Horizon Forbidden West can be fairly tough if you venture into the wilderness without adequate weapons, a decent outfit and a good amount of resources. Given the nature of the threats in the game, you’ll find yourself looking for the nearest stitcher and weapons vendor to grow your arsenal. This is only the beginning though since every weapon and outfit can be upgraded with different resources.
Upgrades are important for a number of reasons. Not only do they increase the base stats of a weapon or outfit, thus providing more damage or resistance to certain damage types, but they also unlock new Skills. If you’ve unlocked a Skill in your tree and find an outfit that supports it, then it will augment that Skill’s effectiveness. Upgrades also unlock new arrow types, slots for Coils and Weaves (which can add even more damage and resistance) and perks like increased critical damage, elemental damage and so on.
How do you go about upgrading weapons and outfits? By visiting a workbench. These can be found throughout the world in different Settlements, shelters and whatnot. Though they can be used to create special tools like the Pullcaster, their main purpose is to upgrade items.
The process of upgrading is also fairly simple. First, select the category of upgrades, be it weapons or outfits. Select the item in question that you wish to upgrade. If you have the requisite materials and Metal Shards, then the upgrade will be successful. If not, you can create a Job (which is essentially a separate quest with a waypoint) that guides you to the Machine with the required component.
You can also preview further upgrades and see what they do along with any future resources that will be required. Unfortunately, it’s possible to only set one Job at a time for an outfit or weapon. This will track all of the resources required for that specific item – you can’t have multiple Jobs for different items. Also, keep in mind that if you haven’t encountered a specific Machine, there’s a chance that the game won’t guide you to its location.
Managing all of these weapons and outfits can be tough but thankfully, each respective upgrade menu indicates which items can be upgraded. Simply look for the little green arrows pointing up in the item’s corner. You can also keep track of equipped items by the weapon wheel icon (which indicates the spot on the wheel it’s currently equipped to).
Finally, workbenches can do more than just upgrade weapons and outfits. They’re also pivotal to upgrading pouches to hold more arrows and ammo, healing items, materials for crafting traps, etc. You can also use them for crafting traps and ammo. This may not seem like a big deal but you can pick up a Skill that reduces the resources required for crafting these at a workbench, thus reducing the resource drain.
Horizon Forbidden West is currently available for PS4 and PS5. Check out our official review here.