Horizon: Zero Dawn Wikia


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"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 small machine designed to detect threats. Watchers are equipped with scanning technology and report their findings to other machines in the event of enemy detection. They often roam in large packs or alongside larger machines.

Watchers have a symbiotic relationship with other machines like Striders. The Watchers provide a watchful eye and patrol the perimeter in case of danger, allowing the Striders to calmly "graze". As long as the Watcher stays close by, the Striders will charge any threat.


Watchers have been around for long before Aloy was born as one of the original GAIA-produced machines. As a Recon-class machine, they do not seem to have a terraforming purpose. They instead serve to provide security by searching for threats to Acquisition-class machines, like Striders, and scouting terrain.


The Watcher resembles a small theropod dinosaur, albeit without forelimbs. Despite being the smallest encountered machine, it is still big enough to tackle a human being.

Their most distinctive feature is their disproportionately oversize head which houses a powerful, glowing sensor array and a spotlight, all mounted on a long neck that allows the machine to quickly swivel its head to observe its surrounding. The head is easily bigger than even the torso, as it houses the Watcher's most important gear.

Compared to the head, the Watcher's body looks ridiculously small. It balances on two very thin, simple legs resembling running prosthetics, and its head is balanced by a long, heavy tail.


Watchers can observe and scan the environment in search of threats. If a 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.


Name Damage Type Primary Damage Secondary Damage Trigger Range Description
Jumping Smash Melee 75 0 6m-11m TBA
Head Strike Melee 75 0 4m-9m TBA
Blinding Stun Flash Blinding 0 0 6m-11m TBA
Tail Strike Melee 85 0 2.5m-6m TBA
Energy Blast Explosion 40 0 0m-55m TBA

Tactics and Weaknesses

Watchers are clumsy lightweights with very little HP and one glaring weakness: their head or, more specifically, their "eye." However, Watchers in groups or with backup can be quite dangerous, as they can swarm Aloy and keep her distracted from fighting bigger, more dangerous machines.

Watcher eyes are vulnerable to all kinds of damage, making a Hardpoint or Precision arrow to this area an instant kill. The body is vulnerable to shock, so shock ammunition like Shock Arrows, Shock wires from a Tripcaster, or Shock Bombs from a Sling will disable and heavily damage them.

When isolated and unaware, they are easy to kill by hiding in grass and luring them close with a whistle or thrown rock. Simply hit it with a silent strike once it reaches Aloy's hiding place to kill it instantly and quietly.


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


MetalShardsTransparent 1

Machine Core - Small
MetalShardsTransparent 20

Watcher Lens
MetalShardsTransparent 10

Watcher Heart
MetalShardsTransparent 20


  • 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).
  • Watchers can often be found "guarding" other machines. They have a relationship not unlike that between the rhinoceros and oxpecker. The rhino's poor eyesight is compensated by the exceptional eyesight of the oxpecker, while the rhino's size will deter smaller predators. The two in essence protect each other.



Acquisition Class Broadhead - Charger - Glinthawk - Grazer - Lancehorn - Rockbreaker - Scrapper - Snapmaw - Strider - Trampler
Combat Class Ravager - Sawtooth - Stalker - Stormbird - Thunderjaw
Recon Class Longleg - Watcher (Redeye Watcher) - Tallneck
Transport Class Behemoth - Fire Bellowback - Freeze Bellowback - Shell-Walker
Chariot Class Corrupted Machines - Corruptor - Deathbringer - Metal Devil

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