Warframe is a massive game full of ever-evolving weapons, tactics, and missions. But it all centers around one thing - the Warframes themselves, which are the heart and soul of how you play the game. There are currently 35 different Warframes available, each with their own unique abilities and perks, and at first glance it can feel pretty daunting to decide which of these to select to best fit in with your personal play style.
For that reason, we’ve compiled a list of every current character class to give new and learning players an idea of what works, what doesn’t, and what sort of play styles you can expect. We've picked out the specialization for each Warframe as well as highlighting their potential weaknesses, so you can decide which one is going to work best for you. Let’s get to it.
Ash is an extremely efficient killer. His ultimate skill, Blade Storm, lets him mark various targets for death without interrupting his movement, so he can slaughter waves of enemies automatically while focusing on another group personally. He sports Warframe’s worst stealth skill, but even that’s not bad considering how powerful stealth is in general.
Specialization: A very good one-trick pony. One of the most efficient killers in the game.
Weaknesses: Low duration stealth skill.
This stony fellow doesn’t offer much besides his first skill, Landslide, which allows Atlas to punch foes in rapid succession for decent damage. His other skills are too slow, unreliable, or niche to see much use.
Specialization: Mediocre melee brawler.
Weaknesses: Three out of four skills are mostly useless.
Banshee is a sonically themed Warframe with a very unique skill. Sonar marks enemies with special weak points that multiply damage dealt by Banshee and her allies. She can also stun enemies and has a devastating AoE ultimate - particularly when paired with the Resonating Quake mod. The downside is that even her slightly tankier primer variant is awfully easy to kill.
Specialization: Damage boosting powerhouse with crowd control.
Weaknesses: Extremely squishy - especially without the prime version. A slightly high skill ceiling.
Chroma can be exceptionally versatile thanks to his passive, Elemental Alignment, which alters his abilities depending on the cosmetic color you apply to him before missions. Although he’s mostly used for his incredible survivability and damage buffs, given the right setup this buff outclasses nearly anything else in the game. Which makes Chroma the go-to Warframe for hunting massive Eidolon bosses.
Specialization: Versatile tank with incredible team-wide damage buffs.
Weaknesses: A complicated character with intense crafting requirements to create and upgrade.
Ember is an incredibly single-minded AoE damage dealer, and she was once famous for her ability to annihilate low-level missions. Now her damage scales better, but penalties to range and energy consumption make her less effective at wiping entire levels. She doesn’t offer much else besides some crowd control.
Specialization: Extremely straightforward AoE damage.
Weaknesses: Chews through energy. Has trouble killing armored enemies.
This is a dual-purpose Warframe in the most literal way possible. Equinox can switch between two stances - Night form and Day form - to gain different buffs and alter her AoE skills. Said skills offer everything from damage over time, to healing, to buffs and debuffs, to nukes, most of which are quite powerful and scale well. However, it’s hard to get the most out of all her abilities, as you simply won’t have the mod slots to maximize them all.
Specialization: Highly specialized, low-level AoE killer with some crowd control.
Weaknesses: Eclectic abilities make it hard to mod Equinox without sacrificing one strength for another. Expensive to craft and extremely annoying to farm.
Excalibur is the game’s signature Warframe for good reason - he’s a starter ‘frame that scales well into just about every activity in the game. He’s a heavy damage dealer with solid crowd control that opens enemies up to melee finishers and stealth damage bonuses. Excalibur’s real asset, however, is his Exalted Blade - a summoned weapon that chops through enemies and launches energy blades that can travel through walls, and it even benefits from his passive bonus to all sword class weapons. He’s great for players who love melee combat.
Specialization: Melee-centric damage dealer with solid crowd control. Does well in just about every mission type.
Weaknesses: New players can’t unlock his Prime upgrade.
Prime: Yes, but only for founding players. Excalibur also has a third variant gained by completing The Sacrifice story quest.
Frost doesn’t do much, but does it better than just about every other class in the game. He locks down locations and enemies with ease as the game’s premier defensive Warframe. His Snow Globe ability can create a force field to trivialize most defense missions.
Specialization: The number one defensive Warframe. Great for Defense and Excavation missions.
Weaknesses: Not especially versatile. His Snow Globes can require some babysitting.
At first blush Gara seems like a poor person’s Frost. The truth is much more complicated. Gara is a defensive Warframe that relies on ability combos to confuse, disable, and eventually damage foes. Her glass constructs confuse enemies into damaging themselves and block them from entering certain areas. All the while, she can cast a powerful buff that negates up to 90 percent of incoming damage on herself and her allies. You just might need to spend some time reading her wiki.
Specialization: A complex but mathematically powerful defender/support hybrid.
Weaknesses: Not especially versatile. His Snow Globes can require some babysitting.
Harrow is a strangely self-reliant support class that fits well into just about any squad, and his abilities combo almost perfectly. Condemn disables enemies while juicing Harrow with an overshield, Penance converts those shields into an incredible AoE weapon buff that also grants health, Thurible drains energy to generate energy on kills for Harrow and his allies, and Covenant shields allies while buffing weapon crits.
Specialization: A manic support class with teeth.
Weaknesses: The constant ability combos can be tiring.
