Horizon Forbidden West Face Paint: How to Equip It

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Utaru Protector Face Paint while drawing her Bow

Horizon Forbidden West is an action role-playing game from Guerilla Games and it's the sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn. In the sequel, Aloy must do everything she can to try to save the world again only six months after the ending of Zero Dawn. Her quest to save the world takes her deep into the Forbidden West.

In the first game (Zero Dawn), Face Paints were an unlockable cosmetic that took a lot of work to get. You had to complete the game to unlock New Game Plus, then complete that game on a high difficulty level to unlock the ability to use Face Paints. Although they looked good, it was time-consuming to unlock. Fortunately, Face Paints are readily available throughout Horizon Forbidden West.

In this guide, we're going to show you how to equip Face Paint, how to unlock them, and we explain if the Face Paints in Photo Mode are the same.

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How to Equip Face Paint

To equip any face paint patterns you have unlocked, you need to find a Face Paint Merchant. They can be found in some settlements in the Forbidden West. However, you'll need to spend a few hours progressing through the story before you can meet your first one. Once you find one, it will cost you 10 Shards to equip a new face paint and 1 Shard to remove it.

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Also, you may notice that Aloy gains temporary face paint when she uses some of the Valor Surge skills. Again, this is only temporary. If you want to have permanent face paint, head to a Merchant.

How to Unlock Face Paint

It seems that you unlock face paint patterns through completing main story missions and some of the side quests. As well as being rewarded XP, Skill Points, and loot for completing a mission, you may unlock a face paint pattern. Usually, the pattern you unlock will have a somewhat relevant link to the mission that unlocked it.

Horizon Forbidden West Aloy wearing Banuk Aspirant Face Paint
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Are the Face Paints in Photo Mode the Same?

No, the face paints you see in Photo Mode are not the same. Any Face Paint that you equip in photo mode will disappear as soon as you exit that mode. It's a good way of seeing some of the face paints that are on offer throughout the game, but this is not the way to permanently equip them.

As you spend more time exploring the world of Horizon Forbidden West, the more you'll unlock. However, learning how to defend yourself is crucial as the West is filled with deadly new machines. Take a look at our Hunting Grounds Guide to learn more about what they are and why they're great places to improve your fighting skills. Machines, as dangerous as they are, do have their uses. Check out our guide that lists all of the mountable machines in the game to find out which ones you can override and ride.