A Proud Warrior Race of space ninjas, the last remaining descendants of an ancient civilization. They existed during the fabled age of the Orokin Empire, which is also the source of their powered suits. Despite that however the Tenno were not part of the Orokin themself. The Lotus has woken them up from cryosleep to fight back their enemies.
Ambiguous Robots/ Ambiguously Human: At least one of the original Warframes was built around a mutated human, but whether that applies to all of the original Warframes, let alone the copies built later, is unknown. Whether the Warframes as a whole are power armor, cyborgs, or mutants in space suits is unknown.
Then there's the Tenno, who wield the Warframes, but just how that works is unclear. Possibilities range from switching bodies to one Tenno commanding a stable of Warframes, to just wearing the Warframes like clothes.
Recent dialogue from Captain Vor suggests that they might be some kind of Energy Being using the Warframes as shells.
Body Horror: Given that the Warframes, or at least Excalibur are built around people that were changed by the Void somehow, it's not a stretch to think that there's something wrong with them under the stylish and futuristic armor, assuming Vor is wrong about his Tenno are Energy Beings theory.
The Dreaded: Back in the days of the Orokin Empire, they were feared and rumored to not actually exist. The fact that they were deployed against the Sentients was a sign of desperation by the Orokin.
Elite Army: The Tenno are a relatively tiny force, where individual troopers are highly lethal, yet counter enemy strength-of-numbers by sending Tenno on spec-ops surgical raids to undermine enemy focus.
Eyeless Face: Their Warframes have no obvious eye-holes, visor slits or what-not. The developers, however, have confirmed that they do, in fact, have eyes.
Alad V: We may not always see eye-to-eye... well, you don't have eyes, but you know what I mean.
The Faceless: ... Or if they even have a face under the helmet.
Alad V: Of course the Lotus sends the mute peasants to disrupt my business.
The closest we have to voices are the roars of Rhino and Valkyr, at least implying the ability to create sound. Mirage's backstory also implies that Tenno can laugh.
Implausible Fencing Powers: With their melee weapon out, Tenno can block anything with it so long as they have stamina. This includes bullets, missiles, grenades, other melee weapons, and flying sawblades, and with a certain mod they can reflect the damage right back to their attackers. At one point, if a window on a spaceship was broken, they could use their weapons to block their own suffocation (with accompanying sword-waving as the Tenno parried away the lack of oxygen), but this was quickly fixed. However, getting hit by something powerful like an Ancient's tentacle-fist will still push the warframe back a few feet, they just won't fall over.
Latex Space Suit: All Warframes appear skin-tight, but most of them are padded up with armor, tech, and other decorative bits. In fact, the Valkyr, which is clearly a partly-dissected Warframe, has very fine armor plating beneath the elaborate suit.
OOC Is Serious Business: Getting attacked by the Grustrag Three is heralded by a transmission from the Lotus shouting for you to abort the mission before she is cut off, the only time you see her breaks from her usual calm, controlled demeanor.
Also, when she remembers Mirage's death.
Really 700 Years Old: Hidden Messages brings forward some memories of the Old War. This answers some questions about the Lotus, and brings up many more.
Vocal Evolution: Her voice has changed quite a bit across the Updates, only partly due to change of the filters used.
Then again, you were found frozen near to where the ship was impounded by the Grineer, so it stands to reason that it belonged to you.
Revenge Before Reason: Downplayed. He badly wants to see the Grineer and Corpus massacred, and even goes as far as to insult Darvo while trying to negotiate for parts to remove the Ascaris from his Operator.
With a design directly based on the popular image of a Ninja, Ash is the more well rounded of the stealth Warframes. His abilities allow him to reach key targets and assassinate them with incredible burst damage or lock down groups of enemies while his stats make him highly agile and also surprisingly durable when he is caught without enough Energy to activate his invisibility.
Animal Motifs: His helmets have a notable insectoid theme; his primary helmet is chitinous with small pincers, while the other two are also named "Scorpion" and "Locust".
Armor-Piercing Attack: As of Update 13 his damage abilities inflict a guaranteed Slash proc that deals damage ignoring armour and shields, making him slightly more useful in lategame than before.
Awesome, but Impractical: Bladestorm. The ability has hands-down the longest animation time of any ultimate and occasionally pauses mid-cast to give the server time to calculate where you'll strike next, during which time your allies can (and probably will) kill your targets- especially since they're marked with bright a red indicator of being targeted, which can be easily mistaken for several damage-increasing debuffs such as Molecular Prime, Terrify or elemental status effects that bear a similar appearance. On the other hand, it's a One-Hit Kill on most enemies, makes Ash mostly invulnerable while active, and has easily some of the most badass-looking attacks in the game.
Subverted as of Update 13.5. The animation time has been reduced by the addition of a pair of clones of Ash, and marked enemies can be hit multiple times if their allies have been killed, making it a much stronger execution skill for a limited number of heavier units compared to most ultimates.
Lightning Bruiser: Significantly increased run speed, the highest health in the game, fair armor, and good shields. Top it off with a Teleport, invisibility that makes your melee attacks hit 4x harder, and a Teleport Spam uber and you have an abundance of both lightning and bruiser.
Non-Elemental: Notable in that his Bladestorm is the only known ability (following Update 11) that can ignore enemy armor and resistances, but also their weaknesses.
Smoke Out: His Smoke Screen ability, which renders him invisible and staggers enemies caught in the blast.
Banshee is a group play oriented Warframe whose sound-based abilities can stall large groups of enemies, vastly improve her team's damage output and grant a measure of stealth to herself and other Warframes who do not naturally have that ability.
For Massive Damage: All damage applied to a Sonar weak spot is multiplied by 500%!* With proper modding for maximum Power Strength, this can approach 1145%. Doesn't apply, however, against enemies whose selected "weakpoints" remain armored, ie bosses such as Kril, Ruk, Jackal, etc.
Cold Sniper: Her design philosophy- Sonar gives Banshee bonus damage at range, Silence keeps her undetected using firearms and Sonic Boom keeps enemies at range.
Earthquake Machine: Sound Quake turns her into one. Update 13.3 also gave her the ability to control the duration of said quakes.
Enemy Scan: Her Sonar ability sends out a radial sonic ping. Any enemy touched by it temporarily gains an orange glow on some part of their body. See the above trope.
Enemy Detecting Radar: It also causes the positions of enemies to light up on the team's maps, which is very useful if your teammates aren't equipped with the Enemy Sense mod or Enemy Radar aura- especially with Area of Effect-focused frames like Nova on the team, who can time use of their abilities off of the number of enemies in proximity.
Make Me Wanna Shout: Comes in two forms: a sonic boom that bowls enemies in front of her over (and causes weaker ones to explode), and a more powerful version where she crouches down on the ground and blasts out a constant flow of room-shaking, high-damaging shockwaves.
Perception Filter: Silence, which deafens enemies to make them less reactive to Banshee and her allies (e.g. firing a shotgun or murdering one of their companions 5 feet away)... provided the Tenno stay out of line of sight. Functionally, it's a stealth-aid rather than an actual stealth technique.
Useless Useful Skill: Silence. While an interesting take on stealth mechanics and a nice way to flesh-out Banshee's potential as a Cold Sniper, it's widely considered to be completely useless the moment the alarm is sounded, as it provides no crowd-control, protection, or damage bonus (as stealth damage modifiers only apply to melee weapons) to the Banshee unlike Ash and Loki's stealth skills.
This no longer applies as of Update 13.3, where Silence has gained the ability to reset enemy AI, making it both a potent CC and viable stealth mechanic.
Ember is a highly specialized Warframe whose abilities focus on dishing out huge amounts of fire damage to groups of enemies.
Color-Coded Elements: While they're customizable to the player's liking, her default colors include mostly shades between amber and red-orange.
Convection Schmonvection: Her ultimate (World On Fire) is superheating her body to the degree the ground around her cracks and melts and everyone near her bursts into flames. Of course, anything just outside the area of effect is entirely untouched.
Crippling Overspecialization: Ember is absolutely devastating against Infested as even their Ancient heavy walkers take bonus damage from her fire attacks despite resisting fire damage from weapons. However, the fixed damage values of her attacks prevent her from scaling properly at higher levels especially after enemy armor starts to kick in. Players with a spare slot do keep her around for Infested farming and few can deny that her skills look spectacular but those who want her as their main Warframe are still waiting for sufficient buffs. Damage 2.0 adds a "panic" to the burn status, letting her effectively stun enemies make them vulnerable to regular attacks in addition to the damage dealt.
Fan Nickname: Any variation on "Chickenframe", due to the unusual shapes of her helmets often resembling a comb and beak.
Useless Useful Skill: Accelerant. While it provides an incredibly powerful Fire damage boost and a decent stun, its utility is limited to the Ember who cast it - while other players can have Fire damage, it's overshadowed by the Radiation and Gas combination damage types in any situation it would be useful, meaning they generally won't.
One of the three starting Warframes and the game's poster boy, Excalibur has the most balanced set of abilities. His damaging Dash Attack, Super Jump, blinding crowd control and high damage Uber remain viable at all stages of play while his stats give him the perfect mix of mobility and durability to ease a new player into the game.
