Horizon Forbidden West: 10 Best Valor Surge Abilities

Horizon Forbidden West: 10 Best Valor Surge Abilities

Not all Valor Surge abilities were created equal in Horizon Forbidden West, and here are the best that Aloy can rely on.

When it comes to the world of Horizon Forbidden West, you need to be strong. Like Aloy, only the best can survive, but they also need to be adept in combat to fight off machines or other enemies. Sometimes they need a little trick up their sleeves, like a Valor Surge, to help them finish the job.

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A Valor Surge is a special ability that you can activate by gaining Valor during combat. Once you have enough, you can activate an ability that can change the tide of battle in your favor. If you’re looking for the best Valor Surges in Horizon Forbidden West, these are the most effective ones to use.

Updated May 1, 2023 by Kyle Chamaillard: Horizon Forbidden West is a massive game with countless side quests to complete and vistas to view. Its world expanded on April 19th, 2023 when a new expansion — known as Burning Shores — introduced a new region to explore. Alongside a new campaign, the DLC also includes new characters, skills, and six new Valor Surges. We’ve decided to update this list to include some of the new abilities that already feel like some of the best Valor Surges in Horizon Forbidden West.

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10 Toughened

Toughened skill tree

There are many different ways to approach combat in Horizon Forbidden West. You might prefer stealth, while your enemies use melee or ranged attack options. This makes it tough to choose particular Valor Surges when you don’t know what type of situation you’ll be in, but some abilities like Toughened are applicable in nearly every situation.

Toughened allows Aloy to heal herself and also increases her resistance to status effects like Crushed and Deafened. It’s one of the most useful Valor Surges, especially if you find yourself in a tough fight and need a little boost of health and protection.

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9 Stealth Stalker

Stealth Stalker skill tree

If you prefer to sneak into a battle without anyone noticing you, then the Stealth Stalker is the perfect Valor Surge for you. Even if you don’t like using stealth, it’s still worth looking into this ability as it can be used to escape from a huge machine’s view or out of a sticky situation without being noticed.

The Stealth Stalker Valor Surge acts as an invisibility cloak for Aloy, allowing her to sneak up on most enemies and deliver powerful attacks. You deal extra damage to any human or machine that doesn’t detect you, and each stealth kill restores Valor which extends how long you can use the ability before it expires.

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8 Overshield

Overshield skill tree

Sometimes the best offense is a great defense, and the Overshield Valor Surge does a phenomenal job of keeping you safe while also damaging whoever is attacking you. Having this ability will make confrontations against massive machines much easier, and keep you alive during the game’s toughest encounters.

Overshield will give you a damage-absorbing shield that has pretty high base health and will protect you from 20% of the melee damage you take. When it breaks, it creates a shock that can stun enemies near you to put you that extra step forward in a tough battle. It will also recharge if you still have Valor left over.

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7 Radial Blast

Radial Blast skill tree

Looks can definitely be deceiving with the Radial Blast Valor Surge. You might look at it and think it’s useless at first, but after using it a few times you should see its true value and power. This ability can do an incredible amount of damage to more than one enemy while shocking them in the process.

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Radial Blast will send out a wave of electricity in a massive radius that shocks anything in its path. It deals heavy damage to machines or humans and stuns them, incapacitating them for a moment. This ability is very handy when you’re investigating Rebel Camps or attacking a swarm of monsters.

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6 Elemental Fury

Elemental Fury skill tree

Sometimes, all you need is a good all-around buff. The Elemental Fury Valor Surge increases the effectiveness of your attacks, while also providing you protection from elemental attacks from deadly machines like Bellowbacks and Clawstriders. It might not be your go-to Valor Surge, but it can help you out of an otherwise deadly situation.

The Elemental Fury ability is perfect for building up elemental effects on machines. It can help you turn the tide of a battle in your direction with endless possibilities, like freezing your opponent before delivering a final blow much sooner than usual.

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5 Melee Might

Melee Might skill tree

Fighting your foes in close combat is hard to avoid in Horizon Forbidden West. Whether you’re knocking someone down or trying to stealth kill machines, you’ll need to get approach your enemies and engage with them eventually. Melee Might is a great Valor Surge for almost any occasion, especially when you’re taking on opponents head-on.

When you’re in combat and you activate Melee Might, the amount of damage you can do to an enemy with your spear increases immensely. If you pair this ability with a skill like Resonator Buildup you may just use melee attacks for the rest of your adventure.

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4 Trap Mines

Trap Mines skill tree

Trap Mines are one of the newer Valor Surges introduced in the Burning Shores DLC and are the perfect weapons to use against groups of enemies in proximity to each other. After unlocking this ability, Aloy can toss a device that splits into multiple mines that blow up upon impact.

Patiently taking down a herd of machines one by one can be exhausting, and this ability circumvents the problem by damaging multiple enemies at once. If you like using traps and being stealthy, the Trap Mines Valor Surge will be an essential addition to your arsenal of abilities.

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3 Ranged Master

Ranged Master skill tree

Ranged Master is easily one of the best Valor Surges you can get in Horizon Forbidden West and is available to unlock early into your adventure. Activating it improves the damage output on your ranged weapons and also restores your health whenever you hit an enemy.

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Being able to deal more damage is never a bad thing, so picking up the Ranged Master ability as soon as you’re able to will help you get out of some tough encounters during the opening hours of the journey. Be sure to upgrade it before fighting the tougher bosses in the game to make the most of its damage-boosting and healing effects.

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2 Hunter’s Mark

The Hunter's Mark skill tree

Another one of the newest abilities included with the Burning Shores DLC is Hunter’s Mark. You’ll wish it was in the main game after using it a few times because it quickly becomes one of Aloy’s most powerful Valor Surge attacks. While it’s activated, any enemies you hit become marked and susceptible to critical hits.

Not only does this ability make taking down fierce opponents much easier, but destroying the components of a marked machine will cause them to explode and deal extra damage. Using this Valor Surge turns almost all of Aloy’s attacks into powerful moves that can destroy anything in her path.

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1 Powershots

Powershots skill tree

It really seems like the earliest Valor Surges are the best ones in Horizon Forbidden West, and this is absolutely the case with Powershots. It’s a buff that will drastically change how you approach the opening hours of the game and is so versatile that you’ll likely still be using it by the time credits begin rolling.

Powershots boost your ranged damage, allowing you to get those killing blows on tougher enemies and bosses whenever you need to. It also works with nearly every ranged weapon available in the game, so grab your best gear and use the Powershots Valor Surge often to make your attacks unbeatable.

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