"You're an ugly one, aren't you? No wonder you hide your face underground."
Aloy, upon sighting a Rockbreaker

The Rockbreaker is a machine in Horizon Zero Dawn. Highly durable and capable of rapid movement on the surface or underground, Rockbreakers are one of the largest and most formidable machine types.


The Rockbreaker most closely resembles a badger or a mole with a flat and durable body, broad shoulders, and powerful front legs, although, unlike such creatures, this machine has a tail making up about a quarter of its length.

Its most prominent feature is the massive maw of a tricone roller drill mounted on its head, each drill bit is set on jaws to allow the mouth to open and close. It is a quadruped, the front pair of legs sporting huge claws. Under the machine's belly are twin fuel sacs filled with Blaze, and twin exhaust ports are positioned atop the body at the base of the tail.


Rockbreakers seem to be one of the original Acquisition-class machines created by GAIA to terraform Earth after its sterilization at the hands of the Faro Plague in the mid-21st century. They have likely been around since before humans reappeared. While other mining machines like Lancehorns are able to gather materials from the surface, the Rockbreaker can tunnel deep into the earth to gather valuable raw materials for use in the Cauldrons.

After the Derangement, an event which caused all the existing machines to become more aggressive towards humans, the Rockbreaker's frightening speed, rugged design and powerful tools made it a menace to any humans nearby. By the time Aloy learned to hunt and fight machines, Rockbreakers would attack any human they detected.

In the region known as The Cut, a particularly dangerous Rockbreaker gained the nickname "The Claws Beneath" as it terrorized Banuk settlements and hunters for decades. Umnak, an elderly hunter, put Aloy on the trail of the Daemonic machine when she set out to kill it.


Like all machines, with the exception of the Tallneck, Rockbreakers attack humans once aware of his/her presence. They behave like a "land shark," tunneling around leaving a small dust wake to mark its position.

  • Drill: This enormous tricone roller drill allows the Rockbreaker to tunnel through the ground to attack the target. Soft ground like sand or dirt is a danger zone in Rockbreaker territory and its drill will inflict massive damage if it connects. The drill, however, cannot burrow through rock.
  • Digging arms: These appendages are tipped with powerful claws and allow the Rockbreaker to locomote on the surface as well as underground. These, coupled with the drill, allow a Rockbreaker to move as quickly and smoothly underground as a fish swims through water.
  • Sound detection: If a human walks or shoots an arrow into the ground while a Rockbreaker is nearby, the machine will immediately be alerted and will tunnel straight to the exact location of the sound, regardless of the surface walked on or if Aloy is hiding in tall grass.
  • Mobility: The Rockbreaker can move so fast that even an athletic human being like Aloy cannot outrun it, and it can breach the surface like a whale to carry out an attack, only to just as quickly dive underground again.
  • Rock launching: If the target is out of melee range or standing on a rock, the Rockbreaker can regurgitate a stream of boulders projectiles, similar to how a Behemoth can.
  • Fire resistance: The Rockbreaker's chassis is resistant to fire weapons.


Name Damage Type Primary Damage Secondary Damage Trigger Range
Leaping Crush Melee 250 - 0m - 15m (surface to submerged)
0m - 24m (submerged to surface)
0 - 30m (submerged to submerged)
Jaw Smash Melee 200 - 0m - 14m
Lunge Crush Melee 200 - 10m - 19m
Shark Bite Melee 200 - N/A
Spinning Smash Melee 180 - 0m - 10m
Rock Blast Explostion 50 per rock - 0m - 30m
Rock Volcano Explosion 100 150 per rock N/A


As formidable as they are, Rockbreakers have weaknesses that may be exploited to eventually kill them. They are as follows:

  • Digging arms - removal of these will prevent it from going underground. However, all four arms must be removed.
  • Fuel sacspuncturing these will cause an explosion that causes significant damage. However, the explosion also damages anyone within the blast radius.
  • Exhaust ports - strikes on these components deal greater damage to the machine.
  • Freeze weapons - while resistant to fire, Freeze ammunition will freeze the Rockbreaker much quicker than other machines, slowing it down and making it more susceptible to damage.
  • Can't cross water: Rockbreakers can move very fast and burrow underground, but the range of their melee attack is limited. If Aloy crosses a river and starts launching ranged attack from the other side, the Rockbreaker won't be able to close the distance, and will opt for hurling rocks instead.


Image: Component: Information: Weakness: Strength:
Rockbreaker-Body Body Hard outer casing to protect synthetic muscle and operational systems. Freeze-Icon Freeze Fire-Icon Fire
Rockbreaker-DiggingArm Digging Arm Destroying these components disables the ability to burrow underground. Tear-Icon Tear None
Rockbreaker-ExhaustPort Exhaust Port Hitting this component deals greater damage to the machine. All None
Rockbreaker-FuelSac Fuel Sac Destroying this component disables the ranged elemental attack, and triggers an elemental explosion. All None



  • The Rockbreaker shares many similarities with the Nibelsnarf of the Monster Hunter franchise. Both have similar body shapes, methods of attack and movement, and a vulnerability to freezing/ice damage.
    • Coincidentally, it was announced during 2017 Paris Game Week that Horizon: Zero Dawn will have special collaboration with the CAPCOM series, suggesting that Aloy's appearance and Zero Dawn-themed equipment will be accessible via DLC on Monster Hunter World, exclusively on the PS4 release.
    • Another similarities the Rockbreaker has is with the 10th Colossus from Shadow of The Colossus game, another PlayStation-exclusive installment recently remade for PlayStation 4. Both are subterranean serpentine creature with split lower jaw that attack in similar manners.The weak point of both creatures are also on their lower back.
  • A cone roller drill head design is made specifically for drilling through solid rock, commonly to gain access to ground water, oil, or natural gas because the objective is to not selectively mine ore. The fact that the Rockbreaker cannot drill through rock is likely due to balancing.
  • The Rockbreaker is the only large machine not involved in any part of the main quest.
  • Rockbreakers seem to be extremely rare, as their sites are only found within the Rustwash region, which spawns 2 unit at a time. Any Rockbreakers encountered beyond this site are one-time quest-specific occurrences.
  • Rockbreaker eyes have a wrench-like shape on them.
  • Rockbreakers seem to attack all sources of sound, which could be the reason why other machines don't dwell in their territory.


Acquisition Class Broadhead - Charger - FireclawFW - FrostclawFW - Glinthawk - Grazer - Lancehorn - Rockbreaker - Scrapper - Snapmaw - Strider - 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 Corrupted Machines - Corruptor - Deathbringer - Metal Devil
Unknown Class Control TowerFW