Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 1

How do you play Machine Strike in Horizon Forbidden West? What is Machine Strike, and how do you win? In certain locations in Horizon Forbidden West, Aloy can compete against other characters in Machine Strike, a strategic board game that's surprisingly in-depth. As part of our Horizon Forbidden West guide, we're going to take you through Machine Strike, explaining its rules, what all the pieces are, how they differ from each other, and more.

Horizon Forbidden West: What Is Machine Strike?

Machine Strike, or just Strike for short, is an in-universe, two-player board game you can play within Horizon Forbidden West. At first glance, it bears some resemblance to classic games like Chess, but it has very different rules and complexities to master.

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As you'll see, every challenger in Horizon Forbidden West has unique boards and their own set of pieces. Below, we'll be going over everything you need to know to learn how to play and defeat them all.

All Machine Strike Challenger Locations

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Machine Strike Icon

There are various Machine Strike players you can find throughout Horizon Forbidden West, all located within settlements and towns. Above pictured is the Machine Strike icon that appears on the map. Visit the following places to play Machine Strike at varying difficulty levels:

  • Chainscrape: Beginner
  • Barren Light: Beginner
  • Plainsong: Beginner
  • The Base (Erend): Various
  • Arrowhand: Intermediate
  • Scalding Spear: Intermediate
  • Salt Bite: Intermediate
  • Hidden Ember: Skilled
  • Fall's Edge: Skilled
  • Thornmarsh: Skilled
  • The Bulwark: Experienced
  • Stone Crest: Experienced
  • Cliffwatch: Experienced
  • The Maw of the Arena: Expert
  • Tide's Reach: Expert
  • Legacy's Landfall: Expert

Horizon Forbidden West: Machine Strike - How to Play

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 3

Before we get into all the various playing pieces, let's first go over the basics of how to play Machine Strike.

Basic Rules

How to Win

The goal of Machine Strike is to eliminate your opponent's pieces and earn 7 Victory Points. Each piece represents a Machine, and these pieces all have a Victory Points value, awarded to you when you defeat them. To win, you must either be the first player to earn 7 Victory Points, or destroy all your opponent's pieces — whichever comes first.

Starting a Game of Machine Strike

Before a game of Machine Strike can begin, both players must first select a team of pieces to place on the board. Outside of practice matches and tutorials, you will need to choose your pieces manually. However, you cannot just bring all your pieces; you need to create a set.

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Making a Set

When preparing for a game, you can create a set, spending up to 10 Setup Points by selecting pieces. Each piece as a setup cost equivalent to their Victory Points value. For example, a Burrower piece costs 1 Setup Point, as per the shot above. You need to decide which pieces will be best while also ensuring you don't go over the maximum of 10 Setup Points.

One other thing to note: you cannot have more than four of the same machine piece in a set, so you'll need to mix it up to a degree.

Once you have created a play set, it will be saved so you can use it in future, or you can make new sets.

First Steps

After choosing your set of pieces, the game will start. Each player must place their pieces onto the board within the two rows nearest to them. Once this is done, the owner of the board (always the opponent) decides who moves first, and then turns alternate.

Basic Movements

You are allowed to move two of your pieces per turn. If you only have one piece in play, you can move it twice. Once your two moves have been made, you can end your turn.

Your basic options are to move a piece or attack an opposing piece, if it's within range. After selecting a piece, you will be able to see its movement range and the tiles where an attack would land. You can also choose to rotate a piece — we'll explain why this can be important later.

Pieces

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Piece Note Card

The pieces in Machine Strike have a lot to them.

While hovering over one of your pieces, you will see a card on the left of the screen. This note card provides you with lots of information. Let's go through it all now from top to bottom, left to right.

Piece Name and Type

In the upper left, you can see the piece's name and, just below that, its type. There are 6 machine types, each one dictating how a piece can behave:

  • Melee: Always attacks the first machine in its Attack Range.
  • Gunner: Always attacks at the maximum of its Attack Range.
  • Ram: Always attacks the first machine in its Attack Range and knocks it backwards. It will then move onto the terrain left behind by the opposing machine.
  • Dash: Always moves to the end of its Attack Range and damages every machine in its path, including your own, and rotates them 180 degrees. It must have an empty terrain to land on at the end of its Attack Range in order to attack.
  • Swoop: Always attacks the first machine within its Attack Range and moves next to it. Gains +1 Combat Power on all terrains and can ignore all terrain penalties.
  • Pull: Always attacks the first machine in its Attack Range and pulls the enemy one terrain closer to it. Gains +1 Combat Power while on Marsh terrain and can traverse through it without hindering its movement.

