How to get a Warzone 2 DMZ Stronghold key

Warzone 2
(Image credit: Activision)

A Warzone 2 DMZ Stronghold key can be obtained in multiple ways, usually via killing AI, buying them from buy stations, or via random chest drops. Certain methods have a higher success rate than others though, and once you have a Stronghold Key, how do you use it, and is it even worth it? We can confirm that it is, assuming you're able to handle the resulting challenge (one of the toughest in the Warzone 2 DMZ) - but before we can even get to that point, here's where to find a Stronghold key in the Warzone 2 DMZ and give yourself an early head start.

How to find a Warzone 2 DMZ Stronghold key 

warzone 2 DMZ stronghold key

(Image credit: Activision)

There are multiple ways to get your hands on a DMZ Stronghold key, but one method is certainly easier than others - most players have simply stumbled upon them while getting Warzone 2 AQ Soldier Kills and clearing out enemy AI, which works decently, but is inconsistent since the key drops randomly. This method is tough to rely on because you’ll never know if and when an enemy will drop a key, so we recommend an alternative. 

Instead, you can actually purchase Stronghold keys from Buy Stations for $5,000. Keep in mind, the Stronghold keys don’t always appear at Buy Stations, but this method is more consistent than simply relying on a key to drop from a random AI enemy.

Best DMZ guns

Modern Warfare 2 loadout FSS Hurricane

(Image credit: Activision)

While you have scavenge what you can find in DMZ, knowing what the best Warzone 2 and Modern Warfare 2 guns are, will help you make the best choices. 

What we recommend is jumping into a game with friends so you’re all on the same page. Then, do your best to take out AI and loot the insides of buildings as much as possible. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for safes and cash registers, as these are great sources of cash. In addition, try to pick up as much junk as you can, such as batteries and comic books. Make sure to replace lower-cost items with ones that have a higher value to maximize your inventory space as you work your way toward the Buy Station.

Then, you should be aware of the nearest Stronghold – indicated by a castle icon on the map – along with the closest Buy Station (hopefully they aren’t too far apart). Put your cash together, grab the Stronghold key from the Buy Station, and you’ll be all set for the battle ahead.

A couple of things to note – You only need one Stronghold key to open a Stronghold. So, it’s unnecessary to purchase more than one. This is important to note, because Stronghold keys function differently from Fortress keys (such as a Police Academy Key, for example). Specific Fortresses require multiple keys to access all areas, while all parts of a Stronghold can be opened with only one key. 

The catch is that Stronghold keys cannot be extracted, so you’ll need to collect one each time you drop into Al Mazrah, which does make things a little more complicated. Still, once you get in the habit of collecting cash, visiting a Buy Station, and selling your junk, things will become second nature (just like the process of earning a Loadout in the first Warzone game).

How to infiltrate a Stronghold and collect the White Lotus Intel 

warzone 2 DMZ stronghold key

(Image credit: Activision)

After you acquire a Stronghold key, visit a nearby Stronghold and prepare for a fight. These battles are tough, as each Stronghold is packed to the brim with AI enemies. It’s best to come prepared with lots of armor, stuns or flashes, and plenty of ammo to survive the encounter.

These sections are particularly tough because the enemies inside often have heavy armor of their own, along with riot shields and powerful weapons. As you slowly clear out each room, be on the lookout for gear, as well as the White Lotus Intel item, which is tied to one of the DMZ missions. The White Lotus Intel will drop from an enemy, but it’s random, so be sure to check each body as you make your way through. For best results, we recommend searching every enemy’s backpack right after you take them out, so long as it’s safe.

warzone 2 DMZ stronghold key

(Image credit: Activision)

It’s also important to be aware that enemies will continue flooding in from the outside, so try to be aware of the doors you came through. AI enemies have a tendency to catch players from behind, which is never fun, especially after putting in the time to break into the Stronghold.

After it’s clear, make sure you grab the White Lotus Intel before heading to the Exfil point. With this, you’ll want to just be cautious of other players, as well as AI enemies, as they’ll likely get in your way.

If an Exfil zone looks too hot, we recommend picking another, less busy location so you can extract with the White Lotus Intel. With a little luck and some coordination, you should be able to get through without losing all your gear.

Joseph Yaden

Joseph loves Nintendo and horror games. With the Nintendo Switch, he's ready to get spooky anytime, anywhere. He specializes in covering Call of Duty: Warzone and action RPGs like Dark Souls, so you can bet he's looking forward to Elden Ring, the brainchild of George RR Martin and Hidetaka Miyazaki. You can find Joseph's work at GamesRadar, Digital Trends, Inverse, and PLAY Magazine. When he's not writing about video games he can usually be found petting his cats and listening to some Progressive Metal. He thinks Meshuggah is tight.