The Warframes the Tenno use, from Ash to Mirage.
Ash can remain unseen, but his effects on the battlefield can be felt by all. Keep an eye out, Tenno.
With a design directly based on the popular image of a Ninja, Ash is a well rounded stealth Warframe. 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.
Ash was one of the first eight Warframes to be released with the game's "Vanilla" version in 2012; and Ash Prime emerged from the shadows with Update 16.11 in 2015 then retired to the Prime Vault with Hotfix 20.6.2 in 2017.
- 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. This ability is immensely useful against Sentient scouts and Shadow Stalker, since it completely bypasses their damage resistance.
- Ashes to Ashes: He uses ash in his Teleport ability as well as his Bladestorm ability, Teleport Spamming via ash to stab enemies with elaborate animations and ethereal wristblades.
- Badass Arm-Fold: His Noble idle animation.
- Big Damn Heroes: In "The Call", he arrives with Nyx and Frost to protect a newly-awakened Excalibur from being captured by the Grineer, until he is ready to fight on his own.
- 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.
- Blood from Every Orifice: Ash has an unusually unnerving passive that increases the damage and duration of Slash procs, a bleed effect that causes damage over time. In other words, every time he cuts an enemy, it hurts more and lasts longer, draining more blood (or equivalent fluid) from his victim.
- 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: Done with his Bladestorm creating shadow copies of himself to takeout his marked targets.
- Fake Longevity: Update 17 changed his parts' drop locations from mission rewards for killing Tyl Regor on Uranus to randomly dropping from a certain kind of enemy, like Oberon before him, in order to make room for the Warframe Equinox. However, while Oberon's parts drop from the widespread and only mildly-threatening Eximus units, Ash's parts drop from the Grineer Manics: high-level enemies that are fairly rare, extremely tough to kill, and have notoriously low drop rates for their unique loot (or any loot at all, for that matter).
- Flash Step: His Teleport skill allows him to move within range of allies, enemies, and targetable mission objectives.
- Foil: To Loki. Both are fast stealth frames with abilities to displace themselves, as well as a means to crowd control. While Loki's kit is to misdirect and confuse enemies with no direct damaging effects, Ash's kit encourages to cause extensive damage and leave no witnesses alive.
- 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, among 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 and you have an abundance of both lightning and bruiser.
- Meaningful Name: "Ash" refers to the powdery residue left behind when something burns. While he doesn't have fire powers, it likely refers to his combat philosophy: Leave no one alive.
- Non-Elemental: Notable in that his Bladestorm is one of the only abilities that can ignore enemy defenses, but also their weaknesses. His abilities can inflict Bleeding statuses with the same effectiveness.
- Shout-Out: Ash's default body design bears a great resemblance to Gray Fox.
- 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.
- Teleport Spam: Could be done with the combination of his aforementioned Teleport and marked enemies from his Bladestorm.
- Weapon of Choice: His Prime variant is depicted with Vectis Prime (sniper rifle).
- What Could Have Been: Early concept art◊ shows a rather feminine Ash. The physics for the dangling tendril out of the back of her head couldn't be done with the rendering engine at the time, but this was corrected in time for Ash Prime's release.
Moving mountains is no easy task, Tenno. Atlas endures.
A brawler and earth-based Warframe whose kit centers around both incapacitating foes with stone attacks and punching them in the face.
Atlas was unearthed with Update 17.5 in 2015.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: While he visually fits the motif and specializes in using martial arts to attack, he enhances his body and attacks by covering himself with rock, effectively giving him the most visible armor of any Warframe.
- Color-Coded Elements: Stony gray, sandy yellow and muddy brown.
- Combos: His first ability starts as a lunging punch, but if you can cast it several times with proper timing it chains several more punches all at reduced energy cost.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Atlas weaponizes stone and rock with his abilities.
- Elemental Barrier: Tectonics can create a wall of rocks to defend against attacks.
- Elemental Punch: Landslide covers his fist in stone, which shatters on impact.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: His theme, according to developers. His idle stance resembles a boxer's position, and his first ability is a sliding punch attack.
- Literally Shattered Lives: If he kills a petrified enemy (particularly by using Landslide), or if one of his Rumblers breaks, then he can use their remains as additional armor.
- Made of Iron: Pun aside, collecting shattered enemies that became rocks with his Petrify will heal Atlas and give him over-armor that decays overtime, allowing him to take more hits than usual at maximum armor buff.
- Martial Arts Uniform: It's red and sleeveless.
- Meaningful Name: Atlas was a Titan whose punishment was to stand at the edge of the earth and hold up the sky. He's often portrayed in art, sculpture and cinema as holding up the planet. Naturally, most of his powers are earth/rock-based.
- Mighty Glacier: At 0.9 speed, Atlas is the slowest of all Warframes, and he boasts knockback immunity and very high armor that he can reinforce even further through his abilities.
- Muscles Are Meaningful: His abs gives him the highest armor compared to all male Warframes by far, only to be topped by Valkyr.
- No-Neck Chump: His pyramidal musculature on his shoulders hides the fact that he has an absurdly thick neck.
- Immune to Flinching: Being in contact with the ground makes him immune to knockdown effects.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Using this ability multiple times in succession will cause it to chain, reducing its cost while increasing its damage.
- Spikes of Villainy: Inverted; he's a playable Warframe that has spikes on both forearms, likely for combat purposes.
- Standard Status Effects: Petrify.
- Summon Magic: Rumblers summons two rock golems to fight at his side.
- Taken for Granite: Petrify instantly turns enemies in front of him into stone.
- Throwing Your Shield Always Works: He can summon a wall of rocks to defend himself, or pull the rocks together into a boulder to launch at enemies.
- Top-Heavy Guy: His shoulders are the size of Rhino Prime's pauldrons. Combined with his rather small helmet and massive trapezii, he was the target of jokes insinuating he had no head, just a neck stump.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: His design evokes elements of this trope; the upper half of his body resembles a heavily muscled man with huge shoulders, and exposed chest and abdominal muscles.
- Weapon of Choice: The Tekko razor fists which grants him additional status when he uniquely wields it.
Not a warrior... a spirit. Banshee."
Banshee is a sound-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.
Banshee made her debut alongside Saryn with Update 7.0 in 2013, while Banshee Prime made herself heard with Hotfix 19.11.5 in 2017 before retiring to the Prime Vault with Hotfix 24.2.2 in 2018.
- Archer Archetype: She's commonly depicted fighting enemies with a bow and arrow, and her design is based around the Cold Sniper theme.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Why look for weak spots, when her Sonar can find (read: create) new ones! All damage applied to a Sonar weak spot is multiplied by 500%!* Doesn't apply, however, against enemies whose selected "weak points" remain armored, i.e. 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. With the Resonance Augment, the weak points spread to nearby enemies when an afflicted enemy is killed. These can stack with each other for ludicrous amounts of damage.
- Big Damn Heroes: In "The Profit", she infiltrates Alad V's stronghold with Volt, Rhino, and Trinity to rescue Mag, who is held captive and nearly subjected to dismemberment.
- Cold Sniper: Her design philosophy: Sonar gives Banshee bonus damage with careful aim, 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. 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.
- Enthralling Siren: Silence is a 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: By way of a single Shoulder of Doom.
- Glass Cannon: Sonar allows her to reliably gib enemies many times over with a single well-placed shot, but she is among the squishiest of Warframes; while she has a respectable base 100 health and 100 shields, she has almost no armor (15) and both Sonic Boom and Sound Quake are relatively short-ranged abilities, putting her in the crossfire.
- 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.
- Meaningful Name: Named after the banshee, a female spirit that lets out mourning cries when death occurs. The Banshee Warframe has sound-based powers that damages enemies and affects their hearing. Ballas even calls her "a spirit" in her Prime trailer.
- 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. In her Prime trailer, it shows how unnerving it is in practice; enemies are rendered completely unaware of Banshee's presence as their allies suddenly die right under their noses, until it's too late.
- Weapon of Choice:
- Euphona Prime (a shotgun sidearm) for Banshee Prime. It's one of the few weapons that doesn't have a non-Prime variant.
- She also uses a bow and arrow in her introductory trailer, as well as in "The Profit".
War is the enemy that lies deep within Baruuk, but can you make it your ally Tenno?
Baruuk is a monk Warframe that unleashed his tranquil fury with Fortuna's Profit-Taker Update 24.2 in 2018. Baruuk is themed around pacifism and described as the reluctant warrior, who is still a very lethal combatant when his restraint is pushed.
- Animal Motif: Baboons, it is more pronounced with his default helm and signature syandana.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: While Serene Storm is active he uses his empowered fists as exalted weapons called Desert Wind. Causing powerful shockwaves to knock enemies back, pull them towards himself, or launch them into the air.
- Blasting It Out of Their Hands: In the case of Desolate Hands, he uses daggers to disarm his enemies from a distance with it's range doubled with Elude.
- Expy: The Devs have compared him to John Wick, being a reluctant but still extremely lethal warrior.
- Forced Sleep: His second ability Lull creates an AOE which will slow and put enemies who enter it to sleep.
- Intangibility: While using Elude attacks coming at Baruuk from the front will phase through him negating the damage. But only if Baruuk is not attacking.
- Immune to Bullets: Elude makes him intangible to projectiles as long as he doesn't attack.
- Martial Pacifist: Baruuk is unique among the Warframes in that he dislikes and wishes to avoid violence with most of his kit composed of non damaging abilities, but will still fight and kill like any other.
- Rage Breaking Point: As a gameplay mechanic. Baruuk possesses a unique resource called Restraint representing his suppressed fury and how close he is to unleashing it. The lower it is the longer his ultimate ability Serene Storm can remain active.
- Sarashi: The cloths wrapped around his lower torso strongly resemble one.
- Storm of Blades: Desolate Hands summons a bevy of daggers to fly at enemies, destroying their weapons.
- Weapon of Choice: His Cobra and Crane (sword and shield). The weapon actually has an added effect when Baruuk wields it: the first hit of each combo will briefly put enemies to sleep.
- Willfully Weak: Baruuk is just as deadly as any other Warframe, but chooses to act with restraint. His ultimate ability Serene Storm shows just how powerful he truly is, as he lays waste to the enemy with nothing but his fists.
- You Will Not Evade Me: While using Serene Storm guard-attacks will pull enemies towards him.
When all the land is in ruins, Tenno, only Chroma will remain.
Chroma, a dragon-themed Warframe awakened with Update 16.0 in 2015, has the unique trait of being able to determine the elemental attribute of his abilities by changing his energy color. His skillset encourages in-your-face combat, converting damage taken into self buffs and uses various elemental boosts to help nearby allies.
