HordeNorthern Barrens
Level: 5 - 50
Battle Pet Level: 3 - 4
Northern Barrens.jpg
Races GoblinGoblin Goblin
OrcOrc Orc
TaurenTauren Tauren
TrollTroll Troll
QuilboarQuilboar Quilboar
Night elfNight elf Night elf
MurlocMurloc Murloc
Harpy Harpy
Ruler(s) Horde  Thrall
Former ruler(s) Neutral  Gazlowe
Major settlements Horde The Crossroads
Neutral Ratchet
Minor settlements Horde Mor'shan Rampart
Horde Nozzlepot's Outpost
Affiliation Horde, Steamwheedle Cartel
Former affiliation(s) True Horde
Location Central Kalimdor
PvP status Horde territory

The Northern Barrens is the northern half of what was once the Barrens. Before being divided it extended into Southern Barrens without break; the two areas are now separated by the Great Divide. It serves as a proving ground for young Horde warriors, ready to seek glory in the name of their people.

During the events of Battlefield: Barrens, this zone is contested for characters level 85 and up. Mobs associated with Battlefield: Barrens are neutral rather than hostile for characters below 85.


Main article: Barrens#History

The Northern Barrens was once part of a thriving forest under the protection of the night elves and their allies. Several kaldorei settlements dotted the land, and there was no ocean for miles. Then came the Burning Legion and the Great Sundering, which shook ancient Kalimdor to the bedrock. The forested landscape transformed into a scorched plain now battered each day by the sun's rays. It became known as the Barrens.

The Barrens was a sprawling and arid savanna stretching between the Stonetalon Mountains to the west, Durotar to the east, Ashenvale to the north and Thousand Needles to the south. Mountains to the west held in heated air, creating the swirling winds that raged across the plains. These windstorms stirred up dust devils and tore apart anything larger than the small, tenacious scrub trees. Water was more valuable than gold in the Barrens, and the locations of hidden watering holes were the residents' most closely held secrets. Dry riverbeds and a never-ending spider web of canyons made any journey across the Barrens a dangerous and winding trek. The few brave adventurers willing to scrape out a life on the arid plains inevitably ran afoul of centaur warbands or quilboar raiding parties. Despite its often uninviting terrain and hostile inhabitants, the Barrens received a good deal of interest from Alliance and Horde alike, as well as races native to Kalimdor. Trade routes crisscrossed the landscape leading to and from more inviting regions.

When Thrall became the Warchief, it saw civilization anew. The Horde built settlements among the dry grasses and arid hills, placing the Barrens solidly into the heart of Horde territory. The largest of the Horde's outposts was the Crossroads, located at the intersection of two major roads. The Barrens also became dotted with numerous farms populated by orcs and their families, as well as watch towers manned by orcish and tauren guards.


Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

During the Cataclysm, Deathwing tore through the Barrens, carving a steep, magma-filled gorge across its center, from Stonetalon Mountains to the Merchant Coast. The areas north and south of the divide became near inaccessible to each other. Following this, what was once the Barrens became more commonly referred to as Northern Barrens and Southern Barrens. The Horde kept its hold on Northern Barrens, desperate to keep trade routes to Orgrimmar open.

Shortly after the Cataclysm, the centaur raided orcs farms and outposts. They were opposed by the newly-formed Garad'kra.[1]


Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content related to Mists of Pandaria.

Events on Pandaria have caused the Kor'kron to construct new fortifications in the region, including lumber yard, an elemental camp, a meat camp, and a refinery as a response towards the anti-Garrosh uprising led by Vol'jin. During the Battlefield: Barrens, the Darkspear Rebellion and the Alliance fought over the Northern Barrens against the Kor'kron and the Blackfuse Company in order to take their resources.


Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

The Burning Legion targeted the Northern Barrens as one of their invasion points. It was successfully defended by the Alliance, Horde and Illidari.

Following the Argus Campaign, a big Horde army crossed Northern Barrens into the Ashenvale Forest, retaking Mor'shan Ramparts from the night elves.[2]

Battle for Azeroth

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.

After the Mag'har of the alternate Draenor arrived on the main universe Azeroth, botani and saberon could be seen running off toward the Barrens.[3]

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

Following the Fourth War, two tauren braves spotted two dark ranger spies on a ridge in the Northern Barrens and allerted a senior patrol who caught the two Forsaken. They, however swallowed a concoction and died.[4]


Shadowlands This section concerns content related to Shadowlands.

During Death Rising, Northern Barrens came under attack from the Scourge. To fight against the undead, troops of the Argent Crusade were mobilized in order to protect the region and its inhabitants.


The Northern Barrens is the northern half of what used to be the Barrens. It is bordered on the north by Ashenvale forest, east by the Great Sea and Durotar (across the Southfury River), west by Stonetalon Mountains, and south by the Great Divide, a steep, magma-filled canyon.

The territory is a large grassland, or veld-type area, dotted with trees and hills and containing three oases. To the east the plateau ends in a short cliff, separating off a small amount of land just above the neighboring Southfury River and coastline of the Great Sea. Savanna covers much of the northwest, with trees most dense near the border to Ashenvale.

Maps and subregions

Map of the Northern Barrens in patch 5.3.0.

Battlefield: Barrens

Undisplayed locations

Removed locations

Icon-RPG.png Warcraft RPG

Travel hubs

Horde Crossroads
Horde Flight paths from Mor'shan Rampart
Horde Nozzlepot's Outpost
Neutral Ratchet

Adjacent regions

Zone Name Faction Level Range Direction Access
Durotar Horde 1 - 20 East On foot across the Southfury River, or by flight path from Crossroads or Ratchet to Orgrimmar
Ashenvale Neutral 15 - 60 North On foot or by flight path from Crossroads to Splintertree Post or Zoram'gar Outpost
Southern Barrens Neutral 30 - 60 South On foot or by flight path from Crossroads to Desolation Hold or Ratchet to Desolation Hold, Fort Triumph, or Northwatch Hold
Cape of Stranglethorn Neutral 30 - 60 By boat from Ratchet

Notable characters

Main article: Northern Barrens NPCs


Main article: Northern Barrens quests




Patch changes

  • Legion Patch 7.3.5 (2018-01-16): Level scaling implemented, previous zone level: 10 - 20.
  • Mists of Pandaria Hotfix (2013-09-12): Kor'kron related NPCs and creatures in Northern Barrens should be neutral to players below level 85 once more.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.3.0 (2013-05-21): New orcish fortifications and high-level content added to build up the storyline's advancement towards the Siege of Orgrimmar. Northern Barrens is contested territory for characters between level 85 and 90.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Result of splitting The Barrens. While the Southern Barrens became a Contested zone, the Northern Barrens remains Horde territory.



External links