Let me start by saying how you play is more than fine, the game is design to allow players to focus on what they like to do as a player but there is a sort of base to work off and I will provide balanced setup as much as possible as far as best Skills to unlock at the start of the game.
First skill is pretty easy to chose and its not because I am a Metal Gear player but simply because the game is smoother if you flow this method.
Silent Strike: Most enemies can be eliminated with a successful Silent Strike at the start of the game. stealth is best form of attack in general, making Silent Strike an essential unlock right from the start. It only costs one skill point to unlock, so unlock it asap.
Next is more of a Back up plan to stealth.
Concentration: When things go wrong, Its time to bring that bow and arrow. The Concentration ability slows down time, Giving you a better reflex time frame to hit the mark. With speed and small weak point area’s slowing down time can really come in handle. As my 12 year old son would say ” Trick shot dad” Concentration is a good skill to have for those tricky shots. Another 1 skill point must have.
Critical Hit: land a punishing blow to downed enemies. Your staff is your best weapon at the start of the game. At the start smaller enemies will be knocked down easily, That Critical Hit will likely eliminate them. Use it now!!!
By the way this is RPG so lets stay focused here.
Gatherer: The Gatherer ability is useful because it gives you more resources out of the different trees and flowers you find. Dont worry you will thank me later.
Again I remind you that you play style might differ from others so change things up but this is a solid base for your start point. from here a few more to consider.
Tinkerer: Certainly the most useful skill in the game and that is saying alot. It allows you to remove and reuse weapon modifications across all weapons. Without the Tinker skill, mods are destroyed once they are replaced. The 3 skills to unlock before getting tinkerer not so good but it’s certainly worth the investment. Once unlocked you can equip the best mods and you won’t lose any rare ones after.
Low Profile: Again my Metal Gear player self is into these abilities but in reality you cannot win ever encounter at the beginning, I am not saying run scared but I am saying be able to sneak around to find the best position or sneak behind a few enemies wont hurt. so get it now…. please.
Scavenger: Again this is a RPG so looting is important I dont need to get into anything else about this skill which will give you more loot.
This is a short guide on what to unlock first we have tons of other guides on the right side of the side. a Horizon Zero Dawn Menu fill of goodies. enjoy and thank you for reading.