Warframe: A beginner’s guide

Now Updated for "U16" state with many new sections and changes!

Guide is at “Update 18.13” state with many new sections and changes!

  • Note: This is now updated to “Inaros” Update 18.13 Content Patch. This guide may contain some outdated information very soon as lot of things can change with every patch! I’ll try my best to correct the information as long as I’m still playing the game.
  • The guide is written for the PC version of Warframe. Consoles are usually a few weeks behind on content and some GUI elements may be different. The core gameplay however is the same, so most of this guide should apply.
  • 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 just added recently. It gives you a good overview on all Warframes currently available in the game.
  • For up-to-date discussion topics on new events and goodies, visit the Warframe Reddit page.
Warframe can be pretty confusing at first, but my guide should help beginners to find their ways around.
Have fun reading and share a comment if you liked this article. I would appreciate some feedback for my time invested. :)
Listen up to what Fen has to say!

The first log-in / Log-in rewards

Login rewards are given out once per day and range from small bonuses to huge boosts or even a platinum purchase discount. Keep logging in for unique milestone rewards!

Logging into the game is tied to reward that is given out once per day. Rewards can be rather lousy, ranging from meager credit or XP boosts to a nice but rare 75% “Platinum” (in-game currency) discount which can be a good trade if you want to invest a little money and save yourself some grinding in the future. Consecutive logins can also net you very rare rewards like blueprints or items which usually can only be acquired via 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.

With tempting platinum discounts being part of the login process, the most important question looms right there in the entry 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, absolutely 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 Digital Extremes (DE) in further improving this already great game. Wait till you get a 50 or even 75% discount and then go for that precious platinum. It will save you a lot of hazzle and does the great DEvelopment team a favor – and that’s good for everyone, isn’t it?

Questing and 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 abilities quite nicely. Questing also involves choosing your first Warframe, meaning that all new players will get to keep their chosen Warframe after this 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. So again, make sure to check out my Warframe selection guide before making your first choice.

Once chosen you cannot refund or exchange frames in this game and the slots you needed to store further frames must exclusively be purchased using platinum, the in-game currency. It’s the way the developers earn their living, deal with it! Of course you can always start over with a fresh account 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!

So which Starter Warframe to choose?

As of patch 14 there are currently 3 frames to choose from, which I will try to quickly summarize in the following list:

Excalibur_IconExcalibur (Melee) – Due to his recent rework, Excalibur has gotten a much-needed buff to almost all of his abilities. He’s a 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 mostly using your melee weapon 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 (Caster / Crowd Control) – Recently reworked as of Patch 18.13, 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 a good and viable end-game choice, but her abilities bottleneck her a bit too much against certain factions.

Volt (Run and Gun / Team Support) – A very mobile and fun to use Warframe with high movement speed, useful electrical powers, and a carryable damage-amplifying shield that can save your or a teammate’s life in many dangerous situations. 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. As of 18.13 his rework adds a lot of CC to his kit, giving Volt the much needed versatility to survive in endgame high-level encounters.

Planning your future Frames

Note that all the beginner frames – while having comparable base stats like shields and health – are specialized in a certain area while lacking in another. 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. 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 in your portfolio.

Warframes can be categorized as follows:

  • Defensive / Tanky:  Frost, Saryn, Rhino, Valkyr, Trinity, Chroma, Wukong, Inaros
  • Supportive / Allrounder:  Banshee, Trinity, Nyx, Nekros, Mag, Vauban, Volt, Oberon, Limbo, Chroma, Nezha, Equinox
  • Deceptive / Stealth / CC: Ash, Banshee, Loki, Nyx, Mirage, Ivara
  • Offensive / Caster / CC: Ember, Nekros, Nova, Nyx, Trinity; Vauban, Mirage, Excalibur, Equinox

It might also be worth mentioning that many 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.

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. 😉

Your first missions

Missions are unlocked individually for each system. You need to proceed through the star map (and kill the boss of each system) to unlock the next system and its respective resources.

After choosing your first starter frame and completing the tutorial 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 if 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.

