Horizon Forbidden West: All Cauldrons Locations


In the captivating realm of Horizon Forbidden West, Cauldrons represent a unique type of linear dungeon that provides players with intriguing challenges and rewards. These enigmatic structures provide players the opportunity to override machines, transforming them into invaluable allies or versatile mounts.

Important: In Horizon Forbidden West, players can conquer a total of seven cauldrons, including two that are part of the main storyline and one introduced in the latest DLC, Burning Shores.

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  • There are seven Cauldrons in Horizon Forbidden West: Repair Bay Tau, MU, IOTA, Gemini, Chi, Kappa, and Theta.
  • Two Cauldrons tied to the main story: Repair Bay Tau and Gemini.
  • Rewards for clearing Cauldrons include XP, skill points, and machine overrides.
  • Players cannot leave a Cauldron until it’s completed.
  • Prepare for challenging combat and puzzles within each Cauldron.
  • Some Cauldrons have hidden entrances that require exploration to find.
  • Recommended player levels vary for each Cauldron, ranging from 15 to 40.
  • Certain Cauldrons are accessible only after completing specific quests.
  • New Cauldron, Theta, was introduced in the “Burning Shores” DLC.

Unlocking The Secrets Of Cauldrons

In Horizon: Forbidden West, you’ll come across seven cauldrons. While two of them are tied to the main story and can only be accessed by playing related quests, the other five are optional and scattered across the map. These are:

  1. Repair Bay Tau
  2. MU
  3. IOTA
  4. Gemini
  5. Chi
  6. Kappa
  7. Theta

Every cauldron offers a nice chunk of XP, skill points, and machine overrides as rewards. Keep in mind that once you step into a cauldron, you can’t leave until you’ve finished it. You’ll need to do some climbing to navigate the area, battle a bunch of regular machines, and take on a boss, so be ready for a challenge!

Repair Bay TAU

Repair bay TAU location
Repair bay TAU location on map – image captured by eXputer

This Cauldron is part of the main quest called ‘The Dying Lands,’ and you’ll come across it naturally as you progress. After finishing it, you’ll be able to access other Cauldrons. The recommended level for this cauldron is 15.

Although it resembles a Cauldron, Horizon Forbidden West refers to it as a Repair Bay and it doesn’t count towards the ‘First Core Overridden‘ or ‘All Cores Overridden‘ trophies.

After meeting Zo in Plainsong, she’ll guide Aloy to The Sacred Cave, which is actually a Cauldron. We need to override the door to enter and navigate through the chambers. Inside, you’ll face two Leaplashers, which are agile transport machines that can be challenging to hit.

Rewards for completing Tau Cauldron
Rewards for completing Tau Cauldron – image by us

Rewards for completing TAU:

  • 7,500 XP
  • 2 Skill Points
  • Machine Overrides Unlocked:
    • Bristleback
    • (Partial) Plowhorn
    • (Partial) Grimhorn


Cauldron MU location
Cauldron MU location on map [image credits: eXputer]

As we venture through the vast world of Horizon Forbidden West, we come across the intriguing MU Cauldron, situated in No Man’s Land, to the south of Plainsong and west of Stone’s Echo. This mysterious cauldron is the first one to be discovered in Horizon Forbidden West since it is not tied to any main quests. 

It’s worth noting that if we plan to delve into the depths of the MU Cauldron, it is recommended to be at least level 18. As a word of caution, it was found that the entrance to this hidden gem is fiercely guarded by formidable Leaplashers and Scroungers. We had to ensure that our weapons were primed and ready for the challenges that lay ahead.

However, for those who prefer a more stealthy approach, there is tall grass conveniently located near the entrance, providing an opportunity to sneakily bypass the guardians.

Overriding cauldron MU
Overriding cauldron MU [image by eXputer]

The MU Cauldron offers a thrilling experience, complete with a sense of accomplishment for those who successfully navigate its challenges. Whether you choose to face its defenders head-on or opt for a stealthier approach, the rewards of exploration and discovery within Horizon Forbidden West are truly unparalleled.

Rewards for completing MU:

  • 8,000 XP
  • 3 Skill Points
  • Machine Overrides Unlocked:
    • Scrounger
    • Burrower
    • Grazer
    • Fanghorn (partial)
    • Widemaw (partial)
    • Scrapper (partial)


cauldron IOTA
Cauldron IOTA location on map [Image captured by eXputer]

Situated in the far northern region of the map within the area known as Salt Bite, the IOTA Cauldron presents a distinctive characteristic that sets it apart from other locations. Contrary to what is indicated on the map, the actual entrance to this Cauldron is concealed, requiring players to locate it themselves.

