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This page covers tropes in Warframe.

Tropes A To D | Tropes E to H | Tropes I to M | Tropes N to S | Tropes T to Z


  • Abusive Precursors: The Orokin Empire fits this to a T. Existing as pious oligarchs, their history is a long series of abominations and weapons of mass destruction created to appease their ambitions or to defeat the last one, to say nothing of their personal cruelty. The Cephalon Simaris archive unlocked by synthesizing Arid Eviscerators describes 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.
  • Ace Custom:
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    • 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.
  • Acid Attack: Combining Toxin and Electicity mods will provide the Corrosive element, which is especially effective against the ferrite armor used by the Grineer, stripping it away to make foes easier to damage.
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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 prosthetic legs and shrill, high-pitched voices results in a very grotesque and uncanny image.
  • Adorable Abomination: Warframes that get infected with Helminth's virus grow a cyst from their neck that matures in a (real-time) week. Afterwards, it can be drained to mutate a kubrow egg into a Helminth Charger, an infested creature with tendrils, mandibles, and other terrifying appendages... that will act like and love you like any other kubrow.
  • Aerith and Bob: It's subtle, but it does exist. The present of Warframe has strange, fantastic names such as Konzu, Onkko, Nef, Darvo, Kela, and Baro... in the same universe as Rell (an uncommon, but recognizably present-day name) and John Prodman.
  • 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.
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    • 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 color 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.
    • 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.
    • Ostron Zaws are extremely primitive in design, with their constituent parts appearing to be Crafted From Animals, featuring components of simple rock, wood, and metal salvage. Overall, the Zaws appear similar to Mayincatec weapons or those from other dawn-of-civilization societies.
    • Solaris United kitguns — being derivatives of Corpus equipment — are also boxy at times, but with a thrown-together aesthetic that also calls to mind industrial equipment, such as robotic arms in factories.
    • Tenno:
      • Most 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.
      • Individual Warframes, however, can also have customized weapons made to fit them — Gara's weapons are orange, blue, and transparent white, and made of glass, Khora's Hystrix machine pistol and Dual Keres swords use soft beige colors with maroon, and look far more organic than many other Tenno weapons.
      • The Lex pistol, denoted as Tenno by having a Prime variant, seems to be the odd one out. It is too symmetric and boxy to be a Grineer weapon, too rounded and angular to be Corpus-made, and too simple and mechanical to be Tenno. This used to be true of the Braton and Burston rifles as well until they were redesigned.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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: It's suggested that there might have been more than one in Warframe's distant past. The most well-known is The Old War against the nigh-unstoppable Sentients, which devastated the Origin System. However, even by that time, it's suggested that something happened in Warframe's backstory. During the Orokin Era, earth was nigh-uninhabitable, the people of Mars regressed to a primitive existence, and the Orokin were afraid of robots for some reason.
  • 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 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).
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    • The Orokin seemed to be very strong believers in this concept and had prohibitions against creating true AI. It lead to them utilizing Organic Technology or Brain Uploading for when they needed to make something sentient. It's unknown whether they adopted this attitude before or after the Sentients returned from Tau Ceti, but either way it justified their distrust.
    • Most Cephalons have shades of this, even though they are a net benefit to the Tenno at least. Ordis, underneath his polite default tone, can be rather chaotic and bloodthirsty, and quite transparently so. Simaris and Suda both have their own quests for knowledge; Simaris achieves his by hunting and digitizing carefully selected citizens of the system, and he's proven to be dangerously amoral and callous; Suda apparently follows a more traditional form of information gathering and, despite "abhorring destruction", isn't peaceful at all.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: The Tenno often enter the mission by dropping from a vent, complete with knocking out the air vent grates noisily. A large number of missions include grates that can serve as alternate routes, although there's little reason to use them outside of 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.
  • Alien Animals: Zig-Zagged. While the Orb Vallis on Venus is home to several strange mammals, The Business explicitly notes that they are artificial creations, made by Orokin "Gene Forges". The same is probably true of the animals found on the Plains of Eidolon.
  • 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 operates off one of these; almost every activity the player can do there earns Standing with the Ostrons, 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. Solaris United serves the same purpose in Fortuna.
    • The Quills, the mysterious string-pullers of Cetus, have one of their own. Their Standing is gained by trading in Sentient Cores dropped by Sentients, mainly the Eidolons that roam the Plains, and they offer gear to upgrade the Operator for the purpose of hunting the Eidolon Teralysts. Their equivalent in Fortuna is Vox Solaris, who are connected to the Quills through their contact Little Duck, and take Toroids instead of Sentient Cores.
  • The All-Seeing A.I.: 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. This is because the Warframes are remote controlled by the Tenno and, as confirmed to be canon in The Sacrifice, they can switch between them at will, although it's unclear how often the Tenno canonically do this and if they generally use Warframes of the opposite gender.
    • Nezha, being inspired by a child-god, is a very slender-built male Warframe (looking much more like a marathon runner than a traditional action movie hero) among more broad-shouldered slabs of traditional adult masculine ideals. This is due entirely to the child-like associations to his mythical inspiration, as demonstrated by his Deluxe Skin, the aged-up version, which is decidedly more beefy, and which Rebecca Ford 'accidentally' zoomed-in on the more salient characteristics of during one of the Devstreams.
  • 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 designs...
  • An Adventurer Is You: The frames fit these roles relatively well, although there's a fair amount of crossover:
    • The Tanknote : Rhinonote , Frostnote , Chromanote , Atlasnote , Inarosnote , Zephyrnote , Hildryn note .
    • The Healernote : Trinitynote , Harrownote .
    • The DPSnote : Excaliburnote , Voltnote , Miragenote , Ashnote , Valkyrnote , Mesanote , Wukongnote , Ivaranote , Nidusnote , Khoranote , Revenantnote , Garuda note , Baruuk note .
    • The Status Effect Guynote : Magnote , Lokinote , Hydroidnote , Bansheenote , Nyxnote , Vaubannote , Limbonote , Titanianote , Octavianote .
