Horizon Zero Dawn: Lessons of the Wild - get the Bow, learn how to sneak, craft, harvest berries and track creatures

Complete story walkthrough plus guides, tips, and tricks for Horizon Zero Dawn.

Horizon Zero Dawn's Lessons of the Wild follows on from opening mission A Gift from the Past, and teaches you some of the game's essentials for survival.

If you're after help for other parts of the game, consult our complete Horizon Zero Dawn walkthrough and guide.

Lessons of the Wild - How to sneak, craft and harvest berries

Now you've escaped from the cavern and met up with Rost again, it's time for a lesson. First up you learn how to heal: by finding berries - specifically Salvebrush Berries - in the wild, picking them, and eating them. They're stored in your back when you pick them with Triangle, and eaten when you press Up on the D-pad.

[4K] Horizon Zero Dawn In-Depth Tech Analysis

Next up: stealth. Follow Rost's instructions and you'll soon be hiding from the Watchers nearby. This is your first proper encounter with the metallic beasts, and it's worth noting that even these relatively small ones can cause you some serious harm if you're not careful.

Crouch on instruction, with Square, to move in stealth, and hide in the tall grass to avoid being spotted. An Elder Scrolls-style eye will appear when crouched, showing as open when discoverable, and closed when hidden.

Once you've let a few of those pass by, you spot an odd young man climbing rocks in the distance - Rost tells you, in vain, to ignore him, you two being outcasts and all that.

Back to your lesson, and now it's time to help Rost take down a watcher and get yourself some crafting materials. Pick up three rocks when he tells you, and wait for him at the designated spot on the ridge. When prompted, throw a rock at a spot by Rost, down below, and it'll lure the Watcher towards him for Rost to take it out. Scurry down to Rost and harvest the Watcher for materials - Metal Shards and Wire - which can be used to craft your first bit of real weaponry: arrows.

Hold L1 to open the Weapon Wheel, and select the item you want to craft with Right Analog, then press and hold X to craft. Now, you've got to take down a beast for yourself, this time the horse-like Strider nearby.

Scan it with your Focus by pressing R3 and hovering over it, like you did the bodies back in the cavern. That'll identify its weak spots - the eye on the front, and power cannister on the back - which you'll need to shoot with your bow on instruction.

Then: a scream. It turns out that mischievous bloke from earlier, Teb, has gone and got himself into trouble with a whole heard of Striders, and willful Aloy isn't going to go and let him get hurt, no matter what Rost says.

How to track creatures in Horizon Zero Dawn

It's time to learn the final mechanic of the pseudo-tutorial here, which is tracking the paths of creatures. Hide yourself in the long grass as before, and enter the Focus Mode of your Focus using R3 again. Using that, scan a target and then press R1 to highlight that target's pathway with holographic arrows on the ground. Here's a quick guide to making it through quickly and safely:

  • The Watchers are the ones you need to scan here, starting with the one immediately in front of you. When it moves to the left, head past it via the right hand side to the next patch of grass.
  • The next Watcher is to your right again. Head straight on to the next patch when the Watcher is at its furthest to the right.
  • Watcher number three is the other side of the river, moving left to right. Wait until it's farthest left, then cross the river into the grass on the other side.
  • When that same Watcher is farthest to the right, cross again to the next patch of grass, and talk to Teb.
  • After the cutscene, head East to the nearby long grass. Wait for the Watcher on the other side to be facing away, the other side of the tree, and cross into the next patch. Then you can quickly hop into the next and up to Rost on the ledge in front of you.

That's this quest finished - but there are a few moments of note which follow soon after. In a cutscene, young Aloy gets pelted with a stone from one of the little berry-picking brats from earlier, who have clearly picked up their parents' rhetoric that you're an outcast. It's up to you how you deal with the solution thanks to Horizon's Flashpoint mechanic. You can opt for:

  • The Confrontational solution - pelt a rock back at the kid's head.
  • The Insightful solution - knock a rock out of his hands with one of your own.
  • The Compassionate solution - drop your rock and try to talk your way out of the situation.

For more tips, explainers and advice on Horizon be sure to check out our main Horizon Zero Dawn guide and walkthrough hub, which includes advice for things like Horizon Zero Dawn's override Cauldrons and which machines they let you control, getting hold of the Golden Fast Travel Pack for unlimited fast travel, finding and unlocking the very powerful Horizon Zero Dawn Shield Weave Armour and Power Cell locations, and then for DLC players there's our main Horizon Zero Dawn Frozen Wilds walkthrough and guide, a page on how to earn Bluegleam quickly, and finally, a page on the handy A Secret Shared quest and how to upgrade your spear in Horizon Frozen Wilds.

With that resolved, its onto a classic training montage, because it turns out there's just one way Aloy can find out who her mother is from the Matriarchs, and maybe even find a way back into the tribe: the Proving. The Point of the Spear mission takes us on that path.

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Chris Tapsell

Chris Tapsell

Staff Writer  |  ChrisTapsell

Chris Tapsell is Eurogamer's Staff Writer, its newest Chris, and a keen explorer of the dark arts of gaming, from League of Legends to the murky world of competitive Pokémon.


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