Warframe Tier List – What is the best Warframe?

Last Updated on February 15, 2022

Looking to find an updated Warframe tier list for 2022? Find out here.

Warframe is a third-person looter shooter with a focus on cooperative gameplay. Players control members of the Tenno, an ancient race at war with various factions from within the Solar System. 

It’s been over eight years since Warframe was first released on PC. In that time, the community has grown stronger than ever, with 50 million players and counting. 

With constant updates and weapon releases, Warframe continues to shift pre-established dynamics as the premier looter shooter FPS title. 

And to top it all off, there are all the different frames available for play—with a healthy mix of abilities, mechanics, and playstyles, keeping each game mission fresh and fun.

If you need some ideas on what performs well, here’s a Warframe tier list to help serve as a guide.

Warframe Tier List – What is the best Warframe? – This is a question that arises in almost every Tenno, there are so many to choose from. Players who have lower mastery rank/less experienced in the game face difficulties while choosing the best frame.

Answer From a Veteran: I would say that there is no such thing as the best frame in this game. Every player has a different playstyle, which is why modding is a huge part of the game. There are different scenarios in which you might have to choose a different frame to complete a mission easily. For example; if you are playing a defense mission, I would recommend the team to use a setup with Trinity Energy Vampire build (for unlimited energy) and Banshee Resonating Quake build (for killing enemies at range).

Warframe Tier List – What is the best Warframe?

As I said earlier, there is no best frame in the game, but I will still categorize Frames according to various scenarios/mission types

S Tier Frames

FrameWhy This Tier?
AshAsh is a must-pick for Endurance Runs. Solid crowd control, invisibility, movement and escape, and ability to buff her weapons. 
GaussThis guy’s insanely fast, and his ability to burn and freeze enemies while simultaneously stripping them off armor paves a way for his team to demolish unprepared foes.
KhoraWith Venari (heck, even without), Khora is an absolute monster of a damage-dealer. She can group up enemies and revive herself through her pet too, granting her excellent survivability.
MagHer ability to support her teammates by pulling loot and enemies to you is an excellent perk.She strips enemy shields and restores her allies’ too.
NezhaSolid CC, blazingly fast, and has excellent firepower with his augment, Nezha is a good frame to add to team comps. Can cleanse allies of status too.
OctaviaNo surprises here. You have virtually unlimited invisibility, a way to buff your teammates, and a way to deal massive damage. She’s a beast.
RevenantRevenant is a frame that you’d like to play on auto-pilot mode. Enthral gives you no energy cost to stun enemies, and you can just enjoy the spectacle of them wreaking havoc among each other.
SarynThe Frame that does Toxin right. And Corrosive and Viral, for that matter. Oh, you’re down on toxin damage? Saryn can amp it up with a splash of Toxic Lash.
WispUse her right, and you can come in and out of the fray unscatched. Her invisibility, teleportation abilities, and spread damage are best-of-class.
WukongEasy to learn, fun to master, this Spy frame can be deceptively tanky in combat. His combat-ready clone and passive is strong too in top-lane, even after the nerfs.
ZephyrWith excellent crowd control abilities, a sweet passive that increases your crit chance, and a versatile kit, Zephyr is a solid S- or A+ frame. Her Turbulence gives her some much-needed longevity too.

A-Tier Frames

FrameWhy This Tier?
BaruukTwo potential builds ideas (for abilities 1 & 2 or 2, 3, & 4), both good. Elude allows it to dodge projectiles, Lull for incapacitating enemies, and his general tankiness makes it a good all-round build.
GaraShe’s fun to use and can defend herself and her teammates well. Needs Snapstick to shine, but she can be used both offensively or defensively when needed.
HarrowDishes out big damage, and regenerates them back to self or teammates. Shields, increased firepower, and invulnerability is great additions to his kit too. 
MesaGreat for beginners, especially since Peacemaker allows her to mow down enemies in quick succession. Shatter Shield allows her to deflect incoming damage, which is handy in a pinch.
MirageA shadowy figure that’s harder to detect at night, Mirage is a fun frame to pick to throw your enemies off-balance. Her Hall of Mirrors ability is especially disorienting in the receiving end.
NidusThere’s no contest: Nidus is king when it comes to crowd control and ally buffing. Can hold down enemies and drain their health by inflicting crippling status and dealing damage.
NyxHer mind-control abilities are second-to-none, making an adversary a friend temporarily. She can also strip enemy defenses and buff damage.
TrinityAside from her healing capabilities (which is top-tier), she also pulls her weight by doing massive damage and stripping armor with her augments. 
VaubanAn engineer with a plethora of tools up his plate; an artillery strike to hammer down slower enemies, flechette orbs that deal massive damage, and a whole lot of strategy in his kit. A solid CC pick.
VoltManipulating electricity for deadly offense or defense, Volt can paralyze, shield, and accelerate allies with his tool kit. A highly versatile and fun Frame for just about anyone.

