Top 15 Best Weapons in Horizon Zero Dawn

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Horizon: Zero Dawn is a beautiful game with a rich world full of seemingly endless places and challenges to explore.

As Aloy ventures into the dangerous territories, it’s important to keep the best weapons equipped to be ready to take on any adversary.

Whether you’re aiming into the skies battling a stormbird attack, or locked into an epic duel against Thunderjaw, it is vital to know which weapons will give you the best advantages for anything.

These 15 weapons are my top picks and they’re sure to provide a wide variety of benefits that will give Aloy the edge in just about any combat situation.

15. Tearblaster

Tearblaster weapon in Horizon Zero Dawn

The tearblaster is earned through the Hunting Grounds side quests.

It is used for only one purpose: to remove armor from a machine at a close distance.

This is not the most versatile or customizable weapon, but it is effective in a pinch to quickly create a vulnerable spot to deal damage.

Since it is a close range weapon it should be saved for specific combat scenarios.

At the end of the day it’s a weapon designed for one purpose but it is quite effective at what it is made for.


14. Carja War Bow

Carja War Bow HZD

The regular war bow is used to fire elemental shots at enemies dealing different effects based on the selected mods and arrows.

Now The Carja War Bow in particular is impressive because it comes with 50 handling and 2 additional mods.

The Carja War Bow can fire both electric and ice arrows which deal the elemental along with them. And while the war bows do not deal high amounts of damage, they are great weapons to have because you can switch between different elemental effects while still playing a ranged battle.


13. Shadow Hunter Bow

Shadow Hunter Bow HZD

In general the hunter bow is Aloy’s weapon of choice. It is the first weapon you start with in the game, and can be upgraded as you find more items to work wtih.

But the Shadow Hunter Bow is the best version of this reliable weapon.

With 80 handling and three different mod slots, this bow is well equipped to become a necessary item for just about any battle due to the versatility.

It deals a significant amount of damage while also dealing additional tear damage to strip down armor on heavy machines. I’d argue this bow is a must-have weapon for Aloy.


12. Shadow Rattler

Shadow Rattler HZD

The classic Rattler is a weapon that closely resembles a shotgun.

It is ideal for close range combat, with pretty low accuracy. The tradeoff for the accuracy is the ability to fire multiple shots dealing quick bursts of damage.

Now the shadow variant becomes available once you have reached Meridian.

The Shadow Rattler has 100 handling and three mod slots with an additional freeze ammo added on top of previous electric shots.

Despite having low accuracy, if this weapon is used properly it can be very effective at saving Aloy or dealing quick damage to multiple enemies in close combat.


11. Banuk Champion Bow

Banuk Champion Bow HZD

The Frozen Wilds is DLC that can be added onto the base game providing you with additional areas to explore, missions to complete, and even more challenging machines to battle.

To account for these new challenges, the Frozen Wilds also includes new weapons that obviously have their own benefits.

And here’s one of them now: The Banuk Champion Bow. This is an upgraded version of the traditional war bow from the base game.

The Banuk Champion Bow comes with a unique “overdraw” mechanic that allows you to hold aim for longer without sacrificing any integrity of the shot.

Also these Banuk variants do have higher base stats than the other bows, making them strong contenders in the list of best weapons to acquire despite their rarity.


10. Shadow Sharpshot Bow

Shadow Sharpshot Bow HZD

Original shartshot bows are weapons that deal high amounts of damage at a long range with a slow draw time and low ammo count.

This type of weapon resembles a sniper and is most effectively used from a distance.

Once you upgrade to the Sharpshot Bow you’ll get 20 handling and three mod slots.

This is the perfect weapon for battling enemies from a distance with three different arrows to choose from.


9. Shadow Blast Sling

Shadow Blast Sling HZD

Slings are slow firing weapons that launch explosives at machines. Basically slingshots.

These weapons deal high amounts of damage with added effects depending on the bombs that you have equipped.

The Shadow Blast Sling is one of the best weapons in the game because it can carry up to two different grenade types plus additional proximity mines that detonate when an enemy is within range, making them perfect for setting up traps or defenses.

The Shadow Blast sling has 40 handling and can be purchased at Meridian. Definitely worth adding into your inventory.


8. Banuk Powershot Bow

Banuk Powershot Bow HZD

So this weapon actually resembles the look of the original Sharpshot Bow in many ways.

