I'm making a new warframe thread since the last one is fairly old. Also one of Warframe's biggest updates/expansions has been added, Plains of Eidolon or PoE for short (Not Path of Exile). I'll be going over the basics as well as listing useful tools for already experienced players. In PoE you can now, in addition to how normal missions are, go on a new kind of mission that is essentially an open world exploration.
Here's a released map of the Plains of Eidolon.
Some Useful Tools for Warframe Players:
- The Warframe Wiki of course
- Warframe.market For Price Checking Tradable Things
- The Deathstacks Warframe Alert/Invasion Tracker to see the current alerts and invasions you can do in-game.
- Nexus Stats For Price Checking Tradable Things
- And if you use Discord, the Cephalon Genesis Discord Bot, which uses /pc to check nexus stats prices, can link you to wiki pages, can show mod cards, and more convenient things like tracking alerts.
Getting Into Warframe - The Beginner's Section and Overview
What the game is from a glance:
Warframe is a Free-To-Play, 3rd-person shooter/melee combat game, designed to have up to 4 player co-op PvE gameplay (There's PvP but it is very dead and rarely used). The players play as various Warframes that are essentially tough, armored, ninja-like surrogates that the player can grow a collection of over time. Each Frame has 4 different abilities that can be used at varying energy costs. Energy and Health, of course, are pickups and player-stats that can be affected throughout gameplay. Players do missions of various types, on maps that are procedurally generated with each individual mission, based on tile sets of locations.
Getting Started & Choosing Your Gear:
When you first join warframe (by making an account on their site, regardless of if you have it connected to steam), you are immediately thrown into your first story quest. There are several quests throughout warframe, and as the updates go out often new ones are added. The main 'story' quests are typically quests you need to do to continue through the game's available content, and these quests also pertain to the Tenno which is the faction that all players play as. We'll go into factions later on, but for now, your first quest.
I won't reveal too much about the quest, but you first wake up on earth, being awoken by a Grineer named Vor. Vor isn't so friendly. At the very start you get to choose one of the 3 starting Warframes: Volt, Excalibur, or Mag. Volt is more of an ability-casting type of frame, and offers speed. Excalibur is more balanced, offering offense and defense abilities, and Mag is more centered on strategic ability use, and defense.
Another important thing to note is regardless of your choice, you can obtain all 3 as you play onward. This isn't a potentially game-ruining choice. Although the order of difficulty for getting each of the starting frames is Mag -somewhat easy, to Volt -somewhat easy, to Excalibur -the least easy out of all of them. I'll go into detail about the star chart and bosses further on, but for now I'll just say that Mag can be obtained from reaching the Boss on Phobos, Volt is obtained from Dojo research (Dojos and Clans involve talking to other people and joining 'Clans' in the game), and Excalibur can be found from reaching the Boss on Pluto, which involves grinding both in order to get there and also points required to fight the boss.
After you make your choice of Warframe, you're going to have to make your way through the mission using your first ability until you find weapons. At the end of all this you'll have your first 3 weapons, one of each type. Primary, Secondary, and Melee. DON'T worry about which weapons you choose. A large part of Warframe is aquiring more weapons and you will get more in the future. A majority of these beginning options can be accounted for if you dont like the outcomes later on.
From there, you will soon be introduced to the hub of the game, your ship. Computerized AI's are called Cephalons, and your ship's Cephalon is named Ordis. You will grow to love Ordis and most certainly not in any way get annoyed at his quips...
The Star Chart, Missions, and General Progression
Navigation and The Star Chart:
When in your ship, you can either walk to the front console of the ship or go from the pause menu to 'Navigation' and be taken to an overview of the planet you were last at. From there you can zoom out and see the whole star chart, comprised of a spiral of planets. The order of the star chart goes as follows (from the inner-most outward):
Other Places on The Star Chart without Definite Locations:
The Orokin Derelict Ship
Tenno Dojos (You may only have 1 Clan Dojo at a time as you may only be in 1 clan at a time)
The natural progression of the player will take them from Earth to Venus and then Mercury. After that, the player will start moving outward through the solar system.
Nodes on Planets
When you're at a planet doing missions, you'll notice they are connected as nodes spread over the planet. Completing a mission lets you go from that node's location onto the next connecting nodes. This offers a sort of miniature "progression" of that perticular planet until you complete all of the mission nodes there, or reach the next planet's junction if thats your current goal. Once completed you can always replay missions and get rewards from that mission's drop table. Replaying missions with certain drops is where the "Grinding" of the game comes from. More about that will be explained in the Mission Types section.
