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Vanguard Hunter Bow (Very Rare)

Nathan Garvin

Information about the Vanguard Hunter Bow in Horizon Forbidden West, including how to obtain it, how to upgrade it, and what the strengths and weaknesses of the Vanguard Hunter Bow are.

Vanguard Hunter Bow Description

“A flawless example of Oseram inventiveness, this mid-range bow inflicts extra damage when using Overdraw and against knocked down enemies.”

You can buy a Vanguard Hunter Bow from Hunters in Scalding Spear and Thornmarsh.

How to Get the Vanguard Hunter Bow

Location Cost
Scalding Spear/Thornmarsh Hunter 1437 Metal Shards + 1x Tideripper Circulator + 1x Large Machine Core

You can buy this bow from various merchants in the western half of the Forbidden West. To access these areas you must complete the quest The Eye of the Earth, which is about a third of the way through the main questline.

Once this hurdle has been overcome, you still have to make the trek west to find merchants who keep this weapon in stock. One of the earliest is a Hunter in Scalding Spear, and at this point in the game, the Vanguard Hunter Bow is a tremendous upgrade.

Unfortunately, the [Tideripper] Circulator you need is going to delay things, as you won’t encounter one until you complete The Sea of Sands, or until you travel significantly further west. You can find one off the southwestern coast, southwest of Thornmarsh, where, coincidentally, you’ll find another merchant who sells this bow.

How to Use the Vanguard Hunter Bow

The Vanguard Hunter Bow is a midrange weapon that sacrfices a bit of speed for more power and range. It may take almost half a second longer to reach overdraw than other bows in the same class, but if you need to strip a part off a machine, this is a fine bow to use. While somewhat slower, it’s still fast enough to deploy in the heat of battle. It won’t be rivaling most Sharpshot Bows with its sniping potential, but it’s got decent enough accuracy to target large-to-midsize components at a moderate range.

Its Tear damage is quite high, outcompeting most weapons in the game save for those of higher quality or Sharpshot Bows with Tear Precision Arrows, but it doesn’t sacrifice Impact damage, allowing you to use it to both maim and kill.

Its Acid Arrows, however, are fairly mediocre, being comparable to some Rare weapons, and thoroughly outclassed by elementally-focused weapons (like Blastslings) and weapons with Advanced Acid Arrows. At best a fallback that deserves tepid praise for a half-hearted contribution to ammo diversity.

How to Upgrade the Vanguard Hunter Bow

Rank Effect Upgrade Cost
I Increased Weapon Stats, 1x Perk Improvement 127x Metal Shards, 4x Braided Wire, 4x Small Machine Core, 1x Medium Machine Core
II Increased Weapon Stats, Unlocks Coil Slot 212x Metal Shards, 6x Braided Wire, 1x Rollerback Hammer Tail, 3x Stalker Stealth Generator
III Increased Weapon Stats 300x Metal Shards, 10x Braided Wire, 1x Large Machine Core, 1x Rollerback Circulator, 1x Dreadwing Metal Fang
IV Increased Weapon Stats, 1x Perk Improvement 450x Metal Shards, 2x Large Machine Core, 1x Dreadwing Circulator, 2x Stormbird Storm Cannon, 1x Stalker Primary Nerve
V Increased Weapon Stats, 1x Perk Improvement, Unlocks Coil Slot 600x Metal Shards, 1x Luminous Brainstem, 1x Stormbird Primary Nerve, 2x Apex Ravager Heart, 1x Apex Thunderjaw Heart

Vanguard Hunter Bow Rank I Upgrades

  • Metal Shards: Common drop from all machines.
  • Braided Wire: Common drop from all machines.
  • Small Machine Core: Uncommon drop from all Lightweight machines.
  • Medium Machine Core: Rare drop from all Midweight machines.

