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Damage is a game mechanic in Horizon Zero Dawn that measures the impact of attacks or harmful behaviors, such as falling. Taking damage will reduce Aloy's health and delivering damage to humans or machines will reduce theirs. Death occurs when a health bar is fully depleted.

Damage Types

There are different types of damage, depending on the method of attack.

Type Effect on Machines Effect on Humans
Damage Damage-Icon Reduces health with no secondary effects.
Tear Tear-Icon Dislodges components, possibly dealing preset amounts of damage depending on the component that is severed. Heavy knockdown; sends regular enemies flying.
Fire Fire-Icon Deals damage over time based on target's max health. Forces Corruptors and Deathbringers to expose their Cooling Rods. Deals damage over time.
Freeze Freeze-Icon Slows the target's movement and increases susceptibility to Direct Damage by up to 200%. Negates additional defense provided by armor. Slows the target's movement and increases susceptibility to Direct Damage by 50%.
Shock Shock-Icon Causes temporary paralysis, immobilizing the target and enabling Critical Hits.
Corruption Corruption-Icon Causes targets to become hostile to all units, including allies. Corrupted and Daemonic Machines are immune. Causes targets to become hostile to all units, including allies. If inflicted on Aloy, causes massive damage over time and prevents her from running until it wears off.

Elemental Damage

In addition to traditional impact damage, several weapons and ammunition types can impose element-based status effects on enemies by reaching set severity thresholds. "Severity" refers generally to the build-up to these status effects and applies to Freeze, Fire, Shock, and Corruption attacks.[1] Each of the four attack types produce a different status effect with varying impact on enemies. In addition to elemental attacks, severity thresholds indicate the amount of damage required to trip a sprinting enemy or knock one down with explosives.

When an enemy is hit by an elemental attack, an icon appears above them indicating the current severity build-up. The icon fill with color as subsequent elemental attacks are landed and is replaced with the status effect icon once the build-up reaches 100%. A white ring will then appear and deplete as the status wears off.

Severity Thresholds

Normal Machines Corrupted Machines Humans
Damage Type Small Medium Large Small Medium Large Normal Heavy/Elite
Fire-Icon Fire 75* 150 300 113 225 450 50 75
Freeze-Icon Freeze 75* 150 300 113 225 450 25 75
Shock-Icon Shock 75* 150 300 113 225 450 25 75
Corruption-Icon Corruption 50 100 150 - - - 50 10

* 70 for Watchers

Every weapon with stats that include one of the four elemental damage types contributes to the build-up of a status effect. For example, if a weapon has a Freeze attack with a value of 25, it would need to hit an enemy with a 100 Freeze severity threshold four times in order to apply the Frozen status effect. Likewise, a weapon with a Freeze attack value of 50 would reach the threshold twice as fast.

Fire Damage

Fire damage can be dealt using Fire Arrows from the Hunter Bow, Fire Bombs from the Sling, fire wires from the Tripcaster, and all ammo types used by the ForgefireFW. Applying Fire damage to an enemy's status threshold will produce the Burning effect, dealing damage over time.

Fire-Icon BURNING STATUS EFFECT

ENEMY TYPE DURATION RESULTING EFFECT
SMALL MACHINE 10 Sec. 5 dmg/sec = 50 dmg
MEDIUM MACHINE 15 Sec. 12 dmg/sec = 180 dmg
LARGE MACHINE 20 Sec. 18 dmg/sec = 360 dmg
ALL HUMANS 3 Sec. 15 dmg/sec = 45 dmg

Freeze Damage

Freeze damage can be dealt using Freeze Arrows from the War Bow, Freeze Bombs from the Sling, Freeze Bolts from the Rattler, and all ammo types used by the IcerailFW. Applying Freeze damage to an enemy's status threshold will produce the Frozen effect, slowing their movement speed and making them more susceptible to direct damage.

Freeze-Icon FROZEN STATUS EFFECT

ENEMY TYPE DURATION RESULTING EFFECT
ALL MACHINES 30 Sec. Up to 200% additional damage
ALL HUMANS 15 Sec. 3 dmg/3 sec = 15 dmg + 50% dmg

Shock Damage

Shock damage can be dealt using Shock Arrows from the War Bow, Shock Bombs from the Sling, Shock Wires from the Tripcaster, Shock Bolts from the Rattler, and all ammo types used by the StormslingerFW. In addition to weapon ammunition, Shock Traps also apply shock damage. Applying Shock damage to an enemy's status threshold will produce the Stunned effect, temporarily immobilizing the target.

Shock-Icon STUNNED STATUS EFFECT

ENEMY TYPE DURATION RESULTING EFFECT
SMALL MACHINE 10 Sec. Stunned / Immobilized
MEDIUM MACHINE 15 Sec. Stunned / Immobilized
LARGE MACHINE 20 Sec. Stunned / Immobilized
ALL HUMANS 3 Sec. Stunned / Immobilized

Corruption Damage

Corruption damage can be dealt using Corruption Arrows from the War Bow. Applying Corruption damage to an enemy's status threshold will produce the Corrupted effect, turning enemies hostile to all other targets.

Corruption-Icon CORRUPTED STATUS EFFECT

ENEMY TYPE DURATION RESULTING EFFECT
SMALL MACHINE 10 Sec. Target turns hostile to all others
MEDIUM MACHINE 15 Sec. Target turns hostile to all others
LARGE MACHINE 20 Sec. Target turns hostile to all others
ALL HUMANS 30 Sec. Target turns hostile to all others

References

  1. Horizon Zero Dawn Strategy Guide (Collector's Ed.), p.32. Future Press, 2017.
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