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  • Abusive Precursors: As more of Cephalon Simaris's archives are unlocked and more lore is unearthed, it's becoming increasingly evident that the Orokin were not the benevolent masters that they at first seemed. The Arid Eviscerator entry talks about an Orokin Executor openly berating and demeaning the Grineer slaves she ordered to stand and defend her and her assistant from an oncoming wave of infested, only for this to get her killed as the slaves rebelled. To say nothing of what they're implied to have done to create the Warframes. Long story short, it's implied that the earliest Tenno were created by experimenting on children exposed to the void.
    • The Second Dream confirms the Tenno are/were Orokin children... and that the leadership council of the Orokin Empire had their first surrogate mother murdered so that the "Ten-Zero children" could be used effectively as weapons.
  • Ace Custom: Multiple variants. Prime weapons were created by the Orokin. Wraith and Vandal weapons are rewarded from events and have a preference for Grineer and Corpus weapons, respectively. Dex weapons are special Lotus-inspired models given out for the anniversary. Mara and Prisma weapons are sold by the Void Trader. Rakta, Sancti, Secura, Synoid, Telos, and Vaykor weapons each come from a different Syndicate (Red Veil, New Loka, Perrin Sequence, Cephalon Suda, Arbiters of Hexis, and Steel Meridian, respectively).
    • In a more general sense, any weapon you have access to can become this. With judicious use of Forma, Orokin Catalysts, and the mod system, players can take a weapon wielded by the average Mook and supercharge it into an endgame-ready tool of destruction.
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  • Acrofatic: Grineer Kuva Guardians have very large, seemingly obese bloated bodies topped by similarily rotund heads. Yet despite their size and build they are surprisingly fast, capable of quickly dashing and leaping across the battlefield to catch up with their targets. This, combined with their needle-thin prostethic legs and shrill, high-pitched voices results in a very grotesque and uncanny image.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology: Most of the factions in the game have weapons or items the player can use, and they all have their own unique visual style.
    • The Grineer's weapons are pseudo-organic in design, featuring rounded, bulging magazines and odd aesthetic additions such as pointless spikes and weird bulges reminiscent of an insect's carapace. Where they have paint, it's often vomitous shades of yellow, orange, and green, but most of their tech is bare metal the colour of wrought iron. Examples include the Gorgon LMG and the Grakata submachine gun. Their spaceships are bulging, hard, and utilitarian shapes, based on modern-day submarines. These are side effects of the production process. Much like the Grineer themselves, their technology is created on an industrial scale, have their rough edges filed off, and are immediately issued to the field.
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    • Corpus weaponry is boxy. It's almost universally light grey metal (or if you want to spice things up, dark grey), with splashes of cyan or green glowing bits. Examples include the Dera plasma rifle, the Supra squad support weapon, and the Flux Rifle. Their ships follow the same concept.
    • Tenno weapons are archaic, simplified derivatives of Orokin-era weaponry. Wooden furniture and intricate engravings on unpainted metal surfaces feature prominently, giving a hand-made feel that contrasts strongly with the mass-manufactured weapons of the Grineer and Corpus. Examples include the Paris bow, Latron combat rifle, Furis SMG, Vasto revolver, and Tigris double-barrelled shotgun. Like the Warframes themselves, some of their older designs like the Glaive or Skana have semiorganic style elements reminiscent of the Infested. From what we've seen, their ships follow a similar trend as well.
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    • Most Infested weapons look like severed Infested body parts or growths. One is even powered by biochemical reactions, and several of them are specifically denoted as Living Weapons.
      • The Acrid is a notable exception. It looks more like an attempt by the Grineer to integrate Infested tissue into their weaponry. The Acrid is a Grineer-designed handgun with a canister of sickly green Infested material.
    • Orokin technology, as seen in Void Towers and Prime-quality Warframes and weapons, is smooth and flowing, ivory white and richly decorated with gold in various shades and sometimes minor black accents to spice things up, as well as the occasional unnecessary gold cosmetic features, most commonly rings. Orokin facilities are the stuff of utopian sci-fi, with lots of gold and ivory decorating streamlined white hallways, with pleasant Zen-style plants and waterfalls here and there. Older Orokin devices such as the Orvius and Exilus Adapter have a strange, organic aesthetic that bears a resemblance to Sentient technology.
    • What makes the Lex pistol and Burston rifle stand out is that their design does not directly fit any of the factions. They are too symmetric and boxy to be Grineer weapons, too rounded and angular to be Corpus based, too simple and mechanical to be Tenno weapons. Their manufacturer has led to some speculation by the Forum.note  The later additions of the Burston Prime and Lex Prime suggest that the two may be either Tenno weapons or Corpus reproductions of the Orokin originals like the Braton was speculated to be prior to its redesign. The Burston eventually got a redesigned model that makes its Tenno origins clear, but the jury's still out on the Lex.
    • Cephalon-designed machines such as the Gammacor and Simulor tend to have an Apple-esque aesthetic, albeit more futuristic, with sleek, curvaceous items trimmed with the occasional line of LED-like lights, frequently featuring hovering components and/or holograms. They almost always have a secondary purpose as a research tool.
    • While only two examples exist in the game (so far), Sentient weaponry has an organic aesthetic, but unlike the Infested, their shapes tend to be very alien-looking, with a focus on arches and curves. This highlights the pervasive otherness the Sentients possess.
  • After the End: A war happened in the background a long long time ago, one that got all the Tenno locked away into space, made the Orokin vanish, and spawned the Infested. The other combatants were apparently beings called the "Sentients".
  • Affably Evil: Ironically, Ruk fulfills this trope in the Gradivus Dilemna Event. Where Alad taunts the player over the fact that he has grand designs for their captive comradesIE  but is arguably the lesser of two evils since helping him will not result in an enslaved Mars, Ruk will compliment the player's skills and express vicious satisfaction that they now fight together to crush the Corpus. When fighting against him, he appeals to their sense of honor, urging them to turn against Alad to save their comrades, and reminding them that the Corpus will turn on the Tenno when they're no longer profitable (and that they will crush the Corpus using the Tenno's bodies.) If the player ran more Grineer missions than Corpus, he genuinely thanks the Tenno supporting him, tells them that they fought bravely and did not have to fight as hard as they did, and, if the player ran a hundred missions for the Grineer, tells them that the Tenno have what the Grineer can't make in a cloning tube: the heart of a warrior. Aww.
