Warframe modding guide for beginners

Last Updated on October 16, 2022

Warframe modding guide for beginners

If you’ve just started playing warframe, you are very likely feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount and complexity of the content the game suddenly drops on you. 

Don’t worry though, for we can guide you through the most core concept of the game, i.e modding weapons.

Modding weapons

The very first thing to start modding is acquiring basic mods. There are quite literally around a thousand different mods and knowing what they do is crucial.

The following mods and their acquisition should be your first priority:

  • Base damage mods. For primaries these are ‘Serration’ and ‘point blank’. These are for rifles and shotguns respectively. They improve the base damage of your weapons and are a core part of every build. For secondaries, it is ‘hornet strike’ and for melee ‘pressure point’.
  • Base elemental damage mods. The basic elemental damage mods provide an additional 90% of your damage as elemental damage. Combination of different mods allows for different elemental damage types. Different elemental combos are more or less effective against different factions. Knowing your elements allows you to exploit weaknesses in enemies.

There are 4 elementals for each weapon type.

  • Critical mods. These improve critical hit chance and critical hit damage. Weapons which boast high crit stats see exponential dps increase with these mods. ‘Point strike’ for rifles, ‘blunderbuss’ for shotguns, ‘pistol gambit’ for secondaries and ‘true steel’ for melee, are the critical chance mods. They provide a percentage based multiplier to crit chance.

For critical damage, ‘vital sense’ is the rifle mod, ‘target cracker’ for secondaries, ‘ravage’ for shotguns and ‘organ shatter’ for melee.

  • Multishot mods. These mods increase the chance of guns shooting additional projectiles. These are individual projectiles with their own critical and status chance. Adding multishot is the best way to increase overall dps.

‘Split chamber’ for rifles, ‘hell’s chamber’ for shotguns, ‘barrel diffusion’ and ‘lethal torrent’ for secondaries are the specific mods.

  • The 60/60 status mods. These are somewhat harder to get, but they are the backbone of all status damage weapons. They provide 60% increased status chance and 60% elemental damage.

There are 4 of these mods for every weapon type and getting these should be a definite priority.

Once you have the mods you can start modding your weapons. The first thing to do is checking the weapon’s stats.

Critical Builds

Critical damage builds are easier for beginners as they do not require constant swapping out of mods.

As a rule, if a weapon has a base critical hit chance of 20% or more, a crit build is viable on it. Critical multipliers on weapons show how much increased damage crits do.

For example, adding a max ranked ‘Point Blank’ to a rifle with 20% crit chance will take it to 50% crit chance. While adding the same mod to a rifle with 5% crit chance will only take it to 12.5% crit chance, making it a waste of a mod slot.

Status Builds

Status focused builds are somewhat more complex as there are more mods and quite a lot of damage types. It takes some time to learn the best combinations and how to maximize damage with them.

All weapons have a base status chance. This is the % chance of a shot inflicting a status effect on enemies. There are plenty of status effects which weapons can proc. The main divisions are:

  • Physical damage. Impact, Puncture and Slash are the physical damage. Slash is the status proc most favored by players due to its ability to bypass armor and cause high damage over time. Impact and Puncture are practically of little use and can be ignored.
  • Base elemental damage. There are 4 types of elemental damage in the game. Toxin, Heat, Cold and Electricity. All 4 are useful on their own but they really shine when combined with one another.
  • Elemental Combos. The most important elemental combos for beginners are Viral (toxin and cold), Corrosive (toxin and electricity) and Radiation (heat and electricity). 

Viral damage reduces total enemy health with each proc. Corrosive reduces enemy armor with each proc. Radiation damage is the most effective against alloy armor, which is used by the tankiest enemies and bosses.

Knowing how to mod

Knowing which mod setup is best for your weapons takes time. Warframe offers a vast arsenal of weapons which includes slow laser cannons to absolute bullet hoses. 

So learning how to bring the best out of a weapon is not easy at first.

A weapon’s trigger type and fire rate determine what niche it best fits. A rifle with a high status chance and high fire rate can be made to strip armor with corrosive procs. 

Similarly, a rifle more inclined towards Slash damage can be complemented with viral damage as it cuts down enemy health.

Here is a simplified overview:

  • High crit chance / Low status Chance / Low fire rate: Mod for crits and maximum damage. May be coupled with ‘Hunter Munitions’ if facing high armored enemies. Usually have high base damage E.g Rubico. 
  • High crit chance / Low status Chance / high fire rate: Mod for crits and viral damage, coupled with ‘Hunter Munitions’. Can also be modded for corrosive damage. Somewhat lower base damage. E.g Soma.
  • Good crit chance / Good status chance / High fire rate: Hybrid build for both crits and status. ‘Hunter Munitions’ is always a good choice with crit builds. Decent base damage. E.g Tiberon Prime.
  • Low crit chance / High status chance / High fire rate: Mod for maximum damage and status chance. Viral, corrosive and heat are very good with high fire rate weapons. E.g Braton Prime.
  • Low crit chance / High status chance / Low fire rate: Mod for max damage and status chance. Such weapons usually have high base damage to offset their other weaknesses. E.g Exergis.
  • Low crit chance / Low status chance / High / Low fire rate: Mastery fodder weapons. You’re better off tossing them aside after mastering them. E.g Lato.