B-Tier Frames

FrameWhy This Tier?
BansheeGreat at dealing high amounts of damage, clearing key sections in maps, and farming relics easily. Silence allows it to cheat death too, escaping from enemies without a trace.
ExcaliburExcalibur may be a starting Warframe, but don’t let its easy-access fool you. It can carry its own weight in Endurance Runs and can do serious damage up close with Exalted Blade.
IvaraA good choice for bow-wielders. With the ability to pick between four types of tactical arrows and a cloak for protection, Ivara is excellent with her versatility and unique kit (and one of my personal favorites).
NovaGood for Eidolons and can handle close combat fights exceptionally well. Worm Hole is her signature ability, which essentially teleports her away or to key locations.
RhinoA fantastic frontline attacker with Rhino Stomp. With CC immunity, damage immunity, and universal damage multiplier in his ability list, Rhino can keep damage away from him too.
SevagothSows seeds of death to enemies, some of which can replenish his own or his allies’ health. Solid pick.
GarudaHer bloodletting ability is pretty unique, and you can increase damage output using your passive too.
ProteaA hit-or-miss, but she can be good under the right conditions. Can deal crazy damage, and has good ammo and strength supply with her abilities.
XakuXaku’s main gimmick is CC — particularly locking enemies in areas and stripping them off armor, then proceeding to deal big damage before they can move. 

C-Tier Frames

FrameWhy This Tier?
AtlasShe petrifies enemies and can CC effectively, but other frames do the same thing and more.
EmberA fiery toolkit for a fiery frame, Ember sports great offensive capabilities in beginning or mid-game, not so much at later portions.
EquinoxEquinox has a good base damage multiplier and speed multiplier for guns, but she’s outclassed by other frames who have better damage plus more.
HildrynA shield-bearing frame with good defensive capabilities. Balefire and Aegis Storm also offer a mode of offense, but she doesn’t stand out as a frame particularly worth picking.
InarosCan whip up a sandstorm at will, draining health and giving allies’ armor in the process. His kit’s a bit basic otherwise, but he’s decent for beginners.
LimboRift Plane is a unique ability, but he’s not much better than other frames who can initiate attacks and incapacitate enemies. Good if you need constant energy.
LokiHe’s purely decoy and trickery, which can be alright in the right team, but horrible elsewhere. His invisibility isn’t as strong as upper-tier frames too, since it’s just pure invisibility.
NekrosHis ability to summon Shadows has utility, and he’s generally tanky, but he mostly finds his use in survival missions and resource farming groups above everything else.
TitaniaOutclassed by other Exalted. She’s the fastest Warframe and has reliable denial crowd control and debuffs, though.

D-Tier Frames

FrameWhy This Tier?
ChromaA great tank for beginners (and was truly great before his nerf) but plays a better role as a credit booster in most cases.
CalibanOur latest Warframe unfortunately offers nothing special (especially with his 1) in his kit aside from crowd control and damage.
FrostGood in defense mode and health-based objectives, not so fine anywhere else.
GrendelSelf-healing is nice, but the rest of his kit isn’t spectacular. Despite his tanky build, he severely lacks damage output worth anything.
LavosCan deal lots of damage, but needs Augments and more time to set up. Other frames can do better.
HydroidOne of his main abilities, Tempest Barrage, is slow to start and unviable in comp setups. But Tentacle Swarm and Pilfering Swarm make him a pretty reliable farmer.
YareliBad damage dealer, in need of a rework. Her 3rd and 4th abilities don’t scale well as they’re damage-based, removing half of her kit’s usability. Her 2 is too unique but can be useful if you know how to use it.

Now that we are done with the Tiers, let’s move on to the brief of some frames that are best for particular missions.