    • Also, throughout the event, Alad V, being a tight-fisted Corrupt Corporate Executive, is not very happy about handing out battle pay. Ruk, on the other hand, eagerly gives out rewards, telling Tenno to keep it up, there's more where that came from.
  • Aggressive Negotiations:
    • The encyclopedia entry for Operation Sling-Stone shows the the Corpus and Grineer pulling guns on each other while negotiating. The whole special event series also shows how violent the contract dispute has gotten - all for a mere few billion credits.
    • History repeated itself during the Gradivus Dilemma event. The Corpus discovered a few Tenno in cryosleep near Mars and wanted to keep them for experiments. This, however, violated a contract with the Grineer, who demanded that the Corpus hand the Tenno over to them. Alad V, the Corpus member who found the Tenno, blew the Grineer off, confident that boosting anti-Grineer resistance on Mars would protect them against the Grineer. Needless to say, the Grineer invaded, using the violation as an excuse to crush and subjugate Mars. Unlike Sling-Stone, however, the Tenno themselves were less united in helping them out, mostly because the Grineer gave better rewards at the start (and completion rewards were were granted for sticking with one faction) and that the Corpus had several Tenno in cryosleep hostage (where many players never even realized civilians were still alive, much less at stake).
  • Air Vent Escape: Inverted, the Tenno often do an air vent intrusion, complete with knocking out the air vent grates noisily.
    • Played semi-straight, in that a large number of tilesets now include grates that can serve as alternate routes, but downplayed in that, in most cases, there's no reason to use them.
      • Played dead-straight in Spy and, to a lesser extent, Rescue missions. If you want to complete these missions stealthily (and you will want to, since the rewards are better for stealth and getting detected slaps you with a blaring alarm and a strict time limit), expect to spend a lot of time creeping through vents.
  • All Planets Are Earth-Like: Mars, Venus, Pluto, Europa, and Ceres all have the same gravity as Earth and human-breathable atmosphere. Tenno can even walk along the surface of Earth's Moon with no visible protection and have no issues. According to Cephalon Fragment entries, many of these can be attributed to ancient Orokin terraforming devices that have remained functioning since the collapse.
  • Alliance Meter: The six main Syndicates (Arbiters of Hexis, Cephalon Suda, Steel Meridian, New Loka, Perrin Sequence, Red Veil). Working for one will earn you reputation for them plus half as much reputation for its ally, but you'll also lose reputation with its two enemies. Once you work your way into the upper ranks, you'll be able to redeem that reputation for powerful mods and special weapons, but Syndicates that you've angered won't hesitate to send Eximus squads after you.
    • Cetus now operates off one of these; almost every activity the player can do there earns standing, and standing can be spent to make those activities easier and more profitable, creating a sort-of feedback loop for players who invest a lot of time into it.
  • The All-Seeing A.I.: Both invoked and downplayed: if playing solo or as a group that sticks mostly together once the alarms go off, the enemy will always know where the player is until the alarm is disabled. Infested and Void missions are particularly annoying because there is no alarm, yet the entire level can be alerted. Even when unalerted, enemies can detect when a nearby ally has been slain - even through walls - and will be put in a semi-alerted patrol state, which will prevent the player from getting stealth kill bonus XP when killing them. However if a player gets significantly separated from the group it is entirely possible to encounter troops that are rushing to another player's location who will completely ignore you, or to encounter enemies that are clearly sheltering in cover from something or someone in a radically different location from your own, with how their 'use' of cover leaves them completely exposed to your own attacks, while they stare intently in the wrong direction to see you.
  • All There in the Manual: Played straight and subverted. While certain bits of lore, such as the Tenno being children that were affected by the Void on a malfunctioning Void ship, Ordis being a former human named Ordan Karris, the existence of the Sentients, and the utter inhumanity of the Orokin Empire can be accessed through obscure in-game sources, (The descriptions for two Prime warframes, scanning things, and participating in Synthesis with Cephalon Simaris) they're also revealed later on in the game through quests. So it's not a completely straight example.
  • Ambiguous Gender:
    • Any Tenno can use any Warframe despite the suits having clearly gendered physiques and being referred to with gendered pronouns in their profiles. Hypotheses range from a Tenno being able to change apparent sex and suit at will, to multiple Tenno under the player's command. Vor during the Vor's Prize quest and Ordis at the end of the Limbo Theorum quest both confirm each Warframe is controlled by one person - and Vor claims that person may be pure energy. Granted, given that it's Vor, he may just be speaking pretentiously. Or completely insane.
    • The Second Dream quest solves this and then re-introduces it: the Tenno are humans who remotely control biomechanical surrogates - the Warframes. Players are allowed to mix and match various faces, hairstyles, and voices. The problem is that the Tenno are just-barely-pubescent teens, making it difficult to distinguish gender. Many players don't even realize there is a separate male and female body for their Tenno, which changes depending on which face you select - and the faces, of course, are equally childlike and genderless.
  • Animeland: Everything about the Tenno is taken from stereotypical anime depictions of ninja and samurai: the way they sit, their swords, their motions, their name, their very design...
  • An Adventurer Is You: The frames fit these roles relatively well, although there's a fair amount of crossover:
    • The Tank: Rhino, Frost, Chroma, Atlas, Inaros, Zephyr.
    • The Healer: Trinity, Harrow.
    • The DPS: Excalibur, Volt, Mirage, Ash, Valkyr, Mesa, Wukong, Ivara, Nidus.
    • The Status Effect Guy: Mag, Loki, Hydroid, Banshee, Nyx, Vauban, Limbo, Nezha, Titania, Octavia.
    • The Resource Master: Nekros.
    • Area of Effect: Ember, Saryn, Nova.
