Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Horizon Zero Dawn Machines

Go To

Synthetic animals populating the world of Horizon Zero Dawn.

Main Character Index | Tribes | Machines | The Old World

    open/close all folders 

    In General 
  • Animal Mecha: The machines resemble mammals, birds and even dinosaurs. Even the Corruptors look somewhat like scorpions.
  • Armless Biped: Most of the machines based off of non-avian theropods lack any forelimbs.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: How you kill a machine with a bow. Aiming for vulnerable points is the only way to inflict decent damage.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • The lights on the robots change colour depending on their alertness level. Blue when they are passive, yellow when they are suspicious and red when they attack.
    • Machines tamed by Aloy gain blue circuitry, corrupted machines gain red circuitry.
  • The Corruption:
    • Ancient war-machines have reawakened and are corrupting the mechanical wildlife turning them more aggressive toward humans. Corrupted machines are worse than merely hostile to you as combatants; in particularly corrupted areas they corrupt the very ground as they go, making sneaking up behind them difficult as they poison you. It turns out to be HADES nanobots consuming biomass.
    • There's also the Derangement. Years before the game, the robots were largely peaceful and would usually flee from humans, not ruling the world in place of humans so much as conspicuously and uneasily coexisting with them. It was possible for a human to be killed by one, but this was rare and considered to be more the fault of a hunter being foolish. At a certain point their behavior changed and they became much more aggressive and willing to use their built-in tools as weapons, and larger, more heavily armed hostile machines never before seen by humans started to appear just to attack them. With GAIA's death she stopped regulating her subsystems. The one responsible for building and updating robots, having lost its awareness of the reason for the robots in the first place, promptly started identifying the biggest threat to them as humanity and made increasingly more dangerous ones.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Many of the machines have this kind of design, with a large central eye that glows different colors based on their awareness of you.
  • Easily Detachable Robot Parts: The machines' built in weaponry can be shot off and used against them. Depending on what bows and spears you use, though, the detachments usually take either a longer or shorter time to occur.
  • Eating Machine:
    • Some of the machines, like the Grazer and Lancehorn, drive rotating horns into the ground and collect vegetation that they convert into flammable Blaze, some kind of biofuel. This is taken back to Cauldrons to fuel them, and presumably other machines as well. The rotating horns also seem to aerate the soil, and the machines seem to move on and let things regrow.
    • Their predecessors, the machines that made up the Faro Plague, also 'ate' but were far less discerning and restrained.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: While most copy off mammals or birds, several machines' designs are influenced by the body structures of various dinosaurs, and the idea that the machines rule the world, instead of the humans, also plays into that. There's a recording of a conversation between GAIA and Elisabet wherein GAIA expresses sorrow upon learning of the Quarternary Extinction Event that killed the dinosaurs and other megafauna, which may explain the predominance of this animal type.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Whoever came up with the names of the machines was a very descriptive person.
  • Glowing Eyes: Either they'll have a single glowing cyclops-like lens, or proper "eyes" so to speak.
  • Humongous Mecha:
    • The Thunderjaw is one of the biggest machines wandering the wilds. The Behemoth is pretty much self-explanatory. As for the air, there's the Stormbird.
    • Those spindly metal things embedded in the mountain at the northeast corner of the map? Yeah, that's a HORUS-class machine that dwarfs even the mountain it's stuck in.
  • The Juggernaut: Large machines will react to Aloy fleeing into a forested area by knocking trees over as they give chase. This is as awesome and terrifying as it sounds.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: The machines have their own subspecies and ecology. Most of them seem built to emulate the animals they resemble, such as the deer-like robots tilling the earth with their antlers or Striders grazing on the grass. There's even a pair of scavenger-class machines, the Scrapper and the Glinthawk, whose jobs are to eat other deceased machines to reprocess them and keep the landscape tidy.
  • Mechanical Monster: Most of the machines resemble and function like animal life. There's even deer-like machines that simply graze the environment.
  • Rock Beats Laser: The machines have scanning sensors and modern weapons. The former can be avoided by hiding in bushes, the latter can be shot off by a bow and arrow. Notably averted with certain machines — the Scrapper, Longlegs, and Thunderjaw all have scanners that can find Aloy even in the tall grass, though they have to actively be looking for her first.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Even more peaceful grazing machines are equipped with rotor blades, chainsaws, and drills for self-defense. This actually applies to all of the machines since their primary function is to restore the environment; Snapmaws are meant to decontaminate water, Glinthawks are meant to maintain the atmosphere, etc. Presumably, they're all given the ability to defend themselves while they carry out their jobs, and ever since the Derangement their AI has been improving that as well as making several new machines just for combat.
  • Trampled Underfoot: Virtually every machine except for Watchers, Glinthawks, and Snapmaws can attack you by charging you and attempting to stomp you into the ground. It's bad when a Strider does this. It's really bad when a Trampler does it. Under no circumstances do you ever want a Behemoth or Thunderjaw to do it.


