16 Things Twitter Taught Me About Warframe

Last week I began playing Warframe, a video game about robot gymnasts who spend all their money on clothes. I blew up a few bad guys, then took one look at my extremely intimidating inventory screen and decided I needed help.

Fortunately, seeing as how I'm a high-profile influencer (not really) with a bunch of Twitter followers (mostly bots), I could easily turn to Twitter for support. "OK, I made a character in Warframe," I Tweeted. "What should I do first?" I got significantly more responses than I was expecting, and the advice kept rolling in over the weekend as I played.

Warframe, for the uninitiated, is a free-to-play third-person shooter made by Digital Extremes that's been steadily gaining in popularity since it came out in 2013. You can play it on PS4, Xbox One, or PC, and it's gotten some major updates and content expansions over the years.

A growing chorus of enthusiastic people -- some on this very site -- have been suggesting that now is a good time to dive in.

In Warframe, you are a space ninja who goes on adventures. You carry three weapons and wear a Warframe, which is basically your modular battle suit. The Warframe defines your "class" and abilities, and the weapons define your fighting style.

The experience points you earn are directly applied to your Warframe and your weapons, both of which you upgrade over time with mods. The more you play, the more cool gear you can unlock and upgrade. That's ... basically it? I mean, I know there's more to it than that, but that's the gist.

I've only played a few hours on PC, and am far from a Warframe expert. However, I thought it might be interesting to share what I learned from the fine people on Twitter.

1. There are already a variety of beginner's resources out there.

A couple of people who responded to me were enterprising fellow games journalists who pointed me toward their own Warframe beginner's guides. I actually haven't read these yet, because I was curious how things would go if I only read my Twitter replies, but I feel I should share them here. Taylor Cocke wrote one over at Polygon that looks good, as does Brad Gallaway's guide over at Game Critics.

Several people recommended this YouTube beginner's series from iFlynn, which I have bookmarked for when I really need to figure out what the heck is going on in this game. Several others recommended I keep the Warframe Wiki open.

2. I should just relax and play the game.

By far the most common response I got was to just relax and have fun, at least at first. Play through the galaxy nodes, visit every destination, and progress naturally. "Two words: STAR CHART," wrote one person. "The rest will follow naturally so try not to force your way through it."

I appreciated this tip, because Warframe almost immediately overwhelmed me with menus and tutorials and systems. I picked a starter Frame, unlocked my armory, installed a couple gun mods… unlocked a foundry, opened and immediately closed the marketplace ... then spent like 15 minutes aimlessly doing spiral-jumps around on my ship. I felt pretty sure there was a "best" order in which I should have been doing things, and was thankful so many people quickly emphasised how little I should worry about that.

As a longtime Destiny player, the size of Warframe's galaxy map blew my mind.

"Don't do too much, try not to get through everything as fast as possible," wrote one such person. "Just sit back and experience everything this game has to offer. Try not to have more experienced players just carry you through the star chart, it ruins a lot of the experience as a whole. Enjoy the grind."

"Enjoy playing the game. It will come to you as you experience it," wrote another. "Also corrosive cold will hit every faction if you want a multi purpose setup."

3. ...or, I should delete it now and save myself a lot of hassle. 

While the majority of the responses I got were from people who play and love Warframe, I did get a few that were along the lines of "delete the game now while you still can." I get the feeling some of those people were just kidding (or at least half kidding). "Run, run away now or you will never leave Warframe..." warned one guy, "or it will never let you leave…"

4. I should definitely save my Platinum for Frame/weapon slots.

Easily the most common specific tip I got was that I should not, under any circumstances, spend my starter Platinum on anything but Frame or Weapon slots. Warframe is a free-to-play game, and Platinum is the secondary currency that you can buy with real money.

You can buy gear with Platinum, or use it to speed up the crafting time for new gear. But just about everyone had the same tip: I should not spend Platinum on any of that stuff. Instead, I should save it for expanding my weapon slots and Warframe slots. "Use your starter platinum on inventory slots for Warframe/weapons," went one early response that was echoed many, many times after. "Absolutely first thing you should do."

5. WUKONG PRIME!!!!!!!!

This guy's tip for me simply read "WUKONG PRIME!!!!!!!!" I don't know what that means, so I'm gonna have to take his word for it.

6. I should not spend real money unless I really want to.

I get the sense that one of the fun minigames of Warframe is called Playing Warframe Without Paying Any Money. I like that game, because I like not spending money.

