Horizon Forbidden West Release Time: When Will the Game Be Playable?

The wait for Horizon Forbidden West is almost over. Here’s when you can start playing the game.

Horizon Forbidden West
Photo: PlayStation Studios

When Horizon Zero Dawn was released in 2017, gamers were blown away by the ambitious open-world title and quickly started begging for more. Their prayers were partially answered with the DLC The Frozen Wilds, but many in the new franchise’s ever-growing army of fans still wanted a “proper” sequel. Now, the momentous occasion of Horizon Forbidden West‘s long-awaited release is just around the corner.

Originally, Horizon Forbidden West was supposed to launch in 2021, but it sadly proved to be one of the many games scheduled to release that year that was delayed to 2022 and beyond. Sony and Guerrilla Games later released a joint blog post that revealed the sequel wouldn’t release until February 18, 2022, and, despite some concerns that the game could be delayed further in order to avoid releasing it in the middle of a packed release schedule, the companies are sticking to that date.

While Sony and Guerrilla Games are tight-lipped regarding the exact time of launch, the general consensus (and context clues gathered from the release times of previous PlayStation Studios titles) is that the game will release at midnight in whatever your time zone may be. That kind of staggered release schedule often sounds fair, but it’s worth noting that it does open up additional opportunities for spoilers. If that suspected schedule proves to be accurate, then gamers in New Zealand will get a significant head start on the rest of the world since February 18th technically begins earlier for them than it does anywhere else. Horizon fans in the US might have to wait 18 hours or more, depending on their time zone, after New Zealanders start before they can play Horizon Forbidden West. As such, gamers in certain regions may want to be especially aware of potential spoilers in the hours leading up to the game’s official unlock time in their area.

Of course, just because the game should launch on February 18th at midnight in your time zone, that doesn’t mean that everyone can start playing as soon as the clock strikes midnight. After all, according to the PlayStation Game Size Twitter account, Forbidden West will take up around 80 GB of PlayStation hard drive space. Fortunately, anyone who pre-ordered the game digitally should be able to pre-load it starting right now and start playing at midnight on the dot. Plus, depending on the version they bought, the purchase might come with some sweet pre-order bonuses.

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Unfortunately, since the world is still caught in the midst of a supply chain crisis, gamers who purchased a physical version might have to wait a bit for delivery (whether it be a few hours or a few days) after midnight on February 18th. Audiences could always try to visit a store that is holding a midnight launch party for Horizon Forbidden West but, depending on where they live, that might require them to wait out in the biting cold. The point is that if you haven’t already pre-ordered Forbidden West and want to purchase the game in a way that will ensure you’re able to start playing it as soon as possible, it’s probably best to go digital at this point (unless you just can’t live without some of those rewards you get with select editions of the physical version of the game).

Regardless of how you bought your copy of Horizon Forbidden West (assuming you have or will, that is), reviews almost unanimously agree that the game is a masterpiece, so even if you have to wait one more day, the experience may very well be worth it.