Horizon Forbidden West: Best Weapons That Aren't Legendaries
If you’re looking for the best weapons in Horizon Forbidden West, the answer to that question might not be what you’re thinking. Sure, the Legendary weapons of each type are ideal — that's expected — but they’re also difficult to obtain and can require a bit of grinding to get. Some don't even become available until you've made your way towards the end of the campaign or completed all of the Relic Ruins, for example.
Of course, you should still use Legendaries once you can, but there are plenty of other fantastic weapons for Aloy to wield until you reach that point. We’ve listed some of the best weapons below that aren't Legendaries.
The Best Non-Legendary Weapons in Horizon Forbidden West
As mentioned, we've outlined the best weapons to help see you through the entire game, from beginning to end. While we've noted specific weapons that are ideal to use, we've also included alternatives you can obtain earlier or for fewer materials.
Frost Blastsling or Icefire Blastsling
You’ll get different Blastlings as you progress and complete side quests or visit merchants, but the Frost Blastsling – and any other Blastsling with Frost abilities – is exceptionally useful and one of the game's best weapons. The neat thing is you get this near the beginning of Horizon Forbidden West, and it remains useful well into the endgame even if it is of Uncommon rarity.
Afflicting an enemy with Frost builds up Brittle status, which increases the effects of Impact damage, increasing the viability of regular bow shots, spike throwers, and shredder gauntlets.
Sure, the Frost Blastsling is especially useful against machines weak to Frost damage, such as Scroungers and Rockbreakers, but it can also be useful against other machines, as well. Pair the Frost Blastsling with a strong Hunter’s Bow like the Frost Hunter Bow of Slicing Hunter Bow, and you’ll take down enemies in no time.
There’s a merchant in The Bulwark area that sells the Icefire Blastsling, which adds fire damage and Burn status as well, making this weapon sub-type even more useful.
Prototype Spike Thrower
You could save up for the Explosive Blastsling to deal explosive damage as well, or you could just use the Prototype Spike Thrower. You’ll obtain this by completing the Bigger Boom quest near Chainscrape, and it essentially fires explosive javelins that remain useful well into Horizon Forbidden West's campaign, making it one of the best weapons you can get.
The benefit of using the Prototype Spike Thrower over the Blastsling is you have greater control over the area of impact: you can hit your target directly or lob these explosive spikes into the ground to create traps. I found the Blastlings occasionally difficult to aim, and it’s easy for a machine to walk out of its area of effect. With the Prototype Spike Thrower, if you land the hit, it explodes for big damage and helps rip off armor in the process.
You can get upgraded versions of this weapon as well. I prefer the Pulverizing Spike Thrower since it deals greater explosive and impact damage. You can buy that from the vendor in Thornmarsh.
Another solid choice is the Glowblast Spike Thrower. This one also has explosive impact spikes, but it adds plasma damage as well. You can get it by exchanging medals at The Maw of the Arena after the Opening the Arena quest.
We already listed a Blastsling, but this one is just too good to pass up. The Corrosive Blastsling, obtainable from merchants in Thornmarsh, deals Corrosive damage and, more importantly, Purgewater damage.
Purgewater is a new status effect that inhibits machines from using elemental attacks, which is incredibly useful, especially later in Horizon Forbidden West when you face more Thunderjaws, Slaughterspines, and Fire Clamberjaws. You also get Adhesive Bombs as an added bonus, a handy way to negate the Blastling's sometimes difficult targeting; that alone earns it a spot on this best weapons list.
Glowblast Sharpshot Bow
Sharpshot Bows are bland but useful for the most part, as most have Precision arrows only (save a few like the Exacting Sharpshot Bow and Cleaving Sharpshot Bow, for example).
The Glowblast Sharpshot Bow is much different. It gives you Tear and Plasma arrows, alongside the Precision variety, and you can buy it from the Hunter in Thornmarsh. It also comes with good perks in High Ground Damage, Overdraw Damage, and Component Tear.
There aren't many plasma weapons in Horizon Forbidden West when compared to the other elemental damage types, so this bow comes in handy against machines like Stormbirds and Slitherfangs. It's also useful to have when going into the final missions, where you'll face Specters and Specter Prime. When you hit the final missions, you'll now why this is one of the game's best weapons.
Firestorm Warrior Bow
On the other end of the bow spectrum is the Warrior Bow, excellent at close range and boasting an impressive rate of fire. Completing the Gate of the Vanquished side quest in Scalding Spear earns you the Firestorm Warrior Bow, complete with Fire, Acid, and Shock arrows. It’s a powerful combination that gives you plenty of options for up-close combat.
Your options are rather limited before that point, but the Frostbite Warrior Bow from merchants at the Bulwark is a good choice. It gives you Acid and Frost arrows. Both of these are solid choices among the game's best weapons.
Ironeater Shredder Gauntlet or Thunderbolt Shredder Gauntlet
The Shredder Gauntlet is a high-risk weapon that rips machine armor off – and might go whizzing past you if you don’t catch it. It’s essentially a deadly boomerang you throw at your target and have to catch on the way back, but there are few better ways for dealing with armor than this.
The Ironeater Shredder Gauntlet is one you can purchase in The Bulwark, and its big perk is dealing Acid damage alongside Pierce damage. The Thunderbolt Shredder Gauntlet is a bit better, though you won’t get it until Thornmarsh. This one deals Shock and Tear damage, giving you another option for different machine types.
And those are the best weapons of the non-legendary variety in Horizon Forbidden West, at least in our opinion. Check out our other Forbidden West guides for more tips and tricks.