Machines that are at LEAST as tall as a five-story building (judging by nearby ruins), if not taller. Players have compared Tallnecks to giraffes or long-neck sauropods such as Brachiosaurus, Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus.

  • Army Scout: The Tallneck's purpose is meant to be a Walking the Earth communications hub; sending messages to other machines, and recording detailed maps of the area.
  • Gentle Giant: The biggest of the machines, and one of the most docile; it doesn't seem to care (or even realise) that a human is treating it like it's a moving rock wall.
  • Impossibly Graceful Giant: For being a very, very large machine, the Tallnecks move as easily and daintily around the environment as ballerinas.
  • Trampled Underfoot: Tallnecks aren't aggressive. But they're also not about to stop or deviate from their path just because some tiny, squishable human happens to be in their way.


One of the first machines seen in the game. They often act as sentries to other groups of machines, warning them and then attacking the threat as a first line of defense. Watchers could be compared to the Theropoda order of dinosaurs, with their large hind legs (they're basically Velociraptors, just without the forelegs).

  • Armless Biped: They largely resemble raptorial dinosaurs or ground birds with no forelimbs.
  • Blinded by the Light: Can set off a Glare Attack to temporarily stun the player.
  • Boom, Headshot!: All machines take increased damage from direct hits to their eyes, but a Watcher will die instantly when hit there, even by a Hunter's Arrow.
  • Fragile Speedster: One of the weakest of the machines. If the player isn't expecting them, though, Watchers can deal some damage before the player can get out of the way.
  • The Goomba: The first machine you'll encounter, the easiest to kill, and the one with the most basic attack patterns.

    Redeye Watcher

An upgraded version of the Watcher, it has heavier armor and replaces its glare attack with a laser.

  • Eye Beams: Fires a laser out of its eye instead of the Watcher's blinding Glare attack.
  • Midseason Upgrade: It's a moderately tougher Watcher with one new trick. It still falls from one Silent Strike, though.


One of the first machines in the game, both to hunt and to ride. Resembles a horse in looks and behavior, and often moves in packs with other Striders.


A generally docile machine that resembles a deer thanks to its antlers, its habit of grazing in packs, and its fleeing-from-hunters skills.

  • Chainsaw Good: It has circular saws for horns. Usually uses them to dig with, but it will employ them against Aloy if she gets too close.
  • Cowardly Mooks: A grazer will usually run if it sees you. Emphasis on usually; sometimes it will attack, often if you're not looking at it.
  • Made of Incendium: Hit the fuel tanks on their backs with a fire arrow, then sit back and wait — the Grazer will explode in a huge fireball, often catching other Grazers nearby and setting off an explosive chain reaction.


One of the first "agressive" machines that will attack humans on sight. The appearance of Sawtooths are very similar to big cats, like saber-toothed tigers.

