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Modding Warframes

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:52 pm
by DrNiggle
The most important things to consider when you're modding a frame are what that frames abilities are and which abilities you want to use, and why. Knowing that will help you choose the right mods to use. I think the best way to go about this is explaining the most commonly used mods across nearly all frames and which ones may be useful for you on your chosen frame. There's no one way to correctly mod a Warframe; this is supposed to be about how you play and what feels good or fun to you, not someone else. This is not a comprehensive list of mods. These are some of the mods, in my experience, that you will likely use most often.

This is going to be a long post, sorry about that.

As always if you have any questions check out the Warframe Wiki:


Mod Capacity is like a pool of points on a frame that mods will draw from; when your capacity hits 0, you can’t add anything else to it.

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You can see a frames capacity in the upper left. The capacity increases as you level a frame up: a level 30 frame will have a base capacity of 30. This can be doubled by installing an Orokin Reactor, so a level 30 frame would have a maximum capacity of 60. The capacity on frames can be further increased using Auras: special mods that give bonuses to not only you, but your entire squad.

When you level up mods, they will take up more capacity. It is very easy to fill the capacity of a non-reactored frame to 30 using just one or two mods. To make more space, you can polarize mod slots using forma, which will half the cost of a mods capacity when both slot and mod share the same polarity. A green polarity symbol means the polarity of both the mod and its slot match and the capacity cost has been halved. A red polarity symbol means that the polarity of the mod and the slot don't match and the mod is taking up more capacity than it should.

Important: You can only polarize the slot of a max level frame. When you polarize a slot, the frame level is reset to 0 and you will have to level it up again. You do not gain experience from leveling this frame again.


This is how to save different builds on a single Warframe. You can save up to 3 builds and easily switch between them; whatever configuration you’re viewing when you exit your Arsenal will be the configuration your frame uses.


Important: If you’ve added forma to your frame and polarized a slot, that slot polarity is the same over all three configurations, so plan accordingly when you forma.

Flawed Mods

Get rid of these as soon as you find their non-flawed variants. The end.

Common Mods

These mods drop frequently and should not be difficult to acquire. Leveling them up takes significant resources but their value can be just as important even when they're only a few ranks up from base.

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Vitality is possibly the only mod that will almost always be on your frames. A larger health pool lets you take more damage before being downed and while shields recharge, health does not on most frames, so high vitality is advantageous.

Redirection is helpful when leveling a frame from zero or if you have no other mods to use. It can also be helpful on Hijack missions where vehicles draw power from your frames shields. Outside of those situations, this mod has limited usefulness.

Steel Fiber is important to some frames and useless to others. If your frame has 65 base armor, this mod is not worth using because
  1. 110% of 65 will not make a big difference
  2. In all likelihood your frame is not meant for in-your-face fighting
If your frame has 300 base armor, this mod will grant a significant boost and could be great to use. Certain frames like Rhino also use their armor stat to calculate ability strength on skills like Iron Skin, so having your armor as high as possible is best. More on this later.

Resistance Mods
Generally speaking these are not worth the slots they occupy, however in some cases they can be helpful. If you’re grinding General Sargas Ruk on Saturn, you may want to equip Flame Repellent since he’s a pyromaniac. If you’re trying to quickly level frames or weapons in Sanctuary Onslaught, you may want to equip Antitoxin since the infested toxin procs can quickly take down a frame with low health.

Uncommon Mods

Most mods in this class deal with specific stats including IPS, movement speed, shield recharge, etc. Generally speaking again, unless there is a very specific need for enhancing one of these stats, you will not use these mods. There are however two mods that you may use more frequently.

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Stretch will increase your frames ability range. This is useful for frames that benefit from a large power range, like Equinox’s Maim skill or a Rhino Stomp build. If you’re setting up different builds for your frame using the Configurations, you may use Stretch for one build but not another.

For example, if you’re building Loki to have max duration invisibility, you would use duration mods and not use Stretch since his invisibility skill doesn’t use range at all. If you’re building Loki to use Radial Disarm however, you would ditch your duration mods and use Stretch so that skill would disarm enemies in as large a radius around you as possible.

Equilibrium is a difficult mod to come by, only dropping from the Infested Corpus Head of the Lephantis boss. This is an example of a mod that’s not very useful until it’s so useful you can’t live without it. In my opinion, one of its best uses is with a Nekros Hybrid Desecrate build because with that build Desecrate consumes health instead of energy, but also increases the chance of health orbs dropping, and that synergy fuels your frames energy so you can cast additional skills like Shield of Shadows. I feel weird singling this mod out but it can be important.

