Exploration and Narrative Mode in Horizon: Forbidden West: What’s the Difference?

Whether to choose exploration or story mode is the first decision you’ll have to make in Horizon: Forbidden West. But what does it really mean? The choice will depend on whether the terrain and objectives are laid out for you using on-screen markers, or whether you want minimal assistance and leave you alone with the world. Both options have their advantages for a certain type of player, although everything is complicated by the fact that the game does not offer one direction over the other, and does not explain anything clearly, but don’t worry – below we will talk about the differences between them, about which one which are best for you to choose, and how you can switch between explorer and explorer mode in Horizon: Forbidden West.

Choosing Between Narrative and Explorer Mode in Horizon: Forbidden West

The choice between storytelling and explorer mode in Horizon: Forbidden West isn’t too jarring, as all that changes is certain information provided to you when you search for locations – and even if you don’t like your chosen mode, you can change it at any time.

Narrative mode usually highlights key objects and locations related to your chosen quest using on-screen objective markers. If you’re not nearby, the mode will instead highlight and take you to the nearest road, then take you on the shortest path to that location. The intended effect is that players should never be in doubt about where they are going or what they are looking for, as Focus always makes it clear where the next point of interest is.

In explorer mode, a lot of this is cut down. Instead, targets are marked on the compass dial at the top of the screen, so you only get their direct position relative to you, and you have to find your way to them yourself… Although going to the map screen and choosing a location will still show the road to follow, it’s just limited to this map screen.

Is it possible to change the mode in Horizon: Forbidden West?

Players who choose one of the options and regret it, or just want to try both experiences, don’t worry. In the game settings, you can switch between Guided and Explorer Mode at any time without any consequences for the player. Just pause and go to settings when you want to switch.

For this reason, we recommend that you select explorer mode when starting the game for the first time. The changes made to the Guided Mode HUD are a little intrusive, and overall, even in explorer mode, it’s easy to find where to go. Choose the more exciting option, but don’t feel obligated to stick with it if you don’t know where to go next.

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