Warframe: 5 Best Updates So Far (& 5 That Are Terrible)

Iteration is a core component in keeping a free to play game relevant to player’s libraries. Games that have neglected to update frequently have met an untimely demise, while developers who stick by their game generate a dedicated fan base.

Warframe is the best example of a game constantly updating, for better or worse. Some changes to the game have overhauled it to the point of being unrecognizable, while others have destroyed systems by introducing a plague of bugs. It comes with the territory, but it is important to track what updates were great and what sucked. Here are the highlights and lowlights of Warframe’s various updates.

10 Best: Sanctuary (Update 16)

After the last few major updates released, Digital Extremes decided to pump the brakes some and make smaller, more polished updates. “Sanctuary” was an update focused on renewing Warframe’s PvP, offering and adding a new syndicate: Cephalon Simaris.

Chroma made his debut here, a fan favorite among those who love playing tanks. Raids were introduced as well, providing special upgrades called Arcanes that players could earn throughout their playtime. This update had few bugs—excluding the raid—and was a solid addition to the game.

9 Worst: Zephyr Rises (Update 12)

Nothing is wrong with this update, but compared to all future and even past updates it falls flat. This update introduced interception missions, a new tileset, and the Zephyr Warframe.

The UI got an overhaul to look cleaner, and transmissions from NPCs have 3D character portraits. And… that’s it. This update had little substance for players to chew on, leaving many bored shortly after its release.

8 Best: Octavia’s Anthem (Update 20)

Octavia is one of the strongest Warframes in the game, and this is the update where players were introduced to her. She came with a unique and very creative quest revolving around sound—fitting for a bard Warframe.

Besides the quest, some impressive weaponry was introduced and cool cosmetics were added. Most importantly, however, was the introduction of Captura. Players could now enter special missions to take amazing photos of their characters. Full control is given to the player on camera angles, filers, environments, and even enemies to fight. Fashion became a major focus after this update released, and with Captura being added it’s easy to see why.

7 Worst: Shadows Of The Dead (Update 10)

Unlike “Zephyr Rises”, “Shadows Of The Dead” had plenty of content to satisfy players. A new Warframe, boss, and meaningful game mode gave many things to do. The issue is compared to updates today, this just didn’t have as many innovative changes.

Update 8 revised upgrades and redid balance, while Update 9 added clans and player trading into the game. This added a necromancer Warframe and some new mods. Updates in this vain are not bad necessarily, providing new things for players to do. This was not worth a major update release, however.

6 Best: Dark Sectors (Update 13)

Most of this update is buried or removed from the current game, but the update made huge changes to Warframe. Hydroid was released, along with some cool new weapons and a new tileset. Those are tiny compared to the 2 massive changes made: melee 2.0 and Dark Sectors.

Inspired by EVE Online, clans could create solar rails to control zones called Dark Sectors. Clans would fight to control these sectors by offering credits or promising bonuses. Melee 2.0 brought Devil May Cry style of combat into the game, bringing melee stances and combo moves. Gone were the days of heavy attack spamming with the Galatine, instead of pressing certain keystrokes to do cool moves. While Dark Sectors and Melee 2.0 are gone, these additions were fantastic for the game.

5 Worst: Archwing (Update 15)

“Archwing” broke most of the game. Games would frequently crash, mission generation would not load properly and sometimes enemies would just refuse to spawn. This update began the stigma of “Bugframe” among the community.

The update itself is one of the most ambitious Digital Extremes have created. Players could create Archwings, jet packs that could operate in space. This allowed for space combat with Warframe’s high octane gameplay. Unfortunately, the intense grind and buggy nature of this mode made it forgotten about quickly, and the bugs associated with it are still trying to be fixed to this day.

4 Best: The Second Dream (Update 18)

“Dream… not of what you are… but of what you want to be.”

Story missions in loot-based video games are rarely good, but Warframe made something comparable to great AAA games like Halo. “The Second Dream” update is one of the best updates Warframe has seen, maybe ever will see.

Endgame was addressed by adding Sorties, high stakes missions that reward the best gear in the game. Stalker got a revamp to be scary again, and the new Lua tileset stored many secrets and special mods for players to find. The story mission, however, is the real highlight here, with its immense production quality and fantastic writing. This update was perfect, but did not shake up the core foundation of Warframe like some updates have. Besides that, this is the highest quality update the game has ever seen.

3 Worst: The Vacuum Within (Pre Update 19)

Browsing Warframe’s forums and subreddit the day this released was quite an experience. Almost every post was about how this killed the game and how a boycott should ensue. All of this happened because of a single sentinel mod.

“The Vacuum Within” did one thing: add a global pickup range to sentinels. The issue is the range was dramatically smaller than players expected, did not work on pets such as Kubrows, and was released in the middle of Warframe’s longest content drought to date. This year-long request from players was “addressed” by halving the range and giving it to one companion type. Players quit in frustration. DE undid this change by adding a universal mod that any sentinel could use with double the range, undoing the nerf. Unfortunately, the damage was already done.

2 Best: Echoes Of The Sentient (Update 17)

Warframe became a living world with this update, adding a revamped boss that players could empathize with, a fantastic game event that had player agency, and the best gameplay revamp ever seen for a free to play game.

Parkour 2.0, as the developers called it, was introduced to this update. Players could corkscrew through the air at lightning speed, hop off of walls, slow down time while gliding in the air, and latch onto objects with ease. Combined with the aforementioned event, new tileset, and new exilus utility mods, the game practically transformed overnight. An amazing Warframe was just the cherry on top of this fantastic update.

1 Worst: The Mad Cephalon (Update 14)

Take what made the “Archwing” update terrible and combine it with “The Vacuum Within” update’s backlash. The result is “The Mad Cephalon”, the worst update in Warframe history.

Overhauling the UI by adding a player ship—effectively player housing—and adding quests into the game, Update 14 should have been one of the most innovative updates to release. Instead, the game constantly crashed and broke progression for many players. Returning players were incredibly confused, and veteran players were left with farming a new Warframe that was time-gated. This update received 11 hotfixes before new content was added, some introducing new bugs that required hotfixes themselves. It pissed many players off and broke many systems, taking months before being fixed.

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