Vanguard Hunter Bow Rank II Upgrades

  • Rollerback Hammer Tail: Legendary component from [Rollerback] machines. Must be detached before the machine is destroyed. Rollerbacks can be found southwest of Saltbite.
  • Stalker Stealth Generator: Legendary component from [Stalkers]. Must be detached before the machine is destroyed. Stalkers can be found near the Tallneck: The Stand of the Sentinels

You can find Dreadwings and Stormbirds in the mountains southeast of Cliffwatch.

Vanguard Hunter Bow Rank III Upgrades

  • Large Machine Core: Rare drop from all Heavyweight machines.
  • Rollerback Circulator: Uncommon drop from Rollerbacks.
  • Dreadwing Metal Fang: Very Rare drop from [Dreadwings]. Must be detatched before the machine is destroyed. Dreadwings can be found near LATOPOLIS after the quest [Seeds of the Past]. Alternatively, you may be able to find a Dreadwing earlier in the mountains southeast of Cliffwatch, in the blacked-out, supposedly “inaccessible” part of the mountain range.

Vanguard Hunter Bow Rank IV Upgrades

  • Dreadwing Circulator: Uncommon drop from Dreadwings.
  • Stormbird Storm Cannon: Legendary drop from [Stormbirds]. Must be detaches before the machine is destroyed. Stormbirds are very rare until you travel to an island to the far west during the main quest [Faro’s Tomb]. Alternatively, you may be able to find a Stormbird earlier in the mountains southeast of Cliffwatch, in the blacked-out, supposedly “inaccessible” part of the mountain range.
  • Stalker Primary Nerve: Rare drop from Stalkers.

Vanguard Hunter Bow Rank V Upgrades

  • Luminous Brainstem: Very Rare drop from all Heavyweight machines, as well as [Scorchers], [Apex Frostclaws] and [Specters].
  • Stormbird Primary Nerve: Rare drop from Stormbirds.
  • Apex Ravager Heart: Very Rare drop from Apex Ravagers.
  • Apex Thunderjaw Heart: Rare drop from Apex Thunderjaws.

Vanguard Hunter Bow Stats

Advanced Hunter Arrows Base Rank I Rank II Rank III Rank IV Rank V
ImpactStatusIconHorizonForbiddenWest.png Impact 45 50 54 60 67 76
TearStatusIconHorizonForbiddenWest.png Tear 149 157 166 178 191 205
Acid Hunter Arrows Base Rank I Rank II Rank III Rank IV Rank V
AcidDamageIconHorizonForbiddenWest.png Acid 11 12 13 15 16 19
AcidBuildupIconHorizonForbiddenWest.png Acid Buildup 76 80 85 91 98 105

Vanguard Hunter Bow Perks

Perks Base Rank I Rank II Rank III Rank IV Rank V
hfwperkoverdrawicon.jpg Overdraw Damage +15% +30% +30% +30% +30% +50%
hfwperkknockdowndamageicon.jpg Knockdown Damage +15% +15%
  • Overdraw Damage: Deals extra damage when a shot is “Overdrawn”. The Vanguard Hunter Bow starts out with “Overdraw Damage +15%”, which will increase to +30% at Rank I and +50% at Rank V.

  • Knockdown Damage: Deals extra damage when a target is knocked prone. This perk doesn’t unlock until Rank IV.

Vanguard Hunter Bow Ammo Types

Icon Name Effect
hfwprecisionarrowicon.jpg Advanced Hunter Arrows Deals ImpactStatusIconHorizonForbiddenWest.png Impact and TearStatusIconHorizonForbiddenWest.png Tear damage
hfwacidhunterarrowicon.jpg Acid Hunter Arrows Deals AcidDamageIconHorizonForbiddenWest.png Acid Damage and AcidBuildupIconHorizonForbiddenWest.png Acid Buildup
  • Advanced Hunter Arrows: Boasting roughly double the strength (and ten times the cost) of normal Hunter Arrows, these are much more suited for dealing with heavier machines. Deals moderate Impact and heavy Tear damage. Probably wasted on wildlife.

  • Acid Hunter Arrows: Your generic Acid Arrow, it deals light Acid damage and inflicts moderate Acid Buildup.


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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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