    • Jack of All Trades: Oberon, Equinox, Gara.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: The Clan Dojo. Certain rooms and objects perform various functions for the Clan members, while others are merely aesthetic. L Ater, the Liset itself was added, allowing the player to place a variety of decorations throughout it, and granting a Personal Quarters with even more options.
  • Anti-Armor: Weapons with high focus on Puncture damage do more damage to heavily-armoured enemies like Grineer soldiers, but suffer against shields. Meanwhile, Impact damage is best for depleting shields and robots' health but is less effective against soft flesh. Conversely, Slash damage focused weapons tend to do very poorly against heavily-armoured foes, but often gain significant damage multipliers versus the squishy and mostly-unarmoured common/non-ancient Infested. Weapons tend to have clear specializations from their base damage types as a result, but good elemental mods can make most weapons usable regardless of their base physical stats.
    • Corrosive damage does +75% damage (so 175% total) to armor, and can permanently reduce the target's maximum armour. Brutally effective against the Grineer as a result. Magnetic damage works similarly against Shields, making it ideal for tackling the Corpus.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If you fall into a Bottomless Pit, you will be automatically brought back up, with no damage sustained.
    • The drop rate for Warframe blueprints from bosses used to be appallingly inconsistent- while it was possible to get blueprints for all 3 components (helmet, chassis, systems) in 10 runs or less, there were horror stories of players running a single boss up to seventy times without getting a full set; not only was there a chance that the blueprint drop wouldn't be what you wanted, but an even greater chance that a blueprint wouldn't drop at all. This was changed so now you're guaranteed a blueprint reward for completing a boss assassination mission, rather than blueprints being Random Drops from the bosses. It may still take a few runs to get all 3, but it ultimately takes a LOT less time to get new 'frames.
    • In the stealth Mastery test, no matter your choice of melee weapon you will always One-Hit Kill the mooks, even if you mistime and only trigger a normal attack instead of a Back Stab. In fact, in almost all mastery tests, enemies are always level 1; and as such deal little damage and 'die' very easily. This means the result of any given test is largely down to player skill rather than gear. Sure, tricked out equipment helps, but it's not strictly necessary.
    • Escort Mission escortees (and Syndicate allies, who use the same coding) can parkour, and will occasionally teleport right to you if they get completely stuck somewhere. They will also hold their fire if you're trying to line up a Back Stab. You can also revive them if they're downed so all the hard work up to that point isn't wasted.
  • Anti-Magic: The Corpus, having some understanding of the Void technology, use it to field units that can block Tenno powers.
    • First and foremost, there are Nullifier units that project an energy bubble around them. All of your powers do not work inside the bubble, and in addition the bubble itself is bulletproof (though it can be effectively overwhelmed and temporarily disabled with an automatic fire). The vast majority of the players either loves to hate them, or just hates them.
    • And then there are Comba and Scrambus units. Unlike Nullifers, they are divided into several subtypes, and each subtype disables only a certain group of powers (direct damage powers, buffs/debuffs etc.), and they don't have a bulletproof shield. However their ability-blocking aura is much larger and is invisible - if the Nullifiers' bright bubble gives them away from a mile off, your only indication that you stepped into the Scrambus' area of effect is a minor Interface Screw and a short sound. The units themselves don't stand out that much, making the task of eliminating them quickly more difficult. Depending on which subtype of Comba/Scrambus you encounter, they can range from a minor inconvenience to a devastating disability that prevents you from using your main power.
  • Anti Poop-Socking:
    • Crafting, which elapses in real-time, even when logged out. Warframes take more than 72 hours to craft and spending platinum is the only way to speed up the process.
    • Alerts and Nightmare missions, which arise randomly for short periods of time, can only be completed for their reward once. The best rewards, such as the otherwise hard to obtain Orokin Reactor tend to show up as alerts on a weekly basis.
  • Arm Cannon:
    • Mesa's Regulator pistols, which flip around to be out of the way when not in use.
    • The Gammacor is a wrist-mounted laser that was originally created for mineral analysis. Cephalon Suda upgraded the design, creating the powerful Synoid Gammacor.
    • Update 16.5 brings the Atomos, a Grineer-designed Heat-based particle beam which can chain the beam between targets similar to the Amprex.
    • Not to be outdone, the Corpus created the Sonicor, which unleashes intense bursts of sonic energy that can ragdoll foes like there's no tomorrow.
    • The Corpus have also rolled out the Staticor, a pair of gauntlets that fire off Hand Blasts of pure Radiation damage.
  • Armor Is Useless: Nope. All that heavy armour the Grineer wear is fairly effective against small arms fire (especially on Uranus or Sedna, where the higher levels mean Grineer turn into bullet sponges), and those huge helmets worn by Corpus Crewmen stop standard bullets pretty well. Not so much use against flaming swords or lightning-fists, though, or toxic bullets that give the enemy radiation poisoning on top of an infection, then freeze/electrocute/immolate them.
    • Warframe Armor is also another good armor, as it increases damage resistance directly. Definitely better than shields, which are absolutely useless in high level play.
      • On the other hand, Rhino's Iron Skin is more or less a layer of ablative armor; it lets him take a lot more punishment than he normally could. This is because it is functionally a third set of hitpoints on top of his health and shields, and soaks up damage before it reaches him. More importantly, though, it makes him completely immune to most forms of Crowd Control (stuns, knockdowns, grapples, etc.).
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Following Update 11, weapons have a portion of Puncture damage (effective against Grineer and Corpus crewman helmets), and be can modded for Punch-Through properties (making bullets go through cover or enemies, letting you hit multiple enemies, or ones hiding behind cover or riot shields).
    • Toxin damage fits in a non-traditional sense, as it completely bypasses shields and is extra-effective against armor. To a much lesser extent, bleed damage from Slash ignores ALL forms of protection, but the bleed damage is usually minor and Slash itself is ineffective against armored or shielded foes.
      • Played lethally straight with the Dread bow. Though Slash based, it can be build to deal an insane amount of damage on hitting an enemy's weakpoint. Did we mention that the damage from a Slash proc is based on the shot's damage, and is also multiplied by weak point bonuses? The end result is that if the arrow doesn't kill the target, the slash proc dealing thousands of points of protection-ignoring damage per second almost certainly will.
