'Warframe' 2018 Starter Guide: How To Start Your Galactic Quest

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Look at all these awesome Warframes! Digital Extremes

Warframe is hard to break into, but undeniably fun. Taking control of a robot ninja that can slice through hundreds of enemies, destroying drones while flying through space and building the Warframe of your dreams are only some of the things you're able to do. The best part? Everything can be earned for free. There's no freemium B.S., where you're encouraged to spend real money to find any success. (Nearly) everything in the game can be earned by farming components and blueprints.

The sheer scale and confusing language surrounding Warframe can keep new players away. I avoided the game for the last five years because I assumed it would be too difficult to understand, like EVE Online but with fewer spreadsheets. But once I downloaded the game on my Xbox and started tinkering with the tutorial, I fell in love. There's something mind-numbingly cathartic about zooming around a dystopian space-ship, sand planet or ancient alien monolith and wreaking absolute havoc.

What is a Warframe?

The plot around Warframe can get a little convoluted, so I've tried to only understand the bare bits. You play as a Tenno, an ancient race of warriors from earth who control giant suits of mechanical armor called Warframes. You wake up from cryo-sleep to a universe awash in chaos, with different warring factions trying to take control. There are the Corpus, a group of technologically advanced soldiers with access to drones, heavy shields and two-legged robots with powerful stomps. On the other side there are the Grineer, techno-zombies who want to conquer the universe using their vast numbers of bothersome grunts. Somewhere in the middle lies the Infested, a mindless hive that wants to overrun the universe like a virus.

corpus outpost defense
A Corpus Outpost, scientists in the future really like the cold. Digital Extremes

It's your job to travel from planet to planet, culling these enemies to give the universe a chance to grow again. Each planet you visited is full of different missions, ranging from killing a specific target, hacking computers or just killing everyone in sight. Completing missions earns you credits, which can be used to purchase weapons, blueprints and equipment. Blueprints can be taken to the Foundry on your ship and when combined with the proper materials, can transform into Warframes. All the materials needed to make a Warframe can be farmed, so make sure you collect everything on the map you can.

Each Warframe has four abilities, which can only be accessed by leveling up your suit of armor in missions. There are tanks like Rhino, damage dealers Chroma and weirdos like Equinox. With dozens to choose from, you're bound to find one that will suit your playstyle. I've become attached to Limbo Prime, a magician with access to another plane of existence called the Void. He can freeze enemies in a temporal loophole and then slash them to death with a melee weapon. It might take awhile to find the bot that fits your personality best, but you'll have a blast finding out.

Getting Started: Beginner's Guide and Tips

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Look at all these awesome Warframes! Digital Extremes

Once you're through the tutorial, have a fully functioning ship and you've moved off earth, the real fun begins. Warframe is amazing because it lets you do whatever you want, with your imagination being the only thing that holds you back. Want to fish with a spear on the Plains of Eidolon to earn rare Warframe bits? Or maybe you're more of a fashionista, who wants to make the snazziest exo suit possible? If you've got the time to slaughter and earn the materials, anything is possible.

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Archwings, an augment you can earn as you progress. These wings allow you to fly through space and it's incredibly freeing. Digital Extremes

Here are a few extra tips I've learned playing Warframe :

  • Don't feel the need to complete the missions in the order you're given. Special alerts (which can be accessed from your mission tab) can offer extra credits or resources you might need to get the Warframe, item or weapon of your dreams.
  • The three Warframes you can pick in the beginning are all fairly balanced, but Excalibur is the most popular. Slashing with a sword of energy just feels so good.
  • Mastery Ranks are more important than they lead on to be. Once a day, if you collect enough special experience, you can take part in a bonus mission that will boost your rank. Higher ranks allow you to access new Warframes, weapons and locations, which are needed to progress. Leveling up items and completing boss missions earn you these points, once a Warframe or item hits max level, you can't earn any more mastery points with it.
  • Having a pet, known as a companion, makes Warframe more enjoyable. There are sentinel drones that hover beside you, Kavat cats to pounce on your enemies or Kubrow canines to rip enemies to shred. You'll need an incubator on your ship before earning a four-legged companion, which you can only get after mastery rank three.
  • The Warframe wiki is your best friend. It's the most up-to-date compendium on Warframe knowledge and should be bookmarked immediately.

What problems are you facing in Warframe that you want answered? Tell us in the comments.