Blinded by the Light: Radial Blind causes a reflection off his sword that stuns and temporarily blinds nearby enemies.
Interface Screw: Used against a fellow player, their screen and UI will completely turn white, preventing them from seeing where they are or the state of their health and ammo.
Call Back: Of the visual variety. Excalibur is pretty much visually identical to the armor you acquire late into darkSector, as well as the one used in its early concept trailer Warframe is based on.
Continuity Nod: Hayden Tenno's armor was added as a skin for Excalibur available for purchase for one week following Warframe's first anniversary in beta.
Crutch Character: Somewhat. Throughout most of the game Slash Dash hits like an atom bomb, insta-gibbing virtually everything and being cheap to boot, while Radial Javelin clears crowds in a hurry. In high level Defense and Survival missions however, the enemies eventually become tough enough that all pure damage abilities lose their luster, and at that point frames with more utility, like Frost or Nyx, are preferred. Thankfully unlike Ash, Excalibur still has team supporting utility with his Radial Blind which is quickly cast and will stun any enemy nearby, giving breathing room for himself and the team, while Slash Dash is still usable as mobility.
Dash Attack: His first ability (and most commonly used) is a charge across the room with his blade drawn, slicing all in his path.
Not the Intended Use: Observant players found that the blindness causes enemies to literally consider Tenno invisible... complete with the stealth melee damage bonus provided, similar to Ash and Loki.
Storm of Blades: His ultimate ability, Radial Javelin, in which Excalibur does a Sword Plant and multiple blades shoot from it to impale his enemies. * The namesake "javelins" are actually formed from a pair of Skana swords.
One of the two heaviest and most durable Warframes, the ice-manipulating Frost is a team oriented defensive powerhouse whose signature Snowglobe can completely negate all ranged damage within its radius while also slowing down enemies that wise up and stop wasting their ammo. His other skills offer a mix of defensive utility and damage but teams almost always pick him for his pretty little Sphere of Absolute Protection.
An Ice Person: Surprise, surprise. His default color scheme is blue and white, and his helmet horns mimic iceberg patterns. He's also got a Badass Longcoat.
Barrier Warrior: Snow Globe is a spherical shield that prevents shots, and slows down enemies who enter. It will block all projectile-based attacks from entering, including rockets, landmine deployment, or even a number of powers from other Warframes- even if they're on your team.
Hoist by His Own Petard: On the other hand, it also affects the weapons of fellow Tenno and doesn't affect radial or direct-targeted skills, so enemies like Grineer heavy units or the Shockwave MOA (capable of knocking Tenno out of the barrier from the outside, then entering and opening fire) become a major issue, especially on Defense missions.
Justified in Avalanche's case, since it's freezing the moisture in the air surrounding Frost.
Mighty Glacier: Quite literally. He has the slowest run speed in the game and doesn't have a dash like Rhino does. However, he can throw up a large low cost 39 (with duration mod) second bubble shield that makes everything inside immune to attacks from outside and slows any enemies inside to a crawl. Frost doesn't go anywhere fast, but inside his domain, he is god.
Harmless Freezing: Zig-zagged. Can Freeze enemies solid with his first ability, which also deals some direct damage. However, they can break out of this if their shields are destroyed and damage is dealt to their health.
Literally Shattered Lives: Avalanche, however, will freeze and then shatter enemies who entered Frost's kill range during the cast animation.
Standard Status Effects: Freeze and Avalanche both inflict the Frozen status on enemies; the former has a longer effect, while the latter affects more targets per cast and deals more damage.
Evil Laugh: A short, silent one in his dual-pistol idle animation.
Eyepatch of Power: Has what can best be described as a metallic barnacle covering his upper right "eye" on his base helmet.
Fake Longevity: Thought farming for Nekros was bad? Hydroid is even worse. First, you need to farm up four different types of Beacons, which only drop from a certain rare Elite Mook, unlike the Nav Coordinates that can be gained from any storage container. To make matters worse some of these Beacons are very rare drops. Then with the Beacons you can craft the Frequency Triangulator needed to find and fight Hek. Once you beat Hek enough times to get the Warframe part blueprints, always subject to the Random Number God, you also need to farm up the rare "Argon Crystals" to actually craft the parts - which deteriorate within 24 hours of obtaining the first, making it a mad rush as each of his parts require multiple crystals.
Kraken and Leviathan: His ultimate skill, Tentacle Swarm, calls up a sea creature to smash enemies with its tentacles.
Odd Name Out: Breaks the trend of elemental frame names by naming a stage in the life cycle of jellyfish. One would not be blamed for believing it was just a made up combination of "hydro" and "droid".
Pirate: An inspiration, according to the developers. Which would also make him...
Loki is primarily known for having both the best stealth ability in the game and one of the best aggro management tools, which more than compensate for his lack of direct damage abilities. His skillset allows him to redirect enemy attention (not to mention their firepower) and shape the flow of any battle to his advantage, but players who run out of Energy will quickly learn why he is recommended for advanced users. Before Update 14 he was one of the three starter Warframes, but was replace by Volt.
Boring, but Practical: All of his skills are rather modest, and deal no damage. However, because they're purely utility, they are always effective regardless of enemy level.
Fan Nickname: Loki players refer to themselves as the "Master Race".
Fashionable Asymmetry: Loki's only symmetrical bits are his helmet and lower arms. His legs in particular look like they came from two separate warframes.
Fragile Speedster: Has the highest base movement speed of any Warframe, as well as the lowest starting health and second-lowest shield capacity (beaten only by Valkyr).
Glass Cannon: A Loki with active Invisibility can deal apocalyptic amounts of damage (+400%) with melee weapons, but can be gibbed by cross-fire and explosives even while invisible. If Invisibility drops in the middle of combat, so does the Loki.
Invisibility Cloak: Has a longer duration than the Smoke Screen power Ash has, but no initial stun.
Magikarp Power: Level one - the weakest Warframe, with little armor, low shields, low HP, an ineffectual Decoy that dies in two seconds, an Invisibility power that's way too short to be useful, a Radial Disarm with a tiny radius, and zero direct damage abilities. Fast forwards twenty levels, and properly modded, you have a Lightning Bruiser who can distract entire hordes of enemies with a damage sponge decoy, turn invisible and run around bisecting enemies like Gray Fox, and rip the weapons out of the hands of anything in sight with a disarm attack that literally disarms the Infested. His lack of damaging attacks makes him no less effective against high-armored targets, allowing him to scale incredibly well.
Loki's general design indicates that Invisibility should primarily be used for avoiding most enemies and quickly disposing of a handful in an emergency. Almost all Loki players use the fact that it lasts an eternity and a half to clear entire rooms with the damage boost it provides.
Switch Teleport was most certainly not intended to get other players stuck in terrain, drop datamasses in unreachable locations, swap teammates into a herd of Toxic Ancients or in front of an attacking boss.
They were also most likely not intended to teleport bosses into places they would get stuck in.
Teleporters and Transporters: Switch Teleport allows to switch position with friend, foe or his own decoys. Allows a wide variation of tactics, like easily bypassing long running segments, help stuck team mates, teleport downed team mates towards safe positions, remove stronger foes from pack or annoying your team mates.
The Trickster: Has no directly damaging abilities, but many ways to screw with the enemy from distracting them to swapping places with them to disabling their guns.
In the eyes of the fan base, he surely lives up to his namesake. For example, Switch Teleport's effect on allies have lead many to use him this way. There are also the possible in universe application of his "Decoy".
His Radial Disarm causes all firearms to be replaced by Prova electric batons. When used on most Grineer or Corpus crewmen, it makes sense to replace their guns with melee weapons; when used on Corpus MOAs, the baton is simply placed on their head like a horn◊, for what can only be aesthetic purposes on Loki's part.
The third starting Warframe since Update 7, Mag is the option for players wanting to rely less on weapons. She can manipulate magnetism to move and stun enemies, lower their defenses, redirect allied firepower onto them or kill them outright.
Awesome, but Impractical: Zig-zagged for Crush in recent updates. Prior to Update 11, a single Pull was able to out-damage Crush at double the range, for a quarter of the cost, with the same stun period per cast. Since Update 11, Pull does less damage than Crush, but is still more cost efficient- however, Crush can also hit through walls, while Pull has been limited to line-of-sight.
However, Crush lost its ability to ragdoll targets at the end of its animation, leading many players to firmly place it here; it's frequently noted that the experience of collapsing your opponents in on themselves is dampened when they simply drop back on their feet and continue shooting, only pausing for the animation proper. On enemies where the Magnetic damage would be relevant, Mag already has Shield Polarize as a more effective damage source.
Barrier Warrior: Mag's Bullet Attractor functions like an inverted Snow Globe. Shield Polarize can restore shields to allies or Defense mission objectives...
Status Buff Dispel: ... and does the reverse to enemy targets in an explosive display of force.
Body Horror: Her ultimate skill, Crush, does this to anyone killed by it; for example, Grineer enemies are compacted into balls of armor scraps.
Defeat Equals Explosion: In an odd design choice, enemies who die under the effects of Bullet Attractor will release a delayed blast (depending on how much of the duration was left) after they die.