Chroma Prime first spread its wings with Update 23.9 in 2018.
- Adaptive Armor: Scorn behaves in a variation. Taking Shield damage will significantly improve Chroma's total armor, so long as the Shields are up to take a hit, rendering him extremely resilient once his Shields are down and before Fury kicks in.
- Ascended Fanon: The description for the effect of Vex Armor was lifted verbatim from a popular dragon-based fan concept. In fact, the first hint the developers gave toward Chroma's theme and identity was that it was based on a fan request.
- Attack Drone: His dragon-like "pelt" can be shed with the Effigy ability, assisting Chroma by attacking enemies independently, at the cost of Chroma having reduced armor.
- Breath Weapon: Spectral Scream is Chroma's personal version, while his Effigy also maintains its own.
- Color-Coded Elements: The player's input energy color will change the elemental attribute of his Spectral Scream and Effigy, as well as the effects of his Elemental Ward.
- Red gives Chroma fire breath, and when used in Elemental Ward, gives allies additional health and deals extra damage to enemies.
- Green gives Chroma poison breath, and when used in Elemental Ward, boosts allies' reload speed and holster rate and has a chance to poison enemies.
- Blue gives Chroma lightning breath, and when used in Elemental Ward, gives allies additional shields and powers attacks with each hit taken.
- White gives Chroma ice breath, and when used in Elemental Ward, provides additional armor and deflects bullets.
- Critical Status Buff: Once Fury, a component of Vex Armor, has reached its maximumnote , Chroma can do more damage with his weapons than most of the other Warframes can boost theirs in the game.
- Death-or-Glory Attack: Vex Armor is designed in such a way that taking damage is the only legitimate way to receive its effects. The ability will increase Chroma's armour and weapon damage when he receives damage to his shields and health, respectively. However, Chroma is allowed to heal himself while it's active and still retain its effects.
- Detachment Combat: Chroma's ultimate, Effigy, prompts his pelt to become alive and attack enemies independently with elemental powers.
- Drone Deployer: In Chroma's case, his pelt is the drone; when shed, it attacks enemies independently.
- Difficult, but Awesome: Chroma receives a reputation of being a niche tank that blends through the environment with elemental coloring. Older, more experienced players sees him as the "Veterans' Rhino", due to his versatility as a Tank-DPS kit that requires taking hits in order to do serious damage. His abilities provide players with the option of choosing ability builds over survival builds, letting Chroma roam around with the heaviest armor in his kit while dealing high damage.
- Dragon Knight: His Prime version is likely a homage to Final Fantasy Dragoons.
- Dual Mode Unit: In addition to the changing effects of his Elemental Ward, his ultimate can designate what mode he is: Activating Effigy sacrifices a large amount of his armor for a small movement speed buff, and without Effigy, he's closer to Stone Wall, giving a stronger benefit to his Vex Armor.
- Meaningful Name:
- Chroma means "Color" in Greek, which refers to his energy color-changing ability.
- His "Drac" alternate helmet is derived from the Latin Draco, meaning Dragon.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: Chroma's energy color affects the element and effects of his powers.
- Mix-and-Match Man: Chroma's blueprints require parts from Frost, Ember, Saryn and Volt, which explains where his varied elemental arsenal and his ability to shed part of himself came from.
- Nemean Skinning: The pelt that his Effigy is made of.
- Power Gives You Wings: When using Effigy, Chroma's pelt gains elemental wings that let it hover in the air, but Chroma himself does not.
- Red Is Heroic: His color scheme is predominately red, and he's a playable Warframe.
- Shed Armor, Gain Speed: Effigy sacrifices Chroma's armor for the duration of the effect, making his health more vulnerable, but also making him faster.
- Status Buff: Elemental Ward gives Chroma a party-buffing aura, with its benefits changing based on the user's elemental attunement. Vex Armor increases Chroma's survivability and damage as he receives damage from enemies.
- Squishy Wizard: Inverted. Chroma dishes out elemental damage, but he's a Mighty Glacier with very high base armor, and two of his four abilities are geared towards tanking damage. Even with Effigy active, Chroma's armor is merely average.
- Weapon of Choice: His Prime variant is depicted with the Gram Prime (heavy blade).
- Wreathed in Flames: Elemental Ward allows this, as well as ice, lightning and poison variants.
Ember's presence on the battlefield is devastating. Mind the heat, Tenno.
Ember is a highly specialized fire-based Warframe whose abilities focus on dishing out huge amounts of heat damage to groups of enemies.
Ember was one of the first eight Warframes to be released with the game's "Vanilla" version in 2012; and Ember Prime was ignited alongside Valkyr with Update 11.0 in 2013 before retiring to the Prime Vault with Update 17.6 in 2015.
- 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. Fireball initially could also create fire patches, although this ability was removed in Update 9.8 but eventually returned in Update 22.12.
- Burn the Undead: Heat is best against the Infested, making her a living weapon against them.
- Charged Attack: As of Update 22.12, Fireball can be charged to increase both its damage and blast radius. World on Fire also builds up in damage as it remains active, although this reduces its range and cost-efficiency.
- 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, superheats 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, and as of Update 22.12, that area gets progressively smaller the longer it remains active.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Ember is absolutely devastating against Infested; everything the Infested have is either neutral or weak to fire, and the melee-centric Infested love to clump up for her splash damage to nab them all. However, the fixed damage caps on her attacks prevent her from scaling properly at higher levels, especially against other factions with armor (like Grineer) or Heat resistance (like Corpus). As a result, many players elect to ignore the damage aspect of her kit in favor of maximizing its crowd-control potential, simply using World on Fire and its augment to repeatedly stun enemies. Also, the burning status effect she afflicts enemies with doesn't stack, meaning none of her abilities can stack Damage Over Time, since they all inflict the same status.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Ember was originally male◊ in the closed beta.
- 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: Her leg armor is designed after jodhpurs, giving this impression, but they're also hollow and reveal 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.
- Playing with Fire: A fire-based Warframe with a completely fire-based skillset.
- 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. Lessened by 15.11, which bumped up her armor; while she still doesn't compare to the actual tanks, she's no longer as fragile as she once was.
- Standard Status Effects: Burn. 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: Fire Fright, the augment to Fire Blast, which increases the status chance of its ring of flames. On paper, the augment should cause enemies to be permanently StunLocked by Fire Blast's lingering flames (and keep enemies out of points of interest). In practice, even with 100% status chance, many enemies can ignore the Heat status effect's stun with the right animations, and due to reaction delays and the unusual shape of Fire Blast even those vulnerable can retain enough momentum from simply sprinting to pass into the safe area before noticing the stun.
- Weapon of Choice: Her Prime variant is depicted with the Akbronco (dual side arms).
A true Tenno must master the divide between night and day. Do you have what it takes?
Equinox, dawning with Update 17.0 in 2015, is the first Warframe able to switch between two modes, a day mode and a night mode. Equinox's Yin & Yang theme was suggested by the Design Council, like Nova before.
Equinox Prime came to bring balance with Update 24.5.8 in 2019.
- Ambiguous Gender: Given the Day Form's masculine physique and the Night Form's feminine dress, most players are confused as to how to take Equinox's gender; either Equinox is an androgynous female (due to their place in the release order) wearing male garb in the Day Form, or physically changes sex between forms with a hermaphroditic combined form. The developers later confirmed that both forms are female.
- Combat Medic: Although each form offers more emphasis on "Combat" or "Medic", the Night Form's Mend has some overlap in healing players based on the damage the effect has stored.
- Chunky Salsa Rule: Equinox's Maim invokes this trope, en masse, forcing enemies around her to slowly bleed until their deaths, then their bodies are sequentially blown up to pieces, due to the main slash damage forcing limbs to split apart at terrifying speed.
- Dark Is Not Evil: While Equinox's Night Form is black with white accents, it's part of the duality theme, and it focus on the White Mage route.
- Dual Mode Unit: Able to swap between two power sets using Metamorphosis, granting decaying stat buffs upon doing so. Mastering Equinox entails knowing how to balance the benefits of both forms:
- Fake Longevity: On paper, obtaining Equinox is fairly standard — kill a boss, get parts and craft, with the only real gate being the Archwing prerequisite to explore Uranus. Of course, Equinox has a unique twist in that you must craft two Warframes (one for each form) and combine them; this entails killing the boss enough times for 8 different parts including blueprints, where most players have trouble getting 3 different ones; it is not unheard of for players to run the mission several dozen times for the final piece. Thankfully, her Prime version averts this, requiring the standard number of parts.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: In Day or Night Form, the only asymmetric piece of her design is the "split" helmet. In the combined form, both halves flip between opposing white and black. This isn't quite as apparent with her alternative skins and cosmetics.
- Forced Sleep: Rest puts enemies near her target to sleep for a duration, immobilizing them, causing them to forget any Tenno they've seen, and potentially opening them to stealth finishers. This effect can be broken if the target receives too much damage, however.
- Lady of War: The cloth dangling off the arms of the Night and combined forms, with the clear skirt, gives the impression of a kimono or other formal dress gown.
- Light Is Good: Equinox's Day Form is white with black accents, and serves as the offensive part of the Warframe.
- Lunacy: Equinox's Night Form is more feminine-looking and deals with healing and defense buffs, reflecting how the moon is a symbol of femininity and magic.
- Meaningful Name: An equinox is one of the two dates a year where the length of the day and night are equal.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: The first Warframe who breaks the strict "4 powers only" rule by literally swapping out her kit at-will. Her first power, Metamorphosis, changes her between between her Day and Night forms, which have different but complementary powers in the remaining three slots.
- The Power of the Sun: Equinox's Day Form is more masculine-looking and focuses on damages and speed buffs, which refers to how the sun is a symbol of masculinity and power.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Equinox takes inspiration from "Anima and Animus" of Jungian psychology fame, two anthropomorphic archetypes of the unconscious mind that represent the feminine aspects of a man and the masculine aspects of a woman. It also helps that her base colors have red and blue accents for her day and night forms, albeit reversed.
- Day form represents the Animus or masculinity, having increased movement speed and damage output, and designed around heavy offense with abilities that increase the amount of damage enemies will take.
- Night form represents the Anima or femininity, having increased defensive stats and healing attributes, and serves a support/medic role with debuffs in Rest and Pacify; and potent healing in Mend.
- Solar and Lunar: Zig-zagged. She evokes the same symbolism and her Metamorphosis transitions her between "Day Form" and "Night Form." The powers in each form relate to either the destructive heat of daytime or the protective darkness of night.
