The 10 Toughest New Machines in Horizon Forbidden West

VOICE OVER: Aaron Brown WRITTEN BY: Aaron Brown
If you thought "Zero Dawn" had tough machines, just wait until you get a load of what "Forbidden West" holds. For this list, we'll be looking at the newest machines to terrorize the many tribes of the Forbidden West and break them down for all the parts they're worth. Mild story spoilers ahead. Our list includes the Skydrifter, the Slaughterspine, the Tremortusk, the Widemaw, and more!
Scipt writeen by Aaron Brown

If you thought "Zero Dawn" had tough machines, just wait until you get a load of what "Forbidden West" holds. For this list, we’ll be looking at the newest machines to terrorize the many tribes of the Forbidden West and break them down for all the parts they’re worth. Mild story spoilers ahead. Our list includes the Skydrifter, the Slaughterspine, the Tremortusk, the Widemaw, and more! What was your favorite new machine in Horizon Forbidden West? Which one gave you the most trouble? Let us know in the comments below.


Starting with one of the smaller new machines in Forbidden West, the Leaplasher’s size belies their abilities. Much like the real life kangaroos the Leaplasher is based on, these things can be surprisingly aggressive and sometimes deadly to deal with. The Leaplasher lives up to its title with its primary attack relying on leaping into the air and swinging its cargo pouch like an electrified yo-yo. Not only will this attack stun Aloy but it will also cause her Focus to malfunction, leaving you impared from additional attackers that she and the player can no longer detect. The Leaplashers tend to fight in packs and are quick to call for reinforcements, so the faster you are either able to separate them or take them out without being noticed, the better off you’ll be.


Not only are hippos one of the deadliest mammals on Earth in real life, now thanks to Horizon Forbidden West, they’re also one of the most difficult machines you’ll fight as well. This encounter is usually best approached with caution, because just like real life hippos, they’re far more dangerous than they first appear. Despite their enormous size, they can be surprisingly fast and even if Aloy attempts to put some distance between them, the Widemaw will quickly dig up massive boulders to hurl at Aloy as she retreats. Once close enough, the Widemaw will then attempt to hoover up Aloy and any surrounding debris into its massive jaws, but this also leaves their weak point open to attack if you happen to be faster than their vacuum.


Patrolling the skies like an airborne Watcher, the Skydrifter is a far more advanced and dangerous version of the Glinthawk veteran players are used to. While already an annoyance when airborne, it's the unnerving way this massive bird can run Aloy down on the ground that makes it dangerous no matter how you approach the fight. Equipped with a sonic blast to disorient hunters as well as a spin attack using its razor wings that can also spit fire, the Skydrifter is not to be taken lightly. The new Aerial Traps make bringing the bird down to ground level substantially easier than before, but you still need to draw your prey in for it to be effective. The Skydrifter can eventually be overridden but even this can present a challenge, as upon liftoff, the Skydrifter’s jets explode with flames, scorching anything unlucky enough to be in the vicinity.


Mild spoilers for this one. Still here? Okay, good. The Specter sucks. By far the most futuristic machine Aloy encounters in the Forbidden West, the Specters are most similar to the Corruptors from Zero Dawn in speed and attack patterns. This thing can materialize weapons out of its armor plating which also covers the majority of its body, making targeting a weak spot nearly impossible. Taking on a lone Specter is challenging enough, but when they attack in pairs, your best bet is to separate them and take them on one at a time. Acid is the best attack for lowering their defenses and even then, this only seems to irritate them further. If given the opportunity, planning ahead of one of these battles is key, as starting the fight with an acid trap certainly gives Aloy an advantage no matter how slight.


