Choosing Your Next Warframe

Well, we’ve come the burning question on every new player’s mind. What warframe should you go after next. I’ll try to keep this short and simple while still giving you a good idea of how these warframes work and where to get them.

I’d like to have it clearly stated, this guide is aimed at beginners. You may find some info in here, but not tons. There is an advanced version in progress, which will be linked here when completed.

I’ve put together a list of all the frames, here’s a short explanation for this list, and how to make sense of it. Since this guide is for beginners, they’ll be rated in difficulty in a few areas:

  • Access – How easy it is to access the parts.
  • Time – How early they can be obtained. (by natural progression, not getting taxi’d)
  • Overall Difficulty  – Difficulty for a Beginner to play.

Each of these will be followed by reasoning as to why they got placed where they did on the scale. 10 point scales.  In this case, the best result is a 1/10 for these sections. So lower numbers means easier.

I will also give ratings to them in a few different categories relating to their abilities in different roles. Since a lot of warframes will overlap in into more than one role, I figured this will be the easiest way to explain it. These are the areas frames are getting compared in:

  • Control – Their potential to provide crowd control or lockdown an area of a map.
  • Damage – Their potential to deal damage, via one or more abilities.
  • Support – Their ability to help allies survive, or boost their allies abilities.
  • Tank – Their ability to soak damage up. This relies mostly on natural stats, but abilities are also factored.

Again these will be given reasons as well as a point rating on a 10 point scale. However, higher is better on the scale for these.

These stats are also going to be color coded. GREEN is good/above average, RED is bad/below average. 4-6 is the average for most stats.

With that, let’s help you figure out what frames you like, and what ones are just plain easy to get!

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Ash

Access: 10/10

Time: 5/10

Overall Difficulty: 3/10

Ash is a tough one to get now. He drops off Grineer Manics, which in themselves spawn in limited numbers. These CAN start spawning as early as Saturn, however Manics are not pushovers, nor are they guaranteed to drop any of Ash’s parts. It’s because of the fact they Manic drop them that give Ash his higher rating for Access. Ash is a really simple to play frame, as his abilities allow you to play many different ways and work well even with beginners.

Control: 2/10

Damage: 10/10

Support: 3/10

Tank: 4/10

Ash is pretty resilient and sports one of the largest health pools in the game, the Prime version also sport more armor. He’s not the best tank overall and is better suited to damage, but can still take a beating. He gets a small bump to Control and Support from Smoke Screen. With the augment, he can provide temporary invisibility to allies near him, it also stuns nearby  enemies on cast. His ultimate scales really well with power strength and deals finisher damage (which ignores shields and armor), allowing him to deal high damage at all stages of the game.


 

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Atlas

Access: 5/10

Time: 7/10

Overall Difficulty: 3/10

Atlas is technically Mastery Rank locked to MR3, only because you need an Archwing to access the quest and subsequent mission for the parts. The boss nor the quest are super difficult if you’re prepared for them, but that preparation will take plenty of time. His playstyle is fairly simplistic, making quite easy to play.

Control: 5/10

Damage: 10/10

Support: 2/10

Tank: 10/10

Atlas has a fairly decent kit that can make him very versatile outside of just damage. Despite all of his abilities doing damage, two of his abilities also provide a lot of control, by walling off corridors or turning enemies to stone. His walls do act as cover than anyone can use, bumping up his support ability slightly. Atlas does have a ton of health and high armor, making him suitable as a tank. That in addition to his wall and golems which can soak up a lot of damage give him a lot of tanking potential for a team.


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Banshee

Access: 1/10

Time: 1/10 or 5/10

Overall Difficulty: 5/10

Banshee is gotten from the Tenno Lab of a clan Dojo. This give her a low access value, and a low or medium time value. If you join a clan that has her researched, you can get her and build her immediately after the tutorial, or rather whenever you get the credits. If you end up starting a clan and have to research her yourself, it will take much longer. Banshee can be quite difficult to play, as she’s usually quite fragile, but she can help a team immensely.