- Standard Status Effects:
- Day Form's Maim can inflict Bleed, while Night Form's Rest puts targets to Sleep.
- Day Form's Rage can inflict a variant of Berserk: Targets gain increased speed, but receive more damage.
- Day Form's Provoke is the can alter nearby Warframes' abilities, increasing their Power Strength directly but costing Equinox energy for each ability cast while active.
- Useless Useful Skill: Due to her design including seven abilities, some of them are toned down to bring her in line with other frames.
- Metamorphosis provides a temporary stat buff to Equinox whenever it is cast, increasing either her defense or her speed; supposedly this is to justify swapping often, in order to maintain the buff. However, the actual buffs provided are quite weak (as justification for only requiring 25 energy), and diminish over time. The only reason to really use it is to switch between Day and Night forms, but most players tend to focus on one form's abilities over another (particularly Rest and Maim).
- Pacify protects the Tenno by debuffing enemies within a certain range of Equinox, making it one of the least effective forms of mitigation in the game; it has little use against ranged factions (particularly as its effects diminish with range by up to half), it encourages her to stay near her enemies rather than her allies (in direct contrast to Mend), and some enemies are simply immune to debuffs like it. It also consumes energy every second for every enemy affected at once (with the same cost for enemies who are only partially affected), which can quickly burn out an Equinox's energy supply owing to the hordes of enemies thrown at her.
- Mend, like its counterpart, needs to be charged by killing nearby enemies in order to use it, which encourages players to carry a charge as long as necessary. Unlike its counterpart, Mend provides no other benefits besides the burst of radial healing when it is deactivated; the problem therein is that it can very easily overheal players by the order of several magnitudes, providing little incentive to keep it up for long periods.
- Yin-Yang Bomb: Visually invokes the taijitu in her combined form, with the different forms focusing on one aspect over the other. This was, of course, the theme that was voted on for her.
- Day Mode reflects the Yang, having a white body, black accent marks, and a sky blue gradient as its base color scheme. Day Form wears masculine armor (with broad shoulders and a codpiece), and has powers heavily focused on activity (movement speed and damage-dealing), including Rage and Provoke.
- Night Mode reflects the Yin, having a dark body, white accent marks, and an ecliptic red gradient as its base color scheme. Night Form wears a feminine garb (with a slight build and a cloth robe including a full skirt), and has powers associated with passivity (personal defense and party support), including Rest and Pacify.
Excalibur was the first."
One of the three starting Warframes, Excalibur has a balanced set of abilities. His damaging Dash Attack, blinding crowd control, ethereal longsword, and high damage 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.
Excalibur was one of the first eight Warframes to be released with the game's "Vanilla" version in 2012; and Excalibur Prime was exclusively unsheathed with Update 5.0 in 2012 to players who bought at least a "Hunter"-tier Founders' Pack. It's unlikely that Excalibur Prime will ever see a public release.
For information on Excalibur Umbra, see here.
- An Arm and a Leg: "The Profit" Trailer instantly becomes a Downer Beginning when a modified Excalibur gets his limbs sliced off in one of Alad's transactions before Mag is threatened with an identical fate.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: The Sword Beams of Exalted Blade all have the "Punch-Through" characteristic. This means that it doesn't matter what you put in front of it. Whether it's deployable cover, a physical shield, or another enemy in front: if it has HP and is not standing behind permanent terrain, it's going to get hit. The only things that can stop these beams is sufficiently thick permanent terrain, projectile nullification fields (like those of Arctic Eximus and Frost), and the attacks' own range limit.
- Blinded by the Light: Radial Blind causes a reflection off his sword that stuns and temporarily blinds nearby enemies. 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. All slide attacks with Exalted Blade will perform a shorter version and less energy-intensive version of this with decreased range.
- Cool Sword: His Exalted Blade is a sword made of pure energy that boasts the highest raw damage of any melee weapon in the game, only tied by Wukong's Iron Staff, Valkyr's Valkyr Talons, and Baruuk's Desert Wind. It shoots Sword Beams with every swing that punch through all foes in their path, can achieve 100% status chance when used with the Chromatic Blade augment, and can stun all nearby enemies with a mini version of Radial Blind while using a slide attack.
- Crutch Character: Excalibur is meant to be used by new players. All his abilities are easy to use but hard to master at higher levels, with each capable of dealing against typical instances.
- Dash Attack: His first ability (and most commonly used) is a charge across the room with his blade drawn, slicing all in his path. With perfect aiming, he can wipe the floor of a line of enemies without spamming Slash Dash.
- Distressed Dude: In the "The Call" trailer, Captain Vor and his squad of Grineer release Excalibur from his long sleep, leaving the Warframe incredibly weakened and vulnerable to capture. Ash, Nyx, and Frost arrive and protect him until Excalibur is strong enough to fight on his own.
- Elemental Weapon: With the Chromatic Blade mod, Excalibur's Exalted Blade gains extra status and can take on one of the game's four singular elements, based your chosen energy color.
- Herd-Hitting Attack: Exalted Blade's Sword Beams will pass through and slice apart all enemies in range. This makes it ideal for fighting in chokepoints and hallways, as the tightly huddled enemies will all but cut to ribbons as they can't scatter enough to dodge the attacks.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Excalibur favors any kind of sword given to him. If he does carry one, it gets damage and speed buffs.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Enemies on the receiving end of Radial Javelin.
- In a Single Bound: Excalibur originally possessed an ability called Super Jump, which did exactly what you'd expect. This was removed during his first rework to make room for Exalted Blade, since it had always felt somewhat out of place and was about to be made redundant by the impending release of Parkour 2.0.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: 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.
- Laser Blade: All of his powers involve summoning one or more energy swords for various purposes.
- Laser-Guided Karma: The giver of this trope in the "The Call" trailer; when Captain Vor tries to capture him, Excalibur is the one to inflict the final blow after his Warframe buddies save him from the Grineer.
- Lightning Bruiser: Exalted Blade turns him into one. A powerful melee weapon in the game, with nearly double the base damage of the strongest heavy melee (before Power Strength, which can up to triple that), the ability to copy your melee weapon's equipped mods, and a higher speed to boot. The low upkeep of the ability is offset by it locking you out of firearms for the duration, but the wide, long-ranged Sword Beam attacks can make up for that. To top it off, the ability can enhance his Slash Dash, benefits from the finisher openings created by his Radial Blind, and passively blocks any bullets or melee attacks from the front when he's not attacking.
- Mythology Gag: Excalibur is visually identical to the armor acquired late into darkSector. Hayden Tenno's armor from that game was added as a skin for Excalibur available for purchase for one week following Warframe's first anniversary in beta. It made reappearances around a few more anniversaries before finally becoming a permanent store offer in 2015.
- Pure Energy: Exalted Blade is described as a weapon made of "pure light".
- Series Mascot: The first Warframe ever presented in the game, with every particular instance Warframe is presented, he is almost always first in line.
- Skill Gate Character: Excalibur is easy to pick up and play, but harder to take into high-level content. He has no natural surviability tools aside from the stun provided by Radial Blind, so diving into enemy lines expecting to cut everything ribbons will just get you killed in Sorties or long Endless missions. But with proper positioning, situational awareness, and micromanagement, he can tear through everything from Mooks to some bosses with ease.
- Stab the Sky: The cast animation for Radial Blind, reflecting sunbeams off the weapon.
- Standard Status Effects: Radial Blind casts a blinding effect on enemies nearby, plus leaving the affected targets open for a Stealth Critical. With an augment mod, Radiant Finish, the bonus damage granted from this state is jacked up immensely.
- Storm of Blades: His third ability, Radial Javelin, in which Excalibur does a Sword Plant and multiple blades shoot from it to impale his enemies.
- Sword Beam: Waves of sword strikes are formed when striking with Excalibur's Exalted Blade.
- Weapon of Choice: His passive gives him a bonus to damage and attack speed with all swords (and other sword-like weapons). In particular, he is typically depicted with the Skana (basic sword), but that is just the default Tenno sword. It is not his official weapon. "The Call" shows that he received his weapon from Frost, who quickly threw it over to him so he could defend himself from Captain Vor's attacks.
Frost can protect or punish, the decision is yours.
One of the 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.
Frost stormed in with Update 6.0 in 2012, while Frost Prime was sculpted with Update 7.10 in 2013 before retiring to the Prime Vault with Update 16.1 in 2015.
- Big Damn Heroes: In "The Call", he arrives with Ash and Nyx to protect a newly-awakened Excalibur from the Grineer until he's ready to fight on his own.
- Color-Coded Elements: His un-Primed default colors are primarily white and blue, reflecting his ice powers.
- Elemental Barrier: 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 and landmine deployment. 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.
- Harmless Freezing: While the act of freezing an enemy solid deals damage to it. The state of being frozen solid does not incur any further damage.
- Instant Ice: Just Add Cold!: Most of his abilities freeze enemies in place, regardless of how much moisture is in the air.
- Literally Shattered Lives: Avalanche will freeze and then shatter enemies who entered Frost's kill range during the cast animation, even causing their broken shards to damage nearby enemies.
- An Ice Person: All of his abilities are based around ice and dealing cold damage.
- Mighty Glacier: Frost is one of the slowest frames in the game, and among them, one of the few that doesn't have any movement abilities to make up for it. However, he also has one of the best defensive toolkits. In particular, Snow Globe can be pushed to a direction where Frost and existing Snow Globe intersect, causing the globe to reappear a few meters away from its position while increasing its previous health to the new one and putting everything else in the new globe to ice. Avalanche expands Freeze's specific stunning capability into a crowd control, allowing him and/or his teammates to finish them off.
- Non-Indicative Name: Avalanche does not involve burying leagues of enemies with snow, despite its name.
- Space Is Cold: Described as such in Frost's flavor text.
- Standard Status Effects: Freeze and Avalanche both inflict the Frozen status on enemies; the former has a much longer effect, while the latter affects more targets per cast and deals more damage.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: Is named "Frost", and is an ice-themed Warframe with ice powers.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: In "The Call", after Excalibur recovers from being forcibly awakened, Frost throws his sword at him so he could defend himself. Excalibur catches it and wipes out the rest of Captain Vor's squad with Exalted Blade.
- Weapon of Choice: He is typically depicted with the Dual Zoren (double axes).
- What Could Have Been: A meta example; Frost's design was based on artwork for an unused boss◊ in Warframe's predecessor, darkSector.
The shattered remains of her enemies are all that Gara leaves behind. Tread lightly.
A glass-based Warframe who crystallized with Update 22.0 in 2017. Gara's kit is well rounded in offense and defense with her abilites causing buffs and debuffs as well as crowd control abilites that draws damage and absorb health and shields to empower her defensive perimeter.