Best Overall frame for Every Mission?

A frame that can deal damage…

or give buffs to teammates?

can become invisible and grant invisibility to teammates?

Who is it?

Octavia

One of the best frames in the game, hands down. Since the release, this frame has been my go-to. Absolutely melts down enemies with her Mallet, the cool thing is that enemies stop shooting as soon as you spawn the Mallet.

Why?

  • Unlimited Invisibility
  • Grants multiple buffs such as multishot, invisibility to the whole team
  • Huge damage dealer.

Best Tanky Frame

Below I have listed the best frames in the Tankiness category.

Inaros

The Egyptian god is not liked by many, but the frame can take any kind of beating and can still survive. The Scarab armor is one of the most powerful ultimate in the game. The frame also would be my #1 in terms of survival since you can literally eat your enemies to restore your health. Also, you can Darude sandstorm your way out of almost every fight.

Why?

  • Insane Armor, thanks to Scarab Swarm. Inaros has a base armor of 200, with a fully charged Swarm this can be increased to 400. Combine this with Steel Fiber and you’ll have 620 Armor.
  • Devour your enemies and leech their health.
  • Use Desiccation to blind your enemies

Rhino

Rhino was one of the first frames that were introduced in the game. The frame was literally so tanky, that DE had to debuff it a little bit. Almost everyone that plays this game knows about Rhino and Iron Skin.

  • Provides damage buff with Roar (useful for teammates as well)
  • Iron Skin can help you in remaining alive when your other teammates are falling apart
  • Rhino Stomp can be used as a great CC (Crowd Control) if you have a little duration.

Nidus (Damage + Tank)

If you want to play a frame which offers both tankiness and damage, then Nidus should be your choice. This infestation based frame had seen its peak when it could heal the objectives, gone are the days though. Talking about Tankiness, this frame excels at it, you can leech the armor/health of an enemy using Parasitic Link, whatever damage you take is reflected towards that enemy.

  • Virulence is a great damage based ability. Combine Virulence with Larva to build up your mutation stacks and you’ll be good to go for hours of survival.
  • Nidus’s 4th ability is called Ravenous. This ability spawns a weird-looking infestation pool containing multiple high damage dealing maggots, this infested area also heals everyone. These infested maggots will increase your stacks every time they get a kill.

These were some of the best tanky frames that you can use in the game. I might have missed a few such as Valkyr, Oberon and such. I particularly don’t like those frames in terms of tankiness since they are affected with duration/energy.

Best Damage Dealing Frames

Time to clear some planets?

Let’s find out what the best damage dealing frames are

One thing to keep in mind is that everyone has a different playstyle. Some might like Mesa as a damage dealer, some might like Nova, everything depends on how you like playing the game.

Banshee

Banshee and Resonating Quake is one combo that I can never stop using. I used to do fast defense missions using Banshee to farm relics easily. Another useful ability that Banshee offers is “Sonar”, this ability reveals all critical weak spots of the enemies.

Why?

  • Amazing Damage dealing ability called Sound Quake
  • Sonar can be used to reveal critical hit spots to all of your teammates.
  • Silence can be used to escape from death.

Banshee is amazing at dealing damage at all times but is extremely squishy. You might need help from your teammates for surviving in high-level missions.

Mesa

Mesa’s 4 is so powerful that you can literally clear a room full of enemies with a few clicks. The only thing is that you might run out energy within many times. I love running the peacemaker build with Arcane Energize, thanks to the unlimited energy supply you will never run out of fun time shooting enemies.

Why?

  • Causes absolute destruction no matter how powerful the enemies are. Peacemaker is one of the most powerful ultimates in the game.
  • Mesa’s Shatter Shield (Power 3) makes her tank which reflects incoming damage. The energy shield can last over 20 seconds with the right duration build.
  • Shooting Gallery jams enemy guns while giving bonus damage to Mesa. This effect shifts between teammates.

Best Frame for Spy Missions

Loki Prime

You cannot obtain the primed variant anymore, the non-primed variant will work fine though. The fastest frame in the game when modded right, the frame can stay invisible for the longest duration. You can also use Loki for CC, combined with Irradiating disarm augment and a little range, enemies will start fighting with each other without any weapons.

But Loki is rarely used for anything other than Spy or sabotage missions. But the choice is yours, use whatever you like.