  • Lightning Bruiser: It's big, it hits like a truck, and moves like the wind.
  • Panthera Awesome: A robotic sabretooth cat and the first truly challenging machine Aloy comes up against.
  • Starts Stealthily, Ends Loudly: Fighting Sawtooths often leads to this.
  • Stealthy Colossus: For its size, it can be TERRIFYINGLY quiet.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: A Sawtooth will serve as the first enemy Aloy faces that can't just be one-shotted with a well-aimed arrow or stealth attack. It's a lot more durable than the Watchers and Striders faced beforehand, and its weak points are not as obvious and harder to hit. Stealth, combat finesse, and clever use of tools will be required to bring it down.
  • Weak to Fire: The Sawtooth has only a single weak point — a Blaze Canister on its underbelly — which is difficult to hit even from stealth because of armor, and will only account for about half its health anyway. On the other hand, pelting it with Fire Arrows and letting it burn is a much easier way to dispose of it.


A larger, more heavily armed and armored version of the Sawtooth.

  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The cannons on their backs can be forcibly removed and used to ravage them in return to devastating effect.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: The Ravager is similar to the Sawtooth in size, general appearance, and overall power; however they have better body armor coverage and the ability to attack at range with the powerful cannon mounted on their backs.


A machine that resembles an antelope.


A machine similar to a hermit crab, carrying cargo where a hermit crab's shell would be.

  • Beehive Barrier: It can generate energy shields directly in front of them.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Very fixated on their shell.
  • Lightning Gun: It can fire lightning balls from one of its arms, which combined with its shield makes it a surprisingly dangerous foe if faced head on.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: It's basically just a walking freight container, but it will fight fiercely to defend its cargo if provoked.


A machine that resembles a large theropod dinosaur. It has a large liquid storage container on its back (hence the name) that contains either highly flammable or highly endothermic liquid that it sprays out as an attack.

  • Armless Biped: Bellowbacks, unlike the theropods they otherwise resemble, have no arms.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: The Fire variants resist Fire and are weak to Freeze, while the Freeze variant resists Freeze and is weak to Fire.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: The fire variants use fire attacks as their primary offensive power.
  • Flamethrower Backfire: Destroying either its backpack container or throat sac will cause a massive elemental explosion, inflicting heavy damage both on the Bellowback (despite its resistance to its own element) and any nearby creatures.
  • Freeze Ray: The ice variants use ice attacks as their primary offensive power.
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: It appears vaguely theropod-like, but unlike the other wild machines it doesn't appear to have just one real world analogue. Though, it most heavily resembles an armless Spinosaurus.


A large, four-legged machine that mirrors a hyena in both looks (long, spindly legs and dog-like appearance) and behavior (often found at carcasses of dead or destroyed machines).

  • Giggling Villain: They tend to emit a noise that sounds like laughter. Fitting for their hyena-like nature.
  • Guns Are Worthless: The first non-human enemy you'll face with a ranged weapon, but it's really inaccurate and doesn't hurt much to begin with, nevermind how the turret itself is very easy to shoot off.
  • One-Hit Kill: Nailing the power pack on its backside with a Shock Arrow will guarantee its doom once it detonates, along with stunning all the other machines in its vicinity.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Very frequently found with Watchers.


A machine with the horns of a bull. Can be ridden like a horse.


A machine that resembles a large rooster, or possibly a feathered dinosaur like an Oviraptor.

  • Enemy Summoner: It has an alarm on its back that it will use to call other machines to it, making it akin to an upgraded Watcher (unless that part gets destroyed).
  • Kill It with Fire: Longlegs have the ability to send out jets of flame when landing from a stomp attack.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Capable of delivering powerful sonic scream that damages you and send you flying.

A machine that resembles an oversized bighorn sheep. Like the Strider and Broadhead, it can be ridden.
  • Chainsaw Good: Chargers have chainsaws built into their horns.
  • Horn Attack: One of its attacks is to paw the ground, then charge forward at high speed in order to slam you with its horns.
  • Horse of a Different Color: A charger can be overridden and used as a mount.


A machine that resembles a member of the Crocodylidae family (crocodile, alligators, caimans).

  • Kill It with Ice: They're not just deadly up close, get far enough and they'll start spitting out chunks of ice.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: One of the more dangerous machines, since it spits ice and grabs hapless victims with its jaws. There is a good reason to be wary around bodies of water.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: They're based on reptilian animals and are hostile and powerful.