  • Art Evolution: The Corpus' MOA robots used to be sleek and organic-looking - an update changed them to be more obviously robotic and plated.
    • Grineer used to speak pure English. It was later changed to a unique Grineer language which sounds like a heavily corrupted version of English. Some phrases are recognizable, others are almost indecipherable. Grineer females also sounded less inhuman with the change.
      • The Chinese version has them speak Mandarin instead of their unique language.
    • The Corpus received a more intelligible language than the inhuman grunting robot noises they used to make. They're still pretty indecipherable at times, though.
    • Captain Vor used to be a red colored Flame Blade, but got a serious makeover turning him into an old man with serious cybernetic augmentations and an Orokin key in his chest that he uses for special attacks.
    • Similar to Vor, Sargas Ruk was a generic-looking Grineer goon with generic boss ranting, but the Gradivus Dilemma turned him into a fire-shooting Cyber Cyclops who talks in Hulk Speak.
    • Alad V used to be voiced by a different actor (with a thick Canadian accent), and appeared as a generic Corpus goon. Gradivus changed him into a Sissy Villain with an odd eye visor. Compare this to this.
    • Vay Hek, who was a generic Grineer grunt with a bit of an ego, has now turned into a propaganda-spewing lunatic piloting some sort of mech. As of Update 13, his cybernetic body enhancements far surpass even Sargus Ruk's. Little trace of his human origin can be seen (except his face) in his new design.
    • Nef Anyo, who was another generic looking Corpus boss in Mars which was obsessed with collecting enemy frames, has turned into a con artist that scams people out of their money as Void Offerings. He also got a new sleek design and a digital beard.
    • Tyl Regor used to be a fairly generic Grineer marine whose only noteworthy traits were the navy blue color of his armor and his upside-down mask. His new design incorporates these features into a new hulking body reminiscent of a gorilla that comes equipped with interchangeable arms and a massive helmet that doubles as a shield. In the process, he also got a voice that can only be described as Shakespearean.
    • Both Infested Ancients and the J-3 Golem used to resemble Infested Runners. Ancients got a new, more alien form in Update 9, while J-3 became a hulking behemoth the size of a spaceship vaguely resembling a Mutalist Moa in 17.5.
    • Joining the ranks of updated bosses is Kela De Thaym. Formerly a recolored Grineer Ballista, she has become a Hanging Judge, presiding over Rathuum, the Grineer's trial by combat.
    • After years of using the model from the original darkSector concept trailer, the Burston finally received a new design in Specters of the Rail to reflect its Tenno origins.
    • The Raptor used to look like a larger Osprey; its rework that launched with The Silver Grove added heavy armor plating, giving the impression of an Osprey merged with a Bursa.
    • The original design for Ambulas may have sported a slick black paint job with gold trim, but otherwise it looked like a generic Moa; its rework beefed up its appearance, putting it somewhere between the bulky Bursas and the streamlined standard Moa models.
    • Even weapons get visual updates from time to time. The Ogris and Torid used to be boxes held together with straps before receiving models more in line with the Grineer and Infested aesthetics, respectively. The Ignis was originally a recolored Grakata with a fuel tank attached to the front. The Braton, Burston, Lato, and Kunai received new designs that felt less generic, making them more stylistically cohesive with the other starter weapons and the Tenno aesthetic as a whole.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • The AI can be very stupid about spotting you, especially if you're crouching. Stealth is actually reasonably possible if you're careful and cunning. Also expect to hear (and see) the occasional death from the AI standing in the fire hazards that sometimes occur during a mission.
    • Update 10 and 11 have had problems with rescued hostages suddenly refusing to follow players.
    • The reworked hostage AI starting in Update 13.1.0 are highly prone to Suicidal Overconfidence, trying to stand their ground against enemy troops when even the players are desperately cutting and running. Or hiding from enemy trooper behind cover - with the enemy right next to them, shooting them.
    • Grineer and Corpus troops frequently run around in circles when confused. ITS BETA.
    • Artificial Brilliance: On the other hand, AI upgrades have allowed enemies to make repeated attempts at triggering an alert if they keep getting killed, jump onto obstacles to get a better vantage point or reach a sniping Tenno and even use ziplines and Parkour panels.
      • Moreover, enemies with bubble shields(like nullifers or arctic eximus units) will attract some of it's allies to come into it's protection and they'll slowly approach as a combined unit. If you break the bubble, they'll even scatter to nearby cover!
  • Artistic License – Astronomy: On the Liset, planetary asteroid belts such as those on Phobos are shown orbiting around the Liset rather than the planet in question. Phobos itself is possibly this; either being an extreme case of Orokin terraforming far beyond what is seen on the other terraformed worlds (i.e. Venus and Mars), or the developers not realizing what Phobos in reality is like. Whereas the Warframe Phobos is arid but otherwise Earth-like world with a biosphere and its own moon, real Phobos is an irregularly shaped rock spinning around Mars that is so small there are modern-day bridges that could wrap around it - several times over.
    • This was corrected in Specters of the Rail, which changed the distribution of missions and tilesets extensively. The Deserts of Phobos were moved to Mars, and missions on Phobos now take place on Corpus ships in orbit around the moon.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: Several Prime melee weapons claim to be made of pure rubidium, a soft and violently-reactive metal.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • The comics contest announced on 14 March 2014 makes reference to Cap'N Vor cereal and Greedy Milk.
    • Derf Anyo, a sub-boss confirmed by DE to be added alongside the reworked Nef Anyo in a future update, originated from a fan's joke concept that had become a forum meme.
    • In this video, a Corpus Crewman says "Salad V".
    • This video has Frost and Hydroid "volunteer" the Corpus for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
    • Orokin Reactors and Orokin Catalysts being referred to as 'potatoes' seems to have caught on as well. There's even an Orokin Potato t-shirt available on the store.
    • Update 17 brought the long-awaited Twin Grakatas, based off a series of fan comics about a Grineer soldier named Clem who wanted to become a Tenno.
