Learn more about this versatile warframe by reading this in-depth guide, explaining the playstyle, mods and preferrable loadouts on Vauban!
Disclaimer: This guide aims at Warframe beginners or players with some experience that want to get infos about a new Warframe before buying or building it. The content of this guide is written under the mindset to “get the most benefit with relatively minimal effort”. If you are looking for a guide describing the one perfect, maxed-out frame and never want to look back again, please search somewhere else. 🙂
Introduction – Why play Vauban?
Imagine you are just about done with playing the first rounds of Warframe and you wonder if there is more variety to the game. Maybe you have seen that very weird-looking frame throwing around weird black holes and electric balls in odd-looking colors? This guy is called “Vauban” and he brings quite a lot of utility to every team.
Vauban excels at creating traps and crowd-controlling effects that allow him and his team to defend objectives or get out of tricky situations with ease. Since most of his abilities work irrespective of enemy type and level, Vauban is a very welcome guest in just about any group. But the highest demand for his skillset can surely be seen in defensive missions, where Vauban can single-handedly keep whole armies away from teammates and objectives.
Thanks to this wide range of utility, Vauban can also do rather well in escort, assassination and solo missions. Flexible use of his “Bounce” ability lets him traverse to higher areas while “Teslas” (the electrical balls) can be attached to just about any surface – including his teammates, escort targets and sentries. This allows Vauban to be useful in just about any situation, but also requires you to carefully analyze your surroundings and make best use of your energy pool. Vauban is the ideal frame for people looking for a completely different approach at Warframe. If you like to play a “Tower defense” kinda game and create tricky trap mazes for your enemies, this Frame is ideal the ideal partner for you!
- Has a strong kit with very useful abilities.
- All abilities are instant-cast and can be used on the move or even while reloading, allowing for Vauban to minimize risk to himself.
- Abilities scale very well into end-game against higher level enemies (albeit his grenades may lack a bit in damage).
- Almost every ability has multiple uses (and utility is highly important in late game).
- Contributes greatly in team-oriented missions like mobile defense or survival.
- All of his skills feel “unique” and are hardly replaceable by other frames (you will see a lot of Vauban requests in the “Recruit” chat)
- Versatile in combat, can be either built as mobile fighter or background-strategist.
- Has no limit to the amount of simultaneously used abilities, so feel free to fire away!
- Very fragile when unmodded, starts with low shield, armor and health levels. Use of cover is highly advised!
- Has no damage-reducing abilities and is susceptible to direct long-range direct attacks (i.e. Grineer hitscan weapons)
- Abilities are not directly aimed at enemies but thrown on the ground, so you need to plan your throws and ability range ahead. Standing on higher ground is advisable to extend your reach.
- Vauban has a learning curve since his abilities can also hinder your team’s efficiency when placed in a wrong way.
- Needs lots of energy to perform well and should be built accordingly.
- His available alternative helmets are a bit lackluster in their effects.
Thanks to his very unique kit you will experience a rather hard time getting used to Vauban. His early game might be lacking since he starts with very low shield and health values, but he quickly gains momentum as he levels up and gets the right modding treatment. As a “caster-type” Frame, most of Vauban’s utility will come from his abilities, requiring you to avoid direct confrontation while your energy is low. On the contrary this also means that Vauban is an exceptional team player, allowing himself and others to even resurrect teammates and defend objectives in a whole army of level 50+ enemies.
This is possible thanks to his useful abilities “Vortex” and “Bastille”, both of which can be instantly cast, allowing you to disable groups and take enemies out with minimal risk to you and your team. Using “Vortex” greatly complements the usage of piercing weapons, while “Bastille” makes shooting weak spots of enemies a breeze. Simply grab yourself a bow or sniper rifle, throw that “Vortex” into a large group of infested and treat yourself to some delicious mutant-kebap, freshly pierced on a stick. Or if you like a more rough approach, get yourself an Ignis or Ogris and blast away into that pile of meat.
