I've got a golden ticket!
I've got a golden chance to make my way!
When Charlie Bucket opened up that golden ticket, he probably wasn't thinking that Willy Wonka was going to give him a sweet-ass sniper rifle, or a shield that generates ammo. And yet, in Borderlands 2, a similar golden key can give you those very things.
I'm late to the party on the whole golden key thing. I got a press copy of the game, which is the same as a pre-ordered copy, and so it came with a golden key. Immediately upon arriving in Sanctuary, I found a big weapon container.
"Yay," I thought. "A weapon container!"
I did what you usually do with weapon containers in this game: I opened it. Inside were two beautiful sniper rifles, far more glorious than anything I had picked up in the first few levels of the game. I used one of those sniper rifles for the next six or eight hours of the game, until I finally found something better.
I didn't know at the time that I'd used my one and only golden key, which allows me to open that single loot chest and get two super-rare pieces of gear. I figured it out much later, and felt a little disappointed. I wanted another golden key!
Fortunately, there's a really easy way to get one. (Well, there is also a hack that lets you generate infinite keys, but I haven't tried that, as well as an Xbox glitch, but I don't want to go THAT far, and I'd imagine that stuff will be patched out of the game eventually, anyway.) My way involves no trickery or profile.bin finagling.
It's simple—so simple, that I'm sure you hardcore Borderlands 2 players have already done it. But if you haven't, I thought I'd let you know: All you have to do is sign up for Gearbox's free "Shift" service and you'll get a free golden key. You can even just delete your account immediately afterwards, if you don't like having that kind of extraneous gaming account (I sure don't.)
Here's how: First, go to Gearbox's "Shift" online service and sign up. You'll get a confirmation email, so go ahead and confirm.
Then, go into your Borderlands 2 game and find the "Shift Code" option. You won't have to enter a Shift code—you'll just have to enter the login info you just made.
You'll be prompted to enter a code, but you already have your free golden key. When you boot up the game, you should see this dialogue box:
Hooray! You can now go get a sweet piece of kit anytime you want.
If you don't want to keep your shift account, it's very easy to delete:
And there you have it. I got a super powerful shield that sometimes will absorb bullets and add to my ammo count. Sweet!