A portal key (often just called a key) is an item which permits agents to create links and remotely recharge portals.
Obtaining a Portal Key
When you hack a portal, about 75% of the time you will receive a key for that portal if you don’t already have one. (Note that portal keys are specific to the portal from which they are hacked; they aren’t interchangeable with keys from other portals.) There are several ways to get another key for a portal when you already have one:
- Use the “Request Key” option in the Hack menu.
- Use the MORE command glyph before a glyph hack.
- Put your existing keys into a capsule before you hack.
- Drop your keys before you hack.
- Put your keys in a quantum capsule for duplication.
Drone hacks never yield keys.
If you don’t have a key for a portal and would rather not get one when you hack, you can select the “No Key” option in the Hack menu, or use the LESS command glyph before a glyph hack.
When links are destroyed, the portal keys used to create them are dropped at the origin portal. Look on the ground near the portal for small rectangular objects and pick them up; those are portal keys that go to the remote portals.
If you wish to free up inventory space, portal keys can be transferred into a premium capsule called a key locker. They can only contain keys, but their contents don’t count against your inventory cap. Key lockers can be obtained from the store.
See the Link and Recharge articles for information about using portal keys.
It should be noted that portal keys are worth 500 XM each when recycled, five times as much as a very rare item. Unneeded keys are a good alternative source of XM if you are out of power cubes.