Useless Useful Skill: Not the entirety of Bullet Attractor, just the explosion at the end; it costs nearly as much as Mag's ultimate but deals an explosion less than a third as powerful, and is completely unaffected by mods.
Hoist By Their Own Petard: Can magnetize enemies with Bullet Attractor, making their own (and their allies') bullets fly into them.
Shield Polarize also comes to mind, in that the radial damage it deals scales with the strongest shields of affected enemies.
Odd Name Out: "Mag" isn't a real word or name, nor is it a variation on one.
It can be short for "magazine" (a la Grineer Marines shouting "Swapping mags!" when they reload), though the developers clearly intended to shorten "magnetize".
Meaningful Name: On the other hand, her alternate helmets refer to the coilgun (also known as a Gauss gun), which fires projectiles using magnetism.
Return to Shooter: Zig-zagged with Bullet Attractor. Enemy shots will return to their source... if the shots reach the edge of the sphere first, meaning a Tenno standing inside the sphere of effect can still be shot at point-blank.
Selective Magnetism: Pull especially, since it affects enemies, but not the environment; an enemy standing behind a metallic crate will be pulled over the crate, but the crate itself remains.
Hollywood Magnetism: All enemies in Mag's line of sight will be pulled to her with equal force, regardless of distance or actual magnetic contents.
Released in Update 14, Mirage is a female jester who utilizes photokinetic abilities that allow her to create illusions of herself or weaponize lightwaves.
Awesome, but Impractical: Sleight of Hand, as many rooms don't even have targetable objects to work with, or spread out objects far enough that enemies won't approach them. One of its most practical uses is to prevent enemies from using access panels in stealth runs — blinding them to interrupt the alert sequence — but the traps created only work once.
Boring, but Practical: Eclipse simply increases her damage or mitigation depending on the lighting in the room. As far as determining conditions go, it's... bizarre, but also dynamic. Can border on Useless Useful Skill if you're looking for a particular boost in the wrong lighting, however.
In addition, perhaps Sleight of Hand's most practical use is its ability to temporarily disarm laser traps during speed runs.
Go Out with a Smile: The original Mirage was captured by the Sentients. She comforted Lotus as she was disintegrated. It's possible she knew her legacy would live on regardless, as it's implied that she authored the Hidden Messages riddles.
Posthumous Character: The original Mirage died in the Old War, captured and executed by the Sentients. All Mirages today are copies of her design.
Sexy Jester: Designed to invoke one — even naming her alternate helmet Harlequin, or noting in the Codex that she is a natural prankster. Fittingly, her base helmet also confuses some players into thinking she's Grineer-themed, as she wears it in mockery of them.
Released in Update 10, the Necromancy-themed Nekros was the runner-up for the first Design Council Warframe, though his abilities were chosen without player input. He manipulates clouds of nanobots to simulate the stereotypical effects of dark magic such as damaging his enemies' souls, striking fear into their hearts and reviving their dead under his control.
Boring, but Practical: Desecrate doesn't cause enemies to combust, but it can make their corpses give much-needed health orbs and ammo. Of course, it borders on Useless Useful Skill as it's limited to corpses (which despawn within seconds at best and disintegrate immediately at worst, giving a limited window of use), the cast time is lengthy (often taking players out of combat completely to use several times in a row), and its success is left in the hands of the Random Number God; you are likely to find yourself simply unable to Desecrate a given corpse before it despawns several times per mission. However, it's all but required for high-level Survival missions to get enough life support off of enemies, and the ability to double-dip in loot tables make farming for mods and resources much faster.
Fake Longevity: Farming for Warframe blueprints is always a tedious task that leaves you at the mercy of the Random Number God, but Nekros takes it Up to Eleven. To get his blueprints, you first need to farm up "nav coordinates" for a key to access the Orokin Derelicts, then you need to farm up more "nav coordinates" from the Derelicts for the Assassinate mission against Lephantis. Each key can only be used to complete the mission once.
The Red Mage: Comes with the first health restoration alternative to Trinity's skills, and his other 3 skills draw heavily from the Black Mage. However, he also shares his polarities and most of his stats with Excalibur- making him a caster with the energy capacity of a melee.
Soul Power: Soul Punch turns enemy souls into projectiles.
Useless Useful Skill: Terrify, which provides a damage boost against enemies and prevents them from attacking, but also makes those enemies untargetable (as they flee the room in an attempt to hide). Of course, if the Nekros wants to cast it again to deal with the next horde of enemies, all he has to do is track down and kill every last one of the enemies he just sent away.
One frequent complaint about Terrify is that it's capped to a limited number of enemies per cast. If you don't meet the target cap in the first try, you won't get a second try easily because of the above. If you do find yourself in a scenario where you reach the cap, you're likely being swarmed and didn't hit everyone shooting you anyway.
To top it off, the damage boost is incredibly low* Ranging from less than 6% actual damage (at max rank), to just over 15% damage based on mods equipped, does not stack with itself* While it can be stacked with other sources of armor reduction, said other sources can remove 100% of armor on their own while Terrify can't even remove half, and only applies to armored enemies (limiting usage to Grineer).
Released in Update 9, the antimatter-themed Nova bears the distinction of being the first Warframe whose design was influenced by player feedback via the Design Council. She is a Glass Cannon through and through, specializing in dishing out ridiculous amounts of damage at medium-to-long range and falling quickly if she gets cornered without Energy.
Antimatter: Supposedly what her abilities use to deal damage.
Combat Stilettos: Less notable than on Saryn, since they're more like platform shoes.
Fashionable Asymmetry: The fibrous sleeve on Nova's left arm extends further up her arm than the right, while her left breast can also receive a different color option from the rest of her torso.
For Massive Damage: Molecular Prime doubles any damage dealt to afflicted targets, on top of causing them to explode on death (which becomes more devastating the more enemies are around to chain the effect). Antimatter Drop stores and quadruples any ballistic damage dealt to it by the player, and deals it as an area-effect bomb.
Girlish Pigtails: Her Design Council-approved helmet, the Slipstream, has these.
Glass Cannon: In both playstyle and theme. The developers wanted to give her a very "porcelain" look, and succeeded. Compared to Loki, she has slightly higher base health and slightly lower sprint speed, tying the two with Vauban for second-lowest shields (after Valkyr). Unlike many frames of her armor class, she also lacks any direct defensive skills or avoidance; however, Antimatter Drop and Molecular Prime are functional nukes in the right hands.
Having a Blast: Her specialty. Antimatter Drop fires a bomb that absorbs damage and deals it to everyone caught in range when it detonates. In addition...
Made of Explodium/Why Am I Ticking?: Her ultimate ability, Molecular Prime, can cause nearby enemies to create chains of explosions when they die. It also conveniently slows them down severely and makes them take double damage for the long duration of the ability which makes boss fights where mooks swarm around the boss easier than most missions.
Homing Projectile: Nova's Antimatter Drop can be guided in the air by the player who fired it.
Orbiting Particle Shield: Null Star summons antimatter particles around Nova which seek out and slice open nearby enemies; however, other than staggering opponents, this provides her no additional protection.
Squishy Wizard: Second only to Loki in squishiness but lacks any built in defence or quick escape mechanics. On the plus side, Nova has the best abilities for depopulating a level of its enemies. Her fragility is an acceptable price for the joy of seeing a swarm of 60-70 plus mooks explode in a chain reaction with a single button press. This makes Nova very popular for Defence or Survival missions where the goal is "Keep the Nova alive long enough for her to clear the mission area".
Teleporters and Transporters: Wormhole allows her to create one-way portals between her target location and her current one. This can be used by her allies to reach new areas of the map, or to redirect enemies whom its invisible to.
Nyx is a psychic Warframe who is infamous for her sheer utility in missions with large groups of enemies that would swamp other characters. She achieves this by causing her targets to fight each other for long periods of time and kill or heavily damage themselves in the process.
Distaff Counterpart: Her suit is actually designed as a female version of the Excalibur; the only difference (aside from physique) is her helmet. The developers have taken to calling her Excalibur's sister.
Useless Useful Skill: Many players have bemoaned the fact that Psychic Bolts is a blatant damage skill, in the arsenal of a utility- and control-based character. While it can deal the equivalent of an ultimate's damage to a single target, it deals less damage against multiple enemies than most Warframes' first abilities for double the cost. To top it off, the projectiles are tangible and will often redirect into walls or obstacles on their way to enemies, making it difficult to use in closed spaces (which comprise approximately half of all maps in the game).
Doubly true as of Update 13.3, where even Absorb costs less to initiate, with higher base damage.
Meditation Powerup: Can sit down in the Lotus position to absorb attacks, then reflect them back to enemies.
Mind Manipulation: Her Mind Control and Chaos powers are especially effective, the former making the target a temporary ally, and the latter making all enemies perceive each other to be enemies of greater threat to them than the Tenno. Mind-controlled enemies will use their abilities against their former allies or to the benefit of the Tenno (Ancient Healers heal you, Seekers throw Latchers at other Grineer, etc.). Bosses are generally immune to Mind Control though.
Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Mostly effective with Chaos due to adjustments to the threat tables while active, although enemies will still attempt to attack the Tenno if they make themselves too noticeable.
Master of None: Comparing his healing to Trinity (who has the more efficient Well of Life and infinitely more powerful Blessing) is like comparing a wiffle bat to a wrecking ball. Enemies learn to shrug off ability damage as levels increase, and unlike most frames, only his ultimate ability has any crowd control to fall back on.
As of Update 14.5, however, he has the unique ability to remove debuffs from allies and applies a wide variety of crowd control tools (in two skills).
Meaningful Name: After the king of fairies in A Midsummer Night's Dream. It's fitting if you consider his semi-druidic design and his title as "the mystic", but non-indicative of his role as a healer and judgement-bringer.
Sword Plant: Does a handle-down variant when casting Renewal; it works well with heavy weapons (such as his "favorite" mace, the Magistar), but can be jarring with one-handed weapons.
Rhino is the heaviest Warframe in appearance, mobility and stats. He is a textbook Mighty Glacier capable of attracting enemy attention and soaking up huge amounts of damage but he is also an offensive juggernaut who can give just as much as he gets. His skills are focused on crowd control and he can buff the damage output of his teammates to help them clean up afterwards. He is also the only Warframe that is EXP-locked.
A possible build, though it involves juggling with mod cards that don't really play to Rhino's strengths. Still, Rhino can move pretty fast with Zorencoptering.
Rhino Prime is effectively this from the get-go, with a higher base speed compared to Rhino. A Rhino Prime with the Vanguard helmet has an unmodded sprint speed of 1.25 - the same speed as Loki - coupled with his already very mobile Rhino Charge.
Until/if you max out Streamline (reduced energy cost), Flow (+ max energy), and Continuity (+ ability duration, also extends the charge's reach), at which point he graduates into full on Lightning Bruiser. When that glorious day comes, you can clear 136 meters in under 8 seconds using Rhino Charge and still have enough energy to No Sell upwards of 1200 damage worth of attacks and use your Uber. For clarification, the absolute largest defense map in the game is a square less than 100 meters long per side. A good rhino can be anywhere on the map within 10 seconds (less than 5 on every other map, all of which are considerably smaller than the aforementioned square) and tear anything to shreds once he arrives since he is literally unkillable.
The second generation alternate helmet Vanguard can boost Rhino's speed by 25% for an enchange of 5% less power strength. Together with rush (+ sprint speed) this can make Rhino extremely fast even without Rhino Charge.
Alternately, max out Intensify (+ power strength) and Blind Rage (+ power strength, - power efficiency). Maxed Intensify and rank 5 Blind Rage give you an extra 84% power strength, at the cost of only -30% power efficiency; it may cost a little more energy to cast Iron Skin, but it will last longer, and the effects can be mitigated with the maxed Streamline above.
No Sell: The main effect of Iron Skin, which makes Rhino immune to almost all types of Crowd Control (without a special Warframe mod which only offers a chance to resist) until it absorbs a certain amount of damage.
Weaksauce Weakness: The only exceptions are the slowing effect of ice damage as well as the projectile vomit of the Nauseous Crawler.
Pec Flex: His Noble idle animation, he even has Pecs on his armor.
Shockwave Stomp: His ultimate skill, Rhino Stomp, which distorts time from the sheer force of the stomp.
The heaviest of the female Warframes, Saryn is a close combat beast with good defensive stats, a poison buff for her melee weapons and an instant-cast decoy ability to lose enemy attention if things get too hairy. She is also deadly against armored targets with her ability to inject them with highly corrosive toxins that bypass all their defenses.
Animal Motifs: Snakes, from poisoning targets she strikes to shedding her skin.
Body Horror: Her armor appears to be stitched together from a combination of fungi and tumorous tissues not unlike those found amongst the Infested.
Lady of War: Her design and noble stance certainly makes her fit the bill.
Non-Indicative Name: It has been noted that Venom and Contagion are more appropriate names for each others' effects than their own; Venom causes Viral damage which can be spread from enemy to enemy, while Contagion poisons enemies on a melee strike.
Showgirl Skirt: The organic material / carapace below her waist, which (just barely) covers her butt and hips, does not cover the front.
Standard Status Effects: Played with. While Venom acts like the standard Poison-type debuff, shooting one of the spores it produces causes the damage to splash to nearby enemies.
Contagion is a textbook example of the trope.
Statuesque Stunner: Saryn is considered to be one of the most attractive Warframes by the playerbase and is one of the tallest as well. Her new idle animation makes her tower over her peers as she stands confidently upright instead of crouching for battle.
Trinity is an archetypal healer with a vampiric twist. Her skillset is completely defensive and allows allies to drain both health and Energy from targets or avoid damage by redirecting it back onto an enemy.
Fan Nickname: The word "lobster" is thrown around a lot in reference to her, due to her skirt not having the proper ragdoll physics and looking like a shell.
Healing Hands: Her uber skill, Blessing, averts the trend set by her other abilities- it doesn't require you to drain life from a target, but instead fully heals (and reshields) the party, and grants temporary invincibility to all affected.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Properly used, Link can let you kill an enemy by making the damage they deal be transferred to them instead.
Not the Intended Use: Alternately, one could avert this trope by casting Link and Blessing, then firing explosive weapons at your own feet - thereby transferring all potential explosive damage to nearby foes instead.
Combat Medic: She might have no offensive powers, but she's as heavily armed as any Warframe.
Not the Intended Use: While designed as a support healer frame, Trinity can easily out-tank Rhino, and through Link has potential infinite scaling DPS, so she lacks the fall-off most damage oriented frames and abilities have. The best team composition as of update 13 is four Trinities, maybe swapping one out for a Nekros.
The Symbiote: Her third skill, Link, invokes this by allowing her to transfer damage taken to someone else, usually a nearby enemy.
Not the Intended Use: Link can also be used as an improvised early warning system, alerting the player to nearby enemies.
A berserker Warframe released in Update 11. Said to be an escapee from the Corpus's Zanuka Project.
Enforced with her Hysteria skill, which makes her invulnerable to damage... until it ends, at which point part of the damage she would have taken hits her anyway unless she has cleared the room of enemies by then. While active, however, she can heal based on the damage she deals.
Unstoppable Rage: Zig-zagged. Hysteria makes Valkyr unkillable while it's active- but she's still vulnerable to crowd control effects and stuns, and can even be killed just by the effect ending.
Body Horror: It's no coincidence that "the tortured" Warframe looks like her skin was flayed and peeled. The default red streaks on her armor even look like exposed muscle. To top it off, the Corpus restraints on her arms have bolts that go through her bones.
Cat Girl: With the Bastet alternate helmet, she becomes a variant of this. When wielding a whip, it uniquely twists itself into a tail shape on her back.
Fashionable Asymmetry: Her base helmet is cracked open on the left side. Her exclusive "Valkyr's Bonds" syandana dangles one chain off her right arm and two off the left.
For Massive Damage: Warcry gives her a melee speed boost while Hysteria grants her a substantial melee attack buff (affected by her equipped melee weapon), at the cost of her ability to deal damage at range. Combine these with Paralysis, which grants Valkyr a short stealth damage bonus including a 4x melee damage multiplier.
The Combat Engineer Warframe introduced in Update 8, Vauban has the unique twist of deploying his abilities through specialized grenades. This gives him a longer reach than most of his compatriots and allows him to fortify multiple sections of a map at once. He is currently considered the most effective of the utility-centric Warframes.
Badass Normal: All the other Warframes seem to have innate abilities, powers that could only be explained by "Void Energy", partial infestation, etc. Vauban, however, runs entirely on advanced tech grenades and a good suit.
Fan Nickname: "Trollban", due to the unsavory effects of Bounce (and formerly, Vortex) on allies, as well as his ability to stick Teslas to allies to steal their kills.
Gravity Screw: Early on, Vauban's Vortex had this effect on players, causing them to jump higher and have more airtime if they jumped into it, but also causing them to drift helplessly and uncontrollably if they moved through it any other way. This controversial side-effect was officially patched out in 9.8.
Grenade Spam: A common (and valid) strategy in Defenses is for a Vauban to cover the map's walkways with Tesla grenades, given that they're relatively cheap and periodically deal stunning damage; a single grenade can do upwards of 1500 damage at max rank, albeit through multiple electrical charges.
Alternately, one could coat the cryopod in Bounce grenades to repel melee-oriented foes.
Mega Manning: Each of his abilities has been accused of being a grenade form of another Warframe's: Tesla is based off of Volt's Shock, Bounce off of Excalibur's Super Jump and Banshee's Sonic Boom, Bastille off of Rhino's Rhino Stomp and Vortex off of both Mag's Pull and Crush.
Nice Hat: His Gambit helmet has a turbine on top of it that rather resembles a beret.
Spring Jump: One application of Bounce. Alternately, it can be used to rocket foes into the stratosphere, stunning them temporarily.
Squishy Wizard: Has the second-lowest armor and ties with Loki and Nova for the second-lowest shield capacity of all Warframes (after Valkyr).
