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Horizon Forbidden West’s Hidden Gyro Aiming Feature Is Actually Good

Guerrilla’s massive open-world game has some solid gyroscopic controls, if you know where to look

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Aloy aims a bow at a robot dinosaur in Horizon Forbidden West with motion controls on PS5.
Screenshot: Sony / Kotaku

Horizon Forbidden West, an open-world game about validating every kindergartener’s dream of being a paleontologist, gives you a vast collection of high-tech bows and arrows to play with. Like many video game bows, this arsenal can be finicky when aiming with a thumbstick, so some players will be happy to hear that Forbidden West features full gyroscopic aiming.

Yes, on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, Horizon Forbidden West allows you to turn on motion controls. In the settings, under the controls submenu, scroll down and you’ll find an option for motion aiming. Once activated, the game will display another list of settings that allow you to further tweak the gyroscopic controls. You can fine-tune the sensitivity for the X- and Y-axes, and do the same for when concentration mode (basically, slowed-down time to help you land precise shots) is activated. And you can invert the Y-axis.


Some folks who’ve had a chance to play the game say it’s terrifically helpful, noting the benefits you can reap from making micro adjustments.


Personally, I’m take it or leave it. Horizon Forbidden West’s bows may indeed be marred by the pitfalls that tend to mar bows in video games—the draw speed, the ammo limitations, freakin’ gravity—but they’re still best in class. Throughout the 50-hour campaign, I’ve had no trouble aiming with a traditional thumbstick control scheme.

That said, I fully recognize my bias here: I always deactivate motion controls when they’re on by default (in, for instance, games for the Nintendo Switch). Though I was impressed with the wibbly controller options in the PS5 launch title Astro’s Playroom, I’m still not fully calibrated to how they work. I tend to use Horizon’s sharpshot bows, which deal more damage than typical bows but fire more slowly, potentially leaving you vulnerable. Missing a shot could mean the difference between winning a battle or dying. I’m of course gonna stick with what I find most comfortable. Hey, it’s tough to re-mold years of muscle memory!

Regardless, it’s pretty sweet that developer Guerrilla Games included this feature, and quite extraordinary that they buried it deep in the options, rather than make a fuss about it up-front.