Relics and Prime Parts
Crafting Prime Equipment
Most things in Warframe can be crafted with enough time and effort. Some things, however, still rely on pure luck. We’re talking about Prime parts, of course, which form the backbone of Warframe’s late-game activities.
Prime versions of equipment are, basically, better in almost every way than their standard counterparts. They’ve got nicely ornamental redesigns and come with enhanced stats compared to normal weapons and Warframes. They also come with their own unique rules for crafting and acquisition. All of which adds up to why earning them is such a unique priority for most players.
Instead of buying a blueprint and pumping time and basic resources into their construction, Prime equipment is made out of Prime parts and normally rare resources. A gun like the Boltor Prime, for instance, needs a Boltor Prime Barrel, Receiver, and Stock plus credits and 10 Orokin Cells.
To get the Prime parts for whatever you’re making, however, you can’t just kill normal enemies and break open canisters. You’ll need some Void Relics.
Finding and Using Void Relics
Void Relics are unique items that come in four flavors: Lith, Meso, Neo, and Axi. Think of them like keys, similar to the Clan Key, used for opening special missions. The main difference between them and the Clan Key is that once you use a Void Relic it’s gone forever, so you’ll need to acquire a new one to access a mission of that Relic’s class again.
The second major difference is that Void Relics can’t be crafted. You find them in the wild as rewards for certain missions. You can use this table to know exactly which Relics have a chance of dropping where.
Mostly, though, they come from endless, wave-based mission types like Excavation, Survival, and Defense. Different waves have different chances of dropping different classes of Relic, where the lowest class of Relic (Lith) will drop from lower difficulty waves than the highest class of Relic (Axi). The higher the grade of a Relic, the harder the mission it can be used to unlock.
A slightly more guaranteed way of earning Void Relics is by spending reputation at Warframe’s several Syndicates. They’ll sell you pseudo-random packs of the things if you pledge yourself to their NPC leaders and earn reputation by completing missions while wearing their sigils - cosmetic tattoos worn on the outside of your Warframe.
Relic missions, or Void Fissures, can be located on the star map. Once you sit down at the map, look at the top right-hand menu and select the fourth tab over from the left.
This reveals a list of time-limited missions classified according to what kind of Relic they require. Selecting one prompts the game to ask you which Relic you want to use. This is a little complicated because the four classes of Void Relics are further broken down into coded classes themselves. Depending on which style of which class of Relic you bring on the mission you stand to earn different rewards.
The game will inform you of what possible rewards each Relic contains and which have a common, uncommon, or rare chance of dropping. To actually get those rewards, however, it’s not enough to complete the selected mission from the star map after choosing the Relic you want (obviously that would be too simple).
Once you have some Void Relics, know which mission you want to do, and select the Relic to start the mission you’ll then have to be on the lookout for glowing gold orbs called Reactant. These drop from special Void Fissure enemies and are necessary to “unlock” your Relic at the end of the mission. This is how you earn one of the possible rewards listed by your Relic from before the mission began - usually a Prime part.
You don’t have to choose the reward your Relic gives out, however. Every teammate that accompanies you on a successful mission, assuming they also collected the needed 10 Reactant, reveals a reward, too. When the mission is complete you have a limited window to pick any of the revealed rewards. So if your Relic spat out common trash, but your ally got that rare Warframe component you need, you can choose theirs instead.
There’s one other way to increase your odds of getting rarer Relic rewards besides playing with friends or in public matchmaking, too. You can “refine” any Relic you own to tilt its drop rates towards more valuable items.
To do so, interact with the Void Relic terminal on your ship. It’s in a corner near the middle, just slightly closer to the stern than your Foundry. There you can peruse your Relics in a menu similar to the one that appears before Void Fissure missions. The difference is that beneath the listed rewards you’ll see categories that read as Intact, Exceptional, Flawless, and Radiant.
Selecting any of these options will adjust the percentage chances of common, uncommon, and rare rewards dropping from that specific Relic at the end of a Void Fissure mission. The odds of the three common rewards dropping will diminish while the odds of uncommon and rare items increase. The higher the grade you make your Relic (Radiant being the highest) the more dramatically the odds shift.
It’s not free, however. Upgrading Relics requires yet another of Warframe’s unique resources: Void Traces.
They pop up from time to time as Alert rewards but the main method of earning Traces is by playing completing Void Fissures. A random number of Traces will be credited to you at the end of a successful Relic run. You’ll also get one bonus Trace for every teammate that selects your Relic prize at the end of the mission.
If you’re low on Traces, however, there’s a useful trick to earning more without burning through your Relics. Simply select a Void Fissure mission but instead of choosing which Relic to bring along select “Play Without Relic.” In this way you’ll still earn Void Traces at the end of the mission but you won’t waste an unrefined Void Relic just to earn the stuff. The downside is that you won’t get to select a Relic reward at the end, of course.
Typically, you don’t want to run Void Fissures without a fully refined (Radiant) Relic. It’s a bit time consuming to stockpile Void Traces but it’s a whole lot easier than collecting more Relics because you used up all the ones you had without getting the rare drop you wanted. Of course, there’s always a chance of getting screwed by random chance. That, unfortunately, is just part of the game.
Zaws and Amps
Zaws and Amps are special weapons that can only be constructed by earning favor with factions in Cetus on Earth. The former are melee weapons while the latter augment players’ out-of-Warframe Operator attacks. Both categories are uniquely crafted from component parts that lend the weapons different attributes, however.
Unlocking new Zaw parts means currying favor with the Ostron faction, which mostly means completing bounties on the Plains of Eidolon while gathering certain materials. New Amps, on the other hand, require standing with the Cetus Quills. That requires killing and/or capturing Sentient enemies on the plains at night, then turning in the cores they drop to Onkko at Cetus.
The latter vendor is hidden in a secret room just to the right of the gateway to the Plains of Eidolon, although you’ll need to activate Operator mode to open his hideout.
Looking for more help? We also have a complete Warframe Mods guide.