Control: 8/10

Damage: 6/10

Support: 8/10

Tank: 2/10

Banshee has a lot of control in her first and fourth abilities, while her second and third abilities provide a ton of support. Her control comes in the form of a small AoE knockdown with her Sonic Boom power, which also does some damage. Her Sound Quake ability is a large AoE Stagger/Area Denial ability that also does periodic damage. Banshee’s support mostly comes from her damage amping Sonar ability, which does provide a fair amount of damage capability as well. Her Silence ability is also nice for acting as a support for stealth missions, but not quite as useful. Banshee has low base stats, making it hard for her to be a tank due to her fragile nature.


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Chroma

Access: 5/10

Time: 8/10

Overall Difficulty: 5/10

Chroma’s parts are rewarded through a quest, so access is quite easy. It is time consuming though, because the quest that gives his parts is locked until MR5, which can take awhile to get to starting out. in addition to his parts, you requires parts from other frames from mid-high level planets. His playstyle is interesting due to his abilities. He can be quite versatile, but using his abilities properly can take practice. This makes him not quite beginner friendly, but not overly difficult as they are simple skills.

Control: 4/10

Damage: 7/10

Support: 5/10

Tank: 9/10

Chroma is kind of a Jack-of-All-Trades in terms of playstyle. He can function in multiple roles finding success in melee damager or even a support-y tank. His ability to change damage type with energy color which also alters some of his abilities makes him versatile too. He excels as a tank due to his natural bulk, and his Elemental Ward ability can further supplement this by giving him and even his nearby team extra stats. Though his skills allow him to function in multiple roles, he does much better in a tanky or damage type role the best.


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Ember

Access: 3/10

Time: 3/10

Overall Difficulty: 3/10

Ember’s parts drop of Sargas Ruk, the boss of Saturn; making her available to be picked up early on. Since her parts drop from a not too difficult boss, this makes them quite easy to get. Overall, Ember is another frame that has a simplistic playstyle. She ends up being a Control frame or a Damage frame, and does both quite well.

Control: 7/10

Damage: 8/10

Support: 2/10

Tank: 1/10

Aside from Accelerant, everything in Ember’s kit has a high or guaranteed chance to proc Heat. Heat also causes to panic for a couple seconds, in addition to the inflicted DoT . Accelerant also provides a short duration stun on cast, all while boosting her abilities damage potential. World on Fire with the Fire Quake augment gives her more reliable CC, and being a decent damage channeled skill, give her high damage at the same time. Accelerant does give her a slight bump in Support, as it boosts on incoming Heat damage to affected enemies, not just hers. Ember is not a tank in any regards.


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Equinox

 

Access: 5/10

Time: 7/10

Overall Difficulty: 8/10

Equinox is quite the tricky frame to get. It doesn’t drop until later in the star chart, the boss requires you to have an Archwing, and drops in 8 pieces, instead of the normal 3; due to the Yin/Yang concept. Equinox can do a lot of things, and to be able to utilize its full kit at once can be really difficult. With 7 abilities that could be used in many ways, Equinox can be tough to learn.

Control: 7/10

Damage: 9/10

Support: 7/10

Tank: 3/10

Both of equinox’d forms offer plenty of Control and support. Whether it’s night form’s heal and sleep or day form’s Nuke and damage amp. The Day form’s ultimate, Maim, is where Equinox’s main damage potential lies. It gains a portion of killed enemies HP as additional damage, so it can scale really well. Equinox isn’t really suited to tanking, but the Night form damage reduction aura can make it work for low-levels.


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Excalibur

Access: 3/10

Time: 1/10 or 8/10

Overall Difficulty: 2/10

Excalibur is available as a starter frame. But if you chose not to take him as a starter, you can’t pick him up until Pluto, one of the latest and highest level planets. Excalibur’s playstyle is a fairly simple and aggressive playstyle.

Control: 5/10

Damage: 10/10

Support: 1/10

Tank: 3/10

Excalibur’s control comes in two different blinds. A large radius castable one, and one tied to slide attack while using his ultimate, Exalted Blade. Exalted Blade scales well into late game, giving him plenty of damage potential. While he may lack support, he can psuedo-tank with Exalted Blade, as it blocks incoming damage from the front.


