Increasing Your Warframe Mastery Rank
Progression-based games generally have a “player level” attached to every account. Players progress through the game and raise their level as their characters or weapons get stronger, and these levels are used to draw comparisons between players.
Warframe’s progression is one of its most unique aspects; there is no such player metric that can be used to compare two players. Warframe Mastery Rank is a number used to indicate how much a player has leveled items within the game. Warframe provides players with several options to boost it, along with some greats benefits for increasing their Mastery Rank.
How do I increase my Mastery Rank (MR)?
Players can view their MR by hovering a cursor over the icon in the top left of the screen. This number often confuses new players and can be misunderstood for a progression level. When in a mission, you can also view your teammates’ MR. However, a higher MR does not mean that their Warframe will be stronger. Mastery Rank is a collection or experience indicator, increased by acquiring and leveling Warframes, weapons, Archwing, and companions. This can be done only once per item, meaning that leveling a Warframe, selling it, and then obtaining and leveling the same Warframe again will not grant any additional MR points. This also applies to using Forma and re-leveling the item.
It is possible to complete all the quests in the game at a considerably low Mastery Rank; hence it is by no means an indication of how far the player has progressed through the campaign either. There are certain quests in the game that do require you to have a certain MR, but the requirements are low and easily attainable.
Leveling weapons provide a total of 3000 points each while leveling Warframes, companions, and vehicles (Archwing or K-Drives) provides a total of 6000 points each. Note that Zaws and Kitguns require gilding to obtain MR. Defeating the Specters at Junctions rewards 1000 points and completing a mission node for the first time gains a certain number of points. This can be viewed on the stat screen.
What are the benefits?
While Mastery Rank sounds like a collector’s fancy number, it has significant benefits to all players. Trading is an essential part of Warframe, especially for free-to-play players who rely on it as their source of Platinum. However, the game restricts players from doing too many trades in a day. This is directly determined by the player’s Mastery Rank. For example, if you Mastery Rank is 6, you can only do 6 trades per day. This itself is a great incentive for players to rank up faster.
Some of the greatest and most signature weapons and Warframes in the game are locked behind Mastery Rank. A good example of this is the coveted sniper Rubico Prime, which is locked behind MR 12. An important thing to note here is that such MR locks can be bypassed by purchasing the items directly or acquiring them through official giveaways. For example, Equinox Prime is locked behind MR 5 meaning you cannot construct the Warframe until you are at MR 5. However, the game still allows you to purchase Equinox Prime from the store, using Prime Access. The purchased Warframe will be already built and it will not be Mastery locked.
Void Trace capacity is another important benefit of gaining Mastery Rank. Capacity is increased by 50 per Mastery Rank. Void Trace capacity is useful for all players, especially when farming Relics. Syndicate Standing and Focus Points (obtained through Lenses) also have a daily limit determined by Mastery Rank.
What is Affinity and how is it related to MR?
Affinity is Warframe’s experience metric. Warframes, weapons, Archwing, and companions all require affinity to level up. This is done by doing activities in-game using the item to be levelled. Killing enemies and completing missions are the most reliable ways of earning Affinity. Note that killing an enemy with an ability will give all Affinity earned to the Warframe used, whereas killing with a weapon will distribute the Affinity equally between the weapon and the Warframe used. Players often group up to farm Affinity on various nodes in the star chart. Elite Sanctuary Onslaught and the node Hydron are two fantastic places to farm Affinity.
Affinity Boosts are also purchasable in-game and offer double Affinity for every activity for a set duration. Affinity can be viewed through the player’s profile as a numeric value. However, it is also displayed as a progress bar for the Mastery Rank. Once the bar is filled, the player becomes eligible for the next Mastery Rank test.
What are MR tests?
Progressing through Mastery Ranks requires you to complete a MR test for that rank. Once you are eligible for the test, the game alerts you through the menu. While the tests are mostly short, they get progressively harder with each test and happen inside a special simulated area. These tests cannot be done with any teammates and require you to play solo.
After receiving the MR test notification, the player can either do it immediately or choose to wait. If you attempt a Mastery Rank test and fail it or are disconnected from the game, that test will be locked for the next 24 hours. Hence it is recommended to try the test in Cephalon Simaris’ room at a Relay where you can practice it without any consequences. This room also allows you to access and replay previous MR tests.
Should I chase It?
Progressing through the main campaign will require you to rank up at some points due to certain quest requirements. However, most players never need to give into this requirement explicitly as most people tend to seek new and better ways to play all the time. This means building and leveling new Frames and weapons, which increases your Warframe Mastery Rank anyway.
Collectors obsess over their Mastery Rank in this game, and as of June 2019, 27 is the highest possible MR that can be achieved. Even if you are not a collector, it is surely recommended to level your MR as much as possible due to the excellent benefits it provides.
While you may not want to go all the way to the end and obtain and level every single item in the game, you might want to level up at least to experience all of the powerful Prime Warframes and weapons.