The cracked and battered Horizon Zero Dawn Ancient Vessels belonged to the Old Ones, and are definitely the most hilarious collectibles in the videogame.
Why is that? Because these “ancient vessels” are nothing else but coffee mugs! They are always hidden in ancient debris which contain even more trinkets.
Therefore, the debris become a valuable source of income, since you can sell the extra junk, ahem, artifacts, at any merchant.
Usually you can find Ancient Vessels inside ruined cities or near landmarks, sometimes in close proximity to each other. To spot the debris, use the Focus and look for purple irregular shapes.
If you find more than one ancient debris, always go for the one that has a purple icon over it – the same symbol found over a Metal Flower or a very rare item.
Scanning is a must, since the map that you can purchase from merchants only hints at the locations of the Ancient Vessels. At least it’s cheap.
Horizon Zero Dawn Ancient Vessels Details
Only 12 Ancient Vessels exist in Horizon Zero Dawn, and we encourage you to manually save at a campfire after you collect one, since your progress is reset if your character dies.
There are 3 sets of four vessels, as you can observe in the Collectables section of the menu. While they don’t come with a story like the Vantage Datapoints or Banuk Figures do, they are unique and it’s worthwhile to take a glance at them.
Each time you complete a set you can go to Meridian to sell it to the specialized merchant named Studious Palas.
He pays very well for strange vessels “consisting of a hollow cylinder, with a crescent handle affixed at both ends”. Please, pay attention to his dialogue lines to hear some funny stuff.
There are 3 Reward Boxes and in total you can get 1500 Metal Shards and numerous Modification Boxes by opening them.
And let’s not forget about the trophies, First Ancient Vessel found for unearthing the first vessel once used by the Old Ones, and All Ancient Vessels found, unlocked when you obviously find all of them.
If you want some tips on the locations of the Horizon Zero Dawn Ancient Vessels, then check the guide below.
The video from our YouTube playlist follows the same order as the map and the text.
Note: The map is very large, so we recommend you to open it in a new tab to zoom in!
Ancient Vessels Locations
Ancient Vessel #1: Arches
The first Ancient Vessel is found at the Devil’s Thirst ruins. Cross the river just south and head right to locate the stone that points the path to Mother’s Crown. Check behind the ruins next to it to find the ancient debris standing above the water.
Ancient Vessel #2: Wayfarers
Go south from the Devil’s Thirst bandit camp, and after you cross the bridge keep an eye out on the left side of the road. The debris containing the Ancient Vessel are near some old railings.
Ancient Vessel #3: Dronehop
This Ancient Vessel is also close to Devil’s Thirst camp, but this time use the north-west bridge. As you step down from the bridge, turn left to face the ruined building. The debris are somewhere between the road and the building, hard to miss.
Ancient Vessel #4: KZ
The next three vessels are located in the Devil’s Grief area. Start from the southwest campfire and head south, past the large buildings, until you find a smaller building (keep an eye out for a couple of damaged cars). Under the entrance of what’s left of the building is the Ancient Vessel collectible.
Ancient Vessel #5: USRC
Go back to the camp. Now head north for a little while and you should find an old billboard almost between two buildings. The debris with the Ancient Vessel is at the base of one of the buildings, close to the walking path. Use your Focus to scan the area.
Ancient Vessel #6: Miriam
Not far from the previous collectible is another Ancient Vessel. It is located on the road north-west from the campsite (near an enemy encampment that you visit during a mission). Look for the debris under the archway created by the tall building that collapsed onto the one next to it.
Ancient Vessel #7: Faro
The seventh Ancient Vessel can be found west from Meridian, close to the Sawtooth site that’s between two campfires.
If you’re coming from the south campfire, cross the wooden bridge and inspect the small construction on the left side of the road (the one with a rope attached to the top). The debris are on the other side of the brick construction.
Ancient Vessel #8: Jomei
Go to the large satellite dishes at Dimmed Bones (near the river). The Ancient Debris are easy to spot, since they are in front of the building with the collapsed dish (the mission Field of the Fallen leads you here).
Ancient Vessel #9: Odyssey
This one is the small quarry/excavation site not far from the previous collectible. You will come to this area during the main quest The City of the Sun. The pile of debris is at the bottom of the area, easy to spot if you’re using the Focus.
Ancient Vessel #10: Sterling-Malkeet
The tenth Ancient Vessel is basically inside the Shattered Kiln bandit camp. You can look for the debris next to two prisoner cages; just follow the incline from the campfire.
Ancient Vessel #11: Metallurgic
The final two relics can be found in the Maker’s End area. One Horizon Zero Dawn Ancient Vessel is literally a few steps away from the campfire, next to the building that’s north from your position.
Ancient Vessel #12: Thunderheads
Now go inside the northernmost ruined facility, past the second enemy encampment that you encounter during the main quest that take place in the area.
After you use the ledge to pull yourself up, run for a few seconds to bump into the Ancient Debris on the right-hand side of the road. Search it and take the last Ancient Vessel in the game.