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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.
- The Rhino Prime codex entry describes an out of suit Tenno as a beast with a clearly organic body.
- Amnesiac Hero: Due to being in cryosleep for centuries. Even if there are Tenno who remember anything, they aren't talking..
- 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.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: A possible (and common) loadout.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: Enforced Trope by difficulty scaling to the number of people in a party.
- 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: Although it is unlikely we will ever see a Tenno unmasked.
- Heroic Mime: No Tenno has spoken onscreen.
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.
- Multi-Melee Master: They switch effortlessly between BFSes, daggers, Dual Wielded blades, giant hammers, normal-sized swords, Power Fists, scythes... Pretty much every weapon you can think of.
- Multi-Ranged Master: As above, but with assault rifles, bows, kunai, pistols, shotguns, sniper rifles, other heavy ordnance...
- Ninjas: Specifically, Space Cyber Ninjas in the future.
- Organic Technology: Many of the Warframes have an organic design aesthetic at a minimum, and some appear to have biomass growths, carapaces, etc. as well.
- Power Glows: When Melee Channeling, certain parts of the Warframe's body and melee weapon glow in the selected energy color.
- Spy Catsuit: Some of the Warframes are very form-fitting with little to no extra plating, or have a mere Breast Plate on top.
- Technicolor Ninjas: Warframe colors can be personalized, and that includes pastel colors.
- The Musketeer: As mentioned above, they are skilled both in melee and ranged combat.
- Tron Lines: These briefly flash across the Warframe's body when an ability is activated. Specific details of the Warframe's skin can also glow while channeling energy into melee weapons.
- Turned Against Their Masters: According to Stalker, the Tenno killed the Orokin. Which explains why the Corpus calls them "The Betrayers," actually...
A mysterious woman who guides you through your missions and gives you objectives. She's the one who awakened the Tenno from cryosleep in the first place.
- Ambiguously Human: Its hard to say what she is, since she appears to be a human with a wired helmet, but still manages the daunting task of micromanaging every Tenno cell in the solar system. That, and she's apparently been around since the Old War..
- Artificial Intelligence: This is the most likely explanation for exactly what she is, considering how long she's been around. The developers let slip during a dev-stream that she is one, but it's unclear whether this is technically canonical.
- Benevolent Boss: She gives you monthly gifts and keeps you well informed instead of just throwing you at places to slaughter.
- Collective Identity: One successful mission quote is that "The Lotus will be pleased with us", though later updates have dummied this line out.
- Mission Control: Going back as far as the Old War, apparently.
- 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.
- Welcome to Corneria: Used to happen all the time, especially in Survival, but she's gotten better with most updates:
- "Something's wrong. There's a heavy unit approaching."
- Voice with an Internet Connection: The internet connection also extends to apparently being present in the systems of all Tenno.
"I am Ordis, ship cephalon, a shadow of my former self."
An AI (or rather, a Cephalon
) that resides within the Tenno's Liset
stealth dropships introduced in Update 14. Players will need to rebuild the ship via the "Vor's Prize" questline.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: He's... glitchy. Implied to have been caused due to being held in stasis for centuries, as well as having parts of the ship he's integrated with removed by Grineer salvagers
- Artificial Intelligence: Appears to be this.
- Comedic Sociopathy: In regards to Grineer, Corpus, or the idea of having a filthy Kubrow aboard. He is also abnormally cheery about the idea of you finishing the Arcwing and becoming a "winged death machine."
- Curse Cut Short: Thanks to his mood swing glitches, and Servile Snarker tendencies, he's seen catching himself from cursing, especially if the results would have a negative impact on his Operator, or him.
*After Darvo contacts the ship in reply to Ordis sending a rather angry, and offensive letter to him regarding not supplying, or informing the Tenno where the parts are for a certain device, and demanding an apology first*
: *Glitching at first*"Yyyou can go straight to...h-
Operator, I am sorry."
- I'm a Stealth Ship, Not a Combat Pod!: Says this at the beginning of the Archwing Trailer when complaining that he can't extract the Tenno due to the ongoing space battle happening right outside the ship they were infiltrating, before happily asking if he should deploy the Archwing unit.
- Mood-Swinger: As part of his glitchy processing, he's prone to dipping into aggressive, borderline-psychotic rants before correcting himself and happily offering his services to the Tenno.
Ordis: "Ordis will gladly assist the Operator in- CUTTING A BLOODY PATH -in what ever mission they choose."
- Operator Abandonment: He recognizes the player as his Operator from the Old War, and asks why they abandoned him as a child would. Of course, he also claims his memory banks of the war were misplaced, so how accurate this is can be called into question.
- 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.
- Sapient Ship: Well, more accurately, he's the ships A.I. but treats it as his own body. Which is why he really doesn't take kindly to others ripping his vital components out....or installing components he really wishes stayed out that may involve having a "Filthy Kubrow" on the ship.
Ordis: (Sarcastically) "Joy. An Incubator. The only segment Ordis is glad th- THE SAVAGES- looted. (In a forced cheerful tone) I would be happy to help you install it."
- Viceversa, He's happy when it comes to making, or installing anything mechanical, to the point he gets impatient if the player hasn't begun manufacture on their first Archwing unit yet, constantly insisting they start making it right away everytime the player comes back from a mission.
- Servile Snarker: Especially if it involves anything with Kubrow
Ordis: *Indignant*"An Incubator Segment? You want to turn me into a petting zzzoo? *Suddenly Calm again* Ordis is happy to assist the Operator restoring ship functionality."
- Tsundere: Towards Kubrows.
- Violence Really Is the Answer: He's a bit... enthusiastic about the Tennos' number one solution to problems.
Ordis: *in regards to a mission finding information on Captain Vor's location, in a cheery tone* "Ordis assumes finding Vor implies violence?"
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: His Bladestorm ability inflicts Finisher damage, which not only ignores defenses but deals more damage to armored targets. As of Update 13 his damage abilities also inflict a guaranteed Slash proc that deals damage ignoring armor 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. Inverted 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.
- Badass Arm-Fold: His Noble idle animation.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Keeps a pair of ethereal wristblades that materialize when he activates Bladestorm. If you look closely, they can be seen within the smoke of his idle animations.
- Combat Pragmatist: Stabs targets in the back and face, sweeps their legs out from under them and stabs 'em while they're down during Bladestorm.
- Doppelgänger Attack: As of Update 13.5 Bladestorm will spawn two clones of him to help attack more enemies.
- Flash Step: His Teleport skill allows him to move within range of allies, enemies, and targetable mission objectives.
- Improbable Aiming Skills/Homing Projectile: His Shuriken will seek out targets, ricocheting off walls and cutting through other enemies if need be to headshot and impale their intended target. All through Ash's natural abilities.
- 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.
- Stock Ninja Weaponry: Has access to a supply of armor-piercing Shuriken.
- Teleporters and Transporters
- Teleport Spam: His uber ability Bladestorm, in which he teleports around stabbing all enemies with elaborate animations; a One-Hit Kill on almost every foe.