Planet Junctions and Progression.
When completing the nodes on a planet, eventually you will reach a Junction and a marker leading to the next planet. Junctions are a special type of node where players fight a specter of another Tenno, challenging them to be allowed to pass. If you defeat the Junction boss, you may then travel to the next planet from then on. Junctions also have requirements before you can fight their bosses, such as doing certain quests, performing certain actions, or other benchmarks in playing the game.
Warframe has various types of missions, with almost all types being found on each location in the star chart:
Extermination: The main objective of this mission is "meet your monthy kill quota". You run through the procedurally generated map and leave as few standing as you can. Once you reach the amount needed you can head to the extraction point to complete the mission.
Mobile Defense: This mission type consists of an item that one player has to carry (similar to a briefcase in size). When carried the player is limited only to their secondary and melee weapons, but they can drop it at any time. The goal is to take this space-brief-case to the objective locations, plug it in, defend the objective, then take it and move on to the next one. Typically it has 2 to 3 successful defenses necessary before you can proceed to the extraction point.
Defense: Defense missions are fairly straight forward, you go to the objective location (typically a space pod looking thing), and defend it from enemies as they spawn. Enemies come in waves and the difficulty scales with each one. Every five waves all the players are prompted with the option to either stay longer or to extract. This is a mission type that has no automatic end, and only ends when all the players choose to extract, be it individually or as a group. Staying behind to fight more when all the other players are extracting isn't always wise.
Capture: The quickest type of mission, Capture missions require you to move through a map to a specific enemy (marked with a red symbol), defeat them and then disintegrate/teleport them away. Once that is completed players can head to extraction, or run around goofing off if they so choose. Let the capture target run off too far or for too long and they most certainly will escape, and you will fail the mission.
Spy: The more puzzle-based mission, where players need to hack consoles (there are hacking minigame puzzles) to get into restricted areas, and then hack the 3 consoles that are marked without setting off the security systems in the areas. May take some practice to get the hang of. Many Tenno dislike these missions.
Survival: The other major type of endless mission, where players are in a map that is slowly loosing it's life support. Defend yourselves as you activate the life support pods being sent to you periodically. If the life support meter completely runs out, your survival time is stopped, and you begin to take damage at a constant rate. After five minutes or more players can head to extraction, but a minimum of half of the players need to be at extraction for the extraction timer to start. If all players are at extraction there will be no timer, and the extraction will be instantaneous.
Assassination: These are the Boss missions, the Boss Battles. Each boss has its own method of being defeated, and each boss is guaranteed to drop the blueprint for a part of a warframe. Bosses vary in abilities, strengths, and if they have extra things involved in their boss battle.
[New!] The PoE Mission: I only know that this is a "mission" as a method of entering the new open world part of the game, The Plains of Eidolon on Earth. More info to come if necessary.
Weapons, Mods, Forma, and more!
There are 3 main types of weapons in warframe: Primaries, Secondaries, and Melee weapons. Primary weapons include things like Rifles, Shotguns, Bows, Sniper Rifles, Grenade Launchers, Heavy Energy Weapons, etc. Secondary weapons consist of things like Pistols, Throwing Knives, Smaller Energy Weapons, Dual Pistols, etc. Melee Weapons are probably the most diverse weapon type. Some melee weapons unclude heavy hammer / heavy axes, daggers, rapiers, longswords, sparring gloves, claws, throwing melees, gun blades, greatswords, and dual-wielding variants of some smaller types of weapons. You can carry any combination of 1 Primary, Secondary, and melee. You can also choose to equip nothing in any of the three slots, and simply not take a weapon of that type with you. Maybe you wish to go melee only, or primary only, or only use secondaries, or a combination of two without the third. The choice is up to you.
