"The lesson will be taught in due time, Aloy. Until then, we wait."
This article contains heavy spoilers, and may reveal plot or quest information.

Platinum Theme

Every machine seen in Horizon Zero Dawn

Machine is the term used by the tribes of the Horizon Zero Dawn world to refer to any of the technologically advanced robots that have become the Earth's dominant species. These machines typically bear strikingly similar designs to various forms of fauna that have existed in the course of Earth's history, such as avians, ungulates, and even dinosaurs. There is at least one known example of a botanical machine as well, the tree-like Control Tower found only to date in The Cut.


The first machines created by Faro Automated Solutions were domestic servants, the Focus, and @lfred. However, Faro soon began developing machines built for combat, two of which were the Scarab and Khopesh, heavily-armed robots that could supplant entire armies, convert biomass into fuel, and replicate themselves allowing them to operate indefinitely. Additionally, the Scarab's hijacking ability allowed it to slave other combat machines to its network. The entire Faro line used polyphasic entangled waveforms, rendering them virtually unhackable.

The Faro Plague

Faro Plague

The Faro Plague

However, a "glitch" in the Faro machines caused them to ignore commands and begin attacking humans without authorization. The machines replicated faster than they could be destroyed, and began operating as an independent entity. Soon, a full-fledged war between humanity and robots began, costing billions of lives and immense destruction. Despite humanity's best efforts, the swarm could not be contained and they devoured biomass wherever they went, eliminating entire cities and ecosystems. Ted Faro, the CEO of Faro Industries, met with a former employee named Elisabet Sobeck in hopes of containing the swarm, but Elisabet found that there was no way of stopping the machines from destroying all life on Earth. However, she proposed a project named Zero Dawn to Ted, stating that it was the only way of ensuring that life on Earth could continue after the machines killed everything.

Zero Dawn was the development of an advanced intelligence known as GAIA that would crack the machine swarm's encryption codes, deactivate them, and then re-seed the Earth with plant, animal, and human life. GAIA was aided by nine subroutines, one of which was HADES, a subroutine designed to take control of the terraforming process and start it over again if it was unsatisfactory.

GAIA's Machines


A variety of machines created by GAIA and HEPHAESTUS

The swarm eventually devoured all biomass on Earth, but GAIA managed to crack the encryption codes and shut down the Faro machines. She then created many different machines modeled off of former animal life to purify the Earth's toxic atmosphere and biosphere. Hundreds of years later, humans were released from the Cradles they were created in and began forming primitive tribal societies, not knowing of the "old ones" who came before them. The machines they encountered were docile and generally harmless for many generations: if they saw a human, they would usually flee. Machines, especially machine hunting, would have a large role in the culture of these new tribes.

However, at one point, an unknown signal caused HADES to go rogue and begin the Extinction Protocol. HADES attempted to take control of GAIA completely, but GAIA self-destructed before he could do so.

The destruction of GAIA meant that every subordinate function of Zero Dawn had to make its own decisions, including HEPHAESTUS, which perceived the human practice of hunting machines for resources as hostile activity. Because of this, HEPHAESTUS changed the machines' default behavior as hostile towards mankind, as well as creating a new generation of machines designed to cull the human population. This event that came to be known as the "Derangement" by the humans.

Machines in the present day are often hunted for their parts, or to cull them before they can threaten local populations. They can usually be found in large groups, although some operate in smaller packs. Machines will either run away from or attack humans (mostly the latter) that they come across, and will completely ignore wildlife. They will never attack each other unless overridden or corrupted.


GAIA Machines

The machines of the terraforming system take inspiration from animal morphology, primarily from vertebrate species (the exceptions being the Shell-Walker and Control Towers). The typical machine design features a chassis composed of darker alloys, synthetic skins, and fiber-optic cables, with lighter alloys serving as armor plating for vital components and synthetic muscles. The logo for the machine's respective Cauldron will be located in multiple places along the body, and armor plating is sometimes lacquered (the Fireclaw's armor plating is dark red). Due to their respective purposes, not all machines have jaws, and the ones that do generally have split mandibles. The machines vary in size from slightly larger than humans to as tall as ten stories.

With the exception of the Tallneck and Control Tower, all machines have visual sensors, arranged in either a monocular or binocular fashion.

Faro Plague

The Chariot Line, the robots created by Faro Automated Solutions, were designed to be unsettling in appearance. The designs of the Corruptor and Metal Devil resemble invertebrates, while the Deathbringer does not resemble any animal whatsoever. Their chassis are comprised entirely of dark metal, and weapons are easily visible on their exterior.

Classes of machines

The machines are created by HEPHAESTUS, one of GAIA's sub-functions, for the purpose of recreating of Earth's biosphere. Machines fall under three classes, with a fourth later created by HEPHAESTUS for the sole purpose of combating humans.

