One of the more confusing parts of Marvel’s Avengers economy are the DNA Keys, which can be used to unlock some of the highest rated gear in the game. Unfortunately, the road to get these keys is a little complicated.
First of all, let’s explain what a DNA Key actually is and what it does. These special keys unlock the DNA chests that can be found within secret vaults. That may sound simple, but there are a few steps involved to even use a key, let alone actually getting it in the first place.
The first thing you need to do is find the vault in the mission Stark Realities. This mission contains a secret vault that you’ll need to find by using the radar in the top left corner. Follow this radar to the vault and open it to find the DNA Strongbox that you’ll need the key to unlock. From this point onwards DNA Keys will start spawning.
DNA Keys are unique key items, which can be obtained as a reward for certain missions. So far they can only be obtained in Villain Sector missions such as "To Tame A Titan" and "Alternate Visions". To get the key you need to defeat the boss at the end of the villain sector mission, and a key should be dropped by the boss. To get these missions you need to accept them from a faction leader, either from the Helicarrier or the Ant Hill. The keys are consumed upon use and you can only do two villain sectors a day so the most DNA Keys you can grind out in one session is two.
DNA Keys are used to open DNA Strongboxes that contain high level loot and upgrade modules that can be used to upgrade your gear. If you’re going to attempt later missions in the game, you’re going to want to have the strongest gear possible. As Marvel’s Avengers continues to be updated there may be more methods and villain sectors created that will drop DNA Keys but currently they’re pretty obtuse to get.