- Now updated to Warframe Update 24 “Fortuna”. Added a small section about the new open world, new resource links, small fixes.
- This guide may contain some outdated information very soon as lot of things can change rapidly with every future patch! I’ll try my best to correct the information as long as I’m still playing the game, which I currently still do. 🙂
- The guide is written for the PC version of Warframe. Consoles are usually a few weeks behind on content due to the release process by Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft. Some GUI elements and controls may be different on console, but core gameplay will always be the same. In other words: most of this guide should apply for consoles as well.
- The Term “DE” will be used in this guide, which stands for “Digital Extremes”, the Developers behind Warframe.
- The official Warframe-Wiki is always a highly recommended read, as many mechanics and items are not well-explained within the game (you may always consult the “Codex”in your Ship first to get a rough idea). While the information in the Wiki may not always be 100% correct, it still is a staple to make informed decisions in-game and save you a lot of time and effort. A big plus also is that the Wiki usually gets the newest info much quicker due to many people constantly adding stuff.
- I also highly recommend checking out the Warframe Selection Guide I keep updated. too. It gives you a good overview on all Warframes currently available in the game and may help with your decision-making.
- For up-to-date discussion topics on new events and goodies, visit the Warframe Reddit page and fire away your questions ingame. People are friendly and quick to help in this game, so enjoy your stay. 🙂
- There’s a reason Warframe is considered one of the best F2P-titles out there. In-game trading is allowed for almost anything. Check the market page to get a hold of how much your items may be worth.
But don’t worry: my comprehensive guide should help you find your ways around quickly. A lot of work and revisions went into this page, so I hope you have fun reading it. 🙂 Use the Table of Contents at the right to quickly browse through chapters. Also, don’t forget to share a comment below if you liked this article. I always appreciate feedback and constructive criticism on things that could be improved. 🙂
The first log-in / Log-in rewards
Logging into Warframe is tied to rewards that are given out once per day. They can be rather lousy, ranging from meager credit boosts but also contain nice rare 50-75% “Platinum” (in-game currency) discounts which can be a good opportunity if you want to help the developers and save yourself some time-intensive grinding in the future. Logins milestones can also net you very rare rewards like unique blueprints or even items otherwise purchased from the item shop or by using real money. So even if you don´t play: make sure to login often as it might turn out in your favor. The servers reset at midnight (CET -2) so you basically can grab 2 logins in quick succession if you feel like it.
Platinum – The currency of Warframe
With tempting platinum discounts being part of the login process, the most important question looms right there before the login screen: Do I have to pay money to succeed in this game? Is it even “pay to win?” And the answer to either question is: Nope, ab-so-lute-ly not! You can get almost any item in Warframe by just playing – if you plan ahead and play smart, that is! However, I still encourage you to spend a bit of money whenever you can spare it to support DE in further improving this already great and still-growing game. Just wait till you get that sweet 50 or even 75% discount and then go for that precious platinum – It will save you a lot of hazzle and does this amazing development team a favor – and that’s good for everyone, isn’t it?
Unlike in many other F2P games, Platinum (except for your starting budget) in Warframe is tradeable, so nothing is holding you back on acquiring some rare items and sell them to other players in order to get what you want for yourself. There are a lot of fan-made market pages and trading platforms out there which are highly frequented by players. However make sure not to take part in shady deals that seem to be too good to be true, as Digital Extremes will not always Support or refund you when you are involved in highly one-sided deals. As the game is free, it’s tempting to have multiple accounts, however you have to avoid back-and-forth-trading between duplicate (Twink) accounts, because that’s a surefire way to get both accounts banned.
Some simple rules for trading safely are:
- Exclusively use the “Trading” chat in-game to get in contact, whisper the person afterwards. This allows Digital Extremes to follow the chatlog and punish evildoers accordingly. Using any other means to trade will open you up for scams.
- Be highly cautious of any trading or platinum selling platforms outside of Warframe.com or Steam.
- Review your purchases before confirmation, the in-game interface will block the trade and ask you twice. If you are unsure, take a screenshot of the trade and time for the support ticket
- Don’t be rude if someone doesn’t agree to haggle. There are a lot of friendly people out there that even help you for free with items and mods if you act like you mean business. 🙂
- Don’t beg, not before, during or after a trade. The community may be big, but you are in for the long run, and ignore lists are a thing.