Victory Points Value

In the upper right of the note card is its Victory Points value. This is the number of Victory Points a player will gain by destroying the piece.

Image

A nice picture of the piece. All the pieces look pretty nice.

Armored and Weak Points

On the bottom left of the central image, you'll see a symbol with red and blue segments. The red parts are Weak Points, and the blue parts are Armored Points. These affect the amount of damage a piece will take when being attacked. Assuming yours is the defending piece:

  • Your piece will gain +1 Combat Power if an Armored Point is being attacked.
  • Your piece will lose -1 Combat Power if a Weak Point is being attacked.

This is why rotating pieces can make a difference; if you're looking to defend, you should rotate your pieces so that any Weak Points are protected from opposing pieces, or at least harder to reach.

Skill

While not all of them do, some machine pieces will have a Skill, viewable on the note card below the main image. These Skills take effect automatically, and can provide some interesting advantages in combat.

In the above example, the Lancehorn's Skill is Climb, which means it gains an additional +1 Combat Power when attacking from Hill terrain. Check out each of your pieces and take note of any Skills you can make use of.

Attack Power, Attack Range, Movement Range, and Health

At the bottom of the note card, you'll see four symbols and numbers. From left to right, these are:

  • Attack Power: How much damage the piece deals by default.
  • Attack Range: How far the piece's attack will reach by default.
  • Movement Range: How far the piece can travel by default.
  • Health: The piece's default amount of health.

Active Effects

Below the note card, you may see various symbols. These denote any active effects on the piece. Among these, you will always see a symbol on the left that tells you what terrain the piece is standing on, and how this affects its Combat Power.

The Board

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Terrains

Playing boards in Machine Strike are made up of various types of tile arranged in an eight by eight grid. The different elevations and colours of the tiles represent different terrain. These terrains affect a piece's Combat Power. They are as follows:

  • Chasm: The lowest terrain, and only accessible by flying machines. Impacts Combat Power by -2.
  • Marsh Terrain: Impedes movement upon landing. Impacts Combat Power by -1.
  • Grassland Terrain: Level terrain and most common. Impacts Combat Power by 0.
  • Forest Terrain: Up a level from Grassland Terrain. Impacts Combat Power by +1.
  • Hill Terrain: Up a level from Forest Terrain. Impacts Combat Power by +2.
  • Mountain Terrain: Up a level from Hill Terrain. Impacts Combat Power by +3.

Combat

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 7

You and your opponent's pieces will eventually come to blows. Let's go through what you need to remember when engaging in combat in Machine Strike.

Combat Power

An attacking piece's Combat Power is the combination of its base Attack Power and the terrain value as outlined above. For example, if a piece's Attack Power is 2, and it's currently stood on Forest terrain (providing a +1 boost), its Combat Power will be 3. Likewise, if the same piece is on Marsh terrain, its Combat Power will become 1.

A defending piece's Combat Power is only the Terrain value.

Damage

The attacking piece's Combat Power is pitted against the defending piece's Combat Power, and the difference will be the damage dealt. So, if your piece has a Combat Power of 2 and the defending piece has a Combat Power of 1, you will deal 1 point of damage to that piece's Health.

Advanced Moves

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Overcharge

Machine Strike also has a couple of other moves to consider while playing.

Sprinting

When moving a piece, you will be able to see its whole range of movement. The outer limits of this shown range, the tiles with a dotted circle, are where you can Sprint to. Sprinting is when you move a piece one space beyond its normal movement limit. If you Sprint, you cannot follow up with an attack — unless you Overcharge.

Overcharging

As outlined above, a single piece can only move and attack once in a turn. However, you can choose to Overcharge that piece, which allows you to move that piece or attack with it a second time. However, to do so, that piece must sacrifice 2 Health points. This damage is dealt after the Overcharge action is taken.

Special Attacks

There are a couple of special attack effects you should be aware of before you commit to an attack.

Defense Break: If an attacking piece has an equal or lower Combat Power than a defending piece, both pieces will lose 1 Health point, and the defending piece will be knocked back one space.

