Merchants are the primary source of buying and selling goods in Horizon Zero Dawn. There is a merchant in each major settlement and some scattered across the map, mostly along major roadways. A merchant is also found at every Hunting Ground and cleared Bandit Camp.
Regular hunting goods merchants are divided into four tiers, with higher tiers selling a larger variety of merchandise. In addition to regular merchants, there are also various special merchants in Meridian who sell uncommon objects or trade unique rewards for collectables.
All of these merchants are found in the main Carja city of Meridian.
- Aidaba (Hunters Lodge)
- Eclectic Collectibles Merchant
- Machine Resources Merchant
- Mystery Boxes Merchant
These merchants will trade special reward boxes in exchange for recovered collectables. They also sell the maps required to find them.
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Found across and only in the Cut, these merchants sell special items related to the Frozen Wilds add-on including weapons, equipment and special items. Many of the items offered require a specific amount of Bluegleam to be traded, such as the "Master" class outfits and Banuk 'overdraw' bows. These items are only available for purchase once per-playthrough. Progressing through some quests in the Frozen Wilds will expand the variety of gear available to buy. All Bluegleam Merchants across the Cut share one vendor screen.
Many of the items sold by these merchants are not found on regular merchants and vice versa. However, their ammunition and resource stocks match that of Tier 2 merchants, with a few additions to accommodate the expanded weaponry available in the Cut. Echo Shells and Metalburn can be purchased, allowing ammunition for the Icerail, Forgefire and Stormslinger to be crafted with store bought resources. The five types of ammunition for these weapons may also be purchased directly.
Before the Proving
Due to the Nora tradition of shunning outcasts, normal merchants will not sell to Aloy until she has completed The Proving. However, a merchant named Karst who lives south of Mother's Cradle is willing to break the tribe's rules and speak to Aloy. Though his stock is limited, he is the first merchant available during the game.
After completing the main quest Mother's Heart, Kart's inventory becomes that of a normal Tier 1 merchant. During The Heart of the Nora, Karst is killed during the Eclipse's invasion of the Sacred Lands.
During Mother's Heart, Teb is able to sell a number of outfits to Aloy. Because Karst does not have any outfits in his inventory until this quest is completed, this is the first opportunity available to purchase outfits. However, unlike Karst, Teb is not a general merchant and outside of this quest he cannot be traded with again.
Tier 1 Merchants
Tier 1 merchants are available after completing The Proving and thus becoming a member of the Nora tribe. They can be found throughout the Embrace. They have the most limited stock of all general merchants due to the isolationist lifestyle of the Nora tribe.
Tier 2 Merchants
These merchants are found outside of the Embrace, in the rest of the Nora-controlled Sacred Lands. They sell substantially more goods than Tier 1 merchants, including higher-quality weapons and armor, but by and large they still lack the benefit of Carja trading connections. Tier 2 merchants are also found in the Cut, allowing normal weapons and outfits to be purchased without having to travel to a different region.
Tier 3 Merchants
Tier 3 merchants are encountered past the walls of Daytower, the Carja border fort. They can be found along the Way of Broken Stones leading to Meridian and in the surrounding areas. Their inventories are vastly larger than those of the merchants encountered in Nora lands.
Tier 4 Merchants
Tier 4 merchants are found in the Carja and Shadow Carja capitals of Meridian and Sunfall. They have the largest selection of stock available for trade, unsurprising as these settlements are home to the best artisans and crafters in the Sundom.