Her blueprint drops from the quest "Saya's Vigil" in the Ostron colony of Cetus, while blueprints for her assorted parts are rewards from Ostron bounties.
- Ambiguously Gay: The original Gara was hinted to be to be in a relationship with the Unum, a female intelligence that resides in the tower in Cetus.
- Badass Gay: If the original Gara being in a relationship with another female is true, then this trope applies to her.
- Barrier Warrior: Most of her kit is dedicated to personal or group defense. Mass Vitrify allows her to shape an expanding wall of molten glass around her, which hardens at her desired area in order to create a physical obstacle for enemies. However, the wall only covers things around her, and is open overhead, allowing flying enemies to shoot down into the circle.
- Blinded by the Light: While standing in a brightly lit area, her passive grants her a chance to activate a miniature version of Excalibur's Radial Blind.
- Distaff Counterpart:
- Her armor design and color theme screams Rhino, of all things. While contrasting Rhino's "heavy smasher" theme with Gara's own "light slasher" composition, she is more affiliated to crowd control than providing direct support like Rhino's Roar or Stomp.
- Meanwhile, many of her abilities echo Frost, particularly as her ultimate Mass Vitrify is a mixture between Snow Globe and Avalanche, even sharing the same interaction with her Shattered Lash as Snow Globe does with Freeze.
- Dramatic Shattering: All of her abilities.
- Splinter Storm shatters the glass attachments on her armor, causing it to orbit around her or allowing her to attach the cloud of shards to an ally or enemy.
- Spectrorage causes all summoned mirrors to detonate once enough of them are destroyed.
- Using Shattered Lash on the wall created by Mass Vitrify will unleash a radial blast of glass shards.
- Glass Weapon: Her specialty is creating these. Shattered Lash allows her to swing a glass sword (which inherits melee damage mods much like Atlas' Landslide or Excalibur's Exalted Blade), or fire it to impale foes. Her signature weapons released alongside her include a glass hammer, glass throwing knives and a shotgun that fires explosive glass slugs.
- Harmless Freezing: A variation. Despite covering enemies in molten glass during Mass Vitrify, they receive no damage from this and are instead slowly "frozen" as the glass hardens over them. At worst, they're debuffed to suffer greater damage from attacks.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The original Gara died in a Self-Destructive Charge defending the Unum's tower at Cetus from a massive Sentient. It was a Mutual Kill, as that Gara was carrying a bomb that shattered the Sentient's core.
- Immune to Flinching: Mass Vitrify covers Gara in a glass shell that prevents incoming damage or status effects so long as she's channeling the ring.
- Lightning Bruiser: She has the same running speed as Nezha, can give herself and allies 90% damage reduction with Splinter Storm, and can put out massive damage across a wide area with judicious use of Mass Vitrify and Shattered Lash.
- Magikarp Power: Splinter Storm does little damage initially, but grows in power every time Gara shatters the wall produced by Mass Vitrify from the outside with Shattered Lash. Gara can potentially be doing millions of damage per second to all foes around her if she keeps this up long enough.
- Meaningful Name: Her name is derived from ガラス (garasu), the rōmaji for "Glass".
- The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Flavor text for the Spectrorage attack claims that affected enemies are shown visions of their true selves, causing them to attack in rage and self-denial.
- Orbiting Particle Shield: Splinter Storm can cause glass shards to orbit Gara or one of her targets. When used on herself or an ally, it will grant mitigation to the target while damaging and pushing away nearby enemies. When used on an enemy, it continues to deal damage (even to the affected target) and push enemies, while also increasing the target's damage taken.
- Prop Recycling: Gara's Splinter Storm bears many striking similarities in effect to the Dummied Out Overheat ability previously available to Ember, with the exception that it can be cast on allies or enemies.
- Rage Against the Reflection: The flavor text of Spectrorage claims that affected enemies are compelled to attack "visions of their true selves" shown in the mirrors.
- Taking You with Me: The original Gara allowed a Sentient to devour her so she could blow it up from within, using a special bomb designed by the Unum.
- Weapon of Choice: She has three signature weapons which have unique bonuses if she wields them. The Astilla (shotgun) with an increased ammo pool, the Fusilai (throwing knives) with increased projectile speed, and the Volnus (double-handed axe) causing radial damage when slammed.
When you understand the nature of Garuda, you'll know what she's capable of.
A gore-themed Warframe who impaled her way through with Update 24, Fortuna in 2018. Garuda's kit involves managing her health to determine how much extra damage she could dish out without her becoming too fragile. As well as a means of support with health regeneration for teammates and slash procs to encourage finishing damage.
Her blueprint drops from the quest "Vox Solaris" in the Solaris colony of Fortuna, while blueprints for her assorted parts are rewards from Orb Vallis bounties.
- Animal Motif: Kite birds, referencing the bird the Hindu Garuda's form was based off.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Has four on each arm that curve backwards. When she she doesn't have a melee weapon equipped, she curves them forward to serve as one.
- Bloody Murder: Her abilities are all about goring the enemy and using their blood to obliterate them.
- Blood-Splattered Warrior: Despite the gratuitous amounts of blood the Tenno produce while using bladed and piercing weapons, Garuda is the only Warframe who can actually be visually splattered with blood as part of her gore theme.
- Cast From Hitpoints: Her Bloodletting ability draws from her health to convert it to energy.
- Combat Sadomasochist: Her kit invokes this theme.
- Critical Status Buff: Her passive increases her damage the lower her health is.
- Composite Character: Has many similarities to Valkyr, while her connection to Fortuna seems to be taken from the original plans for Khora.
- Death from Above: The attack animation for Dread Mirror has Garuda sweep down on an enemy before draining their blood.
- Distaff Counterpart: With Revenant. Both Warframes have kits that involve different aspects of vampire mythos. Revenant with the classical aspects of Dracula and Garuda with the myths surrounding Elizabeth Báthory. Ability wise, the two are opposites. Revenant is a crowd control frame with means to shrug off damage and release powerful beams of adaptive energy, while Garuda is a damaging frame with a Death-or-Glory playstyle that encourages her to inflict bleeding procs and killing her enemies herself.
- Foil: To Valkyr. While both Warframes are focused on decimating their foes, Valkyr plays the role of The Berserker, rushing towards her enemies and slashing them to ribbons, while Garuda's executions have some elegance to them.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Blood Altar has Garuda impale an enemy to siphon blood to restore health while Seeking Talons has her shoot out bladed talons to kill or cause bleed procs.
- Meaningful Name:
- She shares her name with the eagle-like deity depicted to serve as the Hindu god Vishnu's mount.
- Her "Bathory" alternate helmet is a reference to the infamous Countess Elizabeth Báthory.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Like Revenant, Garuda has a kit referencing the more brutal and bloody depictions of vampires. Vampires' missing refection on mirrors, hunger for blood, as well as Vlad Tepes III's impalements.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Is explicitly described as gore-themed, so this is expected.
- Storm of Blades: While channeling, Seeking Talons has metal blades swarming around her before targeting enemies in it's area.
- Weapon of Choice: The Nagantaka (burst fire crossbow). It has innate punch-through when she uniquely wields it.
- Wolverine Claws: She has a set of massive, flexible talons. In addition to using them in her abilities, she can wield them as a melee weapon if she doesn't have one equipped.
Harrow is suffragan to the Void. Will you believe, Tenno?
The Dark Priest Warframe unchained with Update 21.0 in 2017, available from the aptly-titled "Chains of Harrow" quest. A unique take on the support archetype, Harrow's kit is built around setting up and reaping bonuses for accurate shooting.
- A Taste of the Lash: Done to Harrow himself to remove his shields when using Penance.
- And I Must Scream: Harrow's inability to speak, like all Warframes, cost Rell of what little sanity he had left after his mother was gone. The effects of sociological enclosure resolved into a catastrophic outcome.
- Badass Preacher: Designed to look like a clergyman, has standard priestly powers such as Healing Hands, and even forms crosses with his pistols.
- Barrier Warrior: Restores and consumes shields with his abilities, while Covenant absorbs damage for allies and converts it into a damage buff.
- Cast from Hit Points: Played with via Penance, which consumes Harrow's shields in order to heal him (specifically, by increasing the duration of the damage and Life Drain buff it gives).
- Chain Pain: Condemn fires a wave of chains at enemies, completely incapacitating them and restoring Harrow's shields. However, this deals no damage to the targets; in fact, he causes more damage to himself with his chains than to enemies.
- Church Militant: Despite his priestly attire, most of Harrow's abilities emphasize and enhance gunplay.
- Critical Hit Class: Harrow's abilities boost critical damage output, and are enhanced by achieving headshots. Condemn exists in order to make it easier to achieve headshots; Harrow's signature weapons are a sniper pistol that gains a bonus on headshots, and a staff that can place bullet attractor fields on enemy heads.
- Deflector Shields: Unlike Trinity, Harrow focuses on generating and consuming shields as a primary defense; his passive even allows him to store more Overshields than any other Warframe.
- Difficult, but Awesome: Harrow probably has one of the highest player skill thresholds to be used effectively out of all frames, only beaten by Limbo. You need to be keenly aware of the battlefield situation and your teammates' positions to pick the right time to use his abilities, or risk wasting energy and/or putting yourself in an extremely vulnerable position. Plus, as his abilities rely on and reward precision shooting, you actually need to be good at hitting small targets (landing headshots). When used and modded properly, Harrow can restore team's energy faster than Energy Vampire-focused Trinity, and improve team's damage output by magnitudes.
- Epic Flail: While he doesn't use it as a weapon against enemies, his Thurible is used both to lash his own shields, and to charge up an energy restoration buff.
- Fake Longevity: One of his parts only drops from rotation C of the wildly-unpopular Defection mission type, while another only drops from the third vault in Kuva Fortress Spy missions. Thankfully, his final part can drop from any Corrupted enemy in any Void Fissure mission, making it almost trivial to get.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Covenant causes all party members to absorb incoming damage and convert it into a critical strike multiplier.
- Life Drain: Similarly to Trinity's Well of Life, Penance restores health to Harrow' team based on his weapon damage dealt for a period after the effect is cast. Likewise, Thurible does the latter for energy, with a bonus for headshots.
- Mage Marksman: Most of Harrow's abilities are built to assist his weapons in accord, either boosting critical damage, give additional energy or increase overall damage via headshots. The more accurate the player is, the more powerful both parties become.
- Meaningful Name:
- His Condemn does harrow his enemies by chaining them. He also chains himself as part of Covenant, to a lesser extent. However, Rell's binding to him eventually caused him to go mad, thus harrowing (or distressing) Rell. Second, through Rell, he harrows the stars (the Void), preventing the Tenno from being possessed.