However, there is no need for concern, as the true entrance can be found just a short distance to the west of the primary gate. Just follow the gorge, west of where the map marked the cauldron, and follow it till an opening is found.

This entrance takes the form of a cave, which is protected by a group of machines. It is through this hidden cavern that players can gain access to the IOTA Cauldron and begin their exploration. Be careful since the recommended level for exploring this cauldron is 22, do not go in unprepared!

Cauldron IOTA completed
Peek at the completion of Cauldron IOTA – image by us

One of the fascinating aspects of this particular cauldron is that it holds the key to uncovering the mysteries surrounding Salt Bite: Tallneck. As a result, players can not only gain the ability to override machines and delve into the enigmatic depths of the cauldron but also unveil an intriguing secret hidden within the world of Horizon Forbidden West.

This multifaceted experience adds to Horizon Forbidden West’s allure and provides an engaging and rewarding challenge for players to conquer.

Rewards for completing IOTA:

  • 10,000 XP
  • 3 Skill Points
  • Machine Overrides Unlocked:
    • Leaplasher
    • Glinthawk
    • Lancehorn
    • Longleg
    • Clawstrider
    • Skydrifter (Partial)
    • Bellowback (Partial)
    • Ravager (Partial)
    • Snapmaw (Partial)
    • Rollerback (Partial)


Cauldron Gemini location
Location of Gemini on map [image credits: eXputer]

The Gemini Cauldron is an integral component of the main storyline in Horizon Forbidden West. Situated at the heart of the Tenakth Clan Lands, it is only accessible through the primary questline. As such, we advise players to wait for the corresponding main mission to become available before attempting to explore this particular Cauldron.

  • When the mission ‘GEMINI’ becomes available, we are required to return to base to trigger the quest line.
  • The Gemini Cauldron is also not associated with the First Core Overridden or All Cores Overridden Trophies just like Repair Bay: TAU.
  • Once the mission involving the Gemini Cauldron begins, it is relatively lengthy, so it is wise to complete any outstanding tasks beforehand.

This cauldron is home to a Bahemoth and a Ravager, both are deadly machines. So, we recommend players be at least level 30 before diving into this mission. By doing so, players can fully immerse themselves in the Gemini Cauldron experience without being a feast to the deadly machines. 

Overriding cauldron Gemini
Overriding Cauldron Gemini – image credits: eXputer

An interesting fact about this cauldron is its name. Unlike other cauldrons which are named after a Greek letter, GEMINI takes its name after the zodiac sign ♊︎ denoting the two cores that this cauldron has.

Rewards for completing GEMINI:

  • 15,000 XP
  • 2 Skill Points
  • Machine Overrides Unlocked:


location of CHI on map
location of cauldron CHI on map [image by us[

The true entrance to Cauldron CHI is concealed by dense vegetation and vines, making it challenging to access. Similar to Cauldron IOTA, you’ll need to locate a secondary entrance to explore its depths.

Positioned in the southern region of the Horizon Forbidden West map, Cauldron CHI can be found near the coast, southeast of Thornmarsh. The secret entrance, as mentioned earlier, is protected by elusive machines like the Stalker, which can camouflage itself and become difficult to detect.

To find the alternative entrance, head east of the main sealed door, essentially taking a right turn. Alternatively, you can pinpoint the location on your map once you’ve activated the quest associated with this Cauldron.

defeating the guardian at chi
Peek at the guardian Slitherfang at CHI – image by eXputer

Keep in mind that the suggested player level for tackling Cauldron CHI is 30, so make sure you are well-prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.

Rewards for completing CHI:

  • 12,500 XP
  • 3 Skill Points
  • Machine Overrides Unlocked:
    • Frostclaw
    • Redeye Watcher
    • Shell-Walker
    • Clamberjaw
    • Behemoth
    • Stalker (Partial)
    • Shellsnapper (Partial)
    • Spikesnout (Partial)
    • Scorcher (Partial)
    • Fireclaw (Partial)


Kappa on the map
Location of KAPPA on the map [image credits: eXputer]

Cauldron Kappa is widely regarded as the most challenging of the Horizon Forbidden West Cauldrons, given its recommended level of 40. This high level suggests that players should anticipate encountering formidable machines that pose a significant threat to Aloy, like the shellsnapper.

