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"Must be a Glinthawk... a flying scavenger."
Aloy, upon sighting a Glinthawk

The Glinthawk is a machine in Horizon Zero Dawn and a returning machine in Horizon Forbidden West and Horizon Call of the Mountain. It is an aerial Acquisition Class machine, one of five known aerial machines. Functionally Glinthawks are the aerial counterpart of Scrappers, scavenging destroyed machines. However they were weaponized by their maker HEPHAESTUS, and became a considerable danger to humans.


Glinthawks were designed by Zero Dawn's governing artificial intelligence (AI) GAIA as part of the terraforming system’s restoration of Earth’s biosphere after it was obliterated by the Faro Plague in the mid-21st century, destroying all life. As such, they were one of the first machines encountered by humans as they explored and settled in their tribal lands. Glinthawks perform the same function on destroyed machines that vultures perform on carrion; they process parts from the chassis of destroyed machines for recycling.

Initially, Glinthawks and all other Zero Dawn terraformers were docile, shying away from the sight of humans. However, humans began hunting the Zero Dawn terraformers for parts and resources. This resulted in the phenomenon referred to by the tribes as the Derangement, in which Glinthawks and all other Zero Dawn terraforming machines began exhibiting increasing hostility to humans, culminating in attacks against humans on sight.

The attraction of Glinthawks to destroyed machine chassis caused a situation in which they terrorized the Carja settlement of Lone Light. A group of Carja farmers had begun hunting Snapmaws to collect and sell the machines’ hearts to pay a debt, extracting the hearts in a gully near to the settlement. The proliferation of Snapmaw chassis in the gully attracted flocks of Glinthawks, which incessantly attacked the settlement’s residents as per their default hostility to humans. The attacks were finally ended by the the Carja Sunhawk Talanah and the Nora Brave Aloy, who saw to it that the farmers stopped their operation.

A similar situation occurred in which the Oseram settlement Pitchcliff was incessantly attacked by flocks of Glinthawks. Aloy discovered that they were attracted by a scavenged device in the settlement that emitted a signal which summoned machines. Aloy permanently disabled the device, stopping the attacks.

On two known occasions, Glinthawks were deliberately used by humans as weapons. On one occasion, the Carja criminal Ranaman used one of the aforementioned machine lures to attract a flock of Glinhawks and other machines to his father's estate, in order to kill his father and his sister Daradi, that he would inherit the estate as the only living family member. However, he himself was killed by one of these Glinthawks. On the other occasion, the renegade Oseram warlord Dervahl used a machine lure to summon a flock of Glinthawks to kill Aloy after she intervened to prevent him from killing the Carja monarch Avad. However, Aloy prevailed against them.


A Glinthawk has a distinctly avian appearance, resembling a vulture. Its wings, tail, legs and feet armor plating that resembles feathers and avian wings, tail, legs, and feet. The general appearance of the chassis resembles that of a vulture. The beak is composed of an upper mandible equipped longitudinally with an array of rotary cutting tools, a lower mandible equipped with a longitudinal saw-like cutting tool, and a pair of lateral mandibles, each equipped with a rotary cutting tool. This complex mechanism is highly efficient at cutting, grinding and processing parts and resources from the chassis of destroyed machines. A pair of optical sensor arrays is located in the same position as a vulture’s eyes. An armored Freeze sac containing Chillwater, is positioned on its breast, presumably as part of a cooling system that prevents excessive heat buildup in the beak’s cutting tools during scavenging. Some Glinthawks have a Blaze sac rather than a Freeze one.


Glinhawks congregate in flocks of 3 or 4, perched on or circling above high areas such as cliffs, mountains, and mesas. Flocks are found in every known tribe’s territory. Being aerial, they can easily see destroyed machine chassis, in which case they will alight on it and scavenge it, or humans, in which case they will attack. Upon spying a perceived threat or hearing a loud unusual noise, they fly in and hover over the area to investigate.


Glinthawks employ ranged elemental attacks in which they fire or drop elemental projectiles from their elemental sacs at a perceived threat while hovering. The element the Glinthawk employs varies depending on its variant, such as Fire and Freeze. The only element Glinthawks can deploy in Horizon Zero Dawn is freeze. They tend to bombard the aggressor with projectiles of their element by either directly throwing or dropping them. Hovering at close range, they resort to a melee attack in which they swoop down, slashing with the claws on their feet.


Depending if the player encounters Fire or Freeze Glinthawk, their weakness is the opposite element. Firing a single Fire or Freeze arrow on a Glinthawk will cause it to fall out of the sky, incapacitating it and making it vulnerable to critical strikes.