Your first Warframe
Since Update 14 the game now features a new Quest-System that also introduces you to the story of Warframe and the combat mechanics quite nicely. Questing also involves choosing your first Warframe, meaning that all new players will get to keep their chosen Warframe after the tutorial. Please keep in mind that your first Warframe choice is permanent and rather important as it impacts how fast you progress through the starting areas of the game. After your initial choice you may have to stick to your starter frame for quite a while before you can afford the credits and resources necessary to construct a new one. On that note, make sure to check out my Warframe selection guide before making your first choice and those beyond.
Once chosen you cannot refund or exchange frames in this game unless the Support chooses to help you with a ticket. The slots you need to store further frames can only be purchased using platinum, the in-game currency. Purchasing platinum is the way the developers earn their living, so consider supporting the game! Slots are cheap and a good long-term investment, as your portfolio of Frames fills up.
Of course you can always start over with a fresh account or try the support-ticket system if you think that you’ve chosen poorly. However you won’t be able to keep or transfer your existing progress to a new account, and you’re in for the long haul in this game, believe me that! With everything you buy or build to completion: just keep in mind that some choices are permanent, and the friendly ingame-support can’t help with everything
Which Starter Warframe to choose?
As of patch 14 there are currently 3 starter frames to choose from, which I will try to quickly summarize in the following list:
Excalibur (Frontline Melee, Damage) – The mascot of Warframe, a fan-favorite and very good all-rounder for beginners, adding a strong focus on melee-based combat. His abilities “Slash-Dash” and “Radial Blind” grant him a lot of utility, while “Radial Javelin” and “Exalted Blade” give a lot of offensive power. If you’re cool with going melee in an otherwise very gun-oriented game you can’t go wrong with Excalibur as your first choice. However, keep in mind that his kit is very “self-centered” as Excalibur doesn’t give your team any buffs or defensive capabilities. He’s the ideal pick if you want to go toe-to-toe with tough enemies, while not giving much second thought to the state of your teammates.
Mag (Support Caster / Crowd Control) – Mag is an interesting choice for players looking for more advanced “caster” gameplay and interesting manipulation abilities. With exceptionally high shields and shield-restoring capabilities, Mag greatly excels at controlling the battlefield while supporting her teammates at the same time. Her “Pull” ability is great and cheap way at controlling huge crowds of enemies, while “Magnetize” creates living targets that also second as shield against enemy gunfire. The frame itself might be lacking a bit in direct damage, but is a preferrable choice when you want to go the middle way between “Support” and offensive casting. In general, Mag is decent start choice, but her abilities bottleneck her a bit too much against certain factions, making her my least-recommended choice.
Volt (Run and Gun / Team Support) – A very mobile and fun to use Warframe with high movement speed, useful electrical powers, and a portable shield that can protect a vulnerable objective or your or a teammates. Volt is a good all-around choice if you prefer a mixture of team-support (shields, speed) and long-range solo-gunplay. He also has very high base value shields that allow you to easily survive the early stages of the game. Volt’s exceptional running speed greatly helps in doing repeated mission runs in a shorter amount of time, thus increasing your overall time-efficiency when starting the game and racking up resources.
Planning your future Frames
Note that all the beginner frames – while having comparable base stats like shields and health – are specialized in a certain niche areas while lacking in another. Their base stats are not the defining factor – but their abilities are. With that said the starting Warframes are not generally “worse” than the others you can build, but eventually will find yourself looking for a new role or style of play to fit a particular mission or difficulty level. While it is possible to play all mission types with any Warframe you like, the given roles (and how well you fill them out) can greatly define the outcome of longer endgame-missions against durable enemies. To put it short: you should have a Warframe for every situation or mission-type in your portfolio.
All Warframes can be roughly categorized as follows (Warframe names just mentioned as examples):
- Defensive / Tanky: Frost, Saryn, Rhino, Valkyr, Trinity, Chroma, Wukong, Inaros, Nidus
- Supportive / Allrounder: Banshee, Trinity, Nyx, Nekros, Mag, Vauban, Volt, Oberon, Limbo, Chroma, Nezha, Equinox, Titania, Gara
- Deceptive / Stealth / CC: Ash, Banshee, Loki, Nyx, Mirage, Ivara, Titania
- Offensive / Caster / CC: Ember, Nekros, Nova, Nyx, Trinity; Vauban, Mirage, Excalibur, Equinox
It might also be worth mentioning that most Warframes have been reworked with 18.13, featuring new passives as small benefits. It’s not a huge game-breaking ability, but an interesting thing to consider when you learn the playstyle of a new frame and want to master it to its full potential when using and min-maxing mods.
