Toward the end of Prey, the main story objectives all become intertwined. This objective, "The Keys to the Kingdom," starts during "Restore from Backup," pauses during "Shipping and Receiving" and its associated "Cargo Bay Defenses" and then "Reboot," then branches into "Before I Give You The Key" which, in turn, launches "The Repo Man," putting itself on hold until that last one is completed. And "The Repo Man" has several optional objectives branching off from it. We know it sounds confusing, but it’s entirely manageable — you just can’t work the objectives one at a time.
Table of contents
To save you the trouble of juggling multiple walkthroughs, we’re going to walk you through all of them at once chronologically (well, chronologically-ish). We’ll start when you fabricate your arming key — presumably during "Restore from Backup" — and label each section below with the name of the objective first, followed by the task.
- Watch the video in Alex’s office
- Get the chipset for scanning coral from Alex’s desk and install it
- Scan the Coral in the Exterior
- Upload the scan data with Alex’s terminal
- Information Booth
- Shuttle Control Room
- Shutting down military operator dispensers
- Mia Bayer’s Office
- Shuttle Control Room
- Turn on the grav lifts
- Activate the airlock
- Access Dahl’s command shuttle
- Search Dahl’s Shuttle for clues to his tech officer’s location
- Disable Dahl’s Tech Officer
The Keys to the Kingdom
Making a key, and then traveling to the Arboretum.
Fabricate your Arming Key
After you install the backup drive during "Restore from Backup," Danielle’s computer will provide you with the fabrication plan for Morgan’s Arming Key. You can create it immediately at the fabricator in Danielle’s office, or wait and build it at any fabricator you encounter later. Fabricating it starts the "The Keys to the Kingdom" objective.
Get Alex’s Arming Key (Arboretum)
This task show up as soon as you pick up the "The Keys to the Kingdom" objective, but all of the other main story events prevent you from doing anything about it. You’ll have to complete "Restore from Backup" by escaping, then work through "Shipping and Receiving" and its associated "Cargo Bay Defenses" and then "Reboot." Once you get the station opened back up to you at the end of "Reboot," Alex will call and ask you to meet him in his office. This puts "Get Alex’s Arming Key" on hold and starts a new objective, "Before I Give You the Key."
Before I Give You The Key
From Alex’s office to the Talos 1 Exterior, back to Alex’s office.
Watch the video in Alex’s office
When you get back to Alex’s office in the Arboretum, you can use the grav lift keycode he gave you so you don’t have to climb up the side this time. Check his computer for a new entry on the utilities tab. Play "WatchMe.Lgv."
Alex will call you after you’re done and talk to you about your next step.
Get the chipset for scanning coral from Alex’s desk and install it
There’s no trick to this. Just wait until the end of your phone call with Alex and the Coral Detector 64Si scope chipset will appear on the desk to the right of the computer. You might have to do some rearranging, but you’ll only need to have it equipped for a short time.
Scan the Coral in the Exterior
Make sure the "Before I Give You The Key" objective is active in your menu, then head outside of the station through one of the airlocks.
There are two nodes to scan, close together. They’re located about halfway up the station between the Lobby and the Arboretum. The best approach to finding them (since you can leave from any of several different airlocks) is to fly straight out from the station, then turn around and locate the markers on your HUD.
You’ll have to fight through a few typhons and corrupted operators on your way to the coral nodes, so take your time. With your new Coral Detector 64Si scope chipset installed, follow the HUD markers to the nodes and scan them.
After you scan the second node, Alex will call again and ask you to load the data onto the computer in his office. He’ll also warn you about a recent shuttle launch by the TranStar board of directors.
Upload the scan data with Alex’s terminal
Get back to Alex’s office in the Arboretum, and access Alex’s computer again. There’s another new option on the utilities tab for "Coral Data Management" that will let you upload the scanned data you just collected.