Ivara

Ivara is a huge pain to farm, you really have to learn to speed run spy missions to obtain this frame. But once you have it, spy missions become a piece of cake.

Once you obtain Ivara, just buy the Infiltrate augment from the syndicate vendors. Using Infiltrate + Prowl you can pass through any security barriers such as lasers without being detected.

Is there a Meta in Warframe?

I’ve been asked this a lot of times, hey what is the meta nowadays? – Warframe never had and never will have any meta. I have already written multiple times that you can play with whatever frame you like unless you’re a Limbo :P.

Conclusion

My conclusion for the sake of the tier list are these:

(Judged based on Survivability and all-round usage in every mission)

#Note: The content posted below is old and the updated information has been added in the starting of this article.

Tier 1 Frames

  • Octavia: I absolutely love this frame. You can stay invisible, deal a lot of damage and give buffs to your teammates at the same time. When this frame was initially announced, I was skeptical about it getting nerfed. But to this date, I still play and enjoy it.
  • Rhino: Rhino is an absolute tank is still good till date. My reason for listing it here is because it’s really easy to obtain for beginners. The prime variant might cost a lot since it has been vaulted.
  • Mesa: Press 4 to win, the right build can make your Mesa a tank and enemy killer. There’s no doubt about Mesa being a Tier 1 frame. Now, has a primed variant with better stats.
  • Chroma: Huge armor and damage buff, level 100-150? – No problem. The armor and damage scaling with the right-build will make this frame insane for any high-level mission.
  • Inaros: Another tank that takes damage like a champ and survives with a problem. The rage build gives you unlimited energy and desiccation ability with range gives you unlimited finishers on enemies. If you run out of health, just eat one of your enemy, simple.
  • Nidus: Nidus’s Virulence is one of the highest damage-dealing abilities in the game, once it’s fully powered up. Larva is an amazing CC ability that latches all enemies around you. So we have CC + Damage both in one package.
  • Trinity: Best support frame in the game. Can constantly heal teammates and prevent their death. Whoever runs this frame in PUBs is an angel.

Tier 2 Frames

  • Nova: Nova is amazing, there’s no doubt. But in high-level missions, it might face troubles in surviving. This is a good CC frame altogether and amazing for running defense missions in quick succession.
  • Banshee: Banshee deserves to stay in Tier 1, I know. Abilities such as Sonar and Sound Quake are one of the best damage-dealing abilities in the game. But my reason for putting it here is because this frame doesn’t survive well in high-level missions. You always need support around you.
  • Equinox: Amazing but squishy. Great frame for low level exterminate missions.

Tier 3 Frames

  • Frost: Moved to Tier 3 because it becomes obsolete in high-level missions. The globe is not powerful enough and disappears as soon as nullifiers touch them.
  • Vauban: Vauban’s 4 is great, but with a lot of great frames in the game now. There’s no great ability that this frame provides you with.
  • Volt: Good for running around fast. Can be a good enough CC but not compared to the other options that we have now.
  • Gara: The glass-based frame was something I thought would kill Frost, but then they nerfed it.
  • Zephyr: Haven’t seen a lot of people using this frame and I myself don’t like it. All abilities are average.

Tier 4 Frames

  • Ember: After the World on Fire nerf, I don’t think anyone even uses this frame anymore. Before the nerf, there were lobbies full of people running around with their 4 triggered. This created a community outcry and DE had to nerf it.
  • Titania: To this date, I have seen only 5-6 people using this frame. If you like flying around as a Butterfly, then this might be the frame for you. If DE ever decides to create Titania Prime, I am sure this frame will get reworked.
  • Wukong: Recently got reworked, but still don’t think it’s good enough compared to the other frames. I will change this if someone in the comment section proves it to be good enough.
  • Harrow: Obsolete support frame that works around shields. Leveled it to 30 and never touched it again.

I have not listed a few frames in the tier list above because I couldn’t find their fit in the list. Frames like Nekros & Hydroid can’t be put in tier lists since they have a niche use. Please keep in mind, these are my thoughts and these do not change anything. Play with whatever frame you like.

I will be updating this list time by time, drop your suggestions for lists so that I can create more of these. Some more lists like Best Support Warframe, Best CC Warframe are coming up soon, in the process of writing them now.

Do let me know what are your views about this, do you like this list or should I make some changes?