What are all the Valor Surges in Horizon Forbidden West? Which Valor Surge should you use and what do they do? Horizon Forbidden West features Valor Surges, powerful new abilities Aloy can use to help in combat. As part of our Horizon Forbidden West guide, this page goes through all the Valor Surges, telling you what they are and when they'll come in handy.
Horizon Forbidden West: How to Unlock and Use Valor Surges
Before you can use a Valor Surge, you first need to unlock and equip it from the Skills menu.
How to Unlock a Valor Surge
To unlock a Valor Surge, you must first unlock the 3 other Skills linked to it. Once you've done this, you will be able to equip and use that Valor Surge. To equip a Valor Surge, hold Square while the icon is highlighted in the skill tree.
It's worth mentioning here that you can also upgrade Valor Surges. If you have sufficient Skill Points available, highlight a Valor Surge and then hold X to upgrade it in the skill tree. Doing so will boost its effects significantly.
How to Use a Valor Surge
With your chosen Valor Surge equipped, you can now use it during combat. In order to do so, you will need to build up your valor meter, which is the purple meter in the bottom right corner of the screen. When a segment is filled, you can activate your Valor Surge by holding L1 and pressing R1.
To build up valor in the meter, you need to play tactically — i.e. removing components from machines, using elements they're weak against, using traps, attacking in stealth with Silent Strikes, etc.
Horizon Forbidden West: All Valor Surges and Best Ones to Use
Below, we're going to outline all the Valor Surges in Horizon Forbidden West, explaining what each of them does and what situations they're best suited to.
Warrior Valor Surges are focused on giving your attack power a buff during battles.
Description: Powered by a special mode in your Focus, gain a greater chance to land Critical Hits and increase Critical Damage.
- Critical Hit Chance: +35%
- Critical Hit Damage: +50%
- Critical Strike Damage: +75%
Best For: All combat scenarios. Critical Boost is a great Valor Surge, particularly against tough machines. The huge critical hit chance boost and damage buffs turn Aloy into a real powerhouse for a limited time.
Description: Attach a power module to your spear to deal more damage with melee attacks for a limited time.
- Melee Damage: +100%
Best For: Combat versus humans. Fighting machines with melee attacks is a tall order, so this Valor Surge is best suited to fighting groups of human enemies. Doubling Aloy's spear attack power, this will make short work of most flesh-and-bone baddies.
Trapper Valor Surges offer boosts to traps and tripwires, as well as the effects of elemental attacks.
Description: Bolster your resolve and increase the buildup and effects of elemental attacks while gaining a greater resistance to elemental damage.
- Elemental Buildup: +100%
- Elemental State Duration: +50%
- Elemental Damage Resistance: +20%
Best For: Combat versus machines. Machines will often make use of elemental attacks, so the defensive buff is nice on its own. However, machines all have elemental weaknesses too. This Valor Surge beefs up all your elemental effects, not just those from traps, making this a strong option.
Description: 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%
- Trap and Tripwire Elemental Buildup: +25%
- Trap and Tripwire Knockdown Power: +25%
Best For: Combat versus machines. Laying down traps and tripwires is often the most effective way to apply elemental effects to machines, and using this Valor Surge just makes them that much better. This one is perhaps a little more specialist, but don't ignore your traps — they can be some of your most powerful tools.
Hunter Valor Surges focus on upping your ranged weapon damage.
Description: Bolster your resolve and deal more damage with ranged weapons for a limited time.
- Ranged Weapon Damage: +50%
- Health Recovered per Hit: 5%
Best For: All combat scenarios. Most of your fighting is done with bows and arrows, so this Valor Surge is probably one you'll use a lot. Don't ignore the fact it not only boosts your ranged attacks, it also gives you some health back each time you land a hit.
Description: Bolster your resolve and deal more damage for a certain number of shots with Bows, Boltblasters, Ropecasters, and Spike Throwers.
- Number of Powershots: 3
- Ranged Damage: +150%
Best For: All combat scenarios. This Valor Surge gives accurate players a handful of seriously souped-up shots, which can be used to deal massive blows to large machines, or to quickly take down a few smaller enemies.
Survivor Valor Surges are all about self-preservation, bolstering your defences and healing.
Description: Consume a special potion to restore health and gain resistance to status effects.
- Health Regained Every 2 Seconds: 30
- Melee Damage Resistance: +15%
Best For: Combat versus machines. While this Valor Surge is useful in basically any fight, machines deal bigger blows more often that can leave you with very little health left. If you're in a pinch, this can really save your skin if you're fighting something big.
Description: 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
Best For: All combat scenarios. This is another great Valor Surge that essentially turns you invulnerable for a few hits. Probably most useful against machines, but you can't go wrong with a shield in any case.
Infiltrator Valor Surges emphasise stealth and keeping enemies away.
Description: 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%
Best For: Combat versus humans. We found this Valor Surge to be of most use when clearing out Rebel Camps and Rebel Outposts. However, in any scenario that calls for stealth, this is a no-brainer.
Description: Attach an overcharged module to your spear and immediately trigger a powerful shockwave, damaging all enemies in the vicinity.
- Blast Damage: 300
- Shock Buildup: 150
Best For: All combat scenarios. Essentially, this Valor Surge is a great failsafe for when sneaking about goes awry, forcing back any enemies close by. However, this is a versatile Valor Surge that can be used as a regular attack, an opener when ambushing foes, or to prevent a heavy blow from landing. One of the best.
Machine Master Valor Surges, as you might guess, are about machines and fending off multiple foes.
Description: Powered by a special mode in your Focus, deal more damage to machine components and weak spots.
- Tear vs. Components: +25%
- Damage vs. Components: +25%
- Damage vs. Weak Spots: +25%
Best For: Combat versus machines. This Valor Surge is geared towards machines, enhancing your ability to rip components and parts from the beasts. This is very handy when you're looking to loot particular items from machines, or if you're up against some of the game's tougher monsters.
Description: Bolster your resolve against multiple enemies. Damage chains from one enemy to another within 15m and boosts knockdown power.
- Chain Damage: +50%
Best For: All combat scenarios. Fantastic when fighting big groups, this Valor Surge lets you hit two (or more) birds with one stone, dealing damage to multiple foes at a time. Particularly effective against large numbers of human enemies, but very handy in any fight in which you're outnumbered.
And that's our guide to all Valor Surges in Horizon Forbidden West. Which is your favourite Valor Surge to use? Tell us in the comments section below, and be sure to read our Horizon Forbidden West guide for lots more info on the game.