- What Could Have Been: Early concept art◊ shows a rather feminine Ash.
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.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Why look for weak spots, when her Sonar can find (read: create) new ones!
- For Massive Damage: All damage applied to a Sonar weak spot is multiplied by 500%!* Doesn't apply, however, against enemies whose selected "weakpoints" remain armored, ie bosses such as Kril, Ruk, Jackal, etc.
- However, if the user is very lucky, the weak spots created by Sonar can stack with the target's natural weaknesses. Boom, Headshot indeed.
- 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.
- Enthralling Siren: Silence is an unusual variation on one; as of Update 13.3, it causes enemies to be stunned by the sonic disturbance, completely losing their hostility. They're also unable to defend themselves from gunfire, provided their attacker remains out of line of sight.
- Fashionable Asymmetry
- Harp of Femininity: Her "Chorus" helmet turns her head into a cross between this and a crossbow.
- 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.
Click to see Prime form.
Ember is a highly specialized Warframe whose abilities focus on dishing out huge amounts of fire damage to groups of enemies.
- Battle Amongst the Flames: The whole point of her third ability, Fire Blast, which surrounds an area with a flaming circle that damages any enemy that passes through.
- Burn The Undead: Fire is best against the Infested, making her a living weapon against them.
- Child Soldier: Codex entry implies that the original Ember is this.
- 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.
- Fanservice: Her idle animation for the noble stance◊.
- Fireballs: Her first skill, natch.
- Flaming Hair: Her Prime helmet invokes this, being the first helmet to utilize elemental particle effects.
- Hartman Hips: Played with. Her leg armor gives this impression, but it's also hollow and reveals the standard-width legs beneath.
- Incendiary Exponent/Wreathed in Flames: World on Fire sets her on fire as long as the effect is active.
- Kill It with Fire: The most effective Warframe for dispatching the space zombie Infested.
- The Phoenix: One of her alternate helmets receives its name from this.
- Playing with Fire
- Pyromaniac: Her only skill that can't set enemies on fire outright covers them in an Accelerant... to more quickly set them on fire. No other Warframe has as much dedication to their element.
- Squishy Wizard: Especially after Update 11.5, wherein her sole survival skill Overheat was removed to make way for a new debuff, Accelerant.
- Standard Status Effects: Burn, taken Up to Eleven. Every single one of her skills either inflicts it or facilitates it.
- Technicolor Fire: Customizing her energy color can change her flames from red to blue to hot pink to pitch black.
- 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.
- Fire Blast creates a ring of flames around Ember, but deals less damage than her Fireball, only damages enemies on the ring itself (enemies inside the circle receive no damage), and has no way to keep enemies in the flames. Enemy AI will even attempt to walk around the flames, unless their pathing requires passing through to reach an objective.
Click to see Prime form.
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 most 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.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Enemies on the receiving end of Radial Javelin.
- In a Single Bound: Super Jump
- Jack of All Stats: Initially intended as this, being the most beginner-friendly Warframe and poster-child of the game. His abilities are designed to emphasize his mobility, adding on decent crowd control, fair damage output, the best effective health of the starter Warframes and even stealth potential.
- Master of None: There are Warframes who are better than him in every single field.
- Stab the Sky: The cast animation for Radial Blind does this, reflecting sunbeams off the weapon.
- Standard Status Effects: Radial Blind does Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- 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. *
- Sword Plant: Precedes Radial Javelin with one.
Click to see Prime form.
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.
- Badass Longcoat
- Badass in a Nice Suit: You need to mess with the colour palette a bit to notice it, but the 'breastplate' area of the 'frame very much gives the impression of a double-breasted suit and tie.
- Especially noticeable with Frost Prime. Which also adds some shiny gold bits to the outfit, to make it even flashier.
- The tie also has the makings of a Classy Cravat.
- 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.
- Elemental Barrier
- Color-Coded Elements: His un-Primed default colors are primarily white and blue.
- Instant Ice, Just Add Cold: Played straight by Freeze and Ice Wave in particular, as well as Avalanche to a smaller extent.
- 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.
- What Could Have Been: A meta example; Frost's design was based on artwork for an unused boss◊ in Warframe's predecessor, darkSector.
A water-elemental Warframe released in Update 13. According to the developers, his design was heavily inspired by pirates.
- Animal Motifs: Cephalopods, based on both his ultimate and his base helmet's dangling tentacles.
- Color-Coded Elements/Water Is Blue
- Combat Tentacles: The entire point of his ultimate ability.
- 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.
- Macross Missile Massacre: His first skill, Tempest Barrage, commands his ship to fire its cannons on the target area.
- Making a Splash
- Nice Hat: His "Triton" alterate helmet is shaped like a Tricorne.
- Meaningful Name: "Triton" is named after the son of Poseidon, Greek god of the sea.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Literally, as he is an ambiguously robotic space ninja Jack Sparrow who has been awoken from stasis/"death".
- No Body Left Behind: His unique stealth advantage is the ability to do this to enemies.
- 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.
A "Void Wizard" or "Phase Magician" introduced in Update 15, Limbo manipulates multiple planes of reality
at once. His skills allow him to transport himself or others to a "rift plane" to avoid or divert harm. Following Mirage's example, he can be obtained from The Limbo Theorem
- Animal Motifs: Clams — the inside of his coat has a Mother of Pearl surface, while his head "opens" to reveal a gem structure. Fitting, given his ability to hide entities in the rift.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: It even has a tailcoat.
- Nice Hat: Comes with a top hat, and all of his alternate helmets will have their own.
- Formulaic Magic: The entirety of The Limbo Theorem revolves around using the proofs of his work to locate parts to assemble the Warframe.
- Intangibility: Played with, as the main focus of his skillset. Rift Walk plays this straight for enemies in the material plane, but Limbo can still be damaged by foes he has Banished into the rift with him. Cataclysm creates a bubble in which enemies or allies on one side cannot affect those on the other, allowing bullets fired from the outside to completely pass through.
- Required Secondary Powers: He's still affected by the environment, however. Possibly justified, since it just sends him to another phase of the same space rather than true intangibility, where some of those environmental objects may still exist.
- Layered World: And Limbo is the first to be able to exploit this.
- Mad Mathematician: Ordis believes him to be an idiot at first, due to all of the "half-written proofs, unfinished equations" and nonsensical allusions to imaginary concepts in his theorem. Upon realizing Limbo is Talking through Technique, Ordis begins reading his theorem more like poetry.
- Meaningful Name: "Limbo" is one of the potential afterlives in Catholicism - a world outside of Heaven and Hell. It also describes a delaying stage marked by inactivity, much like he puts his enemies into.
