The Barrens is the first major location Niko and the Player arrive in. It's a desolate land filled with multiple abysses, ruined machinery, and abandoned factories. Many Phosphor shrimp exist in this area.
After exiting the Starting Area, Niko ends up at the left-most side of the Terminal Room in this area. When they exit for the first time, a cutscene is played showing them stepping out with the Sun as they look at the Tower from a distance.
The Barrens are for the most part abandoned, save for a few robots.
The area where Prophetbot is found in. The nearby building is the actual outpost, which contains the generator for the Barrens, a PC, and an overview map of the World. In another building, the crusher can be found, which is used to make the crowbar.
The docks of the Barrens. There is a rusty Rowbot present there that can take Niko to the Glen.
A maze of cliffs can be found along with a few notes from past residents of the Barrens and a safe containing a gas mask and a strange journal. This is the first place where square particles are witnessed, appearing only after the safe is unlocked and walked away from.
Silver resides in a building here. One of her screwdrivers can be taken from that building.
The robot factory has fallen into disuse, but some machinery is still in operation. Niko cannot approach this area without a gas mask. The sponge and gloves can be found here.
The dormitories are still attended by robots, one of which is the Blue Guardian. Some robots will follow Niko around this area.
There are several sparkling pools full of Phosphor shrimp, one of which has formed a bubble containing a rare form of blue phosphor. There are also several smoke vents in this area, making this area also inaccessible without a gas mask. Some notes suggest the pools of shrimp play an important role in consuming the noxious gases before they can waft in significant quantities to other areas.
- When the map file is opened using RPG Maker XP, a picture of Niko appeared to be drawn using the map's tileset is shown.
- There is a ":3" emoticon made using the map's tileset that can be seen on the map file of the entrance area. Seeing it in-game is not possible.
- According to a journal entry in the Swamp, the sole reason the poisonous gas doesn't spread is because the native shrimp consume the gas.