It’s a good thing Horizon Forbidden West has a bottomless inventory. Developer Guerrilla Games recently sped up looting in its robot-busting adventure through the quiet addition of one simple feature: the option to disable pickup animations.
Horizon Forbidden West, first released in February on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, is the epitome of “textbook open-world game,” for all the good and ill that entails. In my review for the game, I called out its litany of minor inconveniences, explicitly drawing attention to the fact that you have to stop moving to pick up essential resources like ridgewood (for crafting arrows), fiberzest (for brewing potions) and one million berries (for instant healing).
Guerrilla appears to have rolled out the new feature during Horizon’s most recent update — yes, the very same one that made the game even less shimmery — but didn’t denote the change in the detailed patch notes. It’s unclear why. Representatives for Sony, Horizon Forbidden West’s publisher, did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
Still, following the update, you can clearly see the new feature. By turning off the pickup animation option, found under the general submenu, you’ll make it so Aloy doesn’t stop in her tracks when picking up minor items. It works for most of the detritus throughout Forbidden West’s forbidden west (the ridgewood, the fiberzest, and yes, the berries). But for rarer items or ones you need to search, the ones you need to hold Triangle to interact with, you still have to stop short.
Easy rule of thumb: Loot that you can shoot off of machines, like canisters and chillwater, can get picked up instantly, as can resources from plants. But anything you find in a chest or off a robot’s busted skeleton — machine cores, circulators, braided wires, glowblast, and so on — requires you to stop moving.
On the whole, disabling pickup animations is a minor tweak that doesn’t dramatically change Horizon Forbidden West. (After crunching the numbers, I’ve found it makes the game, approximately, 1.762 per cent more convenient.) But for time-crunched players, every second counts. And it’s one of many quality-of-life features that made Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima — another slickly produced first-party game from the PlayStation oeuvre — such an easily digestible game. Open-world games are overwhelmingly unwieldy enough these days. Any little thing that makes them more whelmingly wieldy is welcome in my book.
That said, I understand why disabled pickup animations wouldn’t appeal to all players. For some, that you have to stop to pick up basic loot is a design choice that makes Horizon feel realistic, immerses you in its world, and forces you to be more deliberate with your actions. But that’s what rules about this quiet update: It’s lovely to have the option now. And some fans, at least, seem happy to take full advantage of it.
“I’m so glad they added a pickup animation…toggle, it saves so much time and doesn’t break exploration continuity or pace,” one player wrote in a semi-viral tweet. “Now I’ll hoard a million berries [cherry emoji].”