How do Weapon Techniques work in Horizon Forbidden West?

Adiba Chowdhury
By Adiba Chowdhury
5 Min Read
Credit: Guerrilla Games

Find out everything there is to know about the new Weapon Techniques mechanism introduced in Horizon Zero Dawn: Forbidden West.

Guerrilla Games had introduced us to Aloy for the first time in 2017’s Horizon Zero Dawn. Aloy’s journey continues in Horizon Zero Dawn: Forbidden West as she ventures towards Tenakth tribe territory in search of Sylens.

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The skill tree in the first Horizon Zero Dawn game was pretty impressive on its own. But Forbidden West goes several steps further to enhance its combat mechanisms. By adding the Weapon Techniques section to its skill tree, players are able to extensively customize their playing style.

While certain weapon techniques work best against specific types of enemies, others work equally great against all enemies. In this guide, we will explain what weapon techniques are, how you can unlock and use them, as well as how you can change between the different types of weapon techniques.

What are Weapon Techniques in Horizon Forbidden West?

Weapon Techniques work as an extension of the game’s skill tree system. Forbidden West allows players to customize how they can use a weapon and how it affects certain enemies. Each weapon type has three weapon techniques tied to it, allowing Aloy to wield a weapon in three different ways.

They act like special attacks that can greatly increase the damage dealt. Depending on how you use them, you can either inflict a status ailment on enemies, deal devastating damage to a single enemy, or hit multiple enemies with a single attack. These weapon techniques increase the versatility of weapons, giving you endless combat strategies to choose from.

How to Unlock Weapon Techniques in Horizon Forbidden West?

Credit: Video Games Source

Weapon Techniques are tied to the skill tree of every specific weapon type. In order to unlock a weapon technique, you must first unlock the skill tied to it. Like all skills, weapon techniques also use Skill Points to unlock. Weapon Techniques can be distinguished by their pentagonal shape. Once unlocked, they become usable for all weapons belonging to that category.

How to Use Weapon Techniques in Horizon Forbidden West?

Since Weapon Techniques are considered special attacks, they cannot be used as frequently as your normal attacks. That’s because they consume weapon stamina upon use, which replenishes over time. The weapon stamina appears as a yellow bar at the bottom right corner of your screen. Moreover, although there are three weapon techniques tied to each weapon type, you can only have one equipped at a time.

In order to use a weapon technique, you must first equip your weapon of choice from the weapon wheel and make sure that your preferred technique is selected. Then, press L1 to aim and R1 to attack instead of pressing R2 like usual. This will cause Aloy to use the selected weapon technique at the cost of some weapon stamina. However, only pressing R1 without aiming will cause Aloy to swing her spear instead.

How to Change Weapon Techniques in Horizon Forbidden West?

Once you have unlocked more than one weapon technique for a specific weapon type, you can change between them to switch up your playstyle. Since every opponent is different, some weapon techniques will be more effective than others.

In order to switch between different weapon techniques in Forbidden West, you will need to start with selecting your desired weapon from the weapon wheel. Then, while pressing L1 to aim, press the on the right or left side of your D-pad to cycle through the different techniques unlocked for that weapon. The weapon technique selected will appear just below the ammo type displayed in the center of the weapon wheel.

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By Adiba Chowdhury Deputy Evergreen Editor
Adiba Chowdhury is the Deputy Editor of the Evergreen section at GameRiv. Adiba is an avid gamer, artist, and anime lover. She expresses her love for RPGs, JRPGs, and Action Adventure games by writing about evergreen titles with lasting impressions for GameRiv.