Clan and Dojo Basics
There is a sort of upper-level crafting in Warframe. One where you don’t create something from blueprints but create the blueprints themselves. It requires you to be a member or leader of a Warframe clan – the game’s equivalent of a guild from MMOs – and it can be pretty costly depending on how you swing it.
Besides putting you in contact with like-minded players (for co-op or what have you) joining or starting a Clan automatically grants you the design for a Clan Key in your inventory. Building this in the Foundry will suddenly give you access to a new location on the star map - your very own Clan Dojo.
You can enter the Dojo just like any mission node on any planet, the public player spaces called Relays, or Maroo’s Bazaar. Assuming you have the Clan Key, of course. The difference is that this vaulted area is only available to members of your Clan or players that you and your Clan members invite.
What you find in the Dojo depends on what you and your fellow adventurers build there. The basic Dojo gives you one giant room with a trading post in the middle. This is useful for, well, trading with other players that may or may not be in your Clan. Anything beyond that requires a whole lot of time, resources, and planning.
There are a number of esoteric rooms that can be bolted onto your Dojo. For the purposes of crafting, though, only five truly matter: the Tenno Lab, Energy Lab, Chemical Lab, Orokin Lab, and Bio Lab. Each of which is used to research and produce blueprints for unique Warframes, weapons, and equipment. These are the only places to get these blueprints without spending real money currency. So if you want to get Warframes like Wukong and Banshee, or weapons like the Ignis and Ogris, without spending Platinum you’ll need to visit these labs.
Building Up Your Dojo
You can skip this part if you are or plan to be a member of an established Clan. If they’ve already built their Dojo to perfection you’re in the clear, though if you’re flying solo, or just want to lead your own cadre, things are about to get slightly complicated.
Start by creating your own Clan under the Communications tab of the main menu. Then craft your Clan Key from the Foundry and enter your newly open Dojo as we discussed.
You’ll spawn into a large, empty room with two doors. Approaching either door will reveal that they don’t actually lead to anything yet. You can, however, elect to build attaching rooms or hallways on the other side of either door. It’ll cost you a whole heap of resources as a solo player - including one of something called a Forma that can be hard to acquire in the early stages of the game.
The upside is that anyone in the Clan can chip in once room construction starts. You can initiate the build, then fill in the required resources, or leave it for someone else to dump materials into. It doesn’t matter if one person selflessly adds everything or if multiple people work together. When the construction project has everything it needs, it’ll start a timer just like any other crafting project.
One nifty feature is that the resource requirements scale with the number of Clan members. So having 10 or fewer clanmates will make construction projects cost the minimum amount of resources. This number multiplies by a factor of three, 10, 30, and 100 for clans that can accommodate up to 30, 100, 300, and 1000 members, respectfully. Chances are you won’t have to worry about that, though. Especially if you’re running a solo Clan just for the research labs.
If you are only interested in crafting we’ve got a minimalist layout for you that will guarantee you spend the fewest number of resources possible. Refer to the above image for a visual aid, if you need it (click to expand).
- Cross-shaped Hallway
- Cross-shaped Hallway
- Cross-shaped Hallway
- T-shaped Hallway
- T-shaped Hallway
- Energy Lab
- Chemical Lab
- Tenno Lab
- Bio Lab
Starting from the main room, choose one of the doors to create a Reactor at. This will become a dead end but Dojos need the power capacity these rooms supply to support other, more functional areas. We’ll need to build two more of these before we’re done, as well.
At the other door build either a T-shaped or cross-shaped hallway with branches facing to the left and right of the main room. All you really need is a T-shaped structure, but a cross-shaped one will give you room to expand in the future, should you choose to build more frivolous rooms like an Obstacle Course. Follow this by building two more cross-shaped hallways attached to the left- and right-facing branches of the first junction.
Build two more Reactors on either the north or south branches of these two cross-shaped halls. Positioning doesn’t really matter at this point, so long as you don’t block the eastern and/or western branches. You’ll need to build a T-shaped junction at either one of those ends. Those will be the last two hallways you need to build before getting to the good stuff.
With the basic arrangement of your halls decided, and the Reactors in place, the next thing you need is an Oracle Room at any one of the terminating branches. While this doesn’t do much on its own, it’s a prerequisite for the Energy, Chemical, Tenno, Orokin, and Bio labs. Once it’s built, you can once again choose whatever arrangement and order you like for the remaining rooms.
This is a massive undertaking that will take many real-world days to complete (assuming you don’t rush construction with Platinum). Not to mention an enormous number of resources. You can soften the cost a bit by skipping the Orokin lab if you’re only interested in weapons research. These days, the lab is mostly just for crafting Dragon Keys – items that will allow you to farm special Warframe mods in the Orokin Derelict zone.
After that, the reward for all your hard work, patience, and resources is… More hard work, patience, and needing to spend more resources. Dojo labs don’t just dispense new blueprints for free. You need to research them first, similar to how you construct the rooms of the Dojo itself, which means any member of the Clan can chip in for resource costs. As always, however, you’ll have to wait a set number of real-world hours (usually 24 or more) before the research is complete.
Once it is, you can purchase single-use blueprints with credits from the terminals in each lab. These will appear in your Foundry, where you’ll have to spend yet more resources to actually craft the things…
You can’t just research whatever you want when you want to, either. Also like the labs themselves, research projects have their own prerequisites. In order to research more advanced projects you’ll need to first finish simpler equipment. Thankfully, these prerequisites are listed on the research projects themselves. So you should never be confused about what project needs to be completed first.
All-in-all, crafting in Warframe is just a test of patience. Most things can be created if you have time and perseverance – not to mention some friends willing to help pay for everything – and the pure luck to get the resources you need.