Don't miss this Dragon's Dogma 2 Vernworth Castle Vault with lots of early game loot, here's how to get in

Dragon's Dogma 2
(Image credit: Windows Central)

While gear and Gold become quite plentiful as you progress far into Capcom's new ARPG Dragon's Dogma 2, these resources are pretty scarce in the early game. Completing side quests to obtain their rewards and exploring the open world thoroughly helps with this — there's even a way to stay in a house for free and buy it for cheap later, saving you Gold on inn rests — but even so, you'll likely be low on money for a while and won't be able to upgrade your equipment often.

I'm well past this point in my own playthrough, but recently, I discovered a special treasure vault in Vernworth Castle that I previously missed — and within, there's lots of treasure that'll give players in the early game a big progression boost. Here's a quick guide on where this Vernworth Castle Vault can be found, along with an overview of all the different ways you can get into it.

Dragon's Dogma 2: Vernworth Castle Vault location

Head here to find the staircase that leads to the Vernworth Castle Vault. (Image credit: Windows Central)

The hallway that leads to the Vernworth Castle Vault is pretty easy to miss, though you might have already stumbled upon it if you've snuck around in the citadel during some early game quests like "An Unsettling Encounter." You'll find the staircase you need to go down on the northeast side of the castle's first floor, right next to the Vernworth Castle Dining Hall and Vernworth Castle Kitchens. The specific spot you need to go to is circled in red in the image above.

Keep in mind that the entirety of the castle and its surrounding grounds is a restricted area, so make sure you avoid getting close to guards you see inside or out. I also recommend entering the castle through the door that connects the Vernworth Castle Kitchens to the exterior grounds to minimize risk, as very few guards, if any, are ever found here. 

Notably, if you wear the Marcher's Armor Set disguise — this can either be found in a few chests around the castle grounds or purchased for a low amount of Gold from Philbert's Sundries in the Merchant Quarter — the guards will think you're one of them, allowing you to freely explore the area.

Head down the stairs and follow the path until you reach the Vernworth Castle Vault,  which will be locked and may or may not have a guard on sentry duty just outside of it (it's currently unclear what triggers a guard to appear here; some players report there's always one, while others say there never seems to be). For an overview of all the different ways you can get inside the treasure room, read on.

Dragon's Dogma 2: How to get in the Vernworth Castle Vault

Currently, there are three known ways to get inside the Vernworth Castle Vault. Two of them require tracking down a key that unlocks its door, while one demands patience and careful, stealthy movement. I'll explain where you can find the key first.

Makeshift Vault Key location

The Makeshift Vault Key that unlocks the Vernworth Castle Vault door is found in a chest in the final room of the Ancient Battleground fortress, which is located far west of Vernworth and to the northeast of the Checkpoint Rest Town. The path that leads up to the fort is marked in the map image above; note that once you get here, an NPC called Oskar will approach and ask you to escort him to the stronghold's cenotaph so he can ring a bell and complete a special rite. By the way, there'll be quite the encounter going on in the nearby field I would avoid messing with if you're low-level, though I won't spoil what it is here.

Head up the trail that leads to the fort, go inside, and progress through it until you reach the cenotaph — the chest with the Makeshift Vault Key is in the corner of the room it's in. You'll mainly have to deal with skeletons and harpies on your way there, though there are some goblins you can run into as well. Note that while there's a ladder past the room that allows you to keep going up — remember to come back at some point and explore where that leads if you want to find the Sphinx — you don't have to climb it to get the Makeshift Vault Key.

Once you've got the key, go back to the Vernworth Castle Vault and use it to unlock the vault's door. Voilà, you're in! Oh, and don't worry about the fact that the key breaks, as this is the only door it's usable on.

If there's a guard in front of the door, however, getting in will be considerably trickier, as even a guard disguise won't stop them from warning you to leave. Luckily, there's a way to do it both with and without the Makeshift Vault Key, both of which I'll go over below.

How to get past the Castle Vault guard

Following behind Disa stealthily as she enters the vault just before evening time allows you to get past the guard and inside. Notably, you have to go in this way if you don't have the Makeshift Vault Key. (Image credit: Windows Central)

If you have the Makeshift Vault Key, there's a way to force the guard to move so you can unlock the door and go inside (you should save before trying this). Here's what to do:

  1. Pick up a barrel from the nearby Vernworth Castle Kitchens. Oh yes. We're getting up to some shenanigans.
  2. Carry the barrel down to the area in front of the guard and throw it at them. This will spook the guard and make them start running past you.
  3. Grab the guard when they're close to you and carry them up to the kitchens. With them out of the way, the path to the vault will be clear.
  4. Drop or throw the guard, then sprint back to the Vernworth Castle Vault door, unlock it, and run inside to open all the chests. Even if the guard is back in place when you leave and kicks you out, you've already snagged all the goods.

