Horizon Forbidden West returns many of the same mechanics from its predecessor. This includes the core combat system, world exploration and the way that Aloy acquires her gear, among other things. Focusing specifically on the gear that you can acquire, Aloy must once again either craft it herself or buy it from shops in Horizon Forbidden West. Shops are essentially merchants that you can visit to sell your unused items or buy new ones.
Of course, this does cost a solid amount of money, but sometimes shops are the only way for Aloy to acquire a piece of gear. This means players will need the merchants unlock so they can browse what the shop has on offer. While the shops aren’t available from the start of the game, they are unlocked fairly early on.
Unlocking shops in Horizon Forbidden West
Shops unlock after you’ve completed the first chunk of main story missions. After these missions are done and the world begins to open up for Aloy, you can start to visit shops. In short, you need to reach a location called “The Daunt” to know that you’ve reached the open portion of Horizon Forbidden West.
Once you’ve reached The Daunt, you can keep progressing until you reach Chainscrape, which is a town with the game’s first shops and merchants. Unfortunately, these merchants won’t sell anything to Aloy due to the overbearing rule of their leader, Ulvund.
Ulvund rules over Chainscrape and won’t let the shop owners sell anything to Aloy. This means you need to deal with Ulvund before you can buy anything in the town. The two quests you need to complete to deal with Ulvund are called “Deep Trouble” and “The Bristlebacks.” Once these two quests are completed, Ulvund will relent and allow the merchants to speak and sell items to Aloy.
These are the first two quests you can complete in Chainscrape, so they won’t be difficult to find and complete. Just keep going to the green exclamation points on the map and you’ll be buying items from Shops in no time.
When you manage to level up as a result of these quests, you can consult our list of the best early-game skills to acquire in Horizon Forbidden West.