Where does Horizon Zero Dawn take place?

Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the most successful games to ever be released for the PS4 and consistently ranks highly in ‘best of’ lists related to its genre. It’s easy to see why, too. HZD is a truly stunning game with an engaging story, well-written characters and lore, and outstanding visuals. 

Perhaps its biggest charm is the world in which it is set. The open world environment is rich and diverse, and there is plenty to discover. But where exactly does it take place? Read on to learn more about where Horizon Zero Dawn takes place. 

Horizon Zero Dawn Location

Horizon Zero Dawn - Maker's End
Horizon Zero Dawn – Maker’s End

The world of Horizon Zero Dawn is based on three different states in the US – Arizona, Colorado, and Utah – and the majority of Horizon Zero Dawn takes place in Colorado. They are not the states as we know them, though, and they are largely deserted and reclaimed by nature after an apocalyptic event severely diminished the human population. 

The Horizon Zero Dawn map is not to scale, and the developers took some creative liberties with the design in order to incorporate some geographical diversity. This involved compressing the map considerably, so you could be in the mountains one minute, and in the canyon the next.

There are some very obvious influences from real life locations, though. The All-Mother Proving Grounds and mountain area is based on Pike’s Peak and Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado. The game’s iconic Ring of Metal is based on the Denver Stadium, too. Meridian and the surrounding area is based on the Eagle Canyon, Utah. It is thought that parts of The Jewel are heavily based on areas in Arizona. 

Related: Horizon Zero Dawn Ancient Vessels Locations

Where Does The Frozen Wilds Take Place?

The Frozen Wilds DLC
The Frozen Wilds DLC

The Frozen Wilds DLC is set further north than the main game and takes place across Wyoming and Montana. The Cut, for example, is based on the Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks, while the Icerasps part of the map is set in the Teton Range region of the Rocky Mountains.

In the southeast of the Frozen Wilds map, an unnamed arch looks to be heavily influenced by the Roosevelt Arch, which is located in the northernmost part of Yellowstone in Gardiner, Montana. 

Where Is Horizon Forbidden West Set?

Aloy trains for the Proving
Aloy trains for the Proving

Horizon Forbidden West is the hotly anticipated sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn. It is expected to be released in Q3/Q4 of 2021 and it will be another PlayStation exclusive.

The setting for Forbidden West will be California, Utah, and Nevada, indicating that there will be entirely new locations to explore. Confirmed locations so far include a derelict San Francisco, Yosemite Valley, and various underwater areas. The map is also said to be much bigger than its predecessor. 

What Year Does Horizon Zero Dawn Take Place In?

Aloy and Rost
Aloy and Rost

The beginning of Horizon Zero Dawn takes place in the year 3020, with Aloy’s birth taking place one year later. In 3027, Aloy obtains a Focus and begins training with Rost, and participates in the Proving in 3040. 

According to the game’s lore, the Faro Plague (which wiped out most life on Earth) took place in 2066, while all marine life became extinct by the year 2068. 

Get in Touch

What’s your favorite Horizon Zero Dawn location? Are you looking forward to the new map in the Forbidden West? Let us know in the comment section below. If you enjoyed this, you may like reading about the best exclusive games for the PS4

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