Knockback: A piece that is knocked back moves one spot away from the attacking piece. If it isn't possible for the affected piece to move back, it will lose a point of Health instead. If the space behind the affected piece is already occupied, both of these pieces will lose a point of Health.

Skills

Certain pieces in Machine Strike will have a Skill, a unique effect or advantage that can change how it moves or how it affects other pieces. You can see what a piece's Skill is, if it has one, on its note card on the left side of your screen.

Horizon Forbidden West: Machine Strike - All Pieces and Where to Get Them

Below, we've outlined all the Machine Strike pieces you can find in Horizon Forbidden West, as well as where you get them from.

Burrower Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Burrower

Location

  • x2 Received from Salma after completing her Machine Strike tutorial in Chainscrape.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: The Daunt and The Maw of the Arena: costs 20 Metal Shards and 1 Burrower Circulator.

Grazer Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Grazer

Location

  • x2 Received from Salma after completing her Machine Strike tutorial in Chainscrape.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Plainsong and The Maw of the Arena: costs 20 Metal Shards and 1 Grazer Circulator.

Leaplasher Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Leaplasher

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Plainsong and The Maw of the Arena: costs 20 Metal Shards and 1 Leaplasher Circulator.

Scrapper Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Scrapper

Location

  • x2 Received from Salma after completing her Machine Strike tutorial in Chainscrape.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Plainsong and The Maw of the Arena: costs 40 Metal Shards and 1 Scrapper Circulator.

Scrounger Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Scrounger

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: The Daunt and The Maw of the Arena: costs 20 Metal Shards and 1 Scrounger Circulator.

Spikesnout Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Spikesnout

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Sheerside Mountains and The Maw of the Arena: costs 20 Metal Shards and 1 Spikesnout Circulator.

Tracker Burrower Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Tracker Burrower

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Sheerside Mountains and The Maw of the Arena: costs 40 Metal Shards and 1 Tracker Burrower Circulator.

Bellowback Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Bellowback

Location

  • x1 Rewarded for beating all the Machine Strike challenges in Scalding Spear.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: The Raintrace and The Maw of the Arena: costs 60 Metal Shards and 2 Bellowback Circulators.

Bristleback Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Bristleback

Location

  • x1 Rewarded for beating all the Machine Strike challenges in Chainscrape.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: The Daunt and The Maw of the Arena: costs 40 Metal Shards and 1 Bristleback Circulator.

Charger Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Charger

Location

  • x1 Rewarded for beating all the Machine Strike challenges in Barren Light.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: The Daunt and The Maw of the Arena: costs 40 Metal Shards and 1 Charger Circulator.

Clawstrider Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Clawstrider

Location

  • x1 Rewarded for beating all the Machine Strike challenges in Cliffwatch.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Plainsong and The Maw of the Arena: costs 60 Metal Shards and 2 Clawstrider Circulators.

Fanghorn Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Fanghorn

Location

  • x2 Received from Salma after completing her Machine Strike tutorial in Chainscrape.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: The Daunt and The Maw of the Arena: costs 40 Metal Shards and 1 Fanghorn Circulator.

Glinthawk Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Glinthawk

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Plainsong and The Maw of the Arena: costs 40 Metal Shards and 1 Glinthawk Circulator.

Lancehorn Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Lancehorn

Location

  • x2 Received from Salma after completing her Machine Strike tutorial in Chainscrape.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Sheerside Mountains and The Maw of the Arena: costs 40 Metal Shards and 1 Lancehorn Circulator.

Longleg Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Longleg

Location

  • x1 Rewarded for beating all the Machine Strike challenges in Salt Bite.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Plainsong and The Maw of the Arena: costs 40 Metal Shards and 1 Longleg Circulator.

Plowhorn Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Plowhorn

Location

  • x1 Rewarded for beating all the Machine Strike challenges in Plainsong.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Plainsong and The Maw of the Arena: costs 40 Metal Shards and 1 Plowhorn Circulator.

Ravager Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Ravager

Location

  • x1 Rewarded for beating all the Machine Strike challenges in The Bulwark.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Sheerside Mountains and The Maw of the Arena: costs 80 Metal Shards and 2 Ravager Circulators.

Redeye Watcher Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Redeye Watcher

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: The Raintrace and The Maw of the Arena: costs 60 Metal Shards and 2 Redeye Watcher Circulators.