"Learn the market [and] don't spend money," wrote one person. "You can make Plat off of corrupted mods and full frame sets you acquire if you don't need them sell them and make Plat and get cosmetics you enjoy." A little extra salt on that recommendation, from the same person: "Don't spend money on this game till they fix the support team. They will treat you like crap."

Another respondent was more generous: "Get some plat, support the developers, and get some slots for your Warframes and weapons."

7. I should probably shoot things.

Here are the two most helpful tips I got, which arrived back to back:

Thanks, guys. I really appreciate it.

8. I should be glad I picked Excalibur as my starting Frame.

I had already picked Excalibur as my starting Warframe. It seemed like the coolest starter Frame. I was glad of that, because a couple of people mentioned that he's a pain to farm for if you choose to unlock him later, one even advising me to just delete my account and start over to save myself the trouble down the road.

9. I can have a dog!?

This isn't a tip, but several people informed me that there are pets in Warframe, and in particular, dogs. There has been much disagreement in my replies over which pets are the best. Cats seem to have the popular edge, but I'm so much more of a dog person that I think I'm going to have to get a dog, when the time comes. At least one person said I should get a bird, but I dunno, man. I think it's gotta be dogs.

What a dog looks like in Warframe, probably

10. There is something called "Hek," and I should use it to wreck.

Not only does Hek rhyme with "wreck," it also means I can say "Hek yeah!" when I finally get Hek. Whatever the heck Hek is.

11. Fashion is very important.

Several people wanted to make sure I knew how crucial it is that my Warframe character looks good. "Just know, there is no end game," wrote one person, "but there are top tier, and fashion frame. So, just kick arse, take names, and look good doing so."

12. Movement is also important.

Several people emphasised how I should focus on getting movement down. "Learn how to move like a ninja," wrote one. "Slide, bullet jump, then double flip forward. Learn how to change the direction as you go. Then add aim and shoot to the mix. Movement is everything!"

"The secret to winning warframe is the Bullet Jump," wrote another, "performed by crouching (standing still or moving) then jumping. You will careen towards wherever you point your cursor! It's seriously the best part about warframe. Now go! Channel your inner Sonic!"

Even with just a few hours under my belt, I can attest that all those movement tips are legit, and moreover, that the Bullet Jump is indeed probably the best thing about Warframe. Jumping around in this game has easily been the most fun thing I've done in it.

Most of the fights in the opening questline have been pretty easy, so I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to leap around and get the coolest aerial kills possible. The more I play, the more I'm getting used to moving quickly.

13. I now have a space mum, and that should make me happy.

Several people seemed excited that I now had a "space mum," who I will assume is the lady who keeps coming onto my comms and telling me what to do. She seems cool so far, at least. I like space mum.

14. I shouldn't rush to the Plains of Eidolon.

The latest version of the game contains the "Plains of Eidolon," an area that, according to at least a few people on Twitter, I should probably just avoid until I'm higher level.

There was one dissenting voice, who advised me to "charge hard to the Plains of Eidolon" because the area is so fun. This set off another player who was sick of seeing low-level players on the Plains.

15. Lots of people have their own favourite Frames and builds.

I still have no idea which of these are actually best, so here are some unfiltered recommendations:

16. Above all else, Warframe players seem very friendly.

A lot of the tips I got were helpful. Some were contradictory. Others will make more sense once I've played more of the game. For all the specific things I've learned, my biggest takeaway is that people who play Warframe -- or at least, people who play Warframe and offer tips to other players online -- are unusually helpful and friendly.

Both the nature and the volume of the responses I got indicate that the Warframe community is unusually welcoming, which lines up with the amount of helpful advice I've seen bouncing around in global chat whenever I log in. Definitely a good sign for any online game.

I'll be playing more Warframe in the coming days and weeks, and I'm pretty excited to get some more Frames, try some different builds, and maybe even go to the Plains of Eidolon. If you have any additional tips you think I should keep in mind, please share them below.

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Comments

    Hek is very nice shotgun. Pledge to Steel Meridian and rank up to get the Scattered Justice mod and wreck shit.

    I can identify with tip 3. I started playing a few months ago on PS4 and it was fantastic. However, the more the game opened up, the more I could see of the grind ahead of me. I got to MR8 and completed the Second Dream quest, but gave up soon after that for my own sanity.

    Don't bother with a lot of the new content, everything outside the core quests are pretty bad.