Once a one-trick pony, Hydroid has become a master of crowd control - able to gather up foes as a living puddle and then hit them with an airstrike that strips armor. Most of his skills also open foes up to melee finishers, and if things get dicey he can even make himself invincible at the cost of energy. His signature skill, however, is using the Pilfering Swarm mod to increases resource drop rates for enemies killed by his ultimate.
Specialization: A versatile crowd controller with a drop boosting mod.
Weaknesses: Pilfering Swarm requires some serious grinding to unlock.
Inaros is unquestioningly one of the best Warframes in the game to date. The sand-based class forgoes shields entirely in favor of high armor that can be further increased by his ultimate ability, and this safely gives him infinite energy with Rage or Hunter Adrenaline mods. His other abilities let him stun single targets indefinitely, open enemies to finishers, heal, and even resurrect from death by draining life from foes. Once Inaros gets going he’s very difficult to stop.
Specialization: Self-healing, self-resurrecting tank with high crowd control and (potentially) infinite energy.
Weaknesses: Self-resurrection passive is a little unwieldy.
Ivara is an exceptionally versatile Warframe that offers utility, long-term invisibility, and massive damage. She can trick enemies into bunching up before using her signature bow to knock them out and tear them apart. She’s good for both tremendous single-target damage or cutting down enemies in waves. Ivara’s utility and stealth skills make her a strong pick in any activity - especially spy missions.
Specialization: Ranged damage with a smattering of utility.
Weaknesses: A huge pain to farm.
Khora is a heavy hitter masquerading as a disabler. She can use whips and chains to snare enemies, before following up with high damage strikes. This splashes onto the captured enemies and, depending on what skills she’s using, often kills her foes before they can tangle each other further. She also comes with an innate pet that, while powerful, suffers from Warframe’s frankly subpar A.I., although the companion does lend Khora a degree of healing.
Specialization: A jack-of-all-trades pet class with damage, healing, and crowd control.
Weaknesses: Companion A.I. is unreliable. Doesn’t outshine other ‘frames in any one area. Can be a pain to farm.
Limbo is a strong Warframe that won’t make you any friends. The slightly complex class pulls enemies between planes of existence, which makes them “invulnerable” to your allies if they don’t follow you between dimensions. This has earned the defensive ‘frame a bad reputation that will get you yelled at in squad chat if you don’t use them properly. Play Limbo well or solo, however, and he offers amazing crowd control. Limbo can even freeze enemy bullets in midair for a short time.
Specialization: A complex defender that requires team coordination.
Weaknesses: Might make random squads angry on sight.
Tier: High with a team or solo. Middle with strangers.
Loki is yet another (some might say the definitive) stealth Warframe. He can make himself invisible for extended periods to buff his attacks with a stealth damage modifier. That makes him quite survivable, albeit indirectly so, and a good candidate for spy missions. His other major skill, Radial Disarm, permanently destroys nearby enemies’ weapons, which renders Grineer and Corpus foes almost completely harmless.
Specialization: A stealthy, indirect crowd controller useful in most situations.
Weaknesses: Radial Disarm isn’t as effective against Infested enemies.
Mag splits the difference between support and crowd control. She transforms enemies into living magnets that tug their - along with incoming projectiles - toward the center. That makes it much easier for allies to land headshots and small AoE attacks with maximum effect. It works well with Mag’s own Polarize, which strips enemy shields and armor, while giving shields back to nearby allies.
Specialization: A jack-of-all-trades support and crowd controller. Her abilities can set up bigger moves.
Weaknesses: Direct damage from abilities is fairly centralized.
Mesa players should believe the best defense is a good offense. She provides a damage buff that cycles between teammates while jamming enemy guns (effectively stunning them). The gunslinger Warframe can also reduce and reflect up to 95 percent of incoming damage, making her deceptively tanky in her own right. But it’s her ultimate skill, Peacemaker, that sets her apart, as she trades mobility and energy over time to auto-target every enemy in her line of sight with massive, scaling damage. As such she’s great at locking down areas, by simply killing everything that approaches.
Specialization: A dual pistol wielding defender that kills with speed and precision.
Weaknesses: Extremely annoying to farm.
Despite what her skills imply, Mirage is mostly useful for her gunplay. The Hall of Mirrors skill draws enemy attention while seriously boosting her weapon damage. Her other skills are unreliable at best, as they rely on factors completely outside of her control - like where shadows and light fall in a given level and where her laser-spouting ultimate skill decides to randomly fire its death beams. High damage and longevity aren’t bad things, though.
Specialization: A hard-to-hit damage dealer with potentially good but random crowd control.
Weaknesses: Randomness. Most of her skills are simply out of the player’s control.
Nekros might just be the most highly specialized class in Warframe. He’s almost exclusively used for his skill Desecrate, which causes enemy corpses to drop loot a second time. That’s great for farming resources and health/energy orbs on endless missions, otherwise it adds no tactical value to whatsoever. He has some okay crowd control and the ability to summon the dead to fight for him - yet the summoned allies slow down the rate at which enemies spawn, conflicting with his loot farming specialty.
Specialization: Almost exclusively used for loot grinding and indirect support on endless missions.
Weaknesses: Summoning skill conflicts with his farming skill. Decent crowd control is outclassed by other Warframes.
Tier: Top for farming. Low for everything else.