A good comparison of all available Warframes and their base stats can be found in the official wiki, but instead of looking at those pure stats I highly recommend using Youtube to check out the frames in action before you spend resources and/or money on them. There are a lot of gameplay videos out there that can you help make the right decision. Do not blindly invest your resources in a new frame as you just start with 1 additional Warframe slot. And – just for good measure – allow me to drop my Warframe selection guide link over here just once more. 😉
Teamplay and Missions
After choosing your first starter frame and completing the tutorial quest you will most likely want to start completing your own missions. Even if you are used to playing games alone it is highly recommended to play this game in CO-OP by making sure that the upper menu option is set to “Public”. Alternatively – if you have some friends, invite them and play together – the game is much more fun this way!
When playing in “public” mode the game will automatically try to mix you with teammates running the same mission. Active players are indicated as “open squads” on your chosen planet. Another way is to simply start a mission and wait a bit until someone joins your squad. If no one is playing your desired mission, you can try the “Recruiting” chat channel to find and invite players. This is highly recommended for all the higher-level stuff (Derelict- / Void Missions) and also certain alerts/events as you can select people and their frames, making the task much easier. There are many people out there willing to help – you simply have to ask.
Players can also take you along for missions you haven’t unlocked yet – a practice that is commonly mentioned as “Looking for Taxi” in chat. Doing this will allow you to do a desired mission or alert earlier, but it will not unlock the mission permanently. It allows you to earn any reward from doing that mission, including Warframe blueprints from boss fights. My experience with this community has been highly positive so far, and there are a lot of friendly players who will gladly pull you along so you can easily get out of the first few missions and maybe even farm your first weapon parts by doing later missions. So in short: don’t hesitate to ask for help or advice within the chat when you need it.
Getting into a clan (also done via the “Recruiting” chat) or this subreddit is a good alternative to safely enjoy higher levels of team play. A lot of the clans out there are recruiting freely without any specific requirements, granting you more than enough options to team up. The added benefit is that you also get access to a Dojo later within the game. And if you already have friends to play with you can also start your own clans without any (real) monetary requirements, it’s all up to you.
Dying and Reviving – Help your team!
Note that this game features a “fight for your live” mode similar to the “Borderlands” or “Gears of War” series. Instead of being killed outright, you get knocked down and start to bleed out, giving your teammates time to act quickly and revive you. While downed you can still crawl and use your secondary weapon (pistol), so do your best to get out of harms way (like gunfire or flames) and make things easier for your teammates.
Being a pretty repetitive game at times, experienced people will usually run through the missions, so stay on your toes and don’t fall behind. On the other hand there are also endless type missions like “Survival” which greatly reward the team when sticking together. And even if you die far apart from your team, people will literally run miles to resurrect you. So be the better guy and return the favor and act as a team player yourself. Saying “thanks” after being revived is more than just a nice gesture. If no-one bothers reviving you, you may still chose to “forfeit” and disconnect from the mission – however this will result in no resources or rewards being granted.
This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: abandoning a longer defense mission prematurely or staying AFK/dead intentionally is considered rude and may involve consequences. In most cases, ever completing a bad mission will always reward you with some credits and resources, but all these things are given only when completing a mission. AFKing for several minutes can flag you, leaving you with no loot whatsoever.
Crafting in the Foundry
As you progress through missions you may ask yourself: “How do I get new stuff, guns and Warframes? And what are all those weird card drops and resources I get during my missions?” Well, the cards are called “mods”, which I will explain in a later chapter due to their complexity. The other stuff you get are resources, which get listed once you access your “Foundry” within the personal ship.
To craft new items in your ship’s foundry you usually need all of the following:
- The blueprint for the item (acquired from bosses, missions, log-in-rewards or the ingame-shop)
- The resources for that item (check “Components” in the Foundry screen to see what you have). Each system on the star map drops a certain set of resources, so you might have to go back to farm.
- Time to build the item (ranging from 1 min. for small items and up to 4 days for a new Warframe). This can be sped up using Platinum, though that’s not a good deal in most cases.
- Money (Credits) to start building, which can get quite pricey for Warframes or certain rare weapons, so keep your credits well-stocked!
