If you've on your first playthrough of NieR: Automata, you've probably come across a multitude of seemingly inaccessible boxes and doors no matter how far into the game you are.
Sadly, you'll be coming across and questioning each and every one of them for quite some time before you're able to open them from the start of your second playthrough when they must be 'hacked' to pry open. While some are a little out of the way, the vast majority of the game's secrets aren't much of a secret at all. They're hidden in plain view - and we're going to make note of them here.
For all intents and purposes, the contents of each box will remain a secret on this page to re-capture some of that allure; but for the sake of it, each is fairly different with them either locking away new weapons, side-quest related 'Archives' with some comical lore behind each or just some rare materials to use in upgrading your current gear.
For the most part, no spoilers are housed within this list; but for those unfamiliar with the various locations of the game, you could class this as 'too much information'. Proceed with caution:
- Located right as 9S and 2B land on the City Ruins for the first time during Gathering Intel, to the left of an empty building that must be jumped on to continue.
- Located down the long ladder from the first building encountered across entry to the City Ruins during Gathering Intel.
- Located by a broken truck used to jump on destroyed highway near City Ruins: Near Factory Access Point.
- Located near the City Ruins: Cave savepoint, unlocked after the Assault event.
- Located inside a broken building accessible after the Assault event. To get into the building, follow the vines for the first lap of Speed Star, and dash into the lower floor you can jump in from the vine's top.
- Located inside the Factory, behind a hidden door after you encounter several ranged-attack small stubby enemies. The room opens a shortcut to bypass part of the factory.
- Located within some plants to the right of the bridge coming from City Ruins: Near Tower towards commercial facility for Forest Zone.
- Located inside the Commercial Facility leading to the Forest Zone
- Down the elevator from the Commercial Facility. Unlocked during Emil's Memories.
- Go to City Ruins after finishing Emil's Memories. Above the City Ruins: Cave section, some broken pipes can be jumped into. In one, there's a locked door that opens with Elevator Key. Go inside, then when you find a drop glide down to the first level and defeat some magnetized enemies to find it.
- Same as above, but in another pipe - go inside and follow the cave down until you drop onto a section with a small lake and two Small Sphere enemies. The Chest is by an opening in the rocks ahead before you fight a level 50 enemy.
- From the Desert: Camp access point, make your way to the building with the U-shaped stacked boxes, where also Sorting Trouble 3 happens. You need to jump across the large road onto the building on the other side.
- Head right from Anemone into the side-scrolling section of the camp. Follow the path all the way to the end.
- Located to the left of the Access Point, behind some containers.
Desert Zone Area
- Located in Desert: Oil Field, up the ramp.
- Located on a drop-down in the Desert: Camp area - follow the undergrounds caverns to the end to find.
- Located in a hidden corner in the Desert: Camp area. After emerging from the previous chest, do a dash-and jump to reach the opposite side, then do it again and drop down to find the chest.
- Located by the YoRHa unit that is taking refuge from the sandstorm by the oasis in the far side of the map. Same location as Photographs.
Desert Housing Area
- Located near the Desert Housing access point, where you later meet Sartre's Fan.
- From the access point, exit towards the Desert Zone. When you are on the emptier space, go left and keep going until you find an opening on the broken building. The chest is in the opening.
- Across the river of sand on the loop around back to the Desert Housing area
- Located near Park Ruins: Attraction Sq, at the foot of the broken flat ride
- On the patch of grass to the left of where the tank arrives just before the rollercoaster
- After defeating the boss of the Amusment Park, there's a chest to the far left of the next room behind the counter
- In the same room, head down the corridor to the left as you walk down the stairs. Board the elevator and walk to the far right of the surveillance room to find another
- From where Pascal is talking to some children, continue to the left and go down the first ladder you see.
- Located right by the Flooded City: Coast access point.
- Located on a building in the middle of the water. Access by going to the broken building on the water near the yellow bus and apologetic machine
- During the Obtain Keys quest during your third playthrough, you'll discover around 7 different locked chests within its various locations
- Located in a hollow aqueduct. Keep left from the entrance and go down towards the water, walk to the edge of a broken aqueduct/bridge and drop down inside it
- Located at the root of giant trees up a slope from where you found the last chest, before you meet a group of machines led by a mounted Knight.
- Located to the left of the entrance to the castle, after going across the large moat (Forest Castle: Front Access Point)
- Located inside the caslte - go all the way to the right until you reach a dead end and begin going up. Before proceeding back left on the upper floors, look for a way to jump back to the third floor rightmost room.
- Located in a deeper section of Forest Zone. From Forest: Center access point, follow the river down until a big drop. Find a ledge you can drop down onto, and continue going down the uneven slopes until you find the chest.
- Located at the bottom of the Canyon, next to the regular chest with the Phoenix Dagger. Accessed in quest Lord of the Valley.
- Located inside the Tower, to the right of the bridge to the first YoRHa units you see after you enter.
- Located behind broken pillars in the room where 9S gets a new arm.