Shell-Walker Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Shell-Walker

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Sheerside Mountains and The Maw of the Arena: costs 60 Metal Shards and 2 Shell-Walker Circulators.

Skydrifter Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Skydrifter

Location

  • x1 Rewarded for beating all the Machine Strike challenges in Arrowhand.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Plainsong and The Maw of the Arena: costs 40 Metal Shards and 1 Skydrifter Circulator.

Snapmaw Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Snapmaw

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Sheerside Mountains and The Maw of the Arena: costs 60 Metal Shards and 2 Snapmaw Circulators.

Sunwing Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Sunwing

Location

  • x1 Rewarded for beating all the Machine Strike challenges in Fall's Edge.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: The Raintrace and The Maw of the Arena: costs 60 Metal Shards and 2 Sunwing Circulators.

Widemaw Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Widemaw

Location

  • x1 Rewarded for beating all the Machine Strike challenges in Stone Crest.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Plainsong and The Maw of the Arena: costs 60 Metal Shards and 2 Widemaw Circulators.

Behemoth Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Behemoth

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: The Raintrace and The Maw of the Arena: costs 100 Metal Shards and 2 Behemoth Circulators.

Clamberjaw Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Clamberjaw

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: The Raintrace and The Maw of the Arena: costs 80 Metal Shards and 2 Clamberjaw Circulators.

Dreadwing Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Dreadwing

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at The Maw of the Arena: costs 100 Metal Shards and 2 Dreadwing Circulators.

Elemental Clawstrider Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Elemental Clawstrider

Location

  • x1 Rewarded for beating all the Machine Strike challenges in The Maw of the Arena.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: The Raintrace and The Maw of the Arena: costs 80 Metal Shards and 2 Elemental Clawstrider Circulators.

Frostclaw Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Frostclaw

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Sheerside Mountains and The Maw of the Arena: costs 140 Metal Shards and 2 Frostclaw Circulators.

Rockbreaker Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Rockbreaker

Location

  • x1 Rewarded for beating all the Machine Strike challenges in Legacy's Landfall.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Sheerside Mountains and The Maw of the Arena: costs 120 Metal Shards and 2 Rockbreaker Circulators.

Rollerback Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Rollerback

Location

  • x1 Rewarded for beating all the Machine Strike challenges in Hidden Ember.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Sheerside Mountains and The Maw of the Arena: costs 80 Metal Shards and 2 Rollerback Circulators.

Scorcher Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Scorcher

Location

  • x1 Rewarded for beating all the Machine Strike challenges in Tide's Reach.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: Sheerside Mountains and The Maw of the Arena: costs 160 Metal Shards and 3 Scorcher Circulators.

Shellsnapper Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Shellsnapper

Location

  • x1 Rewarded for beating all the Machine Strike challenges in Thornmarsh.
  • Sold by the Strike Carver at The Maw of the Arena: costs 120 Metal Shards and 2 Shellsnapper Circulators.

Slitherfang Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Slitherfang

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at The Maw of the Arena: costs 180 Metal Shards and 3 Slitherfang Circulators.

Stalker Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Stalker

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: The Raintrace and The Maw of the Arena: costs 80 Metal Shards and 2 Stalker Circulators.

Stormbird Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Stormbird

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at The Maw of the Arena: costs 120 Metal Shards and 2 Stormbird Circulators.

Thunderjaw Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Thunderjaw

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at The Maw of the Arena: costs 120 Metal Shards and 2 Thunderjaw Circulators.

Tideripper Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Tideripper

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at The Maw of the Arena: costs 120 Metal Shards and 2 Tideripper Circulators.

Tremortusk Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Tremortusk

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at The Maw of the Arena: costs 100 Metal Shards and 2 Tremortusk Circulators.

Fireclaw Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Fireclaw

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at Hunting Grounds: The Raintrace and The Maw of the Arena: costs 140 Metal Shards and 2 Fireclaw Circulators.

Slaughterspine Strike Piece

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Strike Pieces Guide PS5 PS4 Slaughterspine

Location

  • Sold by the Strike Carver at The Maw of the Arena: costs 200 Metal Shards and 2 Slaughterspine Circulators.

And that's our guide on Machine Strike in Horizon Forbidden West. Have you been enjoying this mini-game? Tell us in the comments section below, and check out our Horizon Forbidden West guide for lots more.