Modding and You: The Basics
This guide is aimed at helping players mod their weapons and frames to allow them to progress through the star chart safely, and quickly. The purpose of this guide is to mainly explain what to focus on, and when when taking into account modding. We’ll talk a little about modding itself and where your priorities as a Tenno should lie when deciding what mods to level up and how. We’ll also touch on the UI so that way the process is easy and clear.
Where is the Mod Panel In My Ship?
Mod Station Location in Liset
This image above shows you the panel you’re looking for. We angled the camera to show it’s relative position on your Liset. It’s basically to your immediate left when coming down the ramp. When you approach it, it will prompt you with your Use key (Mine is E in this case) and show the word Mods. Hitting your Use key will take you to your Mod UI, which will be explained shortly.
What Is a Mod?
Screenshot of Mod Tutorial in-game
We’ll be using a screen shot from the ingame tutorial to help us explain what a mod is, and explain how to figure out what they do and what information is located where. Though the whole modding process isn’t directly explained. Let’s start with learning about Mods themselves! I’ll be using the info also displayed in the image, alongside anything that may be left out or unclear.
Know Your Mods
- Name – The Mod’s name, usually related to its function in some way. Found directly below the Image on the mod.
- Drain – The number in the upper right, tells you how much of your frame or weapon’s capacity it drains on equip.
- Polarity – The symbol located next to Drain. If a mod is put into a slot with the same polarity, it will halve the drain. If it’s in a slot with a different polarity, it will increase it’s cost by 1/3.
- Fusion Level – At the very bottom of each mod is it’s Fusion level. This shows what rank a Mod is. Most mods have 3, 5 or 10 ranks. Each level of fusion will cost more than the previous, but provide greater benefits.
- Conclave – This number no longer serves a purpose. Their image/tutorial is quite old.
- Item – This little bit of text displays what the mod can equip to. In this case, this mod is for Rifles. Rifles are all primaries that aren’t shotguns pretty much.
- Upgrade – This text below the mod name states the benefit it gives. In this case it adds an additional 45% weapon damage as Heat damage.
- Rarity – The rarity of the mod card is determined by it’s color. Currently there are 4 rarities that exist, Common, Uncommon, Rare and Legendary. These are represented by Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum card borders respectively. Rarity also determines the amount of Fusion Points required to rank the mod up.
Mods & Fusion
Mod UI which sections to be explain boxed in.
When you enter the Mod UI, you will be greeted by this. Just you know, without the tagged boxes of the features we’ll be explaining. The UI itself is pretty easy to figure out, but to help you along, we’ll explain some key things on this UI.
- Modding Options – This section features three options to how you interact with mods. Fusion, Transmute and Sell.
- Fusion – Allows you to combine mods to increase the power of a given mod. This feature is one of the focal points of this guide.
- Transmute – This allows you combine 4 mods together and create a new mod for a high credit cost. (Don’t use this ever starting out, you will waste a lot of credits)
- Sell – Sells the selected mods for Credits. (Keep all of your mods starting out, no matter how much you need credits)
- Search – Works just like any search function. You can search by name, or by keywords (Like Damage or Critical). It will pull up all mods of that name, or have that key word in their description.
- Category List- This is a list of categories your mods can fall in. Listed from left to right:
- All – Shows all mods according to selected sorting
- Warframe – Shows only mods that can be equipped on Warframes.
- Auras – Shows only Warframe Auras.
- Augments – Shows only augment mods earned from Syndicates.
- Primary – Shows mods that can only be used on Primary weapons.
- Secondary – Shows only mods for Secondary weapons.
- Melee – Shows only mods for melee weapons
- Stances – Shows only Stance mods for Melee weapons.
- Archwing – Shows only mods for Archwings.
- Arch-Gun – Shows only mods for Ranged Archwing Weapons.
- Arch-Melee- Shows only mods for Archwing Melee Weapons.
- Sentinels – Shows only mods for Sentinel or both Companions.
- Kubrow – Shows only mods for Kubrows or both Companions.
- Cores – Shows only Fusion Cores.
- Duplicates – Shows only mods that have duplicates of the same rank.
- Sorting – opens a drop down menu of sorting options.
- Fusion Cores – These are special mods that cannot be fused to higher levels. They can only be fused into other mods.
- Tutorial/Filter – The Tutorial button will open the in game tutorial for modding (where the Mod information image came from). Filters are like sorting, but can help you narrow down and find a mod you’re looking for if you have a large collection.
