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The Best Arcanes in Warframe

Empower your builds with these useful items!

So you’re looking for a way to make that warframe or weapon build even more powerful? Then Arcanes are a great way to round out any build you may be having trouble with in Warframe! While there is no direct mention of them in the game, you may find Arcane Enhancements to be just the thing you’re looking for.

You can imbue Arcanes into equipment and gain special effects when successfully meeting certain trigger conditions. They may not be the cheapest options at times, but some of these effects can make many builds viable and feel better to play.

What Are the Best Arcanes in Warframe?

If you’re not exactly sure which Arcanes you should be looking for, or if they’re worth your time and platinum in the first place, I have some solid recommendations. These Arcanes are a safe purchase that you’ll find useful in almost any mission.

In no particular order, here are a few of the better Arcane Enhancements for your equipment that you should absolutely pick up for one of your current or future builds in Warframe. Note that the ones I’m showcasing are all at max rank.

Arcane Energize

  • Effect: On energy pickup, 60% chance to replenish 150 energy to self and all allies within 15m.
  • Cooldown: 15s
  • Sources: Capture Eidolon Hydrolyst
    • Rotation C mission reward in Orphix Venus Proxima missions.

Arcane Energize is widely considered to be the most desired Arcane to have at max rank, or any rank really, in Warframe. Because of how valuable the effect of Arcane Energize is, it is still very helpful to be used in a team even if only at rank 1 or 2.

This price of this Arcane on the trade market directly reflects its value within the game, as it is and has been the most expensive Arcane Enhancement pound for pound. A single rank 0 can be seen going for around 100 Platinum, while a fully maxed rank 5 can be seen for over 2000 Platinum.

Arcane Avenger

  • Effect: On damaged, 21% chance for +45% critical chance for 12s.
  • Cooldown: None
  • Sources: Capture Eidolon Hydrolyst
    • Rotation C mission reward in Orphix Venus Proxima/ Veil Proxima missions.

Taking into consideration how often you’ll be taking damage throughout your missions, and especially upon entering Steel Path, you’ll likely find your Arcane Avenger having fairly high uptime. Assuming you’re able to survive and aren’t using a warframe with an ability that makes them immune to damage (e.g Rhino, Nezha, Revenant, etc.).

If you’re running crit-based builds on your equipment and have a free Arcane Enhancement slot open, Arcane Avenger might be a good fit. The 45% critical chance gain could be exactly what your build needs to start hitting those juicy red crit numbers.

Molt Augmented

  • Effect: On kill, +0.24% ability strength. Stacks up to 250x.
  • Cooldown: None
  • Sources: Able to purchase with 10,000 standing from The Holdfast (requires rank 5 standing)
    • Can be dropped by Thrax Centurion, Thrax Legatus, and Void Angels from Zariman Ten Zero (Angel’s of Zariman area).

A great choice if you ever find yourself short on ability strength for a build. Or if you’re just trying to stack as much of the stuff as possible. This is definitely a top contender for the best Arcanes to use in Warframe.

Molt Augmented provides such a significant amount of ability strength in missions, only requiring that you get kills within said missions. Because Warframe is a more PVE focused game, odds are that you’ll be doing plenty of killing. Molt Augmented is almost a no-brainer for people who are looking for ways to get easy ability strength.

Primary/Secondary Merciless

  • Effect: On kill, +30% damage for 4s. Stacks up to 12x. Passive +30% reload speed.
  • Cooldown: None
  • Sources: Dropped from Acolytes in Steel Path.

While Primary Merciless may not have as big of a damage buff as Primary Deadhead, the easy trigger condition requires very little micromanaging in order to keep the buff up and running even with the small 4s buff window.

For this reason, you may find yourself running Merciless over Deadhead in most missions. You might only swap to Deadhead with weapons that are able to reliably get headshot kills with little status procs, as they do not count toward the headshot trigger requirement for Deadhead.

Arcane Aegis

  • Effect: On shield damaged, 3% chance for +30% shield recharge for 12s.
  • Cooldown: None
  • Sources: Capture Eidolon Gantulyst
    • Rotation C mission reward in Orphix Venus Proxima/ Veil Proxima missions.

While this one may be a little more niche than the other Arcanes mentioned, I feel it’s still worth mentioning because of the extremely powerful shield gating mechanic in Warframe.

Arcane Aegis pairs extremely well with shield-heavy warframes (such as Mag and Hildryn) that love to abuse the shield gating mechanic for surviving in high level content. While they can absolutely function without this arcane, you can use them as training wheels while trying to get the feel for the shield gating mechanic in higher level content.

Primary/Secondary Deadhead

  • Effect: On precision headshot kill, +120% damage for 24s. Stacks up to 3x. Passive +30% to headshot multiplier. Passive -50% weapon recoil.
  • Cooldown: None
  • Sources: Dropped from Acolytes in Steel Path.

Arguably, the best Arcane to use on weapons that already pack a punch and are easy to get precision headshot kills with in Warframe. The first thing that comes to mind would be something like the Laetum Incarnon pistol with the 5th evolution trait Devouring Attrition.

As I mentioned above, you’ll be relying on direct damage and not status procs to kill enemies. Otherwise, this Arcane will not trigger from status-inflicted kills.

What is an Arcane?

Simply put, Arcanes are items that you can slot into pieces of equipment (e.g warframes, weapons, operator weapons, etc.) that provide a buff when you meet the required conditions. These conditions range from anything as simple as taking damage to something very niche such as latching onto walls.

Two arcanes slotted in the top right of a Warframe. | Image: Digital Extremes via HGG

You can rank up your Arcanes in Warframe by obtaining multiple unranked copies of the same Arcane and fusing them together. The highest rank is 5 and requires a total of 21 copies to reach.

But like any other highly-valued item that can help give you a significant edge against the endgame of Warframe, the more useful Arcanes can be rather pricey. That being said, there are Arcanes that can be used to improve just about any build you’re looking to put together. Whether it be for normal star chart clearing or for high-level endgame content, you will find some use through Arcanes.

How to Get Arcanes in Warframe?

Arcane Enhancements come from many different sources throughout all of Warframe. It really just depends on the specific Arcane you’re searching for to determine where you should start looking.

For the longest time, and even up to the current date, Eidolon hunting has been arguably the best source for farming Arcane Enhancements. With the more valuable Arcanes dropping from the third tier of Eidolon that spawns Hydrolyst.

An Eidolon poses a great threat, but also an opportunity for Arcanes. | Image: Digital Extremes

However, Eidolon hunting also requires an extremely well-prepared and knowledgeable squad of people. This is needed to make the hunts efficient enough to be worth the time spent on them.

Alternatively, some Arcane Enhancements require you to reach a certain standing with a group in order to purchase them. Examples include the Amp Arcanes from The Quills and Vox Solaris or Molt Arcanes from the more recent Angel’s of Zariman update.

You are also able to trade Arcanes from player to player with Platinum for those of you with more entrepreneurial spirits. However, make sure you do research on the Platinum prices of each Arcane first, otherwise, you might get ripped off.

How to Install an Arcane in Warframe?

In order to unlock an Arcane slot for primary and secondary weapons, you need to purchase an Arcane Adapter from Teshin at any relay for 15 Steel Path Essence. As for the warframes themselves, each one should have two arcane enhancement slots by default.

As for the actual installation process of Arcanes, it’s extremely simple! First, go into the mod “upgrade” screen of the equipment you want to install an Arcane into. From there, you should see either one or two slots for Arcanes (depending on the equipment) on the right side of the screen. Finally, you simply click on one of these slots, and you’ll receive a prompt to install an Arcane into that piece of equipment!


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