    • And then later they introduced a (repeatable) quest that involves Clem himself. The same quest directly refers to Potent Orokin Technical Augmentation and Tactical Offensive devices, and completing the quest gets you a Clem Specter blueprint, letting you have the man himself accompany you on missions!
    • When triggering alarms on Grineer missions, Lotus quite redundantly states: "I'm detecting a large security force heading your way. It's the Grineer." In an event where the Tenno have to protect Darvo from waves of Corpus, Darvo parodies this:
    "I'm detecting a large security force heading your way. It's the Gri-no wait, it's the Corpus. Definitely the Corpus."
  • Attack Drone: Corpus uses several flavors of robots (referred to as 'Proxies' in-universe) to supplement their infantry, and make up a substantial part of their military forces.
    • As of Update 13, clans or alliances that have deployed solar rails to a dark sector also have drones and proxies to defend it from attack, most notably other clans wanting control of that sector.
    • Specters are the Tenno equivalent; the regular Specters are one-shot clones of a particular Tenno's weapons and loadout, while Syndicate-supplied Spectres are powerful Eximus versions of different enemies like Shield Ospreys or Rollers.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Most enemies have one or more spots that take more damage than the rest of their body, or a spot that is more vulnerable to damage of a given type (though it may be highly resilient to other types). Grineer Marines are well-armoured except for their faces. Zigzagged By the Corpus, who are protected by massive helmets but whose head can be revealed by damaging the helmet enough. Most infested are either devoid of clear weak points or it's barely worth aiming for them, Lephantis however plays this completely straight with 3 weak points (one per head), and is seemingly invincible when the weakpoints are not exposed.
    • The Banshee's Sonar ability actually creates temporary "weak points" by making the highlighted part take four times as much damage as it would normally for as long as the power is active. As a result, these weak points can stack with existing weak points, making it possible to inflict truly massive damage.
    • Many overhauled bosses now follow this trope, being completely invulnerable to damage until their weakpoint(s) are exposed, usually following an attack.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Few enemies fit the type:
    • The oldest example is Lephantis, a twisted ancient infested monster that hides in the depth of Infested Derelicts, and is the size of a small house. J3 Golem is even larger, being a small ship overrun by infestation, but since you fight it in a space battle using Archwing rather than on foot, the effect is diminished.
    • Sentient Eidolons that stalk the plains around Cetus at night also fit. They are roughly the size of Lephantis, and they are actually mindless fragments of a single Sentient that was destroyed on the plains during the Old War. Judging from the size of Eidolons, as well as from rock formations scattered across the plains (which are actually nor rocks, but other fragments of the same Sentient), that thing had to be at the very least Kaiju-sized, and possibly literally mountain-sized.
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: Back when the Grineer spoke English, they were extremely fond of "Combat Formation Bravo," which apparently meant "stand in front of the space ninjas and shoot at them".
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: All of the Grineer bosses are vastly superior to the common marines in combat. Tyl Regor is a scientist, for instance, but can easily tear you apart in melee combat. Sargas Ruk? He's got some kind of flame gun strapped to one arm and some tough-as-nails armour that can only be broken through by destroying the heatsinks. Councilor Vay Hek? Well, he's now a giant freaky cyborg-mecha guy with a Big F'ing Shotgun strapped to one arm.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: For everything that's Boring, but Practical, there's something that's this.
    • The Supra used to be this: although it had great DPS on paper, it was an ammo-devouring monster which would have a hard time hitting the broad side of a barn due to its slow projectiles and inaccuracy. Although those disadvantages are still there, Update 17 gave the weapon a bigger magazine, more ammo capacity, and even more damage. Combined with the Syndicate mod the weapon possesses, it seems it has moved from this category.
    • The Dera is a flashy Corpus take on the standard assault rifle, but it's considered inferior to most other weapons if its type because it's not hitscan.
    • Shotguns used to fall into this category. They required many more mods to be effective compared to rifles, the mods they need are harder to get, and they suffered from projectile spread and damage falloff that often limited their potential. With the addition of the Amprex and Atomos they weren't even the best crowd-clearing weapons. Thankfully, the devs reworked them, and they're once again a viable option.
    • Going up behind an unaware enemy and pressing melee triggers a flashy stealth kill animation; however, depending on your chosen weapon, this can easily leave you immobile long enough for all that enemy's allies to turn around and spot you, and it only hits one person. It's usually a lot easier just to use a silenced weapon or slide-attack into enemies from a distance so that the animation doesn't trigger.
      • Not to mention that, should you be accompanied by an armed sentinel, there is a chance that it will detect the enemy you're assassinating in the split second between your stealth attack animation finishing and the enemy in question falling to the ground in a heap. Upon detection, your helpful sentinel will attempt to open fire on it. With its extremely loud weapon. If there was anyone else in the room with their backs turned a moment ago, there certainly isn't now.
    • Explosives. Stuff Blowing Up means enemies die in droves, but self-damage is a very real possibility; cue Yet Another Stupid Death on players who stick Toxin damage on their rocket or grenade launcher and then kick themselves when they insta-down themselves.
      • Specifically averted by the Tonkor, which comes with built-in self-damage reduction. Self-damage is capped at a measly 50 and is unaffected by mods, so players can go nuts with point-blank detonations (this feature is actually meant to facilitate Rocket Jumping.) The Tonkor is more Boring, but Practical, but is a favoured Sortie weapon for some players due to a properly-modded Tonkor scaling extremely well even against very high level enemies. Or at least it was until U20, when it got nerfed for being a bit too Boring, but Practical, dropping from 35% crit chance to 25% and gaining full self-damage, discarding the original Rocket Jump gimmick that had become redundant with the introduction of Parkour 2.0 back in U17.
    • Formerly the Ignis, fulfilling Video Game Flamethrowers Suck. In the beginning, it was very good for wiping out everything, especially combined with blast - it knocked down enemies and kept them down, on top of constant status chances. Then it was nerfed. It actually wasn't terrible; it bypasses all terrain and has a wide cone of effect, making it great for hitting whole groups at once (even behind cover). Unfortunately, its damage output was mediocre at best, it had serious ammo problems, and its miscellaneous stats didn't gear themselves towards any particularly-useful builds like Critical Hit Class or Standard Status Effect. Like shotguns, the Ignis got a buff from the developers and is doing much better.
