Leveling up has always been the traditional way of gaining skill points and Horizon Zero Dawn will have lots of skills to choose from. Here's the lowdown on how to gain levels and what is the easiest way to gain experience.
Experience from Side Quests
There's always that one gamer who likes to complete all the side quests before progressing on the next Main quest. This however is the best way to gain tons of experience and explore the game to its fullest. Side quests in Horizon Zero Dawn will net you with rewards ranging from crafting resources to huge amounts of experience. Which is a great way to keep you going since you will always be in stock with materials. Side quests also tend to last a bit longer. You're doing one side quest and the next thing you know you're already compelled to do the next one thinking maybe the next side quest will reward me with a legendary weapon or an interesting story line to add to your knowledge of the game's lore.
Its also the best way to experience the game
Talking about experience, several gamers have ruined their experience of a game from grinding endlessly to reach the max level. Grinding for some may be fun but we have to admit that its still a chore to do. When you do side quests, you're actually exploring the game and even more. You could be on a side quest but then you suddenly stumble upon an interesting cave and the next thing you know you're fighting some big bad giant machine for an epic battle of your life.
Its a great way to learn the lore
A big world like the one we have in Horizon Zero Dawn is bound to have expansive story and lore. That's exactly what side quests are there for. They're not there just for the epic loot(okay, maybe they are). They're there to help you learn more about the world you are in. The hidden stories behind why that statue you came across in the main quest line looks like Dave Chapel or the reason why your favorite side-kick in the game has a love for squirrels. They all add value to the story.
The Legend of The Golden Fast Travel Pack
This world is huge and you can't deny it. The sooner you can grab a hold of the Golden Fast Travel Pack the sooner you can complete quests. With this baby, you'll be flying around the map gaining epic loot in no time! The Golden Fast Travel Pack allows Aloy to fast travel to areas she's already visited for free with unlimited uses.
Travel to Meridian with 50x metal shards, a Fox Skin and 10 Fatty Meat. Look for a merchant outside of Meridian and he'll sell you this Travel Pack.
Optimize skill allocation
Aloy has three skill trees in which you can allocate your skills. However, most of the time you'll be killing machines and the path to quickly defeating machines and breezing through quests is to kill them faster. Faster kills means faster experience gain. Acquiring skills that increase your critical hits and overall increase your damage done will give you instant kills which gives more experience for doing so. Stealth kills and breaking off components off machines' backs will grant more experience as well.
It would be a good idea to check out our skills section here and premeditate on how you want to allocate your skill points both for faster leveling and for your own personal style of playing the game.
In Horizon Zero Dawn, there are several ways to take down machines. You can use the environment, you can use traps, and you can even be stealthy. I might be a bit of a chore to set up traps or to position machines by manipulating their behavior but it will rack in some experience points for doing it. And since you'll probably be in combat for a good amount of time, this will all add up making it progressively faster to level up. As the saying goes: "A little effort can go a long way". Plus, its fun and entertaining to think up of different ways you can take down a machine.
A lot of gamers tend to skip the tutorial sections of a game and just "get into it". Learning the lay of the game along the way. However, some game developers have gotten creative and have decided to reward players for completing the tutorials. Horizon Zero Dawn is no different.
Every time you find or acquire a new weapon a new tutorial quest is unlocked. Not only do these tutorial quests teach you the basic fundamentals of using that weapon, they also give you huge amount of experience for completing them. Sure its a one time experience gain but you got to get all the experience you can get, right?
So we suggest you buy every weapon you can and get working on those tutorials!
Seek out the Random Oddities
As you play the game you'll encounter some corrupted machines. These are machines that have been infected by some mysterious force. They turn a red color and are very hostile and sometimes very difficult to deal with. The most peaceful of machines could end up becoming one of the most difficult machines you've ever had to deal with. None the less you shouldn't run away from corrupted machines. These guys will give you a good amount of experience compared to your normal machines in exchange for the inconvenience you've had of putting them down.
Bandit Camps are also scattered all over Aloy's world and they can be interesting things. Not only do they give you experience for individual kills, they also give you experience for clearing each bandit camp. Bandit Camps can be quite difficult to deal with but its worth the experience gain you get for it. Guess its a good time to be a bandit-buster.
Good 'Ol Fashion Grinding
Grinding, of course, is always an option. In Horizon Zero Dawn, players may opt to grind out the Trials doing them over and over when the trial restarts. You gain experience for the individual kills and you gain experience for completing the trial.