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

The Watcher is a category of machine in Horizon Zero Dawn. The smallest known machines, Watchers are designed for reconnaissance. The machine exists in two models: a basic unarmed model and an upgraded, armed model.


While no information is currently available about when Watchers first appeared, it seems likely that they were one of the machines designed by GAIA to assist in terraforming, possibly by monitoring the conditions of flora and fauna. With the onset of the Derangement, the AI HEPHAESTUS altered the machines’ behavior in response to the human practice of machine hunting, giving Watchers the role of sentries against human hunters.


A Watcher resembles a small theropod dinosaur, albeit without forelimbs. It’s chassis length is slightly greater than the height of an average adult human. Its most distinctive feature is its disproportionately large head which houses a highly sensitive ocular sensor array, all mounted on a long, flexible neck composed of synthetic muscle that allows for a wide field of vision. 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. The head, body and hips are covered with white armor plating.


Watchers are primarily deployed in groups around herds of small terraforming machines such as Striders, Grazers and Lancehorns. Each Watcher patrols a circuitous path around the herd, stopping at intervals to crane its neck vertically to its full length and optically scan the area. This allows the herd to work without having to stop and look out for threats. If a watcher detects and identifies a threat, it loudly sounds a warning, causing the herd to break and flee. Frequently Watchers are deployed in tandem with a combat machine such as as a Sawtooth, which will immediately converge on the alerting Watcher’s position as a primary threat response.

However, even in the absence of a combat machine or if not protecting a herd, Watchers immediately and aggressively attack threats upon detection and identification. Most notably this includes any encountered human. Furthermore, their loud alert call summons any nearby, more dangerous machines, quickly escalating a battle.

In addition to reconnaissance, Watchers are also deployed as escorts for machine convoys bringing resources to Cauldrons.


Aside from their ability to detect and alert other machines to threats, Watchers utilize their numbers to flank and attack an enemy. Their basic attack is a melee in which they jump and throw themselves at the threat; their momentum can cause significant injury to any human they employ this attack against. They will also use their tails in a bludgeon attack at close range. Additionally, they also employ a stun attack in which they emit an extremely bright flash from their ocular sensor array, which blinds an disorients humans.


Blinding stun flash does not work against 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 a child (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