    • Almost all of the Sinister Scythes fall here. Hate, Stalker's scythe, looks stylish but is woefully underpowered while Ether Reaper is a glorified tomahawk and has middling stats. Reaper Prime gets the shortest end of the stick, as it combines awful stats with a particularly gaudy appearance. Sadly, the stances for Scythes are some of the most visually-appealing, which go to waste when the weapons they're used on struggle to beat low-level enemies. Update 16.7 introduced the first viable scythe, the Puncture-based Anku, before the Hate, Reaper Prime, and Ether Reaper finally received much-needed buffs in 18.5.
    • The Pangolin Sword is a highly-sought weapon for being very rare and looking damn cool; many players treasure it. Not many would actually use it, as its stats are markedly-lousy.
    • Similarly, weapon skins for starter weapons, a lot of which are for the Skana or Dual Skana - they're elegant and stand out, but in the end... they're still starter weapons.
    • The Lex has unfortunately fallen here thanks to Power Creep; once THE go-to Sniper Pistol, there are now many weapons who can fill that same role much more efficiently, as the game placed emphasis on higher DPS and element weaknesses. Its Prime version used to fall short as well, but after a damage buff, it's roughly on par with the Vaykor Marelok, but suffers from the lack of the damage burst that comes with faction weapons. Still, the vanilla model is a solid option for new players, who wouldn't be able to get much performance out of many of its rivals anyways.
    • Following in the Lex's tradition, most single pistols with dual-wieldable versions have fallen here - examples being the Vasto, Magnus, and Bolto. Sure, a single pistol can be fun, but the dual-wielded versions of said pistols have doubled magazine capacity for little discernible drawbacks - and that's without even getting into the single pistols designed to keep pace with akimbo versions, such as the Pandero. As such, it's common to just level up the single version of the pistol, use it as a component for the dual-wielded version, and then start modding that one.
    • By their very nature, some Rivens are this. Awesome damage boosts...coupled with a 200% Zoom increase on a shotgun..
  • Back Stab: Comes in different flavors, but all at the very least do a lot of damage to the enemy you do this to. The only difference being the animations from the different melee weapon types you use.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: It's quite easy to invoke this with another Tenno, as in many of the trailers. In addition, Ruk seems to see Grineer-oriented Tenno this way during the Gradivus conflict:
    Sargas Ruk: Rraahudd, Tenno! Now we fight together! Now we crush the greedy milk from their skulls. The Corpus will pay for their crimes with their useless lives.
  • Beautiful Void: Lua (Earth's moon) and the void itself are this.
    • The void houses ancient Orokin structures which are massive and glorious, wrought from marble, crystal and gold. However they stand as an empty, silent mausoleum of the Orokin race, still humming with a quasi-musical harmony in the air. At least they were empty until the Grineer and Corpus found a way to reach them and were transformed into mindless sentries by ancient Orokin defense systems.
    • The Orokin structures on Lua are even grander and more beautiful than those in the void, and their haunting beauty is in some ways enhanced by the way they are slowly crumbling and falling into rubble.
  • BFG: One possible room on a Grineer Galleon has a house-sized cannon in the middle that constantly fires into space. A similar stationary artillery emplacement can be found on the Phobos Settlement tileset, and Corpus Gas Extractors have huge turrets no doubt designed to repel any Grineer raiding parties.
    • The Supra is an enormous, boxy laser machine gun. Really, there's big effing guns everywhere. Shotguns, rocket launchers, you name it.
    • The Opticor takes the cake, being the biggest non-Archwing gun the Tenno can use. It's a massive laser cannon that charges up and shoots a large beam.
    • Archwing guns are in a league of their own. The smallest ranged weapon a Tenno can bring with them on an Archwing mission is three quarters as long as the Warframe is tall!
  • BFS: The Gram greatsword stands as tall as the average Warframe, and sports glowing plasma edges on either side of its broad blade. The Galatine is even bigger, a gigantic Tenno-made greatsword taller than most Warframes with a more flowing, organic design.
    • Now there's War, the Stalker's sword added in The Second Dream, which is extended further by an energy blade, making the whole length absolutely huge.
    • Like the guns designed for Archwing missions, the melee weapons are enormous, to the point where the description for the Veritux (the starting Archwing melee weapon, a sword twice as tall as the Tenno carrying it) acknowledges that it's too heavy to use outside of zero-g.
  • The Big Guy: Each and every (male) Grineer soldier is a hulking brute. Some of the females are also hulking, but are thinner and taller than the males. Also the Rhino and Frost Warframes' role, being the toughest but also the slowest.
    • The overall largest Grineers are actually the gangly female Heavy Gunners as the male heavies (Bombards and Napalms) are significantly shorter.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble:
    • On the Grineer side, the Twin Queens rule the Grineer Empire from the shadows of their Kuva Fortress, with Councilor Vay Hek acting as their Dragon-in-Chief.
    • On the Corpus side, Frohd Behk serves as the current chairman who directs the Corpus' machinations.
    • And now we have Hunhow, who leads the now returning Sentients to finish what he began centuries ago and wipe out the last vestiges of the Orokin Empire, the Tenno.
  • Black and Grey Morality: The Grineer/Corpus/Infested are definitely the bad guys, but we never get any indication that the Tenno are actually good guys, especially if the Stalker's lore is to be believed. The Tenno appear to be true neutral, or lawful neutral at best because rather than wipe out one faction or the other (excepting Infested) they're much more concerned with keeping the balance between them the same, as evidenced during the invasion events where the player is forced to support one of the sides instead of just slaughtering both.
  • Black Box: Orokin artifacts. Even the Corpus - the corporations that manufacture technology based on the artifacts - do not know how most of them work, and non-Prime Tenno tech is stated to be inferior copies based on the actual thing.
