I've been seeing people mention in chat that they have a bunch of copies of keys for the same portal. How are they doing this? I feel like I have a hard enough time getting one copy of a key for most portals.

6 Answers 6


Before recent changes about portal key generation to own multiple keys of the same portal you had to drop the key of the aimed portal before hacking it. Then, you had chances to gain a second portal, grab the dropped key and you had two keys.

Now that portal keys are much rarest when hacking, you can gain a key even if you were already carrying the same portal key, but you'll have to be patient and persistent.

Note that sometimes, when making a big XMP blast on an enemy resonator, a portal can drop a portal key (his key or a key of the linked portal).

EDIT January 2014 : since a few weeks, if you already hold a portal key, you have nearly 0% of chances to get another one. To obtain a new key, drop the keys you own, then hack and you'll probably get a new key (~80%)

  • 3
    As of now (1/3/2014) you'll still increase your chances of getting a portal key by dropping any keys you have for that portal before hacking it. It seems you have about a 50% chance of getting a key for a portal if you don't already have it, whereas if you have it, it's some much lower percentage (I'd estimate <= 10%).
    – Doktor J
    Jan 3, 2014 at 16:39
  • 1
    As of version 1.90.1 you can also enter the "MORE" glyph command when glyph-hacking to specifically ask for a key. The hack then behaves as if you didn't have a key on you (so it still doesn't always give you one, but it does with the same rate as when you have no keys)
    – Joubarc
    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:04

Wow, ok all these answers are super out of date.

Methods of obtaining multiple portal keys:

Method the first: Glyph Hacking

When you glyph hack, you can enter the More glyph into the Command Channel to request a key. This makes a key a potential hack reward irrespective of how many keys are currently in your inventory. Note that there is a chance that the portal will not give you a new key, just like if you hacked a portal with no key in your inventory.

Method the second: Putting Keys in Capsules

If you have a key inside a capsule (Blue Capsule/MUFG/Quantum/Key Capsule) you can hack another key from a portal. This works for both standard hacking or glyph hacking with or without entering the More glyph.

Method the third: Dropping keys

If you drop a key you are holding (so that there are no un-capsuled keys in your inventory), you can hack another key from the portal.

As a side note, if a portal fracker is applied, it will double the hack output for all items including keys, which means that you can get 2 keys from one hack.


They try. And try again. . I doubt that there are any factors besides random chance involved.

One enemy portal which I hack at most twice daily has given me three keys during the last two weeks or so; I've got no keys from some others which I hack three times as often.

  • This is just plain wrong. There is definite information on key drops that involve how many keys to that portal you currently have in your inventory. Jan 22, 2014 at 17:32
  • Note that my answer is woefully out of date. Jan 22, 2014 at 21:39

Keys are issued randomly and the random chance of getting one fluctuates quite a bit at the moment as the game devs settle the tuning. I'm getting lots of keys again now, where is a two days ago I was getting nothing.

You can't 'normaly' carry two keys from the same portal in your inventory at the same time, but there is a workaround which I've read about (but not tried). If you get a key, take it somewhere safe and "drop" it. go back to the same portal, and should you get another key you can keep it. Go back to where you dropped the first one and pick it back up, you should (allegedly) have two keys for the same portal in your inventory.

^^^ That is nonsense. I've now got multiple keys for portals in my inventory.

  • Actually, just today I ended up with 2 copies of the key for 2 different portals, so I'm not sure it's not 'normal'.
    – wolfcastle
    Jan 7, 2013 at 3:13

Chances seem greater to hack an extra portal key when you "hide" the one in inventory in a capsule, if you are lucky enough to have one.

  • Not sure why this is downvoted - according to what I've seen people say, putting a key in a capsule means that the game treats it like it is not in your inventory and therefore gives you >0% hack rate.
    – Daenyth
    May 8, 2014 at 20:39
  • I think the reason for the downvote is the "Chances seem greater" part of the answer. This process is not based on some kind of statistics. If you put all the keys of the portal into a capsule the dice for getting a key from the hack rolls, if you don't do it, then it won't roll.
    – Montag451
    Dec 3, 2014 at 8:27

You can also put a key in a capsule and then hack it again. I do this quite often.

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