Players can also take you along for missions you haven’t unlocked yet – a practice that is commonly mentioned as “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 teamplay. 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 – the Warframe “netiquette”

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.

Sooooo….eventually you will rack up quite a lot of these resources, leading to the question: “What can I do with these things?”. Read on to learn more about resources and how to use them.

Crafting in the Foundry

Within the foundry you can craft new Warframes, Weapons and Items. But you need the resources, blueprints and money for that.

Within the foundry you can craft new Warframes, Weapons and Items. But you need the resources, blueprints and money for that.

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)
  • Time to build the item (ranging from 1 min. for small items and up to 4 days for a new Warframe)
  • Money (Credits) to start building – and in rare occasions you can even use platinum to speed up the building time, though not recommended
  • 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 ingame 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.

Weapons on the other hand are usually much easier to craft, 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 new stuff 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.

Your starting platinum and the Market

The market has a huge selection of Weapons to build. Check back regularly to see which Blueprints you can access.

The market has a huge selection of weapons and Warframes to build. Check back regularly to see which Blueprints you can access, but inform yourself about the guns you want before wasting your resources on them. The Wiki, Youtube and Region chat can help you with that.

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 15000-100000 credits per item, which is pretty affordable after running a few missions a day. 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, most 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.

Platinum-exclusive things to buy in the shop (in order of importance):

So you have 50 platinum right from the start. What should you do with it? Here are some suggestions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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” (called “gold or blue potatoes” due to their looks) which double the mod capacity of your frame and gun respectively. They can also be acquired from playing alerts and invasion type 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).

Keep in mind: Both forma and reactors are permanently bound to your gear once applied. Do not waste your platinum on any of these items if you aren’t sure about keeping the gear they are used on!

All other items inside the shop are a thing of personal taste. In my opinion the platinum pricing model on most Warframes and Weapons is way too high, so it is better to ‘work’ for your stuff – unless you got a really good platinum deal that is.
Listen up to what Fen has to say!

Good things you can get only outside the shop:

  • “Primed” Orokin weapons and Warframes which are all acquired from special high-end void missions with a rare drop chance for 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 Dojo). The amount of trades is limited by your “Mastery” rank so starting the game at level 0 basically prevents you from trading.
  • 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. 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 higher Mastery Rank, preventing players from directly “buying into power”.

Just to emphasize: Almost all blueprints, frames and weapons can be acquired by playing the game normally and defeating bosses. As a result I would therefore recommend spending 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 gather 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. 😉

Which weapons to acquire first?

A quick answer to that is my Weapons Guide which covers the essentials. The intro missions give you a variety of weapons to chose from, but after digging through the ingame shop, your foundry and maybe the wiki, you might find yourself overwhelmed with all the choices available in the game. Also you will lack the resources at the very beginning, so I recommend weapons that can be directly purchased with credits instead of going for the blueprints.

Some really good choices involve:

  • Braton (not the Mk1-Version you start 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.

When you acquired some resources i would recommend saving up for the following weapons:

  • 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

With the given resources, mastery and clan-access you might want 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.
Note that this list is a suggestion based on personal preference. Don’t just go for damage comparisons – go with what you prefer and feel comfortable with! Youtube is your best friend to get a first impression and guides.
Using and leveling weapons you don’t like is not a waste since you gain experience and unlock new Mastery Ranks as you go.
Listen up to what Fen has to say!

Progressing through the game

People often think that the repetitiveness of the game 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. Here are a few suggestions on things that you can do in the game:

Acquiring new frames

The portfolio of Frames is increased with each major patch. Make sure to get a selection of frames so you remain flexible.

The portfolio of Frames is increased with each major patch. Make sure to get a selection of frames so you remain flexible.

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 (Tier4 Orokin missions, Endless defense, Nightmare missions), 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.

Acquiring and leveling new weapons

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?). Also, if you don’t build and level new stuff, your mastery-level (at the top left in main screen) will not rise. 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!

