Horizon Zero Dawn Walkthrough Critical Path Main Quests

Horizon: Zero Dawn is a huge open world role-playing game filled with quests, side-quests, errands, and much more for you to complete. In this walkthrough, we're going to list off every mission in the game so that you can cross-check your own progress and see what you've got left to complete. We're not going to spoil anything story-related on this page, but obviously if you're sensitive to things like quest names, then you may want to look elsewhere.

We're also going to detail some of the open world activities, like Bandit Camps, Tallnecks, and Cauldrons, while also revealing the locations of all Ancient Vessels, Vantages, Power Cells, Metal Flowers, and Banuk Figures. Sit tight, because we've got lots to get through in this guide.

Horizon: Zero Dawn Guide and Walkthrough

Horizon: Zero Dawn's Critical Path and Main Quests

Obviously there's a ton of side content to keep you distracted while you work your way through Horizon: Zero Dawn's main storyline, but if you want to follow the critical path and complete all of the main quests in the game as quickly as possible, these are the missions that you'll need to complete:

  • A Gift from the Past
  • Lessons of the Wild
  • The Point of the Spear
  • Mother's Heart
  • The Proving
  • The Womb of the Mountain
  • A Seeker At the Gates
  • The War-Chief's Trail
  • Revenge of the Nora
  • The City of the Sun
  • The Field of the Fallen
  • Into the Borderlands
  • Maker's End
  • The Grave-Hoard
  • The Sun Shall Fall
  • To Curse the Darkness
  • Deep Secrets of the Earth
  • The Terror of the Sun
  • The Heart of the Nora
  • The Mountain That Fell
  • The Looming Shadow
  • The Face of Extinction

Horizon: Zero Dawn Gameplay Tips and Tricks

Are you finding Horizon: Zero Dawn hard? Then we have some beginner's Horizon: Zero Dawn gameplay tips and tricksthat you should consider before playing the game. We recommend that you save often, remain mobile in combat, and take full advantage of stealth. Everything is detailed in our hints guide or in the video embedded below:

Alternatively, if you want to know how to level up quickly in Horizon: Zero Dawn, then we've got you covered, too.

How to get the best ending in Horizon: Zero Dawn

Before you complete 'The Looming Shadow' quest in Horizon: Zero Dawn, you're going to want to ensure that you've beaten 11 specific side-quests in order to ensure that all of the game's optional allies join you for the final battle. Don't worry if you've already finished the game, because you'll be dropped back into the open world prior to this quest so that you can give it another go.

At the time of typing, it's unclear whether dialogue decisions play a part in the 'All Allies Joined' Trophy, but just to be on the safe side, ensure that you're always selecting the 'Heart' option when given the opportunity to ensure that the cast stays on your side. You can learn a little more about how to get all allies to join Aloy in Horizon: Zero Dawn through the link.

Horizon Zero Dawn Guides Side Quests Errands

Horizon: Zero Dawn - All Side-Quests and Errands

Horizon: Zero Dawn cleverly labels non-Main Quests as either Side-Quests or Errands. The former are more in-depth story missions, while Errands can be better described as simpler fetch quests. Completing these generally rewards you with experience points, but some may also reward you with items and Skill Points.

Here's where you can locate all of the Side-Quests and Errands:

Mother's Embrace

This is the area that Aloy starts the game out in, and all of these quests can be triggered and completed before you gain access to the entire map.


  • The Forgotten
  • In Her Mother's Footsteps


  • Odd Grata

The Sacred Lands

The Sacred Lands represent the area just outside of the starting area to the East of the map.


  • Ancient Armory - You can learn more about this quest and where to find all Power Cells through the link
  • A Daughter's Vengeance
  • A Moment's Peace
  • Underequipped
  • Insult to Injury


  • Hunting for the Lodge
  • Shortage of Supplies
  • Luck of the Hunt
  • To Old Acquaintence
  • Sanctuary
  • Traitor's Bounty

Meridian City

Probably the biggest city in Horizon: Zero Dawn, all of these Side-Quests and Errands can be discovered once you reach Meridian, which you'll reach as part of the story. Be aware that not all of these missions are in the city itself, but can also be located in surrounding areas.


