Hunting Grounds are a set of activities in Horizon Zero Dawn. Designated hunting grounds throughout the world are maintained by Keepers from the Hunters Lodge of Meridian, at which hunters are able to test their skills.
At each hunting ground, hunters are tested via trials on different hunting skills used against machines, such as tools (blast wires, etc.), elemental ammunition (fire arrows etc.), stamina, stealth, and leverage (use of one machine's weaponry against others).
There are five hunting grounds. Each one has three trials. Judging of a hunter's performance in a trial is done by the groundskeeper, and is based on the hunter's ability to complete the trial in an allotted time. The hunter is awarded a mark called a sun, the rank of which depends on the time taken to complete the trial. Each trial has a certain time limit for each sun rank; the shorter the time limit, the higher the rank. The ranks are as follows:
- Blazing Sun - the highest rank
- Full Sun - the second highest rank
- Half Sun - the third highest rank
Failure to complete the trial in at least the time for which a half sun is awarded is considered a failure of the trial.
If a hunter is awarded at least a half-sun from three hunting grounds, he/she is eligible to gain admittance to the Hunting Lodge in Meridian. If the hunter wins blazing suns at each of the five hunting grounds, he/she is awarded three specially upgraded Lodge hunting weapons at the Hunter's Lodge on presentation of the suns to Aidaba, the Lodge's weapons keeper. These weapons are the Lodge Ropecaster, the Lodge War Bow, and the Lodge Blast Sling.
Earning all three blazing suns at a hunting grounds earns the player a skill point. Furthermore, each blazing sun earns two reward boxes, one for each of the lesser marks.
Known Hunting Grounds
- Nora Hunting Grounds
- Valleymeet Hunting Grounds
- Greatrun Hunting Grounds
- Spurflints Hunting Grounds
- Sun Furrows Hunting Grounds
Each hunting ground is managed by a keeper selected by the Hunter's Lodge.