  • Black Speech: Corpus dialogue used to be composed of inhuman choking noises. This may be a function of their helmets as event cutscenes have an executive speaking in English with strong synthesizer effects and what little we hear of the helmetless Capture target's voice is very different.
    • Grineer now speak in some sort of harsh-sounding language with very few recognizable words. There are obvious elements of European and eastern-European languages in there, along with modern English corrupted by Nu Spelling, ("Target" becomes "Targat") possible Future Slang, and thick accents ("Okay" has become "Oghi?"). However, there's a great deal of what they're actually saying where your guess is as good as mine. For example, "Got kan tero sonafa gunta", which might be "goddamn Tenno son of a gun".
      • The female Grineer voice set used by their snipers and heavy gunners that were used when the Grineer spoke English were this, with near-indecipherable barks and screeches. They're comprehensible if you pay close attention, though.
    • The Corrupted encountered in Orokin Void Towers also 'speak' (or at least vocalize in some fashion) an unknown, hissing 'language' that is very vaguely similar to the Stalker's vocalizations. Whether it's actually a means of communicating or just general strangled noises of surprise/anger/etc. is anyone's guess.
      • As of update 18.10, they speak the same language as their non corrupted counterparts, albeit heavily synthesized and distorted with a large amount of reverb.
    • The Stalker verbally communicates through what can only be described as wordless, breathy hissing.
      • Since Update 18, he now has actual dialogue, though each word is still breathed/hissed.
    • It is entirely possible that if the Tenno ever spoke, it would sound very similar to the Stalker since they both were once members of the Orokin Empire and presumably spoke the same language.
      • Averted since The Second Dream; being (at one time) ordinary human teenagers, the Tenno speak flawless English.
  • Bling of War, Bling-Bling-BANG!: 'Prime' equipment, and Orokin equipment in general, is very flashy - gold trim and so on. Frost Prime in particular is sporting a Nice Hat.
    • Prisma equipment also qualifies, being flashy gear only sold by the Void trader. Like Primes, they're upgraded versions of normal equipment, trading out the gold trim for blue crystal that appears to "flow," like water.
  • Blown Across the Room:
    • The fate of any Mook caught on the receiving end of the Hek - the huge, quad-barrel shotgun.
    • Also the fate of any mook in the crosshairs of the Bolto pistol, Twin Gremlins, the Paris/Dread/Cernos/Daikyu bows, the Attica and Zhuge automatic crossbows, or the Boltor rifle. It used to be so extreme as flinging slain enemies across massive rooms at light speeds to nail them to the wall, but now it's slightly less exaggerated.
    • Enemies caught in the radius of the Jat Kittag's slam attack will be thrown violently against the walls and ceiling. Mod the Jat Kittag for additional blast damage, and enemies will be thrown violently through the walls and ceiling — leaving naught but a floating XP reward as any indication that they were ever there at all.
    • Banshee can do this with extreme prejudice via a properly-leveled Sonic Boom attack. Nekros can likewise do the same against a single enemy with Soul Punch, but his concussive force is far greater, capable of sending Grineer Heavies flying clear across the room, knocking over everything in their path.
    • Any explosive weapon, though Tonkor seems to stand out a bit, sometimes propelling enemies through the largest rooms you can encounter in the blink of an eye.
      • Any non-explosive weapon modded to include Blast damage. A Blast proc acts like a scaled-up Impact proc; while the latter knocks enemies off their feet, the former actually ragdolls enemies and sends them a distance — the distance being defined by how much Blast damage was applied. Go on, mod a shotgun or a sniper rifle with Blast. See what happens.
    • Sonicor, while not so extreme as most of the previous examples, has the bonus of doing this to very large groups of enemies while they're still alive, ragdolling them and making them easy pickings for your allies or perhaps your more damaging weapons. Or you just keep juggling them with it until they die.
  • Boarding Pod: Some Grineer ships in Invasion missions have boarding torpedo launchers which you use to cross from the Grineer ship to the enemy Corpus one. When defending a Corpus ship you might sometimes find a room with one of these boarding torpedoes smashed through the hull, with a Grineer marine or two piling out of it.
  • Body-Count Competition: The game can easily fall into this with well-equipped players, who will try to get a few kills before their teammates can because the entire team is tearing apart the enemy hordes thrown at them. Not helped by the mission results keeping a score of who killed the most enemies.
    • Add a degree of urgency on top of that if you enter an Exterminate mission, with a finite number of enemies, and are presented with an XP-rewarding challenge to get a certain number of kills. Better get those kills in before your teammates swipe them all!
  • Boom, Headshot!: Played with:
    • Played Straight by: Most Grineer troopers, who wear heavy armour everywhere except their heads. On the other hand, the sturdy looking UFO-shaped helmets on medium Grineer are apparently no more durable than flesh and bone.
    • Played with by: Infested. Some of them are quite bullet resistant, others are not. The ones with heads take more damage there than on the body, but it's not the weakest point. Their heads also aren't where you'd expect them to be.
    • Inverted and played with by: Corpus Crewmen. Almost no body armour whatsoever, but massive helmets that used to be bulletproof. Now, you can knock them off to get a good, clean bullet to their faces.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Loki fits this trope to a tee. His abilities are boring compared to the fiery doom wreaked by Ember or the flashy frost moves by Frost, but as a pure utility frame, Loki remains consistently useful against every faction, at every level, on every mission type.
    • Excalibur is also very much this. He's the "standard" starting Warframe note  and does several things fairly well, but is severely outclassed by specialised frames and his abilities are all very bland, though most remain functional either for mobility or crowd control purposes.
      • With a rework Excalibur's abilities have plenty of flair, being impressive in both form and function.
    • Rhino can very easily become this by keeping Iron Skin on at all times and using Rhino Stomp. It quickly devolves the game into pressing a single button to clear out the enemies in a given area, then moving on to repeat the process.
    • The Soma is one of the most powerful weapons in the game if properly modded, but it's a fairly standard hitscan automatic rifle with nothing flashy at all.
    • The Tonkor, as mentioned before, can just be aimed to the head with ease and kill entire fleets of enemies with one, boring, underwhelming shot.
