- "It crawls like a spider, and carries a container on its back. I wonder what's inside?"
- ―Aloy, upon sighting a Shell-Walker
With their six legs and two utility limbs, Shell-Walkers are very similar in appearance to hermit or fiddler crabs.
They possess eight limbs, six of which are used for locomotion while the other two are used as tools. While one of their non-walking limbs is shaped like a crab's pincer, the other features a shield emitter. Atop the main chassis is a large metal hexagonal cargo container. The container is detachable, and it is not uncommon to come across a dump site with several containers stacked atop each other. Surprisingly, the containers themselves are also destructable.
The Shell-Walkers have likely been around for some time, peacefully moving raw materials and parts from the gatherers, like the Lancehorn, to the Cauldrons to produce more machines. However, the Derangement occurred, an event in which the HEPHAESTUS sub-function of GAIA deemed humans a threat and made all the machines more aggressive, and started designing more combat-oriented machines. Due to the importance of their cargo, the Shell-Walkers were given new hardware to defend themselves from humans.
They do not seem to hunt for potential targets, and instead mainly focus on their task to transport materials.
The most important ability of the Shell-Walker is the cargo container that they carry, which can also be found dumped or stacked with other containers. They often contain valuable supplies.
While not strictly a combat machine and not very effective in a fight, the Shell-Walker is equipped to defend itself and will not hesitate to fight back if threatened. Once alerted, the Shell-Walker will activate the energy shield mounted on its left arm, which can block substantial damage if held right. The Shell-Walker will fire back with its lightning gun while also attempting to run down a hostile. While the projectile is not hard to dodge, it can do heavy damage. The Shell-Walker can also perform melee attacks with the pincer on their right arm.
Individually, these machines are very weak. As such, they always travel in groups. One can often hear them before they even see them, as Shell-Walkers are very communicative machines, constantly warbling and chirping to each other, and they make a lot of noise as they walk.
- During development, Shell-Walkers were originally named Scuttlers. The original name can still be seen in the description for the Carja Ropecaster Tutorial.
- The Shell-Walker is the only HEPHAESTUS machine in the game to be based on an invertebrate life form, appearing to resemble a crustacean. This feature is more pronounced in FARO Chariot Peacekeepers, who are built to have insectoid appendages or cephalopodic features.
- If you destroy a Shell-Walker's crate holders, it will attempt to hold the crate with its claw, unless that too is destroyed. The way it grabs the crate implies that the claw can also manipulate gravity to some extent, or the crate and the claw have a specific magnetism. Although, the gravity manipulative theory is reinforced by when it uses its 360 attack, objects in the AOE are lifted upwards.
- If the crate is destroyed, NOTHING can be recovered from it. Meleeing the machine with the crate on top will almost certainly yield no additional rewards.
- 3 Shell-Walkers, 2 Watchers Convoy: path is in Gatelands on the road from Greatrun Hunting Grounds, past Cauldron RHO, and ends southeast of the Tallneck (Copper Deeps).
- 1 Shell-Walker, 2 Watchers convoy: path starts south of the Tallneck (Copper Deeps) ends near the Longleg site north of Spurflints Hunting Grounds.
- 1 Shell-Walker, 3 Watchers convoy: path is solely in Sun Furrows, around the Sun Furrows Hunting Grounds.
- 2 Shell-Walkers, 1 Longleg convoy: path runs starts at Unflinching Watch; goes past Rockwreath, Cut-Cliffs, Day's Height; ends near the Longleg site north of Spurflints Hunting Grounds.
|Acquisition Class||Broadhead - Charger - FireclawFW - FrostclawFW - Glinthawk - Grazer - Lancehorn - Rockbreaker - Scrapper - Snapmaw - Strider - Trampler|
|Combat Class||Ravager - Sawtooth - ScorcherFW - Stalker - Stormbird - Thunderjaw|
|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|