Are you playing Horizon Zero Dawn for the first time and trying to decide which side quests are worth your time? This guide should help you figure it out. However, take it with a grain of salt as Horizon Zero Dawn is a beautiful RPG with fascinating lore and mythology.
We recommend you do every side quest, but that's not always realistic due to the amount of time it takes to get to 100 percent in the game. If you're crunched for time, or you want to do the side quests with the most intriguing storylines and characters, we've picked out the five quests you need to do and five you can skip.
10 Need to do: Acquired Taste
This quest will introduce you to one of the most eccentric characters in the game. It's an easy quest to miss but worth to seek out. You'll need to check the western area of the Sundom for a quest symbol. There, you'll meet Brin, a Banuk shaman with a strange addiction to drinking machine fluid.
"Acquired Taste" is an involved side quest as it will require you to hunt various machines from Thunderjaws to Stormbirds and return with their blood. Each time you return, Brin will grant you with a vision. Many fans believe that Brin's visions might hint at what's to come in a potential sequel game.
9 Skip: Blood on Stone
"Blood on Stone" is a side quest located in the Cut-Cliffs. Aloy agrees to investigate the strange murders of five guards. It's a reasonably short side quest, and it doesn't offer much in the way of new information.
You will be forced to contend with a Rockbreaker, and if you're not well-equipped, they can quickly kill you. Rockbreakers are some of the most challenging machines to defeat in the game, and they're a pain. If you're not in the mood to face-off against one, then it's best to skip this quest altogether.
8 Need to do: A Moment's Peace
This quest further explores the history of the Banuk tribe by focusing on a secluded camp that is rumored to live in peace amongst the machines. You will meet with a man named Vilgund in Meridian who sent two men to investigate the camp and have yet to return.
When Aloy goes to see what happened to Vilgund's men, she discovers a secret the secret to the domesticated machines and the mysterious 'blue light.' "A Moment's Peace" is a fun quest to do because of its location and the story.
7 Skip: Fatal Inheritance
"Fatal Inheritance" is a quest all about family drama involving a man named Ranaman located in the Meridian Village. He requests Aloy's help in ridding his father's estate of machines so that he can accurately assess his inheritance.
You'll be required to kill several machines and in the process, discover a conspiracy involving the reason the machines showed up in the first place. It's a short quest and one that doesn't offer much outside of solving a family scuffle. It's easily skipped and won't affect your game if you decide to pass on completing it.
6 Need to do: Ancient Armory
"Ancient Armory" is a tedious side quest and not exactly the most "fun" the game has to offer, but the reward makes it worth it. If you succeed in collecting all five power cells spread out across the map, then you can access the incredible Shield-Weaver armor from a bunker that used to belong to the Old Ones.
The Shield-Weaver armors it the best in the entire game and makes Aloy virtually invincible to damage. If you're playing on easy, you'll breeze through the remainder of the game with it, and you can take it with you into New Game+ mode.
5 Skip: Death from the Skies
This is where things get a little trickier. As we mentioned before, most Horizon Zero Dawn side quests are fun, even if they aren't the best in the game. "Death in the Skies" is not a bad quest, but it doesn't introduce anything new. The quest involves you tracking down various lures to protect people under attack by machines.
Several other quests deal with lures, and they're also a central part of the main plot. While this quest does have a unique storyline of its own, you're also not missing much if you decide to forgo it. You will also have to fight quite a few Glinthawks and a Stormbird, they're some of the most irritating machines in the game.
4 Need to do: Traitor's Bounty
"Traitor's Bounty" is one of the most exciting and involved side quests in the game. Aloy meets a Carja soldier named Uthid, who has been falsely accused of working with the Shadow Carja. If you enjoy political conspiracy and adventures, this quest is for you.
It also leads into another great quest, "Queen's Gambit," which we'll get to later in the article. Most fans like the character of Uthid as well, and he can become a valuable ally to you in the final battle of the game should you agree to complete this side quest. If you like the character Vanasha, this quest has a lot of her involvement, as well.
3 Skip: Insult to Injury
"Insult to Injury" is a side quest offered early in the game. It is a glorified fetch quest, as are some of the others in Horizon Zero Dawn. That said, this is one of the less interesting ones. You're asked to retrieve Dreamwillow to help mend the injured after the Carja attack during the Proving massacre.
You can receive the quest from one of two characters, either Fia or Enara. But the result will be the same. You'll have to fight off some adversaries, and you'll meet a sketchy recluse named Jun. Overall, nothing too exciting.
2 Need to do: Queen's Gambit
Many fans are in agreement that "Queen's Gambit" is one of the best side quests in the entire RPG. It will open up to you after completing "Traitor's Bounty." Vanasha asks for Aloy's help in granting safe passage to Prince Itamen and his mother, the dowager Queen Nasadi.
They want to leave the Shadow Carja domain and return to King Avad in the Sundom. It won't be easy to fight off all the Shadow Carja soldiers and Rockbreakers, but this quest is the exciting and heroic journey you'll find yourself absorbed by if you give it a chance.
1 Skip: Robbing the Rich
"Robbing the Rich" is a very simplistic questline that involves Aloy hunting down a thief in Meridian.
It does have its own story, and you'll learn about the thief in question, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not necessarily worth it and doesn't add anything to the main story. If you're trying to cut corners, you won't miss much by deciding to skip out on this quest altogether.