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Marvel’s Avengers guide: DNA Keys and DNA Chests

Clear out some Villain Sectors to get bonus loot on your next Vault run

Image: Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix via Polygon
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

In Marvel’s Avengers, Vault missions are the most efficient way to quickly upgrade your gear. In these missions, you’ll likely find some bonus chests that require DNA Keys to open. When you open these chests, you’ll get quite a few upgrade materials and some loot, so they’re well worth your time.

In this Marvel’s Avengers guide, we’ll show you where you can pick up DNA Keys and how to find DNA Chests.

How to get DNA Keys

You can find DNA Keys in your inventory
Image: Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix via Polygon

DNA Keys are easy to farm. All you need to do is complete a Villain SectorMarvel’s Avengers’ version of MMO dungeons and Destiny Strikes. When you defeat the boss, you’ll earn a DNA Key that you can then use to open various chests.

You can check how many DNA Keys you have in your inventory. They’re located at the bottom of your screen, near all of your resources and currencies. The game just pops them up as an additional currency drop when you finish a Villain Sector, so it’s easy to miss the notification if you’re not paying attention. It’s a good idea to check your inventory every so often to make sure you’re not sitting on a pile of them.

Play the two daily Villain Sectors for your Faction vendors, and then do a quick Vault run to use up your keys. This is a great way to improve your characters every day.

Where are the DNA Chests?

A DNA Chest in Marvel’s Avengers
DNA Chests are blue and silver, and they’ll prompt you for a DNA Key when you’re trying to unlock them.
Image: Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix via Polygon

Blue and silver DNA Chests are only in Vault missions. Make sure you load up on keys before you go hunting.

When you first drop into a Vault mission, use your Tactical Awareness button to scan for chests nearby. You won’t find DNA Chests inside the vault, so your best bet is to find them outside. They’re usually nearby other chests in the area. You may find one as a secondary chest in a depot you open, or higher up in a big tower that you climb for another chest.

We’ve found multiple DNA Chests in a single Vault mission, but they’re always nearby other chests. If you have keys to spend, be diligent and you should find one or two chests each run.

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