- "The Harrowing of Hell" is an event in Christian apocrypha wherein the soul of Christ entered Hell after the crucifixion to bring salvation to righteous souls within. Following the Crucifixion-like binding of his Warframe, Rell's soul remained dedicated to the salvation of the Tenno from "The Man in the Wall".
- Penance is a religious term for self-harm used to express guilt and atonement. When used, Harrow strikes himself twice with his flail before granting health regeneration based on damage intake, at the cost of lowered shields.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Unlike other Warframes, his Codex entry plays ambient sounds from his quest such as banging and screeching, culminating in silence as Rell's voice repeats "Rap, tap, tap." The same voice can be heard when casting each of his abilities.
- No Immortal Inertia: Once the eponymous chains that bounded Harrow in the Red Veil temple are broken, Harrow's body steadily rusts away up to his very components before he disappears completely.
- Our Gods Are Different: Unlike Inaros, Harrow is actively a worship vessel for Rell by the Red Veil.
- Reverse Arm-Fold: His noble animation set which has an idle that enacts it.
- Soul Jar: Turned out to be one for Rell, a corrupted Tenno, in the Chains of Harrow. The Red Veil used him as a permanent vessel when Rell was about to die out of old age.
- Weapon of Choice: The Scourge (a corrosive speargun) and the Knell (headshot pistol) having a two round magazine when he uniquely wields it.
In the sky or on the ground, Hildryn fills her victims full of dread.
A shield-based Warframe fortifying her way with Update 24.4 in 2019.
- Arm Cannon: Balefire visually appears more as knuckledusters than true arm-covering weapons. Nevertheless they do considerable amounts of electric damage.
- Barrier Warrior: The entirety of her kit revolves around expending her Deflector Shields in order to support her allies or deal damage to her enemies.
- BFG: Her signature weapon is the Larkspur, a massive Archwing gun that either shoots a plasma beam that latches onto to targets to shred them or a piercing charged orb of death.
- The Big Gal: Hildryn is easily the most muscular Warframe, even superseding the more muscular male frames such as Rhino and Atlas. She frequently flexes in her idle animations to showcase how extremely built she is.
- Brawn Hilda: She's a big, beefy woman and her Asuron alternate helmet has extensions from the back that resemble braided pigtails, invoking traditional uses of this trope.
- Composite Character: Hildryn shares Shield-based mechanics with Mag's while boasting AOE abilities with Volt.
- Death from Above: The intent of Aegis Storm. which allows her to hover and rain electrifying death with her Balefire Launchers.
- Deflector Shields: Emphasized more than any other Warframe in the game due to having her abilities work off her shields as a resource and her ability to "shield gate" damage that would otherwise prove lethal.
- Hand Cannon: Her Balefire Chargers are a pair of horseshoe-shaped handheld cannons that shoot powerful electric bolts that explode on impact. Their raw offensive potential is kept in check by their projectiles' travel time and being the slowest-firing secondary weapons in the game.
- Helicopter Pack: Aegis Storm puts her into one, using her shield-based wings to lift her slowly off the ground while suspending nearby enemies in mid-air.
- Heroic Build: She's the most obviously beefy Warframe in the game, ahead of similarly well-built Warframes like Atlas and Rhino. Her muscles are so big that they completely hide a Helminth cyst while she's flexing.
- Last Chance Hit Point: In a variation, Hildryn's passive grants her 'shield gating', which prevents a hit that takes out her shields from affecting her health and grants her a period of Mercy Invincibility when it happens. Damage to her overshields is likewise insulated from her regular shields.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: While others have experimented with alternate resources, Hildryn is the first Warframe to lack an energy pool entirely. Her abilities instead draw directly from her shields, which are significantly greater than any other frame's. Collecting energy orbs directly refills her shields.
- Mighty Glacier: Her ability to constantly recharge her shields while blasting away with her Balefire Chargers makes her a walking tank who can strip away her foes defensive before mowing them down. As a consequence, she lacks mobility options beyond parkour and Aegis Storm leaves her moving at a slow pace. Her Balefire Chargers also have extremely high base damage that's kept in check by their slow firing speed and travel time.
- Obvious Rule Patch: Clever players would equip a Decaying Dragon Key and stack as many shield-recharge-rate-boosting-mods as possible on the day of her release. The result is a nearly invincible Warframe whose shields would recharge while she's temporarily invincible from her shield gating mechanic to repeat the process again, making her nearly impossible to kill. Naturally, this was quickly taken out in a later patch.
- Purple Is Powerful: A tanky, powerful Warframe that specializes in buffing her allies shields and obliterating foes with electrical blasts.
- Weapon of Choice: The Larkspur arch-gun, making her the first Warframe to have a signature Archwing weapon. Its ammo reserves are larger when Hildryn wields it. She also has her Balefire Chargers, powerful Hand Cannons that shoot electric bolts.
Whether the seas or the stars, Tenno, Hydroid takes a foreboding command of the battlefield.
A water-elemental Warframe who splashed forth with Update 13.0 in 2014. According to the developers, his design was heavily inspired by pirates.
Hydroid Prime emerged from the depths with Update 21.6 in 2017.
- Animal Motifs: Cephalopods, based on both his ultimate and his base helmet's dangling tentacles.
- Charged Attack: Hydroid can charge up Tempest Barrage and Tentacle Swarm, which uses up additional energy to increase the power of the attacks. Charging Tempest Barrage will double its blast damage and duration, respectively, while charging Tentacle Swarm triples the spawn radius and number of tentacles spawned, allowing it to hit more targets.
- Color-Coded Elements: His body is mostly colored a bluish-green, and his water powers are blue.
- Combat Tentacles: Tentacle Swarm and his passive each summon tentacles to repeatedly strike enemies near their spawn locations. Hydroid can also summon tentacles while in Undertow in order to grapple distant enemies and drag them into the pool.
- 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.
- Herd-Hitting Attack: His specialty.
- Homing Projectile: As part of his rework, Tentacle Barrage's tentacles will now seek out targets, rather then flailing about in the hope of hitting something.
- Kraken and Leviathan: His ultimate skill, Tentacle Swarm, calls up a sea creature to smash enemies with its tentacles.
- Loot-Making Attack: The Pilfering Tentacles augment allows the tentacles he summons to boost the amount of loot dropped by enemies in their grasp.
- Macross Missile Massacre: His first skill, Tempest Barrage, commands his ship to fire its cannons on the target area. This ship being in space, of course.
- Making a Splash: His primary theme. However, Warframe doesn't have a classification for water-elemental attacks, resulting in Hydroid receiving the most eclectic collection of damage types of any Warframe.*
- Elemental Shapeshifter: Two of his abilities allow him to assume the form of water. Tidal Surge turns him into a tidal wave that pushes all enemies in his path, while the Undertow ability literally transforms him into a puddle that can pull enemies under.
- Nice Hat: His "Triton" alternate helmet is shaped like a Tricorne.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: He is an ambiguously robotic space ninja Davy Jones.
- 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. His design evokes a fancy pirate coat with buckled cuffs and folded-top boots, and aesthetically, his first ability calls down a cannon barrage, his ultimate summons a kraken, and his signature weapon is a cutlass. His alternate "Triton" helmet makes this more obvious, giving him the appearance of wearing a tricorne hat and a bushy pirate beard.
- Water Is Blue: His water powers are depicted blue.
- Weapon of Choice: He is typically depicted with the Nami Skyla (cutlass and dagger).
- You Will Not Evade Me: Can launch out tentacles while using Undertow so that he can force people into the pool.
Whether denizens of the sky or the earth, Tenno, the fear of Inaros is within.
A mummy Warframe that emerged from his tomb with Update 18.5 in 2016. His powers combine weaponizing the sands of Marsnote with the ability to drain life and stave off death.
- Animal Motifs: Jackals. One redditor pointed out◊ that the themes of Anubis give him the body-shape of a jackal, as well as jackal head adornments.
- Animate Dead: Devour resurrects slain enemies as sand golems.
- Cast from Hit Points: Scarab Swarm consumes hitpoints instead of energy.
- Comeback Mechanic: Killing him only puts him in a sarcophagus that is still capable of killing enemies nearby. Once enough damage is dealt, he gets revived on the spot. The only way to really kill him off is ridding the entire area of targets he is capable of absorbing during his bleedout time. The draining attack he channels while bleeding out only revives him by 1% for every 2% of maximum health damage dealt to the target while he's channeling, meaning he must completely drain at least two enemies (or allies) before the bleedout timer runs out. High level enemies are significantly harder to kill with this attack; however, allies can kill enemies while Inaros is draining them to rapidly contribute to his recovery.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Unlike Atlas who uses the traditional dirt and stone, his abilities focus primarily on sand and dust.
- Earthy Barefoot Character: Though suited in armor, his feet have very visible toes, especially when rolling.
- Eaten Alive: Being actively Devour-ed by Inaros gives you a glimpse of how completely horrified your victim is while you hold your Use key. This lasts longer with a higher power duration and on a tougher enemy. Any of your allies can also "use" the enemy as long as the ability is still active.
- Everything's Better with Spinning/Spin Attack: Sandstorm turns him into a dust devil, during which he can vacuum up nearby enemies and fling them when it ends.
- Extreme Omnivore: Inaros can eat anything, even mechanical foes, in order to restore health with his Devour ability. Anyone he ate gets converted into a sand minion afterwards.
- A Handful for an Eye: Desiccation fires a blast of sand that blinds enemies.
- Instant Gravestone: As mentioned above in Comeback Mechanic, Inaros ends up in a sarcophagus once he's killed. This serves to let him recover, as long as there are enemies nearby to absorb.
- Life Drain: The focus of three of his powers. His passive ability lets him drain health from finisher attacks, and he can summon a sarcophagus when he's near death that will drain health from enemies to revive himself. Devour allows other players to cannibalize enemies for health.
- Made of Iron: Despite lacking any energy shields, Inaros has an absurd amount of health and a good level of armor that can passively sponge off a lot of damage.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: Inaros has no shields whatsoever, but has so much health and so many ways to get it back he probably doesn't need them. He also has a unique KO state involving a sarcophagus wherein he can revive himself if enough enemies are nearby.
- Mummy: Designed to look like a colorful pharaoh's sarcophagus. He also carries around/summons a much larger, more tomb-shaped sarcophagus for reviving himself should he get overwhelmed.
- Named After Someone Famous: Inaros was the name used by two famous Egyptians, first a Pharaoh who rebelled against the Assyrians, then a rebel leader who led his people against the Persians. The Warframe Inaros also rebelled against the Orokin.