- Ninja Magician Commando Riftwalker
- Not the Intended Use: His ability to send allies and enemies into the rift with Banish is intended to allow for some hard crowd-control on enemies or unique survival boosts for allies, even buffing allies sent within and opening enemies up to Rift Surge's damage increase. However, the fact that Limbo's allies cannot attack anything on the opposite side of the rift from them (or pick up items while they are in the rift), and have no control over who is Banished or for how long, makes Limbo an ideal Trolling Warframe simply by swapping focus on which side is being isolated or kept alive.
- Power Floats: Limbo hovers for a moment while casting Cataclysm. His hat will also float when he's casting certain skills.
- Power of the Void: Banish and Cataclysm use void energy to damage foes whenever they enter the rift. Rift Surge uses it to increase their damage taken while in the rift.
- Space Master
- Stage Magician: His visual theme.
- Talking through Technique: The Limbo Theorem is his biography in numbers, and only Ordis can read it.
- Telekinesis: Never manifested in his attacks, but he can perform tricks in his gun idle animations, or levitate his hat during Rift Surge.
Click to see Prime form.
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 replaced 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.
- 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.
- Norse Mythology
- Pun: Radial Disarm literally dis-arms Infested Runners.
- 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.
- Not the Intended Use:
- 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.
Click to see Prime form.
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.
- Cool Helmet: Her basic glassy face-plate looks like something out of a Super Sentai series.
- Damsel in Distress: In "The Profit" Trailer, she has been captured by Alad V and needs to be rescued by her fellow Tenno.
- 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 that is only as strong as her first skill, 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.
- Impossibly Cool Armor: Mag Prime has shoulderpads and hip holsters that hover a fixed distance away from her. Justified by her element, of course.
- Magnetism Manipulation: Her elemental forte. Oddly, this makes her powers strong against the Corpus not because she can disrupt their robotic proxies, but because she can dampen their shields.
- 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.
- Small Girl, Big Gun: Mag is the shortest (and the least decorated female) Warframe by far, and having her carrying a rocket launcher, an oversize pistol and a gigantic hammer is not slowing her down.
- You Will Not Evade Me: Mag's Pull ability, which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin to distant enemies but is unique in that it can affect whole rooms of occupants, provided they're in line of sight.
A gunslinger-themed Warframe introduced in Update 15.5.
- Animal Motifs: Her "Longhorn" alternate helmet gives her bovine motifs. This makes her a literal cowgirl.
- Blind Weaponmaster: According to Mynki, she's blindfolded because it wouldn't be a challenge otherwise.
- Body Horror: The end of the "Patient Zero" questline has you fight against a Mesa Warframe successfully infested by Alad V.
- Fake Longevity: Has overtaken Hydroid as the worst frame for this. First you have to hope and pray you're online when an Infested Invasion occurs. Then you have to hope and pray that a single Alad V Coordinate will be an invasion reward. Then you've got to do three missions against Infested, hoping against hope that you've found the invasion early enough so that you can finish the three missions you need to before all the other Tenno descend on the mission and pick it dry because they all need the Coordinate also. You do this three times, then craft an Infested Alad V key, do the boss fight and get a random one of the three parts you need to make it, so you better pray you're lucky here also. The fact that you need Argon Crystals (that vanish within a day of getting them) to make it isn't even a blip on the radar of the RNG grind for the parts. For an incredibly lucky solo player, or someone without a dedicated invasion team, this is at least 27 missions that are incredibly easy to miss, have a chance of simply not having the right reward or that can pay out with the wrong part.
- Finger Firearms: Played with. The barrels of her "Regulator" pistols are strapped to her arms at all times, and attach to her fingers while Peacemaker is active; her thumbs become the hammers.
- For Massive Damage: Ballistic Battery charges up Mesa's attacks based on the damage she's dealt with her guns, then releases it all in one bullet.
- The Gunslinger: To the point of passively having unique bonuses wielding every type of firearm, and a health boost for not bringing a melee weapon.
- Immune to Bullets: Her Shatter Shield not only makes her immune to them...
- Nothing Up My Sleeve: The barrels of her "Regulator" pistols are always strapped to her arms, and fold onto her hands when in use.
- Samurai Cowboy: Or Ninja Gunslinger, at any rate.
Released in Update 14, Mirage is a jester-themed Warframe. Unlike her fellow light-elemental Oberon, she utilizes purely photokinetic abilities that allow her to create illusions of herself or weaponize lightwaves. Notable for being the first Warframe to be obtained via the questing system; reassembling her is the focus of the Hidden Messages
- 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.
- Deadly Prank: Sleight of Hand causes every possible one (short of guns jamming) within range of her, typically involving Stuff Blowing Up.
- Doppelgänger Spin: Hall of Mirrors, which creates one to three fake copies of the Mirage, all capable of doing (reduced) damage to the original's target.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Her palette can allow her torso to have two separate colors split straight down the middle. Given her inspiration, this is something of an Enforced Trope.
- Fighting Clown: Between the concept of Sleight of Hand and her harlequin appearance, many players were initially unable to take her seriously. Between her other skills, she's considered one of the strongest damaging Warframes in the game.
- Gemstone Assault/Power Crystal: Prism summons a bouncing crystal that fires lasers at enemies as it flies.
- 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.
- Greek Mythology: Her poems show that she is a big fan of it.
- Laughing Mad: The original Mirage had some hints of Blood Knight.
- Light 'em Up
- Blinded by the Light: Prism and Sleight of Hand can each cause detonations that blind any nearby enemies.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Her ultimate ability, Prism, fires these at nearby enemies as it flies.
- Hard Light: Zigzagged. Though intangible, her illusions are still damaging.
- Master of Illusion: Best exemplified by her Hall of Mirrors ability.
- 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.
- Animate Dead: Shadows of the Dead qualifies.
- Arachnid Appearance and Attire: His 'ribs' and Syandana give the appearance of spider legs, while his Raksa alternate helmet gives him the extra eyes.
- Badass Cape: His exclusive Mortos Syandana, which gives him shroud-like tassels across the back of his shoulders and hood.
- 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 Grim Reaper: An obvious inspiration for his design. His "favored" weapon is even a scythe.
- In the Hood: His basic helmet gives this impression.
- Magic from Technology: His powers, while similar to black magic, are all done through clever use of nanobots.
- Necromancer: Well duh.
- 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.
- Standard Status Effects: Terrify combines Fear and Curse, debuffing enemies to reduce their armor and otherwise being Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- 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 relatively low* , does not stack with itself* , 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.
- Good Bad Bugs: Due to the way the Power Strength stat scales, players found that reducing it would allow Molecular Prime to increase the speed of enemies, making missions on large maps run much faster. The developers liked it so much they kept it in.
- 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.
- Little Miss Badass: One of the flattest females (comparable to Trinity), and the second-shortest (although being taller than Mag may be caused by her platform shoes), but also one of the most powerful warframes in the whole game.
- 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.
Click to see Prime form.
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.
- Animal Eyes: Her Vespa helmet gives her compound insect eyes.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: Her Prime helmet includes an eye-shaped gold plate in the middle of her face; her main horn protrudes from it.