Doing Orokin mission runs to gather money or rare blueprints

The “Orokin Void” comes in four tiers (levels) can only be accessed via special keys that you acquire from defense, survival and interception type missions as a reward. Orokin missions not only sport tougher enemies but also have a beautiful design to explore and reward higher-end shiny loot – because even as a Space Ninja you gotta’ represent sometimes! Orokin runs count towards the hardest of missions, and the high level defense type levels in particular will require very decently modded frames with a good team utility and communication.

Using your Dojo

By founding a clan you can create 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.

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! 🙂

Mods – How do they work?

Adding mods after leveling up should become a routine procedure for you. Using the right mods will greatly increase the fun you get out of a frame or weapon.

Adding mods after leveling up should become a routine procedure for you. Using the right mods will greatly increase the fun you get out of a frame or weapon.

After running the missions you will aquire 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 damage and survivability.

You can acquire further mods quite easily by joining survival and defense missions, as they usually sport high enemy-density and drop rates. If you find yourself short on some basic mods, asking or trading with other players can also yield some benefits.

Mod Polarities / Fusion

When modding, pay attention to polarity symbols on each card, as point costs are increased or decreased depending on whether or not you have a card with the same polarity inserted into the slot. All cards can furthermore be upgraded via “Fusion”, increasing their power and cost. All polarities can be added or changed using “forma”. The process requires an item to be level 30, then consumes the forma and resets the item level back to zero. It is therefore recommended to only forma items that you are completely sure about keeping.

Use "Fusion" to upgrade your mods. Duplicates and Cores give the best benefit. Avoid Transmute - it's a money-sink witha low chance of success!

Use the “Fusion” process in your “Mods” module to upgrade your existing mods. Duplicates and Cores give the best benefit. However avoid “Transmutation” to get a random mod  – it’s a risky money-sink with a low chance of success!

For fusion of mods the following rules apply:

  • Combining mods of the same type / name  gives you the biggest effect
  • Combining mods with the same polarity nets better results than using different polarities
  • A mod’s rarity does matter in terms of how much fusion energy it provides, but it also raises modding costs
  • Fusion cores (which come in different power levels) work equally good on all cards, but should be spent on leveling rare cards
  • Using different polarities for fusion will usually result in higher over costs for the fusion

Important Note: There is a ‘transmutation’ option in the game to convert your mods into other mods. Don’t waste your mods and money there as this feature is highly random and disappointing at best!

Advanced: Sortie Missions

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 they reset once per day you can have several attempts at the rather interesting reward table of sortie missions, ranging from new Warframe parts, exclusive weapons or the new Focus lens.

Advanced: The “Focus” system

Update 18 also introduced a new “Focus” System, which you will unlock with a new 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.

Note that the Focus System is still in development. As this is a beginner’s guide I will not go into further detail as a lot about the System may change. Do not focus (heh) on this game mechanic for now as it still is largely irrelevant to enjoy Warframe.
Listen up to what Fen has to say!

Got stuck? Read this!

  • Don't forget to upgrade your weapons, too! Damage-Increasing mods are the key to surviving higher level missions!

    Don’t forget to upgrade your weapons, too! Damage-Increasing mods such as “Serration” are the key to surviving higher level missions!

    Not enough damage? See if you 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:

 

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24 Comments

  1. Anonymous August 20, 2014 7:47 pm  Reply

    Enjoyed this article great advice here for a newbie. Excellent guide! Have a cluster of things to add.

    Reread it for proper tense, ” build/built, spend/spent
    Excal, radial blind needs to mentioned be as having great utility even late game
    T4 keys can only be got through interception missions
    Boltor does not ignore armor, it uses puncture damage, which is a type of damage more effective against armor
    Hate/Despair, you mean Despair/Dread
    Damage 2.0 is glossed over, while you do link to the wiki, It’s the final element you should discuss to make this a complete guide, explain the basic damage types, the elementals, the combo elementals and a maybe include a cheat sheet for what works best against each faction (and why)
    “Still not enough damage?” Relink your weapon guide, as the explanations on damage modifiers is probably needed again!