“Tesla” is Vauban’s “bread and butter” skill. It can be cast in quick succession and spammed like deadly christmas baubles – if you have the energy pool and/or efficiency to support it. Note that grenades have charges that greatly rely upon your modded power-duration, so you may either choose to have long-lasting sentries or quick but hard-hitting bombs. Either way they are a good source of damage against early game enemies and still have a short “Shock” CC effect against higher level enemies. Use them on just about any surface (including your teammates and the fragile escort guys) to create mobile minions that do your bidding!
“Bounce” on the other hand seems to be a rather useless skill at first, allowing you to simply traverse to higher areas and take shortcuts. At second glance however it creates a minefield for your enemies that stays until the charges are expended, so feel free to find a small pathway and create a “Grineer Pinball Arcade” for your personal amusement. Alternatively you can use “Bounce” in uncommon ways, like throwing it on a Cryopod to keep enemies away from meleeing it. Bounce may not always be the most efficient use of your energy, but it surely is the most fun one.
Some basic points to get you going with Vauban:
- Use “Teslas” as quick “on the go” damage items. Attach them to teammates when they stand still or ask them to do so. Elevators are a good opportunity to “refresh” their defenses.
- “Teslas” have quite the long reach, so you can also stick them to ceilings in order to cover a wider area.
- Try to maximise your power duration. Power duration will improve both the amount of charges on “Tesla” grenades and longevity of your “Bastille” and usually you need to cover rather narrow areas with your skills. Power duration also makes your abilities more efficient as you need to spam less of it. Power reach comes at a close second as it is more a “comfort” thing to have that you don’t need when you plan the proper placement of your abilities.
- Maximising power strength gets more out of your “Teslas” and suspends more enemies with “Bastille”, but “Vortex” and “Bounce” will not gain anything.
- Power efficiency or the “Flow” mod for more power are a good idea on Vauban as you often need to store some “tricks up your sleeve”.
- Getting higher shields and a faster shield recharge is highly recommended against long-range enemies as Vauban lacks defensive skills against projectiles. Of course you can also use speed mods and keep moving out of harms way.
When to engage
Vauban is best played when fighting from an elevated position. Most of your skills involve “lobbing” some kind of device like a grenade in an arc, so having greater height usually amplifies your reach by quite a bit. In addition it helps you to overlook the battlefield better, seeing where enemies break through or help fallen Tenno to get up. Try to spread your Teslas around instead of focusing them to one spot as they will cover a wider area and stun more enemies with the electric shock. In addition they will not all simultaneously expend their charges due to all of them firing at the same time. Both “Vortex” and “Bastille” allow for relative save engagement, but keep in mind that meleeing enemies in a Vortex may still hurt you (poison or AoE damage) and “Bastille” only keeps a defined number of enemies sustained, leaving some of them capable of hurting you. This can usually resolved by throwing more than one ability at the same time.
Things to note:
- All of Vauban’s abilities can be cast while moving and mid-air, so use them to get away or into combat. They have almost no cast time but a slight delay before they get active, so try to aim ahead of enemies.
- Bounce has a slight delay before it gets into effect. Placing “Bounce” about 5m in front of you ensures a quick and safe method to jump high and escape nasty situations.
- Your Teslas deal electrical damage, so they are naturally more effective against Corpus and Grineer than against Infested. Keep this in mind when using Teslas solely for damage output.
- Informing your teammates about where and when you want to concentrate damage may improve the efficiency of your “Vortex” greatly. Think of combinations like gathering enemies “primed” by Nova in a tight cluster. Having a Nekros in your team you can “plan” deaths of enemies and get lots of items with “Vortex” + “Desecrate” usage.
Although Vauban can be played with a “in your face” fashion, it is usually recommended to act from a distance and do your part where it matters most. Accurate weapons like Bows or Snipers, or even the accurate Soma work well when combined with your “Vortex” ability and mods that allow you to punch through multiple enemies when clutched together.
