Some of the best side activities you can embark upon in Horizon Forbidden West are the Cauldrons. These techno-heavy, dungeon-like bases are the factories that create the deadly robot animals that populate the Horizon games. If you can get into one and find its core, however, you can unlock the opportunity to hack those machines, temporarily turning them into allies in battle, or even mounts you can ride around the game world to get to places more quickly.
There are a handful of Cauldrons in Forbidden West, and while you’ll hit a few as part of the game’s story, several require you to find them on your own. They’re also a bit of an undertaking–once you enter a Cauldron, you have to complete it before you can travel Forbidden West’s open world yet again.
Each Cauldron contains the Override codes for several different kinds of machines you’ll encounter in the wild. Some you’ll unlock right away for completing the Cauldron, while some are “corrupted,” and require you to kill additional machines of that type in the world to gather specific components that’ll let you to completely unlock the Override. You can complete those Corrupted Overrides in the Base, once you’ve unlocked it early in the game.
Here’s a complete rundown of all the Cauldrons in Forbidden West and a list of what machines you’ll be able to Override once you’ve completed them. Note that there are some light story spoilers contained herein, as a few locations are accessible only as part of the main quest. We won’t give anything away, but if you’d prefer not to know anything about where the story will take you, you might not want to read further.
Horizon Forbidden West Cauldron locations and Overrides
It’s worth noting that while you’ll have several Cauldrons to find by the end of the game, you won’t be able to start clearing them right away. You’ll first need to progress through the opening portion of the game in The Daunt and access the West proper, after the Embassy between the Carja and Tanakth.
Repair Bay TAUYou’ll find TAU as part of the story in Plainsong; advance the main quest to unlock it.
Your first Cauldron site is just west of Plainsong in Utaru territory, nestled in a mountain. You’ll reach this location as part of the main story when you venture into No Man’s Land and interact with the Utaru. It’s a good idea to continue the main quest and handle the Repair Bay early, as it not only advances you through Forbidden West’s story and map, it also unlocks a new mount option.
Bristleback (mount)Plowhorn (corrupted)Grimhorn (corrupted)Cauldron MUMU is probably the first optional Cauldron you’ll come across and it’s useful to knock it out early.
South of Plainsong, near where you’re sent to find Sylens, is the first optional Cauldron you’re likely to come across: Cauldron MU. Completing it will earn you the ability to Override a lot of the machine types you’ll encounter early in the game.
GrazerBurrowerScroungerScrapper (corrupted)Fanghorn (corrupted)Widemaw (corrupted)Cauldron IOTAAfter TAU, you’ll want to seek out IOTA, which unlocks a third machine mount.
There’s not really a Tall Neck in the vicinity of Scalding Spear, the next major settlement you’ll find as you make your way west into Tenakth territory. That’s because it’s still being constructed in Cauldron IOTA, and clearing the Cauldron will also unlock the Tall Neck scan of the area for you, filling in your map. This one has a whole lot of Overrides in it, so make your way toward it around the time you get to Scalding Spear to open up this whole section of the world.
LeaperslashLancehornLonglegClawstrider (mount)Glinthawk (corrupted)Skydrifter (corrupted)Bellowback (corrupted)Ravager (corrupted)Snapmaw (corrupted)Rollerback (corrupted)Cauldron CHIYou can hit CHI on your way to the Quen ship that’ll help you advance the main quest after you complete the Greenhouse.
You can find Cauldron CHI south of Thornmarsh in the southern section of the Sentinel forest. You’ll likely want to hit this Cauldron after you’ve completed the story missions that take you to the Greenhouse, but before you set out for Legacy’s Landfall by boat. Thornmarsh is right near where you’ll get your boat, so just head south from there to find CHI.
Redeye WatcherShell-WalkerClamberjawBehemtohFrostclawSpikesnout (corrupted)Stalker (corrupted)Shellsnapper (corrupted)Scorcher (corrupted)Fireclaw (corrupted)Cauldron KAPPAKAPPA might be the toughest Cauldron, and isn’t really accessible until after you’ve completed the Poseidon mission of the main quest.
The toughest Cauldron you’ll take on is KAPPA, and it’s also the most out-of-the-way in its location. Look for it to the north of the western coast of the mainland, west of The Bulwark and northwest of the Greenhouse. You can follow the beaches to get there pretty easily. This is maybe the toughest Cauldron in the game, in part because it’s half-flooded. Make sure you’ve completed the mission to get Poseidon and explore Hidden Ember before you venture out to find this one.
RockbreakerTideripperStormbirdDreadwing (corrupted)Thunderjaw (corrupted)Slitherfang (corrupted)Tremortusk (corrupted)Slaughterspine (corrupted)Cauldron GEMINI
It won’t necessarily be the last Cauldron you enter, but GEMINI is one you can’t access without advancing the main story to a certain point. You can find and enter the Cauldron and will probably do so around the time you make it to Scalding Spear, but there’s nothing to do there until after you’ve retrieved Gaia’s subordinate functions. When you do finally clear this last Cauldron, you’ll earn an Override for your trouble.
For more on Sony’s huge sequel, don’t miss our tips for beginners, as well as a look at the best skills to get early, a complete guide to the mounts you can unlock in the game, and a rundown of legendary weapons and what seems like the game’s best armor. You can also read our Horizon Forbidden West review.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.