- A slot to claim the finished item. You can produce (and store) as many items in your foundry as you want, but not claim them when you lack the slots. All Weapon-, Warframe- and companion slots are limited and can only be expanded upon by spending an average 10-20 platinum. Therefore, plan and build your stuff wisely if you don’t want to invest too much additional time and money into this game. It is highly recommended to invest your starting platinum in new slots, or sell existing items to make room for new things.
Each boss in the solar system drops a guaranteed but randomized blueprint part of a particular Warframe (and in some cases a weapon). In total you need 3 parts (Systems, Helmet, Chassis) to drop, all of which need to be built individually. After that they need to be combined with the Warframe blueprint itself (which can be acquired either from the in-game market or via clan dojo research). Then there are certain newer Warframes like Limbo, Mirage and Chroma which are mission-locked, so you can’t acquire them right off the bat. Building a Warframe from scratch (without spending platinum) takes you at least 3-4 days if you don’t want to rush the building process with platinum. Many systems also have junctions that grant access to the next system. Completing junctions also rewards you with blueprints, ship modules and other goodies. Therefore you should aways check your junction progress first before you spend valuable resources on items.
Weapons are usually much easier to craft than warframes, but some of the more higher-level boomsticks can only be accessed once you have the mastery level (the number in your player profile which starts at 0). Mastery is gained by leveling up your Warframes and Weapons by playing missions and gaining XP. This means that you have to try out and rank-up new stuff to 30 to gain mastery levels.
To craft a weapon you usually need the blueprint first, which in some cases exists of additional weapon parts that you need to find. As finding and building new weapons is the main motivation of the game, looking into the Wiki and planning ahead might be a good idea. But since you start with limited options, getting weapons in the market is usually the better idea. Read about the market in the next section.
Buying in the Market
The “Market” is accessible from within your ship’s front right section. It sells blueprints for a lot of weapons and Warframes within the game, prices ranging from 15.000-100.000 credits per item, which is pretty affordable after running a few missions a day. Make sure to use the “blueprints only” option in the market interface to protect yourself against accidental platinum purchases as some items are platinum-exclusive. I recommend to start building an additional weapon soon, as your starting “Mk1-Weapon” of choice is inferior to almost any weapon in the game. As the selection of items within the Market can be quite overwhelming I recommend reading my my Weapons Guide which should help you in finding the right things for your needs.
While not recommended, almost all items and weapons can be bought directly for platinum, 50 of which you start the game with (which equals roughly 3-5 US $). Read the following section carefully, before you spend your starting platinum in the shop.
Spend Platinum – but on what?
So you have those sweet 50 platinum right from the start or even bought a starter pack. What should you do with it? Here are some suggestions:
- Slots for additional Warframes and Weapons. Your “Inventory” in the foundry is very limited so you have to either buy slots or sell old items. This is usually your first choice as free slots are very rare and usually exclusively come with event weapons.
- Color Palettes (which are usable on almost all items that you acquire). Some color packs are purchaseable with credits during special events, but if you want diversity and care about looks, buying a color pack is a reasonable way to support the game.
- Vanity items and cosmetic stuff – i.e. cosmetical appendages for sentinels, Syandanas (Scarves), Armor sets (also purely cosmetical). Alternative Warframe helmets however can be acquired from alerts or by trading with players.
Not really shop-exclusive but also very important to mention are “Orokin Reactors” and “Orokin Catalysts” (lovingly named “gold or blue potatoes” by fans due to their appearance) which double the mod capacity of your frame and gun respectively. They can also be acquired from playing alerts and sortie missions. “Potato” alerts usually occur at least once per week or when the Developers have their monthly video stream (or simply when you are asleep or at work ;)). In very rare cases you might get a reactor as login reward, but I wouldn’t bet on it! Buying one might be an alternative if you have the platinum to spare and a weapon that is really worth it (“Prime” or “Wraith” named weapons are just that).
The same “try missions before you buy” rule goes for golden puzzle-piece shaped items called “Forma” which add an additional polarity to your Warframe or Weapons. Forma can be acquired from alerts and void missions, but may sometimes be hard to come by. Spending platinum is a valid secondary option as forma is not that expensive to buy. However try to use forma only on really good weapons as it is permanently attached (same as the reactors).
