3 Warframe Starter Frames for the Journey

By | February 26th, 2019 | Categories: Warframe

Start your journey in Warframe and you’ll immediately be faced with a choice: which of the Warframe Starter Frames will be your first? You’ll have plenty of opportunities to acquire new frames, but for the first few hours, your first Warframe will likely be the only one you have. So how do you choose? This guide will give you some insight into each of Warframe’s starter frames and help you decide which one you should pick to introduce you to the wonderful world of Warframe.

What are starter frames?

When you first start playing Warframe, you’ll be presented with a choice of Warframes:

  • Excalibur: a Warframe themed around swords, with abilities that lend themselves well to melee-based gameplay
  • Volt: is an electricity-themed Warframe with abilities that shock enemies and aid allies
  • Mag: a Warframe with offensive abilities based on magnetism.

Each of these Warframes plays very differently and each one will hold appeal to different players. So how do you know which one is right for you? Read on.

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What type of player should choose Excalibur as their starter frame?

Excalibur is touted by the game as the best Warframe for new players. He’s specifically the best for new players who want a straightforward “I stab it and it dies” experience. It’s also ideal for any new player who enjoys melee combat.

Excalibur’s Abilities

  • Ability 1 (Slash Dash): causes him to dash between enemies while slashing them with his Exalted Blade, a unique weapon we’ll get into later.
  • Ability 2 (Radial Blind): blinds enemies in a radius around Excalibur for several seconds, opening them up to lethal melee finishers
  • Ability 3 (Radial Javelin): launches a cluster of javelins at enemies around him. his fourth
  • Ability 4 (Exalted Blade): summons a powerful sword made of light that easily cuts through enemies and launches waves of damaging energy with each slash. Exalted Blade makes Excalibur a deadly melee combatant, with each swing capable of killing enemies both in melee range and further away.
  • Passive ability (Swordsmanship): grants him a 10% bonus to attack speed and damage when wielding a sword, so he’s no slouch in melee even when he’s not using his Exalted Blade.

In sum, Excalibur is best for players who want to charge right into battle, sword drawn. His straightforward abilities also make him a good pick for players more interested in simplicity than strategy and who want the most reliable Warframe before easing into Warframe’s more complex mechanics.

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What type of player should choose Volt as their starter frame?

Whereas Excalibur easily fits into the warrior archetype, Volt is more of a mage—specifically, a lightning mage. Whereas Excalibur may be ideal for close, melee combat, Volt excels at dealing AoE Electricity damage without even touching the enemy.  He can also harness electricity to defend allies and objectives and to help his squad complete their objectives in record time.

Volt’s Offensive Abilities

  • Ability 1 (Shock): launches an electric projectile that stuns and damages a target before chaining damage to other nearby enemies.
  • Ability 4 (Discharge): intensifies this effect, paralyzing all enemies within range and then dealing hundreds of points of damage per second after 4.5 seconds.

Volt’s Utility Abilities

  • Ability 2 (Speed): makes Volt and his nearby allies move and attack very quickly for several seconds. Not only is this very helpful for quickly running through missions and chasing Capture targets, it also synergizes very well with Volt’s passive ability, Static Discharge. Static Discharge adds up to 1000 points of bonus Electricity to Volt’s next attack for every step he takes, so being able to take steps more quickly means more bonus damage, faster.
  • Ability 3 (Electric Shield): creates a large, rectangular shield that blocks enemy attacks and adds bonus Electricity and critical damage to allied attacks that pass through it.

All these abilities mean that Volt is great for players interested in supporting their teammates as well as dealing damage. His defensive shield and AoE abilities also suit him well to players who prefer a more hands-off (though still powerful) style of combat. And, if you’re looking to sprint through the solar system as quickly as possible, Volt’s Speed ability will make him a huge asset to your speed-running ambitions.

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What type of player should choose Mag as their starter frame?

Mag is the final and perhaps most contentious of the Warframe Starter Frames. For a long time, she was considered one of the weakest Warframes in the game, but recent buffs to her abilities have greatly improved her viability. Nonetheless, her complicated abilities make her a Warframe best chosen by those who appreciate a challenge and who possess a mind for strategy.

Mag’s Straightforward Abilities

  • Ability 1 (Pull): unsurprisingly, pulls all enemies in range towards Mag, stunning them. This can be great for disrupting enemy attacks or providing teammates with a break in enemy fire during vulnerable moments such as reviving an ally.
  • Ability 4 (Crush): is even more powerful, forcefully crushing groups of enemies together and inflicting massive damage while replenishing the shields of nearby allies. Though this ability is less effective against the Grineer, it’s devastating against shielded Corpus units. Alongside these relatively direct attacks

Mag’s Synergizing Abilities

  • Ability 3 (Polarize): creates an energy pulse that strips enemy shields and armor, turning them into “shards” that persist for 30 seconds. This energy pulse also restores the shields of every ally it touches. Each shard created by this ability stores 50 damage, which can then be unleashed by her second ability, Magnetize.
  • Ability 2 (Magnetic): creates a magnetic bubble around an enemy that pulls other enemies towards it and deals damage over time. In addition, attacking this bubble will multiply incoming damage and direct it towards the bubble’s center, making it useful against hardier enemies. Finally, Magnetize bubbles will also draw in shards created by Polarize, which will add to the damage dealt against enemies within.

Mag’s higher skill requirement, particularly the coordination required to juggle Polarize and Magnetize, make her the most difficult to use of Warframe’s three starter frames. However, in the right hands, she can be devastating. Consider choosing Mag if want a more strategic experience or if you’re just looking for the greatest challenge.

Starting Your Journey

No matter which of the Warframe Starter Frames you pick, your first Warframe is just the tip of the iceberg. Awaiting you are dozens more Warframes, hundreds more weapons, and endless ways to customize them all. Your starter Warframe will be the one that introduces you to these goodies, so choose wisely—but don’t despair if you and your starter don’t click. You’ll have plenty of more opportunities to find which Warframe and which weapons are the perfect fit for you.

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