The Best Secondary Weapons in Warframe (2024)


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The Best Secondary Weapons in Warframe (2024)

Whether you’ve been playing Warframe since 2013 or you just climbed out of the Orbiter twenty minutes ago, there’s no denying that there is an overwhelming amount of weapons in the game. With over 160 primary, 120 secondary, and 220 different melee weapons to slash, blast, and vaporize your way through the Star Chart, it can be hard to pick out the best ones in Warframe.

While primary weapons and melee weapons are fairly easy to pick up and feel out, you may find yourself struggling to find a secondary weapon to tie your builds together. Look no further, Tenno, as we have listed some of the best secondary weapons along with some suggested mods that are sure to get you through the Star Chart and even Steel Path if you choose to do so.

Top 5 Best Secondary Weapons in Warframe

These secondary weapons are tried-and-true and are popular picks throughout the Warframe community for a good reason. You can’t really go wrong with any of the following and should make your mod decisions based on what your builds may be lacking at the moment.

Let’s get started, as we work our way up to our number one pick for best secondary weapon in Warframe.

5/5

Pyrana Prime

Pyrana Prime - rip through any enemy in Warframe with this secondary weapon.
Image: Digital Extremes via HGG / Andrew Oli

Popular Mods (and Alternatives):

  • Galvanized Diffusion (Barrel Diffusion)
  • Primed Target Cracker (Target Cracker)
  • Primed Pistol Gambit (Pistol Gambit)
  • Galvanized Shot (Hornet Strike)
  • Lethal Torrent, Pistol Pestilence, Steady Hands

Suggested Arcane: Secondary Merciless, Secondary Deadhead

The Pyrana Prime is a mini-shotgun that boasts stats impressive enough to compete for a spot among the best secondary weapons in Warframe and without much forma investment. The unusually high crit, firerate, status, and just overall raw damage of this weapon after a 3-kill streak means it has a pretty wide range of options when it comes to mods to use on it.

This kind of versatility allows this weapon to be used in any stage of the game whether you’re up against flesh enemies that can be easily annihilated with slash procs or against heavy armored grineer that will require some status procs to weaken. Generally you can’t really go wrong with taking this weapon with you when you get to MR 13 and find yourself looking for a good secondary.

4/5

Tenet Cycron

Tenet Cycron - an incredibly useful secondary weapon for impact and slash builds.
Image: Digital Extremes via HGG / Andrew Oli

Popular Mods (and Alternatives):

  • Galvanized Diffusion (Barrel Diffusion)
  • Primed Target Cracker (Target Cracker)
  • Primed Pistol Gambit (Pistol Gambit)
  • Galvanized Shot (Hornet Strike)
  • Lethal Torrent, Pistol Pestilence, Hemorrhage, Ruinous Extension

Suggested Arcane: Secondary Merciless

The Tenet Cycron is a beam weapon that is similar to the Kuva Nukor, shooting a 28-meter beam that splits in half to the two nearest enemies for half of the damage. However, unlike the Kuva Nukor, the Tenet Cycron doesn’t require ammo pickups, instead recharging 40 ammo every second when not firing the weapon for at least a second. Some argue that this ammo efficiency alone puts the Tenet Cycron ahead of the Kuva Nukor, but that’s all personal preference.

The Tenet Cycron also has innate punchthrough but lacks the radiation microwave effect of the Kuva Nukor, so it really just comes down to personal preference for using one over the other. Either way, the Tenet Cycron is an amazing secondary weapon that can handle any level of content in the game. Like the Kuva Nukor, this weapon can be used as a primer if needed.

People tend to enjoy using an impact element warframe as the progenitor and then using the Hemorrhage mod to be able to get both impact and slash procs on the weapon. Keep in mind that having more elemental status effects will increase your damage if you’re using Galvanized Shot.

3/5

Epitaph

Epitaph - one of the best primers in Warframe.
Image: Digital Extremes via HGG / Andrew Oli

Popular Mods (and Alternatives):

  • Galvanized Diffusion (Barrel Diffusion)
  • Primed Target Cracker (Target Cracker)
  • Primed Pistol Gambit (Pistol Gambit)
  • Lethal Torrent, Pistol Pestilence, Frostbite
  • Scorch, Augur Seeker, Primed Fulmination, Sure Shot

Suggested Arcane: Secondary Merciless, Secondary Dexterity

While the Epitaph is capable of doing a significant amount of damage on its own, its rise to fame lies in its potential to be one of, if not the best, primers in the game. This is partially due to the fact that you can get guaranteed cold procs with this weapon, and slow enemies are generally safer for most types of missions. Pair that with a high base status chance, and it’s hard to find something better when it comes to finding a primer.