- Our Ghouls Are Creepier: Meatier and more well-rounded than his death-themed counterpart, he comes with a ghoul stance animation as well.
- Quicksand Sucks: Devour traps enemies in quicksand.
- Rebuilt Pedestal: To Baro Ki'Teer. It was previously shattered when Baro's mother was shot dead before Inaros could do anything about it. After realizing Inaros' servitude on Mars, Baro wants him back for the sake of his mother's sacrifice. If you visit Baro while wearing Inaros, he'll have special dialog praising his God.
- Scarab Power: Scarab Swarm creates a swarm of scarabs that can increase his armor, attack his enemies and heal his allies based on how much of his health he charges them with. With the Negation Swarm Augment, they can also protect him from status effects.
- Summon Magic: The Scarabs created by Scarab Swarm orbit around Inaros, damaging anything that gets too close. Anything Devoured completely by Inaros gets turned into a sand minion under his will.
- You Will Not Evade Me: Devour can pull affected enemies toward you. Additionally, his sarcophagus form can pull enemies as he drains them.
Don't roam around the forest looking for a fight, Tenno. Ivara is always on guard.
An archer frame, first nocked with Update 18.0 in 2016, Ivara specializes in stealth and silent ranged takedowns thanks to her selection of Trick Arrows.
- Animal Motifs: As stated in her announcement, her design was based off of poison tree frogs, with the idea being that the quiver in her arm would be full of toxins. While the poison aspect was removed from the final product, the visual elements remained.
- Archer Archetype: The only frame with dedicated archery powers, and one of the few frames designed for stealth over raw power, and intentionally designed around the legends of Robin Hood.
- Boom, Headshot!: Her Prowl ability gives her a bonus to headshot damage.
- Fake Longevity: While you're guaranteed one Warframe parts drop from a boss nowadays, since Ivara's parts are obtained from Spy missions you better hope the RNG is on your side (as well as being good enough to get all three databases for maximum chance). To make matters worse, while the Systems and Chassis blueprints are found in Easy and Medium-level Spy missions respectively, both the main BP and the Neuroptics BP are found in Hard missions, meaning you have to be twice as lucky to get both! If you're lucky enough to get the parts, you'll still have to farm for the Nitain and Argon Crystals to build them.
- Five-Finger Discount: Prowl allows her to pickpocket foes (one at a time) before killing them.
- Fragile Speedster/Glass Cannon: Her defensive stats are very low, but her energy reserves and sprint speed are top-notch. She can dish out more than her fair share of damage thanks to her powers, but she sure can't take any herself.
- Forced Sleep: Sleep arrows from her Quiver function similarly to Equinox's Rest ability.
- Improvised Zipline: Dashwire arrows create ziplines that allow Ivara to travel to wherever she wants.
- Invisibility Cloak: The purpose of cloak arrows is to create fields of invisibility when shot, turning other Warframes invisible to enemies as long as they remain within. It can function as a Sticky Bomb for other players, who can cloak allies while staying mobile.
- Invisibility with Drawbacks: She can turn invisible using her Prowl ability, during which time she can pick enemies' pockets. However, it reduces her movement speed significantly, costs extra to perform melee attacks (including stealth finishers), and is momentarily broken if she makes any noise.
- It Is Pronounced Tro Pay: Her name is pronounced as EYE-va-ra, not EE-va-ra, as most people believed at first.
- Meaningful Name: A feminized form of "Ívarr", Old Norse for "bow of the warrior".
- Multishot: Her ultimate ability, the Artemis Bow, shoots out spreads of arrows.
- Player-Guided Missile: Her second ability, Navigator, lets her guide the next projectile she fires or a projectile presently in transit, whether it be from her Quiver or her weapon.
- Stealth Expert: Prowl allows her to stay invisible almost indefinitely, making her one of the best Warframes for stealth missions alongside Loki.
- Throwing the Distraction: Noise arrows attract enemies when shot, distracting them from approaching Warframes.
- Trick Arrow: Her modus operandi, via her versatile Quiver:
- Dashwire arrows create ziplines between her feet and wherever the arrow lands.
- Cloak arrows create fields that turn Warframes invisible as long as they remain within. Functions as a Sticky Bomb, as the field emanates from any entity or surface the arrow strikes, including other players.
- Noise arrows will call enemies to the location they land in without alerting them.
- Sleep arrows will knock out enemies in an area around where they strike, similar to Equinox' Rest effect.
- Tranquilizer Dart: Sleep arrows knock out enemy targets.
- Utility Belt: Her Quiver wraps around her left tricep instead of hanging off her back.
Don't get caught on the wrong end of a whipcrack of Khora's steel. It may be the last thing you hear.
Khora and Venari pounced with Update 22.18 "Beasts of the Sanctuary" in 2018. As a Beast Master archetype, her skill-set revolves around on ensnaring enemies while keeping them in disarray with the help of her personal Kavat, Venari.
- Arachnid Appearance and Attire: Her visual design is based off the orb-weaver spider. Her abilities use chains like spider's silk, with Ensnare cocooning a single target and Strangledome creating a larger web.
- Beast Master: Her passive gives her a sprint boost when her metal Kavat "Venari" is active, as well as Khora's third ability to switch Venari's attack, disarm, and heal stances whenever is needed.
- Beyond the Impossible: After the original blueprints and schematics for Khora had been discovered by Quills on Plains of Eidolon and given to Cephalon Simaris, he used them to build a digital construct of her and put her into his Sanctuary, similarly to what happens to targets Tenno synthesize for him. However, very soon Khora hid herself, somehow completely evading from his view and surveillance, and now even Simaris can't find her in his Sanctuary. To reiterate — Sanctuary is a virtual simulated environment under constant complete control by Simaris, who shapes its interior and content at his will, and who is omniscient within its boundaries, yet Khora's imprint still somehow managed to hide away from his eye. Even Simaris is flabbergasted by this.
- Bond Creature: Venari, her Loyal Animal Companion, is this to Khora. The two are inseparable, only seen apart when one of them is dead, and the codex description for Khora describes them as "one will in two bodies".
- Boobs-and-Butt Pose: Khora displays this prominently in the banner◊ for the "Beasts of the Sanctuary" update.
- Caught in a Snare: Not only Ensnare can render the victim disabled for a longer period, anyone who gets too close to the victim also gets entrapped by the metal bonds.
- Chain Pain: Like Harrow, her second and fourth abilities manipulate metal chains to entrap enemies:
- Ensnare wraps one enemy in chains and drags others within range toward the target, making all affected more vulnerable to her Whipclaw.
- Strangledome is essentially Ensnare on steroids, able to create a spherical net of chains around Khora that strangulate any enemy they entangle.
- Chrome Champion: Most of Khora's abilities include Living Metal as her element, mostly used to pin her enemies down.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Strangledome creates a dome that gives targets slow, agonizing deaths by strangling and cutting them with serrated chains, leaving their bodies hanging. The attack is also considered this in-universe by enemies who kill their allies to make their deaths quicker
- Distaff Counterpart: Of Vauban and Oberon. Her Ensnare and Strangledome abilities are seen as re-scaled variations on Vauban's Vortex and Bastille, respectively. Functionally, her passive is opposite of Oberon, while Oberon's "Beastmaster" buffs the health, shields and armor of the pets as well as revive it instantly once a mission, Khora's "Beast Tamer" has Venari increase Khora's sprint, as well as letting Khora order her to attack, disarm, and heal on command.
- Dominatrix: Her design scheme and abilities lie heavily on how she whittles down her opponents while leaving them completely helpless to react, and as if Strangledome was any subtler for this trope.
- Extra-ore-dinary: Khora's abilities were originally intended to manipulate metal into fluid shapes. While her design has changed many times, she retained her ability to create and manipulate chains, as well as a metal companion.
- Fake Longevity: Khora's parts (including her main blueprint) drop exclusively from Sanctuary Onslaught missions, and their drop rates are not particularly high — simulations show an average of thirty hours of continuous play to get all four parts. Furthermore, each of her parts requires Kavat Genetic Codes to build, which notoriously suffer from their own, as a single code is estimated to have a 15% chance to be attained per scan.
- Impossible Hour Glass Figure: Given when her theme is heavily built around the appearance of an arachnid.
- Jack-of-All-Trades: Khora is capable of dealing high damage, crowd control, setting up defensive perimeters around areas of importance, healing her allies and disarming enemies of their weapons while also being capable of taking a hit due to her relatively high health pool, along with being a little bit faster than most other Warframes thanks to her passive.
- Meaningful Name: "Venari" is a Latin verb meaning "to hunt, seek, or pursue." The word also has a related etymology to Venus, likely as a nod to early plans to release Khora with the Solaris United colony.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: As a Beast Master, Khora can directly mod the Kavat summoned by her Venari ability and issue commands to it.
- Mercy Kill: Her Strangledome ability creates a dome of serrated chains that ensnare, strangle, and cut any enemies caught in it; apparently dying this way is gruesome enough in-universe that the allies of anyone caught in the web will try to hasten their deaths.
- Stance System: Venari can switch between Attack, Disarm and Heal modes. The shape of the metal spikes on Khora's own body also change in relation to these stances.
- Undying Loyalty: Even after her "death", Venari stuck around looking for ways to get back to her until presumably Onkko gave Khora's blueprints to Cephalon Simaris. Venari accepted its fate by letting one of Simaris' drones assimilate it so it could successfully find Khora in the Sanctuary.
- Weapon of Choice: The Hystrix (a sidearm that fires elemental quills) and the Dual Keres (dual swords).
- Whip It Good: Her first ability, Whipclaw, cracks her whip to deal melee damage in a large area in front of her.
In a land of both shadow and substance, Limbo is both nowhere and everywhere.
A magician-themed Warframe who appeared from the Rift with Update 15.0 in 2014, 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 questline.
Limbo Prime premiered with Hotfix 23.0.3 in 2018.
- Animal Motifs: Clams and mussels — the inside of his coat has a Mother of Pearl surface, while his helmets "open" to reveal a hidden gem structure. His helmets even look like clams if you remove the crown of the hat, and close examination of the back of his helmets shows they almost have a "hinge" built in.
- Anti-Magic: The Rift acts as a functional counter to Eximus enemies, whose abilities cannot affect enemies or allies within the Rift. Some Eximus auras are even shut down completely within.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: It even has a tailcoat.
- Boring, but Practical: What is Limbo's most useful ability? Rift Walk. A unique ability that is not part of the standard Warframe power set, Rift Walk costs zero energy and allows Limbo (and other players, for a limited time) to enter the Rift Plane, which prevents Limbo and anyone else from taking damage from enemy forces while inside it, which is perfect for almost any mission.