Rare Mods

There are many of these mods all with varying degrees of usefulness. As your mod collection grows and you learn more about which frames excel at what, you can experiment to your hearts content. As a beginner I recommend grabbing and leveling a few specific ones.

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Intensify can give +30% power Strength and is another commonly used mod, especially on frames whose skills are used as damage dealers.

Streamline can give +30% to power Efficiency and is commonly used on any frame where you use your abilities.

Continuity can give +30% to power Duration and is another commonly used mod, especially on frames whose skills need to be active for as long as possible. This does not include Channeled skills which end only when you run out of power.

Important: with regards to power Efficiency, there is a crossover between Efficiency and Duration where a low value on Duration negatively affects the Efficiency of channeled skills like Excalibur's Exalted Blade or Valkyr's Hysteria. See this page for exact values. Generally speaking, for maximum Efficiency on channeled skills keep your Efficiency at 175% and your Duration at or above 100%.

Flow is useful on any frame where skills would benefit from a large energy pool, like Valkyr's Hysteria or Ember's World On Fire. Used in conjunction with a mod like Quick Thinking, it can also enhance your survivability.

Armored Agility, or any mod that adds armor, will come in handy for the same reasons that Steel Fiber is sometimes handy.

Constitution is helpful when trying to stack Duration for builds like Loki’s Perma-Invisible build I mentioned earlier.

Vigor is an all-around useful mod that can be used in addition to or to replace vitality. Its primed variant is more useful, but non-prime is still good.

Corrupted mods
These are found in vaults which require keys on the Orokin Derelict. These are mid to late game mods with one positive stat and one negative stat. They can be used in conjunction with one another in a balancing act, or individually when one stat isn’t needed but another is required.

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Important: It may be wise to not rank some of these mods to maximum, or have more than one of each with one being maxed and the other not. For example, most people only level Fleeting Expertise to rank 4 instead of its max of 5. This is because of the 175% power Efficiency cap. A rank 4 or “one from the top” Fleeting Expertise and a max rank Streamline will hit this cap with only 5% wasted instead of 15%, while only suffering -50% duration instead of -60%. You’ll also save 1 capacity on your frame which may be significant.

Prime Mods

These mods are bought from the Void Merchant Barro whenever he comes around. They are expensive to get and to level up, but are powerful and generally awesome. With the exception of Umbral mods, these prime mods are just variants of rare mods with higher stats. Umbral mods are special Prime Set mods and tied to The Sacrifice quest which should be late to end game content.

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I do not believe that a “good build” should require primed mods; I believe that primed mods should further enhance a “good build”.

Exilus Mods

Also called Utility mods, these mods have small but beneficial stats and are unique in that they are the only type of mod which can be fitted into the Exilus slot on your Warframe. They can also be placed in any normal mod slot.

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There are many Exilus mods and they all drop from different locations.
► Show Spoiler
For a complete list of Exilus mods and their drop information see the wiki page here.


These mods can only be placed in the dedicated Aura slot on your Warframe. This will be the first mod you usually add to a frame since unlike all other mods, Auras increase the mod capacity of a frame, doubly so if their polarity matches that of the Aura slot. These mods effects apply to you and your squadmates. If multiple squad members have the same Aura equipped, their effects stack.

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Corrosive Projection reduces enemy armor and is widely regarded as one of the most useful Auras.

Energy Siphon is useful for builds like Loki’s Perma-invisible build where a skill is cast and a timer counts down to its deactivation. Energy will not regenerate while channeled skills are active, like Excalibur’s Exalted Blade or Ember’s World On Fire.

Rejuvenation is an easier-to-get Aura with a Madurai polarity. It’s nothing special, but far from useless.

Steel Charge goes well with any frame geared towards melee combat or frames like Excalibur or Ash whose Exalted Blade and Blade Storm are considered melee, respectively.

Shotgun Amp is here because I love shotguns.

Other Mods

There are many other Warframe mods than those listed here. Some are available for purchase from Syndicates or Cephalon Simaris or drop from special events or end-game activities. The longer you play, the more of these will be available to you, and the more knowledgeable you will be to decide which are most useful for you.

