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.
- For a detailed look at attunement to the classic (pre-Burning Crusade) instances, see Instance attunement (Original).
- Main article: The Master's Key
-  and  .
- These two quests are easily soloable and should be done together as they are both required to proceed. Arcane Disturbances sends you into two underground caverns to use to collect readings from underground water sources: a well and a pond. Each cavern's entrance is very close to the questgiver and each cavern only has one of the two sources. In the process of getting to the water sources you should have killed enough ghosts to obtain 10 Ghostly Essences.
- Simply return to Khadgar with the key.
The Shattered Halls
- Main article: Shattered Halls Key
The quest line to obtain the begins from a drop off of on the Ata'mal Terrace near the Black Temple in Shadowmoon Valley. The item 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.
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- Main article: Serpentshrine Cavern#Attunement.
- Enter the Slave Pens in Heroic Mode. Find captive in a cage after the first boss, .
-  .
- , the final boss in the Sethekk Halls wing of Auchindoun guards the which is contained in The Talon King's Coffer behind him. Only one person needs the key for the group to enter. A rogue with 350 lockpicking skill can also open the gate.
- Main article: Key to the Arcatraz
- Nether-Stalker Khay'ji tells you to kill ethereals and collect 10 .
- Nether-Stalker Khay'ji asks you to kill and return to him.
- Gahruj sends you to recover 10 Boxes of Surveying Equipment from Manaforge Duro.
- Gahruj sends you to Stormspire to deliver the to .
- Use the Triangulation Device to find the first triangulation point.
- Use the Triangulation Device to find the second triangulation point.
- Kill and recover the . Bring it to Image of Nexus-Prince Haramad.
- Bring the Ata'mal Crystal to in the center of Shattrath City.
- Main article: Tempest Key guide
Receiving the requires several quest chains in Shadowmoon Valley and a very involved quest chain started by requiring boss kills (one of which is timed) in multiple Heroic Mode dungeons and a kill. Please see Tempest Key guide for a full walkthrough.
Caverns of Time
- Main article: Caverns of Time
Escape from Durnholde Keep
-  and 
- Introduction quests at the Caverns of Time
-  ,  ,  and 
- Complete the Escape from Durnholde Keep instance
The Opening of the Dark Portal
Each person in the group must complete Escape from Durnholde by finishing  to be eligible to start the next quest.
- Zone in to Opening the Dark Portal
-  and 
- Complete the instance.
Battle of Mount Hyjal
The attunement process for Battle of Mount Hyjal is very difficult. Every person in the group must be attuned to enter.
- Main article: Black Temple attunement
Getting attuned to the Black Temple and receiving the involves 15 steps in a rather involved quest chain including killing both and the first boss in the Battle for Mount Hyjal, . Please see Black Temple attunement for a full walkthrough.
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.
|Coilfang Reservoir||Cenarion Expedition|
|Caverns of Time||Keepers of Time|