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The 5 Best Melee Weapons in Warframe (2024)

Throughout the tens, or even hundreds, of hours we may find ourselves exploring the star chart, we’re constantly looking for ways to upgrade our arsenal. With the overwhelming amount of melee weapons available in Warframe, picking out just a handful to deem as the best of the best is no easy task.

Not to mention how time-consuming and expensive it can be to find and build a whole new weapon that we may or may not even be satisfied with. Well, that’s where the High Ground has your back, Tenno.

Here’s a brief list of some melee weapons that will have no issues helping you get through the star chart. Honestly, these weapons even have the potential to take you through Steel Path if you build them correctly.

Tier List of the Best Melee Weapons in Warframe

Tier List of the best melee weapons
Image: Tiermaker via HGG / Andrew Oli

*Note: All of the following melee weapons are top-tier overall and are just being ranked in comparison to other top-tier melee weapons of a similar caliber*

Orthos Prime (C-Tier)

Orthos Prime - Best Melee Weapons in Warframe
Image: Digital Extremes via HGG / Andrew Oli

Orthos Prime is a classic, dependable melee weapon with great base damage and crit chance, while still having insane god-like reach.

The high base crit chance of Orthos Prime means it can easily take advantage of a Blood Rush + Body Count mod setup to reach 100% crit chance, while still having enough mod slots left to make a variety of different builds. The most popular builds include viral and heat elements to make short work of most enemies you come across.

Overall, Orthos Prime is a semi-low effort, low-risk, high-reward melee weapon with a very high damage floor, allowing it to be a very effective weapon early on in the game with as little as two forma invested in it. Two forma is a very small price to pay for a weapon that you can easily rely on throughout the entirety of the star chart.

Nikana Prime (B-Tier)

Nikana Prime - Best Melee Weapons in Warframe
Image: Digital Extremes via HGG / Andrew Oli

Are you prepared to channel your inner ninja-samurai-assassin? Look no further than the Nikana Prime, a deadly katana that can bring your Demon Slayer fantasy to life. This classic weapon has maintained its reputation as one of the best melee weapons in Warframe throughout the years, a testament to its exceptional performance. This is especially impressive when considering the multitude of melee weapons that have been added since its release and the sheer number of melee weapons currently available in Warframe.

The Nikana Prime is a primarily slash-based weapon with a 28% base crit chance, as well as a 28% status chance at base. These monstrous base stats make it trivial to hit the crit cap and even get it into red crit territory with ease.

Throw on Berserking or any attack speed mod of your choosing, and you’ve got yourself what has always been considered one of the best melee weapons in Warframe, even by today’s standards. You simply can’t go wrong with a Nikana Prime.

Innodem (A-Tier)

Innodem - Best Melee Weapons in Warframe
Image: Digital Extremes via HGG / Andrew Oli

The newest addition to the crème de la crème of melee weapons that puts the star chart to shame is the Incarnon ceremonial dagger, Innodem. As an Incarnon weapon, the Innodem takes advantage of the new evolution system implemented for these special weapons.

It can evolve up to a maximum of five times, with a perk added for each evolution stage. One of the perks of this evolution is the main selling point of these unique weapons — Incarnon form. This form completely alters the weapon after activating a heavy attack while having a melee combo multiplier of at least 5x. This transformation will last for 90 seconds and will turn the Innodem into a weapon that resembles a sword more than a dagger, effectively increasing its range and overall stats.

The best way to use this weapon is by starting with light attacks to build up the combo counter, and then using heavy attacks to trigger finishers and take advantage of the weapon’s evolution perks. What’s great about this weapon is that its heavy attacks can open up enemies for finishers, which makes it an excellent match for its evolution perks.

The beauty of this weapon is that it doesn’t require a fancy build to be effective – it’s already powerful enough on its own without any forma. The secondary form of Incarnon weapons provides such a significant boost to stats and effectiveness that it almost feels like cheating at times, especially given how little investment is required. It’s truly remarkable how much of a difference its secondary form can make.

Kronen Prime (S-Tier)

Kronen Prime - Best Melee Weapons in Warframe
Image: Digital Extremes via HGG / Andrew Oli

It’s no surprise that the Kronen Prime has broken into the top tier of melee weapons. These tonfa glaives specialize in dealing absurd amounts of slash damage with each attack. With above-average crit chance and damage, along with an exceptionally quick attack speed of 1.17x and a status chance of 34%, the base stats of the weapon are already impressive. Additionally, the weapon’s range is no slouch either with a 2.5 meter reach, providing a comfortable cushion of space between the user and their enemies.

Adding attack speed and combo mods to the Kronen Prime enables it to have one of the best TTK (time to kill) of any melee weapon in Warframe, with most meta builds able to output over 25-30k damage per second. The weapon’s ability to inflict slash and viral procs means that most of the raw damage bypasses armor and goes straight to the health bar. Additionally, the Kronen Prime is a budget-friendly option, with only 2 forma needed to reach its full potential.

The concept of building up combo count to reach maximum critical chance and even getting into orange or red crit numbers is a common theme among many of the meta melee weapons in Warframe. The Kronen Prime simply does this better than other weapons, hence why it’s considered to be one of the best.

Glaive Prime (S-Tier)

Glaive Prime - Best Melee Weapons in Warframe
Image: Digital Extremes via HGG / Andrew Oli

Have you ever wished that you could throw your Kronen Prime at enemies and have it explode for ungodly amounts of AOE slash damage? Well, ladies and gentlemen, let us introduce you to the Glaive Prime.

The Glaive Prime is a throwable glaive weapon that, at first glance, doesn’t seem to have anything impressive. It has above-average stats, which is common among the rest of the weapons on this list, and a 1.25x attack animation, suitable for a throwable weapon.

Instead, the weapon truly shines when you detonate it mid-throw using the heavy attack button. This detonation results in a forced impact and slash proc to any enemy hit by it, before returning to you. As you can imagine, this weapon’s ability to force a slash proc and its versatility in being built in various ways, depending on your stage of the game, makes it almost invaluable.

You can build it around building combo count, but you can also build it in a way that allows you to detonate your glaive without being tied to a combo counter, making you a complete menace in Steel Path.

We probably don’t have to explicitly state it, but this weapon tears through Steel Path and makes short work of pretty much any mission you’ll go into. When paired with the right build and the right warframe, the Glaive Prime will quite literally put the game on easy mode.

Join the High Ground

Ultimately, the most important factor when it comes to choosing a melee weapon in Warframe is what you enjoy using. We can show you all the numbers and data regarding these meta weapons, but it all really just comes down to what you find fun.

Frankly, most weapons in the game will be fine for the majority of content, provided they’re built decently, and it’s created that way on purpose. After all, there’s a reason for there being over 400 weapons in the game.

But if you’re having trouble deciding on a melee weapon in Warframe, we highly recommend trying out these top 5 picks.

Hopefully we gave you some ideas and insight on some melee weapons to build and to try out for yourself in Warframe! We tried to keep the list short and concise at only 5 weapons, but we know there are many, many more melee weapons that could have been on the list.

If we missed your favorite melee weapon, let us know in the comments below! And make sure to subscribe to the High Ground weekly news, guides, and articles on all things gaming!

Safe travels, Tenno!


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