A complete mod listing can be found here:

Example: Rhino builds

Rhino is a solid early game frame who can keep you alive and help out a group with crowd control and damage buffs. Looking at his abilities, he can charge enemies, give himself a layer of over-armor, buff allies power strength, and stomp enemies into the air. These are builds that I use; they are fitted to my liking and are not "correct" builds because there is no such thing.

This first build will focus on his 2 skill, Iron Skin.

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This build is useful in missions where I'm too busy to care about taking damage, but its uses are limited in terms of AoE damage and group support. Looking at Rhinos abilities, Iron skin has two stats: Ferrite Armor, and Time Invulnerable. The Invulnerability is nice, but it's not the point of Iron Skin. That means that the only things I need to beef this skill up are Armor and Power Strength. The higher my base armor is, the higher Iron Skin's base armor will be, and the higher my Power Strength the higher Iron Skin's base armor will be multiplied.

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Shotgun Amp: I use the Arca Plasmor with my Rhino, which is a shotgun, so this is advantageous for me. Corrosive Projection is an aura that would help out my squad more
Power Drift: Because it increases Power Strength

Gladiator Aegis: Because it increases Armor
Streamline: Because I always try to increase base Efficiency on all of my builds
Transient Fortitude: It increases Power Strength and I don't need Duration
Blind Rage: The Power Strength increase is too good

Steel Fiber: Because it increases Armor
Intensify: Because it increases Power Strength
Fleeting Expertise: Because it balances out the Efficiency that Blind Rage took away, and I don't need Duration
Iron Shrapnel: Because I hate waiting for Iron Skin to reach 0 before I can recast it

The Point: I'm pouring everything I have into Armor and Power Strength. Range means nothing for Iron Skin since it's all over me like a layer of chunky peanut butter. Duration means nothing because Iron Skin stays up for as long as it has health; there's no timer or channeling. Slightly higher base Efficiency is cutting down on some of my casting cost. This build has increased the health of Iron skin from 1,887 to 8,267. This is good enough for me in most situations, however there are builds which can increase that health even more by using different mods and combining other skills with Iron Skin.

The second build example will be for Rhino's 4 skill, Stomp.

This is a CC build designed to hold enemies in the air while my team and I pick them off. It's helpful in Interception missions and higher level missions where lots of enemies will come at us, but its use is limited in missions where we have to travel long distances at pace.

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Looking at Rhino's abilities again, I see that Stomp has Damage, Range, Speed Decrease which is applied to enemies, and Duration. Speed Decrease does not matter since enemies will be suspended in the air. Damage is not a priority because I want a maximum Range and Duration for crowd control, so I will focus almost exclusively on the latter two.

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Shotgun Amp: I use the Arca Plasmor with my Rhino, which is a shotgun, so this is advantageous for me. Corrosive Projection is an aura that would help out my squad more
Cunning Drift: It increases my ability range and allows me to move a bit faster

Armored Agility: It increases my Armor since I will still be using Iron Skin and allows me to move a bit faster
Overextended: It gives a massive boost to ability Range and I don't care about Damage as much as Range
Reinforcing Stomp: Since I will be using Stomp every 12 seconds, this will replenish my Iron Skin. My ability strength is lacking and Iron Skin on this build is nowhere near as beefy as on a pure Iron Skin build so the ability to "recharge" it is valuable
Continuity: I want enemies in the air as long as possible so I'm increasing Stomp Duration

Steel Fiber: Because it increases Armor
Streamline: Because I always try to increase base Efficiency on all of my builds
Stretch: Because it increases Range
Augur Reach: Because it increases Range

The Point: With a radius of 70 meters and a Duration of 12.4 seconds, I am able to crowd control a large area and prevent enemies from attacking or moving. The only limit to my CC ability is my available energy. With Squad Energy Restores (pizzas), energy is not an issue for me.

If you made it all the way to then end of this, you're a champ. I hope this will be of some help to anyone new to modding their Warframes.

Re: Modding Warframes

Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:56 am
by Khalinaar
Wow. Just ... wow. Nice guide for new players. Kudos to you brother.

Re: Modding Warframes

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:31 pm
by Razia
Very nice guide. Thank you for that.

Re: Modding Warframes

Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:12 pm
by v996149
Nice work.
May I suggest plugging
It's got a library of builds for everything, and search functions that allow you to filter for Potatos, Forma, date etc.
While it doesn't teach you to mod, it does have a lot of builds that cater to different stages and applications.