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Frost

Access: 3/10

Time: 8/10

Overall Difficulty: 3/10

Frost is available on Ceres, from Lech Kril. While the boss itself isn’t too difficult to fight, the boss does have a slightly tricky mechanic to deal with. Ceres is pretty late into the star chart, meaning time is the largest factor in obtaining him. Frost is a simple and effective frame when it comes to defending.

Control: 10/10

Damage: 5/10

Support: 5/10

Tank: 8/10

Frost has absurd amount of control potential. Freeze can well.. freeze enemies, while also slowing nearby enemies. With the Ice Wave Impedance mod, he can slow large groups of enemies. Avalanche can freeze enemies for up to several seconds. Almost all of Frost abilities deal damage, with the exception of Snow Globe. Snow Globe give him his high support value, being able to deploy a shield to defend himself and all of his allies. On top of this, his natural bulk can make him an effective tank.


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Hydroid

Access: 3/10

Time: 2/10

Overall Difficulty: 5/10

Hydroid’s part’s are available early from Vay Hek on Earth. Vay Hek is no pushover though, despite being on an early planet. This early access and dropping from a boss give Hydroid these low values. Hydroid himself can be hard to play effectively. While his abilities are pretty straightforward, there are proper way to use them.

Control: 10/10

Damage: 4/10

Support: 3/10

Tank: 5/10

Hydroid has a Control aspect to all of his abilities, usually knocking enemies down and preventing damage. His abilities are more regarded for their control rather than damage, though they do okay damage. His bump to support comes from his ability to control enemies, and his abilities to generate extra loot with his Pilfering Swarm augment. He can be pretty tanky, if build to do so. While he lacks armor to be a really effective tank, he can soak damage and heal it off if needed with one of his other augments.


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Limbo

Access: 5/10

Time: 5/10

Overall Difficulty: 3/10

Limbo is locked to a quest, which require Archwing, which requires MR3. So he can take awhile to get to. His parts drop from the questline, so they are fairly easy to get as long as you can complete the quest. Limbo is fairly simple to play, and playing him well really only takes communication and understanding his unique rift place mechanic.

Control: 2/10

Damage: 2/10

Support: 8/10

Tank: 4/10

Limbo lacks any kind of control really. His control comes from the ability to deny damage mostly.  His abilities lack high amount of damage and are better suited for supporting your team or singling out a priority target. Limbo has great potential as a support, protecting himself, allies or even objective from damage. With an augment, he’s also capable of healing allies while sending them to the rift plane. His biggest support factor lies in the fact that while on the Rift Plane, he (or allies) restore 2 energy a second. That’s a lot of energy.  He can psuedo-tank using Rift Walk, as shots can still hit him, but will do no damage.


warframe loki

Loki

Access: 3/10

Time: 6/10

Overall Difficulty: 7/10

Loki’s parts drop from the Hyena pack on Neptune, which is kind of far into the planets, but not too far. The bosses themselves can be a little tricky for a beginner to deal with. Loki can be an easy frame to work with when modded, but without mods, he has little survivability. Low health, low armor, low shields. This makes his a rough frame to play unless you have mods or are fairly experienced with the game.

Control: 10/10

Damage: 1/10

Support: 5/10

Tank: 1/10

Loki is packed with control. He he set up decoys to distract enemies, go invisible and even disarm enemies forcing them into melee. Unfortunately, his abilities offer no damage of their own, but instead provide him with means to indirectly control a fight. His support comes from the ability to disarm enemies and provide distractions. He cannot tank, don’t try it.


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Mag

Access: 1/10 or 3/10

Time: 1/10

Overall Difficulty: 3/10

Mag is available as an both a start frame and really early on. She drops from a fairly simple boss on the early planet of Mars. So she’s almost immediately available when you finish the tutorial if you can handle that planet. She’s a fairly simple frame that works well in a few roles with her simple abilities.

