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I've encountered a bunch of corrupted zones, so I tried to exploit classic elemental weaknesses to defeat them.

Corrupted Scrappers can explode if I shoot an electric arrow to their Power cell, but Blaze canisters seem to be immune to fire. I shot several fire arrows to a Corrupted Charger and nothing happened.

Is this true or was that a bug?

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    The enemies evolve a little after killing enough. Snapmaws start with exposed blaze canisters, but after killing enough, they become armored.
    – Nelson
    Jul 6, 2021 at 3:53
  • @Nelson I had the same impression
    – pinckerman
    Jul 6, 2021 at 10:40

3 Answers 3

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You are likely facing machine evolution.

This is not affected by your level. Once you kill a fixed amount of machines of a given type, they start spawning with extra armor. This usuallly covers blaze and chillwater canisters. You can knock out the extra armor with tear damage, and this causes the canister to become exposed.

The amount of kills needed for the evolution of each machine type to take place is in the table below, which I got from this fandom wiki.

Horizon Zero Dawn evolution table

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    This is what I was looking for, thanks for providing some numbers, too. I had this feeling during my playthrough...
    – pinckerman
    Oct 13, 2021 at 6:28
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From personal experience, a corrupted machine's blaze canister should be just as susceptible to fire arrows as their regular counterpart.

This guide backs this up:

One thing the corrupted robots have in common is their weakness to fire. No matter the tactic, you should always use fire weapons and ammo against them. Other than that, they basically have the same weak points as their non-fouled counterparts. For example, the grazers have canisters on their backs. All you have to do kill a corrupted grazer is shoot a fire arrow into its canister. Similarly, killing a corrupted watcher is quickly done by sticking a fire arrow into its eye.

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  • Good to know, but I don't understand why it didn't work for me. I should try on a normal Charger and see what happens.
    – pinckerman
    Mar 20, 2017 at 15:37
  • @pinckerman were you able to confirm (or deny) this yet?
    – Vemonus
    Mar 22, 2017 at 14:09
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    I can finally confirm this, corrupted Grazers do explode. Sorry for the late response.
    – pinckerman
    Mar 26, 2017 at 19:24
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Just an addition to Vemonus' answer.

I'm playing as well, and I noticed that when Aim Assist was on in the Settings menu, sometimes the arrows would change their course mid-flight and hit something else. You may be aiming for the Blaze canister, but right before it hits it may change course and hit the body instead.

Another thing that I noticed is that the higher I leveled up, the more armored the enemies became. When I first encountered a Snapmaw I was able to hit the Blaze canisters near its head pretty easily. But after I got up to around level 20 or 30, I noticed that the Blaze canisters were now armored, requiring me to shoot off the armor before being able to trigger an explosion with a fire arrow.

I don't know if this coincided with my level increasing, or getting a Carja/Shadow Sharpshot/Hunter Bow, which gave me new ammo types that are better at shooting off pieces of armor, or even if the difficulty of the machines increases as you go farther away from the Sacred Lands.

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    I don't think that machines' difficulty increases, when you use your Focus on a machine there's a number in a grey circle on the top-left corner, the machine's level, and that value is fixed.
    – pinckerman
    Mar 24, 2017 at 4:24
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    Yes, that is true. So there must be some other factor that triggers, for example, Snapmaws having armor over their blaze canisters where they didn't before.
    – Zymus
    Mar 24, 2017 at 4:29
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    The factor is once you kill enough, they "evolve" and get more armored. It is a set number per playthrough. It is hard to notice, but the Snapmaw is the most obvious. Ravagers are now armored on the canisters too, and Longbirds are front-armored on their powercells for me.
    – Nelson
    Jul 6, 2021 at 14:42

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