Here’s What You Need
Of course, blueprints aren’t much good without the components they require. Every set of plans you acquire comes with its own requirements that, besides credits, are usually unique to whatever you want to build.
You can see these requirements by reading the blueprint description on the marketplace or wherever you earned the item. However, it’s often more practical to just look at them in the Foundry. This is the workbench-like structure to the left of the middle of your ship - pretty much diagonally from the marketplace. In the Foundry all of your blueprints will be sorted by category and show you how many components you need to build them. Plus you can see how much of a given resource you already have.
Components are earned in a number of ways. The most common, if not the most direct way of doing so is to simply play Warframe. Most components that are flagged as common or uncommon drop like crazy from fallen enemies and busted up containers strewn about missions. Each has its own distinct shape, so you’ll almost always know what sort of component you’re about to pick up even before you do so.
The Hum of Extractors
A more passive means of gathering minerals is to use Extractors. These are unique in-game devices that can be deployed, one at a time, to any location in the game. By “location,” we mean planets and moons such as Saturn, Earth, Mars, etc. You can deploy Extractors, as well as check what planet has a chance to give you which resources, from the same map that you select missions from. This also corresponds to the components that have a chance to drop in these areas during regular missions.
You can only have one Extractor deployed at any such satellite at any given time. Meanwhile, the total number you can deploy across all of Warframe space is determined by your account level, or Mastery Rank. After a set amount of real-world time the Extractor soaks up a semi-random number of semi-random minerals from that location.
Level 0-4 lets you use one Extractor. 5-9 is worth two. Anything higher than that gives you three. You can further bump that number by being a Warframe founder (which would have meant paying for the game while it was still in beta) or by spending real money for Prime Access on the game’s website.
Finally, Extractors aren’t invincible. Once you claim them (and the delicious crafting parts they’ve collected) after a cycle, there’s a chance they’ll take damage. This damage heals naturally over time, but if an Extractor loses all of its health you’ll lose it forever and need to create a new one. If an Extractor takes damage, then, it’s best to wait while it heals before redeploying it.
Certain components simply can’t be obtained by Extractors, however. You’ll actually need to search for what planets and moons have what resources you’re looking for and hope that they drop in the course of a regular mission.
Like blueprints, most of these categories aren’t worth specifying. A few crafting components deserve special attention, however:
Argon Crystals can only be acquired in the Orokin Void zone as a rare drop from enemies and containers. What makes them special, however, is that they decay over time - about 24 hours. So if you plan to use them in a blueprint make sure you do so right away.
Cryotic is a reward in Excavation missions on any planet. Rather than drop on the ground, this resource is awarded by in-mission drills that players must protect from enemies. Every one percent of a completed drill cycle is worth one Cryotic. So a 100 percent complete cycle will award 100 Cryotic and so on.
Oxium drops in any mission where you fight the Corpus faction. They’re a guaranteed drop from flying, suicidal “Oxium Osprey” enemies that spawn at random in such missions. Although you need to kill them before they have a chance to blow themselves up or they’ll drop nothing. Otherwise, Oxium also has a small chance of dropping from containers in Corpus missions.
Nitain Extract is only awarded for completing specific Alert missions. Every 24 hours there are guaranteed to be at least four Alerts with Nitain as a prize.
Tellurim might just be the biggest hassle of a resource to earn in the entire game. It has an extremely rare chance of dropping in any Archwing mission and very rarely appears as an Alert reward. It’s harder to get than it sounds, though only because of how exceedingly rare this stuff seems to be.
Kuva can only be earned after completing The War Within story quests. You’ll get it for destroying “Kuva Siphons” in the environments during missions in the Kuva Fortress or on planets near the Kuva Fortress.
Simple Farming Tips
If you understand all the information above and still can’t get the resources you need, there are a few last-ditch tips and options available to you.
The first is to equip a Carrier-class companion into battle with you. These hovering little drones come with a unique ability to vacuum up nearby ammo and resources for you. Which makes individually picking them up much less of a hassle. You might even accidentally grab some that you didn’t see in the first place.
Secondly, Alert missions often give guaranteed resources as a reward. This is an especially great way to earn Oxium. Any Alert rewarding the stuff gives out 300 units a pop, whereas Oxium usually drops in bundles of about 10. The @WarframeAlerts Twitter account will even give you real-time updates on Alerts and their rewards.
Lastly, as with most things in Warframe, you can just buy most resources with Platinum on the in-game marketplace - assuming you’re very desperate.