Control: 7/10

Damage: 5/10

Support: 6/10

Tank: 2/10

While she doesn’t offer high levels of anything in particular, her damage capabilities are pretty high early game. Late game against corpus she can be insane. Her Control is found in most of her skills. She has two AoE skills that allow for plenty of crowd control. Bullet attractor allows her to keep enemies from hitting her or her team easily. A lot of her support comes from Shield Polarize and the Fracturing Crush augment. She can instantly restore all of your shields if she has enough power strength and fracturing crush helps your team do more damage. Through Shield Polarize, she could psuedo-tank using her high shield values, but it’s not too effective.


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Mesa

Access: 7/10

Time: 10/10

Overall Difficulty: 3/10

The ability to get the mission where she drops is really limited. You need to get special coordinates from the Derelict missions, or from Infestation Outbreak Alerts. You need three to make a key and a minimum of three keys to potentially get her. The Derelict also requires special coordinates, all of which can be very time consuming to gather for a new player. She is a fairly simple and straightforward to play frame though.

Control: 6/10

Damage: 10/10

Support: 3/10

Tank: 6/10

Mesa’s kit is fairly simple, in the fact that it’s mostly damage and control focused. She has a a lot of power shoved into her ultimate, Peacemaker; which is pretty costly energy wise to use without proper mods. She can be quite controlling as well. With Shooting Gallery acting a small buff, as well as her primary control ability, jamming guns of nearby enemies every few seconds. She’s not primarily a tank, but she does have a skill that can provide up to 95% damage reduction, so she can soak up a lot of damage if needed, but only from non explosive projectiles.


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Mirage

Access: 5/10

Time: 5/10

Overall Difficulty: 3/10

Mirage is another frame that drops from a quest. It has no special requirements to access, but you may be pitted against some high level enemies and need to be prepared. Her playstyle is fairly simple and her skills are easy to use.

Control: 5/10

Damage: 7/10

Support: 5/10

Tank: 4/10

Mirage’s Control comes from Sleight of Hand and Prism. Sleight of Hand can prevent enemies from triggering alarms, while Prism can be detonated to cause a massive AoE Blind. Prism can deal high damage, as well as Eclipse and Hall of Mirrors offering a damage boost for weapons to herself. She can be support-y with her blind, and even more so with the Total Eclipse augment which allows her to extend the bonuses from that skill to her team. Eclipse can allow her to soak some damage, but she has low base stats, making the occasionally available 95% damage reduction hard to use and not very effective for her.


warframe nekros

Nekros

 

Access: 7/10

Time: 5/10

Overall Difficulty: 3/10

Nekros drops from Orokin Derelict Assassination mission, which have a rather tough boss, and requires you to run other Derelict missions for Coordinates. Nekros himself is a simple frame, generally used for farming.

Control: 5/10

Damage: 3/10

Support: 6/10

Tank: 3/10

Nekros gets a fair amount of control from his ragdolling soul punch, being able to raise enemies from the dead as distractions with Shadows of the Dead and Terrifying enemies. Soul Punch is a low damage ability, but is good for crowd control. Shadows can deal plenty of damage, and scale, but are timed so they don’t always get stuff done. Nekros get’s plenty of support from the CC capabilities, and Desecrate which spawns a lot of health orb and extra loot. The Shield of Shadows augment can allow him to soak up some damage, but his Shadows tend to tank better than he can.


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Nova

Access: 3/10

Time: 5/10

Overall Difficulty: 3/10

Nova drops from the Raptor boss on Europa. Europa is pretty early on, but not too early. Nova’s general playstyle really comes down to energy management and how well you can push a button. Jokes aside, she can put out a lot of damage, not to mention work well as a support as well.

Control: 6/10

Damage: 7/10

Support: 4/10

Tank: 1/10

A lot of her control comes from her ultimate, Molecular Prime. This ability can slow a lot of enemies to a crawl really quickly, or speed them up, depending on build. Null Star also staggers enemies on hit, giving her a bit of personal protection. Antimatter Drop along with the 2x damage multiplier applied by M. Prime allows Nova to deal a ton of damage with just a few skills. Her support comes from the control she offers and the ability to set up Worm Hole to help allies get around faster. She possesses no ability to allow her to tank, and lacks the stats for it.


