Warframe - Complete Guide to the Weapons and Mods meta

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Kyle Orland

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Welcome to the fourth part of the Warframe guide for new players.

After having immersed ourselves, in the past months, in the complex world of damage and Mods, the time has come to apply all that we have learned and begin to delve into, finally, in the meta of this game.

Being a complex topic and requiring a fairly detailed study, we have decided to divide the guide in several parts, each dedicated to a fundamental aspect of the game.

In particular, in the coming weeks, you will see guides on: half of the weapons, their stats, their Mods, meta sui warframe, also here on their stats, Mods and abilities, meta degli archwing (in which their weapons will also be included), and the meta of the operator which will include the strongest schools and amps.

Today, therefore, we will begin by talking about weaponry, and in particular of meta statistics and of the various Mod that can help us.

But first, if you haven't already done so, we recommend reading the previous guides, as they will be very helpful in understanding the topics we are about to talk about:

  • Damage and Resistance Guide
  • Guide on Mods and Upgrades
  • Guide on the Orbiter and its features
  • Guide for novices

Also, if you want to try to create different builds without going into the game, we recommend using Warframe Builder.

That said, you need to ask yourself a question before we begin:

What is meta in Warframe?

The meta and where to apply it

In fact, if you have delved into any game in your life, you should be well aware of what meta is. This is the set of equipment and / or upgrades considered al top of effectiveness and functionality.

If, however, for games like Monster Hunter, the purpose of a meta is clearly identifiable (the strongest weapons are used to kill the monster on duty with more efficiency and speed), as far as Warframe is concerned the matter is a bit more confusing.

Unlike the aforementioned Monster Hunter, in fact, there isn't one great variety of bosses o endgame activities to refer to in order to obtain a precise classification.

To build an evaluation as objective as possible, therefore, we will consider two types of activities as an endgame: the variants of high level of already known missions and boss of Cetus and Fortuna (Eidolon e Orb).

The Eidolons, in all their terrifying spectacle


Having made this necessary premise, we can finally begin to talk about weaponry, and in particular of better stats on which we will have to focus in the building process.

Base damage

Each weapon has its own base damage which can be of one or more types, and that is why, trivially, a Mod that allows the increase is needed in every build.

In particular, the best are Serration for primary weapons, Hornet Strike for secondary weapons, Point Blank for shotguns e Point Strike for melee weapons (the latter two also have a prime variant).

Then there are other Mods that have similar effects, that is Augur Pact, Blaze and some corrupt Mods like Heavy Caliber, Magnum Force, Vicious Spread e Spoiled Strike.

Of these, the only ones that are really worth using together with the 4 listed above are Blaze, since it also provides fire element, and in cases where the loss in accuracy does not compromise the usability of the firearm, Heavy Caliber o Magnum Force.

For Augur Pact, Vicious Spread e Spoiled Strikeinstead, in the first case it is not returned enough DPS to be integrated into a build, in the second you go to spoil the usability of shotguns and in general do not provide enough increase in DPS, and in the third, finally, it goes to reduce another meta feature, and therefore its use is highly discouraged.

Chance of Critical and Critical Damage

La Critical Chance and Critical Damage these are very important statistics to be taken into consideration during the building process.

However, since the way you build on these stats completely changes between firearms and melee, we will have to talk about them separately.

In the case of firearms, both of these stats are worth boosting only if they are sufficiently high, we recommend a minimum of 20% probability and a 2x of damage.

In this sense, the best Mods for each weapon class are, in order: Point Strike, Blunderbuss e Pistol Gambit (the latter existing in Primed form) for the Critical Probability e Vital Sense, Ravage e Target Cracker (the latter two existing in Primed form) for Critical Damage.

In case you have a free slot and want to bet even more on the Critical Probability, they can also be used Argon Scope, Laser sight e Hydraulic Crosshair, all 3 Mods that are activated by aiming following a headshot, managing to give a significant boost to the weapon.

For primary weapons, in some cases, we can also use Hammer Shot, in mixed critical / effect builds and in sniper rifles, e Hunter Munitions, useful for increasing the application of effects on weapons with good Critical Chance.

If we then want to further raise the offensive capacity of our primary weapon, we can consider the Vigilante set Mon., which will add a probability of increasing the critical hit level (from yellow critic to orange critic, for example).

Putting all 6 of them, we will get a probability of 30%. Generally, however, the only consideration in the whole set is Vigilante Armaments.

There would also be corrupt mods that give Crit Chance with Rate of Fire reduction (Critical Delay, Critical Deceleration and Creeping Bullseye), but, since the latter is still important that it remains at an acceptable percentage, we strongly advise against its use.