If you still feel uncertain about what to buy, make use of the ingame chat to ask people. The community is always there to help in this game.
Good things outside the shop:
- “Primed” Orokin weapons and Warframes which are all acquired from special “fissure” type missions with a rare drop chance for prime part blueprints. Alternatively, most of these void items can be traded with other players if you have access to a trading post (on Earth or any Dojo). The amount of trades possible per day is limited by your “Mastery” rank so starting the game at level 0 basically prevents you from trading.
- Rare Mods such as primed versions of normal mods or rare drops can also be traded with players. Keep in mind that a trade-tax will suck on your valuable credits so it’s always good to plan on which mods you want to buy instead of trying to find.
- Event weapons & Special Alert Items. Some of them are long-term exclusives and only available by participating in special events. These events usually involve a special game-mode and range between 3-7 days, rewarding you with a unique item at the end. Most event weapons are not tradeable and cannot be purchased with platinum, but may re-appear at a later point in time via other means.
- Syndicate Weapons: As the name implies those weapons cannot be bought but earned by gaining standing on one of the syndicate factions in the game. You can access Syndicates at Mastery Rank 3, but the tier with access to the weapons requires a lot of XP grinding. Alternatively you can trade or buy these weapons from other players as long as you have the mastery rank required to use them. Most Syndicate weapons are considered top-tier and therefore require a high Mastery Rank, preventing players from directly “buying into power”. Syndicates should therefore be seen as a long-term goal which you shouldn’t bother with too early in the game. Your resources are spent better elsewhere!
Just to emphasize: Almost all blueprints, frames and weapons can be acquired by playing the game. Therefore I highly recommend to initially spend only credits for blueprints purchases in the shop. Spend your initial platinum for additional Warframe or weapon slots, as these slots will stay permanent and can’t be acquired via any other means. Also keep in mind that your starting platinum can not be used for trading with other players at all. You need to purchase your own platinum or acquire new one by selling parts to other players first. With that said, keep in mind that trading is locked for players of Mastery Rank 2 and up, so forget about trading for a powerful weapon when you are new to the game. 😉
Oof – when it comes to weapons in Warframe there is no easy answer. There are literally hundreds of different rifles, sidearms and melee weapons in Warframe, so a lot of it comes down to what you feel comfortable with in respect of your playstyle and the mission. A quick answer to first picks is summarized in my Weapons Guide. However constant balancing can change the “meta” every day. The intro missions give you a variety of weapons to chose from, but after digging through the in-game shop, your foundry and maybe the wiki, you might find yourself overwhelmed with all the choices available in the game. As you will lack resources at the very beginning, I always recommend weapons that can be directly purchased with credits instead of going for the blueprints.
Good starter choices:
- Braton (not the Mk1-Version you start the game with) which fires faster and is quite viable up into mid-game.
- Aklato is the dual version of your handgun, sporting a much higher fire rate and good bang for your buck
- Cronus is a plain upgrade of your sword can be acquired from the first boss in the game. It is just a blueprint drop, but cheap to build.
- “Boltor” – A rifle variant that is very effective against many enemies due to its high piercing damage. It has good magazine magazine size and is fun to use
- “Latron” – A semi automatic rifle which is very ammo efficient and viable for long-range combat
- “Dual Ether” – very good melee weapons which are versatile against almost all factions in game and very much end-game viable due to their cleaving attack
- “Kunai” – Throwing knives which are relatively cheap to build but have a huge damage output that even can outshine rifles
Special interest to go for:
- “Soma” – A Tenno-Style rifle introduced in Update 10 which delivers beastly damage. However it requires a high mastery level 6 so you have to play quite a while to be able to build it. Soma is still considered as one of the best all-around weapons.
- “Ignis” – A flame thrower, just because setting things on fire can be fun
- “Penta” – a new corpus grenade launcher which was introduced in Update 11
- “Despair / Dread” – Throwing Knives and a Bow which are gathered from the “Stalker”, a randomly appearing “evil” Warframe that hunts you down randomly after killing bosses. Winning against him is not always easy but may reward you with blueprints of those weapons.
Using and leveling weapons you don’t like is not a waste since you gain experience and unlock new Mastery Ranks as you go.
Mods – How do they work?
After running the missions you will acquire mods in form of “cards” that can be socketed into slots of your warframe and weaponry. Each finished mission will reward you with a certain amount of XP (called “affinity”) which will level your gear, thus enabling up to 30 additional capacity points for mods. This is doubled by applying an “Orokin Reactor” or “Orokin Catalyst” respectively.
