Horizon Zero Dawn Best Weapons Guide

The following Horizon Zero Dawn Best Weapons Guide will discuss everything you need to know about weapons and how to unlock them.

Horizon Zero Dawn takes you back to the primitive times so the weapons are in accordance with the setting. There are no guns or traditional explosives in Zero Dawn.

Most of the times you will be using a Bow and Arrow and other similar weapons, making the search for Horizon Zero Dawn Best Weapons, a likely initiative and this is where we come in to help!

For more help on Horizon Zero Dawn, read our Level Up Fast Guide, Enemies Guide and Skills Guide.

Horizon Zero Dawn Best Weapons

Weapons in HZD are able to fire different types of ammunition such as fire, shock, and explosives. You can also modify your weapons by adding customs parts to slots. Each weapon has a set number of slots, low level weapons have less slots while weapons you unlock later on have more slots to them.

We recommend investing in Tinker ability. This ability is used to remove and reuse weapon modifications. There is no limit, all weapons come under this skill so remove as and reuse as you please.

How to Unlock Best Weapons

Shadow Ropecaster

  • 500 Metal Shards
  • 1 Snapmaw Heart

Shadow Ropecaster comes with 150 base damage.  If you are looking to use the ropecaster for a better part of the game, it is best to have this best in your inventory.

Tearblaster in Horizon Zero Dawn is acquired as a quest reward. In order to obtain it, you need to complete the Hunter’s Blind side-mission. In order to start this side-mission, you need to speak with Ahsis at the Hunter’s Lodge.

This weapon is remarkable if you face difficulties against heavily armored machines. With Tearblaster, you should be able to get rid of a machine’s armor in a couple of seconds. However, do note that it requires special ammo.

Shadow Sling

  • 650 Metal Shards
  • 1 Crystal Braiding

Shadow Sling is able to fire freeze damage, shock, fire. This is a useful weapon to have in your inventory and is effective against most of the enemies you come across in the game.

Shadow Tripcaster

  • 750 Metal Shards
  • 1 Scrapper Heart

Shadow Tripcaster needs to be developed as soon as possible. It is one of the best weapons in the game, it is accessible, decent amount of slots, and it able to fire Shock, Explosive, and Fire Traps. It will allow you to trap enemies but keep in mind that it only comes with a shock traps in the beginning.

Shadow Hunter Bow

  • 650 Metal Shards
  • 1 Watcher Heart

Watcher Hearts are easy to get and doesn’t many shards to build this weapon. We won’t call it the best weapon in the game, Shadow Hunter Bow is still not to be missed. It is extremely effective against watchers and smaller enemies but its limited modification options rander is useless later on in the game.

Shadow Ratler

  • 950 Shards
  • 1 Board Skin
  • 1 Rabbit Skin
  • 1 Fox Skin

Shadow Ratler will take some time to unlock but it is probably the best weapon in the game. It can fire explosives and is able to throw proximity bombs as well.

Shadow Sharpshot

  • 800 Metal Shards
  • 1 Trampler Heart

The weapon is able to fire Hardpoint, Tearblast, and Harvest Arrow at enemies, making it one of the best once to have in your arsenal. Make sure you work toward unlocking this weapon.

However, keep in mind that you are choosing damage over fire speed. You will also be able to shoot three arrows at a time by upgrading the bow.

Shadow Blast Sling

  • 1400 Metal Shards
  • Lancehorn Heart

High impact and area damage, need we say more?

Shadow War Bow

  • 800 Metal Shards
  • 1 Trampler Heart

The bow is able to fire corruption arrows that allow you to override enemies. Overriding means you can mount certain enemies and traverse the map. Meanwhile, pretty much all enemies will fight alongside you once you override.

Improved Forgefire
You need to start with Frozen Wilds DLC to get this weapon. It is a very capable weapon as it can take out a lot of enemies quickly. It is like a flamethrower and its fiery waves can sweep enemies swiftly.

Improved Icerall
This weapon is gained when Aloy is crowned the chief of Werak and only if you have played The Frozen Wilds DLC. Complete side quests to upgrade this weapon and when upgraded it becomes so powerful that you can easily dismantle machines with only one fully charged shot.

Improved Stormslinger
When Aloy agrees to escorting Ourea to Thunder’s Drum, she will get his weapon in the Frozen Wilds DLC. It can cause electric damage by shooting electric bolts. To upgrade it you will have to complete Varga’s sidequest and it will become improved stormslinger which would be a better weapon in every regard


War Bow
This weapon has low damage but deals Shock elemental damage.

Sharpshot Bow
This weapon has a slow attack speed but is highly accurate.

Carja Sharpshot Bow
This weapon has a slow attack speed but is highly accurate.

Carja Hunter’s Bow
This weapon has a low damage output but makes up for it with faster reload speed and Fire elemental damage.

Banuk Striker Bow
This is similar to the hunter bow but it is like an upgrade to that one. It will become available after starting with Frozen Wilds DLC. You can overdraw this bow for a more powerful attack on machines or enemies, so it is very useful.

Banuk Champion Bow
This is also a Frozen Wilds DLC weapon. As you have to face stronger machines here, so you get more powerful weapons as well. You can even take out Rockbreakers with this bow as with the right upgrade this is an extremely strong weapon.

Banuk Powershot Bow
Another DLC weapon, similar to the previous bow, this is also very powerful and it can be used for sharpshooting.

Lodge War Bow
With its three different types of arrows, this bow has something to keep you in command of the situation at every time. If you complete 15 hunting lodges, you would be able to get this weapon


Rattler Shotgun
This is a fairly low accuracy shotgun which has Tear elemental damage.

Ropecaster Shotgun
This allows you to tie down machines and immobilize them. You can hold down large machines using it and it can be made more powerful using several variations. When you complete the hunting ground trials, you will get the best version of this weapon. Flying machine can be tacked very easily using this weapon.


This is an uncommon sling which deals Freeze elemental damage.

Carja Sling
This is a rare sling which deals Freeze and Shock elemental damage.

Lodge Blast Sling
This is an uncommon sling without any elemental damage. But it can cause substantial blast damage. Using this sling you can damage machines by attaching bombs to them.

Shadow Sling
This is a very rare sling which deals Freeze, Shock, and Burn elemental damage.


This is an uncommon trap which deals Freeze elemental damage.

Carja Trip Caster
This is a rare trap which deals Shock elemental damage.

Melee Weapons

Sylens’ Lance
You will get this weapon from Sylens himself. This weapon basically allows Aloy to execute Stealth Takedown, provided you’ve the appropriate skills. You can cause tear as well as elemental damage using this weapon.

Sarmad is our Senior Editor, and is also one of the more refined and cultured among us. He's 25, a finance major, and having the time of his life writing about videogames.