Warframe: What is Operator Mode and How to Use It

Action Bar

Share This Article?

Home  >  Games  >  Warframe

Warframe: What is Operator Mode and How to Use It

Everyone knows that Warframe is an extremely popular MMO but not everyone may realize just how many different systems are implemented within the game. Many of the systems can definitely feel daunting at first but all you really need is a good general understanding of a system to be able to use it in Warframe.

There will always be ways to maximize efficiency in one form or another when it comes to MMOs and Warframe is no different. One of the many systems in Warframe is the Operator Mode which also happens to have some smaller systems within it. This guide will aim to explain the general ins and outs of Operator Mode as it is something that all players will eventually unlock and use throughout the rest of their journey.

Unlocking Operator Mode

The War Within Quest Completion Screen in Warframe
(Image: Digital Extremes / Andrew Oli)

Operator Mode is initially unlocked and fully functional after the completion of The War Within quest. After the completion of The War Within, a room will unlock toward the back of your orbiter that houses your Operator. This is where you will be able to customize and modify your Operator’s appearance as well as their Amps, Arcanes, and Focus Schools.

What is Operator Mode?

In Warframe, the Operator is the human that controls Warframes through connections of the Void known within the game as Transference. In a sense, the Operator is the character that represents you, the player. You may also hear Lotus refer to you as “Tenno” which just means she is referring to you directly as the Operator of the Warframe as she will almost never refer to the player as Operator.

Operator Equipment UI in Warframe
(Image: Digital Extremes / Andrew Oli)

Operator Mode can be entered by pressing the ability 5 button (default 5) and will disconnect you from your Warframe upon doing so. While in Operator Mode, you will feel significantly vulnerable as Operators have a base health value of 100 but both health and armor can be modified through the use of Arcanes and Focus School boon distribution. That being said, there are some significant things to note when in Operator Mode:

  • You don’t have to worry about your Warframe dying during this time as your Warframe will be completely immune to damage while you’re in Operator Mode
  • Default primary weapon (left-click) in the form of a Void Beam deals void damage and is primarily used against Sentient enemies. This beam’s properties and damage can all be modified with an Amp.
  • Crouching in Operator Mode will put you in Void Mode. Void mode makes you both invisible to enemies and invincible from all damage sources. Note that you are still able to be detected by laser barriers and sensors while in Void Mode.
  • Jumping while cloaked (same input as bullet jumping) will perform a Void Sling which will, as the name suggests, launch you forward


Upon the completion of Saya’s Vigil and The War Within quests, you will unlock access to The Quills located on Cetus. Upon completion of The War Within and Vox Solaris quests, you will gain access to the Vox Solaris syndicate on Fortuna. Through The Quills and Vox Solaris, you can obtain upgrades to your Operator’s Void Beam via the use of specialized module weapons called Amps. These weapons modify and enhance your Operator’s Void Beam depending on the different parts used to make the Amp. For a more in-depth look at how to get started on your first Amp, take a look at our Amp guide here (link amp guide article).


In addition to Amps, The Quills will give you access to arcanes specific to your Operator called Magus Arcanes. These Magus Arcanes modify your operator by providing effects such as increased health, increased armor, movement speed after a Void Sling, tethering nearby enemies, etc. and can be extremely useful in situations where you are going to be using your Operator such as Eidolon hunting, fighting Void Angels, or even in high level missions to help support your Warframes.

Focus Schools

Upon the completion of the The Second Dream quest, you are able to choose one of five schools of focus to start off with. You will be given a lens that allows you to gain exp toward the chosen focus school. This choice is not permanent as you are able to change your focus school at any time however you will need a new lens of the respective focus school in order to start gaining exp for it.

Schools of Focus in Warframe
(Image: Digital Extremes / Andrew Oli)

All of the focus schools are vastly different from each other and each have their own strengths and functionalities. The focus school you use will usually be determined by your playstyle or Warframe build. Here’s a brief rundown of each focus school and what they specialize in:

  • Zenurik: Provides invaluable support with consistent energy economy buffs that will allow more ability usage without having to worry about finding random energy orb drops throughout missions.
  • Naramon: This melee-focused school provides amazing support for melee builds. The main reason being that it makes the melee combo counter decay in intervals instead of fully losing the combo. This makes it extremely convenient to upkeep a high melee combo for those juicy crits. In addition to an easier combo counter, this focus school has the ability to open enemies up for finishers for those niche situations.
  • Madurai: This school focuses primarily on buffing both the Operator as well as Warframe. This school excels when played in a tag-team type playstyle swapping in and out of Operator Mode to benefit from the damage buffs for your Operator and the cast speed for your Warframe. This school provides great utility as more damage is never really a bad thing in Warframe.
  • Unairu: This school has an abundance of sheer utility in the form of slow and stagger immunity, armor strip, damage buffs, and even a revive mechanic similar to Inaros’ passive. This school is extremely valuable to players who don’t have Prime Sure-Footed as it pretty much mimics that effect. You can’t really go wrong with choosing this school as a newer player or just someone who doesn’t have that Prime Sure-Footed yet.
  • Vazarin: A more traditional support role that helps allies by providing shields, healing, and damage immunity. A fairly straightforward focus school that can be helpful in situations that require a little extra help.

Join the High Ground

We hope this guide helped better introduce and understand this system within Warframe as it is one that can be a little confusing at first. Your Operator can take up as much or as little time and effort as you want to put into it and is really all personal preference how seriously you want to minmax with Arcanes and Focus farming. But that’s also the beauty of the system as it lets players take it at their own pace! If you have any suggestions or questions regarding setting up and using your Operator, be sure to leave them in the comments!

Subscribe to the High Ground for the latest news, guides, and articles on all things gaming. Until next time, Tenno.


Continue the Adventure!

Sign up for an account at High Ground Gaming, and access all these amazing perks:

  • Custom profile page
  • Save articles to favorites
  • Rate articles
  • Post comments & engage with the community
  • Access the HGG Discord
  • Enter giveaways
This is a pre-registration form. Fill in the following details to verify your email address first. You will be able to access the full registration form and register for an account after the verification.

Join the Discussion

Give feedback on the article, share additional tips & tricks, talk strategy with other members, and make your opinions known. High Ground Gaming is a place for all voices, and we'd love to hear yours!


Forgot Password?

Join Us