Modding your Warframe
The first mods you insert into your frame should be focused on improving health and shields (mods are called “vitality” and “redirection”) of your Warframe. The following priority should be put into boosting your abilities with power efficiency and strenght mods. Even with some lower level mods installed you will instantly notice a major difference in survivability and damage output. You can acquire further mods quite easily by joining longer survival and defense missions, as they usually sport high enemy-density and according drop output. If you find yourself short on some basic mods, asking or trading with other players can also yield some benefits.
Upranking via Fusion & Mod Polarities
All mods can be upgraded using a specific resource called “Endo” and credits. Costs of both resources vary with the mods amount of ranks and rarity, so gold cards with 10 ranks are quite expensive and exponentially harder to “max out” than bronze cards. The Endo-Fusion process permanently increases a mod’s power, but also raises its cost to use within the assigned gear. When equipping mods, pay attention to polarity symbols on each card, as equip cost to use doubled or halved depending on whether or not you have a card with the same polarity inserted into the according slot. Additional polarities can be added to any Warframe, Weapon or Companion slots by using “Forma”. The process requires an item to be ranked to level 30 first, then consumes the forma and resets the item level back to zero. Forma usage is permanent, therefore you should only forma (polarize) items that you are completely sure about keeping.
People often think that the repetitiveness of Warframe is its biggest hindrance, which is something i also stated in my Warframe review. While this may be true, the amount of tasks and challenges in this game is steadily growing. The main motivation (at least for me) is getting and trying out new stuff, as everything new in this game feels different and interesting. Working in teams or clans is a big motivation push to overcome the grindy nature of the game, and I often recommend to play the game in short bursts (with a set goal) to enjoy it the most.
Here are a few suggestions on things that you can do to progress in the game:
Unlock nodes, get Junction rewards
As the star-map was revised, new rewards are now tied to junctions which give access to the next part of the star system. Earlier junctions are rather easy to fulfill on your own while later ones are tied to several systems or require teamwork to fulfill. Completing the junctions and getting access to all the starchart nodes should be your early priority. Unlocking nodes also gives you access to most of your important ship segments, which will in turn unlock access to new features, gameplay mechanics and advanced items.
Acquiring new frames
While it may be comfortable to play with your favorite super-modded uber-frame, it can also be interesting to test other Warframes in the game. Who knows – you might end up with something that is even more suitable towards your playstyle. All the Warframes in the game all fit a special niche and play very differently. With the rather challenging higher-end content (Fissure missions, Endless defense, Nightmare missions, Special alerts), utility frames will get increasingly important. All things considered it is wise to have a certain choice of frames to compliment your team in any mission.
Level your things to maximum (once)
Also a no-brainer. Maybe you found your favorite weapons already, but why not try another one which might be more suitable in certain mission types (or just for fun?). You will need to build and level new things to increase your mastery-level (at the top left in main screen in your profile) to gain access to new weapons and quests. Every item grants you mastery, even if the names are similar (e.g. the name suffixes “prime, wraith, vandal” are each individual items), so make sure to level every item to 30 before throwing it away.
Good to know: Adding a forma into your existing weapon (to add polarity slots) can also be a very nice time-sink as it resets your weapon to level 0 again, but it doesn’t grant you further mastery!
Solve fissure missions, gather primes
Fissures are replacing the void since update 19 and can only be accessed with various “era” type relics which you find as rewards from normal missions. When you do all junction missions your ship will be fit with a relic-module, allowing for checking the relic’s potential content (and improving the drop chances) before doing the run. Fissure missions throw tougher enemies at you, but reward you with higher-end, shiny “primed” loot which is superior to the normal version of any item with the same name. Also let me stress the “shiny” part once more, because even as a Space Ninja you gotta’ represent in the world of Fashionframe! Fissure missions can spawn in any system and can get quite tough against higher-leven enemies. Long lasting missions such as defense, survival or excavation will require very decently modded frames with a good team utility and communication.
Step into the Dojo
By founding or joining any clan you can build a Dojo with special laboratory rooms in which you can research additional weapons. While not all weapons are a plain upgrade, most of them are quite powerful and can’t be acquired by any other means within the game (sometimes not even Platinum! *gasp*). So grab yourself some friends and start the research together. Since a few patches ago it is quite manageable for only 3-5 people to build the necessary rooms within a Dojo and start the weapon research. Be advised that the research costs scale with the clan size, so adding more people might have you end up with even higher research costs!