With the UI explained, let’s jump in and teach you about modding. First things first, Fusing!
UI changes when a Mod is selected.
As you can see in the image above when you select a mod, previously selectable parts of the UI are now highlighted. Sell now also displays the value of the selected mod(s). But what we’re concerned with is Fusion. Go ahead a click that to proceed to the Fusion UI.
Now, you’re greeted with this UI. What we do here is fairly simple. You can select mods to fuse into other mods to incease their benefits, in this case, we’ve selected a broken version of Ammo Drum. Before we dive into how to successfully fuse a mod, let’s touch on the important things to look at on this UI.
- Info Display – This shows you the effects of your fusion and how the values change as you rank up a mod.
- Fusion Target – Here is the Mod we are fusing, all of it’s basic details are available here. Below the mod is the Fusion Experience of the mod. As you add in mods or cores to fuse up, this bar will fill up according to the value given by the core of mod. These points will be explained later. These mods can be manually selected or by Auto-Contribute
- Auto Contribute – This area over here has three buttons. The two upper ones are you auto contribute options, Duplicates and Cores respectively. Clicking the duplicate button will select all duplicates of the current fusion target, useful for quickly ranking Common or Uncommon Mods. The other Option, will select cores based on how many points a mod needs to level. it will try to be as exact as possible and will use mostly high level cores. Both options will attempt to bring the mod to max rank, if possible. If they can’t it will stop at the highest attainable point value.
- Fuse Button – Included as part of the three buttons highlighted in box 3. This button will display the credit cost of fusing the mod to where it’s at.
Fusion Points and Fusion Costs
Here we selected our Damaged Ammo Drum for Fusion, and chose a duplicate for fusion. You can see below the mod, it now does the progress from Rank 1 to Rank 2, instead of Unranked to Rank 1.
Fusion points are weird in the fact that they are never shown in any way other than the Fusion Experience bar. Again, this bar fills as you select mods for fusing. Please do note at this point, any mods used in fusion are lost forever and their value progresses the mod you’re fusing. So you end up with one stronger card.
Fusion points, being a hidden value can be hard to explain, but I’ll try to keep how they work as simple as possible. Firstly, all duplicates (in both Name and Rank) will fully level a mod to the next fusion level. This means two Unranked/Rank 0 mods will always create a Rank 1, two Rank 1’s will create a Rank 2 and so on. However, it is not necessary to progress in that method and can be less efficient overall. You can fuse any mod into any other mod, but again, the mods used to level the fusion target will be lost. There are a few factors that will determine a mod’s or core’s value into fusion. Let me list a few of the notable points of this system.
- Perfect Duplicates – These are mods that match in both name and rank. These will always get a card to the next level.
- Duplicates – These will provide a decent amount of Fusion points, how much of a fusion level they provide depends on the current rank of the fusion target, and how many are being fused in. Credits-wise the cheapest option. not the best option for Rare mods however.
- Matching polarity – These are similar to duplicates, but only provide a fraction of the bonus. Value given is determined by rarity.
- Non-matching Mod – These are mods that aren’t duplicates and don’t share the same polarity. These provide the least amount of Fusion EXP at any time. Value given is determined by rarity.
- Fusion Cores – These are special mods used only for fusion. They have a special polarity that allows them to give the exact same amount of Fusion EXP at all times, this amount varies by rank and rarity with Rank 0 commons being the least and Rank 5 Rare cores being the highest.
- Credits – the amount of credits used varies by what you use to rank a mod. Duplicates are the cheapest, Rank 5 Rare Fusion Cores are the most expensive.
So those are the main options for fusing mods. You can mix them according to your needs, just be careful when manually selecting mods to make sure you don’t select something you can’t replace. As a note, it will take 1,025 copies of a mod with 10 ranks to take it all the way from unranked, to it’s maximum. You don’t have to fuse a mod to max all at once though, but that value does show you how many mods it will take for a powerful mods to reach it’s peak.
You can always check to see if you have enough fodder to max out a card. Any fusions will not apply until you click apply fusion, and then confirm the fusion.
The Arsenal console, found at the very back of your ship.
Mods are installed in the Arsenal. The Arsenal is found at the rear of your personal ship. Pressing your use key will taking you into the arsenal UI. There’s a lot of information here, but we’re only concerned with the section in the image below.
