Horizon Forbidden West release: When does it launch and does it have preload?

Aloy in Horizon Forbidden West looking into the distance
(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

Horizon Forbidden West is just around the corner, and the game looks set to be the biggest first-party game to launch for Sony since the PS5 was released. While it has a home on the PS4 as well, it’s clear this is meant to be a huge showcase for next-gen tech. Because of that, many are eager to get their hands on the new adventure of Aloy. 

It’s not helped anticipation that the game has reviewed very well, including here at TechRadar Gaming, making the wait even more agonizing. However, that wait is almost over! Sony’s game is set to launch tomorrow and there are a couple of things you can do now to make sure you are ready to jump in at launch. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the launch, from times to preload instructions. Get all this right and you should be able to hop in right the second game releases. 

What time does Forbidden West release?

As stated, Horizon Forbidden West releases tomorrow, February 18. Thankfully, there’s no time conversion to be had here. Horizon Forbidden West will be rolling out by region rather than at one global time. It will launch at 00:00 in all regions.

It’s important to consider that this is a staggered release. That means it will be releasing throughout the day, so things like spoilers and footage might start trickling out of regions like Australia. If you are on the West coast of the United States, you may want to start setting up your mute filters on social media. 

Horizon Forbidden West preload

A huge flying robot bird flies above jungle scenery

(Image credit: Horizon)

Horizon Forbidden West is available for preload, so if you want to jump in with no downtime, be sure to get the game onto your console of choice before midnight your time. It's fairly sizeable, too, so clear the space on your console. 

In order to set up preload on your console, you'll of course have to have preordered the game. However, once that's done, you can head over to the Horizon Forbidden West page on the PlayStation Store, where you should be able to download that game, getting you ready for launch.

It's quite large, so make sure you have the space to download it, or have made it by deleting something you aren't planning to play for a while. Make sure you’ve cleared at least 88GBs for Horizon Forbidden West.

After it’s downloaded, you should be ready to go for launch, barring anything catastrophic on Sony’s end. 

Now get out there and have a good time in the Forbidden West. 

Patrick Dane
Gaming Guides Editor

Patrick Dane is TechRadar Gaming's Guides Editor. With nearly a decade in the games press, he's been a consistent voice in the industry. He's written for a plethora of major publications and travelled the world doing it. He also has a deep passion for games as a service and their potential to tell evolving stories. To wit, he has over 2000 hours in Destiny 2, over 1000 in Overwatch and is now deeply into Valorant.