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Warframe Survival Strategies

Updated on August 5, 2017
Warframe Logo
Warframe Logo | Source


So, today I will be talking about some survival mission strategies that you can do in Warframe. For those who don't really know what survival is in Warframe I will briefly explain it here. Survivals are essentially an endless style horde mission where you can farm affinity, credits, and resources for as long as you want provided you reach the minimum of five minutes. Enemies will slowly become stronger and stronger as time goes on making them very hard to kill in long survivals and essentially makes them bullet sponges. You are also required to maintain and gather life support allowing you to continue the mission. Survivals are pretty straight forward and it's good way along with Defenses, Excavations, and Interceptions to farm resources. I will cover those at another time.


Before Survival

Before we get into some strategies it's time to prep for the mission. You should decide whether you're going to go solo or in a team. You should also decide what Warframe, Primary, Secondary, and Melee you're bringing. Sentinels are choice preference and aren't necessarily required. However, I recommend bringing them because they have vacuum which will make your life a little easier when it comes to gathering resources and life support. Don't equip them with weapons unless you plan to level them because they will die quicker if you equip them with weapons since it draws more aggro to them.

Once you've made your decision you can choose which survival you want to go into. There's currently four factions to choose from when it comes to a survival with a variety of different difficulties. There's currently 24 different survival missions if you include ten Dark Sector survivals along with 14 normal ones. Here is the list of the different factions you can fight and their relative strength.

  • Corrupted (Hardest Faction)
  • Corpus (Second Easiest Faction)
  • Grineer (Second Hardest Faction)
  • Infested (Easiest Faction)

The reason why Corrupted and Grineer are the hardest factions you can face in survivals is because they have armor which can scale indefinitely and makes extremely hard to kill in late long survivals. However, there is ways around that which we will discuss later on in this hub. Corpus and Infested are generally easier because they don't have armor that makes them super hard to kill. Corpus rely on shields which are relatively weak compared to armor and infested are just pure flesh which can easily be killed. However, there is three different damage types I will cover briefly below.

Impact: Is strong against shields but is weak against flesh and machine type enemies. Not good against Corrupted, Grineer, and Infested.

Puncture: Is strong against armor and machines but is weak against shield and flesh type enemies. Not good against Corpus and Infested.

Slash: Is strong against flesh but is weak to armor. With exception given to bleed proc's which ignores armor and shields and deals direct health damage. Effective against all factions provided there's bleed proc's.

Knowing the damage types will help you determine what weapons you should bring to the respective survival. I recommend slash based weapons since it's versatile against all enemy types. While it's weak against armor bleed proc's ignore it and deal directly to the enemies health which can evaporate them quickly.

Console to start survival
Console to start survival

Starting Survival

So, now that you've decided what to bring and whether you're going solo or not it's time to start the survival. You'll be prompted by Lotus to hack a console to trigger the alarms which will begin the survival. The starting location of a survival can be important because the flow of enemies is important especially when it comes to gathering life support. However, going solo depending on the starting location camping would be good for the first five minutes. Going in a team it would be good to move towards the first capsule or staying put. Obviously sticking together will make more enemies spawn close which will make it easier for you and everyone to keep the life support from falling to far.

There isn't really a perfect strategy to the start of a survival because there's a variety of different tilesets for a particular mission. For me personally I like to camp at the start if possible because I generally get a good flow of enemies. However, on starts where it would take to long for the enemies to get to me I find another location or go to the first big life support capsule as a form of insurance.


Funnel Strategy

I'm personally a proponent of the funnel strategy where you make the enemies come towards you in a tight hallway making their numbers useless. Also using a weapon with punch-through will allow you to kill multiple enemies in a line which can be useful. I find this a good strategy overall because you last a fairly good amount of time doing this till the enemies take to long to kill and you're forced to move around and use large life support capsules to keep your life support up. However, this strategy does have a few problems especially when it comes to enemies who have AOE damage that can ruin your day. This is especially true with the Grineer who I generally fight in survivals often who have Napalms, Noxs, and Bombards that can proc different types of AOE damage. For me doing this strategy solo is okay but can be improved with more people.

The funnel strategy in my opinion would work better with a team because you can all keep the enemies from surrounding you and it makes them attack from one or two directions depending on the hallway. For example the hallway in the image above forces them to come from one direction. This essentially forces the enemies to go in one direction to get to you which is in your favor especially in the long run. Multiple teammates in a tight area will make more enemies spawn which will increase life support drops. Which can keep you going for a while depending on what is decided from you or the team for how long you want to stay. This is essentially camping but is using the terrain of the tileset to your advantage.

Big life support
Big life support

Camping/Defend Life Support Capsule

This is an alternate form of camping but where you essentially stay close or in the vicinity of a big life support capsule that can provide you 30% life support in an emergency or if the life support falls to low. I recommend not activating these unless you fall below 30% which can give you a boost if the enemies aren't dropping life support. This is a good strategy if you're solo and have a tanky frame that can handle being attacked from multiple directions. This is especially true if the enemies aren't dropping enough life support to maintain it at an adequate level. This is also good for a Frost who wants to do a survival because he's the centerpiece of all defense style missions where you need to keep a object or person alive. Putting a globe around a big life support capsule will help keep you or your teammates from getting hit from all directions. This essentially similar to a panic room where you need to avoid getting hit temporally. This is a better strategy if you have frost on your team because globes are life saver.

Moving around
Moving around

Moving around

This really the only other strategy that isn't camping you're constantly moving around killing all the enemies you see. This actually works in solo play because enemies will spawn near you no matter what area you're in. However, this can limit spawn rates which can make you get life support harder if the enemies need to catch up to you. Playing in a team will alleviate some of the life support problems that this style presents. Also being mobile can make it harder to get pinned down that can happen in funnel or camping style strategies.

I generally like this strategy because it allows you to explore the map more and can help you open containers and creates to get more resources and life support. Also breaking containers can give you the possibility to get Ayatan Stars which is good. I recommend this strategy early on to explore the map but life support does become a problem if you continue to this because enemies enemies need to catch up to you.

Mission Completed Screen
Mission Completed Screen

Ending a Survival

Obviously the best ending to a survival is extracting when you want or when the enemies get to a point where it's time to get out of dodge. Obviously the strategy here is to get to extraction with out dying or loosing all your revives. This is especially true in solo play because the mission will fail. In a team it's okay because you can still get the rewards at the end of the mission provided they don't loose all of their revives either. That's rare though and I've never had a case like that in all my time playing Warframe.

Activating big life support capsules on the way is recommended because this will allows everyone to make it to extraction without loosing shields and health gradually. This in the end makes it easier and better for everyone especially if they aren't using tanky frames that can easily be killed by the enemies. Obviously when enemies get to strong I recommend using a dagger with covert lethality that can instantly kill any level enemy. The only caveat to that is ancient healers that provide damage reduction to all the enemies in it's influence which can prevent you from instant killing enemies. That said, that's a tool in tool kit if enemies are getting to strong for you to kill with other weapons and abilities.


I just want to conclude by saying there's no correct strategy or one strategy that beats all. Everyone can play the way they want to and have fun with it. That's the most important thing when it comes to a grindy game have fun with it and play how you want. Hopefully the strategies I listed above will help you along the way especially if you want to go for a long survival. I just want to thank everyone who took the time to read this and I hope this helps you.

© 2017 Trevor James MacEwan


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