But the Banuk Powershot Bow is a stronger weapon that deals high amounts of damage at a range, with a long draw time and low ammo count.

The Banuk Powershot Bow can only be acquired through the Frozen Wilds DLC so it is quite rare and difficult to obtain.

With higher base stats and the “overdraw” that comes with each of the Banuk Bows, this weapon is definitely a strong contender for ranking pretty high in this list(could even be higher but there are so many other powerful weapons to consider!)


7. Shadow Tripcaster

Shadow Tripcaster HZD

As another introduction here: the tripcaster is a useful tool that can set traps for unsuspecting enemies, allowing Aloy to have a clear advantage in any combat.

A tripcaster sets a tripwire between two points like an invisible line. This deals damage whenever an enemy walks past it.

So the more powerful Shadow Tripcaster has three mod slots and 30 handling.

This special tripcaster has the same amount of inventory as lesser versions, but it also has a fire wire that deals significant fire damage when it’s activated.

This weapon is very effective in setting traps or just gaining the edge on a much larger machines by catching them off-guard.

With proper placement and timing you can set up the wires and lead your enemies right into a set trap.


6. Lodge Ropecaster

Lodge Ropecaster HZD

The Lodge Ropecaster can only be unlocked by completing the entirety of the Hunting Grounds.

This ropecaster in particular is the best version in the game because you can get much more use out of each rope, therefore you do not need as many materials as other versions.

If you can get your hands on this weapon you’ll find it has 70 handling and has three additional mod slots for added effects.

Having this tool on hand can make much larger enemies more accessible, allowing you to deal damage effectively without the same risk.


5. Lodge Blast Sling

Lodge Blast Sling HZD

This is definitely the best version of the blast sling in the entire game.

The Lodge Blast Sling has all of the same benefits of the Shadow Blast Sling including the additional proximity bombs that detonate whenever an enemy is near.

Just note this weapon can only be acquired once the Hunting Grounds quests are completed entirely.

The difference between the two weapons is that the Lodge has nearly double the handling of the Shadow version.

This small difference gives the Lodge Blast Sling the definitive edge and a very useful weapon for disrupting enemies with high amounts of focused damage.


4. Improved Icerail

HZD Improved Icerail

This is a weapon that can only be acquired through the Frozen Wilds DLC.

The icerail is a unique weapon that deals ice damage through an ice thrower function, and an ice cannon that comes with the improved version of this weapon.

This weapon is extremely effective because it can deal a significant amount of damage with the ice cannon, while also freezing enemies and dealing elemental damage through the ice thrower. It’s like a triple threat, almost pending quadruple threat.

Note this is a close range weapon but it is well equipped to contend in this list, and it’s certainly worth your time to track it down in-game.


3. Shadow War Bow

Shadow War Bow HZD

Any of the war bows are powerful, but the Shadow War Bow is definitely one of the most powerful weapons you can work with.

This war bow has 50 handling and three different mod slots total.

In addition to the elemental arrows that the other bows offer, the Shadow War Bow has a corruption arrow that has added benefits.

If a machine becomes fully corrupted it will fight on your side for a short time.

This is a unique tool that can come in handy in situations where you have many machines bearing down on you at once.


2. Lodge War Bow

Lodge War Bow HZD

Now I have to say the Lodge War Bow takes the second spot because it just has so much functionality and really powers up elemental attacks.

It is very similar to the shadow war bow in nearly every aspect. The only difference is that the lodge war bow does slightly higher amounts of elemental damage with each arrow.

Both war bows are impressive, but the slight benefit of added damage boost is enough to hand over second spot to our Lodge variation.


1. Improved Stormslinger

Improved Stormslinger weapons

This unique weapon can only be acquired through the Frozen Wilds DLC and it is definitely worth the trouble.

Despite being a part of the DLC pack and rare to acquire, this weapon is just too powerful to ignore.

This weapon is given to Aloy from a shaman and it lets you shoot out damaging bolts of electricity at any machines that cross your path.

This Stormslinger deals high volumes of damage and shock effects to machines, taking down the most intimidating machines with relative ease.

Because of the impressive damage that this weapon deals with little cost or tradeoff, it is undeniably the top weapon available in the entirety of Horizon: Zero Dawn. Definitely chase this down if you have the patience.

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