Where to get an Ancient Key and what it does in No Man's Sky

Learn the purpose of the Ancient Key and where to get one in No Man's Sky.

No Man's Sky's Next update has added a huge range of new features to the game, and among them are plenty of new mysteries to uncover like the Ancient Key. Whether you've found one yourself in the wild or heard about them from a friend, it's readily apparent from the name that the Ancient Key holds more purpose than to be sold off for some units. In this article we'll teach you where to get an Ancient Key and what it does in No Man's Sky.

(Looking to try out Multiplayer in Next? Here's how to join on your Friends.)

How to get an Ancient Key

A new addition to the game, getting an Ancient Key requires making use of the scanning tech at your disposal. Each time you land on a planet you need to use your and Scanner to search for Artifact Fragments. These will be hidden in buried ruins scattered around the universe. When you find a ruin you'll know you're in the right spot and need to use your Terrain Manipulator to access it. Inside you'll need to search for the Artifact Fragments which look like small crates. Inside the Artifact Fragments is, you guessed it, an Ancient Key.

What does the Ancient Key do?

The Ancient Key can be sold for a tidy sum of 1,000 Units if you're feeling lazy, but it also has a more valuable purpose. Being a key and all, you won't be surprised to hear that the Ancient Key is also capable of opening up further treasures. Close to where you find the Artifact Fragments you may also discover Artifact Crates which are mysteriously locked. Each Artifact Crate may take up to three Ancient Keys to unlock, but inside you'll earn yourself a selection of rare resources and items. If you have the time it's far more rewarding to hunt down these crates and use your Ancient Keys on them, as the reward is typically far better than the few thousand units you'd get for selling the keys otherwise. 

That's all there is to Ancient Keys, but No Man's Sky Next is hiding plenty more secrets and we've got guides up for plenty of them. Here at AllGamers we can help you earn your first Freighter for free, or teach you how to make Chromatic Metal which is essential for base building.

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video game journalism stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at henry.stenhouse@allgamers.com, or catch him on Twitter.

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