How Long To Beat Horizon Forbidden West: Mission List And Open-World Activities Explained

Aloy's journey to the west is a long one.


Horizon Forbidden West has arrived, and there is a ton to unpack. Yes, even more than the first game. If you're wondering just how long it is, we can tell you--we've spent several weeks and many, many play hours with the game. Whether you're playing just the main story, exploring side quests, or checking off every map icon in Guerrilla's gorgeous sandbox, here's everything you need to know about how long it takes to see Forbidden West's credits.

How long is Horizon Forbidden West?

There are 17 main story missions in Horizon Forbidden West, and if you were to only play through those, the campaign would take you roughly 20-25 hours to finish. Because this is an open-world action-adventure game with lots of RPG elements, however, a more realistic playthrough will take considerably longer. There are settlements all over the game's world, and each settlement has several side quests to initiate as well as activities to take part in such as hunting challenges, fighting arenas, and environmental puzzles to explore.

A player doing a typical portion of these, but not wiping the map of all of them would probably finish the game after around 40-50 hours played. For completionists, doing absolutely everything in Forbidden West, (including all Cauldrons, Tallnecks, side missions, Vista Points, and upgrading all of their equipment) would comfortably take 80-100+ hours.

The open-world setting of Forbidden West doesn't just look lovely, it's also very full. Next we'll break down all story missions as well as preview all types of other activities you can do.

Horizon Forbidden West story mission list

Below is the critical path in Horizon Forbidden West, free of spoilers other than mission titles. However, do be mindful of those if you consider yourself a Horizon lore hound and think these names may tip off what's to come in the story. We've also listed the suggested skill level for each mission, so you'll know what kind of pace you need to be on in order to make it through each mission alive.

  • Reach For The Stars - Level 3
  • The Point Of The Lance - Level 4
  • To The Brink - Level 5
  • The Embassy - Level 7
  • Death's Door - Level 10
  • The Dying Lands - Level 15
  • The Broken Sky - Level 17
  • The Eye Of The Earth - Level 17
  • The Kulrut - Level 18
  • Cradle Of Echoes - Level 20
  • The Sea Of Sands - Level 22
  • Seeds Of The Past - Level 24
  • Faro's Tomb - Level 26
  • Gemini - Level 30
  • All That Remains - Level 31
  • The Wings Of The Ten - Level 32
  • Singularity - Level 35
Aloy's journey to the west will be perilous to say the least.
Aloy's journey to the west will be perilous to say the least.

There are more than enough side missions and other activities to ensure you're always at least a few levels ahead of where you should be, which will help keep Aloy fierce in the midst of battle. Next, we'll briefly explain what all of the map markers mean and what kind of activities you can expect to find in the west.

  • Side quests and errands - Indicated by green exclamation points on the map and compass; errands are often shorter variations of side quests
  • Salvage contractors - Side missions requiring players to find crafting items for merchants
  • Hunting grounds and melee pits - Challenge modes (featuring leaderboards) found in settlements
  • Cauldrons - Large interiors full of puzzles and combat; necessary for mounting some advanced machines
  • Tallnecks - Non-hostile machines that act as map-revealing towers to climb
  • Rebel camps and outposts - Hostile gathering spaces for Regalla's rebels
  • Machine Strike - Tabletop game
  • Gauntlet Runs - Races performed on machine mounts
  • Vista Points - Puzzles that give Aloy glimpses of the past via hologram
  • Relic Ruins - Old-world environmental puzzles that reward Ornaments and XP

Despite having come upon a few dozen already, there are many more side quests than we've found so far--simply put, there are a lot--but other activities are much lower in number. For example, there are only five Tallnecks, seven Relic Ruins, and 18 Cauldrons. These are some of the more rewarding side activities if you want to do more than quests, but other places of interest and settlements will routinely reveal their own secrets as well, such as underwater caverns.

Players are also invited to routinely upgrade their equipment by hunting animals both mechanical and organic. Sentient animals reward crafting ingredients for pouches, such as Aloy's quiver, while machines can be torn apart for ingredients that improve Aloy's weapons and armor.

In total, Horizon Forbidden West is in no uncertain terms the next major timesink game. It's arguably the biggest PS5 game to date according to fan excitement, and it's likely to finish the year as one of the best-selling games on PS5 and PS4. For more on the game, check our tips for beginners, learn about Valor Surges, the best early skills, and where to find the game's legendary weapons.

Mark Delaney on Google+

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