The same goes for Mods that increase the Critical Multiplier following a kill (Bladed Rounds, Sharpened Bullets and Sharpnel Shot), since with the same DPS, they are not worth being equipped, except in very rare extreme cases.

As for the melee weapons, however, the speech is a little different, since they can rely on 3 particular Mods to enhance the Critical Chance: Blood Rush, Maiming Strike e Drifting Contact

Their operation is very simple: by making a sliding attack, Maiming strike is activated by donating a 90% net of Critical Probability. This means that by using a weapon that would normally have the 10% of critic, in slip will reach 100%.

Hitting enemies increases the Combo multiplier (statistic which we will discuss extensively later), and therefore already a 1,5xGoing back to the previous example, add to that 100% Critical Chance an additional 165%, and this for each level of Combo Multiplier. The latter will then be kept stable over time by Drifting Contact.

Below we propose a series of illustrative images:

Maiming Strike without Critical Multiplier, yellow critics
Critical multiplier 1.5x, from now on only more and more powerful red critics
Combo 2x multiplier
Combo 2.5x multiplier
Warframe with used weapon (Zaw with Dokhram blade)
Mods used on the Zaw and stats

In addition to all this, there is the set Mod Gladiator, which has the secondary effect of increasing the Crit Chance by an additional 15% per Mod based on Combo multiplier, adding to the already very high percentages of Blood Rush. The most used of this set are certainly Gladiator Resolve e Aegis in specific Warframes.

This synergy between Mods not only makes melee weapons with low Critical Chance usable, but also makes those with high Status Chance but low Critical Chance destructive. making hybrid builds incredibly strong.

Not surprisingly, Zaws built in this way are considered the strongest weapons in the game.

Elemental damage and effects

As we saw in the damage guide, elemental damage can be innate in a weapon or added thanks to some Mod.

In general, the elemental Mods used for the building are the 60/60, which grants 60% elemental damage and 60% Chance of Effect, and the "90", which only increase elemental damage by 90%.

During the building process it is practically always worth adding at least one element, remembering however not to bet may on explosive or impact damage, as they are absolutely ineffective and almost harmful.

In general, however, the most effective elements are 4: Corrosive + Fire, viral, Gas e Radiation.

Corrosive and fire are the most used elemental combination, since they are the elements that do best against the Grineer and their armor, and being the enemies who create more problems at high levels due to their enormous resistance, it is always convenient to have a weapon with these elements at hand.

The Corrosive element, in particular, is dedicated to both permanently decrease armor of the target with its secondary effects, both ad deal additional damage against armored targets, while the Fire deals with hitting enemies hard with the "flesh" exposed (for example the infested, or any enemy that has suffered enough corrosion effects).

The only enemies that can potentially resist this devastating combo are the Corpus, but being them very fragile even in endgame the problem is not felt.

Build example with Corrosive and Fire elements

The element viral it is particularly effective only if you own a weapon with enough Probability of Effect and with so much damage Cut (also deriving from Hunter Munitions).

It is based entirely on side effects data from both damages, namely the Bleeding of the Cut, a continuous damage that completely ignores shields and armor, and the Virus of the Viral, which goes to halve the target's life - the ideal way for this combo to work well is to have a Predominant Slash damage (or a lot of Crit Chance for Hunter Munitions) and as secondary damage the viral.

That way, one will do single application of the Virus and the Bleeding will do the rest.
There are no enemies that are particularly resistant to this combo, except those few immune to effects (like the Eidolons)

The Panthera in action, an example of a weapon on which the Viral-Cut combo can be effectively obtained

Il Gasinstead, it is used for his secondary effect, which creates ample poisonous clouds which apply continuous damage to the life of enemies.

With this element, it will be possible to completely wipe out the faction of the gods Corpus, while it will be very ineffective against armored enemies (The Toxin spread by the poisonous clouds manages to get past the enemy's shield, but not his armor).

Example of a poisonous cloud created by the Pox

Finally, we come to Radiation. In normal missions it is an element that does not shine particularly, both for the damage, which helps against Grineer Napalm, Bombard and a few others, and for the secondary effect. Which can serve as a distraction for enemies and to nullify the aura of the Infested Ancient, but nothing more.

The reason it is considered meta is because of its pivotal role against I am the boss of the endgame, Or the Eidolon he Orb. Both, in fact, resist or are neutral to all the most used elements, and they are immune to side effectsHowever, they suffer incredibly from radioactive damage.Typical set of equipment used for hunting Eidolons
Typically, this element is applied to weapons with high damage output (usually sniper rifles) with the 90 Mods, so as to get the as much damage as possible per hit.

As a last note of this section, we would like to point out that melee weapons that have many different damage types and enough Chance of Effect can make use of a particular Mod named Condition Overload, which increases damage on an enemy by 60% for each effect applied to it.