The alternative helmets of Vauban unfortunately leave a lot to be desired for. The Gambit helmet increases your Stamina which might be good when you do missions based on mobility, but it also taxes your power duration. The Esprit helmet on the other hand sounds good on paper, but just adds to your base energy and taxes your shields AFTER all bonuses. So that is a lot of shields lost for 15 more energy. However it may be worthwhile when you want to max your energy pool with flow and combine it with the “Quick Thinking” mod, allowing for more sustainability in combat.
With Vauban being more on the fragile side, defensive sentinels like Shade or Carrier minimize the time you have to spend gathering items or fleeing from enemies. With tankier frames in your team the least thing you want to do i draw attention to yourself.
- Weapons which hit multiple enemies such as the Ignis flamethrower or piercing Kunai do a great job when thrown into the “Vortex”
- Rocket launchers can also be a valid option if you manage to keep yourself at distance. A good rocket into a “Vortex” full of enemies does a ton of damage and is great fun to boot.
- “Utility” Melee weapons with a good stun range such as Fragor are a good choice as you rarely find yourself going point blank range as Vauban.
- Sentinels should be equipped with a guardian mod to quickly boost your shields when needed. Make sure your sentry is also durable enough to withstand gunfire for a while.
- If you want to play full offensive, you can improve your Tesla strenght at the cost of their duration or cost-effectiveness
- Focus on accurate but fast firing-weapons like the “Soma” to deliver a huge burst of damage during “Vortex” or “Bastille” durations.
- Synapse and Flux Rifle work equally good for enemy clusters or weak-spot sniping when modded with a punch through mod like “Shred” and “Metal Auger“
- Thrown weapons like “Kestrel” and “Glaive” that can be modded with “power throw” mods are also a nice choice as you can keep your distance towards enemies.
- Prefer mods that optimize your ability duration, reach and power consumption to keep enemies at bay and have a reserve ready for “hot” situations
- Focus is a great choice when playing defensively, further increasing the damage output and utility you can provide due to the unlimited spammability of your abilities
Note: The following builds are meant as suggestions for beginners. Little to no Forma are necessary, but an Orokin Reactor is considered a minimum to work properly. Every build is situational in its own regard, so feel free to start with the suggestions below and modify as you see fit.
Loadout A like: All-rounder
This is my prefered build. It provides only low shields and life but stores a lot of energy and works well in all departments (Strength, Duration, Efficiency). The combined usage of Flow and Equilibrium enables you to store a lot of energy and avoid depletion in times where you need your energy the most. This build will also allow you to stay out of bigger crowds (think of Infested Ancient Disruptors) for quite a while. All abilities are used to allow to respond to about any situation. Bounce may be the first candidate to drop and you might want to replace “Constitution” with “Quick Thinking” to increase your longlivety in close combat. If you feel like going “all in” you can maximise this build with the Esprit helmet.
Loadout B like: Berserk
A build using corrupted mods to quickly deliver higher damage with grenades. “Constitution” and “Continuity” try to counter the negative effects of the “Fleeting Expertise” mod. Not using them will make your Vortex, Bastille and Grenades last only a very short duration.But if you feel like it, you can drop them for additional walk speed by adding the “Sprint” mod. This build is meant for quick in and out combat types and sprints, so you might emphasize on it by using the Gambit helmet.
Loadout C like: Catch me if you can
This is going a step further in terms of how close you want to get into combat. You gain a lot of mobility and durability thanks to Bounce, Rush, high shields and the shield recharge from “Fortitude”. Your abilities still hit relatively hard thanks to the added power strength, but they will only last for a few seconds. This is a good mod loadout when you don’t want to stay at a place and quickly dispose of multiple enemies – think of survival or exterminate missions here. For this loadout i would recommend the standard helmet, as the tax on your shield or power duration with the other helmets would be too great to justify their usage.
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