Warframe can be pretty confusing at times, especially when it comes to getting the fabled Warframes themselves. Do keep in mind that this article won't be going into much detail on Prime farming, due to the fact that this is a major subject on its own, and one that will be tackled in the coming days. Instead, what we will be focusing on are the base Warframes, which can be easily separated into three categories: ones that are farmed-out, ones that are quest rewards, and ones that can be purchased in Clan facilities.
The process of attaining Warframes should be explored on a case-to-case basis, but most of it can also be generalised fairly well, and once you have it figured out, you're good. A good place to start, however, would be our tutorial on how to get weapons in Warframe, just to get the basics of getting equipment down!
Blueprints are key in getting Warframes for free, just as was the case with weapons. However, whereas weapons are produced by getting a single blueprint and the resources necessary to have it built, Warframes do have a few more moving parts than that. To be more precise, to build a Warframe from scratch, you'll need the actual blueprint, the Neuroptics, the Chassis, and the Systems, all of which have their own blueprints as well, and need to be built much like weapons are.
This is where those categories from the beginning come into play, because whereas Clan Warframes (Zephyr) are, once researched, readily available from Clan facilities at any given moment, this won't necessarily be the case with others. You can only ever get Mirage once, for example, by finishing the Hidden Messages quest.To keep things short and sweet, down below is a simplified listing of Warframes and ways in which they can be attained.
Research these Warframes in your Clan to gain permanent access to their blueprints whenever you need them.
You can only get these Warframes once by finishing their appropriate quests. Sometimes, this includes an additional farming process, with the quest only giving you the base blueprint for its completion. Specific quest mechanics will not be referred to here due to space constraints.
- Atlas - The Jordas Precept - Neuroptics, Chassis, and Systems are dropped by Jordas Golem
- Gara - Saya's Vigil - Neuroptics, Chassis, and Systems are dropped in Bounty missions on Plains of Eidolon
- Limbo - The Limbo Theorem
- Chroma - The New Strange
- Mirage - Hidden Messages
- Inaros - Sands of Inaros
- Harrow - Chains of Harrow - Neuroptics (Pago, Kuva Fortress), Chassis (Corrupted enemy drop), Systems (Defection)
- Titania - The Silver Grove
- Nidus - The Glast Gambit - Neuroptics, Chassis, and Systems are dropped on Oestrus, Eris
- Octavia - Octavia's Anthem - Neuroptics (Orokin Derelict), Chassis (Music puzzle room, Lua), Systems (Crossfire cache, Lua)
- Mesa - Patient Zero - Neuroptics, Chassis, and Systems are dropped by Mutalist Alad V
These Warframes have to be farmed-out one way or the other, with their base blueprints available for Credit purchase in the Market. Some are more tedious than others!
- Ash - Grineer Manic
- Ember - Sargas Ruk (Saturn)
- Equinox - Tyl Regor (Uranus)
- Excalibur - Lech Kril (Mars)
- Frost - Lech Kril, Captain Vor (Ceres)
- Hydroid - Vay Hek (Earth)
- Ivara - all parts, including the base blueprint, drop off Spy missions
- Khora - Sanctuary Onslaught
- Loki - Hyena Pack (Neptune)
- Mag - The Sergeant (Phobos)
- Nekros - Lephantis (Orokin Derelict)
- Nova - Raptor (Europa)
- Nyx - Phorid (Infested invasions)
- Oberon - Eximus enemies
- Rhino - Jackal (Venus)
- Saryn - Kela De Thaym (Sedna)
- Trinity - Ambulas (Pluto)
- Valkyr - Alad V (Jupiter)
- Vauban - random Alert missions
This about covers all the base Warframes in general terms! Though there is far more nuance when it comes to quest Frames in particular, this ought to give you some context on how to get what. Keep in mind that not all Warframes are available for early players, and most quests have specific prerequisites as well, such as previous quests, Junctions, and one's Mastery Rank. Stay tuned for more Warframe tutorials here at Game Watcher!