Warframe: Mission Guide


After many hours in Warframe i still encounter other Tenno who make avoidable mistakes which can easily lead to a mission failure. This mission guide should help beginners in particular to find their ways around in “endless” type missions. If you’re new to the (end)game of Warframe, read the following section carefully – you might save yourself some of those pesky “Mission Failed” screens in the long run.

Defining “endless” type missions

During your journey in Warframe you might have encountered various mission types such as “kill all enemies” (Exterminate) or capture a certain objective. These missions have a definite goal and grant you no option to prolong the outcome for a greater reward (i.e. additional mods, affinity or special rewards such as blueprints). Such missions are usually pretty straightforward and can be solved with just about any team combination – given the proper player experience and equipment. In this guide i will not cover these mission types as they are virtually self-explanatory “as you play”.

Past a certain point rewards won't get any better. Consider finishing a mission early before you risk losing all progress

Past a certain point rewards won’t get any better. Consider finishing a mission early before you risk losing all progress. Your equipment level should match the tier level of the mission you’re about to take on. Otherwise you’re just getting carried by your team.

Endless missions however (such as Defense, Survival, Excavation and Interception) can be artificially prolonged for a greater reward. As these missions get increasingly challenging over time, many people consider them to be the greatest challenge or “endgame content” of Warframe. The missions are also divided into different tiers (ranging from 1-4), which define the following parameters:

  • Enemy level, which increases from there on. As a rule of thumb: tier level * 10 = the enemy level you encounter
  • the amount of experience rewarded per kill
  • the loot table and reward quality (i.e. keys, certain mods, blueprints or prime item parts) – See an overview here for Orokin void rewards.

Despite the name “endless” the rewards in these missions are soft-capped to a certain degree. Most missions only require you to stay at least 15 min or 15 waves to get a roll on the best items available to that tier level. With increasing time you get an additional “roll” on the loot table of that particular mission type, but the reward quality itself is limited to the item pool. That means you won’t get better loot the longer you stay, but just an additional “roll attempt” at the existing stuff.

On the other hand this also means that staying in missions for longer than 30-40 min. will result in diminished return values for the time invested as enemies will get considerably harder to beat. Or put differently: past a certain point missions are just a test of your strength. If you’re up for more loot and experience over time, it’s better to start the mission over as soon as you are starting to hit a brick wall.

Survival missions

Being available in copious amounts at the beginning, air is a scarce resource in prolonged survival missions.

While being available in copious amounts at the beginning, air tanks are a scarce resource in prolonged Survival missions as enemies will be harder to kill. Try to conserve airtank drops for later use.

These missions have become a real “classic” amongst Warframe players as the concept is fun and rather easy to grasp. There is no mission objective to defend during Survival, allowing people to be rather flexible on their choice. Instead you will be confronted with a steadily decreasing air supply that can get restocked via Lotus-deployed air tanks and smaller air supplies dropped by enemies.As enemies will get harder to kill your influx of fresh air will diminish, so it is highly recommended to keep a supply from early game and only use air when needed.

  • Use air at <60% mark, around 30% is even better if you want to avoid unfortunate double-taps of air containers by separate players.
  • Air supplies don’t disappear so keep them on store for times of need.
  • Even if Lotus is announcing a new container, keep the time to run there and open it in mind. It takes around 15% of remaining air to even benefit from a new spawning container.
  • If you have the choice between reviving a teammate or restocking air, always go for air first. Chances are high that teammates are taking care of your fellow Tenno anyways.

Recommended Frames:

  • Nekros (can loot additional air supply from killed enemies)
  • Trinity (provides an endless supply of energy for the team)
  • Volt (quick to run for distant containers)
  • Nova (many kills = many chances for air)

Defense missions

Always keep an eye on the objective. Especially in higher tier levels the enemies can kill the target within seconds if left unattended.

Always keep an eye on the objective. Especially in higher tier levels the enemies can destroy the objective within seconds if left unattended.

The concept of Defense is simple to explain, but sometimes hard to realize for a lot of players. Enemies come in waves, trying to destroy a single objective. In a highly mobile game such as Warframe people often can’t sit still for more than 10 seconds, starting to run around wildly. This is a very (if not the most) common mistake that leads to losing a Defense type mission.

The most important rule in Defense is: stick to the objective! In most cases, enemies will get close to you anyway, so there is no need to run around. The negative effect of staying away from the team and the objective is that you will be harder to revive. Additionally, the loot dropped by enemies will be dropped further apart, increasing the risk to retrieve it for your teammates. That is also why Frames with high utility and defensive capabilities can really shine in this mode, as running around and high damage output is not always of the essence.

  • Don’t be a “hallway-hero”. If you die far away, chances are high that someone also needs to risk their lives to save your ass and may get downed in the process.
  • Always keep the objective health in close view when running away. You would be amazed how fast a cryopod can go down if you think that your “teammates will take care of it”.
  • Let enemies come to you. Loot is easier to grab, kill XP is distributed amongst teammates.
  • Splash-damage and area control is very valuable in this mode as enemies will come at you in huge crowds.
  • Consider usage of strategic items such as ammo-crates or ammo-efficient weapons.
  • The defensive lasers in voids kill teammates instantaneously, but can be a huge asset when you are surrounded by enemies.

Recommended Frames:

  • Frost (the safe house for your team and the objective)
  • Volt (quick collector, shields)
  • Nyx (mass crowd control, distraction)
  • Nova (slowdown, damage amplification, everything-must-die-button)
  • Rhino / Valkyr (high armor values, can catch most enemies in melee range)

Excavation missions

Doing it wrong: multiple excavators are hard to defend and maintain with energy. Try to keep 1-2 excavator limit

Doing it wrong: multiple excavators are hard to defend and maintain with energy. Try to keep a managable 1-2 excavator limit and supply energy  only as needed.