Before it completes, though, everything goes sideways. That shuttle launch Alex warned you about delivers Walther Dahl to Talos 1. He starts his takeover as soon as he lands. His interruption closes out "Before I Give You The Key" and starts several optional objectives along with Prey’s "The Repo Man" main story objective.
The Keys to the Kingdom (continued)
Alex is in hiding until Dahl and his tech officer are disabled
With Dahl’s arrival, Alex goes into hiding. This effectively pauses "The Keys to the Kingdom" until you sort out Dahl.
January will call you shortly after Dahl arrives with a plan to make it harder for Dahl to track you. January suggests that you should turn off your tracking bracelet and gives you the "Ghosting Dahl" optional objective.
Tracking bracelets are controlled from a computer in Danielle Sho’s office in Deep Storage — you were in her office during "Restore From Backup." From the main hallway in Deep Storage, take the stairs on the right toward the Data Vaults, then take the catwalk on your right across to her office. The only thing you need to do to complete this objective is enter your Bracelet ID — 9013 — into the Personnel Tracking computer in Danielle’s office.
Dahl Ultimatum and/or Incapacitate Dahl
These two objectives are closely tied — in fact, if you complete "Incapacitate Dahl" fast enough, he’ll never get around to starting "Dahl Ultimatum," so we’ll start there.
Assuming you completed "Doctor Igwe" and saved him during "Shipping and Receiving," Dr. Igwe will call you after Dahl’s arrival with a plan. You just have to incapacitate Dahl without killing him. But you’ll have to find him first.
He’s down in Life Support in the Oxygen Flow Control Room, which is on the right side of the Atmosphere Control Room. (You’ll be on the other side of Atmosphere Control during "Missing Engineer" optional objective.) With your tracking bracelet deactivated, he won’t see you coming. Just draw your Disruptor Stun Gun and drop him. This will let you completely skip over "Dahl Ultimatum."
If you don’t take out (incapacitate, above) Dahl before you head toward the Shuttle Bay, he’ll threaten all of the survivors down in the Cargo Bay in an effort to dissuade you. He’ll use the controls down in Atmosphere Control to pump the oxygen out of their sanctuary.
From here, the process is the same as above. Spoiler: He’s in Life Support in the Oxygen Flow Control Room which is on the right side of the Atmosphere Control Room. This time, though, when you incapacitate him (to whatever degree of permanence you can morally justify), you’ll also have to repair the Talos 1 Oxygen Control panel on the right side of the room.
Incapacitate Dahl — Activate the Neuromod removal process
If Dahl survives his encounter with you during his ultimatum or when you incapacitating him, Dr. Igwe will retrieve him and take him to Neuromod Division. You’ll get another call from Dr. Igwe asking you to meet him in the Neuromod Insertion Room.
The Neuromod Insertion Room is on the second floor of the Neuromod Division. You may have been up here before to explore the Volunteer Quarters and the Simulation Debriefing Room. When you meet up with Dr. Igwe and the unconscious Dahl, everything is prepped. All that’s left if for you to push the button(s).
Go to the computer next to the chamber. You’ll have to hit a series of buttons here. On the Surgical Procedures menu, press Engage Surgical Harness. Then switch to Neural Scan, and hit Preform Neural Scan. Now you can switch back to Surgical Procedures to choose Perform Neurotomy. (You can play and stop the debriefing as much as you want, but it doesn’t affect anything.)
After you and Igwe have handled Dahl, the "Incapacitate Dahl" objective will go on hold until you complete "The Repo Man" (which we’ve been ignoring so far in this guide). So let’s take care of that now.
The Repo Man
Dahl’s shuttle is unsurprisingly docked in the Shuttle Bay, which you can access from the Talos 1 Lobby. This is an area you probably haven’t explored yet, so take a minute to get a feel for it. You only have one task to complete here, but there are a lot of steps involved.
Shuttle Control Room keycard
Start with the Sky Lounge right ahead of you and on your left. Sweep the room for stuff to pick up, then turn your attention to the bookcase in the middle of the room. Climb to the top of the bookcase and take a swing at the "window" above you to smash the Looking Glass display.
