One aspect of Horizon Zero Dawn that was a hit was the ability to turn certain machines into your own steed, carrying you across the land. You can do the same in Horizon Forbidden West, gaining four mountable machines, including a flying machine. However, for the latter three mounts, you need to find their applicable Cauldrons and first override those.
Read below to see how to unlock the override ability and gain a mount. You will be able to turn one machine, the Charger, into a mount immediately. While you can override many machines, only four can be mounted while the others will attack for you (still nice!).
Gaining the override ability
This will happen as part of the story quest just before you head to the Forbidden West alone, leaving Varl behind. After speaking to the Sun-King Avard, you are told to upgrade the spear he gifted you, with a secondary task to speak to your friends (they have exclamation points above their heads). The workbench, next to your last two friends, is where you’ll be required to craft the override ability to your spear.
How to override and gain mounts
In order to override one of the four machines, aside from overriding their Cauldrons, you must sneak up or have them prowl close enough to tall grass where you’re hiding. Then, when prompted, hold Triangle until the meter fills. If successful, the machine will now be non-hostile and your new mount!
There are plenty of Chargers in the area immediately upon hitting The Daunt. A good place to look is by rivers and creeks as they seem to graze near or drink the water continuously, kind of like how Scrappers get tunnel-vision when they’re on a scrap pile. Chargers aren’t too strong offensively as mounts, so try avoiding battles with other machines, especially.
Now, you can mount the machine or call it later. To call your mount, make sure it’s selected with D-Pad Right or Left, then D-Pad down. Depending on your setting in the main menu, the mount will either head directly to you or stick to the roads.
The other three mounts are:
- Bristleback, which you’ll fight when finding Erend. These big machines are strong, but slow. To unlock them as mounts, you must override the TAU Cauldron by Plainsong.
- Clawstrider, a velociraptor-esque machine. They’re good offensively, but only a bit quicker than the Bristleback. You must override the IOTA Cauldron by Scalding Spear.
- Sunwing, the only aerial mount. It is by far the best mount in terms of sheer maneuverability and speed thanks to its air-based travel. However, it is weak offensively. You must override the Gemini Caludron, but this is part of a main quest.
Now you know how to unlock the override ability, override machines, and gain mounts. With the expanse of the Forbidden West, having a mount is crucial to time saving, especially with the ability to loot and scavenge atop the mount! Which mount will become your mount of choice?