- Attack Reflector: Her ultimate ability Absorb plays a variation when activated; damage isn't dealt to enemies until the effect ends.
- Charm Person: Mind Control, of course.
- 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.
- Magic Missile Storm: Her Psychic Bolts ability looses a swarm of energy blades that attempt to home in on targets.
- Homing Projectile
- 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.
- Not the Intended Use: Mind Control is supposed to convert enemies into puppet minions for Nyx like a more powerful Chaos, but because the particle effects highlighted affected enemies and attracted allied gunfire, was most often used for its lengthy stunning capabilities on heavy units. Update 15.2 made the minions absorb Tenno damage instead, dealing it when the effect ends instead.
- Psychic Powers
- Telekinesis: Manifests and guides her Psychic Bolts to enemies through this.
Oberon is a paladin Warframe introduced in Update 11.5. Unlike Trinity, he is built with a balance of healing and damaging skills.
- All Clergy-Inspired Classes Know Tai Chi: Strangely, his Agile idle stances emphasize this; notable poses can be seen when he is unarmed or wielding dual pistols.
- Animal Motifs: Bovids (primarily goats); his body has twisted satyr-esque legs, cloven feet, semi-spiraling horns, thin limbs, wide torso, and elongated faceplate.
- His alternate helmets are titled Oryx and Markhor.
- Color-Coded Elements/Yellow and White Are Divine
- Crown of Horns: His default helm.
- Fauns and Satyrs: Draws some inspiration from it, leading the developers to state he might be druidic rather than a paladin.
- Healing Hands: Special mention goes to Renewal, which is the first non-ultimate direct-healing Warframe ability.
- Immune to Flinching: Hallowed Ground increases the defenses of any allies standing in it, making them this.
- Light 'em Up
- Holy Hand Grenade: Smite and Reckoning play it straight. Smite may be more like a Holy Frag Grenade.
- I Love Nuclear Power: In reality, his abilities deal heavy Radiation (and Impact) damage, as there is no "light" or "holy" element.
- 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).
- The same update also extended his Renewal ability to heal kubrows and sentinels from the whole team, something that not even Trinity is capable to.
- 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.
- Ninja Druid Commando Paladin
- The Paladin: At least archetypally, if not in actual build.
- 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.
Click to see Prime form.
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.
- The Big Guy
- Foe-Tossing Charge: Performs one of these as his very first ability, and can charge into someone hard enough to instagib them.
- Not the Intended Use: Players often use Rhino Charge just to overcome Rhino's mobility issues or escape from combat, while DE probably intended it to be an initiation move.
- Implacable Man: Is the toughest of all the frames, and his Iron Skin skill allows him to No Sell knockdown or staggering attacks.
- Instant Armor: Iron Skin adds a layer of metallic armor over rhino, which takes a lot of damage before breaking.
- Lightning Bruiser:
- 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.
- Mighty Glacier:
- 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.
- That said, Rhino Prime's higher base speed makes him more of a Lightning Bruiser.
- 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.
- Rhino Rampage: He even makes rhinoceros sounds as he charges.
- Shockwave Stomp: His ultimate skill, Rhino Stomp, which distorts time from the sheer force of the stomp.
One of the heaviest 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.
- Boobs of Steel: Only Rhino has a bigger chest than her. Her base health is matched only by Zephyr, and her armor is exceeded only by the tankiest of Warframes.
- Combat Stilettos
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Notably, her right leg has heavier armor than her left, while the pod on her Chlora alternate helmet tips toward the right as well.
- Hollywood Acid: Her uber skill, Miasma.
- Lady of War: Her design and noble stance certainly makes her fit the bill.
- Mighty Glacier: Saryn has below-average movement speed, but high effective health and output (capable of ignoring most armor types).
- Miasma creates a unique variation: by minimizing its duration, she actually increases the damage of her ultimate ability, pushing her closer to a Lightning Bruiser.
- 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.
- Poisonous Person
- Punny Name: A modified version of sarin, the chemical weapon.
- Showgirl Skirt: The organic material / carapace below her waist, which (just barely) covers her butt and hips, does not cover the front.
- Spell Blade: Contagion infuses her melee weapon with toxins.
- 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.
- Miasma 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.
- Universal Poison
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.
- 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 damage reduction 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.
- Lady Legionnaire Wear: Her infamous "lobster skirt".
- Lady of War: One of the most heavily-armored female frames in terms of appearance (stat-wise, not so much).
- Her Meridian alternate helmet notably resembles a knight helmet, at least from the front.
- Life Drain: Well of Life levitates the target helplessly into the air and causes allies to regenerate health when damaging the targeted enemy.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: However, the target's maximum health is also increased for the duration, so targets who aren't lifted are actually buffed.
- Mana Drain: Energy Vampire allows Trinity to continuously stun and drain an enemy's life force to receive energy. It's something of a game-breaking ability, as it returns more energy than it costs to the Trinity (and can be modded for an even bigger gap), and has very little risk to use as the target can discharge its remaining energy upon death.
- The Medic
- 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.
- Link can also be used as an improvised early warning system, alerting the player to nearby enemies.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Well of Life is vastly overshadowed by her ultimate ability, as Blessing has an infinite range unaffected by line of sight, restores shields, grants damage reduction, and its healing scales with their maximum health.
- The Symbiote: Her third skill, Link, invokes this by allowing her to transfer damage taken to someone else, usually a nearby enemy.
A berserker Warframe released in Update 11. Said to be an escapee from the Corpus's Zanuka Project.
- The Berserker: Of course.
- Combat Sadomasochist: A variation: Her Paralysis skill sacrifices her shields, making her more vulnerable to attacks. Justified by being a berserker.
- 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.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Any mission against the Corpus can be seen as this, given her backstory.
- Screaming Warrior: Paralysis lets off a quick howl.
- Unstoppable Rage: Played relatively straight with Hysteria, so long as it remains active.
- 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 when it's not in use.
- Chained by Fashion: Her exclusive syandana, "Valkyr's Bonds", uses the wire-like restraints she was bound with in captivity.
- 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.
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: Rip Line generates an energy tether that can be used for this, or You Will Not Evade Me- notable in that it can pull allies to her as well as enemies.
- Useless Useful Skill: Hysteria zig-zags this. Although it does scale itself with her melee weapon damage and critical modifiers, it ignores physical and elemental damage bonuses, status chance, the weapon's attack speed, Reach, and anything to increase Channeling damage, which sharply reduces the pool of weapons that Valkyr can benefit the most from; it also has a reduced Finisher multiplier* . On the other hand, it also grants the player complete invulnerability to damage and most status effects while active, provided they can take down enemies that come too close, which makes Valkyr useful for reviving allies or running off to locate objectives on her own, or simply triggering Hysteria for survivability and tanking damage.
- Valkyries: The inspiration for her name, though she has little to do with them directly, except perhaps due to both them and berserkers coming from Norse Mythology.
- Her Kara alternate helmet takes its name from a valkyrie; the Nordic translation is "the wild, stormy one."
