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Horizon: Zero Dawn
Strategy Guide

Author(s): Nathan Garvin, Jarrod Garripoli
First Published: 16-02-2017 / 00:00 GMT
Last Updated: 21-08-2018 / 11:40 GMT
Version: 1.2 (????) 24-09-2018 / 02:42 GMT

Horizon: Zero Dawn Strategy Guide Download PDF

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Machine Catalogue

Machine Catalogue

Thunderjaw

Loot
Blaze, Chillwater, Sparker, Metal Shards, Echo Shell, Machine Core - Large, Crystal Braiding, Thunderjaw Lens, Thunderjaw Heart

Cauldron ZETA Override. Thunderjaws are one of the strongest machines in the game and if you look at its entry in the Machine Catalogue, you will see why. This thing packs a lot of weapons and will stop at nothing to put an end to your life. It has a radar on its back, making it so you won’t be able to hide in tall grass, as it will still spot you. One of the first things you will notice is the Disc Launchers on either side of its back. These things shoot out discs that fire lasers at you, either directly at your last position or around the Thunderjaw itself; these lasers will make the ground explode a split second after they hit.

That’s not the only ranged attack the Thunderjaw has, as it has two cannons, one on each side of its mouth, that it will use to shoot a barrage of bullets (similar to the Ravager’s cannon). In addition, whether it gains this attack later on or has it from the start, it can also shoot some lasers from its mouth, in a fan-like pattern that starts near the Thunderjaw and then goes in a straight line away from it. This is very easy to dodge, as you can simply roll to the left or right to get out of its way.

Of course, the majestic beast does not simply sit back and pelt you with ranged attacks, as the Thunderjaw has a wide array of melee ones, too. It can try to spin and hit you with its tail, which you can get rid of by knocking the tail off. If close enough, it can try to smack you with its head and the other melee attacks tend to happen if you’re a little further away. There is a charge attack, similar to a bull, where the Thunderjaw will go straight forward, making it easy to just roll out of the way. The other melee attack can be tricky to dodge, as the Thunderjaw will lunge forward and then try to hit you with its head, so you’ll want to keep an eye out and roll whenever the head starts moving.

One of the first things you should do with the Thunderjaw is to remove the Disc Launchers, so you’re going to need some tear attribute to get them off. Weapons like the Carja Sharpshot Bow, with access to Tearblast Arrows, or the Tearblaster itself, are ideal for this. Knocking these off will allow you to pick them up to use against the Thunderjaw itself, dealing some big damage. If you couple this with Freeze Arrows or any other weapon that inflicts that status, then it shouldn’t take long to bring the Thunderjaw to the ground.

Freezing the Thunderjaw (left) and then using its own disc launcher against it (right) is the quickest way to bring one down.

While you can’t disable the fan-shaped laser attack from its mouth, you can knock off the cannons on either side. This might be a little challenging to do, especially since the Thunderjaw moves around so much, but Concentration is a great skill that will help. Your biggest damage, outside of the Disc Launchers, will come from hitting the Heart, which is behind some panels not far from its head. If you wish to break off the cannons, then you will effectively negate all but one of its ranged attacks. The rest of the battle will be pretty much dodging its melee attacks, so equipping the melee resist armor will help in case you get hit.

You will fight a few Thunderjaws throughout the main story and during some of the optional content, but you may be wondering where you can find some outside of those. The reasoning why Thunderjaws are great because they can drop two to three purple (very rare) armor/weapon mods and once you get a good pattern now, you can easily kill one within a minute or two. The easiest spot for this is a Thunderjaw Site that’s west of Daytower and literally right next to a campfire. Kill the Thunderjaw, go back to save, and choose Restart From Save to make the Thunderjaw respawn.