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Nyx

Access: 3/10

Time: 10/10

Overall Difficulty: 5/10

Access to Nyx is random. Her availability depends on an Infestation Outbreak to reach an Assassination node, which will have you hunting Phorid instead of the normal boss. So getting Nyx can be pretty variable, dependant only on how many planets you have access to. Nyx is a pretty simple frame to play, but playing her well can take practice.

Control: 10/10

Damage: 8/10

Support: 7/10

Tank: 5/10

Nyx is a monster  when it comes to control. Almost all of her abilities provide some kind of control. Whether it be controlling a specific enemy for a length of time to aide you, confuse them all and make them kill each other, or drawing all the aggro to yourself while being invulnerable. All of her damage comes from her ultimate, Absorb. This allows you to completely absorb damage then dish it back out to all enemies within a  radius, while pulling all of their attention to you. Her high amount of control allows her to support as well as her ability to draw fire to herself. Her ultimate also allows her to expend her energy to tank damage. While not  a suitable tank, she can make it work.


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Oberon

Access: 5/10

Time: 10/10

Overall Difficulty: 5/10

Oberon’s part drop off Eximus units. These can spawn anywhere, and are not guaranteed to drop parts. So it can be time consuming to get him, but not necessarily hard. Oberon has a pretty simple kit to use, but he can be difficult to play at times.

Control: 5/10

Damage: 4/10

Support: 8/10

Tank: 4/10

A lot of his control comes from his ultimate, Reckoning. It’s an AoE skill that picks enemies up off the ground and slam them to the ground. It’s also his main source of damage, and some support. Enemies killed by it drop health orbs. He also has a heal that slowly heals over time. He also can lay out zones that cleanse debuffs from your team.  He has stats that make him an okay tank, but not an excellent one.


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Rhino

Access: 3/10

Time: 3/10

Overall Difficulty: 2/10

Rhino’s parts are available from Jackal on Venus. Venus is one of the starting planets, but Rhino is Mastery Rank locked to MR4.  So he’s available really early, but the time to get MR4 can take a bit. Rhino is a very beginner friendly frame though.

Control: 6/10

Damage: 8/10

Support: 3/10

Tank: 10/10

Rhino’s control comes from his ultimate, Rhino Stomp. This ability knocks all enemies in its radius into the air for several seconds at a time, leaving them unable to move. While Rhino can deal a lot of damage, he’s far from the best at it. A lot of his damage comes from Stomp, but it’s not a spammable skill and can’t be used while enemies are suspended in the air. Roar does give him the ability to support, by giving his team a short burst of power. Rhino is an absolute tank. He has a skill than can absorb several thousand point of damage at max rank, and a fair amount even before then. Iron Skin is what makes Rhino one of the better tanks out there.


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Saryn

Access: 3/10

Time: 6/10

Overall Difficulty: 9/10

Saryn drops from Kela De Thaym, the boss of Sedna. Sedna is by no means an early planet and is a bit further into starchat progression.  Her soon-to-be-released, reworked kit has a lot of synergy. Playing around this synergy as a new player could be difficult to manage, due to the amount of energy her abilities consume.

Control: 2/10

Damage: 10/10

Support: 1/10

Tank: 5/10

Saryn has little for control abilities. She has molt, which can distract enemies, but it’s not fully reliable. She does a lot of damage. She is a frame really focused on dealing heavy damage. All of her abilities deal damage in some form, and can synergize to launch off a really powerful ultimate. She has no support abilities, unless you count augments, even then it’s very limited. Saryn has the stats to be a decent tank, and with Regenerative Molt, she has the ability to cleanse herself and heal herself.


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Trinity

Access: 3/10

Time: 7/10

Overall Difficulty: 2/10

Trinity’s parts drop from Phobos, which is a mid-level planet. The boss fight can be a little rough, combining Vor with Lech Kril. This may be a tough fight for a beginner, but thankfully, it’s not early on. Trinity herself has a pretty simple and easy to use kit.

