Crates can be unlocked with keys, which are available for sale in the "Manage Inventory" and "Crate Unlock" menus. Unlocking the crate will reveal a random exclusive item. There is also a chance of acquiring a certified or painted variant of said item.
Each crate has a unique "series" of items. Items in each crate are classified as Rare, Very Rare, Import, Exotic, and Black Market.
Keys are obtained by purchasing on your specific platform's marketplace in set(s) of 1, 5, 10, and 20.
Keys have a "trade hold" that prevents them from being traded to other players for 7 days from the time of purchase. As such, keys used to obtain items from crates will transfer the remaining "trade hold" time from the key to the item.
On May 22, 2017, Psyonix announced that the Champion Crate series would be retired in June, 2017, with other crates set to retire approximately six months after their initial release date.
On May 22, 2017, Psyonix released the following announcement:
All four Champion Crates will no longer be available as drops after Online Matches once our next major update goes live this Summer. This retirement ONLY affects drops, so if you already have Champion Crates in your inventory, or want to trade Champion Crates to other players after their retirement, you will still be able to do so. This Champion series retirement means that there will be fewer Crates to account for when the game drops one for you. In other words, removing older Crates means that newer Crates (and their newer Items) will appear for you more often.
After retiring the Champion Series, we will continue to retire other Crates on a schedule of roughly six months after their initial release. But don't worry, items found inside retired Crates could still come back at a later date. Some items are already available in other Crates, like those found in the Player's Choice Crate we released in February.
We will announce all future Crate retirements here before they happen, and we will have even more to share about our next major update at the RLCS Season Three World Championship.
Black Market Items
Items listed here have a very low chance of being found in crates.
Black Market decals are unique in that they are shown in the preview as an OctaneBattle-Car partially covered by a purple hexagon-motif fabric. These decals are dubbed "Mystery Universal Decal" in the preview, which means that the Black Market decals are applicable to all Battle-Cars.