You might be thinking of mods that change things in games when I say Mods, like mods for Civ 5, or mods for LFD2. In Warframe, Mods are very much a part of the vanilla game, and are, in fact, dropped from almost all missions as items. Mods are like trading cards, and they're used as ways to power up and boost the stats of individual weapons. Once you find a mod, you can use it on any weapon you have, multiple at a time as well, as long as the mod is able to fit on the weapon you intend to use it with. Some mods increase things like the chance of a critical hit landing, the damage multiplier of critical hits, attack speed, fire rate, range, reload speed, and elemental statuses that the weapon may have. There are a wide variety of mods, some very common and some extremely rare. Mods also have their own ranks. When you find a mod in game, there will be a group of dots at the bottom of its "card" which represents the amount of ranks it can possibly have. Some mods can only be upgraded to rank 3, some can be upgraded all the way to rank 10 or even higher. Increasing the rank of a mod also increases the stats that the mod applies. In short, if you have the mod space, its often worth it to increase the rank of your mod. I'll talk about mod space too since its important:
Mod Space, Drain
Each thing that can be equipped, meaning all types of weapons, and even warframes, can use mods. There are mods specifically for certain ones as well. Shotgun mods, Secondary mods, Rifle mods, Melee mods, warframe mods, even mods for companions (I'll let you discover companions on your own). Each one of these has 8 default spaces where mods can be installed and swapped in or out. Warframes have two additional slots for mods of specific types, Aura Mods and Exilus mods. Melee weapons have one additional mod slot for stance mods, which add melee combo sets to your melee weapon. For now we'll just talk about the normal 8 mod slots that are universal. When you first get a weapon, it will be unranked, and due to this it will have very low mod space. As you rank up your weapon (by simply using it in missions and gaining XP), more mod space will be available to use with it, stopping at a maximum of 30. I'll talk about Orokin Reactors and Catalysts after ranks, as these influence mod capacity. As you apply mods to your weapon, the amount of available mod space goes down, as you can imagine. Efficiently distributing mods based on space and usage will maximize your ability to boost your weapons and frames. Mods and mod slots also have something called polarities. Polarities can be used to cut the amount of capacity a mod uses in half, if the mod and the mod slot have matching polarities. If they don't match, however, there will be additional capacity space used by the mod, which isn't so great. Some weapons and warframes come with slots that have polarities already, and some come with none.
Forma is a resource that is used both in crafting certain weapons, and in modding things. Forma allows a Tenno to change the mod polarity of one slot of a weapon or frame. Forma cannot be used on something unless it is max ranked. When a forma is used, the item is reset to unranked and the installed mods are removed from the particular weapon (mods will still remain in the players inventory). If you intend on fitting a lot of mods that use a lot of space on one thing, you might have to forma something several times.
Ranking Up & XP
As you play the game, your weapons will rank up. The higher the rank the more XP it takes for it to rank up, as you might guess. XP is often referred to as Affinity in-game, so remember that if you get confused. If you play with other players, you will gain experience at a higher rate. Not because Digital Extremes wants you to play with other players (although they do), but because the kills that other players get give you Affinity as well, when youre close by. Keep this in mind if you want to max rank your weapons or frames quickly.
Orokin Reactors and Orokin Catalysts
Firstly, Reactors and Catalysts are jokingly referred to as potatoes by the Warframe community, so should you see mention of potatoes, that may be the reason why. Why potatoes you ask? Because they are goofy spud-shaped things. What are they for? Why should I care? Well, These magic space taters can be installed on Warframes and weapons and boost your mod capacity from a maximum of 30 to 60. Thats very useful. They can only be applied once to each item, as the max limit is only one potato per item. With help from matching polarities between a warframe's aura mod slot and an aura mod, warframes can get upwards of 70 to 74 maximum mod capacity.
Fusing and Transmuting Mods
When completing the first major quest missions, you unlock the mod section on your ship. You can go to this and view all of your collected mods, and you can fuse or transmute them. Contrary to the name, fusing mods does not combine mod effects, it simply allows you to exchange Credits and Endo for upgrading a mod's rank. I'll explain Credits and Endo in the currency section later on. Fusing your mods allows you to make them better, so typically you'll be fusing mods when you can. Transmuting mods is kind of like a mod gambling system. In exchange for Credits, you can combine 4 unwanted mods and get a random mod in return. Personally I think its a waste of credits, as usually you get another mod thats the same level of rarity, and you can find most of the ones youd want fairly easily by doing missions.
Game Currencies and the F2P Elements of Warframe
Endo is half energy half currency. Unlike the others, Endo isn't really used for anything outside mods. Endo is used to fuse mods, as well as credits, which is how you get stronger mods. Also duplicate mods can either be sold for credits, or disolved into more endo. Usually if you have a lot of duplicate mods, hang on to one or two, but feel free to use the rest of them. Endo is less prevalent as drops from enemies, so unless you are absolutely hurting for credits, it's best to use duplicate mods as a way to recoup some endo on the side. One of the many rare things you can find on missions are Ayatan Sculptures and Ayatan Stars. These can both be sold for endo at Maroo's Bazaar, the relay in Earth's Orbit. You can also look at your sculptures from the mod section on your ship. Inserting ayatan cyan and amber stars into sculptures makes them worth more endo. You can also sell sculptures for credits, but thats the less lucrative thing to do with them. If you'd rather keep them, you can place your ayatan sculptures around your ship as decorations too!
