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Horizon Forbidden West guide: Explorer vs Guided Pathfinding mode

Which should you choose?

Horizon Forbidden West guide: Explorer versus Guided mode Image: Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon
Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

In this Horizon Forbidden West Explorer and Guided Quest and Waypoint Pathfinding guide, we’ll explain the differences between the two modes of navigation and why you’d want to choose one over the other.

You’ll find these two settings in the Settings > General menu under, predictably, Quest Pathfinding and Waypoint Pathfinding.

  • Quest Pathfinding places an icon with a yellow diamond on your HUD based on the currently active Quest (like a Main quest, Side quest, Errand, Job, etc.) if you have one.
  • Waypoint Pathfinding places an icon with a yellow flag based on any Waypoint you’ve placed on your map (by hitting the X button).

Choosing between the Explorer and Guided Pathfinding settings is really about where your current objective’s waypoint marker shows up on your HUD — either along the path to your destination or at your destination.

Think of it this way: Explorer waypoints show you where you’re going, while Guided waypoints show you how to get there.

Guided Pathfinding

Setting Pathfinding to Guided puts the HUD marker along the path that you’ll take to get to your destination. Think of this like turn-by-turn directions. The marker will update and move constantly as you pass through turns and intersections along the path. The job of Guided Pathfinding is to (strictly) keep you on that path.

You can see the path highlighted in yellow on your map — that’s what the Guided marker is following.

Explorer Pathfinding

With Pathfinding set to Explorer, the HUD waypoint marker will show you your destination and how far you are from it. It will ignore any obstacles or winding paths you’ll need to take to get there and just point you straight at your goal. This is a much freer way to navigate, but, since you won’t be following roads, you might miss important settlements or Campfires.

The map will still show you a highlighted path that follows the roads, but your HUD marker won’t follow it.

Which should you choose?

There are benefits to both, so it might depend on what you’re trying to do. Especially early in the game, we recommend you keep Guided turned on for both Quests and Waypoints. This will lead you along the major roads and make sure you find the various Settlements scattered across the Forbidden West.

As you get more comfortable navigating and get more familiar with the map — especially when returning to areas you’ve explored before — it’s fine to switch Waypoints to Explorer (and maybe Quests as well if you’re really comfortable).

Guided Pathfinding is very precise and aggressive about following a road — to the point where it can actually become confusing. It will follow a road even when the road takes a roundabout path when, really, you could just climb down a cliff instead.

That said, that strict, path-following Pathfinding can actually be helpful in complicated areas like Tenakth settlements.

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