Horizon Forbidden West – Best Valor Surge

Horizon Forbidden West is back and tougher than ever, especially when facing off against new types of machines that are all ready to take the fight to Aloy. Thankfully, our heroine has learned a few new moves along the way, helping shift the tides of battle when the situation calls for it.

What is a Valor Surge and how do you use them?

Valor Surge is, for lack of a better term, an “ultimate” move that can be triggered once you build up your Valor meter. These moves are exceptionally powerful, and when used properly, can win you the battle with ease. Each Valor Surge has 3 upgrade levels and costs quite a bit of skill points, so be sure to choose and upgrade wisely.

Activating a Valor Surge is as easy as holding down L1 to bring up the weapon wheel and then pressing R1. Provided you’ve filled up your Valor gauge enough, then you’ll be ready to bring the fight to the machines.

In all honestly, I could end this guide by only pointing out one (yes, only one) Valor Surge in Horizon Forbidden West that you’ll need in the game and nothing else. Everything becomes icing on top of the cake once you get it, but for the sake of discussion, let’s look at some other worthy Valor Surges as well.

horizon forbidden west toughened valor surge screenshot

Spoiler Alert!

If you don’t want your Horizon Forbidden West experience to be spoiled, we suggest you turn back now! In case you need help figuring Valor Surges out, then you’ve come to the right place.

Horizon Forbidden West – Best Valor Surge


horizon forbidden west toughened valor surge

The big daddy.

Arguably the best Valor Surge in the game, Toughened gives you health regeneration every 2 seconds, along with various resistances to status effects. You are 100% resistant to blind and deafening, and even 50% resistant to melee damage, making you a walking rock of death for these machines (and humans).

Often times healing during encounters is an added thing you have to worry about in between everything else you have to do like dodge, switch weapons, craft ammo, and more. This eliminates the healing worry and leaves you to fully concentrate on killing the machine.

While other Valor Surges are situational and may require you to aim and maybe miss your shot especially against very mobile machines, Toughened doesn’t require any of that. Just pop it, drink up, and enjoy the ride.

You cannot go wrong with this one.


horizon forbidden west powershots valor surge

Apart from your trusty bows, one new weapon in Horizon Forbidden West are the Spike Throwers and Boltblasters, which can deal insane amounts of damage when used right. With the Powershots Valor Surge, you get 5 attempts at dealing 200% ranged damage on top of Concentration returns. We’re talking major damage here.

The icing on the cake is that Powershots do not use up ammo, and the more advanced ammo types tend to be a bit expensive because it uses more uncommon materials, making it a 2-in-1 Valor Surge that will be useful for any situation where you need to dispose of a pesky apex machine.

Stealth Stalker

horizon forbidden west stealth stalker valor surge

This may be a situational Valor Surge, but when paired with the right skills, can instantly kill a machine in a few shots.

Stealth is essential in Horizon Forbidden West, and there are some skills like Stealth Ranged and Stealth Tear which increase damage when in stealth. Pair these with Stealth Stalker that gives 200% bonus damage to unaware targets, fire away with the Braced Shot technique with a Sharpshot Bow, and watch those damage numbers fly.

Oh, and you can also just use it to slip past machine-infested territory unnoticed, which is cool too.

Radial Blast

horizon forbidden west radial blast power surge

When the going gets tough, just splash everyone with damage!

Radial Blast can deal damage AND apply the shock status to nearby enemies in Horizon Forbidden West, resulting in them getting incapacitated for a few seconds. On top of this, you deal 100% more damage to shocked enemies, ensuring that you get to deal major damage shortly after.

When used against machines that deal chain shock damage against nearby machines, you get double the blast radius and several dead machines in your wake.

Ranged Master

horizon forbidden west ranged master valor surge

Most of your weapons in Horizon Forbidden West are ranged weapons, meaning that the Ranged Master Valor Surge can boost damage across most of your weapons with extra bonuses like health recovery per hit, weapon stamina regen, and increased technique damage.

In particular, when paired with the Braced Shot technique from Sharpshot bows which use a ton of weapon stamina, you can keep using the skill in succession for maximum damage.

Oh, and machines killed with a ranged attack while using this Valor Surge will result in a shock explosion. That sounds like a good deal!

Other Valor Surges in Horizon Forbidden West may see limited use due to them being very situational. Traps are useful but often forgotten during the heat of battle, and spending skill points on the Trap tree will take away valuable skill points you could have used for more important skills. Unless traps are your preferred playstyle, the trap-related Valor Surges are good but not as versatile as the others.

The Part Breaker Valor Surge, for example, can be replaced by simply using Tearblast arrows or advanced hunter arrows paired with the proper Tear coils. While this Valor Surge can ensure part breakage for those hard-to-tear parts, you can just simply spend the skill points somewhere else. The same can be said of the Elemental Fury Valor Surge, which only builds up the elemental triggers faster. You can opt to go the manual way of doing it via the Warrior Bows, so this Valor Surge can easily be overlooked.

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

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