Move over Snapmaw, there’s a new terror of the deep. The Tideripper, much like the Thunderjaw, is based on a prehistoric dinosaur - in this case a plesiosaur - and it’s every bit as terrifying as it sounds. While absolutely unstoppable underwater, even the shores aren’t safe as this thing drags its flippers into the sand. Being amphibious, naturally all of its attacks are purge water based and the rotating disc on its back spews a constant stream like a firehouse coating anything and everything in its way. Should long distance attacks from its dual water cannons on its head not be enough, the Tideripper is surprisingly nimble and will liberally attempt to crush Aloy under its enormous belly. Taking out the circulating disc should be the first priority, as it deals massive damage and can quickly turn the tide of battle in Aloy’s favor.


Just going from sheer size alone, the Tremortusk could probably easily take on a Thunderjaw. And you get to fight it with a bow! The Tremortusk is by far the most marketed of the new machines in Horizon Forbidden West. and rightfully so! Watching this mammoth machine come charging at you is enough to get even a seasoned hunter’s blood pumping. Beyond its enormous size, the Tremortusk is quite literally armed to the teeth. Multiple cannons, a disc launcher that rivals the Thunderjaw’s and an electrical surge attack that can knock back any hunter that gets too close, the Tremortusk is a walking fortress. Thankfully, one of its main weak points is a target big enough to spot from across the map. If Aloy is able to hit the Tremortusk’s underbelly, it will suffer massive fire damage that will continue to burn until the beast is finally felled.


Remember in Zero Dawn when one of the most dangerous machines was the Stalker due to its ability to turn invisible? Well what if it could fly? An enormous bat-like machine that could take on a Stormbird and win, the Dreadwing is the most dreaded new flying machine Aloy encounters in the Forbidden West. Besides its ability to go all Predator during the fight, the Dreadwing can deploy explosives as well as incapacitate Aloy with its piercing shriek. Grounding the Dreadwing doesn’t make the fight any easier as the Dreadwing has no problem getting up close and personal with powerful melee attacks from its enormous wings. Should Aloy be doing too well during the fight, the Dreadwing can even create some distance using its wings to generate an enormous gust of wind to send any would-be hunters across the map. Just like with vampires, fire is your best friend here.


Nothing this big should be able to jump like that. A walking tank covered in armor, the Shellsnapper lies in wait for any hunters unlucky enough to cross its path. With its ability to submerge itself below ground and erupt into the air at any given moment, to stand still is to accept your fate. Primarily using chillwater attacks to coat the arena in jagged ice crystals, the Shellsnapper can also absorb the numerous attacks from hunters and release all that energy back at them, taking out multiple attackers at once.With all of its armor plating, dealing a lot of damage can be difficult, forcing Aloy to chip away at its armor plating until you either land a lucky shot or get close enough to hit its underbelly.


If the Thunderjaw was an intimidating presence in Zero Dawn, the Slaughterspine is nightmare fuel. These walking hulks of spikes and claws are thankfully mostly found near the coastline, and given its wide range of sweeping attacks, the more open space for your battle, the better. The Slaughterspine certainly lives up to its namesake, barely giving Aloy a break between its onslaughts. Its attacks are mostly plasma based, coating the beaches with plasma traps and burning lines in the sand, forcing Aloy to constantly stay on the move. Its heavily armored plates make dealing significant damage almost impossible, meaning your best bet is to stay alive and chip away as best you can or hope you can use one of its ejected Spine Launchers against it. Honestly, what I wouldn’t give to see the Slaughtspine and Thunderjaw go at it a la Jurassic Park III.


Really not a fan of this one. Impossibly fast for its size and quite literally armed to the teeth, the Slitherfang represents the ultimate challenge for any hunter brave enough to take it on. With its ability to coil around obstacles and then crush the debris to disorient the player all while coating the battlefield in its acid spit, the Slitherfang immediately has the upper hand in any encounter. This isn’t even mentioning its tail which comes equipped with electric attacks that can call down lightning as well as send an electric shockwave rushing along the ground. The Slitherfang has very few weaknesses and will even adapt different strategies for dealing with Aloy depending on how much damage it has taken. Your best bet is to stay on the move and do whatever damage you can for as long as you can.