The size of the map in Horizon Forbidden West is very decent. And as much as the graphics and contents of the game provide players with a unique and arguably better experience than Horizon Zero Dawn, during your exploration through the many biomes, you will face many challenges, which will involve combat.

This is where your skills as a hunter and a fighter will truly show, and without the right knowledge, you’ll be just like us in the beginning – fighting against every mob around at once, getting eliminated, and set back to where the game saved us last.

Needless to say, it was a struggle – until we figured out how to use the silent strike mechanic. Since then, our experience has been a whole lot more enjoyable, and we must say that the number of times we got eliminated from mobs has significantly reduced.

When Are Silent Strikes Useful?

Silent strikes are useful when you plan on attacking a number of enemies that are in very close proximity to each other. This is because the silent strike (as loud as it is in-game), allows you to take out enemies quickly and effectively without alerting their allies.

Do note that while executing your enemies with the silent strike should keep you in the shadows, if two mobs are in very close proximity to each other, even when you use the silent strike, they will be alerted and so will everyone else nearby, in which case, you better get ready for a long and challenging battle.

But, if you’re careful and take your time with taking out the mobs one at a time, the silent strike is super useful as it can help you eliminate mobs silently and in most cases, with a single hit.

If you mess up, and all of us a sudden you are attacked by every enemy mob in the nearby area, you can execute a different type of strike – the critical hit but you have to wait for the right moment.

Usually, when an enemy mob is stunned after a series of attacks, the game will allow you to execute the critical hit to finish them off. This is usually accompanied by a very cinematic finishing move. Both of these attacks are executed using the same button.

Why Use Silent Strikes?

As we said above, the silent strike is great because it allows you to eliminate your opponent with a single hit – or at least that’s the case in most situations when you’re fighting against weaker mobs.

Not only that, but it will also help keep your attacks stealthy and won’t alert nearby enemies when executed. That way, you can not only clear your way through a set of mobs that are in close proximity of each other but will also do that without taking damage and have to use any of your healing herbs and potions.

How to Silent Strike

Silent Striking in Horizon Forbidden West can be simple and difficult at the same time. Generally speaking, if you’re sneaking up on an enemy and are hiding away in the tall grass waiting for them to approach, then eliminating them with a silent strike is easy.

However, if you’re in the middle of heated combat, you need to stun or knock down the enemy in order to execute the critical hit – the more fierce version of the silent strike which can be used while in combat. In most cases, it is a one-hit kill.

The great thing about the silent strike/critical hit in both of these situations is that they’re both done with the same button. In my case, that button is R1. This is by default so that should be the case for you too unless you’ve played around with the settings previously.

Whatever the case may be, the game will tell you which button to press when your character is eligible for executing the silent strike or the critical hit upon a nearby enemy mob. And of course, don’t forget to learn how to crouch in Horizon Forbidden West as that is a crucial component of the silent strike mechanic – if you want to use it while keeping stealthy that is.

If you’d like to watch a video explaining the silent strike as well as how and when to use it, give the video below a watch.