How to breathe underwater in Horizon Forbidden West with the Diving Mask

 Knowing how to breathe underwater in Horizon Forbidden West and unlock the diving mask will open up all manner of new areas for you to explore. Many locations, collectibles and items are gated off by deep water that goes too far or deep for Aloy to successfully hold her breath. Fortunately, when you can finally craft the Horizon Forbidden West Diving Mask, you’ll get unlimited oxygen and be able to dive as deep as you want for as long as you want. I guess the bends aren’t a thing a thousand years in the future for Horizon Forbidden West? Either way, here’s how to breathe underwater in Horizon Forbidden West.

Warning: this guide contains some minor spoilers for the main plot of Horizon Forbidden West, but all effort has been made to keep them as minimal as possible.

How to breathe underwater in Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Forbidden West breathe underwater diving mask

(Image credit: Sony)

To breathe underwater in Horizon Forbidden West Aloy will need a special piece of equipment called a Diving Mask, a special item that provides a permanent oxygen supply and allows the player to stay deep for hours at a time. It’s worth mentioning that it doesn’t enable you to do anything more in the water, such as swim faster or use weapons, but it will give you unlimited time to find whatever you need to.

Where to get the Horizon Forbidden West Diving Mask

Horizon Forbidden West breathe underwater diving mask

(Image credit: Sony)

The Diving Mask is a special piece of equipment that Aloy unlocks as part of Forbidden West’s main campaign plot, as certain story-essential missions can’t be completed without it. Specifically, it comes during Aloy’s search for the Poseidon AI in the Sea of Sands quest. During the course of this mission Aloy will meet three characters who want to find an object underwater, but can’t hold their breath long enough to do it, not to mention the fact that they’re not really men of action. One offers to help Aloy craft a Diving Mask if she can secure the components and explore the water for them, leading Aloy to have to venture out hunting for the following crafting resources:

  • 1 Compressed Air Capsule
  • 1 Machine Knee Cap
  • 1 Synthetic Membrane

These aren’t just lying around and Aloy won’t have them on her – they’re specifically contextual crafting items that only serve this function. Which means Aloy is about to have to go and pull some robots to pieces until she finds what she needs.

How to craft the Diving Mask and get all the components

Horizon Forbidden West breathe underwater diving mask

(Image credit: Sony)

The first thing you’ll have to get is the Compressed Air Capsule. This is by far and away the easiest component – just dive into the flooded elevator shaft marked and it’s on the diving bell halfway down. 

Once that’s secured, what follows is a special hunting objective wherein Aloy is sent after a nearby group of Bellowbacks and Leapslashers – kill them and you’ll get the pieces for the Diving Mask. However, they’re not where they’re usually found, so there’ll be a tracking objective first where Aloy follows purple footprints revealed by her Focus through the nearby ruins.

Along the way you’ll encounter numerous groups of machines, but it’s worth mentioning that they are entirely optional if they’re not the herd you’re looking for. They range from easy Burrowers to some rather robust Glinthawks, so feel free to engage with them as much as you want – it’s not too difficult to stealth around them, though those closer to the herd itself risk being an issue if they overhear you fighting.

Once you find the herd, the Bellowbacks will have the Synthetic Membrane, while the Leapslashers have the Knee Cap. The Bellowbacks are weak to Frost (shooting their tank can blow them up and inflict the brittle status), while the Leapslashers can explode if you hit the power coils on their back with electrical shock damage. Otherwise you want to stay very agile and try to fight them individually – Bellowbacks like to shoot ranged elemental explosives, while the Leapslashers, accurate to their name, will throw themselves at you quickly and try to do fast melee strikes. 

Once you kill the herd, scavenge the pieces you need off their bodies and bring them back to the NPCs who help you build it. They’ll present a workbench where you can make the Diving Mask with three pieces you’ve scavenged – a permanent upgrade you can use for the rest of the game.

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