- "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 Class 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.
|Name||Damage Type||Primary Damage||Secondary Damage||Trigger Range||Description|
|Blinding Stun Flash||Blinding||0||0||6m-11m||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.
|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|
- 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|