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Machine Analysis Program - The Watcher

Tags: #Dragonborn1721  #Horizon Zero Dawn 
  • June 22

    Threat Level - Minimal

    Rarity - Extremely Common

    Strengths - Scouting, 'Alarm' that alerts nearby machines, Melee Combat, Ranged Blinding Attack

    Weaknesses - Shock Arrows, High Impact Damage, Eye

    The Watcher is by the most basic of the machines, essentially designed as a kind of scout for stronger machines or as a warning system for the more docile threats in the game (enemies that seem to act more like cows or horses until attacked). This isn't to say that the Watcher is a weak enemy, or that they should be ignored, simply that they play more of a utility role rather than a direct combat role.

    There are two other forms of Watchers, the Corrupted and Redeye Watchers that are both stronger than the original. This mostly comes down to each type fo machine having more health and a higher damage output than the base form, but they function in a very similar way. The Corrupted Watcher is of note simply because it can be found most often near human enemies which have better ranged attacks than most machines (or at least harder to dodge, more accurate ones) but otherwise they can all be summed up as 'Scouts' in my opinion.

    The Watcher's main threat comes from it's ranged attacks, not because of the power at their disposal but simply because they're rather annoying to deal with. The most notable attack is most certainly the Blinding Stun Flash which is exactly what it sounds like. It blinds you with a flash that makes it difficult to see, move and attack for a short period of time. By itself this attack is rather harmless, annoying but it's likely that you'll be able to avoid the Watcher's attacks until the blinded status fades. 

    It's other attacks are rather low powered, consisting mostly of various melee attacks that are mainly based around knocking you down while also dealing a little bit of damage to you. The Energy Blast attack can be annoying simply because it's a relatively accurate ranged attack that primarily exists to stun you and let other machines (or the Watcher) get in an easy attack or two while your staggered. It's easy to avoid though since it has a lower AoE than most explosives in the game.

    The Watcher has the world's most obvious weak point, that makes it so easy to take down that they just don't really need a large section detailing how to defeat them. Aiming for the eye with a Hardpoint or Precision Arrow (the first is from a second tier Hunter Bow while the latter is from a Sharpshot Bow of any kind). That isn't quite as effective against Corrupted or Redeye Watchers which are weak to fire and shock respectively, but it's still a sure fire way to get a quick kill against any Watcher. 

    One trick that I found useful against all types of Watcher was to wait for it to start up one of it's ranged attacks (the Blinding Stun or Energy Blast) and use that as a chance to either quick-fire a few Hardpoint Arrows or let loose a Precision Arrow to deal a hefty amount of damage and usually stagger the Watcher, stopping their attack from finishing.