In Horizon Zero Dawn you can play Hunting Ground Trials to earn Blazing Sun Marks (highscore) or Half Sun Marks (mediocre score). These are little challenges to test your skills. Each hunting ground has 3 different trial challenges. They are scattered across 5 hunting ground locations for a total of 15 trials.
There are four trophies tied to Hunting Ground Trials, including the only gold trophy in the game for getting a blazing sun mark in all of them:
- Bronze – Earned at least a Half Sun mark in all three trials at one hunting ground
- Bronze – Earned a Blazing Sun mark in all three trials at one hunting ground
- Silver – Earned at least a half sun mark in all trials at all hunting grounds
- Gold – Earned a blazing sun mark in all trials at all hunting grounds
Blazing Sun Marks Walkthrough:
This video walkthrough shows all of them with a blazing sun mark. They are marked by a blue icon on the map after climbing the Tallnecks.
I recommend you get the Shield-Weaver outfit first because it renders you invincible and makes some challenges easier: How to get Secret Shield Weaver Outfit
Buy as many purple weapons as you can, especially the Shadow Hunter Bow and Shadow Sharpshot Bow. If you have trouble with a trial wait until the end of the game when you are level 30 or higher. At this point it will be very easy.
All of these challenges are time based. The faster you are, the better you will score. The blazing sun marks are basically gold medals. It also gives you 17,500 XP per blazing sun mark which is great for quick level ups.
For the trial “Ravager Control” you must learn how to override ravagers with your spear. You get this ability by completing Cauldron RHO (Cauldrons are also marked on the map with blue icons).
Nora Hunting Grounds:
#1 – 0:05
#2 – 1:36
#3 – 2:40
Valleymeet Hunting Grounds:
#4 – 3:46
#5 – 4:44
#6 – 5:54
Greatrun Hunting Grounds:
#7 – 6:40
#8 – 8:21
#9 – 9:34
Spurflints Hunting Grounds:
#10 – 11:16
#11 – 13:52
#12 – 14:52
Sun Furrows Hunting Grounds:
#13 – 16:28
#14 – 17:53
#15 – 20:17
After getting all blazing sun marks you can trade them in at the Hunter’s Lodge in Meridian. A woman named Aidaba will give you 3 blessed weapons, which are the best in the entire game and cannot be bought from other merchants. So you do get an actual reward aside from the trophy.