An example of a weapon that benefits enormously from Condition Overload is the Lesion

Multiple Shot

Compared to melee weapons, firearms have some peculiar statistic, such as lo Multiple Shot.

Multi Shot is a stat that affects the number of bullets which are fired with each shot.

It is present inborn only in some weapons, such as in many shotguns, but can also be added via some Mod.

The Tigris Prime, one of the strongest shotguns in the game

The reason why it is not only a strong statistic, but it is considered a meta, is quickly said: firing more bullets at the same time, without wasting additional ammunition exponentially increases the DPS and therefore allows you to make kills much faster.

Any Mod that adds multiple firing, however, works with percentages.

If, for example, its effect is “Multi Shot 90%”, it means that a additional bullet 90% of the time.

If then exceeds 100, reaching for example 120, the second bullet will be secured and you will have the chance to as well shoot a third (in the case of the example, with 20% probability).

Comparison between bullets fired from the same weapon with 0% of Multiple Shot (Image 1) and 200% (Image 2)

For these reasons, Mods that increase Multiple Shot they are needed in every build, and I'm Split Chamber, Barrel Diffusion, Lethal Torrent e Hell’s Chamber.

The primary weapons can then take advantage of the Mod Vigilante Armaments, but only in case you still have a free slot in your build.

When we add the multiple shot via Mod, we can see that the statistics of Damage and Probability of effect will suffer an increase, as the game automatically calculates the increase in DPS that one or more additional bullets can cause.

This means that if you want to find the damage and effect of the single bullet, you have to take these two statistics and dividerle for the number of total bullets.

And this is where the situation gets complicated, as this implies that in arms with Multiple firing innate, the damage and effect of the single bullet are actually a fraction of those shown.

For example, we have a shotgun that fires 10 rounds per shot and has 2500 damage and 30% effect. To calculate the stats of a single bullet, I will need to take both 2500 and 30 e divide them for 10.

In the end, therefore, we will get that a single bullet will actually deal 250 damage and will have just a 3% chance to apply an effect.

This would completely destroy effects-based builds, as the amount of effects applied would minima compared to the amount of bullets fired.

Fortunately, there is a trick that can be exploited in this regard: if in fact the Probability of Effect reaches 100%, every single bullet fired will apply an effect, whether there is Multiple Shot or not.

This means that a shotgun can only be built for effect if, even with the help of a riven, manages to reach 100%.

The demonstration was done with a Tigris Prime. The values ​​circled in red are the hits that have applied effect, while the purple ones do not. Values ​​from 68 are not circled as they are caused by Bleeding.

Now that we understand Multi-Shot and how it works, it's time to focus on the unique stats of melee weapons that can be considered meta.

There are 3 of them: Attack Speed, Flow e Combo counter.

Attack Speed

La Attack Speed represents, as the name implies, the speed with which we will hit the enemies with our weapon. A good weapon, to have a high DPS, must also be equipped with one good base speed (we recommend at least a 0.8).

To further improve it, they will then be used Fury, which increases the attack speed by 30% (present in the Primed version but only as a reward after 100 days of login) and Berserker, which increases attack speed by 25% every time you get a critical hit for 24 seconds (the effect can stack 3 times for a total of 75% speed).

Two other Mods that increase this stat are Quickening (which, however, is inferior to the others) e Gladiator Vice (recommended if you don't have Primed Fury).


The Scope instead represents the radius that our weapon will cover with every shot. Being crucial in high-level missions, killing as many enemies as possible at the same time, it is advisable to have a high statistic of Range and therefore always have a Mod that upgrades it equipped.

Mods that increase Range are Reach (present in Primed version), emotional impact e Spring-Loaded Blade. Of these, the most effective is undoubtedly Reach, even not in the Primed version, since it has higher numbers and higher usability.

This statistic is one of the main reasons why many Zaws the Atterax, to give a few examples, they are considered meta weapons.

Combo counter

The Combo Counterfinally, it is a statistic that takes into account how many hits are scored, and, beyond certain quantities of blows, they offer a multiplicative bonus to damage, increasing it by1,5x at the beginning and reaching a maximum of 8x.

The only exception to this rule are the Venka Prime, which instead increase by1,75x per hit with a maximum of 11,5x.

The Combo Counter activates once a hit is made, and will fade away if you don't hit an enemy for more than 3 seconds. There are, however, ways of keeping it active for longer, thanks to Mods like Drifting Contact, Body Count e Gladiator Rush.

Of these, the most used is Drifting Contact due to the boost in Chance of Effect.

Then there are Mods that use the Combo Counter to give special bonuses, as Blood Rush, Weeping Wounds e Relentless Combination, of which only the first and in some cases the second see some use.