Sticky Bomb: Bounce will stick to whatever surface it's attached to, regardless of which direction the pad faces. Tesla does much the same, as well as attaching to enemies and allies alike to deal additional damage over time.
A nimble ability-oriented Warframe with the power to generate and control powerful electric currents. He is exceptionally devastating against the Corpus and their robotic proxies but while he tends to feel a bit lackluster against the other factions (which have some resistance to electric damage) his skills nevertheless offer a balanced range of utility. Volt was originally a starting Warframe before being replaced by Mag in Update 7, but returned to the roster in Update 14 replacing Loki.
Chain Lightning: His first ability, Shock, fires a bolt of lightning that arcs between enemies.
Crippling Overspecialization: Prior to Update 11. His high Electric damage output absolutely wrecks the Corpus and their dangerous robots but almost every unit on the other two factions has some innate Electricity resistance even before their armor scaling becomes relevant. This limited damage output is compounded by the fact that the stun effect of the damage type is inconsistent on Grineer and Infested, so in tougher non-Corpus missions Volt is limited to using his Electric Shield as a mobile pillbox and serving as a Speed carrier. As of Update 11, his electric damage is very potent against any enemy since armor scaling has been toned down.
Elemental Barrier: His Electric Shield can block enemy fire, and has the added bonus of electrifying his bullets when he fires through it.
Good Bad Bugs: Ironically (as Volt is most effective against Corpus robots), this shield dramatically increases the damage of the Corpus-inspired Dera plasma rifle and turns it into a Hit Scan weapon.
Man in a Kilt: In an interesting variation, his kilt is open in the front, reaching up into his chestguard at about waist-height.
Shock and Awe: All his powers are electrically-based, but special mention has to go to Overload, which really fits the bill. In earlier versions, it was so powerful it could clear the entire map with a single usage with excessive stacking of power range and power damage mods.
Super Speed: One of his abilities gives a short burst of speed to himself and any teammates around him, making them run incredibly fast and swing their melee weapons quicker.
Very False Advertising: Has been accused of this; the in-game description of Volt claims that he is a "potent alternative to gunplay" and most of his moveset suggests he is a mobile caster archetype, but it has been repeatedly pointed out that Electric Shield just makes his firearms far more potent while pinning him down in one spot.
Perhaps a case of Not the Intended Use as with Loki's Invisibility, since Electric Shield is advertised as his best defense rather than his most potent offense.
An avian-themed Warframe with wind powers set released in Update 12. She is noted for her high mobility, as well as her air-support potential.
Air Aided Acrobatics: She's naturally lighter than other Warframes, allowing her to jump higher and giving her more airtime. In addition, Tail Wind allows her to propel herself into and through the air- the most potent travel skill of its cost.
Animal Motifs: Birds, specifically hawks, according to the Design Council poll that originally spawned her. Her design invokes a beak, feathers, and even a swallow-like tail, while her first two powers involve getting into the air and slamming down on enemies.
Applied Phlebotinum: The use of Oxium in her recipe accounts for her lighter weight and reduced falling speed compared to other Warframes.
Ascended Fanon: Like Nova, Nekros and Valkyr, Zephyr owes her theme to a Design Council poll full of options submitted by players. The frame's name, design and even several abilities are also frequently attributed to a popular fan art thread which at least one developer stated was "very inspiring".
Fake Longevity: For players attempting to obtain her for free, Zephyr was released such that her parts could only be obtained from a Tenno Research Lab added in Update 12. After a clan obtains the materials for a lab, it spends 24 hours under construction. From there, players can begin researching Zephyr's main blueprint- which requires 3 days to research on its own- followed by an additional 3 days to research each of the three individual parts that her blueprint is a prerequisite for (assuming all three are researched simultaneously). Finally, the three parts spend 12 hours in the player's Foundry, followed by 3 more days in the Foundry under the main blueprint to complete assembly.
Lightning Bruiser: Fast, plenty of shields and plenty of health, add in abilities that focus on dashing around hammeirng enemies and an ultimate that abusesElemental Rock-Paper-Scissors like no other and the result is a very fast and very tough frame with plenty of firepower.
Meaningful Name: A zephyr refers to a light wind from the west (named after a Greek deity), while a cierzo is a Spanish term for a dry, cold wind from the north.
Not Quite Flight: She has natural resistance to gravity while Tail Wind allows her to jump off the ground and propel herself in the air, but she cannot fly freely.
Bling of War: Being Orokin tech enhanced version of their respective Warframe, they have a lot of gold elements, fitting the Orokin aesthetic.
Super Prototype: It's speculated that the Prime versions are this to their Warframes.
"Atusun Grineer! Tenno daryo no'ef! Gar argreogre'ef! Tu huscra'ef unsu natake no tosonias!"
— Grineer Queens Regulator Message (glory to the Queens)
A brutal race of warriors, the system-conquering Grineer depend on cloning for reproduction, and so are slowly dying out due to clone degeneration. This makes all the more determined to wipe out the Tenno before their time is up, while it makes the Tenno desperate to stop them before they can take the rest of humanity with them.They rely on their heavy armor, numbers, dakka-spewing rifles, and careful deployment of specialized units such as Heavy Gunners or Shield Bearers to match the Tenno in battle.
Attack Pattern Alpha: Grineer are fond of "Combat Formation Bravo", which apparently means "stand in front of the space ninjas and shoot at them".
Artificial Human: The vast majority - if not entirety - of Grineer personnel are vat-grown clones, born from a hidden toxic womb. Helps explain how their leaders keep coming back no matter how often you kill them, and how they have so many mooks to throw at you.
Clone Degeneration: They're (allegedly) clones of "perfection." However, they're actually copies of copies of copies, mass-produced on an industrial scale and all born so deformed that it'd be impossible for them to survive without cybernetics. As a result, the most recent Grineer are... barely recognizable as human. Vay Hek, to use an example, has visibly flaking, dead-looking skin, and looks downright grotesque.◊ This is not helped by them making clones out of already-made Grineer.
Cyborg: The Grineer make heavy use of cybernetic augmentation to counter their degeneration. On most male Grineer this is covered by their heavy armor, but female Grineer and unique bosses like Vor and Kril display it as well. Vay Hek currently possesses the most extensive augmentation, being fairly close to Brain in a Jar status.
Dying Race: The Grineer are suffering slow but steady 'genetic decay' with each generation of clones. They face a race against time to find a cure for the degeneration; the intervention of the Tenno certainly can't be helping them much.
The comms on Tenno ships feature Grineer marines making breathy radio transmissions, which could be a result of the degeneration. The Grustrag Three have a particularly-difficult time speaking or breathing.
Elite Mook: Any Grineer wielding a Gorgon, Hind, Napalm, or Ogris.
Glass Cannon: The Sawman crumples with ease under almost any attack... but if he connects with his cleaver, a Critical Hit usually ensues, eating a large part of your shields or health. He was later given a shield to mitigate some of the glass. His Update 11 incarnation, the Butcher, had the shield taken away again.
Human Resources: Grineer are dissolved in cloning tanks in order to produce more Grineer.
Incredibly Durable Enemies: Even the basic Lancers and Troopers can eat a few bursts before going down if you don't go for the head, and the Heavies only make things worse.
Obligatory War Crime Scene: Their encyclopedia entry shows them killing naked and innocent people. They also have offscreen moments, such as murdering asteroid colonies, killing people just because they sympathize with the Tenno, etc.
We Can Rebuild Him: The backstory notes that most Grineer are born so deformed that they would not survive without heavy augmentations. It's also noted that Grineer are better at fixing things than creating them.
We Have Reserves: Being a clone race, the Grineer can raise armies very quickly indeed, as is reflected by the wave after wave of troops the average Tenno will slice through in a single mission (their reaction to Extermination missions is essentially "Oh, they're all dead. Mark that site for repopulation.") Unfortunately for the Grineer, their weapon and armor tech is so primitive compared to Tenno technology that a single Tenno can wipe out an entire legion of Grineer troops singlehandedly. This is not helped by their severe Clone Degeneration, which the Tenno have probably directly contributed to by wiping out thousands of them.
The first boss of the game, faced on Mercury and as a dual boss on Phobos. Targeted due to suspicion of possessing Orokin artefacts that grant him power. He does. Most of his 'powers' derive from his Orokin Void Key.
A Father to His Men/Papa Wolf: Update 14 shows that he cares deeply for his men, calling them his "sons" and gets increasingly pissed as the Tenno cuts through his forces.
Death Seeker: Update 14 reveals that the reason he's so obsessed with the Tenno is because he wants to use them to reverse the Grineer's clone degradation so he can finally die for good.
Degraded Boss: Before the revamp in Update 9, he was the template for the Flameblades.
Dynamic Difficulty: After Update 9, his health and damage scales with the levels on the players' Warframe and weapons. For a while, this could push his level past 100, making him extremely hard to kill and equally deadly.
The Musketeer: After Update 9, he has a Seer pistol for range and a Cronus for melee.
Turns Red: If you damage him enough, he'll throw out Nervos mines to act like Vauban's Tesla. Bring him even closer to death and he starts using his Void Key as a Wave Motion Gun.