Poke your head up through the ceiling and look around. There is a vent on the left side of the room that will drop into the Pilot Planning Room. Make your way over to it and drop through.
Pick up everything in here that’s not nailed down. There’s a TranScribe and a white board that will both point you toward the "Shuttle Advent" optional objective if you haven’t done it yet. Make sure to check all the lockers for loot, but the most important thing you’ll find in here is the Shuttle Control Room keycard.
Use the button to unlock the door and get into the hallway. To your left, there’s a staircase that leads down to another escape pod bay. To your right is the main hangar of the Shuttle Bay. There’s an optional mission in the escape pod bay, but it overlaps with everything you’re doing here, so go pick it up.
As soon as you enter, you’ll get a call from Nils Kjaergaard. He and Mia Bayer are trapped in a half-launched escape pod. You’ll have a couple steps before you can save them, but you’re going to be going right past them while you take care of the rest of your business in the Shuttle Bay.
The Repo Man
Head back upstairs and work your way around to where you entered the Shuttle Bay. In front of you on the right is an Information Booth, to your immediate right is a smoking lounge. Before we introduce you to the big shortcut in this area, let’s open up the Information Booth. Head straight forward to the main window and use your Huntress Bowcaster to push the override button on the opposite wall.
Head back to the smoking lounge area. Jump up and climb onto the wall that surrounds it. Now you can jump to the hanging ceiling-thing. This gives you access to a maintenance access tunnel.
Drop down on the other side of the wall. There’s a note on the grav lift behind you about why they’re not working, but you don’t have to worry about them right now. Turn to your left where you’ll see two doors. The one on your left is the Employee Entrance door that leads back to the main lobby area. The one in front of you is the Information Booth door you just opened with your Huntress Bowcaster.
Pick up everything inside the Information Booth. If you have Hacking 2, you can download an area map from the computer.
Shuttle Control Room
When you’re done in the Information Booth, head back to the main lobby area and climb back up into the maintenance access tunnel, or use some combination of your GLOO cannon, the GLOO already there and the ledges to climb back up. This time, follow the large pipe ahead of you as it jogs to the right, then across the room into another maintenance tunnel.
When you climb out the other end, you’ll be in one of the plant displays. Smash through the glass. There’s an operator dispenser directly ahead of you that is probably still pumping out military operators. We’ve got a trick for that.
Shutting down military operator dispensers
Military operators are a pain to deal with, and they don’t stop coming. Instead of wasting your ammo, health and patience dealing with them, wouldn’t it be nice to shut down the dispenser? Sadly, that’s impossible. But there is a way to trick it.
There’s nothing subtle about this trick, but it works. Ready? Just pile crap in front of the dispenser. It will sense the obstruction and stop churning out operators. That’s it.
Mia Bayer’s Office
There is an office to your left when you come out onto this balcony. Duck inside and sweep it for stuff to pick up. There’s a suit chipset on her desk along with a psi hypo. If you have hacking 3, you can get into both her computer and her safe.
Shuttle Control Room
Just to the left of the operator dispenser, there is/was a destroyed walkway. You can make the jump with a running start. Use the Shuttle Control Room keycard you picked up from the Pilot Planning Room to get inside.
Do a quick sweep for loot, then head to the computer on the left in front of the big windows. Hit both buttons — "Extend Jetway" will give you access to the shuttle, and "Flight System Check" just seems like a good idea. (It’ll ultimately allow you to choose an alternate ending, if you wish).
Now you just have to get back down to the jetway.
Turn on the grav lifts
While you’re backtracking, it makes sense to take a quick detour. Getting the grav lifts back on will make navigating the Shuttle Bay a lot easier. Backtrack to the back door to the Information Booth. Head past the grav lifts and out the Mechanic Pit door.
