Horizon Forbidden West Hunting Grounds Guide

Horizon Forbidden West Hunting Ground from Challenges Trailer

Horizon Forbidden West is an action role-playing game from Guerilla Games and it's the sequel to 2017's Horizon Zero Dawn. The sequel is set six months after the ending of Zero Dawn and it seems like the fate of the world is in Aloy's hands again.

A mysterious red blight is spreading across the land and it's destroying anything it touches. With life as she knows it under threat once again, Aloy ventures out into the Forbidden West to find a way to stop the blight. She'll face multiple new threats along the way, including large new machines. However, with a new land comes new opportunities. Across the Forbidden West, you will be able to find optional activities called Hunting Grounds.

In this guide, we're going to break down what they are, what you have to do in them, and the rewards you can get from them.

What Are Hunting Grounds?

Hunting Grounds are areas on the map where Aloy can go to take on trials and challenges while fighting against different machines. You can perfect your skills in a Hunting Ground using numerous different weapons. Which weapon you have to use and the conditions for completing the Hunting Ground will be different for each one.

Horizon Forbidden West. A group of sunwings basking in the setting sun of the Forbidden West.
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You could battle any type of machine, both small or large.

What Do You Do in Hunting Grounds?

The first thing you need to do in a Hunting Ground is to speak to the Groundskeeper. A screen will then appear that shows you the three different trials that are on offer at that specific Hunting Ground. Select the trial you want to know more about and another screen will appear. This one will give you the details of the trial (what you must do) and the different times you need to do it in to get one of the three rewards.

Usually, a Trial is specific to a certain machine type or machine part. You won't need to go looking for that machine as the correct type will spawn in the Hunting Ground area when you start the Trial. All you need to do is meet the completion requirements of the challenge within the given time limit. Once you have finished the trial, head back up to the Groundskeeper for your reward.

If you find that there is a trial you want to do but you don't have the right weapon, there's usually a merchant near the Groundskeeper that sells the one you need.

Hunting Grounds Rewards

Your rewards for completing Hunting Ground Trials are known as "earning your stripes". They are old Carja Medals that the Tenakth collected during the Red Raids. There are three levels of stripes that you can collect, each one depends on how fast or slow you complete the trial.

  • Full Stripes: Complete the trial in the fastest time
  • Half Stripes: Complete the trial in a decent time
  • Quarter Stripes: Complete the trial in the slowest time.

If you get the highest rank of Stripe (Full Stripe) then you will automatically earn the other medals at the same time. If you earn a Half Stripe, you will earn a Quarter Stripe too. However, if you earn a Quarter stripe, that is all you earn. When you complete a trial, you will also be given a reward box filled with loot. The type/rarity of loot you get in the box will depend on which Stripe you have earned.

There are also grand prize rewards on offer at each Hunting Ground. There are 3 Grand Prize Rewards to earn:

  • Grand Full Stripes Reward: Get Full Stripes for all three trials.
  • Grand Half Stripes Reward: Get Half Stripes for all three trials.
  • Grand Quarter Stripes Reward: Get Quarter Stripes for all three trials.

There seems to be a lot for you to do outside of the main story in Horizon Forbidden West, with Hunting Grounds being just one of them. If you want to learn more about the threats you'll face in the game, take a look at our machines list. It details the new and returning machines that we know about so far. Also, you'll need good weapons to help you defend yourself. Check out our guide that fills you in on all of the new weapons and ammunition types in the game.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Horizon Forbidden West and Guides page.