"You must learn to avoid their gaze if you are to survive in the wilds."
Rost, showing Aloy her first Watcher

The Watcher is a machine in Horizon Zero Dawn. It is designed to scout for natural areas in need of rehabilitation, as well as keep other machines out of the way of potential threats. Watchers are equipped with advanced ocular sensors, allowing them to stay more aware of their environment than other machines.


Watchers have a symbiotic relationship with other machines, especially herd machines such as the Strider and Grazer. Watchers provide both visual and physical security to herd machines, which are often "grazing" and unaware of their surroundings. Frequently, Watchers will patrol along with at least one Combat Class machine such as a Sawtooth. If the Watcher raises the alarm, the combat machine provides the primary threat response (attacking the threat), though the Watcher will also attack.

Often patrolling a set path around a herd, it is a good idea to stealthily dispose of Watchers before hunting as they can alert the herd and possibly call larger, more dangerous machines to Aloy's location.


The Watcher resembles a small theropod dinosaur, albeit without forelimbs. Despite being the smallest encountered machine, it is still slightly larger than an adult human.

Their most distinct feature is their disproportionately sized head which houses a powerful spotlight and advanced ocular sensor, all mounted on a long, flexible neck that allows for a very wide range of detection. The head is almost twice the size of the torso, as it houses the Watcher's most important gear.

The Watcher's body primarily connects the neck and a flexible tail of similar design. An offset hip bearing is attached on either side of the body, each leading into a thin springboard leg.


Watchers can observe and scan the environment in search of threats. If danger is spotted, the Watcher will let out an electronic screech that alerts all nearby machines or, in the case of Corrupted Watchers, alert human enemies like the Eclipse. This will put humans on combat alert and cause machines to either charge or flee.

Unlike their much larger and well-armed cousin the Thunderjaw, Watchers have no weapons and only light armor. However, they can attack humans by charging and tackling them, knocking them down and doing light damage. When startled, Watchers also have the ability to blind humans through the use of a bright light emitted from their eye.

Watchers are quite clumsy and unsuited for combat. They attack by throwing themselves at Aloy, usually tumbling over in the process and have trouble getting up. However, an upgraded variant, the Redeye Watcher, is far more dangerous.


Blinding stun flash does not work on machines

Name Damage Type Primary Damage Trigger Range Description
Blinding Stun Flash Blinding 0 6m - 11m Charges its spotlight and blinds targets with a light flash
Energy Blast Explosion 40 0m - 55m Charges eye and fires a red energy blast that knocks target over
Head Strike Melee 75 4m - 9m N/A
Jumping Smash Melee 75 6m - 11m Jumps at target, clawing like a bird, sometimes falling over
Tail Strike Melee 85 2.5m - 6m Spins around with its tail and knocks targets over in an AOE


Image: Component: Information: Weakness: Strength:
Body Hard outer casing to protect synthetic muscle and operational systems. Shock-Icon Shock None
Eye Hitting this component deals greater damage to the machine. All None



  • Watchers are the first machines that Aloy encounters through her training with Rost when she is young (thus the first machine type the player encounters).



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