushed Resistance: +30/50%
At Rank 3 – Become completely immune to Blinded and Deafened.

Blinded Resistance: 100%
Deafened Resistance: 100%

Overshield: Activate a special armguard based on ancient technology to gain a rechargeable, damage-absorbing energy shield. Shield also recharges when depleted if Valor is still available.

Shield Health: 125/250/400
At Rank 2 – Deflects 10/20% of melee damage against the attacker.
At Rank 3 – Shield explodes when depleted, dealing Shock damage.

Active Skills

Triple Shredder (Shredder Gauntlet): Launch 3 shredders of your currently selected type. Only 1 shredder can be caught and reused. Depletes a medium amount of weapon stamina.
Shredder Mine (Shredder Gauntlet): Launch a shredder that ricochets off its point of contact before hovering in place, dealing Shock damage to targets within range for a limited time. Uses up to 2 shredders of your currently selected type and depletes a medium amount of weapon stamina.
Power Shredder (Shredder Gauntlet): Launch a special shredder that deals extra damage to a target. Shredder does not return after impact. Uses up to 3 shredders of your currently selected type and depletes a medium amount of weapon stamina.
Burst Dodge (Blastsling): Lob a burst of bombs in front of you while automatically dodging backward. Uses your currently equipped bomb type and depletes a large amount of weapon stamina.
Sticky Bomb (Blastsling): Fire a bomb of your currently selected type that sticks to its target and explodes after a delay. Attach multiple bombs to simultaneously detonate them and deal extra damage. Depletes a small amount of weapon stamina.
Bouncing Bomb (Blastsling): Fire an explosive bomb that becomes more powerful with each bounce, up to a maximum of 3 bounces. Uses up to 2 bombs of your currently selected type and depletes a medium amount of weapon stamina.
Plant Forager: Gather more resources from plants.

Passive Boosts

Keep in mind that most of these skills can be upgraded a second time to increase the bonus. For now, we have only included the base buff.

Potent Medicine: Medicinal Berries provide 50% more healing and heal you 50% faster.
Low Health Regen: Automatically recover health sooner (5-second delay) when in the critical health state (below 25% health).
Low Health Defense: Take 40% less damage when in the critical health state.
Medicine Capacity: Carry up to 12 Medicinal Berries in your medicine pouch. (Default is 10.)
Valor on Impact: Gain 2 Valor when hit by enemies.
Potion Potency: Health potions provide 10% more healing and only take 1.3 seconds to drink.
Low Health Melee: Melee attacks deal 15% more damage when you are below 30% health.
Low Health Ranged: Ranged attacks deal 15% more damage when you are below 30% health.

Infiltrator Skill Tree

A stealthy skill tree that makes it harder for enemies to detect you. Has all of the weapon abilities for Sharpshot Bows.

Valor Surge

Stealth Stalker: Activate a cloaking device based on Stalker technology to decrease visibility to enemies. Aiming a weapon or using melee attacks temporarily deactivates the device.

Very high visibility reduction.
Bonus Damage vs. Unaware Targets: +50/100/200%
Rank 3 – Stealth kills restore Valor, prolonging use.

Radial Blast: Attach an overcharged module to your spear and immediately trigger a powerful shockwave, damaging all enemies in the vicinity.

Blast Damage: 300/600/1200
Shock Buildup: 150/300/600
At Rank 2 – Damage Radius: +30/60%
At Rank 3 – Damage vs Shocked Enemies for 15 Seconds: +100%

Active Skills

Braced Shot (Sharpshot Bow): Fire a powerful shot from a kneeling position that explodes on impact. Uses up to 3 arrows of your currently selected type and depletes a large amount of weapon stamina.
Double Notch (Sharpshot Bow): Load a second arrow of your currently selected type. Fire normally to release both arrows simultaneously. Depletes a medium amount of weapon stamina.
Focused Shot (Sharpshot Bow): Increase your weapon’s zoom while aiming and fire a powerful shot that deals extra damage. Uses your currently selected arrow type and depletes a medium amount of weapon stamina.

Passive Boosts

Keep in mind that most of these skills can be upgraded a second time to increase the bonus. For now, we have only included the base buff.

Silent Strike+: Silent Strike deals 25% more damage.
Stealth Ranged+: Deal 10% more ranged Impact damage while in stealth.
Stealth Tear+: Deal 15% more Tear damage while in stealth, increasing the ability to remove an enemy’s armor and parts from machines.
Smoke Bomb Capacity: Carry up to 4 Smoke Bombs.
Low Profile: Slightly reduce your visibility to enemies.
Quiet Spear: Melee attacks are slightly less audible, reducing the chance of being detected by nearby enemies.
Quiet Movement: Move slightly more quietly, reducing the chance of detection by enemies.
Silent Strike Heal: Recover 25% of your health when using Silent Strike.
Silent Strike Gain: Recover 20% weapon stamina and earn 100% additional Valor when using Silent Strike.

Machine Master Skill Tree

For those out there who like to override machines and either fight alongside or atop them, this is the tree for you. It also contains all the weapon skills for the Spike Thrower.

Valor Surge

Part Breaker: Powered by a special node in your Focus, deal more damage to machine components and weak spots.

Tear vs. Components: +25/50/85%
Damage vs. Components: +25/50/85%
Damage vs. Weak Spots: +25/50/85%
At Rank 2 – 30/50% chance per hit for valuable scrap to drop.
At Rank 3 – Removing a component knocks down the target.

Chain Burst: Bolster your resolve against multiple enemies. Damage chains from one enemy to another within 15 meters and boosts knockdown power.

Chain Damage: 50/75/100%
At Rank 2 – Knockdown Power: +50/100%
At Rank 3 – 50% of damage chains a second time to enemies within five meters.

Active Skills

Propelled Spike (Spike Thrower): Launch a powerful long-range spike that explodes on impact or proximity to a target. Uses up to 3 spikes of your currently selected type and depletes a large amount of weapon stamina.
Spike Trap (Spike Thrower): Launch a spike that becomes a trap on impact with the environment. Arms after a short delay. Uses your currently selected spike type and depletes a medium amount of weapon stamina.
Splitting Spike (Spike Thrower): Launch a spike that splits into multiple projectiles to impact a large area. Uses your currently selected spike type and depletes a medium amount of weapon stamina.
Override Subroutines: Set a machine to either aggressive or defensive behavior while overriding.

Passive Boosts

Keep in mind that most of these skills can be upgraded a second time to increase the bonus. For now, we have only included the base buff.

Mounted Defense: Take 15% less damage while mounted.
Lasting Override: Increases the amount of time a machine remains overridden to 60 seconds.
Machine Damage: Overridden machines deal 33% more damage.
Heavy Lifter: Move slightly faster while using a heavy weapon.
Efficient Repair: Repair damaged overridden machines for 25% fewer Metal Shards.
Machine Health: Overridden machines have 50% more health.
Machine Elemental+: Overridden machines deal 33% more damage with elemental attacks.
Machine Archer: Deal 10% more damage while on a mount.

Author: Deann Hawkins