There are plenty of skills for players to unlock in Horizon Zero Dawn, but if you truly want to be an effective player, you’re going to need to focus on unlocking some skills ahead of others. In this article we’ll go over what we feel are the most useful and best skills in Horizon Zero Dawn for those just starting out, as well as offer some addition advice about skills that will come into play later in the game.

Skills to Grab First

The assortment of skills below should be acquired during the first few hours of playtime as they are extremely important to surviving in the first hours of the game.

Silent Strike

Silent Strike is easily one of the most important skills for players to unlock first in Horizon Zero Dawn. Costing only 1 Skill Point, it can be obtained very early on and will make life much easier. It allows you to perform a takedown on smaller machines and humans, but it will only deal differing amounts of damage to larger machines like the Sawtooth or Thunderjaw.

Hunter Reflexes

Another cheap skill, Hunter Reflexes allows you to slow time by sliding or jumping while you aim your bow. This can be extremely useful for dealing with Watchers and human enemies, though later in the game it won’t offer much use as you deal with heavier hitting enemies. It’s great for the first few hours, though, especially for the cheap cost of only 1 Skill Point.

Silent Drop

If you want to make stealth a vital part of your gameplan, then Silent Drop is a must-have skill. As one of the first skills you unlock, it makes Aloy’s drops and jumps completely silent, allowing her to drop down behind enemies without making any noise. This is great for making your way through bandit camps, or for hunting groups of machines for parts. It also only costs 1 Skill Point, making it easy to pick up.

Lure Call

Guerilla Games did a great job focusing on the must-have skills and making them easy to acquire early in the game. Costing only 1 Skill Point, the Lure Call is essential if you plan to infiltrate any enemy camps in silence. It’s also great for taking down Watchers that are guarding other machines, and can be used throughout the entire main story to make your life much easier.

Addition Skills to Grab

These skills should be grabbed as you progress through the game. They’ll make life much easier, and should be focused on after grabbing the other skills listed above.

Ammo Crafter

This skill will allow you to create additional amounts of ammunition for your weapons from the same amount of resources. This will make resupplying much more efficient and easy to do, while also not costing nearly as many resources along the way.

Strike From Below

This skill is used mostly in stealth encounters, so you can ignore it if you prefer to go in guns blazing. If you want to make the most of your encounters, though, it and the skill required for it (Strike from Above) are both extremely helpful in dealing with human sentries and patrols. It will cost a total of 7 Skill Points to acquire (1 for Silent Strike, 3 for Strike from Above, and 3 for Strike from Below).

Quiet Sprint

Sometimes you just want to run around your enemies and not have to deal with them. That’s where Quiet Sprint comes in handy. With this skill unlocked players will be able to run quietly past their enemies without arousing any suspicions. This is a great skill to pick up, no matter your playstyle, so make sure to focus on getting it after you’ve grabbed the most important ones above. It will cost quite a bit to unlock, 1 point for Silent Drop, and then 3 apiece for Low Profile, Dodge Prowess, and Quiet Sprint.

While all the skills in Horizon Zero Dawn are useful and should be unlocked at some point, those listed above have proven to be the most helpful during our time with the game. Depending on your playstyle, these skills may not provide the same benefits for you as they did for us, and you should never be afraid to experiment and find out what works best for you.

For more help make sure to check out our Horizon Zero Dawn guide where we teach you things like how to fast travel and how to get the best weapons in the game.