If you've been playing Horizon Zero Dawn for more than the first couple of hours, chances are you'll have heard about these mysterious items called Power Cells.
Dotted around the game world, Power Cells are what you'll need to unlock something pretty special: a secret set of armour, called the Shield Weave armour, which grants near-invincibility to Aloy and completely changes the way you can play the game. In brief, it's far and away the best armour in the game.
So with that said, here's our guide on the Power Cell locations, how to find them, and how to get the invincible Shield Weaver armour.
Horizon Zero Dawn Power Cell locations
There are five Power Cells in Horizon Zero Dawn, and you'll need to get a fair way through the main story in order to collect them all.
That being said, some are available very early on in the game - early enough, even, to get through the first of two puzzle locks that guard the Shield Weave armour after just a few hours of play - but that still won't get you the armour itself.
Here's where to find them, but do note that there will be some minor spoilers below, in terms of location names at the very least, as all of these locations are visited at some point along the way during main story quests:
Power Cell location 1: Underground Bunker from the Prologue - You can get this one as soon as you have control of adult Aloy and free roam of the environment, after the Prologue-style mission, A Gift from the Past, with her as a child. Head back to the location of your first steps with Aloy, which is marked as Ruins on your map with a green symbol, just east of Mother's Watch. It's easy to get caught going in circles through this cavern, especially as you can re-enter it on a different level. We suggest you drop right down to the lowest level when re-entering, and running through it in the same order as you did with young Aloy at the start of the game. The Power Cell is located the other side of some stalactites and stalacmites - you can see it through them, but need to smash them with your Lance to get through. It's about three quarters of the way through the Ruins, and Aloy will give you a little dialogue wondering if she can somehow get through now she's older when you get close.
Power Cell location 2: All-Mother Temple - You can access this either during or at any time after the quest Womb of the Mountain, after the Proving. If you're getting it mid quest, it's through two doors after you wake up, and then a small vent-like tunnel you have to crouch to get through, that's on your right. If you're re-entering the Temple, simple head in, down the slope, and straight on through the corridor that juts off to the right from the entrance hall until you reach the first small, circular room. Turn left, and it's just through there next to a kind of table.
Power Cell location 3: Maker's End - It's best to get this one during the quest of the same name, Maker's End, as you'll already have scaled the tower for this mission and only need to go a very short way further up. Otherwise, it's a five minute trek up through the building again, and it'll need to be done after the mission anyway. Head all the way to the top of the tower, then as you come out onto the rooftop, turn around to face the bronze-like spire. You'll see there are the yellow-gold handholds on it for climbing on. Use them to scale right to the very top of that spire, and the Power Cell is waiting for you up there, along with some nauseating views.
Power Cell location 4: The Grave-Hoard - This one, like that at Maker's End, is not available until the mission titled The Grave-Hoard or after it if you choose to return. Soon after you enter the ruins, you'll need to solve three spinning disc puzzles that are spread across two floors. After that, you can climb up a ledge and open a door ahead of you and to the left. The other side of that is a Power Cell, along with some medicinal plants, directly in front of you on the ground. It's hard to miss! If for some reason you miss it during the mission, you can come back and pick it up be retracing your steps in the future. For solutions to the puzzles and more detail, take a look at our mission walkthrough for The Grave Hoard, although beware the spoilers within.
Power Cell location 5: GAIA Prime - The last Power Cell is located inside the ruins of GAIA Prime, towards the end of the main questline, and is available from the mission The Mountain That Fell onwards. It's a little easier to miss than some of the previous Cells, however. After making your way through most of the ruin and claiming the item you went there in search of (coyness here is to avoid spoilers), you'll come outside and use a zipline to drop down to a lower, external, rocky area. The waypoint will be telling you to continue straight ahead, but immediately after dropping off the zipline, turn around 180 degrees, and you'll catch a glimpse of a white item indicator on a raise up level. Double back a few yards, and there's a yellow-tinged handhold on the rock face, and a few more above. Climb up a short way, and you'll see a purple-lit entrance into a small cave in the side of the mountain. At the back of that is the Power Cell, on a shelf to the right.
Ancient Armory - How to get the ancient Shield Weave armour in Horizon Zero Dawn
To get your hands on the Shield Weave armour itself, you'll need to collect all five of the Power Cells, head to the bunker where it's hidden, and solve the two puzzles.
The location of the bunker will be marked on your map when you find and pick up your first Power Cell. At that moment, a quest will activate - called Ancient Armory - and you can then at least acess the underground cave, which is really an ancient ruin, that houses the armour itself.
Inside, you'll be faced with two of the disc-spinning door puzzles that are typically found in these ancient ruins during the main questline. Both of these require Power Cells to actually activate, the first two Cells, the second three.
- The first puzzle, once power is restored, is solved by turning the discs to point in the direction indicated by the pink box nearby, which is shown in times of day. From left to right, they go: Up, Right, Down, Left, Up.
- The second puzzle, once restored, is solved by turning the discs to face the direction indicated by the pink box that uses degrees to communicate the directions. From left to right, they go: Right, Left, Up, Right, Left.
With that done, the armour is free for the taking! Head back into the central room where the door will now be open to the Shield-Weave armor. Pick it up, and then open the box that's in your inventory and equip it to reap the benefits.
For more Horizon guides, explainers and advice, take a look at our main Horizon Zero Dawn guide and walkthrough hub, which includes guides to things like Horizon Zero Dawn's override Cauldrons and how to override machines, sorting out the Golden Fast Travel Pack for unlimited Horizon Zero Dawn fast travel, unlocking the amazing Horizon Zero Dawn Shield Weave Armour and Power Cell locations, and on top of that, for DLC players there's our hub for theHorizon Zero Dawn Frozen Wilds walkthrough and guide, a page on how to earn Bluegleam quickly, and finally, a handy guide to A Secret Shared and how to upgrade your spear in Horizon Frozen Wilds.
Finally, there are a couple of things to note about the armour and how it works. With it equipped, you'll be totally invincible, up to a point. Once you've taken a certain amount of potential damage, the armour will begin to flash red. At that point you'll take damage as normal, but you simply need to avoid combat for a few seconds, and it will recharge, turning to that lovely white glow again to indicate your invulnerability.
For more guides like this, be sure to take a look at our complete Horizon Zero Dawn walkthrough and guide of the main story, which includes a variety of tips too, alongside our guide to unlocking unlimted fast travel with the Golden Fast Travel Pack.