As a new addition to Warframes mission types Excavation is a very fun but also demanding mode that requires your team to distribute roles and act together. Excavation yields many benefits as you are gathering a rare resource (Cryotic) in addition to lots of resource drops and tiered rewards for each successful excavation. If you want more Cryotic you should go for the higher tier missions.

While having many rewarding benefits Excavation missions can also be a lot more challenging as you have come up with the mobility of Survival (distant dig sites) while defending the fragile excavators at the same time. This mission type mission type offers a lot of chances for various Frames to be useful, but also a lot of potential to screw up. As of the current state of the game, excavation missions are against Corpus and Grinner only, so you should choose your Warframe and weapon loadout accordingly.

  • Coordinate with teammates, and say which site you are going to defend to avoid unattended excavators,
  • Try to keep a maximum of 2 (close-by) excavators running at the same time, as they get too hard to defend and maintain otherwise,
  • Difficulty rises based on the amount of successful excavations and not on the time spent in the mission – no need to hurry!
  • Excavators don’t regenerate health, and also no shields when left powerless!
  • Power cells grant 20% energy and use up 1% energy per second of excavation – don’t put in too much energy as it is basically wasted.
  • The main scanner cannot be destroyed, so fill it with energy and then help out somewhere else.

Recommended Frames:

  • Frost (small, long-lasting snow globes make the excavators resistant to gunfire)
  • Volt (quick collector, offers shields for team or excavators)
  • Nyx (long-range cc to keep enemies at bay, absorb can detract enemies from the objectives)
  • Nova (slowdown, teleports for quick distance coverage)
  • Vauban (crowd control, grenades offer some “sentry fire” when leaving the excavator for energy)
  • Mag (can replenish shields of excavators)

Interception missions

Interception favors mobility and prioritization of targets instead of raw force

Interception favors mobility and prioritization of targets instead of raw force. Rewards are only given at successfully reaching 100 capture points, so it is essential to hold all 4 points to be efficient at gathering loot.

This mode is very similar to defense in terms of the wave-based combat and the tiered reward system. But instead of defending one destructible objective Interception  requires you to capture and hold 4 nodes in order to reach 100 capture points faster than the opposing force (consisting of either Grineer or Corpus). The key difference is that you can just stand in the vicinity of a node to capture it while the enemy is trying to hijack a console near the node in order to regain control.

Interception is a bit easier to manage than defense as you don’t have to fear losing an objective. However it requires your team to split up on many occasions as the 4 nodes are usually apart from each other. This means that Frames which can quickly change position or cover an area for extended periods of time have an advantage in Interception type  missions.

  • Multiple Frames can capture a node quicker, so acting in mobile teams of 2 can be very efficient.
  • Enemies need to operate a console to recapture a node. Having a precise weapon and a line of sight allows you to “defend” distant nodes with well-aimed headshots.
  • The biggest threat lies in getting overwhelmed by enemies as you are usually covering a node by yourself or just one teammate. Try to use cover, stealth or crowd control to your advantage
  • Use Frames with high sustain, stealth or healing capabilities to hold the ground on your own
  • A team of 4 people is recommended as the mission difficulty or amount of nodes is not scaled down according to team size

Recommended Frames:

  • Loki / Ash (switching positions and stealth is helpful when outnumbered)
  • Trinity / Oberon (long-range heal support for a split-up team)
  • Vauban (crowd control, vortex and grenades offer some “sentry fire” when leaving a node unattended)
  • Nyx (turn the tides when outnumbered)
  • Saryn (distraction, good against well-armoured targets)
  • Nova (quick change of position)



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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.



  1. Shizzam85 March 22, 2016 2:58 pm  Reply

    Great guide. Especially since i see a lot of excess power placed on excavators.

    Just a couple of commwnts, have you tried using zephyr on corpus excavations? Turbulence protects the excavator and she is much more mobile than frost.

    It is also possible to place loki decoys in areas of impassable terrain which makes endless missions excluding survival easy (infested jumping into a pit die instantly but drop no loot). Similarly using impassable terrain and blast procs or ragdoll can create large area denial by instantly killing mobs hit off the edge of the map (sonicor on draco for instance).

    Also mirage blind on interceptions makes it a peace of cake.

    I would also mention using spectres for defense and interception if you are struggling.

    • Fenny March 28, 2016 3:30 pm  Reply

      Heyo – yeah you bring some good points here. The use of CC is surely a nice way to extend endless mission times, especially when it gets harder and harder to one-shot enemies. There are quite a ton of Frame and Power combinations you can find and abuse to the fullest extend.

      However I also consider these tactics “cheesy”, plus staying in long missions usually yields a lot less benefit both from a risk and value standpoint. Fighting lvl 100 enemies is nothing I consider fun, but I understand people that seek the thrill and challenge of a 1h+ survival mission.

  2. Johnny March 27, 2016 8:59 pm  Reply

    Thanks for making these I’m learning a lot. So how exactly do I go about joining your clan? Someone told me we need to build a key to get access, I’m a total noob and have no idea what I’m doing hehe. Is there a blueprint for it in the market or how does it work?

    • Fenny March 28, 2016 3:27 pm  Reply

      Heyo. It’s actually quite simple. You need to add me as friend and/or message me ingame (Fennyface) so i can instantly invite you.

      Afterwards you will need to construct a clan key which then allows you to access the Dojo at any time:

      • Johnny March 28, 2016 4:31 pm 

        Oh, well not sure if it was you but I received an invite out of the blue and assumed it was (my player’s name is Pouncer). My key for them is ready by now, but at most they seem to have like 5 active active players, if you guys are more active i wouldn’t mind joining you. 😉 However, not sure if I’d have to remake the key hehe.

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