The Marvel's Avengers beta doesn't always explain how every single item works in the game, but one of the most important thing you might accidentally find in your inventory is something called a DNA Key. Even though progress won't carry over into the full game, DNA Keys are still crucial to character advancement both in this early build and in the final product — so you'd do well to familiarize yourself with this mechanic.
Here's everything to know about DNA Keys in Marvel's Avengers.
What is a DNA Key in Marvel's Avengers?
A DNA Keys is a rare item used to unlock gear chests called DNA Chests. With every DNA Key, you can unlock one DNA Chest. Each DNA Chest has a higher chance of housing a rare item than normal chests. From Inverse's testing, all DNA Chests hold five-star items. The items in DNA chests are also guaranteed to be at least blue in rarity. Chests will also provide a lode of rare resources, used to upgrade your gear.
In other words, acquiring DNA Keys and unlocking DNA Chests seems to be the most effective way to grind for better gear to advance your heroes in the game. Thus far, it looks like you can only hold a single DNA Key at a time and then take it to unlock a single DNA Chest, so the cycle of hunting for both seems like the core loot grind.
If you can get your hands on some DNA Chest loot, you're guaranteed to take your loadout to the next level.
How do you get a DNA Key in Marvel's Avengers?
You can acquire a DNA Key by completing missions with a DNA Key drop. These will be labeled on the mission while you're selecting them on the War Table. In the beta, the only mission with this label is "To Tame a Titan." You have the potential to acquire a DNA Key via a drop after defeating the mission's boss, the Warbot.
There will presumably be more places to hunt down DNA Keys than this when the full game launches. DNA Keys seem to be obtained by completing character-driven missions, which explains why "To Tame a Titan" is included, as it focuses on Hulk. Upon launch, every playable character will have their own mission questlines, providing even more opportunities to utilize DNA Keys.
Where do you use a DNA Key in Marvel's Avengers?
Now that you've gone and earned your very own DNA Key, how do you use the darn thing? All you need to do is locate a DNA Chest to put your key to use. Unfortunately, these are a bit difficult to locate in the beta. The only DNA Chest available is located in the Snowy Tundra Drop Zone, and the above video shows where it is located on a tower-like structure you must fly to as Iron Man.
The Snowy Tundra area isn't automatically available from the War Table, so you'll have to first unlock the secret mission by receiving the coordinates as a random loot drop during the "Stark Realities" mission.
After that, you'll have everything you need to start farming for the best loot in the Avengers beta.
Marvel's Avengers beta is now available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC