What are Golden Keys and Shift Codes exactly?
After spending hours shooting bandits and Maliwan troopers in Borderlands 3, you might notice a locked Golden Chest tucked away in a corner of Sanctuary. You might spend a moment wondering how to open this mysterious chest but inevitably settle on the hope that the answer to that question will be detailed to you later in the story. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. You can only open that Golden Chest with a Golden Key, and you can only earn these through a few specific methods, which includes the much-talked-about Shift Codes. But here's how all of these systems work and what they do.
The first method is by getting it through pre-ordering Borderlands 3, which earns you five Golden Keys. The second method involves obtaining Shift Codes that you can redeem for a chance to receive some Golden Keys. These have historically been distributed by Gearbox via newsletters and social media channels--in fact, Gearbox's Randy Pitchford shared one on Twitter over the launch weekend. This code has since expired, but we can likely look forward to more of these being posted online in the future. When you do get an active Shift Code, you can plug it into the Shift Code section in the main menu or the Borderlands VIP site. Speaking of which, you can also get Golden Keys by using Borderlands VIP points.
The other course of action you can take for Golden Keys is to bank on the third method, which is to wait for any of the upcoming free content updates, such as the Halloween-themed Bloody Harvest event in October. For a full breakdown of that content, be sure to read our article explaining all the post-release DLC.
Borderlands 3 News
For more Borderlands 3, be sure to check out our Borderlands 3 beginner's guide and all the best Legendary, Very Rare, and Rare guns we've found so far. We've also prepared a handy guide on which character you should choose before starting the game. But for everything else, read our roundup of all things Borderlands 3.
In our Borderlands 3 review, author Jordan Ramee gave the game an 8/10 and said, "Borderlands 3 has a few stumbling blocks when it comes to bosses, but these fights are overshadowed by the game's rewarding gunplay and over-the-top humor. The game's character-driven narrative acts as a satisfying finale for the loot-shooter franchise, and the new mechanics and features--especially the reworked skill trees and weapon manufacturer effects--give you plenty of agency in how you want to play through it. If you've never been a fan of the franchise, it's unlikely Borderlands 3 does enough things differently to change your mind, as the game best excels at continuing what the series has always done: deliver a humorous tall tale of misfits looting and shooting their way to heroism."