Horizon Forbidden West: How to Capture Every Survey Drone

Horizon Forbidden West's Survey Drones (and the Modules they harbor) can be incredibly difficult to find and catch, but this guide should help make the process a little easier.

Horizon Forbidden West
Photo: PlayStation Studios

Horizon Forbidden West is a massive game filled with a ton of collectibles, side activities, and customization options. The title’s survey drones not only check all three of those boxes but provide a respite from the usual pursuit of destroying robots.

As you wander the post-apocalyptic world of Horizon Forbidden West, you’ll find a total of ten drones surveying the land. Each drone is easily identified by a beam of light and a signature “ping” sound, and while their only loot, a series of modules, initially appear to simply alter the look of GAIA’s room in The Base, they are also tied to a special collection quest. While most robots in Forbidden West only drop resources after they’ve been peppered with arrows and other caveman-level weaponry, you sadly can’t shoot survey drones. Instead, you have to jump on them and weigh them down until they touch the ground.

Completing that task involves navigating a series of elaborate climbing puzzles that force players to observe a drone’s activity, scramble up the proper ledge, and leap off at the right time to catch it. It’s a process that requires quite a bit of time and a lot of patience. Alternatively, you could always read this article:

Horizon Forbidden West Survey Drone 1 Location: No Man’s Land

This drone is located at the southern end of the Thunderjaw site in No Man’s Land, which is also south of Plainsong. Retrieving this drone and its module, Module 024, is as simple as climbing up the rock formation near the drone’s flight path, and leaping off at the right time.

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Horizon Forbidden West Survey Drone 2 Location: Plainsong

The Plainsong drone is situated near some ruins northeast of the Plainsong settlement. The area looks unpassable unless you try circling around the back. Just hop up some rocks near the ruins and you should see a path that takes you to a roof with a rusted turret. Jump off the turret when the drone is close enough, and it will crash down on the ground. Just loot its contents, Module 047, and you’re done.

Horizon Forbidden West Survey Drone 3 Location: The Dry Yearn

The drone in the Dry Yearn tends to frequent an area west/northwest of a Shellsnapper’s territory. You’re looking for a rock with a rickety manmade structure up top. Scramble up the stone formation and onto the makeshift building’s ledge, and with the right timing, you can catch the drone and snatch its loot, Module 143. Alternatively, the drone also visits a hill just south of the Shellsnapper’s lair. Look for a rock with some metal jutting out. Climb onto that metal platform and leap out when the drone hovers nearby.

Horizon Forbidden West Survey Drone 4 Location : The Greenswell

West of Plainsong and near the northern map border, you should find a drone patrolling a campfire. While you can’t reach the robot from the camp, you can scale a cliff overlooking the area. This rock face leads to a wooden platform that the drone occasionally approaches. While you could also catch the drone by leaping off a large rock formation just southwest of the camp, you need a flying mount to reach it. Either way, once you have the drone, you can collect Module 287.

Horizon Forbidden West Survey Drone 5 Location: The Stillsands

The Stillsands drone hovers around a bunch of ruins just south of the center of the desert. While you have plenty of decrepit buildings to choose from, to catch the drone, you need to climb up a castle (which is near a ruined pagoda and fake Eiffel Tower). Once you reach the highest tower in the castle, just wait for the drone and then leap off to retrieve Module 367.

Horizon Forbidden West Survey Drone 6 Location: Thornmarsh

This drone patrols an area northeast of the Thornmarsh settlement. Most of the trees are unclimbable, but Aloy can scale two dead trees thanks to the Pullcaster. Once players are on top of the tallest one, they can leap out and grab the drone to retrieve its contents, Module 549.

Horizon Forbidden West Survey Drone 7 Location: The Graypeak

The drone near Graypeak can either be an easy or difficult challenge, depending on your timing. You can find the drone west of Memorial Grove and east of Cliffwatch, right in the path of a Slaughterspine. Ideally, you will want to approach the drone from the north since a handy wooden platform overlooks the area. Just jump off that balcony when the drone approaches, and you should be able to loot Module 678 with minor difficulties. If you mistime the jump…well, you can always run away from the Slaughterspine and try again.

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Horizon Forbidden West Survey Drone 8 Location: Stand of the Sentinels

The Stand of the Sentinels drone darts among the trees in a patch of land east of Tide’s Reach and north of Thornmarch. To reach this robot, you need to look for a fallen tree and then jump onto a nearby platform. Then, take a fairly circuitous path jumping along more platforms, running across tightropes, and scrambling up trees. Eventually, you should reach a platform that is fairly high up. Just wait for the drone to visit the makeshift ledge and then try jumping off it. Once the drone is on the ground, you can collect Module 398.

Horizon Forbidden West Survey Drone 9 Location: The Sheerside Mountains

Just north of The Bulwark, you should find a drone patrolling the northwestern border of the game map. Even if you don’t see the drone will know you’re in the right place when you see a wooden ledge jutting over a cliff face. At first glance, the path looks unscaleable, but a cursory scan with Aloy’s focus will reveal a series of handholds. Use those to reach the platform and jump off when the drone approaches, and you can loot the robot for Module 739. But before you do, make sure you search the treasure chest on the rickety balcony. Otherwise, you will have to climb up all over again to retrieve the goodies.

Horizon Forbidden West Survey Drone 10 Location: Isle of Spires

The last drone in Horizon Forbidden West is, quite fittingly, situated in the western part of the map, just west of Legacy’s Landfall. Either climb all the way up to the tallest scaleable building or take a shortcut on your flying mount. Once on the roof, you should see a piece of metal sticking out of the top floor (the Isle of Spires drone occasionally visits it). Climb onto the metal and jump off when the drone stops to retrieve the final module in the game, Module 863.