One of the first things that players are introduced to during the introductory hours of Horizon Zero Dawn is the option to make different choices when dealing with important points in the game. These choices are denoted by three different symbols, a heart, a brain, and a closed fist. In this article we’ll discuss these Horizon Zero Dawn choices, what they mean, and how they affect the game’s overall story.

The Importance of Choice

Many players have grown used to having choices available to their character in various role-playing games, and since Horizon Zero Dawn is an action-RPG, some might expect the weight of Aloy’s choices to carry some heft within the story itself. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, and the choices that you make throughout the game won’t really affect the overall storyline. They will affect how some characters see you when you run into them later, but that holds no bearing over the story itself.

While choice is important to players, the choices offered in Horizon Zero Dawn are simply there to give you some way of controlling how Aloy interacts with others. These choices are few and far between, so don’t expect to run into them as often as you might in other RPGs like Skyrim or even The Witcher 3.

What Each Choice Means

As stated above, in the situations with choices, players are often given four responses to choose from. This is introduced early on, after younger Aloy runs into a couple of children from a nearby Nora village. A young boy throws a rock at Aloy, prompting the choice to either:

  • A: Respond compassionately (the heart icon)
  • B: Respond strategically or tactically (the brain icon)
  • C: Respond aggressively (the closed fist icon)

The choice you make here will affect how the other character reacts (and even some of the things that Aloy says) to you when you meet him much later in the game, after they’ve both grown up. It’s a small thing, that has no overall bearing on how the story plays out, but it’s a nice touch by the developers.

You’ll run into other choices like this during your time in the game, and you’ll be able to choose from those same three types of responses each time. Since they don’t have any type of impact on the story itself, we suggest just choosing the option that you think works best. To us, Aloy always felt like a tactical warrior, so we tended to go with the brain icon more than anything else.

All in all, choices don’t matter that much in Horizon Zero Dawn and are more of a cosmetic feature than a mechanic. For all the RPG elements it has, Horizon Zero Dawn is in fact just Aloy’s story, and players have no real power over how that story turns out. You can find out more about Aloy’s journey, as well as find other articles like this, by heading over to our Horizon Zero Dawn walkthrough. You can also check out our guide on how to get the Shield-Weaver armor, which is the best armor in the game.