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Horizon Forbidden West

How to Unlock and Use Valor Surges

Jarrod Garripoli

Valor Surges are temporary abilities that you can unlock in the game. This page will detail how to unlock and use Valor Surges in Horizon: Forbidden West.

Valor Surges can be powerful abilities that might turn the tide of a battle

Valor Surges are a new mechanic in Horizon: Forbidden West, with them being temporary buffs to Aloy that you can unlock in the various skill trees. In order to unlock them, you will need to have purchased the connecting skills, which you can see by the lines going to the center. Each skill tree will have two Valor Surges available, with the first one requiring at least five Skill Points to unlock it. Upon unlocking the first Valor Surge, it will automatically be equipped to Aloy, but you won’t be able to use it right away (more on this in a little bit).

You will only be able to have one Valor Surge equipped at a time. Once you start unlocking more Valor Surges, go to the one you want to use in the skill tree, then hold down the Square button to equip it. Each Valor Surge also has three levels to it, with the first being unlocked upon first getting the ability. In order to get the second and third levels of them, you will have to spend additional skill points, with level 2 costing three skill points and level 3 requiring five more skill points. This makes the Valor Surges quite expensive to unlock, although they can be very useful.

(1 of 2) Valor Surges are the big nodes on the skill trees

Valor Surges are the big nodes on the skill trees (left), Each one has three levels to it, granting bigger bonuses (right)

How to Use Valor Surges

When you unlock one and have it equipped, you will see a purple bar in the lower right corner of your screen, next to your weapon and ammunition count. The bar will start empty, but as you perform certain actions during combat, you will earn Valor. The actions are pretty much most things you will be doing in combat, like removing a component or striking a weak spot. You’ll know you’ve gained Valor, as purple text will be shown on your screen, indicating it. Once you’ve earned enough Valor and the bar fills up, you will be able to activate your Valor Surge.

To do this, hold down L1 DualSense-L1 to open up the weapon wheel, then look in the top right corner of the screen. You should see a prompt to hit R1 DualSense-R1 to activate your Valor Surge. Upon activating your Valor Surge, the gauge will slowly deplete and once it’s empty, you will lose access to the Valor Surge. Depending on the level, you will have more gauge available to you. For example, you have one Valor Surge at level 3, giving you three gauges while it’s equipped. You only need the first bar full to activate it, but it will last longer with all three bars filled. If you switch to another Valor Surge that is only level 1, then you will only have a single bar. Should you have had three bars full when switching, then you lose those other two bars.

(1 of 2) You’ll earn Valor as you fight Machines, which will be highlighted in purple text

You’ll earn Valor as you fight Machines, which will be highlighted in purple text (left), Open the weapon wheel and press R1 when your gauge is full to activate it (right)

List of Valor Surges

Below is a list of all 12 Valor Surges in the game, along with which skill tree you can find them, as well as a short description mentioning what they do.

Valor Surge Skill Tree Description
Critical Boost Warrior Critical hit chance and critical hit damage increases
Melee Might Warrior Increases melee damage
Elemental Fury Trapper Increases buildup and effects of elemental attacks; Increases elemental resistance
Trap Specialist Trapper Increases effects of traps and tripwires
Ranged Master Hunter Increases ranged weapon damage and allows you to recover some health for each hit
Powershots Hunter Gives you special shots that deals more damage with Bows, Boltblasters, Ropecasters, and Spike Throwers
Toughened Survivor Consume special potion to restore health and gain resistance to status effects
Overshield Survivor Gives you a shield that absorbs damage instead of losing health
Stealth Stalker Infiltrator Activate cloaking device that decreases visibility to enemies
Radial Blast Infiltrator Triggers a powerful shockwave that damages all enemies in vicinity
Part Breaker Machine Master Deal more damage to machine components and weak spots
Chain Burst Machine Master Damage chains from one enemy to another within range and boosts knockdown power
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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Platforms,
    PS4, PS5
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    16 February 2022
  • Last Updated
    31 March 2022
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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This guide for Horizon Forbidden West includes the following:

  • A Walkthrough for Main Quest
  • A Guide for all Errands, Side Quests and Cauldrons
  • An in depth analysis for Weapons and Armor.
  • Information on all new and returning Machines
  • How to find and complete all four Melee Pits
  • How to unlock and complete all stages of the Arena
  • How to find and override all five Tallnecks
  • Locations on all Collectibles
    • Ornaments
    • War Totems
    • Vista Points
    • Survey Drones
    • Signal Towers
    • Black Boxe

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