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Best Ways to Gain Affinity in Warframe

Greetings, Tenno. Whether you’re a new or long-time Warframe player, you’ll eventually need to level up your weapons and warframes. This process is both tedious and time-consuming depending on how efficient you are with your affinity boosters, as the only consistent way to gain affinity in Warframe is by killing enemies. Luckily for you, we have some tips and tricks to help speed up your leveling and reduce the time you spend leveling by a pretty significant amount!

Affinity Distribution

The affinity gained from killing enemies depends on whether you get the kill with your warframe abilities or your weapon. Killing enemies with a warframe’s ability will distribute 100% of the affinity gained toward the warframe, while killing with a weapon will split it 50/50 between the weapon used and your warframe. Here’s a chart to help further explain.

Kill TypeWarframe EXPPrimary EXPSecondary EXPMelee EXP
Kill w/ warframe ability100%000
Kill w/ weapon (primary)50%50%00
Killed by party member within 50 meters25%25%25%25%

Affinity gained from party members is equally distributed across all your weapons. Only having two weapons equipped will result in those weapons sharing 37.5% affinity, as opposed to splitting 25% across three weapons. Having only one weapon will result in that weapon gaining 75% of the passive affinity from party members.

When one of your equipment pieces reaches max level, it will still count toward the affinity distribution, thus slowing down the leveling process for the rest of your weapons. For the sake of leveling as fast as possible, try to not have any level-capped weapons equipped!

If you’re trying to level one particular weapon, you should only have that weapon equipped (with nothing else in the other two weapon slots) for maximum affinity distribution.

Tips for Increasing Affinity

How to Gain Affinity in Warframe: Affinity Boosters
Image: Digital Extremes via HGG / Andrew Oli

With that in mind, let’s get into our specific tips on how to gain more affinity in Warframe. We’ll start by recommending a few affinity boosters to help make the grind less grind-y. All of these methods and boosters stack with one another, so it’s worth trying to get more than one, if possible!

  • Equip the Smeeta Kavat’s Charm mod to randomly proc a 2x affinity buff for two minutes.
  • Request Affinity Blessings from MR30+ players at crowded relays.
  • Make use of double affinity weekends.
  • Buy affinity boosters from the marketplace using platinum.

Now that you have your boosters set, let’s start farming!

Method 1: Group Farming on Helene, Saturn

How to Gain Affinity in Warframe: Helene Mission on Saturn
Image: Digital Extremes via HGG / Andrew Oli

One of the best methods to gain affinity in Warframe is to join the mission Helene on Saturn with a full party. This is a defense mission with Level 21–26 enemies, so it’s great for new and lower-level players.

All you need to do is protect the pod by eliminating waves of enemies that spawn and try to reach the pod. You’ll have to wait until certain rounds before you are able to extract (Wave 5, 10, 15, etc.), so sometimes it’s nice to ask your squad how long they intend to stay for. Other than that, this method can be done pretty much whenever you need to level your equipment and is very consistent.

  • PROS
  • Low barrier to entry
  • Easy to find a full squad
  • Good affinity rates at every Mastery Rank
  • Good map layout for enemy AI
  • Full of Grineer enemies (more XP per kill)
  • Good resource drops (Plastids and Orokin Cells)
  • CONS
  • Marginally less affinity per kill than Hydron, Sedna

Method 2: Group Farming on Hydron, Sedna

Group Farming on Hydron
Image: Digital Extremes via HGG / Andrew Oli

Hydron is pretty much the direct competitor to Helene, Saturn. They are both defense missions with Grineer enemies on the same map tileset. The only difference is that Hydron requires a higher level and a further progression into the Star Char to be unlocked. Realistically, Hydron is great for players who have access to it and is just as popular as Helene for the same exact reasons.

The main argument for putting Helene over Hydron is that since extraction happens in waves of five anyway, there’s no reason to need to do Hydron if the XP gained is only marginally better. That being said, there are still plenty of people who prefer Hydron due to the better affinity per kill. 

  • PROS
  • Easy to find a full squad
  • Good affinity rates at every Mastery Rank
  • Good map layout for enemy AI
  • CONS
  • Slightly higher barrier to entry than Helene
  • Less-than-ideal resource drops

Method 3: Sanctuary Onslaught

Sanctuary Onslaught
Image: Digital Extremes via HGG / Andrew Oli

After completing the quest “The New Strange,” you will have access to the Sanctuary Onslaught via the Syndicate tab at the top of your navigation map. Sanctuary Onslaught is a great method to quickly level up your equipment and warframes, and is probably the most popular method overall. The game mode itself is very simple and requires you to kill enemies to keep your team’s efficiency meter at a high percentage while waiting for the next conduit to spawn, which will take you to a new map.

This game mode is great because it basically spawns a ton of enemies that will just run at you, which is exactly what you want for leveling up your equipment. The most efficient way to use this method is to team up with a friend or clanmate who has a nuke frame that can clear the map constantly.

If you can’t find someone to duo with, it’s perfectly fine — the experience from random parties is still really great. You’re probably better off doing a few waves in Helene or Hydron, but honestly, if running defense missions isn’t your thing and you can’t stay awake for more than two rounds, screw it. Go for a full party of Sanctuary Onslaught. At the end of the day, you want to be able to do multiple runs in order to get as many levels as possible, so there’s no point in gimping your progression to try to be efficient to the max.

  • PROS
  • Low barrier to entry
  • Easy to find a full squad
  • Good affinity rates at every Mastery Rank
  • Abundance of enemy spawns
  • CONS
  • Not as effective for full-party groups

Join the High Ground!

That’s it for our breakdown of the best ways to gain affinity in Warframe — thanks for reading! Hopefully our farming methods will help you add some levels to your equipment, Tenno. There may be more niche methods that we could have overlooked, but one principle stays the same — just use whatever method is the most fun and consistent for you. If you have anything to add or think we missed a method that you enjoy, let us know in the comments! 

Happy gaming!


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