A cougar-like machine with a cloaking device, long-range lasers, and proximity mines.

  • Artificial Brilliance: This thing is a flat-out brutal combatant. It's smart enough to lead you when sniping, and once you reach medium range it's fond of using its lasers to drive you into mines you didn't see.
  • Expy: A stealthy, heavily armed robot cat. Sounds a lot like Ravage.
  • Flare Gun: Often lays traps around its brooding grounds which, when triggered, sets off a bright and loud flare into the sky, immediately alerting the Stalker to the location of intruders.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Your first clue you're near Stalker territory is a constant, deep, rumbling sound that only fades when you leave the area or kill all Stalkers in it. It's rather unnerving.
  • Interface Screw: Its stealth device even hides it from your own HUD display; the screen won't show a red or yellow "alert" circle if a cloaked Stalker is after you. can still track them by eye, however, if you look carefully enough.
  • Invisibility Flicker: Right after it cloaks or when it's about to fire.
  • Visible Invisibility: Predator-style. You can see them distorting light if you look close enough.


A large machine that looks like a bird of prey. Its electricity attacks channels the mythical Thunderbird.

  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: It commonly responds to being attacked by flying up outside of your range and spitting lighting at you until you have to either flee or be killed.
  • Giant Flyer: It's a big bird.
  • Instant Thunder: Causes thunder whenever it uses its Lightning Gun.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: A variant, it can send out a powerful blast of air that's quite damaging and even forces the Stormbird itself back from the recoil.
  • Shock and Awe: It can shoot balls of electricity at you.
  • Tail Slap: When grounded, it can spin around and strike hunters with a whip-like weapon normally concealed under its tail "feathers".


A giant machine that resembles a Tyrannosaurus rex.

  • Armless Biped: Thunderjaws lack even a tyrannosaur's stubby arms, possessing only a pair of powerful legs.
  • Breath Weapon: It has a laser cannon in its mouth that fires a wide spread of beams. It's the only weapon that can't be individually targeted for destruction by Aloy.
  • Humongous Mecha: The biggest machine wandering the wilds.
  • The Juggernaut: Once this thing is after you, no physical obstacle will stop it. Trees, walls, even towering rock formations will get smashed through with terrifying ease when it charges.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Despite its size, it will run you down with ease.
  • Removable Turret Gun: The best way to disable the Thunderjaw is to knock off one its disc launchers, which serves the dual purpose of disabling a major piece of its armament and give you a weapon that will easily tear through its armor.
  • Tail Slap: It's a bad idea to be behind these things when they're aware you're around.
  • Walking Armory: Yeh gads does this thing have a lot of firepower.


The only named Thunderjaw and general machine in the story, and for good reason.

  • Arc Villain: Of the Hunting Lodge sidequests, in a sense.
  • Dented Iron: The years have truly been harsh for this machine, as can be evidenced by the many spears and missing armour plates on its chassis.
  • The Dreaded: Not so much out of story, but they are well known as one of the most dangerous machines in the wilds, having caused many deaths over the years.


A burrowing machine that resembles a giant mole.

  • Attack Its Weak Point: It has a heat-venting port on its back. Damaging it will inflict extra harm on the machine. In addition, using Tearblast arrows on its four flippers will render it incapable of tunneling underground (it can still use a dash attack if necessary, though). It also has two Fuel Sacs on its belly that you can blow up to damage it and set it on fire.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Can attack at long range by hurling boulders at you.
  • Fast Tunnelling: Fast enough it can outrun you while underground.
  • Lamprey Mouth: Its mouth is a collection of circular rock grinders.
  • Sand Worm: Of the land shark variety.
  • Worm Sign: Rockbreakers throw up small rocks whenever they move underground.


A machine that resembles a giant bison.

  • Brutish Bulls: It looks like an oversized bison or buffalo and is highly aggressive.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Trampers are limited to melee-range attacks, unlike other machines of their size and power they have no ranged weaponry at all. If Aloy can get to a place they can't reach, such as a high rock pile, she can snipe them with impunity.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Its primary attack is to charge forward and attempt to gore you, which will send you flying if it connects.
  • Ground Punch: One of its attacks is to slam the ground, sending out flames.
  • Kill It with Fire: Carry tanks of Blaze on their bellies, which will ignite everything in the immediate area when ruptured, including them.