- Difficult, but Awesome: Easily has the highest skill ceiling of any Warframe in the game. To give you an idea of how complex he is, he has an entire wiki page dedicated to explaining his Rift mechanic. All of his abilities require knowledge and awareness of many factors, including which plane you're on, which plane enemies are on, which plane your teammates are on... As well, you need to take into account various timers as ALL his abilities run on a timer. Failure to take note of all these factors means that you'll end up as literal dead weight, or in worst case, an active detriment to your team. When mastered however, Limbo can easily turn the tides of a battle on his own and can make specific missions an absolute breeze, especially against the Grineer or Infested, who do not possess many abilities that can affect him or his allies in the Rift.
- It's telling that Limbo is difficult to master when one of his abilities are Difficult, but Awesome on their own. Specifically, his third ability, Rift Surge, which at first glance seems to be a useless ability: It tags all enemies around you that are in the Rift with a Surge debuff, which activates when either the debuff expires or when the enemy exits the Rift (either through Banish expiring or by reapplying Banish to enemies currently in the Rift). The debuff forces the enemies back into the Rift, which seems to be almost useless considering you can do that with Banish...until you realize the many applications Rift Surge can bring. For one, any enemies outside of the Rift that are near an enemy tagged with the Surge debuff will also be taken into the Rift, which allows you to safely bring enemies into the Rift without poking your head out and risk dying. It can also be used in conjunction with Cataclysm to tag a group of enemies, Surge them, then remove Cataclysm, allowing you a pseudo-room clear which can allow you to do Rescue or Spy missions without worrying about patrolling enemies. Rift Surge, if used improperly, can earn your team's ire and frustrate everyone but rewards anyone willing to work with it with a plethora of utility that can turn a decent Limbo into a god-like Limbo.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Meta example. His quest is often thought to be one of the most difficult (or at least, tedious) in the game. The Excavation missions have hordes of high level enemies, weak drills and you need to do at least 3 of them. So, if you want a Limbo, you better have great weapons and powerful teammates to go with you.
- Formulaic Magic: The entirety of The Limbo Theorem revolves around using the proofs of his work to locate parts to assemble the Warframe.
- Gentleman Wizard: A custom animation to accompany his passive causes him to jump back and tip his hat when the player inputs a backflip.
- Intangibility: Played with, as the main focus of his skillset. His passive 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.
- 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.
- Magicians Are Wizards: Or at least, pseudo-scientist ninjas with void-based powers and psychic abilities.
- 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. His "Aristeas" alternate helmet is named after an ancient Greek miracle-worker.
- Mechanically Unusual Class:
- His entire kit revolves around the Rift mechanic introduced alongside him. The Rift itself creates unique opportunities to battle enemies one-on-one, which runs as a hard counter to most Zerg Rush enemy tactics.
- Due to the way he triggers his Rift, which is by slide-dashing, it can throw a lot of people off their game as this is one of the primary ways to run faster in the game.
- Mind over Matter: While it doesn't in his attacks, his animations are full of small touches where he exhibits telekinesis, such as twirling his guns without touching them or levitating his hat.
- Misplaced a Decimal Point: Apparently Limbo overestimated his teleporting abilities, so when he tried to enter the Rift, he literally ended up everywhere.
- Nice Hat: Comes with a top hat, and all of his alternate helmets have their own. His "Magrite" helmet has a Bowler. This is taken Up to Eleven with the Vistyxio Skin, which adds a nice-looking stovepipe hat to the appearance.
- 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 with increased energy generation. However, Limbo's allies cannot attack anything on the opposite side of the Rift from them, interact with consoles or terminals, or pick up items while they are in the Rift, and have no control over who is Banished or for how long, making Limbo an ideal Trolling Warframe simply by swapping focus on which side is being isolated or kept alive. Players were given the ability to cancel Banish via rolling soon after his release, but as there is no mention of how in the game proper, most are unaware of it.
- Complicating matters is the rework he received in Update 20, which made Limbo players capable of Trolling each other. Exiting or ending Cataclysm will remove any entity caught within from the Rift, including those affected by Limbo's passive. Stasis can also freeze up to 300 projectiles within the Rift, rendering allies' non-melee weapons entirely useless until the effect ends, and can be used by any Limbo in the party to affect the Rift across all Limbos in the party. Stasis was eventually modified so that it would no longer freeze allied projectiles, removing a significant amount of frustration.
- 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: His abilities use void energy to manipulate and damage foes whenever they enter the Rift.
- Regenerating Mana: Tenno in the Rift regenerate energy at a fairly rapid pace, although at a lower rate than a Trinity or Harrow can restore it. Limbo's passive ability also allows him to accelerate his regeneration whenever an enemy dies within the Rift.
- Space Master: Cataclysm creates a pocket of Rift within the area; any enemy in the area is essentially under his command. His passive ability also allows him to tear open portals for allies to enter the Rift through.
- Stage Magician: His visual theme. He even has telekinesis, which real magicians often try to replicate in their acts.
- Squishy Wizard: Zig-zagged. His rework in Update 20 made him a Glass Cannon class, while he has always supplemented his low survival stats with high potential for crowd control. On the other hand, he's arguably one of the tankiest Warframes in the game owing to his selective invulnerability.
- Talking Through Technique: The Limbo Theorem is his biography in numbers, and only Ordis can read it.
- Teleporter Accident: According to his final proof, his last attempt to enter the Rift couldn't have gone over well. There's a reason you pick up his pieces all over the solar system.
- Time Stands Still: Stasis allows him to freeze enemies caught within the Rift, as well as a limited number of projectiles fired within. This pairs well with his Cataclysm ability to freeze an entire area at a time.
- Videogame Dashing: Update 20 gave him a new Rift Walk passive to toggle his Rift state by dodging, which included new animations to his dodge maneuvers. Rolling causes him to simply dash forward or to the side, leaving a portal behind. In place of a backflip, Limbo simply slides backward while tipping his hat at attackers.
- Weapon of Choice: His Prime variant is depicted with the Destreza Prime (rapier).
Whether you prefer to go into battle alone or with a team, Tenno, Loki will adapt to any style.
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 14.0 he was one of the three starter Warframes, but he was replaced by Volt.
Loki was one of the first eight Warframes to be released with the game's "Vanilla" version in 2012; and Loki Prime decloaked with Update 13.7 in 2014 before retiring to the Prime Vault with Update 18.12 in 2016.
- 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.
- Difficult, but Awesome: A fact that led to him being removed from the roster of starter frames in favor of other, more beginner-friendly ones.
- 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.
- Foil: To Ash. Both are fast stealth frames with abilities to displace themselves, as well as a means to crowd control. While Ash's kit encourages to cause extensive damage and leave no witnesses alive, Loki's kit is to misdirect and confuse enemies with no direct damaging effects.
- Also to Mirage, his Distaff Counterpart. While both are described as being the trickster Loki favors stealth and misdirection, whereas Mirage uses vibrant optical illusions to deal massive damage.
- 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: Has a longer duration than the Smoke Screen power Ash has, but no initial stun.
- Magikarp Power: Level one - the weakest Warframe, with little armor, low shields, low HP, an ineffectual Decoy that dies in two seconds, an Invisibility power that's way too short to be useful, a Radial Disarm with a tiny radius, and zero direct damage abilities. Fast forwards twenty levels, and properly modded, you have a Lightning Bruiser who can distract entire hordes of enemies with a damage sponge decoy, turn invisible and run around bisecting enemies like Gray Fox, and rip away the weapons of anything in sight with a disarm attack that literally disarms the Infested. His lack of damaging effects lets him ignore enemy scaling completely, making him no less effective against high level enemies.
- Meaningful Name: Named after Loki, the god of trickery of mischief. His skillset relies on misdirection and confusion.
- Not the Intended Use: Switch Teleport was most certainly not intended to get other players stuck in terrain, drop datamasses in unreachable locations, nor plant teammates in herds of Toxic Ancients/in the paths of attacking bosses, but that sure didn't stop players from doing any of those things. It was also most likely not intended to teleport bosses into places they would get stuck in. Players would use it on Raptor in particular, to trap him inside the storehouse he spawns on, before it was patched out.
- Stealth Expert: Loki is one of the best 'frames for Rescue and Spy missions thanks to his prolonged invisibility.
- Teleporters and Transporters: Switch Teleport allows to switch position with friend, foe or his own decoys. Allows a wide variation of tactics, like quickly bypassing long running segments or stealth-related traps, helping stuck team mates, teleporting downed teammates towards safe positions, removing stronger foes from a pack or annoying your teammates.
- 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. His "Irradiating Disarm" augment allows him to apply an extended Confuse status on enemies, which can cause crowds to tear one another apart — and due to the Disarm forcing all enemies into melee, it makes an excellent enemy-grouping tool. It's frequently been compared to a pocket version of Nyx's Chaos.
- 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 applications 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 top of their guns like a horn◊, since they don't exactly have hands to hold anything.
- Weak, but Skilled: Loki has low defense and no damage abilities, but makes up for it with utility. Which includes, a decoy, teleport, prolonged invisibility, and disarming all nearby enemies.
- Weapon of Choice: His Prime variant is depicted with the Bo Prime (staff).
Mag is a team player, Tenno, and a worthy addition to any squad.
The third starting Warframe since Update 7.0, 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.
Mag was one of the first eight Warframes to be released with the game's "Vanilla" version in 2012; and Mag Prime was first polarized with Update 10.0 in 2013 alongside Nekros before she was retired to the Prime Vault with Update 16.11 in 2015.
- Armor Is Useless: Invoked with Polarize, as of Update 18.13, strips away any armor to all enemies that passes through her magnetizing globe. Shedding them seamlessly while turning said armor pieces into bullets once they enter a Magnetized enemy. Provided when Shields are depleted.
- Awesome, but Impractical:
- Zig-zagged for Crush. 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.
- On enemies where the Magnetic damage would be relevant, as it only has a bonus towards Shielded enemies, Mag already has Shield Polarize as a more effective damage source. On the other hand, Pull works on all enemies, whereas Shield Polarize only works on enemies with shields, of which the Corpus have the very vast majority.
- Crush also has the issue of having fixed damage, meaning that it stops being effective quite quickly whereas Shield Polarize, which uses percentages, continues to work just fine.
- Badass in Distress: In "The Profit" Trailer, she has been captured by Alad V and needs to be freed by her fellow Tenno. Once this is accomplished, she hurls her kidnapper straight through a glass window to plummet into the depths of a gas giant.