    • Fenny August 20, 2014 11:37 pm  Reply

      Hey hey! Quality feedback here, appreciate it. I already saw a few things (Boltor false information) but the proper tense thing completely slipped my eyes (constant switch of BE, AE at work doesn’t help). I’ll try to include Damage 2.0 in the guide, but i think it is a bit too much to cover in this “Beginner” section. The other feedback is highly appreciated, will include that in my updates!

  2. Anberlin3214 August 22, 2014 9:05 am  Reply

    Someone please tell me why after doing the raid the caches mission when I’m told to open the foundry after completing the mission it makes me completely stuck, almost as if the game freezes? I can’t use the component button or even the exit button?????

    • Fenny August 23, 2014 7:33 pm  Reply

      I’m afraid you should ask that on the official forums. That sounds rather like a bug or poorly explained mission part. 🙁

  3. Nick September 6, 2014 11:06 pm  Reply

    These guides have been EXTREMELY helpful, the game itself is rather complicated (Customization-wise) and with your direct style of explanation it makes total sense and i understand how to ‘build’ with some of my frames now. (EX – Valkyr…really wanting some help with Saryn, i dfeel like i am always the dude getting carried T_T)

    All in all, VEEERRRY nicely done. keep it up, i’ll keep reading.

    • Nick September 6, 2014 11:08 pm  Reply

      my in game name is NoxInSox if you want to PM/group up some time. I am interested in joining your Clan though.

      • Fenny September 7, 2014 10:57 pm  Reply

        Hey there. I’ll try to remember messaging you. If i forget, feel wisper me ingame anytime you want. 🙂

    • Fenny September 7, 2014 10:58 pm  Reply

      Thank you! This is the reason i do those guide and i’m really glad that someone takes the time to drop a line for me. 😀

  4. Al October 14, 2014 1:13 am  Reply

    Thanks for the great guide, it’s very helpful when starting out.

    • Fenny October 19, 2014 5:26 pm  Reply

      Thanks! I’m always glad when this helps people, as i know how confusing the game can be. 🙂

  5. Anonymous October 17, 2014 2:03 am  Reply

    Isn’t the third available warframe at the account’s creation is Mag and not Loki? 😛

    • Fenny October 19, 2014 5:27 pm  Reply

      The starter Frames have changed with the recent patch. I need to correct that in the guide. Thanks for pointing it out. 🙂

  6. Anonymous January 17, 2015 6:57 pm  Reply

    Hello. Could you tell how may I say “thank you” during the mission. I don’t have keyboard. Only ps4 controller.

    • Fenny January 18, 2015 11:46 pm  Reply

      Hey there! Sorry i’m playing on PC only, so communication was never an issue. I’d recommend going to the Warframe forums with that question. 🙂

  7. Spark May 22, 2015 7:07 am  Reply

    Thank you for your amazing guides! Concise, exhaustive, and easy to understand. I was wary of playing Warframe because it looked complicated and gave me the false impression that it was pay to win. Glad to find out that this isn’t the case and that it’s an awesome game. Hands down the best free-to-play on the PS4! Thank you for everything!

    • Fenny May 22, 2015 7:16 pm  Reply

      Hey there! Thank you very much for those kind words. Reading comments like these is what keeps me going on this site and motivates me to further improve upon anything i write. I’m happy that you started Warframe because of this article, all the more now since i know how intimidatingly big this game has become. 😀

  8. Anonymous January 7, 2016 2:26 am  Reply

    Artigo muito bom para iniciantes! Obrigado!

    • Fenny January 7, 2016 8:04 pm  Reply

      Você é bem vindo! (and next time in english please, google translate may fail me) 😀

  9. Anonymous February 5, 2016 3:54 pm  Reply

    This is an awesome article. to any newer tenno out there, I’ve also made a chart that you can feel free to use and pass around!

    http://morningstar-wf.com/chart

    • Fenny February 9, 2016 7:47 pm  Reply

      Hi there! Thanks for the Feedback. Nice chart you got there, that’s really helpful for beginners as well. I’ll make sure to include it in the next update. 🙂

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