Credits are the most commonly encountered out of all of these. Each mission earns you a base amount of credits + the credits you might find from fallen enemies. Early on, you can actually buy the beginning weapons with credits, such as the MK-1 Braton. Most of the time, getting a new weapon involves buying the blueprint from the market (with credits only) and then using the necessary resources listed on the BP to craft it in your ships foundary. Credits are usually used as a resource to craft things, or to buy blueprints. Also for certain powerful mods there's a trade tax of a considerable amount of credits. If you wish to farm for credits, the best missions are called "Dark Sector" missions, and have a black/grey lotus emblem over the node. Most planets have dark sector missions, and can get you anywhere between 10k to 25k in a single mission.
Platinum is the true game currency that can be bought with IRL cash. Unlike Credits and Endo, Platinum is not used in any kind of crafting. It's simply money in-game. Flashy cosmetics like capes and armor sets are purchased with it. Also you can skip any actual grind in order to get things from the market for platinum, such as weapons, warframes, and some resources that are more scarce. Most players would tell you that skipping the process necessary to get these things often ruins the game for you, so I'd advise against it. Also you can gain platinum in game through trading tradable parts (such as Prime Parts, Vandal parts, Wraith parts, Syndicate weapons, or Prisma weapons) to other players. Normal items in the market are all hellishly overpriced. Full Stop. It is genuinely not worth it to buy anything from the market besides cosmetics you really want or things that are only available through the market that you want...which takes me to my next point.
The Annoying Bits
These are the things that make you think "Wow, Digital Extremes shamelessly wants money huh?". Yes, its Free-2-Play so they don't exactly make barrels of money off giving you everything. This is a list of things that does cost the rarest in-game currency (platinum) and are the biggest negative factors in people wanting to get into warframe, up front and explained by yours truly:
Inventory Slots: Yes your inventory is finite in warframe. As you craft more weapons and add them to your collection you will either need to get more inventory spaces, or sell the weapons you don't want to keep anymore (for credits). There are warframe inventory slots and weapon inventory slots that primarily get filled the fastest.
Color Palettes: There are a default set of colors you can use when you first start. Other Color palettes can be bought from the market, or the rare occasion where holiday color palettes are able to be bought from the market for 1 credit (during a holiday of course, such as easter, christmas, st. patricks day, etc.). By the way, the "Classic Saturated" color palette is the best one to get if you only want to ever buy one of them for more colors.
Building Things: Typically when you craft something, its got a build time of several hours. A passive way of looking at this is that there's a lot to do in warframe, so waiting half a day to a day for something to be crafted is common. Obviously, you can throw money at it and it will be rushed and completed immediately. I havent rushed a single thing in warframe so far, perhaps out of spite or just not caring.
Argon Crystals: This is something that has nothing to do with spending IRL money or Platinum, however it does slow farming resources due to how the resource functions. Argon Crystals are a resource in crafting something, only coming up in the crafting requirements every now and then. Usually the most you ever need is 2 to 3. The problem? Well they decay over time. If they spend a day or two in your inventory they begin to disappear. Once you begin using them to craft something its not going to do that of course, but unused ones can and will decay away over time.
Earning Platinum in-game instead of spending money
You can get platinum without having to actually buy it. However, it involves being social with other players and/or the community. You can do fissure missions to open relics and get either forma blueprints or prime parts. These Prime parts (and other similar parts) can be traded with other players for agreed-upon prices (in platinum or in trading various parts by bartering). You can also trade mods with other players for platinum, but the majority of mods are not worth much. Some rare mods sell for a good amount, though, so keep that in mind. Also there are Warframe streams every now and then where random people can be given plat as a prize.
Ducats & Baro Ki'Teer (The Void Trader)
Every two weeks, at a random relay on the star chart, the void trader Baro Ki'Teer will arrive with all sorts of often-overpriced stuff. Some things are only available through Baro's items. Each time Baro visits his items for sale change, except for the Inaros Quest which you can always get from him (and it is a good quest too). Where do the Ducats come in? Well Baro Ki'Teer's items always cost both Credits and Ducats, which are basically fancy space doubloons. Tenno can go to any relay at any time in the star chart, and in the main atrium are two kiosks where prime parts can be traded for ducats at varying amounts. Baro brings a variety of items, such as prisma weapons, armor pieces, rare or uncommon mods, cosmetics for pets, syandanas (capes), and other odd things. Ducats are typically the least-used currency out of all of them.