Control: 2/10

Damage: 5/10

Support: 10/10

Tank: 6/10

Trinity’s Well of Life and Energy Vampire skills can provide limited control. They can suspend enemies for their duration, but that’s pretty limited. Energy Vampire and Well of Life have a combo that can allow her to burst a target for a lot of damage, but that’s the majority of her damage, Link does very minor damage, but sales with enemy damage. Trinity is the premiere support frame. She has a global range heal that can heal your entire team fully in an instant and provide them with damage reduction based on health. She can even restore energy with Energy Vampire. She can tank to some extent with the damage reduction from Link.


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Valkyr

Access: 3/10

Time: 3/10

Overall Difficulty: 2/10 or 6/10

Valkyr drops from Alad V, the Boss of Jupiter. With her being a boss drop from an early boss, she can be really easy to get early on if you can handle the fight. Her difficulty varies based on her build, with one being super easy to work with and one being a lot more difficult.

Control: 2/10

Damage: 10/10

Support: 3/10

Tank: 10/10

A lot of her control come from Rip Line and Paralysis. These two skills provide a lot of targeted CC, mostly for a short duration. Her damage is off the charts! She can deal insane amounts of damage in short period of time, even with a melee weapon focused build. All of her support comes in Warcry, which is a very strong buff to armor and melee speed. Her ability to tank is also quite absurd. She has the highest armor value of all frames, a good amount of health and even the ability to become completely invulnerable for a period of time. While invulnerable, her melee attacks will restore health.


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Vauban

Access: 10/10

Time: 10/10

Overall Difficulty: 2/10

Vauban is probably the hardest frame to get in the game. His parts only drop on Alert missions, which are totally random as to when they may pop up. Do not worry about getting this frame as a beginner, but if an alert pops up for any of his parts, RUN IT… or you know regret it for a long time. Vauban himself is a really easy frame to play.

Control: 10/10

Damage: 2/10

Support: 5/10

Tank: 1/10

Vauban is easily one of the best Control frame out there, next to Nyx. All of his abilities aside from his first one revolve around controlling enemies. Whether you’re sucking them up with Vortex, Bouncing them around, or suspending the off the ground, they’re almost helpless in every situation. This allows him to also be a solid support with his ability to suspend enemies in place. He lacks damage to really compete with Nyx and cannot tank in any regard.


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Volt

Access: 1/10 or 2/10

Time: 1/10 or 2/10

Overall Difficulty: 3/10

Volt is an option as a starter frame, outside of this he can be obtained from the Tenno Lab of a clan dojo. His research is fairly cheap, but can take time if you don’t join a clan that doesn’t have finished research. Volt himself is a pretty simple jack of all trades type of frame.

Control: 2/10

Damage: 6/10

Support: 6/10

Tank: 2/10

While he was referred to as jack of all trades, his capabilities to control or tank are limited. He has a few damage skill that can doe decent damage, but they have no scaling so they do fall off eventually. His support stats come from his abilities Speed and Electric Shield. These two make him a reliable support type frame in a lot of situations. Between high shields and Electric Shield, he can pseudo-tank, but it’s not the greatest.

 


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Zephyr

Access: 2/10

Time: 3/10

Overall Difficulty: 3/10

Zephyr is also found in the Tenno Lab of a clan dojo. Though, she can be a bit time consuming to get, as building her requires a large amount of oxium. Zephyr is a pretty simple frame however, and can excel in a few areas.

Control: 8/10

Damage: 3/10

Support: 5/10

Tank: 6/10

Zephyr’s Tornadoes provide a large amount of crowd control, alongside Divebomb. Tornadoes can be really unpredictable though, despite being good CC, it can be hard to damage enemies caught in a tornado. She deals decent damage, but not in large amounts or reliably really. With the Jet Stream augment and Turbulence in general it allows her to be a supportive team member. Turbulence also gives her pseudo-tankiness, as it only deflects projectiles, which can be enough for most enemies, but she is still vulnerable to melee hits.


 

 

That ends this guide. While it’s not an active comparison of all the frame as a guide like this probably could be, it does give you a good perspective of what each frame is capable of and excels at. It should be more than enough info to help any player to really decide on what frames they could, or should prioritize based on their preferred play styles.