Warframe Beginner’s Guide
One of the blessings and curses of Warframe is the insane amount of options the game has, which can be great for experienced players, but overwhelming for starting players. The Wiki’s Beginner Guide is very good, but I have tried to fill in areas which they do not cover.
What Starting Frame should I get?
Any of them are fine, and you can get all of them eventually. Don’t agonize over the choice; each warframe has advantages and disadvantages, but they are fairly balanced.
Excalibur is the most balanced frame. If you are a veteran to shooters and don’t feel like messing with abilities, get Excalibur. His best ability is his first one, “Slash Dash”, which causes him to shoot forward killing everything between where he started and where he ended up. Radial blind is a good crowd control ability and Radial Javelin is an AOE damage power. He’s got the best durability of the starting frames and can be considered a “fighter type”.
Mag has the best offensive powers of the starting frames. In update 10, she received a good buff, and so is now viable even in late game play. If you want to play a “mage type” character, she is your choice. Her first ability, Pull, ragdolls enemies and is a cheap crowd control ability. “Bullet Attractor” increases damage to one enemy and makes them easier to hit, making killing bosses easier. Crush is an AoE damage ability.
Loki is the lightest, fastest frame in the game. He can teleport, turn invisible, create decoys to draw enemy fire, and disarm enemy weapons. The invisibility comes with a buff for melee damage. However, all that comes with a price – he is very fragile and could be frustrating for new players to use as they will find themselves dying a lot if they are not quick on the decoys and invisibility. He also lacks any pure offensive abilities.
What Weapons Should I get?
The starting weapons aren’t nearly as powerful as weapons you can get later in the game. Some weapons require “Mastery Rank” which can be obtained by leveling up weapons and warframes. I will only address “Mastery Rank 0″ weapons, which anyone can get.
Any of the “second tier” weapons are fine:
Braton – A slightly more powerful version of the MK 1 Braton. Average against all factions.
Boltor – Fully auto bolt rifle. Good vs. Grineer.
Latron – Semi Auto precision rifle. Good against Grineer.
Strun – Semi auto shotgun. Good against Corpus.
Hind – Burst fire weapon average against all factions.
Grakata – High rate of fire SMG average against all factions.
It’s not a big deal to try a weapon out for 10 or 20 levels and sell it if you don’t like it. Although it will cost you in terms of materials and credits, you’ll build up some mastery rank, which will unlock better weapons.
The Vasto revolver is the best rank 0 sidearm. It is reasonably good against all enemy types, accurate, and good at medium to long ranges. Furthermore, it can be upgraded to the Dual Vastos which are arguably the best anti-Infested Secondary weapon in the game. At mastery rank 2, you can get the Hikou or Kunai. Since they are thrown, it can be slightly harder to hit enemies with them, but they are silent, powerful, and very effective against the Grineer. Against the Corpus, the Viper machine pistol is a good option, and can be upgraded to the Twin Vipers. It has extremely poor ammo economy however and should be used in combination with a primary weapon with a lot of ammo.
Mercury’s boss, Vor, drops a blueprint for Cronus, which is a straight upgrade for the Skana. Once you get the Skana to level 30 (for mastery rank purposes), you can sell it and use Cronus in its place. After you’ve gotten Cronus up to level 30, it’s time to move to dual and heavy weapons. Don’t use a Catalyst on the Skana or Cronus. Save it for the first dual, or the first heavy melee weapon you get.
Fang – Dual daggers excellent against Grineer.
Jaw Sword – Single handed sword with puncture damage. Same animations as Skana and Cronus.
Dual Heat Swords – Sword/dagger combo with excellent charge damage and an AOE fire slam attack. Good against Infested.
Scindo – A huge axe capable of cleaving through waves of Infested. Mastery rank 2.
Amphis – An electrically charged staff good against Corpus.
Lecta – An electric whip good against Corpus, especially Moas.
A Sentinel is a floating support robot that gives you various buffs while you are playing. Shade gives you temporary stealth, which is great in a pinch. Carrier is the best if you just want extra damage, and it also picks up items for you. The other three Sentinels are not as good, but since they don’t require Platinum or slots to get, you can get all 5 eventually.
What should I buy with Platinum?
Free players: Get one warframe slot and 4 additional weapon slots (2 purchases of 2 slots each), for a total of 12 weapon slots. Since each faction is weak against different weapons, this will allow you to have a set of 3 weapons for each and have 3 extra slots for weapons you are leveling. To buy weapon slots, go to your inventory, click on Arsenal > Inventory > Buy Slots. Don’t bother with catalysts, reactors, or forma, since you can get these through alerts and log in rewards. The extra slots will allow you more versatility and room to expand into the higher tiers of equipment.
The 170 Platinum pack is $9, which can be reduced by coupons. Use that to get plenty of warframe and weapon slots – at least 2 extra warframe slots and 2 extra weapon slots for a total of 52 Platinum. Get a color palate for 75 (whichever one looks the best to you). With the 43 remaining, you can get a Catalyst and a Reactor for your favorite Warframe and weapon.
If you get the 75% off coupon, you should get at least the $26 Platinum package for $6.75, which is a steal. In addition to the stuff above, and more warframe and weapon slots, pick up a Sentinel which comes pre-upgraded, some style add ons, such as more colors, attachments for your Sentinel, scarves, etc. At this point, it might be worthwhile to spend Platinum on a weapon or warframe outright, although if you plan on spending a lot of time on the game, you could just buy tons of catalysts, formas, and reactors.
Steam packs are not a good deal unless they are on a significant sale (50%+). If you want to throw a lot of money at the game (as I have), just buy a ton of Platinum.
What are the best next Frames to get?
You start with one spare warframe slot, and with the starting Platinum, you should get one more, for a total of 3. The Warframes are fairly well balanced and each has its own advantages, but some are tailored to a particular role.
Damage – Nova, Mag, Ember (vs. Infested), Volt (vs. Corpus), Saryn (not as high damage as the others, but better durability)
Speed running/farming – Ash, Loki, Nekros (farming), Volt
Crowd Control – Nyx, Vauban, Frost, Loki
Boss running – Rhino*, Banshee, Mag
Support: Trinity, Banshee, Nekros
Get Rhino first. He’s versatile and extremely durable, and you can get his blueprints on Venus almost right away. He requires Mastery Rank 2, but by the time you’ve ground out the parts and gotten your starter warframe to level 30, you should be there.
Try to get a variety of warframes. Depending on what starter frame you pick, your third warframe should complement the skills of the others. Go on youtube to watch some gameplay of a warframe before you buy it, if you are unsure about which to pick.
If you have any questions about Warframe, leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them. This article is current with update 11.