Horizon Forbidden West loves its obstacles and distractions. Its immensely satisfying gameplay loop is predicated upon hoofing it to far-off checkpoints while being waylaid by marauders, narrative left turns, and lots of killing machines. Perhaps no objective better embraces this than the Survey Drone location quest. You unlock it as soon as you discover the base during The Eye of the Earth quest (let’s assume you’ve done that already — why else would you be here?)
HOW TO CATCH A SURVEY DRONE IN HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST
Horizon Forbidden West is full of gorgeous and distinct biomes, and with 10 sentinel drones to find, you’ll end up seeing some far-flung corners of the map. Snatching the drones is no easy feat either.
The plan is relatively the same each time. Find the survey drone location, head there and look up. Spam your Focus mode (R3) until the drone pings, then scan it. You’ll get to see its extensive flight path. Somewhere along the path will be an opportunity to leap onto its back and wrangle it to the ground. If you’re the patient type, play through the story until you unlock SPOILER, which will make things much, much easier. Otherwise, when in doubt, climb higher.
All Drone Locations
- The Greenswell
- The Dry Yearn
- The Stillsands
- No Man’s Land
- The Graypeak
- Isle of Spires
- Stand of the Sentinels
- The Sheerside Mountains
GREENSWELL Drone location (Module 287)
Start at Scalding Spear and head northeast. Look for Plowhorns. When you find some, check the nearby cliffs. You should see the survey drone flying around. The easiest place to intercept its path comes by way of a wooden platform running along one of the cliffs.
THE DRY YEARN Drone Location (Module 143)
You’ll find this one just south of the Greenswell survey drone (or west out of Plainsong) along a path that runs to the north. There is also a set of Relic Ruins in Dry Yearn so if you’ve found that, go there and head northeast. Either way, keep an eye out for some Shellsnappers and a large metal ramp that leads up a hill. The drone flies near there so you should be able to spot it.
THE STILLSANDS Drone Location (Module 367)
This survey drone is near the southern edge of Horizon Forbidden West’s expansive map. Located south of the Tower of Tears, this drone is easy to spot. It’s easy to catch too, once you scan it and track its path look for the stone tower with turrets on top. You’ll need to use the pullcaster to make the climb, then you’ll be positioned to capture the drone.
PLAINSONG Drone Location (Module 047)
Among the first you’re likely to see given its proximity to Plainsong, make sure you’ve unlocked the ability to detonate Firegleam before attempting to catch this survey drone. Head northeast out of the town and you’ll discover a fort that’s been deserted, locked shut by Firegleam. Blast the gate open and you can go in and scale the walls to snatch the survey drone.
NO MAN’S LAND Drone Location(Module 024)
Head to the eastern part of the map for this survey drone. Once you find the Jagged Deep Rebel outpost, head east, carefully. This survey drone site is near a patrolling Thunderjaw. Once you spot it, stay low and head towards the large rock near the Thunderjaw patrol route (the one with the wooden platform around it.) Climb to the top and you can intercept the drone with ease.
THORNMARSH Drone Location (Module 549)
Go to the western coastline along the edge of the map to seek out this survey drone. Once you find Thornmarsh, head northeast and keep an eye out for a campfire. The drone will be flying in the area (if you run into the Long Coast Relic Runes you’ve gone too far north and need to turn around). After you track the drone’s path, Grappleshot to the top of the tallest dead tree for the best position to take it down.
THE GRAYPEAK Drone Location (Module 678)
The Graypeak survey drone is found in the snowy mountain range between Memorial Grove and the Stand of the Sentinels in the western portion of the world map. There are Slaughterspines near this drone, so remember to watch out for those as you explore if you have trouble finding it. A wooden platform on a nearby cliff provides the best path to collecting the drone.
ISLE OF SPIRES Drone Location (Module 863)
This is a very late game drone for most players since it is on an island near the western edge of the map. Once you discover the Isle of Spires Relic Ruins, head north. The drone will be patrolling around an abandoned building. The path up is a little tricky. You’ll need to scale the building, then locate a yellow beam you can pull down with the Pullcaster. Climb the pole and then edge along a yellow pipe extending beyond the roof. Jump on the drone as it comes past.
STAND OF THE SENTINELS Drone Location (Module 398)
The best starting point for this survey drone is the Tide’s Reach settlement. Head east from the town into the forest. You’re looking for a fallen tree near a metal flower (you may or may not be able to destroy it depending on where you are in the story). Climb that tree to get up into the forest and follow the grapple points to a nearby platform. There’s a ladder on it you’ll want to lower before attempting to jump for the drone; it’s tough. You’ll need to use your glider to close the distance so if you miss the ladder spares you from climbing all those trees again.
THE SHEERSIDE MOUNTAINS Drone Location (Module 739)
The Sheershide Mountain survey drone is north of The Bulwark, almost at the edge of the map. Once you scan the drone and get its path search for a big Tenakth platform. From there you can time your jump onto the drone (you may need to glide a bit for this one too).