Horizon Zero Dawn[]

Name Damage Type Primary Damage Secondary Damage Trigger Range Description
Freeze Cloud Freeze-Icon Freeze 20 30 per second 0m - 100m Four freeze projectiles shot at enemy
Freeze Spit Freeze-Icon Freeze 60 30 per second 0m - 150m Carpet bombing drop of four freeze projectiles
Claw Slash Melee 160 - 7.5m - 18.5m Swooping slash at enemy with claws on feet

Horizon Forbidden West[]

Name Windup Stance Damage Damage Area Trigger Range Description
Elemental Spit Short Flying/Perched Fire-Icon/Freeze-Icon 151

Fire-Icon/Freeze-Icon 37 buildup

Fire-Icon/Freeze-Icon 10/s

Fire-Icon/Freeze-Icon 10/s buildup

0m - 150m Spits elemental projectiles that explode on impact and leaves a damaging residual pool of matching element. Often spits multiple projectiles.

Attack disabled when Drenched.

Bombing Run Long Flying Fire-Icon/Freeze-Icon 151

Fire-Icon/Freeze-Icon 37 buildup

Fire-Icon/Freeze-Icon 10/s

Fire-Icon/Freeze-Icon 10/s buildup

0m - 100m Rises up while hovering, then flies in a straight trajectory while dropping a series of elemental bombs directly below. Each bomb explodes on impact and leaves a residual damage area of the matching element.

Attack disabled when Drenched.

Claw Slash Short Flying 137 Melee - 7.5m - 26m Rises up while hovering, then swoops down to slash multiple times with talons.

Attack disabled when Slowed.


Horizon Zero Dawn[]

Component Image Information Weakness Strength
Body Glinthawk-Body Hard outer casing to protect synthetic muscle and operational systems. None None
Beak Glinthawk-Beak Destroying this component disables the Glinthawk's ability to scavenge loot from machine corpses. Tear-Icon Tear None
Sac Glinthawk-FreezeSac Destroying this component disables the ranged elemental attack and triggers an elemental explosion. All None

Horizon Forbidden West[]

Name Variant Image Description Attributes
Body All Hard outer casing to protect synthetic muscle and operational systems. None
Beak All Serrated beak for salvaging machine carcasses. Detach or destroy to disable this ability.
  • Detachable
  • Ability Removal
  • Destroyed When Killed
  • Key Upgrade Resource
Chillwater Sac Frost


Chillwater storage. Destroy to disable Frost attacks or leave intact to add loot to the carcass.
  • Explosive
  • Attack Removal
  • Persists When Killed
  • Contains Resources If Intact
Blaze Sac Fire Blaze storage. Destroy to disable Fire attacks or leave intact to add loot to the carcass.
  • Explosive
  • Attack Removal
  • Persists When Killed
  • Contains Resources If Intact


Variant Weak Vs. Strong Vs.
Frost Glinthawk Very weak iconFire-Icon Fire

Weak iconShock-Icon Shock

Very strong iconFreeze-Icon Frost
Fire Glinthawk Very weak iconFreeze-Icon Frost

Weak iconShock-Icon Shock

Very strong iconFire-Icon Fire
Apex Glinthawk Weak iconFire-Icon Fire Very strong iconFreeze-Icon Frost

Strong iconShock-Icon Shock


Horizon Zero Dawn[]

Horizon Forbidden West[]


  • They are attracted to destroyed machines similar to the Scrapper.
  • When on fire or if hit in the Sac, Glinthawks fall to the ground and stop attacking temporarily.
  • If allowed to do so, a flock of Glinthawks will strip all of the valuable/useful resources from the chassis of a destroyed machine, and Aloy therefore will get nothing from the chassis. If the chassis is small, a Glinthawk may carry if off entirely.
    • Despite the description only mentioning scrappers, allowing a Glinthawk to scavenge a machine will produce Processed Metal Blocks that can be collected by killing the Glinthawk
  • A Glinthawk appears as a glider in Fortnite Battle Royale. It uses the animation most often used by dragon-like gliders.
  • During development, the Glinthawk was referred to as the Glider.[1]
  • Glinthawks are one of only three machines (the others being Bristlebacks and Chargers) to resemble a creature which is definitively not extinct during the in-universe present, namely the vulture.



Horizon Zero Dawn
Acquisition Class Broadhead - Charger - Fireclaw - Frostclaw - Glinthawk - Grazer - Lancehorn - Rockbreaker - Scrapper - Snapmaw - Strider - Trampler
Chariot Class Corruptor - Deathbringer - Metal Devil
Combat Class Ravager - Sawtooth - Scorcher - Stalker - Stormbird - Thunderjaw
Communication Class Tallneck
Recon Class Longleg - Watcher (Redeye Watcher)
Transport Class Behemoth - Bellowback - Shell-Walker
Unknown Class Control Tower
Horizon Forbidden West
Acquisition Class Bilegut - Bristleback - Clamberjaw - Fanghorn - Plowhorn - Scrounger - Spikesnout - Stingspawn - Sunwing - Tideripper - Waterwing - Widemaw
Combat Class Clawstrider - Dreadwing - Grimhorn - Shellsnapper - Slaughterspine - Slitherfang - Specter - Specter Prime - Tremortusk
Recon Class Burrower - Skydrifter
Transport Class Leaplasher - Rollerback
Unknown Class Defense Drone