Tom Clancy’s The Division‘s Dark Zones are areas that hold keys, which unlock chests with epic and rare loot. Here’s our guide to helping you find and use the Dark Zone Keys.

With Tom Clancy’s The Division beta kicking off this weekend, there are no doubt hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of gamers anxious to jump in and explore disease-torn New York City. Naturally, one of the most compelling aspects to The Division is its Dark Zones, the PvP areas which promise intense combat and competition.

There’s still a lot to be revealed about The Division’s Dark Zones, but thanks to YouTuber Arekkz Gaming, there’s one aspect to the Dark Zones we now know more about: the Dark Zone Keys. In his video, Arekkz provides a little information about the keys, as well as how players can acquire and use those keys for their benefit in the game.

What Are Dark Zone Keys?

First, what are Dark Zone Keys? Very simply, Dark Zone Keys are used to unlock item chests that have been scattered around the Dark Zones. As one would expect, these chests contain many valuable items that will give players leverage in both the Dark Zones and main campaign of the game.

When the Dark Zones were first announced, Ubisoft revealed they would be home to some challenging enemies and impressive weapons and gear. And considering players need to battle against strong AI foes, as well as fellow players, there’s little doubt the weapons and gear held within these Dark Zone chests will be worth the effort to claim them.

How to Get Dark Zone Keys

Division Dark Zone Keys

As expected, Dark Zone keys can only be acquired within the Dark Zones. That means players will need to venture into the Dark Zones – preferably with team mates at their sides – and seek out enemies to gather the keys.

There are two ways to get a Dark Zone Key. First, taking down high-level enemies. Once again, this will most easily be done with friends, though it’s currently unknown if AI enemies will drop a key for each player, or a single key for one person to claim. If it’s the latter, teams will need to communicate who gets what, or may find themselves fighting each other for the keys.

The other way to get a Dark Zone Key is to kill another player who has one. When a player dies in the Dark Zone, they lose three things: Dark Zone rank points, Dark Zone money, and Dark Zone Keys. Naturally, this shows the importance of choosing friends wisely, as anyone can kill anyone else and claim any dropped keys for themselves.

How to Use Dark Zone Keys

Division Dark Zone Chest

Within the Dark Zones, there are three types of loot chests. The first type can be opened without any Dark Zone Keys, and can be opened by any Division players once they find the chests. Naturally, most of these chests won’t contain any ultra rare items as anyone can open them at any time.

Next up are Dark Zone rank chests, which require players be at a high enough Dark Zone rank to open them. If players don’t yet meet the rank requirement, they’ll need to continue playing through the Dark Zones building rank until they are high enough to open the chests.

Finally, there are the chests that require Dark Zone Keys to open. These are usually stashed behind high-level named enemies, since the loot is worth protection on the part of the game’s AI. It’s a safe bet that if players discover enemies with a yellow health bar, flanked by a couple high-level enemies with purple health bars, there’s a Dark Zone Key chest located nearby.

Where to Find Dark Zone Chests

Division Dark Zone Morgan Library

In the video above, Arekkz shows players a few locations they can find Dark Zone Keys. Arekkz points players to the Morgan Library, an abandoned shopping center, and the end of a particular street as Dark Zone Chest locations.

It’s important to note that this weekend’s beta will only include a small section of the game, so it’s possible the above-mentioned areas won’t be available to players during the beta. However, the Dark Zone Chests should be found there once the full game releases in early March. And, of course, there will be many more chests than these in the final game.

What’s In the Dark Zone Chests

Division Dark Zone Chest Gun

Players will find a variety of loot in the Dark Zone Chests, from weapons to gear to cash. And while many gamers may be hoping for rare weapons, it’s actually the money that may be of most worth.

As Arekkz points out, players can use the money they earn in the Dark Zones to purchase high-level weapons at the Dark Zone vendors. Naturally, the best and most powerful weapons will cost the most money and require higher ranks. That means players will need to spend lots of time venturing through Dark Zones, taking down enemies and players, and collecting Dark Zone Keys to acquire the needed cash for the game’s best weapons and gear.

Unsurprisingly, players will likely form teams and begin farming the chests in the Dark Zone. With that in mind, we highly recommend players work with friends in the Dark Zones, or risk taking on teams of four or more alone.

Additionally, when one player uses a Dark Zone Key to open a chest, the rest of their team can gather around the chest and also collect loot. So working with friends will be a far greater benefit than detriment, so long as said friends don’t turn on each other to steal loot.

Targeted Players

Division Dark Zone Death

Unsurprisingly, there will be many players in the Dark Zones at the same time, hunting for experience, money, and Dark Zone Keys. As players move through the Dark Zones, they will gain notoriety based on the number of enemies and players they kill.

As players gain more notoriety in the Dark Zones, they may find themselves the target of a Manhunt, where other players gain more money, experience, and Dark Zone Keys for killing marked players. With this in mind, it’s probably smart to use Dark Zone Keys fairly often, to avoid collecting – and possibly losing – too many at a time.

Considering how much has gone into The Division’s Dark Zones, it’s likely many players will be spending most, if not all, of their time in the Dark Zones. It’ll be interesting to see how the Dark Zones play out during the beta, and if players catch on to helpful strategies to quickly gaining experience, money, and Dark Zone keys during the beta.

Are you planning to play The Division beta? Let us know in the comments below.

Tom Clancy’s The Division is set to release March 8, 2016 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The beta launches January 28th for Xbox One, and January 29th for PC and PlayStation 4.