- Wolverine Claws: Summoned as part of her Ultimate, Hysteria.
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.
- 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. Part of this controversial side-effect was officially patched out in 9.8, though it's still possible for players to be catapulted into the sky by doing a jump kick near a vortex.
- 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.
- Laser Hallway: The Augment for Vauban's Tesla can be used to create these.
- Luck-Based Mission: Obtaining him, for players who are unwilling or unable to shell out the Platinum. Unlike any other Warframe, his parts are only available through random alerts. Said alerts are rare, typically only last for an hour or so, and can be at any time of day. To make matters worse, there are separate alerts for each of his three parts, so there's a good chance of catching an alert for the wrong part. It usually takes players months to build him.
- The fact that there can be periods of weeks without seeing the same part repeat has led many players to the question, "How is Booben formed?"
- Meaningful Name: Named after the prominent French military engineer.
- 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.
- Trap Master
- Trick Bomb: All of them.
- When All You Have Is Grenades: And he uses them to great effect.
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.
- Barrier Warrior: His electric shield blocks incoming fire and electrifies his bullets. Not only do they do electric damage, but also their range, velocity, and penetrating power are augmented. Even throwing-knives will Hit Scan.
- 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.
- Deflector Shield: His third ability is Electric Shield, a barrier that blocks enemy fire, though not enemies themselves.
- 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.
- Lightning Bruiser: Played straight to a degree, and DEFINITELY played literally.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Including granting super speed and making barriers out of thin air.
- Man in a Kilt: In an interesting variation, his kilt is open in the front, reaching up into his chestguard at about waist-height.
- Power Floats: When he uses his ultimate, he jumps in the air and defies gravity for a split second before unleashing a wave of electricty. He used to float for the entire duration of the ability until it was patched for practicality.
- 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.
- Tron Lines: While most Warframes have this, Volt's are quite prominently displayed whenever he casts Overload.
- 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".
- Blow You Away
- Color-Coded Elements: Primarily white, blue, and irremovable grays.
- Cool Shades: Her Cierzo alternate helmet gives her a visor- appropriate for the aviator Warframe.
- Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: Tornado allows her to trap enemies inside whirlwinds, which can be loaded up with elemental damage.
- 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.
- Ground Pound: Dive Bomb does Exactly What It Says on the Tin, releasing a shockwave that deals damage based on the drop distance.
- Lightning Bruiser: Fast, plenty of shields and plenty of health, add in abilities that focus on dashing around hammeirng enemies and an ultimate that abuses Elemental 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.
- Gender-Blender Name: Zephyrus, like all of the Greek Anemoi, was male.
- Tengu: Her second alternate helmet is not only named after such, but also invokes the long nose-like beak associated with them.
- Tornado Move: Turbulence allows her to create a tornado barrier to deflect projectiles, while Tornado lets her summon vortexes to entrap enemies.
- Wind from Beneath My Wings
- 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.
- Lost Forever: Due to legal issues, Excalibur Prime was pulled from Prime Access, and its parts can no longer be found in the Void.
- Super Prototype: Prime versions of the original Warframes do have slightly better stats than others (Rhino with faster running speed, Nyx with increased armor and Loki with a large energy capacity), as well as more polarized mod slots.
"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.
- Artificial Limbs: Most have them.
- Catch Phrase: "Glory to the Queens," "For the Queens," etc.
- 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, which exacerbates the problems further and further.
- Con Lang: As of Update 10 they use these.
- 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.
- Expendable Clone: Anyone that isn't in a position of power.
- 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.
- In-Series Nickname: Corpus seems to respect them as "dogs", due to their Undying Loyalty towards the Twin Queens.
- Large and in Charge: Grineer bosses usually stand a head taller than the common grunts.
- 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.
- Punch Clock Villain: Some of them are mere customs agents, trying to uphold the laws of the Grineer Empire as best as they can.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: All Grineer have black eyeballs with red iris.
- Shoulders of Doom: Even their women have them.
- 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.
'Aankler reaar Tenno! note '
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.
- Close Range Combatant: Before Update 9's revamp.
- 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.
- Evil Old Folks: His post-Update 9 appearance is visibly aged.
- In the PS4 trailer he is adressed as "Old Man" by a Grineer officer. His facial features also look more human than said officers, implying less degeneration.
- Flunky Boss: One of his attacks is to hide behind an energy shield and warp-in reinforcements.
- Hypocrite: He tells you to fight with honour, then summons flunkies, teleports around the arena, uses mines and generally doesn't walk the talk.
- Love Freak: He lives for the love of the Queens, and to be loved by his Grineer children and grandchildren.
- Love Makes You Evil: Loving the Grineer Queens, of all people, has changed him for the worse.
- 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.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: The Lotus suspects that Councilor Vay Hek obtained his position through violent elimination of his political rivals. Whether one of those rivals included his predecessor is never mentioned.
- 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.
- Evil Laugh: "Ho hah hah HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH!"
- Large Ham: There is no volume control on his voicebox. Everything Vay Hek says is loud and bombastic.
- "TENNO ARE WORSE THAN WEEEEEEEEDS!"
- "TENNO BONES WILL MAKE GRINEER HOMES!"
- "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!"
- The Hamminess continues throughout the Eyes of Blight event, where he screams at the Tenno at the top of his lungs as they raid his Balor Fomorians.
- "TENNO! TENNO! TENNO ARE HERE! STOP THEM MY BROTHERS! THEY CANNOT HALT OUR DESTINY!"
- "HELLO... INSECTS! FOR TOO LONG YOU HAVE BEEN A PARASITE UPON THE GREAT GRINEER MACHINE! NO LONGER! THE TENNO MUST LEARN HOW TRULY INSIGNIFICANT THEY ARE. FOMORIAN COMMANDER... FIRE! AT! WILL!
- 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".
- No Indoor Voice: While he was already loud, it's taken Up to Eleven post-update 13.
- Suddenly Voiced: As of the Cicero event, though his boss fight taunts are still Speaking Simlish.
- Tactical Suicide Boss: Post-Update 13, his body is heavily armoured to the point that attacks will do no damage... until he raises his faceplate to scream propaganda at you.
General Sargas Ruk
'You Tenno, you fight for treasure. You are just another Corpus machine to me!'
"You are in the presence of Grineer perfection!"
The boss of Saturn. The top artifact hunter in the Empire with an addiction to cybernetic augmentation - which he feeds by selling his loot. Drops blueprints for Ember.
- Arm Cannon: His Update 11 incarnation has one on his right arm.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He was promoted to General for his role in the conquest of Saturn.
- Cyber Cyclops: Update 10.5 has him wearing a face mask with a single glowing "eye".
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Famous for using body parts in sentences that don't quite make sense. And he really likes the word "crush".
- "Now we crush the greedy milk from their skulls!"
- "Alad will bleed from his selfish eyes as I crush him with your metal corpse."
- "What flesh is within that Warframe? I will crush it. I will fill my lungs with your death!"