The Epitaph can be fired as a quick shot weapon or by holding down the primary fire to charge the weapon for a bigger hit. However, the way you fire the weapon should be determined by how you build it and how you want the weapon to function. If you’re using the Epitaph as a primer, then you should be using the quick shots. If you built the weapon as a powerhouse headshot weapon, then go ahead and charge those shots and let it rip.

2/5

Kuva Nukor

Kuva Nukor - a devastating secondary weapon capable of inflicting massive elemental damage.
Image: Digital Extremes via HGG / Andrew Oli

Popular Mods (and Alternatives):

  • Galvanized Diffusion (Barrel Diffusion)
  • Primed Target Cracker (Target Cracker)
  • Primed Pistol Gambit (Pistol Gambit)
  • Galvanized Shot (Hornet Strike)
  • Lethal Torrent, Pistol Pestilence, Frostbite, Scorch

Suggested Arcane: Secondary Merciless

To nobody’s surprise, we have one of the most used secondary weapons in Warframe since its release back in 2020 with the Kuva Lich rework. Even after this microwave gun’s nerf, it can still comfortably carry its weight when going through the normal Star Chart with the proper build. This weapon might even rival some of your primary and melee weapons when it comes to effectiveness and how often they are used in your missions.

The Kuva Nukor shoots a powerful radiation beam with a very high base critical multiplier and a base 29-meter range. When making contact with an enemy, the beam then splits off to the two nearest enemies within 9 meters, dealing 50% damage to the chained targets.

The Kuva Nukor will always come with radiation damage on top of another element. That element is based on the progenitor warframe you used to farm the Kuva Lich, but you can’t go wrong with heat. Because of the innate radiation damage, you will have more than enough mod slots to turn the Kuva Nukor into a weapon of unmatched destruction.

And while traditional builds opt to capitalize on this weapon’s high critical multiplier, it can also be used as a reliable priming weapon with its high base status chance. Just add some elemental mods along with a Pistol Pestilence, and you should have no issues weakening your targets.

This weapon has a maximum rank of 40 and will gain 2 maximum levels per forma, up to 40 (5 forma to max). Mastery experience can be gained for every level up to rank 40, where it will then be considered the weapon to be mastered.

1/5

Laetum

Laetum - our number 1 pick for the best secondary weapon in Warframe
Image: Digital Extremes via HGG / Andrew Oli

Popular Mods (and Alternatives):

  • Galvanized Diffusion (Barrel Diffusion)
  • Primed Heated Charge (Heated Charge)
  • Galvanized Shot (Hornet Strike)
  • Primed Expel Grineer (Expel Grineer)
  • Primed Fulmination (Fulmination)
  • Lethal Torrent, Pistol Pestilence, Steady Hands, Frostbite

Suggested Arcane: Secondary Deadhead

Since the release of Incarnon weapons, the Laetum has been giving nearly every primary and melee weapon a run for their money as the star of the show when it comes to tearing through high-level content with ease.

The new evolution trees with the Incarnon weapons offer solid build varieties when it comes to clearing high-level content. Plus, the base weapon alone hits noticeably harder than most other secondary weapons or just weapons in general.

After landing 12 headshots (or 3-4 depending on multishot procs), you can activate the Incarnon form. The Incarnon form changes the weapon from semi to full-auto, reduces recoil, increases fire rate, deals increased impact damage, and has a 2-meter radiation AOE explosion with each bullet. This weapon alone is more than enough to absolutely tear through any content this game has to offer.

Join the High Ground!

Hopefully our guide helped you get yourself a powerful new secondary weapon to play around with in Warframe! Each and every one of the secondaries on this list have the potential to be considered the “best” secondary weapon. That being said, just use whichever you find the most enjoyable for the kind of content you intend on running!

Think we missed out on a strong secondary weapon or have suggestions for a different set of mods? Let us know in the comments! And make sure to subscribe to the High Ground for the latest news, guides, and articles on all things gaming.

Stay safe out there Tenno!

 

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