Alternatively you can skip all that, a big clan right ahead and get the weapons directly from their research lab – of course given that you have the required mastery level.
Get involved with Syndicates
Once you hit Mastery Rank 3 you can start ranking up with 3 out of the 6 available Syndicates. You get some of the best Weapons and specific Augment mods from your chosen Syndicate, but be prepared for a lot of time and resources invested to reach the rank. You can also trade most Syndicate items with other players, so don’t worry about missing something out. There are also 2 neutral Syndicates for PVP and PVE which every player can join to get smaller (mostly cosmetic) bonuses.
Watch out for alerts and events
At the beginning alerts are your best source for rare Warframe parts (helmets mostly), reactors, resources and money. You can find various alert-apps for your smartphone or follow @WarframeAlerts on Twitter to see what is currently on. Note that alerts only show up within Warframe if you have played that mission or a mission adjacent to it (i.e. the map is explored). If you know something is on alert but not visible to you, have a friend or someone from recruitment chat invite you to a group. That way you can instantly access any map you want and permanently unlock it.
The developers regularly do special weekend-events and patch in new content monthly. Each live-stream event they do also usually ends up with special alerts and mission rewards, usually potatoes that save you from spending 20 platinum to max out that beloved gun or frame you just got. As an added benefit these events usually provide a good change from the usual gameplay, often in form of new mission types or grafical tilesets. So even if you don’t play regularly you can still be quite sure to find something new every month by doing the events.
Contribute, trade and share
As a more experienced player you can pass on the ball. Trade with others to get new stuff or give your spare parts to gain some money to spend on other things. Help beginners around, trade mods with them in your dojo or visit the Warframe subreddit to discuss things and help other people out. This game has a huge and highly positive community that deeply relates on players helping out each other.
Try to be a useful member of our community, too! 🙂
Advanced: Sortie Missions & Riven Mods
Difficult but interesting Sortie Missions have been introduced with Update 18 and can be considered the absolute “high-end” content of Warframe. You must bring a level 30 Frame and a well-modded weapon on top in order to succeed in these type of missions. Though sorties are already accessible at Mastery Rank 4 I highly recommend having Rank 5 or higher to get access to better clan-tech weapons produced in the Dojo. Some Sorties also require specific weapon types such as Sniper rifles or Bows, so having one weapon of each category is generally a good idea. Having an effective team composition will also greatly influence the rate at which you can complete sorties.
As sortie missions reset once per day you can have several attempts at the rather interesting reward table of sortie missions, ranging from new Warframe parts, potatoes, exclusive weapons or Riven mods, which can power up even older weapons quite significantly. I won’t go into details here as Rivens are also part of the story progression in Warframe, requiring a significant amount of resources to maximize.
Advanced: The “Focus” system
Update 18 also introduced a new “Focus” System, which you will unlock with a new and really awesome Questline (don’t worry, no spoilers). Focus basically works like a resource similar to Affinity (XP) but is only generated when you have “Focus Lens” applied to your gear. With Focus you are able to unlock certain passive and active additional Abilities which can be used independently from your Warframe of choice.
Advanced: The Plains of Eidolon
With the “Plains of Eidolon” Patch 22 Warframe made a pretty impressive step into open world category. While the new city node “Cetus” on Earth is highly accessible for newer players I strongly recommend not going into the Plains as a beginner. If you’re lookin for a good impression about what Warframe’s graphical engine is really capable of, sure, pay the plains a visit and go for a few easier bounty missions. As special events are taking place there you can of course also try and go for the rewards, but make sure to bring at least some decent main gun and a leveled frame to avoid being a detriment to your team. They sure are nice for a visit to soak up the atmosphere, but the progression system is clearly catered towards higher level players while not being fully balanced yet (read: extremely grindy).
In addition to all of that the plains introduce a lot of new mechanics such as fishing, mining and fighting the sentient, all of which exclusively provide new resources designed for late-game factions and gear. In addition to that, the Grineer put up quite the arsenal here, including mortars, air support and snipers which make travel and evasion in those open areas a much more difficult task. Newer players with undergeared frames and weapons will have a mixed experience at best because fights can get quite overwhelming even for experienced players. If you’re eyeballing Gara, the Warframe you can obtain in the plains, know the following: Getting it is tied to a lot of RNG in the bounty missions and requires exclusive resources. You can easily safe yourself the stress for now as it is far from being an “essential” Warframe!