    I had a lot of fun with Warframe when it first entered open beta a few years back, and I understand it's only getting better. I'd echo to just play it and have fun, then stop playing when you stop having fun. It's a pretty generous F2P, all things considered.

    They penalise you pretty hard for playing solo, which was the main reason I stopped playing. Massively reduced experience, limited lives, and no way to pay once to be able to revive yourself on your ship. I'm just not interested in playing with strangers, so that was the end for me.

      i've recently (during the last week) started a PS4 Warframe account and from what i could see you are no longer quite as hammered when solo - all my items were collecting xp used or otherwise, whereas i seem to remember my PC account only rewarding items used with xp when solo.

      It plays a lot better than i thought it would tbh, mainly referring to console controls vs mouse/kb, but lord i wish i could use my PC account.

        Yeah, I gave the XBone version a go over the holidays. Similar experience, I thought it was surprisingly solid but missed all my items.

        Then I gave the PC version another go and it asked me to play through the new intro missions. That was fairly entertaining with my upgraded armour/equipment. I was practically untouchable.

    It's been around 18 months or more. Maybe it's time to dust off the pink rhino and let it charge once more.

    I remember when this first came out thinking: "Hey they got all the art elements from the original Dark Sector tech demo". Anyone remember what the story with that was?

    When that original tech demo came out, I was blown away by it thinking "Wow! Splinter Cell! IIIINNN SPAAAAACCEEE!!" but then something happened and it became a mediocre monster slasher thingo...

    Anyhoo!

      It's actually set like... a few thousand years or something after the events of Dark Sector. :) Serious lore-mining required to put it together properly, though.

    I stopped playing a couple of years back as it was getting very samey/grindy. Spent about $30 bucks and was satisfied with what I got from that. Also lost interest after they changed the heavy melee attack to some sort of shiny blade system. That heavy slash attack was so satisfying.

    4. Agreed. Also, farm prime parts/mods and sell them for platinum to other players on the market. Oh good, this is covered in 6.
    5. Lameframe is lame. Ignore this random.
    8. MVP tip. Easier to just fucking buy Excalibur than try to farm it.
    9. Dogs are shit. Get a vacuum bird. Forma it forever. Five, ten, fifteen times.
    10. The Hek is a shotgun/war crime. It does indeed wreck.
    11. Best to get on to this early instead of being an embarrassment for your entire play time. Get some symbols and a syandana and wear them!
    13. The most important thing in the game is to make sure that you are always earning space mum's approval and making her proud. She does so much for us.

    Oooh. Time to wander back in then (as I've pretty much abandoned Destiny 2

    I have been playing Warframe since Open Beta started. I am a founder, and I will tell you now, what you want to do, is get in a clan.

    Why? Because there is gear you can only get from Clan labs. Then there is the ability to trade with people.

    Also, make sure you rank up your Mastery Level, witch is the 'Meta' over all level of everything you do in the game. Completing nodes gives you XP. Maxing a weapon for the first time gives you XP. Same goes for Warframes, Pets and Sentinels.

    I would differently agree with avoiding The Plains till you know what you're doing, and have formed you're gear a bit.

    Don't worries about Prime stuff till later. Some people think you should go for it early, but TBH, you're better off just ranking up everything else.

    Syndicate choices matter. Make sure you look at what there giving in the way of mods, and whether or not you want them. You can get them without being part of that faction, but that requires trading between players, and that costs a CRAP ton of credits (taxes), and the primary currency used for trade is Plat....

    Witch leads to this point. If you want plat, you can get plat without buying it. Plat is used as the prime currency for trade. If you got something its worth looking up if people want it. Warframe Market, a 3rd party site, is the place to do that.

    Also, there Kats too.

    Hek may be the current go to, but that contently changes. It used to be the Tonker, witch is a Nad launcher, but they added self damge back, so people think its shit now. lol So ignore that advice, and instead use what you like. My personal go to weapon is the Sturn Wraith.

    Finlay, and this is probably the most impotent bit, HAVE FUN. Do not, as other have said, worry about the game. The game will provide as needed.

    I tried to revisit it when PoE was announced and through about 30-50 hours into it and it just felt grindy with not with real progression the missions, locations, and objectives were very similar. Which in essences isn't a big deal but the dialogue was repetitive and I barely understood the real motivations of any characters. Also getting missions or gear recipes which need mats from planets which are still way ahead of you is just annoying I found.

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