Embarking on the Cosmic Journey: A Beginner’s Guide to Warframe

updated February 10, 2024

CREATED BY MMOFURY

Embark on your journey as a space ninja under the best conditions with our beginner’s guide, covering your first steps in the Warframe universe.

Warframe: Beginner’s Guide

Available on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and soon on Switch, Warframe continues to astonish with its colossal updates, sometimes altering its gameplay entirely. After unveiling its first open zone last year, Digital Extremes plans to introduce a second open zone this year, followed by the release of multi-crew ships in 2019. Clearly, Warframe’s expansion shows no signs of slowing down, and the summer holidays might be the perfect time to dive into the Tenno universe.

Fortuna, the second open zone, is set to launch this year.

What Exactly is Warframe?

Despite being one of the most played games on Steam for years, many players are unfamiliar with Digital Extremes’ free-to-play title, or their experience dates back several years. Thanks to continuous updates, Warframe has become a free-to-play staple, offering fast-paced gameplay and an abundance of content. At its core, as a space ninja, or Tenno, your goal is to farm ships and enemy bastions in search of increasingly powerful equipment. In this regard, it can be compared to other farming games like Monster Hunter, PSO, or to a lesser extent, Destiny. If you’re averse to grinding or lack patience, Warframe might not be for you. Our first piece of advice: be aware of what you’re getting into, as it requires a significant time investment to progress effectively.

Prime Time

It may seem trivial, but linking your Twitch Prime account to Warframe can bring numerous benefits. Recently, those who made this connection were rewarded with a specialized support and healing frame (Trinity Prime). Digital Extremes frequently gifts the community, making it worthwhile to spend a few minutes in the game’s market linking your accounts.

Quests and Requests

Following the tutorial mission, “Vor’s Prize,” it can be challenging to identify your next objectives as a beginner space ninja. Various indicators provide valuable information about your main quests and current goals. Accessing the navigation map, the top right tab lists ongoing missions; if there are none (a common occurrence), it will either indicate the next junction to open or the path to unlock for a new planet (conditions apply). For main and narrative missions, check their acquisition conditions in your codex, located on the left side of the ship in the cockpit. Completing these objectives is essential to accessing Warframe’s most advanced content.

Gameplay Philosophy

In Warframe, everything revolves around optimizing time, even during pure gameplay phases. Don’t expect leisurely exploration in a typical mission; the efficient way to play Warframe is to rush: head straight to the objective, complete it, and extract in the shortest time possible. This allows you to complete as many missions as quickly as possible. If your goal is pure experience farming, certain mission types like “Defense” or “Survival” consistently offer experience bonuses per enemy killed and higher chances of encountering resources.

Patience Pays Off

As mentioned earlier, Warframe will test your patience on numerous occasions: crafting weapons and frames takes dozens of hours, and farming certain armor parts can be time-consuming. However, it’s always possible to expedite these processes with Platinum, the premium currency. Nothing is exclusively available through Platinum; everything in the game can be earned in-game. Furthermore, the market, when not offering a secondary purchase with in-game credits, at least shows the “free” way to acquire a particular weapon or Warframe. As for purely cosmetic items, they are regularly offered during alerts, limited-time event missions.

Experience and Ranks

Experience in Warframe functions differently from its counterparts. In Digital Extremes’ game, each weapon, armor, and companion levels up, and each level gained by these equipments increases a general “mastery rank.” While this may seem daunting, the level cap for all items is 30, and once reached, you must start over at level 1 with new sets if you wish to continuously improve your overall rank. Crafting new equipment, from frames to secondary guns, is absolutely necessary in Warframe’s world if you aim to progress smoothly. Note that inventory slots are limited, and you’ll inevitably need to part with liked weapons or armor to make room for new ones.

Farming Resources

As a farming game, collecting resources is a given, and most of the resources needed to build your first frames are located on distant planets. Before farming, focus on reaching remote worlds like Saturn and the Void (20 to 30 hours of gameplay); these guarantee a continuous flow of previously unseen resources like plastids, control modules, or orokin cells. Another option is to be power-leveled by community members, which is entirely possible and highly recommended after reaching a certain point in your adventure.

Solo Play Has Its Limits

While it’s entirely possible to enjoy Warframe’s initial content waves solo by playing with matchmaking or setting missions to solo in the game interface, this will only last so long. Enemy resistance and damage will become too high for solo enjoyment. Solutions include joining an established clan, which we highly recommend for access to clan hall-exclusive items and objectives, or continuing with matchmaking in hopes of finding high-ranking players who have been in the game for months. Either way, prepare for a steep increase in resistance upon reaching Saturn, requiring adaptation!

Relics, Frame Farming, and More

This guide is intended for Tenno taking their first steps into Warframe’s potentially overwhelming universe. In the days and weeks ahead, we’ll detail the various gameplay layers offered by Digital Extremes’ title. For any questions about the basics and initial gameplay hours, feel free to ask in the comments section below the article; we’ll respond as quickly as possible.