Situated in the northwest region of the map, Cauldron Kappa is nestled near the sea, just north of the Bulwark Settlement. As the entrance to this cauldron is partially submerged, make sure to pack Aloy’s swim gear and we sure hope you are not hydrophobic.

guardian tideripper Kappa
Fighting the guardian Tideripper [image by us]

It is important to note that Cauldron Kappa can only be explored after completing the ‘Sea of Sands‘ quest. As a result, players must first successfully clear this quest before attempting to delve into the depths of the enigmatic Cauldron Kappa.

Rewards for completing KAPPA:

  • 12,500 XP
  • 3 Skill Points
  • Machine Overrides Unlocked:
    • Rockbreaker
    • Tideripper
    • Tremortusk
    • Stormbird
    • Thunderjaw (Partial)
    • Slitherfang (Partial)
    • Dreadwing (Partial)
    • Slaughterspine (Partial)


THETA cauldron location on map
Location of Theta on map [image by eXputer]

Cauldron Theta, the most recent addition to the Horizon Forbidden West DLC called “Burning Shores,” provides players with an intriguing and challenging experience. This new cauldron can be discovered in the freshly unlocked area known as “Burning Shore,” which lies on the eastern side of the map in close proximity to Pangea Park.

Similar to the previously encountered Cauldrons Iota and Chi, players must devise an alternative approach to gain access to Cauldron Theta, as the main entrance is securely locked. To find the concealed entry point, players should head east, tracing the path of the flowing molten lava.

finding the core at theta cauldron
Traversing the molten terrain to find the core [image by eXputer]

Astonishingly, the hidden entrance is situated within an enormous volcanic pit, making it a truly unique location for a cauldron. Yes, it is inside the massive volcanic pit, so bring a fireproof vest!

Rewards for completing Theta:

  • 12,500 XP
  • 3 Skill Points
  • Machine Overrides Unlocked:

Purpose Of Cauldrons

Within the enthralling universe of Horizon Forbidden West, Cauldrons epitomize a distinct variety of linear dungeons, offering players a compelling array of trials and prizes to uncover. These mysterious structures, which first made their appearance in the critically-acclaimed predecessor, Horizon Zero Dawn, beckon players to explore their hidden depths.

  • Upon discovering a Cauldron, players are tasked with navigating through its labyrinthine interior to reach the central core.
  • Successfully completing a Cauldron requires a fusion of adept platforming skills and strategic combat prowess.
  • Each Cauldron is a testament to Horizon Forbidden West’s intricate design, seamlessly blending challenging gameplay with an immersive narrative.
  • Emerging victorious from a Cauldron’s depths grants players the ability to override specific machines roaming the vast, untamed wilderness.
  • Once overridden, these machines become valuable allies, lending their strength and abilities to assist players in their battles against formidable adversaries.
  • This transformative feature adds tactical depth to the gameplay, as players strategically choose which machines to befriend and deploy in combat.

The addition of Horizon Forbidden West Cauldrons expands upon the rich and immersive world-building that has captivated gamers worldwide. These mysterious dungeons offer a glimpse into the fascinating lore that underpins Horizon Forbidden West’s narrative, while simultaneously providing a thrilling challenge for players to overcome. 

Tips For Clearing Claudrons

Embarking on a journey to clear the mysterious Horizon Forbidden West Cauldrons can be both thrilling and challenging. These enigmatic underground facilities hold the key to overriding machines and unlocking new abilities, making them an essential part of Aloy’s adventure.

To ensure a successful Cauldron conquest, players must be well-prepared and adaptive in their approach. The following tips will provide invaluable guidance, empowering you to tackle each Cauldron with confidence and finesse, as you unlock their secrets and harness the power of the machines.

Make Essential Preparations

  1. Know your loadout
    • Before embarking on a Cauldron expedition, it is crucial to ensure that your loadout is optimized for the challenges that lie ahead
    • This involves selecting the right weapons, outfits, and modifications to enhance your combat effectiveness and survivability
    • Consider using weapons that offer a versatile range of attack options, such as bows with various arrow types, slings with elemental bombs, and the Ropecaster for immobilizing machines
  2. Stock up on resources
    • Having a plentiful supply of resources is essential for a successful Cauldron conquest
    • Make sure to gather materials for crafting ammunition, traps, and potions before setting out on your journey
    • Collect herbs, metal shards, machine parts, and other resources as you explore the world of Horizon Forbidden West
    • Crafting potions, especially health and resistance potions, can greatly improve your chances of survival in challenging battles
    • Keep your inventory stocked with a variety of ammunition types, such as elemental and armor-piercing arrows, to ensure you’re prepared for any machine encounter
  3. Familiarize yourself with the cauldron locations and environments
    • Before venturing into a Cauldron, take the time to study its location and the surrounding environment
    • Gain a basic understanding of the terrain, machine types, and any elemental hazards that may be present
    • This knowledge will help you prepare more effectively by selecting the right loadout and crafting the necessary items to suit the specific challenges of each Cauldron
    • Use your Focus to scout the area and gather information on enemy patrols and potential environmental hazards
    • This will enable you to plan your approach more strategically and avoid unnecessary encounters