Acquisition Class Machines

Acquisition Class Machines make up the bulk of GAIA's workforce, often designed to serve a specific sub-function of Zero Dawn, namely the DEMETER, POSEIDON, AETHER, and HEPHAESTUS sub-functions.


Terra-former Machines are primarily designed to assist sub-function DEMETER, manipulating the earth, originally to help the growth of plant life, now in order to help plant life thrive. Often employing a facial or otherwise head-based apparatus, Terra-former Machines work to break down soil and other obstacles like rocks in the way of plant growth.


Purifier Machines are primarily designed to assist sub-functions POSEIDON and AETHER. While Purifier Machines share many design similarities with Terra-former Machines, they are equipped differently suggesting that they are instead tasked with the detoxification of the atmosphere and marine biosphere.


Recycler Machines are primarily designed to assist sub-function HEPHAESTUS, breaking down destroyed machines and bringing the parts back to the Cauldrons to be reused.


Transport Class Machines

Transport Class Machines are a diverse group, with one machine designed for the sole purpose of assisting Acquisition Class Machines move large amounts of cargo, and two others designed to carry materials intended for their own terraforming functions.

Recon Class Machines

Recon Class Machines are some of the simplest machines, usually built around a single advanced detection component, such as an ocular sensor or radar. Originally created to help Acquisition Class Machines find land suitable for terraforming, their purpose shifted to serving as guards and lookouts for other machines after the Derangement.

Communication Class Machines

Communication Class Machines are a unique group, with the only known member being the Tallneck.[2] They have no offensive capabilities, and appear completely unaffected by the Derangement.

Combat Class Machines

Combat Class Machines didn't exist when the first humans were released from the Cradles, instead appearing after the Derangement when the HEPHAESTUS sub-function deemed humans a threat. However, it is worth mentioning that variations of some Combat Class machines (such as the Stalker) existed prior to the Derangement. Often equipped with weapons, Combat Class Machines are unquestionably the most dangerous machines and are often seen among more vulnerable machines, likely guarding them.

Chariot Machines

Chariot Machines are ancient war machines that have been excavated from the earth and re-awoken by the Eclipse. They were the autonomous combat robots of the Chariot Class, designed by Faro Automated Solutions nearly a millennium before the events of Horizon Zero Dawn.

Corrupted Machines

While Corrupted Machines technically fall under their original Machine Class, they have been overridden by FARO Chariot Line's Scarab (Corruptors) that have themselves fallen under HADES' control, turning their subordination to the rogue Extinction fail-safe program instead of HEPHAESTUS who created them. They are allied with the Eclipse, and are hostile to other humans and machines.

These machines have enhanced physical strength and improved firepower over normal machines. They also drip a volatile substance known as Metalburn that is toxic to both organic life and machines, making it even more dangerous to face them. These machines however are more susceptible to Fire damage, even units which are supposedly resistant, such as Fire Bellowbacks and Tramplers.

Daemonic Machines

Encountered to date only in The Frozen Wilds, these are regular machines that were augmented by HEPHAESTUS through unspecified means after it took control of the Caldera facility. They are even stronger than Corrupted machines, enhanced with higher elemental resistance, especially shock, and immune to being overridden, without any inherent weakness. Since they are products of HEPHAESTUS, they aren't hostile towards normal machines and will work together with them to take down humans.

New breed

First seen in the Horizon Zero Dawn comic series, these machine variants possess black armor rather than white, and are more deadly than their standard counterparts. Only two known types were encountered by Aloy and Talanah; the Sawtooth and the newly discovered Clawstrider, both Combat Class machines.

Unknown Class Machines

Horizon Forbidden West is set to introduce dozens of new machines to the world of Horizon. Some of these new machines have not yet had their classification revealed, such as the Shellsnapper, a giant turtle-like machine which guards shores and swamps.


Machine Level Level (Corrupted) Level (Daemonic)
Strider-Icon Strider 5 12
Watcher-Icon Watcher 5 12 14
Grazer-Icon Grazer 8 15
Scrapper-Icon Scrapper 8 15 17
Broadhead-Icon Broadhead 10 17
Watcher-Icon Redeye Watcher 10 17 19
Lancehorn-Icon Lancehorn 13 18
Charger-Icon Charger 13 20 22
Longleg-Icon Longleg 13 20 27
Deathbringer-Icon Deathbringer (1) 14
Sawtooth-Icon Sawtooth 15 22
Trampler-Icon Trampler 15 22
Corruptor-Icon Corruptor 18
Deathbringer-Icon Deathbringer (2) 18
Glinthawk Icon Glinthawk 18 25
Bellowback-Icon Fire Bellowback 18 25 27
Bellowback-Icon Freeze Bellowback 18 25 27
Stalker-Icon Stalker 18 25 27
ShellWalker-Icon Shell-Walker 18 20 27
Ravager-Icon Ravager 20 27
Snapmaw-Icon Snapmaw 20 27 29
Rockbreaker-Icon Rockbreaker 23 30 32
Deathbringer-Icon Deathbringer (3) 25
Behemoth-Icon Behemoth 25 32 40
Thunderjaw-Icon Thunderjaw 27 34 40
Stormbird-Icon Stormbird 27 40
Deathbringer-Icon Deathbringer (4) 30
Scorcher-Icon ScorcherFW 30 35
Iceclaw-Icon FrostclawFW 30 36
Fireclaw-Icon FireclawFW 50 55
Control TowerFW
Tallneck-Icon Tallneck