- "Trust me, you will bleed regret."
- Boss in Mook Clothing: Before Update 11, he looked like a Bombard.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He was not happy when Hek decided to "rehabilitate" the Grustrag Three. A message to Hek implies the Three killed soldiers under his command.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: His pre-Update 11 incarnation could invoke this on players with the Reversal Field, which acts like Mag's Bullet Attractor.
- In-Series Nickname: Alad V calls him a "test tube dog".
- More Dakka: Before Update 11, used a Gorgon machine gun.
- Playing with Fire: His Update 11 incarnation uses fire moves, including a flamethrower, homing incendiary missile and a ripoff of Ember's "Fire Blast".
- Puzzle Boss: After Update 11, you need to wait for him to expose his weak points after attacking before you can harm him.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
- 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.
- Shoulders of Doom: His post-Update 11 left pauldron is gigantic.
- Speaking Simlish: Noticeably averted by his Update 11 incarnation, which speaks to you in English.
- Turns Red: His Update 11 incarnation has three phases, each with added moves and a different weakspot.
- Worthy Opponent: If you support him and the Grineer during the Gradivus Dilemma, on the other hand, he will praise your fighting prowess.
Kela De Thaym
'The sisters... They will reward me well... When I present your head to them...'
"The Tenno lives...this interests me...I must learn more."
The boss of Sedna, Kela De Thaym was enlisted for mandatory military service like all other Grineer females, and loved it so much she extended her term for a decade. Drops blueprints for Saryn.
- Bad Boss: According to the Lotus, her underlings are as much for her amusement as her protection.
- Blood Knight
- Drone Deployer: Constantly hurls Rollers at you, which can stagger you and leave you open to a rocket blast.
- Glass Cannon: She has lower than average health (compared to bosses), and her shields don't recharge on their own. She does, however, have a very powerful rocket launcher.
- Having a Blast: Uses her own modified version of the Bombard's rocket launcher.
Lieutenant Lech Kril
'Does that second-skin peel away just as easy as the first?'
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.
- Attack Its Weak Point: He is invulnerable at first. You need to damage his cryo pack.
- Drop the Hammer
- Mighty Glacier: He wears extremely thick armour, has powerful attacks both at range and in melee...
- More Dakka: Wields a Gorgon rifle.
- 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 mention he's completely crazy?
Drops blueprints for Ash.
- Action Fashionista: Just look at his quote.
- 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.
- Fridge Brilliance for why he's so interested in curing genetic decay.
- 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
Sprag & Ven'kra Tel
A pair of cloned elite Grineer sisters. Much like the Grustrag Three, they serve Vay Hek.
- Attack Its Weak Point: They are only vulnerable on their faces and backpacks.
- Cold Sniper: Ven'kra Tel uses a Vulkar, and has a very cold personality.
- Drop the Hammer: Sprag uses a big hammer. "Make them all flat. FLAT FLAT FLAT."
- Hulk Speak: Sprag speaks like this:
"Hammer flatten shiny bugs."
"Too many shiny bugs. I kill them."
"I make shiny bugs flat. NOW."
- Psychopathic Man Child: Sprag is one, especially with lines like "More bugs! More shiny bugs!"
A Grineer scientist who has a tendency for getting involved in experiments of questionable ethics
- Just Think of the Potential: First, he thought of the potential military applications of the Technocyte Plague. That went well. Then he thought of the potential military applications of three violently unstable elite soldiers. That worked out much better than the Infested.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Apparently the Grineer have colleges. Gotta wonder what they're like if they produced this guy.
- Never My Fault: The aftermath of the first Infested outbreak since the Sentient war (which was his fault, by the way) sees him attempting to lay the blame on the Tenno's shoulders.
- Playing with Syringes: We've only seen him involved in two experiments: the creation of the Grustrag Three and the attempted weaponization of the Infested. The former was something of a success; the latter? Oh my, no.
- Restraining Bolt: This is the guy you have to thank for the invention of the Grustrag Bolt.
- Torture Technician: Part of the conditioning of the Grustrag Three involved 'agony treatments.' Sound pleasant.
- We Have Reserves: Well, he is Grineer, but notably his 'tests' with the Infested involved tossing groups of Marines into Infested containment pens and taking notes on quickly they died.
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.
- Animal Theme Naming: Most of the Corpus Mecha-Mooks are named after animals: Moa, Osprey, Jackal, Hyena, Raptor.
- 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.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Say what you will about them, at least they know the Infested Virus is too dangerous to experiment on.
- 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.
- Only in It for the Money/We Have Reserves: The board stopped bankrolling Alad V in the Gradivus Dilemma due to the money he was wasting, not the lives he was spending.
- 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.
- Punch Clock Villain: Exemplified here.
- 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.
A Corpus merchant who is always eager to take Tenno platinum by any means possible.
- Adorkable: Somewhat.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": Done subtly, he has Corpus letters "SM" on his personal icon, thought to mean "Salesman".
- 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.
- Really (Almost) 105 Years Old
- 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.
- War for Fun and Profit: He cares about the Grineer-Corpus conflict only so far as it may be profitable.
- We Sell Everything: He has his fingers in the market, which sells blueprints and low-end items for credits; and high-end items, premade equipment, and equipment bundles for platinum.
- Wham Line: "Nothing personal, father. It never has been. I only work for myself."
- The entirety of "Ties That Bind" doubles as a Wham Episode, given Warframe's lack of lore up until that point.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Like father like son, apparently.
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.
- Destination Defenestration: The PS4 trailer has Mag use Pull to throw him out a window.
- Dual Boss: You fight him and Zanuka together, and you can only kill Alad if you take Zanuka down first, as Zanuka will come to Alad's aid and revive him otherwise.
- Fantastic Racism: Refers to the Grineer as "dogs" and the Tenno as "eyeless". Almost hilarious considering his title of "Grineer Relations" means he's supposed to be a diplomat.
- Flunky Boss: In addition to fighting with Zanuka by his side, MOAs and Osprey drones continuously spawn in the arena during the fight.
- It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: Alad V's name is pronounced "Alad Vee," not "Alad the Fifth." (Also, as per his Fan Nickname, "Alad" is pronounced the same way as "salad," rather than any other way the spelling might suggest.)
- Jerkass Has a Point: In his own words during the Gradivus Dilemma, he finds the Grineer becoming more arrogant and full of themselves as they expand throughout the Origin system so much that they would betray the Corpus themselves someday, which he instead started the war on Mars first, but ended horribly. Frohd Bek learned this the hard way, as the last mission of the Archwing, Councilor Vay Hek himself started an interplanetary war against the Corpus by releasing an entire fleet of ships with components made by the Corpus, such as the Fomorian Cores by Project Tethra.
- Not So Different: One of the things he says of you if you support the Corpus during the Gradivus Dilemma.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: If you support the Grineer against him and the Corpus during the Gradivus Dilemma, he will call you out as hypocrites.