Master Stealth & Combat

  1. Utilize stealth for efficient exploration
    • Stealth plays a crucial role in successful exploration and combat, especially within the confines of a cauldron.
    • By moving silently and staying hidden in tall grass, Aloy can avoid attracting the attention of hostile machines, allowing her to progress through the cauldron with minimal interference.
    • When approaching a group of enemies, it’s essential to identify potential hiding spots and plan your route accordingly.
    • Make use of silent strike attacks to eliminate unsuspecting enemies, and employ rocks or lures to distract and manipulate enemy movement.
  2. Analyze enemy weaknesses with the focus
    • The Focus is an invaluable tool that enables players to identify enemy weaknesses and exploit them in combat.
    • By scanning machines with the Focus, players can gather information on enemy types, health, and elemental vulnerabilities, allowing them to tailor their combat approach for maximum effectiveness.
    • Once you’ve identified a machine’s weaknesses, prioritize using weapons and ammunition that exploit these vulnerabilities.
    • For instance, if a machine is weak to fire, use fire arrows or other fire-based weaponry to deal increased damage.
  3. Combine ranged and melee attacks for optimal damage
    • To maximize damage output and ensure success in cauldron battles, players should strike a balance between ranged and melee combat.
    • Ranged weapons, such as bows and slings, are excellent for dealing damage from a safe distance and targeting specific weak points on machines.
    • However, relying solely on ranged attacks can deplete your ammunition quickly, leaving you vulnerable in the heat of battle.
    • Certain melee weapons, like the spear, can be upgraded and imbued with elemental damage, further enhancing their effectiveness in combat.

Defeating Cauldron Guardian

  1. Identify guardian weaknesses and exploit them
    • Successfully defeating Guardians in Horizon Forbidden West Cauldrons requires a keen understanding of their weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
    • Using the Focus, you can scan the Guardians to reveal their weak points and elemental susceptibilities.
    • Once you’ve identified these vulnerabilities, select the appropriate weapons and ammunition to exploit them.
    • This could mean using elemental arrows, such as freeze or fire arrows, to exploit specific weaknesses, or targeting particular components to disable the Guardian’s abilities.
  2. Utilize terrain and traps to your advantage
    • Cauldron environments often contain various terrain features and traps that you can use to your advantage during combat with Guardians.
    • For instance, you may find opportunities to use verticality by climbing on ledges or platforms to create distance and attack from a safe vantage point.
    • Additionally, you can use natural barriers and obstacles to shield yourself from enemy fire or to funnel the Guardian into a more advantageous position.
  3. Adapt strategies based on guardian types and abilities
    • Each Cauldron Guardian is unique, with its own set of abilities and attacks.
    • To increase your chances of victory, adapt your combat strategies based on the specific type of Guardian you’re facing.
    • Pay close attention to the Guardian’s movements and patterns to anticipate its attacks and respond accordingly.
    • For example, if you’re facing a Guardian with a strong melee attack, focus on maintaining distance and using ranged weapons to deal damage.
    • Conversely, if the Guardian primarily uses ranged attacks, look for opportunities to close the gap and use melee attacks or quick, short-range weapon strikes.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, the Horizon Forbidden West cauldrons offer a thrilling and diverse range of challenges for players to overcome. Each cauldron is unique in its design, location, and the machines that guard it. Successfully completing these cauldrons not only provides valuable XP, skill points, and machine overrides but also adds an extra layer of depth and exploration to Horizon Forbidden West’s vast and mesmerizing world.

Furthermore, with the new Burning Shores expansions, there are all new machines and weapons for players to discover. There is a brand new map the game has to offer now, So, gear up, venture forth, and prepare to dive deep into the world of Horizon Forbidden West and get started with our How to Start Burning Shores guide.

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