Occasionally throughout your superhero journey in the Marvel's Avengers game, you might randomly obtain a seemingly enigmatic item called a "DNA Key." Don't be alarmed, but this is quite possibly the most valuable currency in your entire inventory, and it's crucial once you reach endgame content and want to power-level your heroes. So what exactly are DNA Keys? And how can you use them to gain some of the best gear in the game?
Here's everything to know about DNA Keys in Marvel's Avengers.
What is a DNA Key in Marvel's Avengers?
A DNA Key is an item used to unlock rare loot strongboxes called DNA Strongboxes.
For each DNA Key, you can unlock a single DNA Strongboxes. These chests are special because each one has a higher chance of housing a rare item than a regular chest. From Inverse's testing, all DNA Strongboxes hold five-star items, and they're guaranteed to be at least blue in rarity. Chests will also provide a lode of rare resources used to upgrade your gear.
For example, they can provide Upgrade Modules, which is used to improve endgame-level gear beginning at Power Level 130. (This is possibly the best way to farm Upgrade Modules in the entire game.)
If you can get your hands on some DNA Strongbox 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 flagged. Any mission that includes one of Marvel's Avengers' numerous bosses will also grant you a DNA Key.
If you fight Taskmaster, the Warbot, Abomination, and any other boss, you'll receive a DNA Key after your clash. However, Game Rant reports that DNA Keys are only dropped by human bosses. So any mutant or monstrous bosses like the Abomination won't drop them. To be safe, it's probably best to stick to fighting the Taskmaster as much as possible.
If you want a surefire way to accrue DNA Keys, make sure to complete both daily Villain Sector missions, found by speaking to the SHIELD and Inhuman representatives in the Chimera and Anthill, respectively.
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 Strongboxes to put your key to use. Inverse has only found DNA Strongboxes in SHIELD Vault missions thus far.
When you enter a SHIELD Vault, DNA Strongboxes won't have a marker on the HUD like other chests in the mission, so you'll have to keep your eye out. Unlike other chests, DNA Strongboxes have a navy coloring. They can often be found adjacent to waypoint Strongboxes in vaults. If you'd like to find one, try visiting every waypoint in a SHIELD Vault while you have a DNA Key in hand.
If you're having difficulty finding the actual SHIELD Vaults, you can try unlocking a few by completing side objectives in missions with SHIELD caches. You can get started by entering the Stark Realities mission. Follow the dried river that's on your left when you begin the mission. You'll eventually activate a SHIELD cache radar. If you can locate the cache itself, you'll obtain coordinates for a SHIELD Vault, bringing you one step closer to using your DNA Key.
If you're having trouble leveling yourself up enough for DNA Keys to matter, read: "How to max out your Marvel's Avengers character in 90 minutes."
Marvel's Avengers is currently available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.