Where You Go to Install Mods
On this Arsenal Screen, you will see this section of the UI. Hovering over your frame out any weapon will pop out the little side menu, the only option we care about for the purpose of this guide is Upgrade. Clicking on Upgrade will take you to the UI seen below.
Same UI, just for a weapon instead of a frame. attached mods are just what we had available.
This UI is pretty similar to the Fusion Screen, but behaves differently. So to be thorough, let’s cover the noted areas in the above image.
- Stats – A collection of the various stats as affected by mods. Capacity is the total amount of Mod capacity you have, installing mods drains this number.
- Info Box – this box, and other in the other UIs with the same (i) symbol show helpful tips, some of them are pretty useful and can be good reminders in case you forget.
- Mod Slots – You drag mods here to equip them. This will drain points from capacity equal to the Drain of the card. Capacity cannot be negative.
- Item Name/Level – Simple display of item name and level. You gain 1 capacity per affinity level of your gear. installing an Orokin Reactor or Catalyst will double this value at all rank, giving up to a max of 60 points.
- Configurations – You can save up to three mod configurations for any weapon or frame at any given time.
So this area is pretty straight forward as to how it works. It’s just important to note here, that fusing a mod that is already equipped on a frame can be unequipped if the drain value is too high to stay on that particular gear. This will also prompt a warning on the fusion screen, so you don’t do so accidentally.
Mods are where a lot of a frame’s or weapon’s power comes from. They are quite powerful, hence why adding them is capped in quite a few ways. On frames, these mods can also enhance survivability. With basic knowledge of fusion, mods and how to install them out of the way, let’s take a look at the mods you should prioritize while starting out.
Well, there’s really only two different states as which you should prioritize for. Early Levels and End-game. We’ll only be discussing Early game here. For idea on modding for end-game, refer to our various builds we have available.
Our recommended mod setup for new players in the early game.
Early on, you can mod one of two ways, offensively or defensively, as far as your frame goes at least. For new players, to help you progress through the star chart easier, it’s better to mod defensively. This is because early on, some of your powers deal enough damage to outright kill enemies for a little while. Modding defensively, allows you to take more incoming damage and survive longer, should you be hit a lot. So our recommendation for Warframes are as follows:
- Redirection – Boosts your shields. This is health that regens while out of combat. As far as the starters go, Mag and Volt should prioritize this over Vitality due to their higher base shields.
- Vitality – Boosts your Health. This health doesn’t naturally regen. Excalibur and Volt benefit from prioritizing this due to their higher base health compared to Mag.
- Enemy Sense – This one is optional, but knowing where enemies are by looking at your mini map can be helpful in several situations.
Should you know what you’re doing, or just want to play a more aggressive, less survival play style, you’d want to prioritize mods like Intensify, Stretch and Flow. Though the broken ones aren’t too powerful, they do offer enough benefit early game to allow for a more aggressive, power-based play style.
As for weapons, since you can only mod for damage pretty much, there’s not too much to explain. But we will list some of the mods you should use when space provides.
You can also refer to the Braton mod image we used to explain the arsenal screen.
- Serration or Hornet Strike – Pure damage.
- Elementals – Hellfire, Cryo Rounds, Stormbringer and Infected Clip for primaries; Heated Charge, Deep Freeze, Convulsion, Pathogen Rounds for secondaries . These all add damage as well, but in in elements that can actually make a weapon weak to one faction, strong against it.
- Reload – A lot of the early game weapons, MK1-Paris aside, have long reload times, this will allow you to get keep dealing damage with less down time. This is specifically for primaries.
- Magazine Size – Add extra ammo you can shoot before reloading. This is more targeted at secondaries, as the starter option have quite quick reload times already.
- Faction Mods – increase damage to a specific faction. a small boost to your early damage, since you are given a broken version of the Anti Corpus and Anti-Grineer mods for most of your weapons.
Pretty much the same things apply here as well.
- Pressure Point – Pure damage.
- Fury – More attack speed.
- Elementals – Molten Impact, North Wind, Shocking Touch and Fever Strike. Same reasons as before.
- Reach – Extra melee range.
To summarize, early game it’s safer to mod for survivability and use your weapons instead of using your powers a ton. Your weapons get mods that make them deal much more effective damage than your powers, at least until you get access you your frame’s ultimate skill.
This concludes this guide. We hope you learned a fair bit about modding and where your priorities should be. Again, for end-game modding priorities, refer to our warframe builds section.