A massive transport-type machine that resembles a rhinoceros.

  • Dishing Out Dirt: Uses its gravity generators to pick up and hurl boulders at you.
  • Gravity Master: Has gravity generators that it uses to fling huge boulders at Aloy as its primary ranged attack.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Yeah, this thing is scary-quick for its size.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Its other main attack, once the distance has been closed.


Like Scrappers, these machines are scavengers, only of the flying kind (like a vulture).

One of the machines endemic to the Cut, it resembles a giant wolf or hyena and is the first encounter after you enter the eponymous Frozen Wilds.
  • Beef Gate: You want to enter "The Frozen Wilds"? You got to beat this guy first.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: As the first machine of the wilds, it's obvious that they'd be on par with the Thunderjaw if not moreso.
  • Canis Major: They're built like massive wolves and are some of the more dangerous enemies in the game.
  • Heinous Hyena: They resemble hyenas and are extremely dangerous.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Much like the Sawtooth and Thunderjaw, they are fast, hit hard and are very hard to kill if you don't have a strategy.
  • Playing with Fire: While they're primarily for movement, the machine's thrusters can also double as a makeshift flamethrower.

A type of machine found in the Cut, it resembles a grizzly bear.
  • An Ice Person: They frequently use ice attacks.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Based on grizzly bears and the strongest machine you'll find roaming the Cut.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: If the Elemental pouch on its chest is destroyed, removing its long range ice attacks, it will start ripping huge boulders out of the ground and hurling them at Aloy.
  • Freeze Ray: Can attack at long range by slamming the ground and causing a line of ice spikes to erupt from it.
  • Ground Punch: Attacks the ground to cause long-range ice attacks.
  • Lightning Bruiser: They move extremely quickly for their size and can be very difficult to hit.

An experimental prototype alternative model of Frostclaws powered by magma. Mostly the same as Frostclaws, but stronger, faster, and uses fire attacks instead of frost.
  • Bear Hug: At close range, it will sometimes grab you and crush you with its powerful forearms.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Somehow even worse than Frostclaws.
  • Bonus Boss: HEPHAESTUS managed to complete 6 of them before Aloy's party exploded the Thunder's Drum Cauldron. You fight one as the final enemy of the main Frozen Wilds storyline (with healing towers and support), but after that, the other five are unleashed upon the Cut for you to hunt down and fight for some bonus rewards. You can also find extra Fireclaws in the upper-right corner of the map to harvest lenses and hearts.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: If its long-range fire attacks are disabled, it will start ripping boulders out of the ground and throwing them at Aloy.
  • Dual Boss: Two of the aforementioned five you can fight after completing the expansion's main story come in a pair. Fortunately, Aratak can join this fight to even the odds. (Also, one can be hacked.)
  • Ground Punch: Can slam the ground to cause small volcanoes to erupt and shower the area with lava.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Much like their icy predecessors, but even moreso.
  • No-Sell: Freezing it will induce a "fever mode" after a few seconds which cures the freeze debuff, makes it immune to freeze attacks, and increases its fire damage in the form of a heat aura. You need to destroy its main magma compartment to disable fever mode for good.
  • Playing with Fire: Like their name suggests, they're Frostclaws that attack with fire instead of ice.
  • Super Prototype: They're an attempt to improve on the mass-produced Frostclaw robot model and the closest so far to become the ultimate "Hunter Killers" in accordance with HEPHAESTUS' will of Kill All Humans.

    Corruptor/FAS-ACA 3 Scarab

Highly dangerous machines that can override more docile machines (like Striders) and make them attack humans. The corruption from these machines can also harm organic life by poisoning it.

