Horizon Forbidden West – Best Skills To Upgrade First

Aloy’s journey in Horizon Forbidden West is her biggest one yet, full of dangers and foes that are much more terrifying than before. Your skills will be put to the test, and you’ll need to play it smart to gain a shot at surviving through to the end.

Horizon Forbidden West Skill Trees

horizon forbidden west skill trees

Horizon Forbidden West has 6 skill trees – Warrior, Trapper, Hunter, Survivor, Infiltrator, and Machine Master. Each of these skill trees focuses on different playstyles and while you’re free to choose which one you want to start with, hear us out first.

Horizon Forbidden West features a bigger and deeper skill tree than the first game, which will surely leave players guessing as to which skills are the most important ones to upgrade first. Eventually, with enough levels and side quests, it’s definitely possible to learn everything but it’ll take a while to get there, so planning which skills will benefit you the most in the early game is crucial to your success.

Well, we’ve got you covered, and in this guide, we’ll let you know which skills are worth your precious skill points early on in the game.

Spoiler Alert!

It goes without saying that if you’re not into Horizon Forbidden West spoilers and want to experience the wonder by yourself, please read no further! If you want a bit of a boost to jumpstart your gameplay though, you’ve come to the right place!

Disregard skills from the Warrior, Trapper, and Machine Master Tree

To start things off, we will only be looking at skills from the Hunter, Survivor, and Infiltrator trees only. Why? Let me explain.

The Warrior tree, obviously, will build around melee-based gameplay. For most of the game, you will not be using melee skills or combos since you’ll be fighting machines, so we’ll avoid this tree for now. The Trapper tree focuses on traps (of course) but their use is highly situational and there are better skills in other trees to upgrade first.

For the Machine Master tree, while it revolves around skills that depend on mounting or overriding machines to help you in battle, you won’t be overriding most machines in the early game as they will require access to the cauldrons, something you’ll see later.

That said, here are the best skills to upgrade first.

Horizon Forbidden West – Best Skills To Upgrade First

Concentration+ (and other Concentration skills like Concentration Regen and Deep Concentration

horizon forbidden west best skills - concentration +

Concentration skills are ESSENTIAL in Horizon Forbidden West because it helps you aim at targets properly by slowing down time when aiming. This is important, especially when aiming for certain parts to harvest for upgrades.

Concentration skills will probably be your most used skill in the whole game, so it would be wise to invest in them early.

This will probably be the first skill you will want to invest in, but an argument could be made for this next skill, since you can get by the earlier parts of the game using stealth…

Silent Strike

horizon forbidden west silent strike skill

Stealth is something you should get used to doing in Horizon Forbidden West since barging in on machines is almost always a sure way to get your ass kicked. When in stealth, you can attack with a Silent Strike, which is practically a critical hit that can destroy weaker machines and enemies in one hit.

While in stealth, you will also want…

Stealth Ranged and Stealth

In Horizon Forbidden West, you will be in stealth for a good portion of the game, so you’ll have to maximize your damage output while hidden to make the most out of it.

When you’re not using Silent Strike, Stealth Ranged will increase your ranged damage, and Stealth Tear will increase your part-tearing capabilities even before the enemy is aware of your presence. Utilizing every bit of advantage is key, so these skills are very important.

If you’re confident enough in your stealth abilities, you can pass up on these and head to another Skill Tree. Depending on whether you need an extra boost to your stealth skills, you can pick these up to further keep you quiet while moving and attacking.

When your normal attacks don’t deal too much damage anymore, it’s time to bring out the big guns – weapon techniques. Weapon techniques are weapon-specific “skills” that eat up weapon stamina when used. These are scattered across the 6 skill trees and depending on what weapon you’re using, you’ll have to invest some skill points to get them unlocked.

Since you’ll want to be using these techniques to help you in a pinch, you’ll need these stamina-related skills to give you an added boost, allowing you to use your weapon techniques faster and more frequently.

While we’re on the Hunter Skill Tree, it would be wise to also get this next one…

Ammo Expert

horizon forbidden west ammo expert skill

This skill doesn’t need too much explanation – more ammo crafted from the same amount of resources = less crafting materials spent.

This is important because some of the more advanced types of ammunition in Horizon Forbidden West are expensive to craft, so you’ll need to conserve as many resources as possible, and this will help with that.

Now we head on over to one of the more important Skill Trees – Survivor, and we’ll start with…

Again, it goes without saying, anything that will increase the healing potency of your items is of utmost importance. Not only will it save your life in battle, but it’ll also use fewer resources in the long run, allowing you to basically heal more for less.

You’ll also want this next one…

Medicine Capacity

horizon forbidden west medicine capacity skill

Another skill that needs no explanation. Carry more medicine in your pouch to give yourself more healing when the situation calls for it.

In case you run out of medicine berries, if you’ve been picking them up along the way, you can quickly refill your pouch by holding up on the D-Pad to move your spare berries from your inventory.

Since you’ll be picking up a lot of stuff in Horizon Forbidden West, make the most out of your efforts with…

Plant Forager

horizon forbidden west plant forager skill

Gather more resources when picking up plants, what’s not to like?

Horizon Forbidden West is now available for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

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