Many of the instances in the game require keys or attunement to enter, or to reach their entrances without needing to go through the lesser dungeons in front of them. Some are easy to obtain. Some are long and difficult quests.

Heroic Mode Dungeons

To enter heroic mode versions of any of the Outland instances, players must attain honored reputation status with a different faction depending on which instance. Once correct reputation status is obtained, the keys can simply be purchased from that faction's quartermaster.

Below are the instances and their respective factions.

Dungeon Key Faction
Hellfire Citadel  [Flamewrought Key]

Honor Hold (Alliance)
Thrallmar (Horde)

Coilfang Reservoir  [Reservoir Key] Cenarion Expedition
Auchindoun  [Auchenai Key] Lower City
Tempest Keep  [Warpforged Key] Sha'tar
Caverns of Time  [Key of Time] Keepers of Time


As of March 25, 2008 - Karazhan no longer requires attunement. As of June 28, 2011 - The key no longer exists and is no longer necessary to open the doors.
Main article: The Master's Key

Attunement for Karazhan involves obtaining [The Master's Key] through a fairly extensive quest chain. It begins with Neutral Archmage Alturus of The Violet Eye just outside the tower itself.

Hellfire Citadel

The Shattered Halls

Main article: Shattered Halls Key

The quest line to obtain the [Shattered Halls Key] begins from a drop off of Mob Smith Gorlunk on the Ata'mal Terrace near the Black Temple in Shadowmoon Valley. The item [Primed Key Mold] begins the chain. Only one person needs the key for the group to enter. A rogue with 350 lockpicking skill can also open the gate.

Coilfang Reservoir

Serpentshrine Cavern

As of June 19, 2007 - Serpentshrine Cavern no longer requires attunement
Main article: Serpentshrine Cavern#Attunement.


Shadow Labyrinth

Tempest Keep

Note that to enter Tempest Keep, you will need to have a flying mount or have warlock summon you into the instance.

The Arcatraz

Main article: Key to the Arcatraz

The quest line for [Key to the Arcatraz] is fairly easy and begins in the Area 52 area of Netherstorm. Only one person needs the key for the group to enter. A rogue with 350 lockpicking skill can also open the gate.

The Eye

As of June 19, 2007 - The Eye no longer requires attunement - see [1]
Main article: Tempest Key guide

Receiving the [The Tempest Key] requires several quest chains in Shadowmoon Valley and a very involved quest chain started by Neutral A'dal requiring boss kills (one of which is timed) in multiple Heroic Mode dungeons and a Mob Magtheridon kill. Please see Tempest Key guide for a full walkthrough.

Caverns of Time

Main article: Caverns of Time

Escape from Durnholde Keep

The Opening of the Dark Portal

Each person in the group must complete Escape from Durnholde by finishing N [68D] Return to Andormu to be eligible to start the next quest.

Battle of Mount Hyjal

As of 25 March 2008 - Battle of Mount Hyjal no longer requires attunement - see Patch 2.4.0

The attunement process for Battle of Mount Hyjal is very difficult. Every person in the group must be attuned to enter.

Black Temple

As of 25 March 2008 - Black Temple no longer requires attunement - see Patch 2.4.0
Main article: Black Temple attunement

Getting attuned to the Black Temple and receiving the [Medallion of Karabor] involves 15 steps in a rather involved quest chain including killing both Mob Al'ar and the first boss in the Battle for Mount Hyjal, Mob Rage Winterchill.


Attunement chart

Attunement chart from World of Raids

Alternate chart