    • The Synoid Simulor is quite like the Tonkor, except it doesn't require aim at all and can be spammed much more easily. Making it the bona-fide AFK weapon.
    • The Karak, which is essentially a dressed-up Grineer AK, and performs like it. 30-round mag, solid damage and accuracy. It's a great choice for midgame players who've worn out their Bratons and don't have access to the Soma.
    • The undisputed best gun for Archwings for a long time was the Imperator, which is the "starter" gun. Like the Karak, it's a hitscan automatic rifle, albeit with some damage falloff at long ranges to compensate for the enormous maps. Later updates have introduced stronger options, making it an even better Archwing counterpart to the Karak.
    • For late-game endless content, the combination of Mesa, Frost, Mag and Nekros was this for a brief period of time. Mesa would stand in one spot and kill everything with her ultimate ability while protected by Frost's bubble shield, with Mag using the Greedy Pull mod to let her pul the loot and energy drops to the group and Nekros spamming Desecrate to increase the loot and energy drops for Mag to pull. This would recharge Mesa and Frost, allowing them to keep going. Frost and Mag would only have to worry about shooting Nullifiers, which Mesa's ability cannot target. A good group could do this for an hour or more. Unfortunately, 16.11 changed Greedy Pull to only affect drops for Mag herself, killing the strategy.
      • Currently, the strategy is Excalibur, Trinity, Frost, and Loki. Frost protects the team with a Snow Globe, Trinity replaces Mag and Nekros as the energy source, using maximum range mods and Energy Vampire, Excalibur spams Radial Javelin to take Mesa's place, and Loki just runs around while invisible capturing objectives.
      • Another tension-killing combination is Ivara, Trinity, Nekros, and Mag. As before, Trinity provides a source to the entire team, and Nekros creates more pickups for Mag to draw in with Greedy Pull (while Greedy Pull only attracts pickups to Mag, life support capsules benefit the whole team). Finally, as long as Trinity keeps the energy coming, Ivara can keep the whole team invisible with Cloak Arrows. The game becomes a shooting gallery as players are supplied with an endless supply of enemies that won't even shoot back.
    • Playing Frost in any mission where you need to protect a stationary objective. Spam 3 (Snow Globe) to create a Deployable Cover for the objective and constantly reinforce it while you let your allies get all the kills. Not exactly glamorous, but works pretty well.
    • It also applies to some weapon stances. For example, the Crimson Dervish stance for one-handed swords sacrifices speed and mobility for triple the normal damage on every hit in the combo. Some also consider the Cleaving Whirlwind heavy weapon stance to be this, as everything one of its combos does is spin around, hitting everything around you for quadruple damage over and over and over again. It's other combos are largely underwhelming, and were largely added as afterthoughts. You won't need them.
    • Octavia is this to some extent. She has an amazing kit, with a massive area of death ability, a large area enemy distraction ability (as in, make the enemy chase it and nothing else) that can pick up the previously mentioned area of death, an ability that gives herself and her team a handful of buffs including an invisibility with a duration on par with Loki's that is refreshable, and an area buff ability that can give an absurd amount of weapon damage to people that stand on it. She can coast through even high-level missions with ease by just pressing 1 and 4 and letting enemies shoot themselves to death. However, she's often seen as a "set and forget" frame that doesn't really use her abilities in a fun or interactive way, and people dislike having to spam crouch constantly to receive the invisibility buff.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Most bosses took this form originally, although the developers have slowly but surely been phasing these out in favor of unique designs.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: Possible thanks to the Paris, Paris Prime, Cernos and Dread bows, and the wide selection of swords. Also the Attica, if you're more a fan of crossbows.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Implied to be done by the Corpus: the flavor text for Neptune indicates they indoctrinate people into being drones.
    • Also the fate of any intruders that succumb to the Neural Sentry installed in the Orokin Void Towers. They are referred to as the "Corrupted", get an Orokin-themed makeover (weird golden facemask, white/gold-themed armour, energy weapons shoot golden bolts, etc.) and attack all non-Corrupted on sight.
  • Brains and Brawn: Both on the enemy and player side.
    • On the enemy side of things, we have Sprag and Ven'kra, two of the Grineer's most vicious clones, who made their debut appearance during Operation Gate Crash. Sprag is a melee-focused enemy who wields a BFH and stays hot on the Tenno's heels, while Ven'kra is a ranged enemy who can call in foes as support and snipes at the Tenno with her Vulkar. Sprag is considerably less intelligent than Ven'kra is; she calls the Tenno "shiny bugs" and Ven'kra has to remind Sprag to be patient and to time her attacks properly.
    • On the player side of things, we have Rhino and Loki. Rhino is The Big Guy, easily capable of charging his way through almost any enemies, soaking up nearly any ranged offensive, and nigh unbeatable in melee, especially with a Fragor or other heavy weapons. Loki, on the other hand, is the Squishy Wizard - he can't take much damage, but with a distraction as loud and hard to miss as Rhino, he can easily run around destroying the most dangerous ranged foes with his crit multipliers while Rhino utterly crushes everything else. It helps that he can strip every enemy to melee, making them even more hilariously trivial to kill. This can apply in match-ups between Rhino and other frames, but Loki and Rhino do it the best by far.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: You can either grind for Warframe parts and wait until the RNG is kind enough to grant upon thee Catalysts or Reactors to make your weapon twice as effective... or just pay for it. While you can't buy Prime parts, you can pay for Prime Access, which contains all of one releases' Primes and exclusive cosmetics. While cash is not required for either of that, it does make it more convenient.
    • Mods and keys can now be traded by players, even for Platinum (the real cash currency). While a player who is short on luck can give up and fork up some money for a mod, it also means that things like equipment slots and gear-empowering items are more available to players who sell mods.
  • Broken Pedestal: Part of the reason behind Frohd Bek hunting down Alad V - though, given the Corpus culture of greed, this is mostly because A) Alad V owes a lot of money to the board, and B) Frohd will get kicked off the board as CEO if he doesn't stop Alad's project.
    Frohd: What happened to you, Alad? I used to look up to your profits. I used to look up to your products.
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