Shedding Some Light with a Warframe Leveling Guide

Warframe Leveling Guide
By | February 7th, 2019 | Categories: Warframe

One thing that surprises many new players of Warframe is how many things have levels. Your Warframe has levels. That gun? Levels. Your space-dog? Levels. It’s no wonder there’s so much confusion about the best way to level your items up. Fortunately, our Warframe Leveling Guide is here to shed some light on how leveling works and the best way to go about it.

How does Leveling Up work in Warframe?

Leveling up in Warframe is different from many other games. For one thing, almost every piece of gear you use—your Warframe, weapons, companions, and archwings—all have their own level and level up separately. You level up each piece of gear by equipping it during missions and gaining Affinity (the Warframe version of XP) by either scoring kills with it or completing mission objectives. This means all of your equipped gear will level up at different rates depending on your kills. So, for example, if you score almost exclusively melee kills during a mission, expect your melee weapon to gain the most Affinity.

There’s also the matter of the max level cap. Once a piece of equipment reaches Rank 30, it can’t be leveled up anymore. You can reset it to Rank 0 by using a Forma, but it will only be able to reach Rank 30 before hitting that max level cap once again. This may sound limiting if you’re used to games in which a higher level automatically equals better stats, but in Warframe, things work a bit differently. Read on to find out how.

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What benefits are there to Leveling Up all my equipment?

So, you might ask, if leveling up a piece of equipment doesn’t automatically confer dramatically improved stats, then what’s the point? The answer is simple: mods.

Leveling up an item in Warframe doesn’t significantly improve that item on its own. Instead, the higher an item’s level, the more capacity it has for mods. Installing mods is the main method of improving your Warframes, weapons, companions, and archwings, so a higher mod capacity is essential to building a stronger weapon.

That means that in Warframe, the goal isn’t to reach the highest level possible for any given item; instead, it’s to level that item until it has enough mod capacity for all the mods you want to install on it. Once you’ve leveled an item to Rank 30, you can stop there—or you can install a forma to change the polarity of one of its mod slots to make room for even more mods, at which point you can level it up to Rank 30 again. Installing an Orokin Reactor or Orokin Catalyst to double the item’s mod capacity is also a big help. But once you have the mod capacity for all the mods you need, your work is done—no more leveling required.

Also, your Mastery Rank increases for every item you level up and Mastery Rank helps you unlock new weapons, mods, and locations. So even if you don’t plan to make an item a frequent part of your arsenal, you might as well level it to Rank 30 anyway.

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How can I quickly Level Up my equipment?

Now that we’ve discussed the reasons for leveling up, our Warframe Leveling Guide will get into the real nitty-gritty: how to level up. First, let’s quickly go over the basics for how to level up equipment in general, including companions and archwings. First of all, Affinity Boosters are a big help. These consumable items can be purchased with Platinum, received as a login reward, or rarely found in loot containers. Affinity Boosters double the rate you earn Affinity and thus double the rate at which your items level up. Secondly, because you gain some Affinity for every kill a nearby teammate makes, Defense missions can be extra useful for quickly earning Affinity on a team, as Defense missions allow your squad to stick together while scoring kills. Finally, endless Void Fissure missions, such as Defense, Survival, or Excavation can be good for leveling up, as the first interval and then every five intervals afterward will grant a stacking boost to Affinity gained that mission.

With those tips in mind, let’s get into the specifics for leveling different kinds of equipment.

How can I quickly Level Up my Warframes?

Killing an enemy with a Warframe’s ability causes 100% of that kill’s affinity to go to your Warframe, meaning the ideal way to level up a Warframe is just to kill tons of enemies with its abilities. That said, not all Warframes have effective offensive abilities, meaning this isn’t always a viable option. Fortunately, weapon kills also grant 50% of Affinity gained to your Warframe, meaning it’s still possible to level up your Warframe by scoring kills with one of your weapons. Furthermore, 25% of the Affinity from kills made by nearby allies will go to your Warframe, so sticking near your squad will also help you level up more quickly.

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How can I quickly Level Up my weapons?

Leveling up your weapons involves probably the most straightforward method: kill lots of things with that weapon. In a squad, you can gain even more Affinity for that weapon by unequipping your other weapons, which will grant the remaining weapon(s) more Affinity from your squadmates’ kills.

However, there’s also an even more effective way of quickly leveling up your weapons: taking advantage of the Stealth Affinity Multiplier. This multiplier increases the Affinity gained from each kill by 100% for every successive kill made against an unaware enemy within 30 seconds, up to 500%. Of course, this is much easier if you have a naturally stealthy weapon, such as a silent bow or melee weapon. However, even with a noisy weapon, you can still score stealth kills by using Warframe abilities that deafen enemies such as Equinox’s Rest & Rage or Banshee’s Silence. Chaining these stealth kills back-to-back during a high-level Exterminate mission can grant huge amounts of Affinity, making leveling up weapons a breeze.

Leveling the Playing Field

Warframe’s leveling system isn’t always the most intuitive but knowing how it works can help you vastly increase your leveling efficiency. We hope our Warframe Leveling Guide has given you a better idea of the best ways to reach that level cap for your Warframes and weapons alike.

For more Warframe, check this out: Everything You Need to Know About Warframe Clan Ranks

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