    • The Resource Masternote : Nekrosnote .
    • Area of Effectnote : Embernote , Sarynnote , Novanote .
    • Jack of All Tradesnote : Oberonnote , Nezhanote , Equinoxnote , Garanote .
  • An Interior Designer Is You: The Clan Dojo and Liset. Many, many decorations can be added freely to and colors can be changed in both, and the layout of the Dojo can be designed by building rooms on the other side of existing doors (some of which have functions while others are purely aesthetic).
  • 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:
    • When downed, a button can be held to instantly revive in case you need to hurry, or if you want to revive your companion (being revived by an ally prevents your companion from reviving).
    • In a more minor case, two or three containers will always spawn just outside of the entrance to the Orb Vallis free-roam map. These containers are guaranteed to drop energy orbs, so players don't have to scrounge before doing missions in order to use their powers.
  • Anti-Magic: The Corpus have some understanding of the Void and technology utilizing it, and use it for 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 consistent fire, or permanently disabled by destroying the drone that hovers at the top of it).
    • 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.
    • Players can only earn a limited amount of Syndicate reputation and Focus per day (although Eidolon Shards can be turned into extra Focus regardless of the daily cap)
  • 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 good, as it increases damage resistance directly. Definitely better than shields, which are absolutely useless in high level playnote .
    • 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:
    • The Puncture damage type is particularly effective against Grineer armor and Corpus robotics (although does poorly against Shields).
    • Most players are aware that certain types of damage do a percentage of bonus damage to armor, but less are aware that said damage types also ignore the same percentage of the target's armor (for example, Radiation type damage will do +75% more damage when hitting a Grineer Elite Lancer with Alloy armor, AND that damage will ignore 75% of the damage reduction the Alloy armor would normally give to the Elite Lancer). This mechanic becomes important against late-game enemies, particularly Grineer, who often have absurd amounts of armor reducing 80% or more of incoming damage.
    • Punch-Through, added to weapons by certain mods, makes 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.
    • Kela De Thaym, formerly a recolored Grineer Ballista, 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.
    • The design rationale for Primes has gotten way more effort since early on. The originals were mostly recolors with small golden details added — now they generally receive total overhauls and sometimes completely new models. For example, Frost Prime is identical to Frost aside from being black and having a different head, while Hydroid Prime's brand-new design takes Hydroid's aquatic theme from walking blubber to a badass golden pirate.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • 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 its allies to come into its protection and they'll slowly approach as a combined unit. If you break the bubble, they'll even scatter to nearby cover.
  • Artificial Script: Both the Grineer and the Corpus languages as well as the Fortuna dialect use their own fictional alphabets, (though for the most part they are just substitution cyphers for English, with some letters missing). The Orokin alphabet, also used by the Tenno, is more complex, and even offers two ways of writing words — in a line or in a circular formation, resembling a flower.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Artistic License – Astronomy:
    • Most of the planets in the game are this, usually justified by ancient Orokin terraforming technology. Nowhere in the game exhibits anything but Earth-like gravity, and any planet whose surface can be walked on seems to have a breathable atmosphere to some extent (this includes Mars, Pluto, Europa, Venus, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, Sedna, and Earth's moon. Notably:
    • Venus has frozen over due to Orokin cooling machines that have been reactivated by the Corpus.
    • Mars is home to primitive desert villages, implying that it's been permanently terraformed into an Earth-like planet (as opposed to the actively generated conditions on other planets).
  • 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".
    • 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:
      Darvo: I'm detecting a large security force heading your way. It's the Gri-no wait, it's the Corpus. Definitely the Corpus.
    • John Prodman began life as a humble Prod Crewman who was known to have survived an encounter with Phorid. Now he appears in the Index at the one hour mark.
  • Asshole Victim: Every target the Tenno go after has it coming, but the Profit-Taker Orb Heist has a pronounced example. During the heist you have to kill three Corpus directors for their access keys, and each member of your Vox Solaris Mission Control has some choice words about why they deserved to die.
  • Ass Shove: If you give a Rescue target the Fusilai — glass throwing knives, basically — a bug causes them to be "holstered" right inside the target's ass.
  • Attack Drone:
    • The Corpus employ several flavors of robots (referred to as 'Proxies' in-universe) to supplement their infantry, and make up a substantial part of their military forces. The Grineer also have Rollers and Latchers, small mechanical balls that ram into the player or latch onto them and explode, respectively.
    • 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 bosses follow this trope, being completely invulnerable to damage until their weakpoint(s) are exposed, usually following an attack. As well, 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. The Corpus are protected by massive helmets but whose heads can be revealed by damaging their helmets enough. Most Infested are either devoid of weak points or have them in incredibly hard to hit spots. Lephantis, however, plays this completely straight with 3 weak points (one per head), and is seemingly invincible when the weakpoints are not exposed.
    • Banshee's Sonar ability actually creates temporary "weak points", generating glowing spots on enemies that take four times as much damage as they would normally, for as long as the ability is active. As a result, these weak points can stack with existing weak points, making it possible to inflict truly massive damage.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Several enemies fit this trope:
    • 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.
    • In the lands outside Fortuna roam giant insectoid Corpus robots that completely dwarf the Eidolons.
  • 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? He's 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. This was specifically averted by the Tonkor, which came with built-in self-damage reduction. Its self-damage was capped at a measly 50 and was unaffected by mods, so players could go nuts with point-blank detonations (facilitating Rocket Jumping). In U20, it got nerfed, 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.
    • 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.
    • Sword and Machete victims are Impaled with Extreme Prejudice. Variations occur: when using a Rapier one hand is placed over the victims mouth as the sword hand reaches around to stab them in the chest.
    • Dual Sword victims die by Slashed Throat.
    • Nikana victims are treated to a Stealth Hi/Bye; the 'Hi' comes from the Tenno coming in from the corner of their eye, and the 'Bye' from having their head cut off from behind. If you're using the Blind Justice stance instead, you get a different one; the Tenno trips the enemy, letting them fall on the outstretched blade.
    • Fist Weapons and Staff = Neck Snap.
    • Whips are used as garrotes to choke the victim, ending with a Neck Snap.
    • Polearms involve a little bit of a flourish before smashing in the victim's head.
    • Victims of the hammer, heavy blade, and scythe are kicked from behind the knee, and are then executed; their heads caved-in or or cut off.
    • Daggers have a more traditional backstabbing animation.
    • Claws are first stabbed through the victim from behind, then the body is lifted into the air and brought down on the knee to break the spine.
  • 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.
    • The Operator and Excalibur Umbra become this by the end of The Sacrifice.
  • Beautiful Void: The Void and Lua 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 Mars 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.
    • 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:
    • The role of Rhino, Atlas, and Frost, being the toughest but also the slowest Warframes. On the villains' side, 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.
    • The overall largest Grineer 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.
    • Hunhow leads the Sentients to finish what he began centuries ago and wipe out the last vestiges of the Orokin Empire, the Tenno.
    • Apostasy Prologue and The Sacrifice give us a villainous team of Ballas and the Lotus. By the end, the Lotus' mother seems to be joining the picture.
  • Black and Grey Morality: The Grineer/Corpus/Infested are definitely the bad guys, but the Tenno don't seem to be entirely concerned with defeating them. While they do pursue justice, 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 well as protecting innocents from them), 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 thingnote .
    • The Warframes themselves could be considered this. After the Tenno were reawakened with little-to-no memory of their history, still in the Second Dream, they did the Lotus' bidding for justice, building and using the Warframes, completely ignorant of the Warframes' origins as mutated humans or their own nature half-lucidly remote controlling the Warframes.
  • 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 used to "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, they speak the same language as their non-corrupted counterparts, albeit heavily synthesized and distorted with a large amount of reverb.
    • The Stalker used to communicate through what could only be described as wordless, breathy hissing. Since Update 18, he's had actual dialogue, though each word is still breathed/hissed.
  • 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.note 
    • 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 team mates 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.
    • Zigzagged by the 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.
    • Corpus Crewmen have no body armour whatsoever, but massive helmets that you can knock off to get a good, clean bullet to their faces.
    • In general, headshots don't grant bonus damage on their own, instead multiplying the damage dealt if the headshot happens to be a crit. It's played straight with Ivara, whose Prowl ability grants bonus damage on headshot.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Loki's 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 M-16, 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.
    • 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.
      • 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. Its 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.
  • Born into Slavery: The Solaris are a people who live in the "Debt-Internment Colony" of Fortuna, forced to work off their finanical debts to the Corpus. Given the presence of children, it's clear they inherit their parents' debts.
  • 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, Daikyu, and Dread bows, and the wide selection of swords. Also the Attica and Zhuge, 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.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp":
    • Kubrows, which are basically canines often with bat or rhino-like noises — that are hatched from eggs.
    • Kavats, which are their feline equivalents who look like a mix between a cat and a lizard.
    • A Tenno wedding is called a "nuptia".
  • Call-Back: A few to closed beta.
    • The Lotus would often announce 'it's the Grineer' on Grineer tilemaps, or if the Grineer invaded a Corpus or Infested tilemap. Oftentimes, the Grineer would fail to spawn. During open beta, Darvo exclaims (during a raid on the Corpus) "it's the Grin- er, definitely the Corpus".
    • Grineer used to speak English, and one of their oft-repeated lines was "stay close to the walls" when Tenno ambushed them. Later, Kela de Thaym's rework sneers at the Grineer masses for being "wall-hugging cowards" during the Rathuum event.
  • Came Back Wrong:
    • The Codex entry for Excalibur Prime describes the Tenno as being a twisted few who returned alive from the Void who the Orokin "built a frame around" — they are the children who survived a Void Jump (spacetravel) accident aboard the Zariman Ten Zero passengernote  ship. This eventually went horribly wrong for the Orokin.
    • Turns out the above is false, after what was shown in The Sacrifice mission: the description is actually being literal about the Warframes, with the Tenno being something else entirely. Warframes were actually an experiment from a high-ranked orokin invdividual on how to refine the mutations from the Infestation on something more powerful and yet more controllable. This, of course, turned them into mindless savage warriors, ripe for spreading bloodshed in the Orokin's name. What was then known as the "Tenno" was in fact the union of a Warframe, then an actual Souless Shell with a shadow of what was their personality, with the driving force of a child from the Zariman Ten Zero who could directly replace their mind and soul. Suddenly the whole Zen Survivor ideology and lifestyle of the present-day Tenno makes a whole lot of sense.
  • Camera Screw: Attempting to run a Stealth Mission with a bow or throwing knives is difficult if you are forced to put your back up against any solid object or a wall, because the camera is too close to your 'frame. Your head and shoulders will fill most of the viewing area, including the area around the aiming reticule, ruining your aim. Attempting to move away from the wall might cause an enemy to see you, breaking your stealth.
  • Canned Orders over Loudspeaker:
    • All ships have a PA system. They remind the workers to not misuse industrial equipment, to follow proper procedures when handling Orokin tech, to ensure doors are locked, and generally to stay safe. Occasionally, there'll be a call for various codes in various ships of the bay... presumably the four-man team of ninjas tearing that part of the ship apart.
    • In early beta, ships with active PA systems would announce the Tenno's presence over the loudspeaker. This feature disappeared for a while, but later on, PA announcements came in the Grineer and Corpus language, so it's hard to tell what they're saying anymore. The word 'Tenno' is clearly recognizable, however, and judging from the tone of these announcements they likely aren't invitations for tea and biscuits.
    • The Grineer missions on Mars and Earth feature hovering drones which broadcast propaganda speeches in Grineer language. Unlike the ship PAs these boost the nearby Grineer with additional attack power and attack speed. Destroying them removes this buff.
    • The Kuva Fortress has the Worm Queen constantly taunting you or her minions over a tinny loudspeaker, with the occasional random ramblings.
  • Canon Welding: Early on in Warframe's life, darkSector was supposed to be canon, with Hayden Tenno as the first Tenno. As the game's story has evolved, this has become impossible for several reasons, but it is implied some concepts from darkSector may be canon in some form. There's also the Hayden Tenno-inspired Excalibur Proto Skin, the description of which implies its design existed before the Orokin.
  • Cap: It takes some doing to ever see it, but damage is capped at 231 (just over 2.14 billion).
  • Captain Obvious:
    • Cephalon Cordylon dips into this sometimes. For example, when asked about the weaknesses of the Grineer he had this to say:
      Grineer clones require oxygen to survive. As such, removal of lungs can significantly reduce Grineer lifespan
      Average Grineer optics cannot sustain functionality when applied directly to a Tenno fist with excessive force
      Grineer perform poorly while being shot with high-velocity projectiles
    • The Lotus, natch, being the Voice with an Internet Connection she is. At certain times she will timely warn the Tenno of assassin manifestations or give them clues on how to tackle mission objectives, at others she may mention an alarm being set off on the map, as it is happening right in front of the player, who's probably being shot at by the enemies summoned by that very alert as well, or how a Corpus/Grineer/Infestation patrol is drawing near while playing on a tileset that has nothing but the units belonging to that faction.
  • Capitalism Is Bad: While this had always been an element due to the Corpus being a Mega-Corp to begin with, the reveal of the Fortuna expansion and its lore further hammers in the idea that excessive capitalism and corporate control of society leads to evil, depicting a nightmarish slave camp where people are worked to death simply for being in debt, and even have to sell pieces of their own body to be replaced with cybernetics in a desperate attempt to pay their debts more quickly.
  • Cast From Hitpoints:
    • Valkyr's "Paralysis" drains only five energy, but drains a third of her current shields.
    • Nekros's augmented ability "Despoil" removes the energy cost of using "Desecrate" and instead drains health, allowing Nekros to spam Desecrate in a group of corpses and then mop up the spawned health orbs to regenerate his health.
    • Inaros's ultimate ability, "Scarab Swarm", drains his health in exchange for increasing his armor. Should the power be dispelled, he'll regain the health he sacrificed. He can also willingly convert a portion of the armor into a projectile that will drain health from the target, but he'll have to give up some more health to charge it back up again.
    • Harrow's "Penance" drains all of your shields in order to boost your reloading speed and fire rate while granting health recovery to you and nearby allies when you damage enemies, with an amplified effect on headshots.
  • Cerebus Syndrome:
    • Not exactly, as the game was never really silly or lighthearted, but the game began as a straightforward, lore-light "you're a Space Ninja fighting Space Nazis, the Trade Federation, and Necromorphs." With all of the hints and lore building up to the return of the Sentients, a whole race of Eldritch Abominations that curbstomped the Orokin (yknow, those Precursors responsible for all the high-powered Prime weapons you've been using) and pushing them to Godzilla Threshold after Godzilla Threshold (the Tenno and Infested were created solely to combat them, and it wasn't enough), the game ends up bordering on Cosmic Horror Story. Oh, and it's heavily implied that the Orokin created the Sentients in the first place.
    • As of The Second Dream, did we mention that the Tenno are Child Soldiers who gained mysterious powers after a spaceship accident that only they survived? And that they were essentially placed into comas because they couldn't control these powers, and they've been remotely piloting the Warframes in their dreams ever since? And that's only scratching the surface.
  • Chain Lightning:
    • Volt's signature "Shock" ability will chain between enemies after hitting a target.
    • Electric damage has a chance to chain to other targets as well.
    • The "Amprex" is a Corpus-styled Lightning Gun which chains electricity between targets, very high damage but spends ammunition quickly.
    • Atomos is a unique weapon styled after the Amprex, but operating off Chain Fire instead.
  • Character Customization: You can customise your warframes with different paintjobs, attachments, alternate helmets and alternate skins.
  • Chainsaw Good: In the earliest versions of the game, Grineer fielded 'sawblades', melee units wielding what was essentially a chain buzzsaw that dealt a fair bit of damage — more than the baton-wielding goons that replaced them. They received a spiritual successor in the Ripkas, chainsaw fists that the Tenno can use. Added even later, the Riktus Ghouls that stalk the plains played this straight once again, attacking with a massive saw weapon.
  • Charged Attack:
    • Melee weapon attacks can be charged, resulting in a more-powerful swing. Notably, nearly every hit of every stance offers a unique charge attack. This feature was originally part of Melee 1.0 (in a much more basic format) but was removed in Melee 2.0 and reinstated in Update 18.
    • The Miter blade launcher, as well as the Paris, Cernos and Dread bows deal more damage if fully drawn. The Ballistica crossbow can alternate between its regular 4-shot rapid attack and a charged bolt.
    • The Lanka railgun also has a charge mechanic, and can shoot prior to max charge for less damage.
    • The Drakgoon Grineer shotgun has an interesting take on this: charging the weapon reduces the spread of the pellets, making it more accurate over time.
    • The Angstrum rocket pistol is a powerful and deadly sidearm, capable of firing single shots or dispensing its entire magazine in a single, geometrically-spread volley. Whilst the base capacity is fairly small, a single Angstrum volley can produce a truly terrifying number of rockets (and explosions) in the right hands, with a little careful modification.
    • The Opticor laser cannon must charge up at least half way before firing. Charging to full produces a much more powerful shot.
    • Among other notable differences, the Daikyu sets itself apart from the other bows in that it must be fully charged to fire an arrow. Likewise, the Ogris rocket launcher must fully charge before firing, otherwise the gun will jam.
    • Hydroid can charge his first and ultimate ability, increasing how many blasts/tentacles are released and, in the case of his ultimate, the tentacle spawn area.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Vay Hek must cost the Grineer a sizable portion of their annual budget in scenery repair.
  • Chunky Updraft: The graphical representation of Rhino's ultimate power, Rhino Stomp, is to fill the air with helplessly levitating enemies and scraps of deck plating. Similarly, Frost's AOE attacks involve frozen chunks of ice flying about in the air. Banshee's Sound Quake causes similar floating deck-scraps as well, as does Mag's Crush.
  • Clean Cut: A common result of any kill from Slash damage, main sources being bladed melee weapons such as the Dual Ether, or beam weapons like the Flux Rifle. Vertical, horizontal, diagonal... there are several possibilities!
  • Clone Degeneration: The Grineer rely on hordes of clones to kill: the problem is that they tend to degenerate. Their solution? Cybernetics, and more clones. Captain Vor hopes to use the Tenno to reverse the decay, while Tyl Regor pursues research into his "tubemen" instead.
  • Les Collaborateurs: Humorous example; one of the titular talking "flags" of Cephalon Capture is Abnar, a huge cheerleader of... the team opposing the one he's currently on. He heaps praises on whoever's holding him at the time, groans when sent back to base, and generally is not a fan of not moving, preferably towards the other team's base.
  • The Computer Shall Taunt You: During the assassination missions, the bosses will taunt the player as they progress through each room.
    • Stalker's message if he kills his target isn't a taunt, exactly, but it can definitely feel like one, especially if the squad was close to killing him.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience, bordering on Palette Swap:
    • MOAs (Green for normal, Orange for Shockwave, Blue for Railgun, White for Fusion, purple for Anti-MOA, and black-and-gold for Ambulas.)
    • Ospreys are either teal (shield), green (leech), yellow (minelayer), orange-ish (scavenger), orange (Oxium Osprey) or white (fusion MOA drone).
    • Grineer troops are also somewhat color-coded — common soldiers are faded light green, shotgunners are orange, melee troopers and Shield Lancers are black, Napalms are red, Heavy Gunners used to be vivid green and white before their new model, and so on.
    • Most Corpus Crewmen wear standard beige/sand-colored suits, with Prod Crewmen wearing green suits, Snipers have yellow suits, Elites wear blue suits, Techs wear red suits, and the Sergeant has a black suit.
    • The Stalker is pitch-black, with dashes of red.
    • Orokin Corrupted are white-grey, with splashes of gold. Prime equipment follows the same theme.
    • Eximus units (formerly known as Leaders) have modified color schemes befitting their elements- Arctic Eximus units have white-blue, Shock Eximus units are blue-yellow, Fire Eximus units are orange-red, and so on.
    • Capture mission targets are also color-coded based on their special ability. Red/Orange Corpus targets can deploy Shield Ospreys to defend themselves, Black Corpus targets can use a smoke bomb like Ash, and so on.
  • Combat Medic:
    • Trinity has absolutely no offensive abilities (although she can redirect damage she takes to nearby enemies with her Link ability) but she's still a friggin' heavily-armed space-ninja.
    • Oberon, having both damaging abilities such as Smite, to healing oriented abilities such as Renewal. His ultimate attack also deals high damage, and enemies killed by it have a high chance to drop health orbs.
  • Confusing Multiple Negatives: From the Ask A Cephalon column, on the topic of why building items costs credits, after explaining that Ordis probably spends these credits on things such as life support and fuel cells:
    Cephalon Cordylon: I can assure you with absolute certainty that Ordis doesn't not contribute a portion of those funds into a probability pool weighed against your odds of survival.
  • Conlang:
    • A language of corrupted English (among others) was made for the Grineer. It has a harsh, guttural sound, like a mashup of English, Russian, German, and one or two other languages.
    • It is known that there is an Orokin/Tenno alphabet, with letters or sentence written on walls of the Orokin Towers, some menus or even on the Tenno themselves. The very refined and elegant appearance of said writing can easily be mistaken for just random line patterns, but they are, in fact, translatable. However, no Tenno actually 'speak'. Once the Tenno do start to speak following The Second Dream, they do so in English.
    • The language used by Corpus Crewmen is English, passed through a cipher that preserves the vowels and replaces most of the consonants with harder sounds, making it sound much more alien than it actually is.
  • Continuous Decompression: Inverted: rooms decompress almost instantly, because they're not very big. The split second of decompression will make you stagger for a moment, and from there you can walk around as normal thanks to the artificial gravity. Oddly, whilst there are shutters to seal breached windows, they do not close automatically. Partially justified in that it could be a tactic used to repel boarders, as solving a security cipher is required, but it invariably ends up the Tenno breaking the glass and activating said shutters.
  • Cool Mask: Eye-obscuring masks are a prominent visual motif. In fact, only the Grineer and Corpus troops have so much as visors on their helmets. In NPCs, Darvo is a notable exception. The masks seem to be One Way Visors, but most don't even have visible sensors.
  • Cool Starship: The Tenno have two flavors.
    • First is the Orbiter, which acts as a Player Headquarters. Here you can build new equipment, upgrade existing gear, maange your companions, and go on new missions.
    • The second is the Railjack, a multi-person interceptor that is used for space battles.
  • Crippling Overspecialization:
    • After Damage 2.0, damage is divided into three main types — Impact, Puncture and Slash, each of which is good against certain enemy types. A number of weapons are very strong in one type but utterly dismal in the others, such as the Slash-focused Galatine. Before the Damage 2.0 review, it was very problematic, but most weapons can now be used against any faction admitting they have the proper element modded into it.
    • Some Warframes only shine because of one of their abilities, and are scarcely used otherwise.
    • Corrupted Mods can dramatically increase weapon and ability stats but at the cost of reducing another.
  • Critical Hit Class:
    • Banshee's "Sonar" ability generates weakpoints on enemies that deal 500% damage when hit, allowing her to cleave through enemies with extreme prejudice when given an accurate gun. The "Resonance" augment mod makes it even better, as each kill from a weakpoint generates another Sonar burst which can stack forever, to the point where enemies can become entirely covered in weakpoints.
    • The Soma (and now the Soma Prime) has poor base damage — but its chance for a critical hit is much higher than all of the other full auto weapons, it has the highest base critical damage modifier, it comes with a slot made for the mod that increases critical hit chances, and its magazine size and fire rate ensures nearly every shot is a critical. With some finesse and mod setup, the Soma Prime can go from dealing a mere 12 points of damage to over 1000 points of damage on a single shot. note . There are now also other weapons which rely primarily on critical builds in the fashion of the Soma, such as the Vectis sniper rifle and the Grakata SMG.
    • The cake goes to the Amprex and Synapse, which have atrocious base damage... and 45% base critical chance, meaning that it's trivially easy to make every shot a critical shot.
    • The Paris Prime, Dread and Lenz bows are some of the hardest hitting weapons in the game. With the Paris Prime having a 45% critical chance and the two having a 50% critical chance, they are both incredibly easy to build into crit-based weapons. Combine that with inherently high base damage and a well modded example of either of these is able to tear holes in formations of even high level enemies.
    • There are a handful of mods designed to work well with these kinds of weapons. For melee weapons, we have Berserker, which grants an attack speed buff on a crit, Blood Rush, which increases crit chance based on the current combo multiplier, and Maiming Strike, which increases crit chance on slide attacks. Argon Scope, Laser Sight, and Hydraulic Crosshairs increase crit chance while aiming after headshots for rifles (and anything else that uses rifle mods), shotguns, and pistols, respectively. Bladed Rounds, Shrapnel Shot, and Sharpened Bullets increase crit damage while aiming after a kill for the same sets of weapons.
  • Crowd Song: Fortuna was introduced in trailers this way, with the Solaris singing a chain gang song about how they'll work and die there while secretly resisting the Corpus.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: Mission maps are constructed from pre-defined rooms that are randomly pieced together. It would make sense that aesthetics would be carried over to every spaceship, but seeing identical rock formations over and over again on different planets might raise eyebrows. Digital Extremes is trying to remedy this over time.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Ordis is initially very repulsed by the presence of a hatchling Kubrow on your ship, but as it incubates his remarks degenerate into cooing over the furball and the noises it begins to make.
  • Cyber Cyclops: General Sargas Ruk's helmet has only a single glowing eye, as do the Grineer Seeker and Trooper helmets, and Mag Prime, to a certain degree.
  • Cycle of Hurting:
    • Swarms of Infested Ancients and Grineer Shield Lancers are infamous for this, as they have attacks which can knock players over and leave them helpless. Ancients can smack any Warframe hard enough to knock them over, and Ancients tend to come in huge swarms in Survival missions. Shield Lancers generally only come in pairs, but are more annoying to deal with unless the player has a weapon with punch-through mods. Amusingly, the players can do the same to the enemy — the Jat Kittag and several other heavy weapons have "momentum" which prevents the player from being knocked over, and most heavy weapons stun the enemy.
    • With the updates to the damage system, turning this back on the enemy is easier than ever. Take a high-splash weapon with a high status chance (The Ignis flamethrower and Kulstar torpedo launcher are good candidates), and mod them with Corrosive and Blast damage. Enemies repeatedly get floored while their armor gets stripped away.
    • While the Quick Thinking mod can be handy for getting out of a tight spot, it can also get you stuck in this. When equipped, it lets you avoid lethal damage by draining energy instead (ideal for casters), but when the effect triggers, you also get a nasty stagger effect. This often leaves you open to whatever enemy was dealing lethal damage to you — which means the mod will trigger again and stagger you.
  • Deadly Disc: The Miter sawblade-launcher first seen in the hands of Grineer Eviscerators, and available to the Tenno as of Update 9.5. Exactly what it sounds like— it launches a spinning sawblade. A very bouncy one. Enterprising Tenno can use it to craft the Panthera, which can also be used as a buzzsaw with its secondary fire mode, but the general consensus is that the Miter is the superior weapon; unfortunately, neither one is particularly good in the hands of the Tenno.
  • Deadly Euphemism: The Index is essentially a Blood Sport dressed up as a financial exchange. Combatants are "brokers", the arena is the "trading floor", a firefight is a "transaction"...
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts:
    • The Kohm and Kohmak plasma shotguns are perhaps the best examples of this. Each pellet they fire is pitifully weak, but they can be modded to become literal lead storm machines. They also primarily deal Slash damage, which tends to produce the side effect of Ludicrous Gibs.
    • The bog-standard Corpus MOA also works on this principle. Individually, their shots don't so much damage, and they don't even fire that fast. But as long as they have a clear shot at you, MOAs will never stop firing (as opposed to human opponents, who will pause to take cover, reload, etc.) meaning the damage adds up deceptively fast.
  • Death Ray: Several varieties.
    • The Orokin Tower maps field the deadliest variety that can cut any Warframe down to size in seconds of direct exposure. In the Defense missions, the Tenno can use these to their advantage, triggering the laser beams to cut down the Corrupted. Or their allies, if they're not careful.
    • The Flux Rifle seems to be a handheld version of the above that is only marginally less deadly. Corpus Elite Crewmen wield these.
    • The Spectra is a pocket Flux Rifle with appropriately downscaled firepower. Roughly as powerful as the Flux Rifle was before they increased its damage output.
    • The Fusion MOA uses something akin to a Flux Rifle except bigger and nastier, capable of stripping shields and Iron Skin in seconds. Worse, it can also make the victim a Man on Fire, inflicting an additional incendiary damage-over-time effect.
    • The greatest example is the beam weapon carried by Vay Hek's Balor Fomorian warships. A smaller point-defense version is capable of one-shotting unwary Tenno and their Archwings, and the real deal was made for utterly destroying Relays.
    • The Opticor is a giant laser cannon Tenno can lug around on foot. It takes several seconds to charge, but the beam will absolutely pulverize anything it hits, and it can deal splash damage if it misses.
  • Deface of the Moon: Since Lua, the Earth's Moon, was the central seat of the Orokin Empire, the Sentients shattered it during the Old War, with fragments of it being visible in the night sky above the Plains of Eidolon. Most of it seems to be missing, however, because the Lotus managed to spirit the entire damn thing away to the Void.
  • Defeat Means Friendship:
    • Killing a death squad sent after you by a Syndicate can provide you with a blueprint to make a few Specter copies of that unit.
    • Also played straight in a roundabout way with Alad V, who starts out as a fierce opponent of the Tenno and later becomes an unlikely ally.
  • Deflector Shields: Possessed by the Tenno and several tougher enemies, along with most Corpus. The Corpus Shield Osprey projects a fairly strong defensive shield around other Corpus units (drastically improving their survivability). Most of the various Bosses have exceptionally powerful shields as well, either sheer durability, rapid recharge (the most common), or Jackal's Cognizant Limbs-based shield. Unlike health, shields don't benefit from the damage reduction that armor grants, but they do have a different set of weaknesses and resistances.
  • Degraded Boss: Grineer Flameblades were once near carbon copies of Captain Vor (the first boss you'll encounter) without the boss level HP and damage, being pretty much identical in terms of battle strategy.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Weapon modifications sit somewhere between this and Abnormal Ammo. Before Update 11 it was entirely possible to have an assault rifle that fires armour-piercing, incendiary, freezing or electrical bullets. Or a pistol that fires two rounds with each pull of the trigger. You can also combine them freely. Yes, even incendiary, freezing bullets.
    Since Update 11, the elemental builds have been reworked. Where previously you could fire incendiary freezing bullets that electrocuted, mounting Fire and Ice damage mods will now create a combined element (in this case, Blast). It's explained here.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: Zaws, melee weapons that can be crafted in Cetus, are assembled from multiple mix-and-match components that determine the resulting weapon's type, stats and look. Kitguns are the Secondary weapon equivalent, available in Fortuna.
  • Destructible Projectiles: The Grineer Bombard's missiles can be shot down mid-flight, though this may prove a little challenging if they're not flying straight at you. Likewise, the Ogris' projectiles can be shot down by enemy fire; think twice before launching one at a Heavy Gunner or you may find yourself in need of a revive.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Getting skins for weapons with different variants (such as Prime, Wraith and Vandal type weapons) or even with weapons that are "technically" similar, such as pistols and their akimbo versions will get you the skin for them as well.
    • Some weapons are a one time affair, so if you sell them you can miss out on mastery. However if you accidentally sell such equipment, you can ask Digital Extremes for the weapon back.
    • If you get a gifted weapon or frame from a mission, promo code, or another player, it'll come with a slot itself so it doesn't take up the slots you do have.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: Vay Hek invokes this trope, in between taking enormous bites out of the scenery.
  • Didn't Need Those Anyway!:
    • Infested can suffer more than just Critical Existence Failure; it's not uncommon to see their head and part of the upper torso blown away by a nonfatal headshot, with no ill effect (beyond taking a lot of damage) as far as the AI is concerned. Shooting them in the legs is moderately more effective, as it forces them to crawl around instead. In theory you can shoot their arms off, but it's not easy and doesn't do much to stop them from attacking you.
    • Loki's Radial Disarm is useless against bipedal Infested for this reason. Sure it blows their limbs off but they'll continue to pursue and attack with phantom limbs that deal the same damage.
  • Diegetic Interface: Almost every prompt in the game is projected as a hologram in the world. Even the pause menu is projected from your Warframe's hand (although this bit has been stated to be going away with a currently in-progress UI redesign).
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • Out of the starter frames you can pick, Mag is much more complicated to use than Excalibur or Volt, thanks to her offensive crowd control abilities with weird properties.
    • Harrow is much more complicated to use than the rest of the frames, since his support abilities are dependent on sacrificing shields for buffs and landing headshots to make those buffs powerful. A bad Harrow player will just be an inefficient Trinity with no shields, while a good Harrow will let his allies tear up enemies with ease.
    • Limbo is the epitome of this, as his unique abilities require keen understanding of multiple game mechanics and ways to properly utilise them, but provide amazing results if you figure him out, giving good Limbo players unique options for battlefield control. Bad Limbo is a dead weight at best and an active liability and hindrance to his team at worst, but even a basic understanding of his mechanics allows players to trivialise roughly half of the game's challenges. Good Limbo breaks the game in half.
    • The Lex pistol doesn't look like much on first use. Tiny magazine, high recoil, low rate of fire, long reload time, and, unmodded, can't one-shot the weakest Grineer goons in the starting system. So why is it widely advocated? It's really powerful and has great accuracy even at great distance with the right mods. The key is to treat it like a Poor Man's Substitute sniper and pick your shots methodically, not a spray-and-pray close-quarters automatic. It also makes a good backup/complement to highly inaccurate or short-ranged weapons such as the Ignis and the various shotguns.
    • Slide attacks can be difficult to land consistently, but they deal damage more efficiently than hacking randomly.
    • Learning to use a bow requires learning to charge the shot rather than try to lay out shots as fast as possible, as well as taking into account the ballistic arc and flight time, but the damage from a fully-charged headshot can be very impressive.
    • The Ogris requires a massive investment of time and resources to obtain, not to mention membership in an advanced clan, and even after you finally get it you still need to learn how to manage the charge time, but it is EXTREMELY worth it... and then you properly mod it; when that glorious day comes, your Ogris will fire what are basically miniature nukes and destroy entire waves of enemies in one fell swoop.
    • The Penta grenade launcher takes a little getting used to, given its projectiles do not fly very far and bounce around. Like the Ogris, however, it is extremely deadly when properly modified and in the right hands (potentially including against the user). It requires some care to use effectively against Corpus.
    • The Supra has a long reload time (even with reload speed mods) and has a very slow projectile travel time. However, it does three times the damage of the Gorgon, and has a Cephalon Suda Syndicate mod that allows it to burst Magnetic AOE attacks that regenerate player energy.
    • The Tigris shotgun boasts incredible damage for anyone who can master its unique firing mode, duplex-auto, which fires off shots both when the trigger is first depressed and when it's released. A two-shot default clip size and somewhat longer reload time compound the issue, but various actions can let the user "store" the second shot for later should the trigger be released during the window of opportunity.
    • The Tonkor grenade launcher, like its cousin the Penta, also requires some skill to utilize effectively. However, there are some key differences in performance. While you don't have to worry about significant self-damage, you no longer have manual control over the grenades' detonation. Additionally, the explosions from the grenades will send the user flying, which may not always be desirable. Learn how to wield it, and you have powerful explosions that achieve critical damage more often than not.
    • Getting even a single prime weapon or warframe takes a serious amount of time and effort. Requiring you to go through a series of missions to acquire and refine void relics to get the necessary parts. Once completed however you'll find that Prime items are a lot stronger than their normal counterparts. With better damage for weapons and higher stats and more innate mod polarities for Warframes.
  • Difficulty Spike: There is a noticeable jump in enemy armor and damage upon hitting planets beyond Saturn, heavily encouraging players to start grabbing prime gear and levelling their mods up.
  • Dirty Coward:
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The thermia fractures in the Orb Vallis have a lot in common with real-life fracking. Eudico constantly reminds Tenno that this is a dangerous and perfectly obvious result of Nef Anyo's greed, and he won't compromise his profits by fixing the problem himself.
  • Doomsday Clock: The game has one under the Invasion's Tab of the star map, measuring the completion level of the Grineer Formorian Fleet and the Corpus Razorback Armada, which is directly tied to the number of successful invasions that faction had. Once the countdown is finished, these forces are used to attack a relay, which unlocks a temporary mission to destroy said forces.
  • Doppelgänger Attack:
    • Mirage's Hall of Mirrors ability surrounds her with a ring of holographic clones to distract and attack enemies.
    • Equinox normally transitions between two forms, Night and Day, but the Duality mod causes the form she's switching out of to split off into an AI Specter for a few seconds.
    • The now-removed Solar Rail disputes between clans or alliances allowed attacking clans to deploy Tenno Specter clones of clan/alliance members to attack and claim territory. These doppelgangers carried the loadouts and builds of the actual player, ranging from laughably easy to defeat beginner players to extremely difficult Trinitys using Link.
  • Double Unlock:
    • To craft some weapons or Warframes, you need a certain Mastery Level, which requires you to level up other weapons or Warframes first. And for some of those, you first need to craft components before you can craft the item proper.
    • Some katanas take this to absurd levels, at least for those unwilling or unable to purchase or obtain (through trading) the platinum required. First, you need to build a dojo and lab so you can research the Nikana, which has to be researched after the Akstiletto, and requires at least 100 oxium and a rare 'argon crystal' from the Void. Then you need to actually need to build it — after obtaining 3 more crystals and 75 more oxium. Once that's done, you can use it to build the Dragon Nikana — but wait! That needs Mastery Rank 8 to use! Nevermind another 75 oxium and another argon crystal.
  • Double Jump: Update 17 formally added one in as part of the movement system, but enterprising players had been able to take advantage of quirks with the physics engine to fling themselves to great heights with their melee weapons to much the same effect. While the latter was removed with U17, skilled players can use the former to quickly navigate maps without ever touching the ground.
  • Drama Bomb:
    • The Second Dream, finally revealing the origins of the Tenno, what they are, and of the Lotus' intentions — as the feared Sentients, the villains of the backstory, finally show up. Kaboom.
    • Apostasy: Prologue brings the fate of Margulis and Ballas to the forefront and, once again, reveals even more of the Lotus as she disappears to parts unknown.
  • Drone Deployer: Corpus Techs, beefier Crewmen who can toss Shield Ospreys out to protect them. Grineer Seekers can launch Latchers, smaller versions of the extraordinarily annoying rolling balls of blades that stagger Tenno — these ones "just" latch on and explode, though they also used to have an extremely irritating variant called Nervos that paralyzed you in co-op. Corpus Leech Ospreys can launch, er, leech drones; these attach to a Tenno and drain their shields until they melee or dodge to shake them off. The worst would have to be Fusion MOAs, who deploy an actual Drone when they approach low health, effectively doubling their damage output. In Archwing missions, any Tenno utilizing the Itzal can become this.
  • Drop Pod: Grineer use these on Plains of Eidolon to deliver reinforcements and supplies to their troops in the field, when not using drop ships.
  • Drop Ship:
    • Both Corpus and Grineer utilise these to deliver reinforcements to the field (and provide air support while they're at it).
    • Corpus started using Condor drop ships during the Ambulas Reborn event. Their ships can appear on any Corpus map with open area, delivering troops and providing fire support from turret weapons. On Pluto, in addition to regular troops they often bring Ambulas 2.0 as well. On Orb Vallis several models can be seen - an unarmed shuttle and an armed dropship, and unlike the Storm variation seen elsewhere you can actually shoot them down instead of just taking out the turrets.
    • Grineer drop ships are seen on Plains of Eidolon to bring in reinforcements or to drop off foot patrols. Compared to the Corpus' Condor variations they are more frequently seen in the field, but the type you are most likely to meet depends on the environment. On easy bounties or close to Cetus, you can meet unarmed shuttles that carry a few troopers and can be dropped down in packs with a moderately decent weapon. Further away, you meet larger and heavier types that have health and armour rates fitting for a military aircraft and can seriously ruin a day even for veteran players with their weapons — doubly so because, unlike Condors who just fly off, heavy Grineer ships tend to linger on the field long after dropping their troops, going as far as following players around and barraging them with weapons.
  • Dual Wielding: Longsword and dagger, dual daggers, dual axes, meat cleavers, take your pick. Dual-wielded melee weapons tend to be very fast hitting, and most of them have a huge attack range.
  • Dumb Muscle: Grineer clones, victims of Clone Degeneration, but with fairly hard-hitting gunners and effective armor, especially on higher levels. They're so stupid, Kela de Thaym has to tell them several times that losing is bad.
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