Villain Teleportation: In his earlier incarnation, Vor liked to teleport behind you if you got too far away. Now he'll teleport closer (though rarely into melee) or away from you as the situation demands.
Void Key Of Power: Vor's special abilities largely stem from his (possibly damaged or modified) Orokin Void Key.
You Have Failed Me: He used to be Admiral Vor. But, because he studies some Tenno instead of killing them on sight, he was demoted to Captain.
Councillor Vay Hek
'I knew this day would come. I prepared, changed myself. I made sacrifices! Tenno... are you ready for a SACRIFICE!?'
The former boss of Earth. Targeted for assassination by Lotus as he is a corrupt diplomat who has assassinated multiple political opponents and is a hindrance to the stability of the system. Used to drop blueprints for Trinity before Update 11.5; used to drop blueprints for Oberon before Update 13; now drops blueprints for Hydroid.
Big Bad: Or at least the closest thing to one at this point. He has more bosses and minibosses under his command than any other, and leads the Fomorian Ship Initiative to gain a decisive advantage in space warfare.
Body Horror: After Update 13, his body has been... changed. He is now basically a head stuck on a big monstrous robot.
Boss in Mook Clothing: Prior to Update 13, apart from his nonstandard gun, looked like a Lancer at first glance.
"TENNO! TENNO! TENNO! YOU THINK YOU'RE WINNING? YOU... HAVE ONLY... BEEN ATTACKING... THE AUXILIARY CORES! DID YOU REALLY BELIEVE... IT WOULD BE THIS EASY? YOU ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME! THERE WILL BE NOWHERE... TO HIDE... FROM MY FOMORIANS! AND WHEN... THE LAST... OF YOU IS GONE! I WILL PERSONALLY... THROW... YOUR BELOVED LOTUS... INTO THE SUN!"
Mighty Glacier: Prior to Update 13, he was slow but with tough, fast-recharging shields and thick armour with a shotgun (The Hek) that could quickly ruin your day.
A Nazi by Any Other Name: Make the following substitutions: "Orokin weeds" for "Jews", "Tenno" for "Communists", "herbicide" for "genocide", "homes" for "lebensraum", "Cicero toxin" for "final solution".
If you support the Corpus against him during the Gradivus Dilemma, he will call you out as willing to sacrifice your own and die for a worthless cause.
After Update 11, one of the lines he can deliver in his boss mission has him calling you a mercenary and asking what happened to the Tenno sense of honour. Another one calls you as fighting for treasure and another Corpus machine.
The boss of Ceres, and half of the dual boss on Phobos. A revered war hero of the Grineer whose augmentations and powers rival those of Warframes. Drops blueprints for Frost on Ceres, and parts of the Miter, Twin Gremlins and (since Update 11.5) the Trinity Warframe on Phobos.
Almighty Janitor: He is only a lieutenant, but is much more powerful than either the captain or the general.
An Ice Person: Before his cryo pack is destroyed; it comes as no surprise that he drops the Frost Warframe as a result.
The Musketeer: Before Update 9 revamped Captain Vor, he was the only one of the Grineer bosses to have a dedicated melee weapon to complement his gun. The rest either use Pistol-Whipping or Shockwave Stomp against Tenno going up close.
Turns Red: After you destroy his cryo pack, he will switch to fire and go full melee, complete with speed boost.
'What do you get when you take the "Warfra" out of "Warframe"? That's right, me!'
"You have violated the dress code on this ship. Failure to comply is punishable by death."
The boss of Uranus. A brilliant geneticist who is trying to revert the genetic decay of the Grineer, preferably by making them (and himself) immortal in the process. He fights using a Cronus. Did we mentionhe's completely crazy? Drops blueprints for Ash.
Ax-Crazy: He's stated to be completely unhinged by the Lotus. His dialogue doesn't do much to disabuse the notion.
Bad Ass Bookworm: He's only a scientist, but he can go toe-to-toe with a cadre of highly-armed space ninjas and win.
Body Horror: He wears his faceplate upside down. While seemingly innocuous at first, closer inspection reveals that the helmet doesn't completely connect to the faceplate in this manner; in the loading screen for his mission, that gap reveals his skin caves in around his face.
As a result, fan art sometimes depicts him as having an upside-down face.
Close Range Combatant: He can mess your whole day up at close range using his Cronus sword. Unique among Grineer bosses in that he has absolutely no form of ranged combat.
Dash Attack: He has a move similar to Excalibur's Slash Dash.
It's All About Me: See his quote above. Concept art for the upcoming underwater lab shows that he will likely have a statue of himself; several depict him carrying the world.
Mad Scientist: Natch. He's trying to revert the Grineer's genetic decay by making them - and himself - immortal.
His upcoming rework will also give him an underwater lab tileset. That's right, he's ascended to classical James Bond villain.
The cloning process he's known for? It doesn't involve stem cells or synthetic tissues. It involves melting living organisms (primarily Grineer) and duplicating them.
When All You Have Is a Hammer: Captain Vor has an Orokin doodad that lets him shoot Frickin' Laser Beams and a specialized pistol that shoots exploding bullets. Sargas Ruk is a Cyborg with a penchant for Playing with Fire. Kela De Thaym has a rocket launcher and spams Rollers. Tyl Regor has nothing but his sword, and still manages to be quite a threat.
The Grustrag Three
'Are we sure these are the targets? They seem so inconsequential.'
Vem Tabook, Shik Tal, and Leekter make up the Grustrag Three, a Grineer Death Squad created by Councilor Vay Hek to punish Tenno who support the Corpus in Invasion missions as of Update 12.3
Attack Drone: Each member of the Three now has a Sentinel of their own, which is armed with a laser rifle and also used to attach the restraining bolts mentioned below. Presumably they also help keep the Three themselves in check.
Blood Knight: They sound fairly bored when attacking Tenno, even asking if the ones they're fighting are the correct targets. According to Codex, Vem Tabook is this to such an extent that he got so impatient to kill that he turned on fellow Grineer, leading to his reconditioning.
Body Horror: Implied. They're never seen outside of their armor, but the patch notes for their release update mentions they are 'riddled with mutation'. Their faces are also far from human.
Mini-Boss: Just like the Stalker and the Harvester before them.
Mook Chivalry: Despite there being three of them, only one of the Three will attack you at any given moment.
Nonstandard Game Over: If they kill your whole squad, you automatically fail the mission, and wake up on the main menu with a Restraining Bolt that will reduce your effectiveness in battle against them (and possibly Grineer in general). Luckily, the Lotus gives you a blueprint to craft the remover.
No Sell: In a first for assassin minibosses, averted. The Grustrag Three are quick enough to avoid your attacks, but have none of their predecessors' Dispel gimmickry, and are vulnerable to all status effects, debuffs or forms of attack expected to work on a standard boss.
A massive proto-corporation, the Corpus make heavy use of mechanical proxies (i.e. Mecha-Mooks) and brainwashed cyborg Mooks to do their bidding.They use shielded robots to support their somewhat frail workers in combat, as well as specialized drones that can boost the shields of allies or lay mines. They are also the only faction to make use of security cameras and laser-defended doorways in their levels.
Attack Drone: Two major varieties: The Moa, man-sized shielded bipedal walkers armed with plasma repeaters by default. One variant augments it with the ability to Shockwave Stomp, another replaces it with a cover-penetrating railgun, and the most powerful is a fusion of Corpus and Orokin technology that sports a short-ranged beam attack and the ability to deploy its very own Attack Drone. Speaking of which, those are the Ospreys, flying things that have minelaying, shield-leeching or shield-providing subtypes. The Fusion Moa's own Drone is armed with twin plasma guns for More Dakka.
Blue and Orange Morality: Their status as a merchant-cult leads them to do some pretty horrendous things, since they value profit (almost as a sacrament) above any moral concerns. On the other hand, they also help the Tenno in the name of profit. They can even have violent rivalries caused by wasting money.
Drone Deployer: Techs and Fusion Moa can deploy drones. Techs deploy Shield Ospreys, while Fusion Moa have their own offensive drone.
Glass Cannon: When levels are equal, Corpus units are always more fragile than Grineer ones, but they can put out some nasty DPS. Elite Crewmen and Fusion Moa in particular can shred all but the most tanky Warframes in an instant.
Mega Corp.: They're one of the two major powers in the solar system (opposite the Grineer) and control the Solar Rails that ferry supplies to the rest of the system. They hold a monopoly on manufacturing supplies and use this to manipulate the Grineer Empire when it comes to trade negotiations.
Proud Merchant Race: They are described as a "Merchant Cult" - they literally worship the concept of profit. They rely on automation and cheap slave labor. See also the rest of the tropes about them. Enough said.
Weak Turret Gun: Corpus turrets are a double subversion/heavy zig-zag; the turrets themselves are powerful (though inaccurate), and well-armoured whilst they're folded up (to the point of being completely immune to even abilities like Crush or Avalanche), but once deployed they are fairly easy to destroy, and you can easily disable them by shooting out the much more fragile security cameras giving them targeting data.
Despite The Plan: Claims triumphantly at the beginning of the "Ties That Bind" mission that he has disabled the Oxium Hyena prototypes, leaving only regular security to deal with. It comes as no surprise to players when they come back online.