  • Robbing the Rich
  • Honor the Fallen
  • Fatal Inheritance
  • Deadliest Game
  • Redmaw
  • Hunter's Blind


  • Demand and Supply

Carja Land

Carja Land refers to quests that can be found outside of The Sacred Lands to both the East and West of Meridian.


  • Hammer and Steel
  • Heap of Trouble
  • Death from the Skies
  • Sun and Shadow
  • Sunstone Rock
  • Cause for Concern
  • Blood on Stone
  • Queen's Bandit


  • Collateral
  • Sun's Judgment
  • Healer's Oath
  • A Curious Proposal
  • In Foreign Lands
Horizon Zero Dawn Walkthrough Collectibles Tallnecks Bandit Camps Cauldrons

How to find all of Horizon: Zero Dawn's collectibles

As is the case with most open world games, Horizon: Zero Dawn has a wealth of collectibles for you to gather. Here's what you'll need to find to contribute to your 100 per cent completion:

The easiest way to find these is to visit a Merchant in any post-prologue area and purchase a map for each type from the Special Items area of their inventory. This will display the general area of each collectible on the map. You will still need to search within the radiuses displayed, but look for the purple loot icon and you should be fine.

How to down all 23 grazer dummies

One other collectible in Horizon: Zero Dawn are the grazer dummies. There are a total of 23 of these and they all contribute to the 'Downed 23 Grazer Dummies' Trophy. You'll find them mostly around the Nora Region, where there's thick snow on the landscape. Unlike the other collectibles in Horizon: Zero Dawn, there's no map for this one, but fortunately Powerpyx has put together a video guide showing you where you can find each of these straw enemies.

To down them, you need to hit them with your spear until their armour falls off and they collapse:

How to get the best armor in Horizon: Zero Dawn

To find the Shield-Weaver outfit, which is the best armour in Horizon: Zero Dawn, you'll need to complete the Ancient Armory side-quest. This involves collection Power Cells, and we've collated the locations of all Power Cells in Horizon: Zero Dawn for you. For more information on how to get the Shield-Weaver outfit, click through here.

Where are all Horizon: Zero Dawn's Bandit Camps?

Bandit Camps are simple enemy enclosures that need to be cleared of foes. You can stealth these areas or go in arrows blazing – it's really up to you how you approach. Do be aware of alarms, though: if sounded, these will draw other enemies to the area.

Here's where to find each Bandit Camp in Horizon: Zero Dawn:

  • Devil's Thirst
  • Two-Teeth
  • Hollowfort
  • Gatelands
  • Shattered Kiln
  • Blackwing Snag

Horizon: Zero Dawn - Tallnecks and Cauldron Locations

As you wander Horizon: Zero Dawn's open world, you'll also happen upon a handful of other activities, including: Hunting Grounds, Corrupted Zones, Cauldrons, and Tallnecks. You can think of Tallnecks like moving towers in a Ubisoft game; you need to solve simple platforming puzzles in order to get on top of them. Caudrons, meanwhile, are more like dungeons.

Where to find all Tallnecks in Horizon: Zero Dawn

There are five Tallnecks in the game. Here's where you'll find them:

  • Devil's Thirst
  • Copper Deeps
  • Sun-Steps
  • Rustwash
  • Spearshafts

Where to find all Cauldrons in Horizon: Zero Dawn

Similarly, there are four Cauldrons in Horizon: Zero Dawn. It's worth completing these dungeons because they unlock override abilities for different machines, allowing you to hack a greater suite of enemies in order to get them to fight on your side or mount them. Here's where you'll locate them:

  • Sigma: North of Mother's Crown
  • Rho: South of Daytower
  • Xi: Quite a way below Meridian
  • Zeta: North of the Sunfurrows Hunting Grounds.

Finding yourself underlevelled? We have a few tips to help you level up quickly in Horizon: Zero Dawn. If you want to know how to get all allies to join Aloy for the best ending, then check out our guide through here. We reveal all of the Power Cell locations for the Shield-Weaver outfit, and also drop some Horizon: Zero Dawn beginner's tip and tricks. If you're not sure how to fast travel, then we show you how to unlock unlimited fast travel in Horizon: Zero Dawn. We can help you find all Metal Flowers, Ancient Vessels, Vantages, and Banuk Figures. And finally, you can find out how to access Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds.