10 Toughest Machines in Horizon Zero Dawn

VOICE OVER: Aaron Brown WRITTEN BY: Aaron Brown
Welcome to MojoPlays, and today we're looking at our picks for the 10 Toughest Machines in Horizon Zero Dawn. For this list, we'll be running for our lives and breaking down the machines that seem specifically designed just to obliterate Aloy in her travels. Considering some of these machines are story related, beware of spoilers ahead. Our list includes the Corruptor, the Fireclaw, the Strombird, the Stalker, and more!
Script written by Aaron Brown

The Corruptor

The world of Horizon Zero Dawn is a dangerous one even without something like this skittering around. The Corruptor is dangerous enough on its own with its heavily armored shell and long range attacks, but it's the ability to corrupt and control nearby machines that makes these encounters so challenging. In any encounter with these monstrosities, the Corruptor needs to be the priority target before Aloy becomes overwhelmed by an army of machines bent to its will. These long dormant machines were reactivated by Hades and immediately went to work finishing what they started decades ago: eradicating all of humanity. Originally designed for unmanned military missions in the days before the Faro Plague, they soon went rogue, becoming sentient and causing the need for the Zero Dawn Protocol before all of humanity became extinct.


Wolfpack! Form of: hunting party! The Scorchers are the first new enemy that Aloy encounters upon entering the Frozen Wilds and it certainly makes an impression. Against the snowy backdrop of the mountains, The Scorcher radiates heat and has enough fiery rage to back up its menacing appearance. If a threat is detected, there is very little that will stop the pack from descending on the interloper and even less that will save it. The Scorcher comes equipped with a mine launcher which it uses to stop a hunter’s hasty retreat from the fight. Beyond its impossible speed and weapons, you can’t even hide in the tall grass as its scanners can easily detect defenseless prey. Like many of the machines in the mountains of the Frozen Wilds, The Scorcher is susceptible to Freeze attacks, but that’s only if the clever girl doesn’t find you first.


Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water. The snapmaws return the crocodiles of the old days back to their prehistoric size and ferocity and add a special dose of speed just for any Nora thinking they might be able to outrun those powerful jaws. Employing the same tactics as their ancestors, the Snapmaws lie in wait until a hapless victim approaches the water a little too carelessly. Using freeze attacks to slow their prey from a distance, they can quickly close the gap and pull their helpless victim into the murky depths below. Once outside of the water, their weaknesses are easier to take advantage of and their size prevents them from following into the dense brush, if you can make it there that is. Aloy needs to be precise with her shots otherwise the Snapmaws can quickly overrun her or outnumber her.


Once you see the glint of their eyes, it’s already too late. The Stalkers are one of the only machines to use stealth technology in their hunting of prey and their speed makes them almost impossible to track once they initiate their camouflage. Equipped with proximity mines and one shot dart gun for ranged attacks, few hunters will encounter a Stalker and live to tell about it. Oh and they can hunt in packs too, just to make sure everything is extra dead. The Stalkers have an extremely limited list of weaknesses, with shock arrows or traps being the only thing to slow them down enough for an outright assault. You just have to know where to find it before it finds you.


I do not like the cobra chicken. Longlegs act as an upgraded Watcher that protects the roaming herds across the many lands of Horizon Zero Dawn, these mechanized ostriches can attack with a sonic scream that completely disorients their opponent and then follow it up with a karate kick that can send a hunter across the map and bouncing back to their village. Hitting their weak spots is no easy feat considering the Longlegs’ incredible speed and ability to coat the battlefield in flames they shoot from their wings. Fleeing won’t do much good either once their sights are set on Aloy, as like the Scorchers, the Longlegs can scan the grass looking for anyone who thinks they might be safe in this dangerous game of cat and mouse.


Designed to be the “Ultimate Weapon”, it would actually take less time to explore the weapons this thing doesn’t have. It’s called “The Deathbringer” for a reason. While slow moving, it makes up for it in sheer firepower that can quickly overwhelm the battlefield and turn the tide in the Deathbringer’s favor. Awakened by Hades to begin the eradication of mankind once again, Aloy and company definitely have the most challenging fight of their lives on their hands. Relatively impenetrable, the only saving grace is the fact that the Deathbringer overheats quite regularly due to all of its firepower and its constant, seemingly unending stream of attacks. This is the only window of opportunity to cause any real damage and thankfully bring the beast down for good.


Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a glinthawk! No, it’s carpet bombing us! Big enough to block out the sun with its wingspan, the Stormbird is all at once intimidating, terrifying, and frustrating. Like most airborne enemies in games, the Stormbird is infuriating due to its agility in the air making it a hard target to nail down. And that just so happens to be the best way to combat this gigantic bird of prey. Using Aloy’s ropecaster, she can pin the bird to the ground to pinpoint her shots for maximum damage. However, doing this is of course easier said than done, and coating the battlefield in elemental damage is only the start of this bird’s repertoire. If Aloy doesn't stay on the move, the Stormbird can easily knock her off her feet with its wings or just ground her into the dirt with an aerial dive.


You just have to imagine the developers at Guerilla Games trying to think of the coolest machine they could possibly create when they landed on a T-Rex with freaking laser beams attached to its head. Not only is it one of the most iconic machines in the entire game, it's also one of the most challenging. Everything about this beast just screams “ Leave it alone”, from a size that’s so intimidating, it can actually be seen stalking from across the map, to the fact it’s quite literally armed to the teeth, only the bravest of the Hunter’s Lodge even dare challenge this overpowered beast. And guess who’s gonna challenge it? Go on, guess. Luckily these beasts come equipped with the means to take them down if players are lucky enough to shoot off their disc launcher. But if not, Aloy is in for one hell of a fight.


Few things in the world are more terrifying than an angry grizzly, an angry mechanized grizzly on fire is something else entirely. Like its cousin the Frostclaw, the Fireclaw is an enormous bear type machine encountered only in the Frozen Wilds and thank god for that. When on all fours, this bear is ridiculously fast and when on its hind legs, it’s almost as tall as a Thunderjaw; neither attack positions are ideal. Not only can it cover the battle area in flames, it can also use its claws to dig up and ignite enormous boulders to hurl at Aloy. And did I mention this freaking thing can jump for an aerial attack? Because it can. The Fireclaw’s only true weakness is frost attacks but due to its body being on fire, even these attacks can take precious moments to take effect and never last as long as you want them to.


The only subterranean machine on our list and also one of the toughest and most frustrating as well. These mechanical graboids hunt from underground and can quickly overtake an entire hunting party from below before they even knew what hit them. Any attempts to fight them head on are an uphill battle as they can quickly dive back underground for a surprise attack. Even ranged attacks don’t stand much of a chance as not only can they quickly close the distance, they can also hurl boulders across the map with almost pinpoint accuracy. When hunting a Rockbreaker, Aloy’s only means of strategy is to use any freeze attacks she has available and chip away at their health bars as quickly as she can until the effect wears off or retreat across any body of water and just don’t look back.