Friend in the Black Market: More of an inferred example, since he's a Corpus merchant selling items to the Tenno, even with the occasional special offer, "Darvo's Deals".
Friendly Enemy: Despite being a Corpus agent, he doesn't take any active role against the Tenno, and no visible role against the Infested or Grineer; and he's pretty happy to be doing business with open enemies of the Corpus.
On the other hand, some Corpus and Grineer authorities seem to be pretty happy to work with the Tenno if it means that the Tenno are on their side, so it may not be all that unusual for a Corpus merchant to work with the Tenno.
He also defends the Tenno, verbally at least, during 'Ties that Bind' when Frohd Bek calls them Betrayers, insisting that they're not but he does not elaborate beyond that.
Loveable Rogue: He's a smuggler, arms dealer, black marketeer, and hijacker. He also has a tendency to hide some important details. But he never sells to the Grineer, and he always tries to help out the Tenno.
Mission Control: Very briefly, in a mission where he hires the Tenno to infiltrate a "ship of his that was not in his possession", to retrieve something of his. It was a ruse to lure out the Stalker and have the Tenno neutralize him on Darvo's behalf.
Upon the release of Update 12, it was done again with the "Ties That Bind" mission, wherein players were asked to rescue him from his father, Frohd Bek.
Put on a Bus: He disappeared for a while after he put an equipment bundle of the Stalker's equipment on the market. Apparently, Stalker wasn't happy about it.
The Bus Came Back: He returns later, after dealing with the Stalker, opening with a market special.
Refused The Call: Turned down a position on the Board. His father was not pleased, having groomed Darvo for such a position from a young age, and had him kidnapped and put to work on a counter-strategy against the Grineer's impending "Project Tethra" as a result.
Retcon: Update 14 changed his backstory so he is no longer affiliated with the Corpus, but is instead a freelance arms dealer. In fact, he now hates the Corpus due to their willingness to sell to the Grineer, which is a line he refuses to cross.
A member of the Corpus who reports to their board of directors. Became a boss in Update 11. Drops parts for Valkyr.
Ass in Ambassador: His title is "Grineer Relations." He frequently uses Fantastic Racism, calling them "test-tube dogs" and his solution to the Grineer's claim that they had Fomorian Ships (We don't know either, but they're evidently very destructive) was to suggest laughing in their faces because they clearly couldn't have the ships.
Back from the Dead: As of the "Suspicious Shipments" event. Observant players will note that his neck brace is now partially Infested.
The Dandy: His design is based on a futuristic fop- being more of a bureaucrat than a general- and he won't fight the Tenno directly so long as he has robotic proxies.
Trauma Conga Line/Humiliation Conga: It has not been a good month to be Alad V. First, he kicked off a war between the Grineer and the Corpus by trying to steal Tenno cryopods, and was an abject failure at swaying the Tenno to his side. The board promptly withdraws funding for his war, leaving him in massive debt, and an angry CEO sending the Tenno and Corpus personally after him to collect what's due. The Tenno find him, smash the crap out of Zanuka and free the remaining Tenno, and personally give him a discount on their ammunition supplies. Or possibly throw him into a gas giant, soon to be crushed.
Unexplained Recovery: So... how did he survive after either being repeatedly shot by several Tenno with weapons that are ludicrously overpowered against flesh, or possibly thrown into the high-gravity depths of a gas giant?
Villainous Breakdown: His tone gives this away when you destroy the hives in one of his ships during Operation Breeding Ground.
Voice of the Legion: He suddenly begins yelling with a reverberating voice after Zanuka is killed in "The Profit" trailer.
"You can't hide, ride, or bribe your way out of this Alad. You've been downsized and your fat head is about to suffer cutbacks. Literal cutbacks."
Another member of the Corpus board of directors, but one with a distinct hatred for Alad V.
The Chessmaster: Hires the Tenno to clear out the Infestation on his fleet of spaceships in return for telling them where Alad V is hiding - at which point they pop over and kill him, which is precisely what Bek wanted anyway.
Enemy Civil War: From the perspective of the Tenno, Bek is engaged in this with Alad V.
Enemy Mine: Perfectly willing to work with the Tenno if it gets him closer to taking down Alad V - not to mention he convinces the Tenno to do the lion's share of the work getting his ships cleared of the Infestation. From the opposite perspective, Lotus outright says that she doesn't trust him, but she trusts his hatred for Alad V.
Useless Useful Stealth: A rare case where this applies to an enemy. He can cloak, but the game still shows an indicator with his position, meaning that you can still use Herd Hitting Attack or melee to harm him.
The bosses of Venus and Neptune respectively, these Proxies are some of the deadliest Corpus inventions yet. Their multiple powerful weapon systems, heavy shields, and robust construction all come together to make them a considerable threat to the Tenno. Jackal drops blueprints for Rhino, while Hyena drops blueprints for Loki.
Informed Ability: Pre-Update 12, you only fought one Hyena on its own, despite it supposedly being deployed in packs.
Puzzle Boss: In theory, you can bring down Jackal's shields with enough firepower. In practice, it's far more efficient to Attack Its Weak Point, namely any of the legs.
Shockwave Stomp: Can be avoided by jumping over or otherwise avoiding the orange glowing lines that trail across the walls and floor.
Stuff Blowing Up: Its primary attack method is to unleash a volley of rockets capable of one-shotting players, while it also occasionally stoops down to drop landmines. Thematically fitting, given that it drops the parts for the Nova warframe.
Zanuka and the Harvester
The end result of Alad V's Zanuka Project, this dog robot was supposedly created through experimentation on captured Tenno. Comes as a package deal with Alad on Jupiter. The Harvester is Corpus proxy similar to Zanuka, deployed by Alad V to hunt down and capture Tenno who support the Grineer in Invasion missions, to be used as subjects for the Zanuka Project.
Anti-Magic: Has a projectile version of the Stalker's Dispel ability.
Dual Boss: As stated above, Alad V and Zanuka are fought together. Zanuka has a very powerful shield that has to be disabled by attacking Alad before it can be hurt.
I Shall Taunt You: While the Harvester is silent, Alad V will taunt the player just before the Harvester spawns and while you fight it.
Mega Manning: Zanuka's abilities include copies of Jackal's rocket barrage, Nova's Antimatter Drop and Stalker's Dispel.
Mini-Boss: The Harvester appears at random during a mission, when a member of the cell has it's Death Mark, not unlike the Stalker.
Nonstandard Game Over: If the Harvester kills you, your current mission is aborted, and you have to do a special mission where you need to recover all your equipment (including your powers), and you can't do any other mission with the equipment used to fight Harvester until you successfully complete this one.
Palette Swap: Visually speaking, the Harvester is just a gray and red Zanuka.
A nonpolitical faction that has spawned out of a synthetic disease called the Technocyte Plague, that turns its victims into deformed monstrosities.The Infested spawn in much greater numbers than other factions, and swarm their enemies with powerful Chargers that can take out a Warframe lower level than them in a few strikes, and Runners that explode in proximity to enemies to stagger them. There are also Giant Mooks called Ancients, that are much slower than regular Infested, but can absorb much more damage and drain energy, health, or heal their allies.
Action Bomb: Runners. They charge at you, then explode. Or they explode if you kill them with gunfire. But not if you slice them in half with a flaming sword or punch them to death. Depending on the level you're playing in, melee may be tricky, as they'll either be unaffected by the knockback, or explode faster than you can swing.
Body Horror: Hammered home by their encyclopedia entry showing a Corpus crewman who has been painfully transformed.
If you look very closely at Chargers, you will see that they still have vestigial Grineer heads fused into their undersides, turned all the way around to face the front. Those colored shells on their arms and back? Ferrite armor. And where the back of a Grineer's neck would be? A skeletal, almost-canine face.
Evil Laugh: The 'runner' family of enemies let loose a rather nasty sounding chuckle now and then.
Hive Mind: Heavily implied, since they show degrees of coordination on the greater scale, despite individual members being animalistic.
Human Weapon: Their intended purpose, Gone Horribly Right. The Orokin developed the unique underlying technology to help them fight the Sentients; clearly something went right - but then the Orokin were seemingly betrayed by the Tenno. Since then, the Infestation has run rampant across the solar system.
It would appear that they are once again in Update 14, this time under the guidance of a very much alive Alad V.
Organic Technology: With heavy emphasis on the 'organic' side, but it's surely not called the Technocyte Virus for giggles either. Presumably the heavy emphasis on the organic side was to foil the Sentients, who seemed to be able to turn the Orokin's 'conventional' high-tech weapons against them with terrifying ease.
Taken Up to Eleven with Alad V's experiments, which appear to involve letting Virus-ridden stalks harvested from the Orokin Derelicts infest Corpus robotics as well as crewmen.
The Virus: The Technocyte virus, of course. Infestation also appears to be lifeform of some kind in its own right, as viny growths and blooms appear on floors and walls where they Infestation is present. Orokin derelict vessels, where the Technocyte has had plenty of time to fester, are overgrown with huge, rootlike tendrils.