Statistics excluded from the building process

Of all the stats listed, you may have noticed that we purposely skipped a few.

This is because some of them are considered non-meta, while others are but not worth upgrading. Here's a quick review of what they are and why they were excluded:

Magazine Capacity, Maximum Ammo and Bullet Speed: the reason they are ignored is that, since Mod slots are limited to 8, dedicating one to one of these stats instead of much more useful ones (such as those listed above) would go to limit the damage output.

Rate of Fire, Recoil and Reload Rate: these 3 statistics are not used in the building for reasons similar to the previous ones, with the difference that there are weapons that at least can benefit from it and be moderately effective, like Opticor (base) in the first case, l'Akbronco Prime in the second and theAklex Prime in the third.

The Vandal variant of the Opticor has been released recently, and fully solves the problem of the low rate of fire


Crossing: the crossing, in itself, is aexcellent statistics, and in the weapons that have inherited it it is very good indeed. Unfortunately though, due to the fact that enemies are not always aligned with each other, it is difficult to benefit constantly, therefore, like the other statistics on this list, it is not worth considering in the building.

Physical damages: how long physical damage exists meta (such as cutting), putting Mods that enhance their effectiveness are worth it just in case the physical damage in question is much taller than the others.
This is because Mods that enhance base damage and Elemental Mods increase the weapon's dps based on total damage of it, and not only on one of its typologies.

Remember, then, that increasing a type of damage also increases the probability that its effect will be applied, which in the case of physical damage is an already increased probability of 70 times the radiating power, with respect to the elements.

Comparison between the same weapon with a Mod that enhances elemental damage (image 1) and one that enhances a type of physical damage (in this case the Slash)

Consequently, avoiding the application of ineffective effects (such as Impact and Puncture) is a must to increase the efficiency of the weapon.

Non-meta elements: of all the elements in the game, only a few listed above are meta. Those missing were excluded for both lack of effectiveness against most of the enemy alignments, both because they present a weak effect or sometimes harmful.

In the case of elements used individually, we are talking about Electricity, Ice e Toxin, in the case instead of elemental combinations we are talking about Magnetic e Explosive

Damage per single faction: there are some Mods that increase the total damage output based on the faction you are fighting against. However, Warframe is a game molto veloce in which, very often, many different factions face each other in a short time, having to change builds each time before a mission becomes unnerving and extremely uncomfortable.

Until, therefore, DE enters the option to modify a build while loading a mission or during the mission itself, these Mods will remain discouraged.

Effect Duration: although some effects are applied over time (such as the virus or bleeding), generally we tend to kill the enemy in the shortest possible time.
This means, therefore, that increasing the time over which they are applied is almost useless.

Damage on Executions: the executions on Warframe are a lot lens e inconvenient, since they do damage on a single enemy and you have to wait for the end of the corresponding animation.

The only time you may want to opt for executions is with frames like Inaros, but in that case it is more effective to use a dagger that has the Mod Covert Letality, allowing him to instantly shoot any enemy without having to rely on weapon damage.

Execution Damage therefore remains a completely useless stat.

Thanks to her first ability, Inaros can inflict Blindness, thus making enemies hit vulnerable to an execution.

Channeling Damage and Channeling Efficiency: the reason these two statistics are never touched in the building process is that the mechanics of channeling itself are not uncomfortable, But it is also inconvenient, since it causes a additional energy consumption with respect to your skills. Ultimately, better ignore them.

These were the last statistics to be considered.

Before concluding, we will briefly mention particular Mods that can or improve the performance of a weapon and, in some cases, make it more unique than the others. 

We are talking about the Unique mods (also called Enhancement Mod) and the Riven Mod.

Unique mods

Some weapons possess Unique mods only for them or for a certain category, which can increase their performance enormously.

Most of these can be found in the different Associations, while some will only be available in certain game modes (such as the Index) or during Nightwave.

Examples of unique Mods are those for the Furis, the Miter and the Supra.


Riven Mod

One last thing that can save weapons or upgrade already powerful ones are Riven Mod.

Depending on the weapon and what you want to build it for, there may be multiple types of different stats you want to aim for, but in general the best are the following:

For firearms

Recommended positive stats: Damage, Critical Chance, Critical Damage, Status Chance and any meta elements.

Recommended negative stats: Zoom, Recoil (if not too high), physical damage that the weapon in question does not have and Maximum Ammo (if the loss is significant, it is still usable but it is recommended to use the Carrier with Mod for collecting ammo ).

For melee weapons

Recommended positive stats: Damage, Range, Attack Speed, Crit Chance, Crit Chance on Slide, Crit Damage, Chance of Effect, and any meta elements.

Recommended Negative Stats: Execution Damage, physical damage that the weapon in question does not have.

And with that, the time has come conclude this guide.


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