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"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.

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 are modeled after various forms of fauna that have existed throughout the course of Earth's history, such as avians, ungulates, and even dinosaurs.

Currently, there are two known examples of botanical machines, the Metal Flowers found throughout the world of Horizon Zero Dawn, and the tree-like Control Tower found only to date in The Cut.


In the late 2040's, Faro Automated Solutions began developing machines built for combat. At some point, FAS created the Chariot line of war machines consisting of the FAS-ACA3 Scarab, FAS-FSPS Khopesh, and the FAS-BOR7 Horus. When deployed in combat, any lost machines would be replaced by Horus while the the Scarab and Khopesh units would convert biomass to fuel the Horus. 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

The Faro Plague

In 2064, a "glitch" in the Faro machines caused operate as an independent entity. In response, Ted Faro, the CEO of Faro Automated Systems, met with former employee Dr. Elizabet Sobeck in hopes of containing the swarm. Dr. Sobeck concluded that there was no way to stop the swarm and predicted a mass extinction level event was to occur. Recognizing that stopping the machines was impossible and extinction was inevitable, Dr. Sobeck would later propose Project Zero Dawn, a way to ensure that life on Earth would continue after the swarm consumed everything. As work on the project began, humanity found itself in a full-fledged war with the machines.

Zero Dawn would see 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

Eventually, the swarm devoured all biomass on Earth, but GAIA managed to crack the encryption codes and shut down the Faro machines. GAIA would then begin to detoxify the Earth's atmosphere and biosphere using machines modeled after fauna that existed prior to the extinction. 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, usually fleeing if they saw a human. Machines, especially machine hunting, would have a large role in the culture of these new tribes.

At some point, an unknown signal caused all nine of GAIA's subroutines to become independent AIs, and lead to HADES going rogue. HADES attempted to begin the Extinction Protocol and take control of the terraforming system, but GAIA self-destructed before it could do so in an effort to destroy it. However, HADES was able to escape along with the rest of the subordinate functions before GAIA's self-destruction.

The destruction of GAIA meant that every subordinate function of Zero Dawn, now AIs and free in the world, were able to make their 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 phenomena came to be known as the "Derangement" by the humans, and has put a great strain on all tribal cultures.

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 biology, 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 machines 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 their weapons are easily visible on their exterior.

Varieties of machine

Zero Dawn machines

Project Zero Dawn's machines are created by HEPHAESTUS, one of GAIA's sub-functions, for the purpose of recreating Earth's biosphere. GAIA's machines fall under four classes, with a fifth 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, harvesting resources to assist the terraforming program and allow for the further construction of machines. Each model of Acquisition Class machine is typically specialized towards refining a single type of resource, such as breaking down plant life to create Blaze, distilling Chillwater from bodies of water, or recycling destroyed machines into Processed Metal Blocks.

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.[3] Often equipped with weapons, Combat Class Machines are unquestionably the most dangerous machines and are often seen among more vulnerable machines, likely guarding them.

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.

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 drop 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 only in The Frozen Wilds, these are regular machines augmented by HEPHAESTUS through unspecified means after it took control of the Caldera facility. 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. They are drawn to locations where large numbers of machines have been killed, serving as guardians, and will stop at nothing to eliminate anyone they consider a threat. Only three known types have been observed by the tribes so far; Sawtooths, Ravagers, and the newly discovered Clawstrider, all Combat Class machines.


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

Combat levels

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


  • 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.[5]


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 - Fire Bellowback - Freeze Bellowback - Shell-Walker
Unknown Class Control Tower
Horizon Forbidden West
Acquisition Class Bristleback - Clamberjaw - Sunwing - Tideripper
Combat Class Clawstrider - Shellsnapper - Slitherfang - Tremortusk
Recon Class Burrower
Transport Class Rollerback