What’s cooler than archers with bows? How about a space ninja with a bow. Bows in video games usually come with a high risk, high reward playstyle – often bearing long reload animations and being limited to one arrow in the chamber. The bow is one of the most well-known and highly fantasized weapons in video games and Warframe is no exception.
Similar to sniper rifles, bows in Warframe are mostly hard-hitting single-shot machines. Instead of being penalized via reload time, bows have a small delay required to draw the bow back (holding the fire button). The longer you draw the bow, the more damage each shot will do.
Warframe Bow Tier List
Bows in Warframe tend to come in different shapes and sizes intended for their own different uses. Whether you enjoy a more straightforward build with crit chance and crit damage or you prefer tearing enemies apart with slash or elemental damage, there’s a bow for your arsenal. Here are a handful of the best bows to wield in Warframe.
NOTE: All of the following bows are top-tier overall and are just being ranked in comparison to other top-tier bows of a similar caliber.
“Bolts from this Corpus bow deliver a one-two punch of an icy pulse, followed by a conventional explosion. Excess ammo picked up for other weapons will be converted into charges for the Lenz. Warning: Safety-protocols do not exist on this prototype.”
When it comes to bows in Warframe, a lot of them tend to possess their own interesting gimmicks that make them fun and unique in their own way, and the Lenz is one of them.
As the tooltip suggests, the Lenz should be used with caution, as the shots will project an ice dome that explodes after a few seconds. Using this weapon without caution will lead to many self-inflicted deaths, so be careful not to stand too close while using it.
That being said, this bow does some serious damage, especially for being accessible at a pretty early point in the game (Mastery Rank 8), and can be extremely fun to use in the right missions. If it wasn’t clear by now, this bow specializes in doing area wide damage that can be further modified with generic crit and crit damage mods.
While this bow has innate cold damage, the status chance per projectile is only 5%, so it’s not a bad idea to throw on Primed Cryo Rounds and Hellfire to enhance the Blast damage. Since weapons can double dip from their own mods as well as certain warframe abilities, pair this bow up with a warframe that has a subsumed Roar or Eclipse, and you’ll be more than equipped to take on whatever the game has to throw at you.
“Dread is the calling card of The Stalker. It fires arrows that can decapitate.”
Every player’s favorite bow that they probably unknowingly got after being attacked by some scary shadow figure within their first few hours of playing the game.
The Dread has always been a very straightforward generic bow that aims to kill enemies with one-shot that’s backed by a plethora of damage amplifying mods. That being said, this bow is great at what it does and even makes a point in many discussions as one of the best bows in Warframe.
Update 33.0 even now allows for this weapon to be upgraded into an Incarnon weapon through the completion of The Duviri Paradox quest.
Being an Incarnon weapon allows it to function similarly to the already existing Zariman Inarnon weapons (Felarx, Innodem, Laetum, Phenmor, etc.), giving it five tiers of evolutions to unlock through various challenges as well as its own transmutation Incarnon form.
The only downside is that the whole Incarnon Genesis process isn’t really an option for newer players and is really only acquired toward later stages in the game. Even then, the base Dread is a very solid weapon that can easily hold its own throughout the Star Chart.
Kuva Bramma (A-Tier)
“This Grineer bow delivers vengeance in the form of clusterbomb-tipped arrows that can be detonated mid-air or on impact. Low quiver capacity, arrows are recovered singly”.
The Kuva Bramma is one of those infamous weapons that everyone from across the Star Chart is familiar with for one reason or another. This bow took Warframe by storm during a time when anyone you ran into would have one equipped, and for a very good reason.
Armed with cluster bomb arrows, this bow is incredibly easy to pick up and use to its fullest potential. It requires little-to-no aim and a very straightforward damage mod setup to get going, needing very little assistance to reach 100% crit rate.
The drawbacks to using this carpet bomber bow is the abysmal ammo economy. It comes with a 5-ammo reserve (plus 1 in the chamber) with only a single ammo per pickup, leaving you with very little ammo in hectic missions.
That being said, throwing on some form of ammo mutation mod should prove to be enough to circumvent this issue nearly completely. At the end of the day, this weapon is more than enough to assist you on your missions and get you out of hairy situations.
“Nataruk can fire fast and true… But you will need to time your release with the weapon’s rhythm if you hope to pierce the blighted skin of an Archon.”
This weapon has been a highly debated candidate for the topic of best bow in Warframe since its release. With its unique mechanic of hitting “perfect” shots, the Nataruk will definitely tear through anything you put in front of it.
This beast of a bow has an infinite amount of ammo in its reserve and comes with infinite body punch through, allowing you to potentially spam arrows to your heart’s content.
The popular builds for this weapon revolve around some form of Viral damage, Slash damage, or even sometimes both – with the only real concern being the weapon’s fire rate, which can be easily remedied with mods. Best of all, this bow is easily accessible, being given upon completion of the New War quest.
Proboscis Cernos (S-Tier)
“Each arrow spawns a swarm of sticky appendages on impact. These tongue-like probes latch onto nearby unfortunates and drag them close before bursting into a mess of diseased goo.”
Crafted as an upgrade to the Mutalist Cernos, the Proboscis Cernos is a completely different beast that specializes in dealing with high-level enemies.
This weapon loves elemental damage, as it has a whopping 42% base status chance per projectile. That being said, it’s probably in your best interest to try to get the status chance up to at least 50% through mods and watch your enemies die to status ailments.
This is further helped by the special tendrils that spawn from each arrow, which help group up foes and make it easier to apply status effects to multiple enemies at once.
The best part about this bow is the radial (AoE) damage from the shots do innate Viral damage, meaning you don’t even have to build Viral on the weapon itself to get the effect. The sky’s the limit with the different elemental build combinations, but Corrosive + Blast damage is always a great combination to keep in mind with those innate Viral procs.
The mod flexibility paired with the ease of use makes this bow top-tier when it comes to any kind of content Warframe has to throw at you.
Join the High Ground!
While each bow on this list has been tested and is a tried-and-true option for clearing any mission in Warframe, it’s ultimately up to you to decide what weapon you want to run. The best option will always be the one you find to be the most fun.
We tried to keep this list short and concise with only 5 entries, but we know there are more bows that could have been on it. If we missed your favorite bow, let us know in the comments below.
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Safe travels until we meet again Tenno!