Zerg Rush: On its own, any Infested enemy is little threat. A swarm of Chargers, exploding Runners, persistent-poison-cloud Noxious Crawlers, energy and shield-draining Ancient Disruptors, and shield-piercing Toxic Ancients, however - and they always attack in numbers - can stunlock a Tenno to death before you can get a counterattack or ability off.
Introduced in Update 10, this is the boss of the Orokin Derelicts. Drops parts for Nekros.
Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Lephantis is gigantic, the biggest creature you have to fight in the game by a mile. Seriously, not even the Jackal even comes close to its titanic size.
Flunky Boss: In both battle phases, Lephantis can create pods, from which regular infested units come out.
"(We are the vessel through which immortality is achieved. Assimilate, <player name>.)"
The former boss of Eris, now appearing whenever there is an Infestation outbreak in place of the system's usual boss. A gigantic red Infested Charger with several deadly psychic powers. Drops blueprints for Nyx.
King Mook: It's a charger except really big and red.
The Orokin Empire
The only living remnants of them seem to be the Guardians of the Orokin Void, Corrupted are Grineer and Corpus troops, with the occasional Infested Ancient, who have fallen to the tower's defenses and been remade into a loyal servant force.
Mind-Control Device: The Corrupted have a visible Orokin crest on their heads, which is how they're kept controlled, and possibly as a means of communication.
Body Horror: Close inspection reveals the Grineer were not lucky enough to keep their masks; the device plugs directly intotheir faces. The crest on the facemask of a Corpus crewmen used to slide around the eye-level orifice, implying the same.
Psycho Rangers: The Corrupted are this to Corpus, Grineer, and even the Infested. They are essentially intruders mind-controlled by Orokin defenses.
Redshirt Army: The Zero-Techs, who wielded percussion rifles, in a universe full of far more advanced tech. Every time a Sentient Worm-Ship blasted an Orokin Splinter Ship, it was nearly guaranteed that all Zero-Techs aboard would die instantly.
A mysterious assassin in black and crimson armor who invades the missions of Tenno after they have killed at least one boss, with the stated aim of avenging said boss and punishing the killer. From his appearance and weapons, it's speculated but has not been explicitly confirmed that he might be a rogue Tenno.
Avenging the Villain: The Stalker's reason for wanting to kill the player is the player having killed a boss. That all of them are assholes does not give him a moment's pause. Players tend to first meet him at the time they reach a high enough rank and power level to farm said bosses. He's meant to give players pause in between them mindlessly stomping the likes of Vor for blueprints and materials.
Curb-Stomp Battle: The Stalker tends to be quite high level, so if he ambushes you when you're in a lower-level frame with weaker weapons... it's not pretty. To make it worse, the Stalker only shows up after you kill a boss, but never in boss missions. Suppose you just did one repeatedly to get the parts for a new Warframe, made it, and are now taking your fresh, level zero, toy for a spin. On the other hand, this can be turned 180° when he tries to attack a team of four high-level Warframes. Even at level 70, he can go down rather quickly, making his mysterious appearance and quick disappearance more of a joke. Due to a few bugs that occurred with update 11 the Stalker can now one hit kill a full tank-built Rhino (the tankiest of the Tennos) while being invincible if it uses Nyx's Absorb ability - making a scenario where the Stalker kills most if not the entire team in seconds while hardly taking any damage entirely plausible.
Enemy Civil War: The Stalker is flagged as enemy for any faction you are currently fighting against. Appearing in a crowd of enemies causes them to attack him as much as the player. This can be done to your advantage if you have a Shade with Ghost. Allowing you to sit back and watch him being worn down by your enemies.
Even Evil Has Standards: Though he avenges corporate tools and expansionist xenophobic fascists, he draws the line at Captain Vor, who abuses Orokin technology, and Alad V, who dissects Tenno for twisted experiments, and won't bother avenging them.
Evil Counterpart: Resembles, and acts like a Tenno; he appears to be wearing a black and red Excalibur-class Warframe with a unique helmet. He also has dark versions of Slash Dash, Teleport, Pull and Absorb.
Flash Step: Has Ash's ability to Teleport and Excalibur's ability to Slash Dash.
As of Update 11, he's more likely to Teleport Spam into a melee combo.
Hoist by His Own Petard: He attacks Tennos with modified versions of their weapons. However, when he's killed, he drops blueprints for his own gear, and thus can be killed him with his own weapons in the next encounter.
Knife Nut: Despair, his throwing knives, have a mono-filament edge specifically designed to penetrate Warframes.
Mage Killer: He can shrug off Tenno-inflicted debuffs, Dispel their defenses, effortlessly dodge or even Absorb their attacks, and somehow manages to track them entirely on his own. His weapons are even noted to be specifically crafted for killing Tenno.
Mini-Boss: The first of it's kind in Warframe. Much more powerful than most regular enemies, and appears randomly during the mission instead of being an Assassination Target like regular bosses.
Mirror Match: Against any sufficiently competent stealth-based player. Expect to sneak around the map taking pot-shots at each other for a while before any actual confrontation ensues.
Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: To those not expecting him. You're a new player casually starting another mission, feeling good after your latest boss kill, when the lights start flickering. You shrug it off as a momentary graphics failure, until a face you've never seen appears on-screen and you get the message, "You can't run from your past." A minute later, you've been killed by an enemy you never got a good glimpse at. After that, the non-stop flickering on Infested ships just becomes constant Paranoia Fuel.
Even for players expecting him, on rare occasions. Think the flickering is bad? Try having the screen flicker, then turn red, with the silhouette of the Stalker running past you during that red flash.
Nonstandard Game Over: Normally, being defeated by an enemy will knock the player to the ground, causing them to bleed out and allowing them to continue attacking with their sidearm and reduced mobility, while giving their allies a short window to rescue them before death sets in; being defeated by the Stalker, even in a full party, will instantly kill the player.
If you try to use a debuffing/crowd control power on Stalker, he ignores it. He will however take all of any damage the ability deals at the same time.
Initially, Stalker was to not be able to attack cloaked Tenno. After Update 10 this has now been changed. He can nullify invisibility and other buffs like Iron Skin, and his ability to nullify these also stuns the target, allowing him to get free hits in. No longer can he be cheesed with invincibility or invisibility.
Power Nullifier: He recently gained the ability to Dispel the beneficial effects of player Warframes with a puff of smoke.
Sinister Scythe: Hate, his weapon of choice, is a modified kama. Exceptionally dangerous in that it staggers you on hit, allowing the Stalker to perform highly damaging combos on you.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The Stalker is programmed to register abilities being activated and will downright spam his dispel ability to deactivate them, ignoring players being invisible therefor not supposed to be registered by him. He has unlimited energy being able to endlessly chain his abilities. He can switch between primary and secondary weapon without being hindered by a switch animation (being able to fire his bow and throw throwing knives at virtualy the same time).
He is also extremely accurate, with constant evasion being the only way to avoid being killed immediately. The only reason he might miss is because he tends not to lead targets. That being said, stop moving for even a second and he will kill you.
Really 700 Years Old: According to the Stalker's entry in the Codex once you get 3 scans, he was there when the Orokin fell.
Voice of the Legion: Has an interesting echo effect to his voice, and it causes the lights to flicker.
Weaksauce Weakness: Before one of the updates, he had difficulty attacking Tenno who were standing on crates.
You Will Not Evade Me: Not only can he Pull Tenno off the high ground, he can also teleport them to him if they leave the room he spawned into.
They were the opponents of the Orokin Empire during the war. They had undulating Worm Ships with fearsome firepower, and could subvert any Orokin technology. According to Excalibur's Codex entry, the Warframes were designed to fight the Sentients.
The Unseen: The only way you'd even know about the Sentients is from Codex entries and Lotus dialogue.
Red Veil Resistance
"This is Cantis of the Red Veil Resistance and I am asking for your help."
"You fight the Grineer and Corpus and so do we, that makes us allies. We aren't as strong as you and we don't have your weapons but we've pissed off those bastards just the same."
The Red Veil Resistance are a group of (apparently) humans who fight against the Grineer and Corpus much like the Tenno do. The Grineer having captured some of their members for hostages and imprisoned them in high-security jails with elite wardens with orders to trigger execution systems in their cells if any rescue attempt is made, they call for aid from the Lotus and the Tenno to save their imprisoned comrades.
Badass Normal: No crazy superpowers, no Precursor weapons. Far weaker physically, and far less trained. They are still fighting.
Escort Mission: Only show up in these. Not as annoying as most escorts, because you can give them your pistols, and they have aimbot-level accuracy with them. It's worth mentioning that you can give them any pistol, from the lowly Lato to the Brakk shotgun revolver.
They will also hit a semi-auto weapon's maximum fire rate with ease. Even the Lato can shred enemies when fired at speeds human fingers could only dream of. They also have no issues using weapons with unique firing mechanics, like the manually triggered Castana electric traps. They also don't need to worry about ammo consumption, and can take full advantage of a pair of Viper or Furis machine pistols.
La Résistance: The first faction of normal humans seen, resisting both Grineer and Corpus. If anyone is even suspected of belonging to the Red Veil, they are roughed-up and their ship is seized.