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Horizon Forbidden West Machine Weakness List: How do I trigger elemental statuses and reactions?

Know your enemy

The dangerous and beautiful machines of Horizon Forbidden West are some of the real stars of the show.

To take them down, Aloy has to employ cunning and strategy. One of the main ways to do that is by exploiting each specific machine’s weaknesses and leveraging them to her advantage.

There are lots of different elemental types to consider, each inflicting their own kind of status condition.

These status conditions can also be used by machines to target Aloy, so it pays to know your types for defensive as well as offensive reasons.

  • Fire inflicts Burning which deals damage over time
  • Electricity inflicts a Shocked status which stuns a target
  • Cold inflicts Brittle which increases the target’s susceptibility to impact damage
  • Acid inflicts Corrosion which melts armor and deals damage over time
  • Purgewater inflicts the Drenched status which makes enemies easier to shock, freeze, and stops them doing their own elemental damage
  • Plasma builds up over time and creates an explosion - if you deal more impact damage as it builds, the explosion is stronger
  • Adhesive makes enemies sticky and stuns them for a long time
  • Explosive ammo destroys armor and deals heavy damage

How do you trigger elemental reactions in Horizon Forbidden West?

There are two main ways to trigger elemental damage in Horizon Forbidden West: weaknesses and chain-reactions.

Scan a machine with your Focus and you can see what elements it’s weak to and what it’s resistant against.

Elemental statuses a machine is weak to build up more quickly, while resistant ones will take longer.

Hitting unarmored parts and weak points on a machine will also cause elemental status to build more quickly.

Once the status indicator has been filled, the machine will be affected by that elemental status condition for a limited time.

You can also afflict machines with elemental statuses they are usually resistant to. However, this is done by causing a chain-reaction.

To start a chain-reaction, isolate the part of the machine that stores the elemental energy type it uses.

The example the game uses is the shock tank on the back of a Scrapper, but it also works with fire on Blaze tanks, acid on acid sacs, and so on.

Target this machine part with the same type of element as is stored there and it will create an explosive chain-reaction that inflicts that status on the targeted machine and anything unlucky enough to be caught in the blast.

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Weakness List

Horizon Forbidden West Machine Weaknesses and Loot
Machine Name: Machine Weakness: Machine Resistance: Machine Chain-reaction: Machine Loot:
Grazer Shock Acid Fire on rear Blaze canister Grazer Rotor Horn
Burrower Fire, Shock (Elemental Variant), Acid (Tracker) None (Regular), Fire (Elemental Variant), Shock (Tracker) Canister on Elemental Variant Soundshell
Scrounger Frost, Acid N/A Shock on rear Power Cell Scrounger Spark Coil
Leaplasher Purgewater Shock Shock on Power Cell, Acid on Tank Leaplasher Spark Coil
Scrapper Shock Plasma Plasma Cell on rear Scrapper Spark Coil
Spikesnout Fire, Purgewater Shock Acid Canister Spikesnout Sac Webbing
Skydrifter Frost Fire Shock on Power Cell Skydrifter Razor Tail
Plowhorn Acid Frost, Purgewater N/A Plowhorn Horn
Charger Shock N/A Blaze Canister on rear Charger Horn
Lancehorn Fire Frost Frost on Chillwater Canister Lancehorn Drill Horn
Longleg Shock Acid Shock on rear Sparker Longleg Wing Burner
Bristleback Shock Acid (Acid Variant), Fire (Fire Variant) Acid or Fire on rear Canister based on Variant Bristleback Tusk
Fanghorn Frost Fire Fire or Purgewater on respective Canisters Fanghorn Antler
Redeye Watcher Shock Fire, Plasma N/A N/A
Widemaw Purgewater Fire, Frost, Shock, Acid, Plasma Shock on rear Sparker Widemaw Tusk
Clawstrider Shock, Purgewater (Fire Variant), Plasma (Acid Variant) Acid, Fire (Fire Variant), Fire & Acid (Acid Variant) Shock on Sparker Clawstrider Razor Tail
Corruptor Fire Berserk N/A N/A
Bellowback Frost (Fire Variant), Purgewater (Acid Variant), Fire (Frost Variant) Fire (Fire Variant), Acid (Acid Variant), Frost (Frost Variant) Element of Sac Bellowback Sac Webbing
Glinthawk Fire, Shock Frost N/A Glinthawk Beak
Shell-Walker Acid Fire, Shock N/A Shell-Walker Lightning Gun
Stalker Shock Fire, Acid N/A Stalker Stealth Generator
Grimhorn Purgewater, Acid Fire, Shock N/A Plowhorn Horn
Ravager Purgewater, Acid Frost, Shock Shock on rear Sparker, Plasma on purple canister N/A
Snapmaw Fire, Shock Frost, Purgewater Purgewater on front canister Snapmaw Sac Webbing
Sunwing Purgewater Plasma Shock on rear Sparker Sunwing Shield Caster
Clamberjaw Purgewater Fire, Plasma Shock on rear Sparker Clamberjaw Tail Duster
Rollerback Acid Frost, Shock Acid on tail canister Rollerback Hammer Tail
Rockbreaker Frost, Shock Fire N/A Rockbreaker Mining Claw
Behemoth Fire, Acid Frost, Shock Acid canister, Frost on rear Chillwater canister Behemoth Force Loader
Dreadwing Fire Frost, Shock, Acid Shock on wing Sparker, Purgewater on tail canister Dreadwing Metal Fang
Tideripper Frost, Shock Fire, Purgewater Frost on Chillwater tail canister, Shock on rear Sparker, Plasma on Glowblast canister Tideripper Tail Fin
Shellsnapper Fire, Acid Frost, Plasma Shock on Sparkers under shell Shellsnapper Shell Bolt
Stormbird Acid, Plasma Fire, Shock Frost on wing canisters, Purgewater on tail canisters Stormbird Storm Cannon
Thunderjaw Purgewater, Acid Frost, Shock Frost on underbelly canister, Plasma on Glowblast canister, Shock on Sparker underneath tail Thunderjaw Tail
Frostclaw Fire, Shock Frost Shock on back Sparker, Frostclaw Sac Webbing
Scorcher Frost, Shock Fire Purgewater canister on back Scorcher Scanning Ear
Slitherfang Fire, Frost, Plasma Shock, Purgewater, Acid Plasma on neck Glowblast canister, Shock on Sparker, Acid and Purgewater on tail canisters Slitherfang Earthgrinder
Tremortusk Frost Fire Shock on side Sparkers Tremortusk Tusk
Fireclaw Frost, Purgewater Fire Purgewater canister on back, Shock on rear Sparker Fireclaw Sac Webbing
Slaughterspine Frost, Purgewater Fire, Shock, Acid, Plasma Purgewater canister on tail, Frost on Chillwater tail canisters N/A
Specter Acid, Plasma Fire, Shock, Purgewater N/A N/A

For more on the dangers facing Aloy, check out our Horizon Forbidden West guide.

About the Author
James Billcliffe avatar

James Billcliffe

Guides Editor

James suffers so you don't have to. Whether it's raging so hard at Sekiro that he bit his own hand, or confronting a 20-year fear of zombies to complete Resident Evil 2 eight times, he creates guides and reviews for the biggest blockbuster games. He has a Masters Degree in Journalism and a BA in Linguistics that he never got a chance to flex until Wordle came along.

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