Machine hunting is one of the main elements of gameplay. As such, understanding a machine's abilities and behavior is essential for survival. While their behavior varies widely across different varieties of machine, there are several commonalities that can be observed.

A machine's state of behavior is indicated by their eye color. Blue light indicates their default docile state, in which they will perform their general functions. Yellow light indicates alarm or disturbance: in this state, they will search for threats until they either detect a threat or determine the threat to be passed. Red light indicates their combat state, which they shift into once they have located a threat. A machine's eyes will flash briefly before it attacks, serving as a warning to its target.

Machines have weak spots which can be exposed by shooting off their armor. Some machines can also be overridden, thus changing their behavior and forcing them to aid Aloy with her objectives.[3] Machines can also become corrupted, posing a even bigger threat. They appear with blue outlines when scanned with a Focus. Machines have varying resistances and weaknesses to elemental damage, which can be used against them in combat.

The designs of the machines in-game are not fixed or constant for the entirety of the game. As Aloy hunts and kills more machines, they will eventually 'evolve' and adapt by better protecting themselves with additional armor plates. The number of kills it takes to 'evolve' varies with each machine. Once this 'evolution' of a machine takes place, the player will only ever encounter the more heavily-armored variant. This 'evolution' process only works for machines that are still in production, so the Corruptor and Deathbringer are unaffected.

Grazer-Icon GRAZER 15 Bellowback-Icon FIRE BELLOWBACK 5
Strider-Icon STRIDER 15 Bellowback-Icon FREEZE BELLOWBACK 5
Lancehorn-Icon LANCEHORN 10 Ravager-Icon RAVAGER 5
Scrapper-Icon SCRAPPER 10 Longleg-Icon LONGLEG 5
Broadhead-Icon BROADHEAD 10 Sawtooth-Icon SAWTOOTH 5
Charger-Icon CHARGER 10 Snapmaw-Icon SNAPMAW 5
Glinthawk Icon GLINTHAWK 10 Thunderjaw-Icon THUNDERJAW 2
Watcher-Icon WATCHER 5 Rockbreaker-Icon ROCKBREAKER 1
Watcher-Icon REDEYE WATCHER 5 Behemoth-Icon BEHEMOTH 1
Trampler-Icon TRAMPLER 5 Stormbird-Icon STORMBIRD 1
ShellWalker-Icon SHELL-WALKER 5 Stalker-Icon STALKER -


  • The naming convention for the machines is either an active agent (eg. Strider or Grazer) or compound noun (eg. Bellowback or Snapmaw), and occasionally both. The Behemoth and the Metal Devil are exceptions, both of which draw from mythology.
  • Although the lore mentions that there were many fully automated robots that came before the Chariot Line, there are strangely no signs of these ancient machines, dormant or dead.
    • It is possible however that said automatons were destroyed during operating Enduring Victory by humans, knowing they would only boost the Faro Plague.
      • Even so, such machines include those designed for domestic purposes by F.A.S, such as @lfred.
  • According to Jan Bart van Beek, the design for the machines was influenced by discussions that Guerrilla Games had with a university in Delft: many of the features, such as legs, synthetic muscles, self-sustainable design, and external armor plating, were incorporated into the machines design.[4]


  1. Meet The Machines - Sunwing
  2. Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Collector's Edition Guide, page 18
  3. Game Informer #82: Woman vs. Machine
Acquisition Class Bristleback - Broadhead - Charger - FireclawFW - FrostclawFW - Glinthawk - Grazer - Lancehorn - Rockbreaker - Scrapper - Snapmaw - Strider - Sunwing - Trampler
Combat Class Ravager - Sawtooth - ScorcherFW - Stalker - Stormbird - Thunderjaw
Communication Class Tallneck
Recon Class Longleg - Watcher (Redeye Watcher)
Transport Class Behemoth - Fire Bellowback - Freeze Bellowback - Shell-Walker
Chariot Class Corruptor - Deathbringer - Metal Devil
Unknown Class Control TowerFW - Shellsnapper - Tremortusk
Other Corrupted Machines - Daemonic MachinesFW - "New breed"
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