If you don't have the Makeshift Vault Key, you'll have to employ some stealth tactics and get some help from Queen Regent Disa to bypass the guard, though going with this entry method risks gaol time. Note that this method works if there's not a guard, too, so keep that in mind if you don't want to make the long journey to the Ancient Battleground.

Anyway, here's how it works:

  1. Consider switching to the Thief vocation for this. The Shadow Cloak/Veil skill will make the sneaking you need to do here much, much easier.
  2. Wait near the top of the stairs that lead to the vault until just before evening time; you should see Queen Regent Disa coming towards them. Move behind her as she passes you.
  3. Slowly walk behind Disa as she heads to the vault, and follow her inside when she unlocks the door. Disa is programmed to sandbox around in the vault for a while at this time each day, and when she does, the guard protecting it stands down, allowing you to pass just after she does.
  4. Immediately move as far away from Disa as possible and ensure you're not in her line of sight. If Disa spots you, she'll alert the guards and have you arrested (a Marcher's Armor Set disguise might help with this, but I can't confirm this myself). This is where using Shadow Cloak/Veil comes in handy.
  5. Continue to hide from Disa as she moves around until she eventually leaves; at this point, you're free to collect all the loot in the room. Again, the guard outside will probably yell at you as you exit, but you've already gotten away with the crime.

Dragon's Dogma 2: What's in the Vernworth Castle Vault?

Though quite heavy, the Daughter of the Evening shield is nevertheless one of the best early game weapons for Fighters. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Curious about what you'll find in the Vernworth Castle Vault once you manage to get inside? You can make off with plenty of Gold and several valuable items, including the following:

  • 20,000 Gold: For early game players, this much Gold in one drop is fantastic. With this, you should be able to get several weapon and armor upgrades for you and your Pawn, or you can use the money to buy Mildred's Vernworth house off her.
  • Daughter of the Evening: A unique shield that, while quite heavy at 4.4 kg, also offers the best stats of any shield you can get before reaching Battahl way later in the game. Its special mirroring properties will also come in handy against a certain petrifying boss...
  • Wyrmhunter's Cloak: A beautiful purple cloak once worn by an Arisen from ages past. Like the Daughter of the Evening, this cloak is one-of-a-kind, though like all cloaks it's purely cosmetic and doesn't affect your stats.
  • Ring of Reassurance: This ring temporarily boosts a Pawn's Defense stat when the wearer — AKA, you — helps them up. Can be very useful in fights with large beasts where Pawns may get knocked down a few times.
  • Decayed Medusa Head: This makes what the Daughter of the Evening shield was used for pretty clear, eh? This one-time use implement will instantly petrify whatever you're fighting when you activate it while they're looking at you.

The Wyrmhunter's Cloak and Decayed Medusa Head aren't terribly useful, but 20,000 Gold sure is, and the Daughter of the Evening shield is one of the best early game weapons for the Fighter vocation. The Ring of Reassurance makes it much easier to keep Pawns alive after you revive them once, too, which will be a tremendous help in boss fights against difficult creatures like griffins, chimeras, or drakes.

Dragon's Dogma 2 is available now, and it's one of the best Xbox games and best PC games you can play in 2024 if you love action RPGs with deep, varied combat and rich fantasy worlds. Capcom's new title is playable on Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC, and PS5 for $69.99.

Dragon's Dogma 2

Dragon's Dogma 2

You are the Arisen, the one who holds the loyalty of Pawns and has an intertwined destiny with a powerful dragon. Work with your party to battle through tough enemies, explore distant locations, and grow stronger so you can take down your foes. 

PC — Buy at: GMG (Steam) | CDKeys (Steam) | Humble Bundle (Steam)

Xbox — Buy at: 
Amazon | Xbox

Dragon's Dogma 2 Deluxe Edition

Dragon's Dogma 2 Deluxe Edition

You'll gain additional add-ons along with the base game when purchasing the Deluxe Edition. Use your powers to take own large dragons with the help of your Pawn party members. 

PC — Buy at: GMG (Steam) | CDKeys (Steam) | Humble Bundle (Steam)

Xbox — Buy at: 
Amazon | Xbox

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.