Game Guides

The Best Armor For Every Stage of Horizon: Forbidden West

Whether you're at hour one or one hundred, we've got you covered. Literally.

Originally Published: 

If you’re going to save the world, you’d better look great doing it. Horizon Forbidden West continues the series’ legacy of over-the-top action and enemy encounters, thanks to its massive roster of even more massive robots. It’s easy to focus on the dinosaur-inspired designs like the Thunderjaw, but even more mundane animals like the kangaroo-like Leaplasher can ravage Aloy. If you want to get anywhere in this open-world masterpiece you’re going to need to protect yourself.

That means choosing the best armor, which also means making sure you keep an eye out for the right materials. Of course, you don’t get access to the best stuff until late in the game, so here’s a rundown of the best armor in Horizon Forbidden West for early, mid, and late-game players along with the materials you’ll want to hoard along the way so you’re ready to make upgrades.

Best Early Game Armor in Horizon Forbidden West

Nora Anointed

Aloy’s starting armor is designed to support the skills you’ll need to get ahead fast.

Guerilla Games

It may surprise you, but the best all-around armor for early-game HFW players is Aloy’s starting armor. The Nora Anointed outfit has two crucial buffs that will help extend your lifespan in the unforgiving wilds of the ruined American West. The first, Concentration Regen, is key for dismantling robo-baddies and collecting those crucial crafting components. The second, Potent Medicine, grants a 20 percent bonus to healing. It also has resistance to shock and acid damage.

What you’ll need for upgrades: Sturdy Hardplate, Burrower Circulator, Fanghorn Antler, Machine Core

Best Mid-Game Armor In Horizon Forbidden West

Carja Shadow

Health is the most important resource mid-game, when bigger baddies = bigger hits.

Guerilla Games

As you head into mid-game play in Horizon Forbidden West, there is one thing you’ll want to do a lot: survive. You’ll encounter a few outfits by this point and, while one or two may suit your specific playstyle, the best all-arounder is the Carja Shadow. You’ll find it in Scalding Spear, Plainsong, and Maw of the Arena (you’ll need a Longleg Circulator to get it).

Despite the name, this isn’t built for sneaking. It’s built for health. In addition to Potent Medicine, this armor also comes with +1 Medicine Capacity at Level 2. Most importantly, +2 Low Health Defense at Level 4 gives you a big defense boost when your health falls below 25 percent. As the baddies get badder, you're going to want all the hit points you can get.

What you’ll need for upgrades: Sturdy Hardplate, Small Machine Core, Medium Machine Core, Clawstrider Razor Tail, Clawstrider Circulator, Clawstrider Primary Nerve, Longled Wing Burner, and Snapmaw Sac Webbing.

Best Late Game Armor in Horizon Forbidden West

Nora Thunder Warrior

A Legendary outfit with great all-around resistance and regen buffs to keep you going during those epic late-game encounters.

Guerilla Games

Late-game Horizon Forbidden West is not for the faint of heart. When those Thunderjaws and Shellsnappers start popping up, Aloy needs every trick in her arsenal to survive. And for the best armor you can find, look no further than the Nora Thunder Warrior outfit. You can purchase it from Dukka at the Arena for the cost of 54 medals. Will you have to get your grind on? Yes. Is it worth it? Also, yes. It’s ranged-combat focused with massive buffs to concentration and stamina, including regen rates. This is especially helpful when paired with the Concentration+ perk, which doubles the length of time but at the cost of taking longer to recharge.

As a Legendary set, it can be upgraded five times, leading to some exponential increases in damage resistance for everything except Frost and Plasma. A +1 and +2 Heavy Weapon buff at levels 4 and 5 can be a huge help late game as well, particularly against Specters and the final Specter Prime (assuming you knock their Plasma Cannons off and use it against them.)

What you’ll need for upgrades: Frostclaw Circulator, Luminous Brainstem, Slitherfang Earthgrinder, Slitherfang Primary Nerve, Frostclaw Sac Webbing, Stormbird Primary Nerve, Apex Behemoth Heart, Apex Stormbird Heart, Tremortusk Tusk, Apex Tremortusk Heart, Tideripper Tail Fin, Tremortusk Circulator, Apex Slaughterspine Heart, Apex Tideripper Heart, and Slaughterspine Circulator.

It’s a tough world out there. Dress for success.

Guerilla Games

Once you finish Horizon Forbidden West, you can bring all your gear with you into New Game+, so taking the time to earn the top-tier outfits and weapons is a wise investment if you’re going the completionist route — or just can’t get enough of one of Sony’s best original IPs.

There are dozens of other outfits in the game to explore too, these are just the best for all-around play. Maybe you want to do more stealth? Or traps? There’s an outfit for everything. Happy hunting!

Horizon Forbidden West is available now on PS4 and PS5.

This article was originally published on

Related Tags