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I just received a Mann-Co Supply Crate from the TF2 random drop system -- but it says it's locked.

I see that a key is available for purchase in the TF2 Store (for $2.50), but I have no interest in micro-transactions. Is there any other way to acquire a key or otherwise open the crate?

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there goes the drop rate! –  alexanderpas Oct 3 '10 at 22:24
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I suggest you to trade it for a reclaimed metal –  Drake Oct 4 '10 at 12:18
    
@Drake The only crates worth anything are the salvaged ones. –  Austin Mohr Jun 12 '13 at 19:44

2 Answers 2

up vote 13 down vote accepted

It looks like you may have to shell out for the key if you want to open the crate.

This is from the TF2 wiki about the Supply Crate Key: "They are only obtainable from the store so far and there are no plans to make them available via the Item drop system."

As per the October 20th update the key to open a supply crate was made tradable.

Source: TF2 Wiki

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And they're 2.50 at the store too, while the minimum purchase is 5.00. Clever valve. Very clever. grumble –  Raven Dreamer Oct 4 '10 at 4:17
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Wrong, the minimum amount you can charge is 5.00. The minimum purchase is the item price. If you charge 5.00 and you buy for 2.50 you still have 2.50 in your wallet that you can use whenever you want to purchase whatever you want. –  Drake Oct 4 '10 at 12:17
    
Additionally, you can use money in your wallet towards full game purchases on Steam. –  MBraedley Oct 5 '10 at 3:12
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This answer is plainly wrong right now, October 20 patch changed the right answer to the opposite. –  Malcolm Dec 12 '10 at 11:26
    
@Malcolm Thanks for the update, I fixed the answer to reflect the patch –  Rapida Dec 12 '10 at 14:18

There is! You can trade for this key with other players.

Keys were not tradable initially, but October 20 patch changed that, so now you can exchange something for the key.

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