- Barrier Warrior: Mag's Magnetize functions like an inverted version of Frost's Snow Globe. Shield Polarize can restore shields to allies or Defense mission objectives, and do 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.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: Enemies who die under the effects of Magnetize will release a delayed blast (depending on how much of the duration was left) after they die.
- Dual Wielding: Three of Mag's major abilities can be used offhandedly, allowing Mag to shoot through a horde of enemies whilst reducing their defensive capabilities as conveniently as possible.
- Explosive Stupidity: Magnetize can enforce this rule, by letting enemies themselves shoot at the bubbles made by Mag. The more damage the magnetic bubbles take, the more powerful the explosion it becomes on death.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: The original Mag Prime, mounted with an Odonata Prime, is depicted like an angel in the codex.
- Hoist by Their Own Petard:
- Can magnetize enemies with Magnetize, making their own (and their allies') bullets fly into them.
- Shield Polarize also comes to mind, in that not only does the radial damage it deals scales with the strongest shields of affected enemies, making it a very effective counter against Shield Ospreys who ensure that enemies have more shields than usual, but also removes armor from enemies and turns said armor into shards that are affected by Magnetize just like other bullets.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Mag Prime has shoulderpads and hip holsters that hover a fixed distance away from her. Justified by her element, of course. Her Pneuma deluxe skin extends this to her hip holsters, collar, and the front plate of her helmet, as well as the arms, each one cutting off at both the shoulder and elbow, and being held together by magnetism.
- 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.
- Meaningful Name: Her name is literally just her elemental theme, shortened to one syllable. On the other hand, her alternate helmets refer to the coilgun (also known as a Gauss gun), which fires projectiles using magnetism.
- Mighty Glacier: While limited health and mediocre armor slightly subvert this, her high shields and defensive skillset that support her anti/support barrier effects still qualify for this trope.
- Not the Intended Use: Magnetize is primarily a damage and accuracy boost against an enemy, but it can also be used to create emergency cover.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: In "The Profit", Alad V had her captured so she could be dismembered and sent to "the void". After Trinity, Rhino, Banshee, and Volt free her, Mag immediately dishes out karma by sending Alad V flying out the window and straight into the gas giant below.
- Return to Shooter: Magnetize. The target will receive a magnetic field that pulls shots fired from all sources directly to the victim, including shots fired from its own gun. Shots that are orbiting around the victim in a form of a globe, even in death, will continue to harm anyone around the center except for allies until it leaves a powerful explosion equal to the amount of damage that it received.
- 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.
- Shout-Out: Mag's semi-Gothic Pnuema Deluxe skin is heavily inspired by A2 in NieR: Automata.
- Small Girl, Big Gun: Mag is the shortest (and the least decorated female) Warframe by far, and having her carrying a rocket launcher, an over-sized 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.
- Weapon of Choice: Her Prime variant is depicted with the Boar Prime (shotgun).
Do you feel lucky, Tenno? Mesa's got the fastest guns in the stars.
A gunslinger-themed Warframe that moseyed into town one day with Update 15.5 in 2014. Her aforementioned skill in gunplay is composed of a kinetically powered shot, a bullet defection aura, and crowd control by jamming firearms in an area as well as area clear.
Mesa Prime's shots first rang out at High Noon with Hotfix 24.2.2 in 2018.
- Animal Motifs: Her "Longhorn" alternate helmet gives her bovine motifs. This makes her a literal cowgirl.
- Blind Weaponmaster: She wears a blindfold over her ocular sensors because it wouldn't be a challenge otherwise. Her other helmets generally have something that covers her eyes, either horns or a cowboy hat.
- Body Horror: The end of the "Patient Zero" questline has you fight against a Mesa Warframe successfully infested by Alad V.
- Combat Stilettos: With shiny spurs!
- Convenient Misfire: Shooting Gallery invokes this on command , jamming the weapons of up to three nearby enemies, forcing them to stand in place and try to unjam them while Mesa mows them down.
- Cowboy: Her motif, making her a sci-fi ninja cowgirl.
- Fake Longevity: On release, Mesa was one of the most difficult Warframes to unlock due to how much grind was needed to acquire her:
- First you had to be online when an Infested Invasion occurs. Then you have to hope that a single Mutalist Alad V Nav Coordinate will be an invasion reward. Then you've got to do three missions against Infested, hoping 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 - the key needs 3 coordinates, each from different invasions, for 9 total missions - 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.
- Once you're done killing the boss, you also need Argon Crystals, which decay over time and start to disappear between 24 and 48 hours after picking up your first one. Thankfully once Mesa's parts start building the Argon Crystals are effectively "banked".
- 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. Step 1 was eventually made less grueling as if there aren't any active invasions, you can try running Orokin Derelict missions for a low but repeatable chance at finding more Coordinates. Later still, the number of Coordinates required to craft the key was reduced to 1.
- Fastest Gun in the West: Called the "fastest gun in the stars" in her profile video.
- 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. One of the idle animations for the "Agile" animation set features her making this gesture at an invisible target and "shooting" it.
- Gun Fu: She rapidly transitions between a number of poses during Peacemaker.
- Guns Akimbo: Her ultimate, Peacemaker, creates a pair of pistols custom-made for Mesa. She also has a passive buff to her reload speed when using dual guns.
- The Gunslinger: To the point of passively having unique bonuses with sidearms, and a health boost for not bringing a melee weapon.
- Herd-Hitting Attack: Peacemaker will lock onto and mow down every enemy within Mesa's targeting reticle, which grows with range mods.
- Immune to Bullets: Her Shatter Shield not only makes her immune to them, but it also reflects them.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Peacemaker automatically takes aim at enemies within its targeting reticule.
- Long-Range Fighter: She's a gunslinger by nature and her passive encourages her to eschew melee entirely by giving her bonus health when she doesn't have a melee weapon equipped.
- More Dakka: Mesa is the game's queen of dakka. Her passive grants her 15% improved fire rate while using dual-wielded pistols and Peacemaker has her gun down everything in her sights with a hail of bullets. The pistols themselves can be (and often are) modded for even more firerate to up their dakka. They're also backed by Bottomless Magazines that will only run dry when Mesa's energy stores do.
- Ms. Fanservice: Players noticed Mesa Prime's... rather ample behind when she was first showcased, to the point that DE patched it to be even more Fanservice-y once players noticed its changes.
- Nice Hat: Mesa Prime and several skins give her a nicely rimmed cowboy hat.
- Nothing Up My Sleeve: The barrels of her "Regulator" pistols are always strapped to her arms, and fold onto her hands when in use.
- Weapon of Choice: The Redeemer (gunblade). Her Prime variant is depicted with the Akjagara Prime (dual pistols) and Redeemer Prime. She also gets increased proficiency with all secondary weapons: dual-wielded sidearms get extra fire rate, while single-handed ones get better reload speeds.
The mere vapours of your life... shimmering still. Mirage."
First unveiled with Update 14.0 in 2014, 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 chain.
Mirage Prime was exposed with Update 22.7 in 2017.
- Awesome, but Impractical:
- Sleight of Hand in early versions, as many rooms don't even have targetable objects to work with, or spread out objects far enough that enemies won't approach them. The most common thing she can trap are Corpus laser doors and ammo pickups, to make them explode. This is pretty practical in Defense, where spare ammo is all over the place, but it'll stop working so reliably after wave 20 or so. 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. It was later reworked to include dropping a gem that dazzles nearby enemies that also synergizes with Hall of Mirrors, giving it far more utility.
- Prism is another, as it does light damage that is spread across the floor, walls and ceiling and doesn't stay in the same spot, and can easily move out of effective range if it bounces at the wrong angle. Its blind ability, however, is somewhat more useful.
- Blinded by the Light: Prism and Sleight of Hand can each cause detonations that blind any nearby enemies.
- Boring, but Practical: Two of her four spells, Hall of Mirrors and Eclipse are just self buffs, but while those buffs are active she deals OBSCENE damage and can turn any weapon, especially those with a blast radius and/or punch through, into a monster. In addition, one of Sleight of Hand's most practical uses is its ability to temporarily disarm Corpus laser traps during speed runs. These doors also serve to temporarily halt enemies as well as doing light damage, which is useful for controlling the numbers of units going through doors.
- Deadly Prank: Sleight of Hand causes every possible one (short of guns jamming) within range of her, typically involving Stuff Blowing Up, and going so far as to take control of nearby cameras, arc traps and turrets to set them against enemies. When used on the trap-heavy Corpus, this usually results in entire squads of crewmen dashing out of the room to escape their own haywire turrets and getting stunlocked by their own electrified laser doorways (and the one crewman trying to activate the alarm having his console blow up in his face).
- Difficult, but Awesome: She has to be keenly aware of her surroundings to avoid being gunned down thanks to her fragility and limited defensive options. But she puts out nearly unparalleled amounts of damage and can devastate entire rooms with Hall of Mirrors while waltzing through traps with Sleight of Hand.
- Distaff Counterpart: To Loki. While both are described as being The Trickster their abilities and play styles are complete opposites. Loki being adept at stealth and misdirection with no damaging abilities, while Mirage uses optical illusions in the open with massive damage potential.
- Doppelgänger Spin: Hall of Mirrors, which creates one to four fake copies of Mirage, all capable of doing (reduced) damage to the original's target on top of drawing enemy fire away from the real one.
- 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.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Her ultimate ability, Prism, fires these at nearby enemies as it flies.
- Gemstone Assault: Prism summons a bouncing crystal that fires lasers at enemies as it flies.
- Glass Cannon: Has the second-lowest base shield and health of any Warframe at 80 each but is capable of dealing immense damage output with Hall of Mirrors and Prism which can be further increased with Eclipse and standing in light.
- 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.
- Hard Light: Zigzagged. Though intangible, her light-illusions are still damaging.
- Light 'em Up: Like Oberon, Prism deals radiation damage, as light is radiation.
- Master of Illusion: Best exemplified by her Hall of Mirrors ability, which summons intangible clones of Mirage that will draw enemy fire. Each one of them can copy her weapon attacks, dealing partial damage. This leads to interesting combinations with wide-spread weapons.
- Posthumous Character: The original Mirage died in the Old War, captured and executed by the Sentients. All Mirages today are copies of her design.
- Power Crystal: One of these is a component in her Prism ability, firing lasers at nearby enemies as it flies. After being reworked, Sleight of Hand places one as a booby trap that can either damage enemies or blind them depending on the lighting conditions.
- 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.
- Weapon of Choice: The Akzani (dual pistols). Her Prime variant is depicted with the Akbolto Prime (dual pistols).