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How to start Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds expects you to work out how to get started on your own. Prove it wrong and consult our walkthrough instead.

The Frozen Wilds is Horizon Zero Dawn's first and possibly only expansion, and if you've got it you'll want to get started right away.

As part of our Horizon Zero Dawn guide, we've got step by step instructions on how to get started with The Frozen Wilds, since the game doesn't make it totally obvious.

Step 1: purchase and install the DLC and patches

Make sure you own The Frozen Wilds by checking the PlayStation Store or the Library on your PS4. Download and install it, and ensure the game is fully patched by checking for software updates.

Step 2: progress past The Womb of the Mountain

The Frozen Wilds is not available until you can leave Horizon Zero Dawn's starting area. If you have a late or endgame save, great - just load that up. If you're starting a new game, you'll need to progress at least as far as the end of The Womb of the Mountain so you can leave Mother's Embrace, the Nora homeland.

Step 3: travel north to find the pass into The Cut

Once you can freely roam the map, just head north - all you need to do to kick off The Frozen Wilds is head into The Cut, the new area of the map. You can see it as the foggy area on the map below. Once you cross over the border and approach the first new bonfire, you'll meet an NPC called Yariki and trigger a side quest called Into The Wilds, which is the first mission of the expansion. That will help guide you deeper into The Cut, where you can go exploring, follow the story thread you're on, or start picking up more side quests.


Alternatively, north of Meridian you'll meet an NPC called Rhavid, who will give you some informaiton about the Banuk. This in turn gudies you to Ohtur at Daytower fort, who will give you a waypoint for The Cut. But why bother with that when you can just wander north as described above?

Optional steps

Here are some other things you might want to do before you start Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds.

  • Immediately after loading your save, fast travel to Nora lands and go beat up some very small robo dinos until you remember the controls. It's been over six months for most of us and the first encounter in The Frozen Wilds can be very humbling.
  • Chant "Square for stealth, Circle for dodge" until you forget everything Assassin's Creed Origins taught you; the two games have enough overlap that your brain will persist in using the wrong buttons for a while.
  • Fling yourself repeatedly at blank cliffs Assassin's Creed Origins-style until you remember you can only climb handholds marked with yellow or ledges marked with white.
  • Look at all your bows and ammo types and read the machine descriptions in the Notebook so you remember how to fight.
  • Put on LP's "Into the Wild", a track so good it's on two of her studio albums, and which has been stuck in my head for a week now thanks to this DLC.

Looking for more help? We've got pages on how to get Bluegleam in The Frozen Wilds and all Pigment locations in The Frozen Wilds, for starters. Stay tuned for further updates soon, via our Horizon Zero Dawn guide hub.

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