If plain progress (hah!) is your, focus your efforts on unlocking the star chart nodes, do quests, fight bosses for new frames and start doing void relic runs. All of these things are much quicker means to achieve progress and level new gear in Warframe. 🙂
Advanced: Fortuna and Orb Vallis
As newest addition to Warframe, the new hub city “Fortuna” on Venus brings yet another open world to explore. While the area is quite exciting to explore for newcomers and veterans alike, progress speed and rewards are clearly catered towards the latter brand of players. Fortuna brings similar mechanics to those in Plains of Eidolon (fishing and mining) while introducing animal preservation and quick to access bounty missions to the table. While the new rewards such as Moa Pets, Kit-Guns and even a new Hoverboard surely sound tempting, I cannot really recommend Fortuna for beginners. The new Frame “Garuda” is rather hard to achieve without high level gear and the overall XP gain is much lower than running normal or endless missions.
With that said: Fortuna is overall really nicely designed with only few things to complain about in terms of progression. However there is also no real goal on this world yet and the story is yet to unfold, which is why I recommend looking elsewhere for your story progression – for example by completing the start chart first.
Got stuck? Read this!
- Not enough damage? See if your weapon is modded properly for the mission you are doing. All weapons favor a specific type of damage, so be sure to read my weapons guide to get some help with your choice. With the introduction of update 11 the damage model of Warframe is quite complex. There are elemental mods which can be combined to new elements.Lack of resources / Affinity? Doing boss runs usually nets you with higher drop chances of rare resources. If you just need resources in general, doing an endless defense or mobile defense mission will usually bring you the most (common) resources and XP (affinity) to boot. And by the way: it helps a lot to bring high damage frames like Nova or Ember to a defense mission. They can kill tons of enemies in a short timespan, increasing the chance for more enemies to spawn, which equals more resources. As an added bonus you also get all the XP spread over your gear for the kills they do – so bring your lower gear along and watch it gain 5-10 levels in one run while others do the hard work for you. 🙂
- Your profile’s mastery level isn’t rising anymore? Make sure to always equip some gear below level 30 so you can still gain affinity and mastery points with each mission. Every point in affinity gained is awarded towards your profile. You will need those levels to gain access to higher end (Dojo) weapons and specific modes. Note that using forma on a weapon does reset it to level 0 again and adds a polarity to a mod-slot, but it will not grant you further mastery when leveling up. Long story short: You need to buy and try new gear in order to gain mastery ranks.
- Need specific resources or better mods? Try nightmare mode! Nightmare mode is accessible only after completing all the missions within a particular system, and the planets sporting a nightmare mission are randomized. Be careful though as enemies can kill you with a few shots! As an incentive they have a higher chance of dropping rare resources. Nightmare mods often yield rare mods that can’t be acquired otherwise. If you are experienced enough, solo rushing nightmare missions with a frame like Loki or Rhino can be a very effective way of getting some the best mods in the game.
Still not enough? Links to get you going:
- A list of all warframes in comparison
- A Weapon Comparison Sheet in the Wiki
- Orokin Missions and rewards
- A very up-to-date and extensive beginner’s guide video, covering even more than my article.
- Quiette Shy – smaller, informative and funny bite-sized Warframe videos
- Warframe on Reddit – for all your discussion and meme needs
- FrameMastery – a comprehensive collection of further in-depth guides
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Got further questions to get started?
Still not satisfied with this guide? Need to gain more knowledge? Please drop a comment below to let me know what’s missing. Ingame you can also find “Guides of the Lotus” players with purple text that willingly help with all your questions. You can also message via my IGN “Fennyface”. I’m happy to help you with difficult missions if you ask nicely. Of course you can always message me to say you like this guide – it’s a great reward for me by itself. ;D
Need a Clan? «Shinobi no Ryuusei» is hiring
Want a clan to get started? We are a small Shadow Clan (10 People maximum) with most research done. There are no strings attached in joining us, but note that the clan is not very active at the moment. If you are looking for an entry-level experience to Warframe we are glad to help in and outside of the game. If you are looking for that huge community experience I highly recommend using the recruiting chat ingame.