- Sanity Slippage: His month of abject failure has not had the best effect on his mind - he's reduced to working with Infested biotechnology. This will clearly end well.
- It ended with Alad trying to create a new Infested empire and becoming Infested himself. Which doesn't qualify as 'ending well'.
- Too Dumb to Live: Has little, if any, interpersonal skills or ability to tell when he's Bullying a Dragon.
- Trauma Conga Line/Humiliation Conga: The month of the Gradivus Dilemma was not 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. And then he was reduced to working with Infested biotech, something the Corpus has an understandable prohibition on working with.
- 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.
- Klingon Promotion: His dialogue clearly indicates he's shooting for this outcome.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Had this coming in the final mission of Archwing, as he finds out that Project Tethra, the same project that has been making Fomorian ships for the Grineer, has been used against the Corpus themselves under the command of Councilor Vay Hek.
- Overprotective Dad: He really doesn't like Darvo hanging out with "The Betrayers" (the Tenno).
- Parental Hypocrisy: He does not approve of Darvo's course in life, despite Darvo clearly making a lot of platinum from his new ventures.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Outright states that the Tenno are "too dangerous and too profitable to provoke."
- Really 700 Years Old: As Darvo's father, he could be several centuries old.
- The Resenter: Shades of this.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Speaks slowly and quietly, with a very hoarse voice. Voldemort-esque.
- You Are Grounded: He locked up Darvo in a high-security Corpus ship, guarded by Oxium Hyenas.
Sgt. Nef Anyo
"Fashion victims about to become murder victims!"
The final boss of the Mars system, a Corpus sergeant who has taken to stealing Tenno cryopods for his own ends. Drops blueprints for Mag.
- Get Back Here Boss: Is the most fragile boss in the game, and so mostly depends on his cloaking, grenades, and allies.
- Hypocrite: Some of his taunts include mocking the Tenno's fashion sense (while wearing a giant shoebox/trashcan on his head) and challenging them to face him (often while cloaking and running away).
- Large and in Charge: He is inexplicably massive compared to just about everybody, especially other Crewmen.
- King Mook: He looks like any other Corpus except he's really tall and has a black suit.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- 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 galaxy's tiniest, angriest Moa. Ambulas may be no bigger than a normal Moa, but it is by far the most dangerous of them all. Drops blueprints for Excalibur.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: The only thing that separates Ambulas from a conventional Moa, at first sight, is its custom paint job. Then it high-kicks you in the face and laughs at you.
- Odd Name Out: Isn't named after an animal.
- Shockwave Stomp/Playing with Fire: Uses a variant of the Shockwave MOA's groundpound that leaves a persistent flaming circle around him.
The Jackal and the Hyena Pack
"Prototype engagement test: Ready. Tenno destruction analytics: Recording."
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.
- Spider Tank
- Super Prototype: Averted. Jackal is the prototype for Hyena, and is notably inferior to his smaller brethren. Even more pronounced after Hyena's conversion into the Hyena Pack.
- Took a Level in Badass: Oxium Hyenas are even more agile, and have more anti-Tenno capabilities.
- Underestimating Badassery: They will make statements such as "Trivial threat detected".
- Wolfpack Boss: Update 12 brought a rework to the Hyena, turning it into the Hyena Pack. The pack is composed of four Hyena proxies, which each have different abilities and paintjobs to go with them.
Introduced in Update 9, this overgrown Osprey is the boss of Europa. Drops blueprints for Nova.
- Get Back Here Boss: Raptor is the first boss in Warframe with the ability to fly. Upon release, bugs in its AI often used this ability to flee the arena in which it is spawned, flying onto the high cliffs surrounding the arena and taking pot-shots at players from impossible-to-reach areas with its rockets (where even sniping it down would completely deny the player any loot), or even flying clear across the map (off of it, sometimes) to avoid players. Thankfully, this has since been patched out.
- The irony of said bugs is that the frame most capable of reaching him in such cases- Nova and her Wormhole- is the very frame whose blueprints Raptor drops.
- King Mook: It's a giant Osprey drone.
- 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.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Harvester's main weapon is a plasma gun.
- 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.
- Non-Standard 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.
- Call Back: The Technocyte virus was the source for the zombie like enemies in darkSector.
- 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.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: As of Update 14, and especially Update 15.5, we have a zombie plague that can zombify robots.
- 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.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Infested originally hadn't been seen since the Sentient War... until Dr. Tengus dug them up and let them escape into the system.
- Shoot the Medic First: The Ancient Healer is Exactly What It Says on the Tin and deserves the same treatment as other Medics.
- Taking You with Me: The Noxious Crawler releases a poison cloud on death, and the Runner is a straight-up suicide unit.
- Technically Living Zombie: Since they technically never died, and otherwise act like a highly-mutated and aggressive animal.
- Took a Level in Badass: As of Update 10, Crawler-type Infested move much faster.
- 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.
- Was Once a Man: All of them.
- With the upcoming Infested Moa and Ospreys and revamped J3-Golem, dilute that down to "most of them".
- We Can Rule Together: Following a plot thread from darkSector, they consider the Tenno to be their own flesh and want them to join the Infested.
- 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.
"(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.
Mutalist Alad V
"Inhabitants of the Origin System! It is my singular pleasure to announce that today is the first day of a new empire. An empire populated not by Corpus, not by Grineer and certainly not by the Tenno. No, the Mutalist Empire will be populated by you. A glorious new you, baptised by Mutalist flesh. You’ve called this a disease, an infestation? I call it Unity. One army under me. Welcome to your new species."
On the run from the Corpus for bringing General Sargas Ruk's forces upon them, and the Tenno for his Project Zanuka experiments on their fellow members, the mad scientist Alad V has decided to a different force for power, the Infested, and working on Mutalist technology. Now filled with further delusions of grandeur inspired by the corruption of the Infested hive mind, Alad V cares not for any lines crossed in his pursuit of ruling the stars. Tenno will have to complete the "Patient Zero" quest to find, and fight him, to put an end to his mad desires.
- Sanity Slippage: When the appropriate response in a never ending warfare between Space Ninjas, Conquering Empire, and Greedy Business Mega-Corp suddenly encounters Infested is to stop fighting each other and begin pointing weapons at the Infested, and he decided that infecting, and joining up with them was the best response? Yea no slippage here, more like a leap off a cliff into a really dark void.
- Hoist By Your Petard: He can catches you with his infested collar and take control of your Warframe. If you are using something like 4 Forma Amprex...
The Syndicates are organizations that don't have quite as much power as the three big players, but they still make their mark. A complex system of alliances, rivalries, and conflicting ideals prevent them from truly unifying
but they do have two things in common: a hatred of the dominant powers of the Origin System and alliances with the Tenno.
This war's chewin' up the weak and innocent. No one stands up for them but Steel Meridian.
Guerrilla fighters sworn to protecting the colonies and what few civilians remain.
Allied with the Red Veil, opposed by New Loka, enemies of the Perrin Sequence.