Factions & Syndicates: Who and What? (No Spoilers)
The Grineer are a race of cloned humanoids, originally created by the Orokin for heavy labor in mind. Due to clone degredation over time, their physical appearance is...less than tasteful. They are a brutish, and typically less-educated. Also due to these disabilities, they are heavy armored and partially robotic. In terms of enemy stats, the Grineer have no energy shields, but do have heavy armor that is more resistant to damage. One stat they are typically weak toward is Corrosive Damage.
The Corpus are a race of technologically advanced humans, originally created by the Orokin to research and develop technology. They are typically accompanied by robotic drones that help them in combat. More focused on profits and technological research, they typically are less brave than grineer but have more knowledge at their disposal. In terms of enemy stats, the Corpus have little armor, but their energy shields take the brunt of damage dealt to them, until it is wore down. One stat they are typically weak toward is Magnetic Damage.
The Orokin are an ancient race that created what architecture is seen in the void and the orokin derelict ship before it was infested. They were the most advanced race of their time, and unfortunately were destroyed by the things they created. Much about them is unknown, and their involvement with the various factions, including the Tenno, is up for the player to discover in-depth.
Originally a failed biological weapon experiment, the Infested are an amalgamation of other victims (such as corpus and grineer), warped and twisted into feral animals. They have few if any projectile attacks and rarely use them unless the player is in an unreachable area on the map. Many infested deal toxic damage and gas damage, which can bypass Tenno's energy shield and do direct damage. The Infested are also the enemies present in all Dark Sector missions.
Syndicates are essentially the sub-factions that aren't in deep with the Corpus or Grineer. They have their own motivations, aesthetics, and more importantly...rewards for joining them. Players can join syndicates and choose to join other ones later on. Its worth noting that when you join a syndicate, the syndicates that are enemies of the one(s) you choose may invade your missions at random to attack you. When you join a syndicate you have to sacrifice resources and/or credits to move up the ranks when you've gained enough reputation points with them. You can gain syndicate rep by wearing their sigils, which are essentially emblems you can have on either your chest or back. As you use rep to advance upward in a syndicate, you have the ability to get other sigils that help you gain reputation points faster. Also you unlock the ability to do daily syndicate missions, which are similar to normal missions but you have two syndicate-affiliated NPCs that assist you, as well as 8 syndicate medallions you can collect within the syndicate missions. Syndicate medallions aren't always easy to find, but they can be turned in at relays within individual syndicate rooms in exchange for more rep.
Why do all this for syndicates, you ask? Well, syndicates offer special weapons, syndicaete-themed syandanas (capes), and augment mods for certain warframes. Augment mods are specifically made to alter certain warframe's abilities in certain ways. Also syndicates each have their own specters that you can buy for reputation points, and these specters can be spawned in missions as helpful little NPCs.
Mastery Ranks & Cephalon Simaris
While weapons and warframes have individual ranks that fluctuate, your overall rank as a player is called your Mastery Rank, and goes up over time as you use new weapons and warframes. Some weapons are locked behind certain mastery levels, and you won't be able to build them in the ship's foundary or receive certain parts in trades until you have the appropriate mastery level.
Instead of the normal way of ranking up a weapon or frame, when you reach the end of your current mastery level you don't keep leveling up, you have to take your Mastery Test, which has a cooldown of 24 hours if you fail. When you pass your Mastery Test, your Mastery Rank goes up and you gain other perks, such as being able to make one additional trade per day, and the base amount of mod capacity on unranked weapons goes up (the max capacity is still the same). The Mastery Tests initially are fairly straightforward, but get more complex overtime.
In the relays around the star chart, one of the many rooms is home to the Cephalon named Simaris, who is the leader of the Sanctuary, a digital collection of various things around. Simaris acts like a neutral syndicate, and his missions are relatively passive. Cephalon Simaris offers a variety of rewards just like the normal Syndicates do, however his missions and reputation points are based on scanning various things in the star chart using the Synthesis Scanner. His room is also where you can practice the mastery tests, where you can run through the tests and not have to worry about failing, but of course if you succeed it won't be counted.