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Barrier to Entry – Newbie’s Starter Guide to Warframe

David Holmes Posted:
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Welcome back Space Ninjaz! Brandedwolf here bringing you another edition of Kinda, Sorta, Maybe A Space Ninja. Last time we gave a brief introduction to what Warframe is and all the various things it has available for players. This time we'll dive into the barrier to entry that Warframe has for new and returning players. With a game featuring so many different frames, weapons, pets and so many mods, it can be overwhelming. Let's break it down and hopefully make everything a little easier for everyone.

The first big thing are the frames themselves. With 34 frames currently in game it can be a bit to take in a make a choice of what to play. As a new player you get to choose between Volt, Mag and Excalibur as your starting Warframe. Excalibur is a great choice to start for newcomers. It does good damage with its powers, has decent armor and getting it later can be a royal pain. Don't get me wrong, Volt and Mag and good too, but Excalibur will make the beginning tutorial quest series easier. Volt and Mag are a lot easier to get than Excalibur as well later on. For those returning to the game or new players who want something different than what they started with there are several options depending on what you're looking for. All frames are gotten either from quests, grinding certain bosses for the blueprints for their parts, bought with plat or for the prime versions lots of grinding when they're not in the vault (RIP me missing one piece for Rhino Prime). Rhino gets my vote for a good all-around frame to get next. He can survive hits with his high armor, has good skills and is fairly easy to get early on. From there it's about figuring out what your playstyle is and what kinda frame supports that play style. Certain missions are easier with some frames as well as playing solo versus with a group can make a huge difference. Remember that Prime versions are statistically better, but only certain ones are available with the rest being in the prime vault which rotates. This excludes Excalibur Prime which was only available in the early days when you became a founder for Warframe (insert sad face here). By the time you've leveled Excalibur and Rhino you should have a better grasp of the game and an idea of what frames you want to start working on next.

Next up on the list are the weapons in Waframe. From primary to secondary to melee, there are a ton of weapons in the game and more are constantly being added. For the new player you have a choice between two different versions for each weapon slot in the beginning quests. Your first choice comes in picking a melee weapon. You can pick between a Skana (a sword type weapon with general stats) or the MK1-Bo (a staff type weapon with slow speed, but longer reach than a Skana). The Skana is a good all-around starting weapon and is easy to use whereas the Bo's speed can make it a pain to learn Warframe melee with. Next is choosing your secondary weapon.

You have the choice of a Lato (an accurate sidearm that is useful at all ranges) and the MK-1 Kunai (throwing knives good for stealth). Lato all the way on this one, it's just plain easier to use and a good gun. FiFinally,t's time to pick a primary weapon. The choices for new players is the MK1-Braton (standard full-auto rifle) and the MK1-Paris (a bow type weapon that is silent with high damage but doesn't fire fast). The Braton is an easier to use weapon, not as accurate at long range as the Paris, but when dealing with groups of enemies, makes taking them down easier. You've chosen your starter weapon and now hunger for something new or you're returning to the game and want some advice on what weapons to play with.

My biggest piece of advice is to try them all eventually, starting with weapons that work with your play style or just seem cool to you. There are a couple bows to choose from that do different types of damage which can be really effective against enemies that are weak to that damage. Melee weapons can be fun to play with and have a lot of variety especially when you get a stance mod you like the style of.

Let's talk about the companions available in game. In general Sentinels are easier to obtain and offer some variety whereas the Kavats and Kubrows can be a pain to get without spending plat. I would suggest trying out the Taxon or Deathcube. The Taxon is meant to be a starter Sentinel with its ability to do damage to enemies and convert it to shields for your Frame. Deathcube just melts things. Seriously if you want a straight up damage companion, this is the one for you. 

Lastly let's talk about mods. This is probably what gets people the most just in sheer number of mods available for not only your frame, but your weapons and your companions. As you level everything, you get more points that allow you to fit more mods or higher-level mods. This will be some fairly basic advice to get you started with mods. For your frame, go with mods that allow you to have either more armor or shields depending on what is stronger on your frame and then something to up your health and energy.

For weapons you could focus on specific elemental damage buffs, but to start with go with straight damage bonus and more ammo or speed depending on what you're using. I will say that frost damage is a nice overall elemental type to have but is weaker against the Infested type of enemies. Start slow with mods and work your way deeper. It seems like a lot at first, but once you understand them it's fairly easy. There are a lot of guides out there to help you figure out which ones you may want for a specific build you're trying.

That wraps up this column, thanks for stopping by Space Ninjas. Would love to hear what you think in the comments below, last time we got some really good conversations going. Until next, this is Brandedwolf signing off. 


David Holmes