Catalysts, Reactors, and Forma
Orokin Catalysts and Orokin Reactors
Once you’ve really gotten attached to a specific weapon or Warframe you might find that you want to upgrade it more than its current Capacity allows. The good news is that there are items which double can double every piece of equipment’s maximum Capacity in an instant. The bad news is that they’re hard to come by.
These items are called Orokin Catalysts and Orokin Reactors. They’re both essentially the same thing, except that Catalysts can only be applied to primary, secondary, and melee weapons while Reactors are needed for Warframes, companions, and Archwings (Warframe’s equivalent of spacebound jetpacks).
Sadly, there’s no guaranteed way to acquire either add-on. You can earn them wholecloth or as blueprints from things like time-limited Alert and Invasion missions, from special in-game events, daily login bonuses, or as a random reward in Sorties. That’s… Pretty much it.
Once a Reactor or Catalyst is applied, however, it’s permanent. That equipment will have its current and future Capacity levels doubled. So you don’t need to be shy about putting them on lower level weapons and Warframes. No matter what, you always get double the otherwise maximum Capacity.
The downside to this is that Catalysts and Reactors can’t be removed, either. Which means no sharing just one of them between whatever equipment you switch to. Make sure that if you apply one of these rare items you’re absolutely certain you want to upgrade the gear in question. Otherwise, you’ll be throwing away one exceedingly rare find for nothing.
Bumping up an item’s maximum capacity isn’t the only way to increase the quality and quantity of Mods you can equip to it. Polarities themselves can be added and changed according to the user’s whims. Assuming, of course, that you have enough Forma.
Forma is another rare resource that can come as just a blueprint - similar to Catalysts and Reactors. You can also earn Forma in most of the same ways you would those other two items. That’s not all, though. Forma can be semi-reliably earned from Void Fissure missions the same way as Prime parts (once again, you can check out our crafting guide for details on Prime parts and Void Fissures).
Forma is also given out for completing certain objectives in the Orokin Derelict and Orokin Void zones. Unlike Corrupted Mods, however, Forma doesn’t come from any special side objectives. You’ll just get it in the regular course of completing those missions. Or you won’t! That’s the joy of randomized mission rewards.
Forma, once earned or crafted from blueprints, is used in a variety of ways. Certain weapons need it as a crafting material. Player-owned structures, called Dojos, use it in the construction of new facilities. For the purposes of modding, however, a single Forma can add or change the Polarity of one Mod slot on any piece of equipment.
This obviously has the benefit of letting you to use more numerous and more powerful Mods on equipment, since matching Polarities cut Mods’ Capacity cost in half. “Forma-ing” an item does have a downside, though. Doing so will reduce the piece in question’s natural level to zero. Meaning you’ll need to take that gun, melee weapon, Warframe, or companion back with you on missions to grind experience points all over again.
Because of this, it’s often a good idea to use multiple Forma at once when changing Polarities - assuming you know what build you’re going for and have the necessary Forma in the first place. That way, you don’t continuously grind up equipments’ levels only to lose it all over again the next time you change a slot’s Polarity.