Whether you’ve been playing Warframe for a bit or just freshly installed the game an hour ago, you’ve probably already noticed that there are a few different weapons to use in the game — or rather, a few hundred weapons. While you’ll eventually work your way through the extensive weapon list of Warframe, you’ll definitely want to grab yourself a Kuva weapon.
What Is a Kuva Weapon?
Most of you probably have a good idea of what a Kuva weapon is, or have at least seen one being used before. For those who don’t know, Kuva weapons are a special variant of certain specific weapons that already exist within the game (e.g Kraken, Tonkor, Brakk, etc.).
You may have seen Kuva weapons being linked somewhere in your chat, or maybe people asking for help with eliminating their Kuva Liches. Whatever the case may be, Kuva weapons are often an important part of any Tenno’s progression.
Needless to say, these Kuva weapons outclass their normal variants by a good margin — some more so than others. Each Kuva weapon comes with an innate element built into them, depending on which progenitor warframe you use to assassinate the Kuva Larvling. This alone makes them more potent and deadly than their non-Kuva counterparts.
Some people even consider Kuva weapons to be extremely viable for mid-game content, all the way into late-game. Another reason for this is that you can level them to a max rank of 40, as opposed to the usual cap of 30. This can be done by polarizing the weapon five times (requires 5 Forma), with the maximum level increasing by two with each Forma.
Thanks to this, Kuva weapons will give mastery experience all the way up until Rank 40, therefore providing more mastery rank experience than normal weapons as an additional incentive.
How to Acquire Kuva Weapons
This article assumes you already have an idea of how the Kuva Lich system works, but we’ll go over a quick review.
In order to even be able to obtain a Kuva weapon in Warframe, you must first have completed the quest “War Within.” With this quest completed and under your belt, you will have access to the Kuva Lich system.
This system is essentially how you’ll go about spawning and killing your Kuva Liches in order to take their weapons. We strongly recommend becoming familiar with the Kuva Lich system, especially after the changes to it post-Railjack update. You should study up on how to efficiently spawn and hunt your Kuva Lich, especially if you’re looking for a specific weapon.
Best Kuva Weapons to Get, Ranked in No Particular Order
Now that we’ve gone over the brief introduction of Kuva weapons, we’re going to get into the meat and potatoes and main reason why you’re here: what Kuva weapons are the best ones to go for?
Our first answer to any kind of question regarding the “best” of anything is that you should always use what you find to be the most fun for you. Still, we can provide you with five Kuva weapons that you should definitely try out if you find yourself needing some new and improved firepower.
With cluster bomb arrows, this deadly bow requires less-than-adequate accuracy for more-than-satisfying results. Once upon a time, the Kuva Bramma held the crown for being the absolute go-to primary weapon. Everyone and their grandma had one, and for a very good reason. While these days the Kuva Bramma might not be at the very top of the meta lists, this bow is far from irrelevant.
Though this bomb-tastic bow has a reputation for having high innate crit rate and high damage on top of the cluster explosions, it doesn’t come without flaws. The main flaw namely being the horrid ammo economy of this bow.
Sporting a one-arrow magazine with a 5 ammo reserve, and only a single ammo per pickup, this bow doesn’t leave you with many shots to work with in a lot of situations. Thankfully, this can be somewhat remedied through ammo mutation mods and such.
But at that point, you’ll have to choose whether you want a little more ammo efficiency or bigger explosion damage numbers. Either way, this weapon makes a fine primary that can and will carry you through the star chart if you need it to.
Continuing the theme of big explosions, there’s a pretty good chance that the Kuva Zarr is a weapon you’ve already heard or seen before in Warframe.
The weapon is a giant, literal hand cannon that fires cannonballs with primary fire (cannon mode) and a shotgun buckshot with alternate fire (barrage mode). Very similar to the Kuva Bramma, the primary fire is ideal for clearing large groups of enemies with cluster explosions and is really the main selling point of this weapon in the first place.
With an above-average damage and crit multiplier, its 5 ammo capacity and 5 ammo reserve make for a slightly more ammo-efficient weapon than the previously mentioned Kuva Bramma. However, it’s still not too great in the ammo department. That being said, you can still help resolve this issue with ammo mutation mods.
Some may say this weapon had its fall from greatness with the nerfs it suffered from back in 2021, but it’s still an amazing secondary. Not only does this weapon shoot semi-homing radiation beams, but those radiation beams arc to nearby enemies.
This means the Kuva Nukor takes full advantage of multishot and fire rate mods, pushing this weapon to its limits when paired along with its 50% base status chance and high base crit chance. Thanks to the innate radiation damage on this weapon, it’s not uncommon to see people aim for a Kuva Nukor with an innate fire element in order to easily trigger corrosive or viral effects (without needing to use an extra mod slot).
While many players swear by the Kuva Zarr as their explosive crowd control weapon of choice, the Kuva Tonkor is actually not very far off if built correctly. This grenade launcher may lack the raw AOE damage of the Kuva Bramma’s cluster bombs or the Kuva Zarr’s status chance, but it makes up for it where the other two lack — ammo.
The Kuva Tonkor only holds one grenade in its magazine, but it has a reserve of 30 shot and an ammo pickup of 3 without any mods. If you can find a way to negate the impact explosions (e.g Revenant’s Mesmer Skin ability), then you can essentially run around as a mobile grenade launcher that rarely has to search for ammo. This leads to some people preferring to use the Kuva Tonkor over the Bramma and Zarr.
With the original Hek and Vaykor Hek putting up a solid reputation for the Hekk, there’s no surprise that the Kuva Hek is a step up from the rest. The primary fire is really nothing special outside of a normal shotgun shot, but the alternate fire is where this weapon shines.
The Kuva Hek’s alternate fire unloads all the shells in the magazine — trust us, it’s as good as it sounds. This alternate fire has led to the possibilities of one-shotting bosses and even Archons! Yes, those Archons.
What other weapon do you know of that allows you to clear an entire Archon hunt in a couple of minutes? If you haven’t built yourself a Kuva Hek, go give it a shot and tell those Archons we sent you.
Join the High Ground
Hopefully, our guide has helped you find a new toy for you to use against both the normal star chart, and maybe even the Steel Path as well. Think we missed out on an important Kuva weapon, or maybe you just want to share your favorite Kuva weapon to use in Warframe? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to subscribe to the High Ground for the latest news, guides, and articles on all things gaming.
Stay safe out there, Tenno!