Compared to other powers that let you toss enemies around like rag dolls and deal massive damage, the ability to put up a small shield for a short time may sound underwhelming. And to be honest, it kind of is. But there’s no real cost to using your powers, so it doesn’t hurt to have all of them on hand in case of an emergency. Once you pick up Barrier, you’ll at least always have a safe place to heal and a fallback plan if you end up in a tougher fight than you expected.
You can find Barrier at Spikewind Ark in eastern Broken Tract. Unlike some other Arks, this one is kind of hard to miss. Just look to the hills in the eastern part of this region near the border with the Sekreto Wetlands, and you should see a group of windmills towering over the landscape. Look for the wreckage of one that crashed to the ground, and you’re right on top of Spikewind Ark.
While it’s easy to find this Ark, getting inside is a bit of a different matter. When you arrive on the scene, you’ll see Junkmek fighting off a group of Immortal Shrouded. The Immortal Shrouded are usually no joke, but the Junkmek is a clear threat here. If you’re coming to this Ark early in the game, you likely haven’t seen one before, so hang back a bit to get an idea of its capabilities. It comes equipped with a machine gun, mine launcher, and flame cannon. You can let the Junkmek pick off the Immortal Shrouded here, or join in the fight and help them take down your common mechanical foe while they draw its attention, then kill what’s left of them. Either way, this is about as good of an arena as you’re going to get for fighting a Junkmek, as it gives you lots of room to run around and plenty of covers to hide behind when the going gets tough.
Once you’ve cleared the way, head inside to pick up Barrier. This power will let you deploy a small energy shield that stops any kind of projectiles. You can also upgrade it to cover more ground, damage enemies who touch it, and even funnel power to you when it takes damage. Try it out against the group of wastelanders who attack when you leave the Ark.
Fun fact: the design of the Barrier was much different in pre-release versions of the game; it was basically just a huge wall. Some of the videos that play when you select Barrier upgrades in the Nanotrite menu actually show the older design.