Work your way all the way to the bottom. There’s a locked door on the left wall — basically under the Information Booth — with a voltaic phantom behind it. Use the Shuttle Control Room keycard to open it (because why not use the same card) and handle the phantom.
There’s a bathroom on the right with a couple of items to pick up. Then go into the Tooling room on the left. Use your GLOO cannon to put out the flaming corpse, then loot it (she doesn’t have anything exciting, though). Turn your attention to the computer and use the utilities tab to turn the grav lifts back on.
Before you head back into the Mechanic Pit, use your GLOO to put out the fires at the end of the hall. There’s a room here with a bunch of loot — a medkit, a neuromod and a GLOO cannon fabrication plan — and a fabricator.
Activate the airlock
Before you head back up top, there’s one more thing you can take care of down here. The airlock needs to be activated. It’s on the far left wall if you’re facing the shuttle. There’s also a convenient now-working grav lift on your left that will take you right back up to the jetway.
While you’re right here, take a minute to complete "Escape Attempt."
Access Dahl’s command shuttle
With all of that taken care of, you can finally get on board Dahl’s shuttle. There’s no trick to it — just walk up the jetway and through the door.
Search Dahl’s Shuttle for clues to his tech officer’s location
There’s a lot of food to pick up in the cabin, but your main goal here is on the computer up by the cockpit. Use it to transfer the "Mission Parameters" file to yourself.
If you grabbed the Dahl’s Cargo Hold keycard from him (and you probably did), head toward the aft and loot the supply crate behind the locked door for two recycler charges and two neuromods.
Disable Dahl’s Tech Officer
Alright. There are several ways this task can go. Listening to the "Mission Parameters" recording should give you a new marker on your HUD that will point you straight to the Tech Officer. If you’re unlucky, it might not — which was our experience in one of our games. Here’s why that matters (and sucks): the Tech Officers appears in one of four places. The "Mission Parameters" recording will give you a general area, but if you don’t have a HUD marker, you’re going to be stuck walking from room to room.
The Tech Officer can appear in four places: Neuromod Division, Hardware Labs, Psychotronics or Talos 1 Exterior. If you’re really lucky (like we were in a different playthrough), it’ll be in the Talos 1 Exterior — there’s an airlock right here that will take you straight to it.
If it’s in one of the other areas, check your objective and get to the general area. If you’ve got a HUD marker, just follow it. If you don’t, just start checking rooms. You’re looking for an operator that’s labelled KASPAR.
When you find KASPAR, your goal is to disable it. You can destroy it or hack it (if you have Hacking 4).
The Keys to the Kingdom (continued)
Alex is ready to meet in the Arboretum
Once KASPAR is handled, Alex will call you and invite you to the Arboretum to talk. Things are going to happen fast when you talk to him, so if you have any outstanding optional objectives, now is your time to wrap them up.
Alex is in his panic room attached to his office in the Arboretum. Take the grav lift up to his office, then turn to the left and follow the balcony around. There’s a panel hidden (poorly) in the wall that will open the safe room.
He’ll come out and talk to you for a bit, and eventually give you the Prototype Nullwave Transmitter Plan, starting the next main story objectives, "A Mind Without Limits" and "Perdition," and completing "The Keys to the Kingdom."
Then things start going really, really bad.
The typhon-monster attack breaks the windows around the Arboretum and shuts down the artificial gravity. Alex is unprepared for this, so it’s up to you to save him (or not, if you don’t feel like it).
Get to Alex before he dies
Maneuver toward Alex and grab him. You can take this opportunity to empty his pockets as well — he’s got the Alex’s Arming Key fabrication plan and Alex’s Arming key, as well as two neuromods and a TranScribe.
Put Alex in his safe room
Drag him back into his safe room. Head inside with him and loot the place. There’s a bunch of food, a medkit and a silenced pistol inside. Get him away from the door, then head back outside.
Use voice lock to shut the safe room door
Play the TranScribe you looted from Alex and push the button outside. This will close and lock the door and save Alex.