At first glance, Warframe seems like a fairly straightforward MMO from an outside perspective. You travel across the Star Chart to different planets to complete missions and beat the bad guys, simple enough. The thing that many people may not realize is that there are many different intricate systems within the game that allow for various different customizations.
Using these systems while mixing and matching different warframes, abilities, arcanes, etc. is essentially how we can achieve our tryhard minmax builds and setups. One of the systems responsible for allowing players to push the envelope of possibilities when it comes to the number of builds and customization is none other than the Helminth System.
How to Unlock the Helminth System
In order to unlock the Helminth Segment for your Orbiter, you first need to complete the entirety of the Heart of Deimos questline. Doing so will unlock the respective syndicate for Deimos called the Entrati Syndicate. You will then need to reach rank 3 with the Entrati Syndicate to be able to purchase the Helminth Segment Blueprint from Son.
This can be done through various methods such as completing bounty missions for Mother or capturing wildlife for Son. These activities will reward you with each NPC’s respective tokens which then you can exchange for standing at their respective NPC (eg. Turning in Mother Tokens at Mother).
Once rank 3 standing is achieved with the Entrati Syndicate, you are able to purchase the Helminth Segment Blueprint from Son in the Necralisk for 15,000 standing. Alternatively you can just purchase a fully built Helminth Segment from the Market for 300 platinum.
*Note you still must be at least Mastery Rank 8 to use the Helminth System*
What is the Helminth System?
The Helminth System was introduced with the Heart of Deimos update and since then has been a key component to enable the amount of build variety for warframes that is possible today.
The Helminth Infirmary itself can be found in the back right room of your orbiter easily identifiable by an infestation-covered door. The Helminth system allows you to subsume warframes for one of their abilities that you can then put onto other warframes. The subsumed ability that gets taken from each warframe is fixed and cannot be freely chosen.
For example, subsuming the warframe Rhino will automatically extract the ability Roar as it is the predetermined subsumed ability for that warframe. The extracted ability is then stored and can infinitely be put onto other warframes.
Similarly, you can unlock special Helminth abilities as your Helminth levels up that you are then able to use to replace an ability on your warframes without needing to subsume anything. When you inject a subsumed ability onto another warframe, it only replaces an ability for one of their configuration presets which leaves room for experimenting with different builds on different loadouts.
Helminth Metamorphosis Rank
Your Helminth itself has the ability to gain experience and rank up. Ranking up your Helminth will unlock additions such as increasing the amount of subsumable warframe slots and even new Helminth abilities to put onto your warframes.
In order for your Helminth to gain experience, all you really have to do is use it as intended. Simply by feeding it resources and subsuming warframes, you will find that your Helminth gains experience rather quickly.
Subsuming and Infusing Abilities
The process of subsuming a warframe is very simple and straightforward. You must equip the warframe you want to subsume and take it to the Helminth Infirmary chair where you will get the option to “Subsume Warframe”. This process will take 23 hours after which the chosen warframe will be gone and you will be able to use its subsumed ability at the Helminth System to put on other warframes. Only one warframe can be subsumed at a time and you cannot subsume Prime or Umbra warframes and must be the base version (e.g Rhino instead of Rhino Prime).
*Note you will lose your warframes that you subsume so don’t subsume anything you don’t want to lose*
Feeding Your Helminth
Being able to swap warframe abilities is amazing but it doesn’t exactly come cheap. In order to subsume an ability or put a new ability on a warframe, you must first feed your Helminth the desired amount of resources from each of the required categories (Bile, Biotics, Calx, Oxides, Pheromones, Synthetics, Sentient Appetites). The resources used to satiate these categories range from almost every resource found in the game which is great because of how the feeding system actually works.
At first the Helminth will gladly accept any resource from the categories but after feeding it too much of one resource it will start to prefer that resource less and prefer others more (shown by green up arrows and red down arrows). When this occurs, feeding the Helminth a resource that it prefers (up arrow) will have a higher efficiency and satiate that category quicker while feeding it a resource it doesn’t prefer (down arrow) will have less efficiency and will require significantly more of that resource. TLDR; Try to feed the Helminth the resources it prefers.
In addition to messing around with the abilities on warframes, the Helminth System also allows you to inject your warframes with temporary buffs to help your overall combat prowess. In order to access this function for your Helminth, you must purchase the Helminth Invigoration Segment blueprint from Son in the Necralisk for 30,000 standing. This requires you to be rank 5 with the Entrati Syndicate and at least Mastery Rank 8 to use. Alternatively you can just purchase a fully built Helminth Segment from the Market for 300 platinum.
*Note you still must be at least Mastery Rank 8 to use the Invigoration function*
Through Invigoration, three random warframes will receive a random offensive and utility buff lasting for 7 days and reset on Mondays at 0:00 UTC. Buffs such as Ability Duration +100%, Ability Strength +200%, Reload Speed +75%, and many more powerful buffs can be obtained through this method. For a full list of these buffs you can check out the Warframe Fandom Wiki.
One of the newer additions to the Helminth System with the introduction of the Veilbreaker quest are Archon Shards. After completing the Veilbreaker quest, you will receive the Archon Shard Helminth Segment and will be able to imbue Archon Shards for buffs that apply to your warframes individually. Archon Shards can be obtained from completing Archon Hunts and can come in three different colors: blue, red, and yellow.
Additionally, Archons have a 20% chance to drop a more potent Archon Shard called a Tauforged Archon Shard. The buffs from a Tauforged shard are 1.5x stronger than normal shards and can help provide flexibility when trying different warframe builds. A warframe is only able to slot five Archon Shards at a time and each color will have their own variety of selectable stats to choose as buffs for your warframe allowing you to mix and match colors for your desired stats. For more information about the buffs from Archon Shards, take a look at the Warframe Fandom Wiki.
Join the High Ground
We hope this guide helped walk you through Warframe’s Helminth System and all of the different functions it adds to the game! If you think we missed anything important or still have further questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment about it and we’ll definitely check it out!
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