- Dangerous Deserter: An inversion, as they deserted the Grineer Empire in order to protect those being hurt by the constant warfare in the Origin System.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: The leader of Steel Meridian is a female Grineer deserter; she's coarse, direct, and devoted to protecting those who can't protect themselves.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Two of their three unique weapon mods are for Grineer shotguns: the Hek and the Sobek.
- War Is Hell: But so long as they can help divert the battles away from innocents, then they'll take it as a victory.
Arbiters of Hexis
The Arbiters of Hexis seek truth through trial and discipline. The Tenno will surpass their former masters.
A group of mysterious individuals who believe in finding truth through discipline and practice, rejecting the Tenno's warrior ways.
Allied with Cephalon Suda, opposed by the Perrin Sequence, enemies of the Red Veil.
- Nice Hat: Their helmets are... impressive.
- Mythology Upgrade: What they want the Tenno to go through. The whole "Rejecting Tenno's Warriors ways" doesn't mean that they reject the Tennos' skill as badass space ninja commando warriors. They just happen to reject the idea, and story that the Tenno are *only* that, suspecting there is a much higher calling for them that's been lost to history.
You are curious. So am I. Cephalon Suda could help you unfold this strange map of existence.
A mysterious A.I. with a thirst for knowledge and a hatred of destruction.
Allied with the Arbiters of Hexis, opposed by the Red Veil, enemy of New Loka.
- Benevolent A.I.: She has zero interest in violence, just observing the world and gathering knowledge.
The Perrin Sequence
The Perrin Sequence reject the Corpus doctrine that conflict is opportunity. We see the numbers differently. A shared prosperity can bring a shared peace.
A group of rogue Corpus traders and scientists who believe in achieving peace through economic restoration of the Origin System.
Allied with New Loka, opposed by the Arbiters of Hexis, enemies of Steel Meridian.
- Defector from Decadence: They take great issue with the regular Corpus over their war profiteering ways, and instead want to bring prosperity back to all through more peaceful trades.
- Honest Corporate Executive: Straight up honest with the Tenno, as well as pointedly focused on gaining profit through peace instead of conflict.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: These guys are pretty much the Corpus answer to Steel Meridian, having the view that the regular Corpus have it wrong.
- Not So Different: Like Steel Meridian, they want to help the innocent, with only their preferred methods being different (Preferring to do honest business, compared to being La Résistance), that one has to wonder why they don't help each other, and are instead direct enemies. Perhaps old Grineer versus Corpus hatreds die hard?
"This is Cantis of the Red Veil Resistance and I am asking for your help."
The old ways speak of a cleansing fire. We of the Red Veil must burn away this corruption to begin anew.
The Red Veil Resistance are a group of (apparently) humans who fight against the Grineer and Corpus much like the Tenno do, and are one of the several "Syndicates" added in Update 15. They first appear after the Grineer 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.
The Red Veil's ultimate goal is to purge the whole of the Origin System of the corruption they see everywhere. No cost is too great, no blood is too precious.
Allied with Steel Meridian, opposed by Cephalon Suda, enemies of the Arbiters of Hexis.
- Badass Normal: No crazy superpowers, no Precursor weapons. Far weaker physically, and far less trained. They are still fighting.
- Escort Mission: Prior to Update 15, they 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.
- Kill 'em All: Their method of purging corruption from the system is to target everything nearly indiscriminately. All corruption within the system has to be wiped clean, no matter the cost.
- 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. Considering their ideology is built around massive violence against the evils plaguing the world....
- The Unfettered: They will apparently go to any length necessary to destroy the corruption they see everywhere, no matter what it costs them. Considering that the wiki says that two of their favorite weapons are the Embolist and Mire, both Infested weapons, (!) that should be worrying.
- According to the devs, though, they do not attack civilian targets and try to avoid harming those they call 'innocent,' explaining their alliance with Steel Meridian. They just focus on the destruction of the corrupt rather than protection of the innocent. The Veil is the sword, and the Meridian is the shield.
New Loka believes true humanity is the only way to cleanse ourself of this suffering.
Naturalists who believe the key to peace is the restoration, body and soul, of Earth and the original human form.
Allied with the Perrin Sequence, opposed by Steel Meridian, enemies of Cephalon Suda.
- No Transhumanism Allowed: Their entire ideology is built around going back to a pure human form, to the point that they are flat-out enemies with Cephalon Suda.
- The Unfettered: Like the Red Veil, they have no qualms about how far they have to go to reach their objective, to the point that they're willing to use Ancient Infested as both specters and retaliation squads.
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.
- Abusive Precursors: We've seen little of them so far, but the Codex entries for Ember Prime and Rhino Prime hint that they experimented on children from a vessel lost in the void to create the Tenno.
- Godzilla Threshold: Creating you.
- Hoist By Their Own Petard: If it wasn't the Tenno who killed them all, then the Technocyte Virus sure didn't help.
- Light Is Not Good: The Orokin color-scheme is bright white and gold.
- 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 into their 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.
- Non-Standard 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.
- No Sell:
- 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.
- 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.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: His color scheme, essentially.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: His portrait/helmet has red markings on the visor.
- 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.
- He currently registers damage oddly. Normally an advanced player will have a high enough damage output that in a fight between them and the Stalker, who wins depends on who gets the other in his sights first. Sometimes however, the Stalker will effortlessly shrug off huge amounts of damage for no apparent reason.
- The Straight and Arrow Path: Dread, his bow, fires axe-headed arrows capable of dismembering enemies.
- 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.
Also known as the "Void Trader," Baro Ki'Teer is a merchant who periodically appears in the various Tenno-controlled Relays around the Origin System, trading in the various Prime components that can be looted from the Void and Orokin Derelicts. He offers extremely rare items from the Void that can't be found anywhere else, assuming Tenno are willing to pay his prices.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: By trade, he pretty much loots ancient ruins and trades in ancient Orokin treasures. He'll also tell you in the trading tutorial that part of why he's dealing in Void items is because of the thrill of adventure when exploring them.
- Conspicuous Consumption: He more or less pays the Tenno, the most dangerous warriors in the Origin System, a quite valuable set of items, in order for them to go out and battle hordes of Corpus and Grineer in order to mine a rare and special cooling mineral called Cryotic, all to keep a special delicacy of squid properly cooled for transport off-planet. Yes, he quite literally paid the Tenno to deliver him refrigerators.
- Fiction 500: He is stupidly rich, to the point that, according to Darvo, one needs to spend entire crates of Prime blueprints and argon crystals just to get invitations to his parties.
- Global Currency Exception: He only accepts Orokin Ducats, which he gives in exchange for Prime parts and blueprints. Given that most of his items are worth hundreds of ducats, and he offers at most fifty ducats for the best Prime components... you'll be selling him a lot of parts.
- Mysterious Backer: He's the man behind the Cryotic Front event, who kept his real identity hidden because he likes being mysterious. At least until Darvo outed him in annoyance because of how terrible the squid tasted.