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 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 had 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!