Horizon Forbidden West: Best Skills To Get Early

Travel along Horizon Forbidden West's massive skill tree in this order and you'll be well-prepared for what's ahead.


In Horizon Forbidden West, the skill tree is so huge that very few action-RPGs can compare. If you want to make your perfect version of Aloy, you'll need to fine-tune her skills, and that means knowing which ones to pick early. With over 162 skills to choose from, choice paralysis can set in quickly, but it doesn't have to. Here are our recommendations for the best skills to unlock early in Horizon Forbidden West.

Horizon Forbidden West skill tree

The skill tree in Guerrilla's huge sequel is broken into six categories: Warrior, Trapper, Hunter, Survivor, Infiltrator, and Machine Master. Each category has several skills to choose from, as well as new ultimate abilities called Valor Surges. Early on, skills will cost you only one skill point each. When completing most missions, you'll unlock multiple skill points, so you'll be able to unlock a lot in a short period of time.

However, as you get further into the story, skills start costing a lot more and demand prerequisite skills are unlocked too. To set yourself up, here's how we'd recommend spending your first 10 skill points:

  • Potent Medicine: Medicinal berries provide more healing and heal faster
  • Silent Strike+: Silent Strike deals more damage
  • Stealth Tear+: Deal more tear damage while in stealth
  • Resonator Blast: Energize targets with melee damage, then blast them with a ranged weapon to deal a lot of damage
  • Concentration+: Increase your concentration limit
  • Block Breaker: Brake a human enemy's guard (R1-R1-R2)
  • Quick Trapper: Place traps faster
  • Low Health Defense: Resist more damage when in critical health state (below 25%)
  • Deep Concentration: Concentration depletes more slowly
  • Concentration Regen: Recover concentration faster
Aloy's arsenal is bigger than ever.
Aloy's arsenal is bigger than ever.

This early build gives Aloy a strong mix of the most important elements in her arsenal. Health boosters will keep her standing tall against early enemies, and because they consider health percentages, not static HP numbers, their usefulness will grow as Aloy's health bar does. Concentration-enhancing abilities are must-haves early on because machines sway or dash around so much. A slowly draining concentration meter is absolutely key.

We've spoken already about the usefulness of traps in Horizon, so placing those faster is a big boon early in the game, too. Even if you don't usually play games with stealth in mind, it's good to start every fight by lurking in the tall grass. Silent Strike+ and Stealth Tear+ are crucial for this reason; they allow you to stay lurking for longer while still picking apart enemy components--or simply picking them off from the rest of their herd.

Lastly, Block Breaker is a key ability to grab early because Forbidden West's land is ravaged by civil war. You'll encounter plenty of human enemies, especially in rebel camps and outposts, and being able to break through their guard is pivotal in returning lands back to your allies.

With these skills in mind, don't miss more of our Horizon Forbidden West tips for beginners.

Mark Delaney on Google+

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