  • Lightning Bruiser: Even though it's weak compared to Deathbringers, it can pack a debilitating punch and unlike their heavier counterparts, it moves incredibly fast and even jumps around the battlefield.
  • More Dakka: They pack significantly more punch than most of the machines you meet. It's because they were designed as an actual weapon first, rather than just have armaments for secondary purpose.
  • Older Than They Look: Unlike the other machines, Corruptors (and Deathbringers) are relics of the Old Ones' past.
  • Spider Tank: With more moves from the spider than from the tank. Packs a punch of the latter, however.
  • Starfish Robots: The Corruptors somewhat resemble mechanical spiders or scorpions, but in an abstracted way, not strongly animalistic like most of the other machines, and they are far more aggressive. That's because the "bad guy" robots are human-designed war machines from the year 2066, while the animal-like robots were created by GAIA as part of her terraforming efforts to restore the planet.

    Deathbringer/FAS-FSP 5 Khopesh

Deadly machines that pack a ton of weapons and firepower.

  • Attack Its Weak Point: The surest way to kill a Deathbringer is to wait for it to overheat and then fire shot after shot into its heat sinks once it exposes them.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: Despite its size, firepower and name, it's much less dangerous than Thunderjaws or Rockbreakers due to its low mobility and multiple weakpoints. It's very dangerous and takes a long time to kill, but it can't charge.
  • More Dakka: Packs even more firepower than the Corruptor, or even the mighty Thunderjaw. Similar to the Corruptor, the Deathbringer was designed as a weapon first, for use in fighting wars during the mid-21st century.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: The only machine that does not look even slightly animalistic, looking like something out of MechWarrior instead, or maybe something that could be built in the 21st century. There's a reason for this.
  • Older Than They Look: As with the Corruptors, Deathbringers are relics of the Old Ones' past.
  • Spider Tank: Much tankier than the Corruptors. Their massive size and firepower make them equivalent to a modern main battle tank.
  • Stationary Boss: The first one you encounter is too damaged to walk, making it a mercifully more manageable fight. This stops being the case once you meet the second Deathbringer, which is in mint condition.
    Aloy: Another Khopesh! And this one can move!
  • Weak to Fire: While they don't have a vulnerability to fire damage, being set ablaze causes them to overheat faster, enabling more shots on their vulnerable heatsinks.

    Metal Devil/Titan/FAS-BOR 7 Horus

Huge machines that were designed to produce and lead hordes of Deathbringer and Corruptor armies in war.

  • The Dreaded: Hearing accounts of the Old Ones who fought them during Operation Enduring Victory it's clear that they thought that fighting them was essentially suicide. Aloy is amazed to hear that some of those Old Ones could kill them at all.
  • Eating Machine: Plants, animals, people...
  • Giant Squid: Resembles a combination of a squid, a shrimp, and a Reaper.
  • Humongous Mecha: With emphasis on the "humongous" part. The few we see ruins of are more comparable in size to mountains. Without the tentacles they're three hundred meters long. See the tiny white speck in the image on the right? That's a human for scale — and that Horus is foreshortened by perspective. Its body is about as long as its tentacles. In the Grave-Hoard, Aloy's entire progression through the US Robot Command is along a single tentacle threaded through the facility.
  • It Can Think: Downplayed — they are never seen to speak, for example — but in recordings the Old Ones mention that they learn from every battle. Between this, their size, their ability to multiply exponentially, and how as a byproduct of the above they began terraforming, it's no wonder that they were so dreaded.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: They can produce other Faro machines. The first intact Deathbringer Aloy fights is extracted by Eclipse from the remains of a Metal Devil.
  • Older Than They Look: Like Corruptors and Deathbringers, Metal Devils date back to the time of the Old Ones.
  • Passed in Their Sleep: Like the two entries above, they went dormant after consuming the biosphere, just 'waiting for something to eat'. GAIA then finished working on the necessary codes and her MINERVA subfunction erected broadcast towers that sent them the deactivation code, shutting them down permanently. Or 'permanently'. They don't respond to 'food' anymore, but new codes can wake the Corruptors and Deathbringers, and presumably the Horus Titans as well.
  • Spider Tank: They moved on many legs.
  • The Unfought: While we see their remains littered around the landscape, Aloy never has to fight a functioning one.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: