Home » Gaming » Tier List » Warframe Tier List (September 2021): Best Tank, DPS and Support Warframes

Warframe Tier List (September 2021): Best Tank, DPS and Support Warframes

We rank the best Warframes of 2021 in a Warframe tier list.

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With The New War expansion and the mobile version of the game in development, Warframe has established itself as one of the most popular looter shooters for PC and Consoles. The game allows players to venture through space filled with rich lore and consistent content updates with deep features. Digital Extreme releases a new Frame, which are player-controlled suits, each with different roles and abilities.  With that said, here’s a deeper look into the quality of these Frames and how they rank in a Warframe tier list.

As of August 2021, Warframe has 47 Frames,  Yareli the most recent Warframe to launch. Each Frame has a unique kit, capable of pursuing content in different ways, whether that’s pushing harder survival missions, solo farming,  killing Liches, and more. In general, all frames are perfectly fine to play, but some Frames are much more attractive for the higher-level missions or more valuable farms.

Please note, the actual position of the Frames are sorted through alphabetical placements. Unless specified in each Frames ‘ paragraph or subheading, we do not differentiate between an upper and lower differentiation in this Warframe Tier List.

Warframe Tier List 2021

The purpose of this Warframe tier list in 2021 is to highlight all the Warframe Frames currently in the game. The game has certainly grown a lot in recent years and continues to evolve every passing year. With 47 Frames in the game and 33 Warframe Primes, there is quite a lot of flavour for you to pick. We will break down each basic prime and explain what they do and why they are ranked that way. While some Frames are much better than others, we honestly recommend playing whatever you prefer. Warframe is not that competitive of a game. Some content will be much easier with stronger frames; it doesn’t mean your frame is completely unable to do that content, especially with the mods, upgrades and weapons you can use.

  • S Tier – The S Tier contains the best Frames in the game for various content that you can use if you really like them.
  • A Tier – These Frames are really good with a viable playstyle. They either rank lower than S because it’s missing that edge, or it compares slightly lower than the OPs in the S tier.
  • B Tier – Overall the B Tier are decent frames but are a bit on the weaker side of things compared with A and S tier Frames. Some of these frames are beginner-friendly and don’t have too many OP strengths or are a niche playstyle with a bit of difficulty.
  • C Tier – This tier contains more beginner-friendly frames but is most certainly weaker than the B Tier.
  • D Tier – Frames that fall flat in most areas. Either counter-intuitive to play or super far behind those in the same role.

Before we go in and rank all the Warframes in 2021, we want to mention this is not a Warframe Prime tier list. We are looking at the basic strengths of each Warframe fresh out of your foundry. If a Frame has a Prime variation, that is just a bonus to their potential.

The Best Warframes in 2021

Wukong Warframe

Best Tank Warframes in 2021

Rhino – One of the earliest Frames to build in the foundry for new players. A very good Tank Frame allows new players to face harder content while not having access to some of the better frames to tackle the content more appropriately. The more experienced players recognize Rhino’s worth. Rhino is really good when faced with an overwhelming amount of enemies in survival missions, tanking Star Chart bosses, or events like Plague Star. A really well-timed Roar is huge, allowing the player and their allies to dominate the enemies in front of them.

Nidus– Arguably the best Tank for survival farms. Nidus gets strong the longer combat goes on, making it incredibly powerful in the more phases of survival waves. All you need to do is stack Health, Armor and power mods and you’ll be good to go 

Best DPS Warframes in 2021

Lots of players may have noticed that the AOE meta is well underway. It is only right that the best DPS Warframes in 2021 are the ones that can blow up mobs, and even the tankiest enemies using their AOE skills.

Ash – A powerful killing machine with stealth, favouring some of the best slash damage in the game. It favours the kill everything part more than stealth but gets the job done in both departments well. If you like the mix and match kit, Ash is a very great pick. Be aware that slash damage is not as meta anymore, but it still works fine for taking out your really big baddies.

Mesa – Mesa is a gunslinging Frame capable of buffing allies while mowing down opposition by itself. Her ultimate makes you the ultimate cowboy, mass firing at all enemies like in western films. The Frame comes with a few other survivable perks, making it a good option for solo content if you’re not interested in Wukong. However, the shooting Gallery perk is where it gets interesting, cycling power buffs to allies in the thick of combat. Mesa doesn’t need any more damage buffs, as Ballistic Battery provide enough bang to pull out huge burst damage on targets.

Saryn – Saryn is one of the best DPS Frames in the game. Saryn has a spore ability, which can destroy entire rooms full of trash. Follow this up with her Miasma, and most content is trivial. Her abilities are considerably strong even for boss battles, making for an incredibly powerful high-level frame to nuke through content. Saryn is the most meta pick at the minute.

Titania – One of the best boss killers in the game.  While Titania is one of the harder to master frames, managing the energy usage will leave the game’s toughest enemies trivial. The Razorwing ultimate and Lantern are her primary sources of damage, which provide huge bursts of damage in small windows. The added benefit of Razorwing is that she becomes smaller and flies. While under those effects, she is incredibly mobile and harder to kill while she takes down key targets. Also, Titania’s main blueprints come from the Silver Grove quest, making her fairly accessible.

Wisp – Wisp is one of the stronger Frames in the game but comes with a rather large skill gap. Wisp has several different effects on her abilities, with the will of the wisp having several different firing types to manipulate her taunt / teleport ability. Furthermore, knowing how to manage her energy during the solar beam is the difference between clearing out a difficult room or tumbling to your imminent doom. However, proper mastery of this Frame will leave you a walking god amongst many. We advise the most experienced or daring players to give Wisp a try.

The Best Support Warframes in 2021

Equinox – Equinox is arguably one of the more interesting frames available. The Frame can do many different healing styles and deal damage depending on the night or day stances. Some of these builds with different Arcanes are really good too, but generally not the best compared to more focused Frames. Overall, a good frame for players looking to jump into different playstyles.

Oberon – A supportive Frame with a mix of damage and healing. In some build paths, the healing output can rival Trinity, making it a very competitive healing spec, but if you don’t build correctly then this frame may feel more like an A or B Tier support frame. If you like versatility, Oberon may be for you However, if you like dedicated support playstyles, the options below are more worthy of your time. 

Octavia – One of the strongest frames in the game with a supportive toolkit. Her kit’s power comes through her musical melodies, making her play like a Bard in other fantasy titles. Players who move to the beat of her abilities can get buffs by crouching, jumping, or performing other abilities while playing music. She also has a daily decent damage kit with her roller balls and buffed up mallets. Her Amp ability also buffs her and her allies damage for a period of time.

Trinity – It is well known Trinity is one of the best healing Frames in the game. Trinity’s Blessing build is so powerful and can come in clutch in many of the game’s most difficult content. The Blessing ability can restore a bucket load of health and shield to herself and her allies in her affinity range. Furthermore, the ability also grants allied temporary damage reduction when activated, meaning they can take even more threat in those high-pressure moments. Alternatively, Trinity’s blessing works on Sorties defence missions, adding value to the everyday content.

Volt – Another solid support, but the buffs are a little tricky to get rolling. Compared to Octavia, who is much easier to play and has great customization options, Volt slightly slides down the rankings. Although, if you prefer the quick movement and the environmental effects of Volt’s abilities, then you’ll be happy to know that Volt is a decent pick.

The Best Solo Player Frame in 2021

Nova – The antimatter blaster is a decent solo frame, which flexes well into group content too. She has a teleport ability called Worm Hole, with several AOE abilities with Molecular Prime Null Star. That’s not all, as Nova’s Frame includes a heavy burst ability called Antimatter Drop when it collides with a target. If you want to blow enemies up with space-like effects, this is the pick for you. Do be aware that group content is not as efficient as it should be, so Nova actually favours more solo content.

Revenant – If you ever wanted to master an army, now’s your chance. Revenant enthrals an enemy, which then infects others nearby. Once the infection spreads those enemies then turn sides and fight for you for several seconds before automatically dying. When those enemies die they explode, taking out anyone who hasn’t already turned to your dying army. The ultimate is also powerful, doing huge cleave damage and redirecting incoming damage back at opponents. Generally great at solo content and good in groups.

Wukong – Arguably the best frame for solo players and solo content. The Frame scores are exceptionally high on our Warframe tier list simply because of the kit’s design. The abilities allow Wukong to summon a close, which aids the player by attack targets. Wukong can also heal himself and his pet, with some built-in CC for getaways. Furthermore, Wukong has a big stick that can chunk targets for damage, with an invulnerability shield capable of tanking huge hits and dishing some of that damage back out. Wukong is perfectly viable for every game content, with his invulnerability tanking vault traps in spy mode, to putting high DPS out on bosses. Suppose that wasn’t enough; how about three cheat deaths. The cheat deaths also randomly give the player some incredible buffs to breeze through the challenging enough content to down you. Overall, one of the most versatile frames out there is one of the most efficient ones.

A Tier

Equinox Prime Warframe

Baruuk is best described as a pacifist ninja who prefers to disarm his opponents than slay them like every other sociopath frame in the galaxy. His whole gimmick is throwing knives that cut through weapons, rendering his opponents unable to shoot. Moreso,  his ultimate comes in to regain his unique resource back to invest in crowd control measures. In some ways, better than Rhino, but one that takes a lot longer to get right.

Chroma – This Frame uses its colors to become a different class before heading into missions. For a Frame that is a jack of all trades, she is surprisingly a master at them all, especially in the tanking department. Overall one of the best jack of all trades in the game.

Ember – A solid AOE Frame designed for annihilating tile sets. The Frame is no longer as solid as clearing lower-level content but still a decent alternative to other AOE Frames. As a matter of fact, why not try her out in the new extermination missions launched with the Corpus Prime patch.

Gara – One of the stronger CC bots in the game, but is still not as straightforward as one would hope. Very good when used properly.

Gauss – No doubt one of the more manic Frames Out there. The frame uses a charge meter to empower their abilities, adding extra effectiveness to his abilities. Gauss’ ultimate puts him into the supercharged mode, making everything about him stronger, stacking with inbuilt buffs already. Some skill to master but one of the more fun playstyles out there.

Inaros – Inaros is a quality Tank Frame. In some ways, Inaros’ revives makes him a better tanking Frame than Rhino, but overall, Inaros is lower on our Warframe tier list for trivial reasons. The main reason is the expense. Inaros comes much later in the game, and is the situational differences really worth it for the average player? Especially when Rhino is so easy to craft. By no means is Inaros bad, some people may even prefer the Frame’s playstyle, but it is a solid A tier for us.

Ivara – One of the stronger stealth assassins in the game. She provides allied cloaking for stealth ops, among a range of tactical buffs. She also has powerful dedicated invisibility and some incredible long-range firepower. A solid option for those wanting that scout sniper playstyle, but by no means is she meta at the minute and suits very specific content types.

Khora –  One of the more unique frames with a pet ability. The combination of Vinari attacking and enemies getting chained together means a very self-reliant character, with good party features.

Lavos – The Elementalist. The abilities deal with several different elemental types of damage, each also applying different effects to opponents. The ultimate ability causes the damage to double based on each element on the target, meaning you can deal 300% damage when fighting the big bads.

Limbo – Easily the cheesiest frames available. The teleportation between the different realms of existence allows Limbo to duke mechanics. The status field also slows down incoming bullets, meaning the enemies may find that not quite finding their mark. Limbo has some decent AOE tools as well, so isn’t entirely out of the meta slaves out there. If you want a decent solo farmer capable of advancing into the meta, Limbo is a worthy shout.

Nekros – Nekros is a character designed for one thing only, trash. The passive makes him regain health from fallen enemies close to his position. Furthermore, he gets more loot from fallen allies and can bring back the dead to go wild on tougher mobs. A solid farming frame if you want something more min-maxy for loot.

Nezha – Another engaging solo content character. A protective CC, some added teleportation, and a fire ability that makes those hit more vulnerable to all damage – fitting any weapon build. Oh, the passive also makes the Frame one of the fastest in the game, stacking with other buffs.

Protea – Another jack of all trades. The damage from Blaze Artillery is an ability strong for clearing out multiple enemies at once or to ramp up damage on the same target. The additional buffs from her kit, such as infinite ammo, is also a fantastic ability. The only reason why Protea is an A tier is down to how powerful Saryn and Wukong are, as those characters generally do a better job than Protea. With that said, Protea is a great frame in the middle of these two, making it a great option for the best of both worlds feel.

Sevagoth – has to be one of the most complex Frames to date. While most Frames have four abilities, this kit has eight! The concept of the frame uses a ghostly shadow has a second version of the Frame, with abilities design for managing the Shadow, and another set for the Frame you directly control. Reap send forward his shadow, which applies passive damage through Death’s Harvest. This is important as it fills his resource bar, the Death Well, which allows him to transform into the Shadow through Exalted Shadow.  When Sevagoth enters the Shadow form, he can dash, consume shadows to heal, grab enemies and maintain the Deaths Harvest damage DoT.  The focus of this side of his kit is about moving into melee and destroying those in his path. Eventually, he will run out of souls from his pool and will return to the Frame. Alternatively, a manual press of Reunite returns you to your physical frame too. With all that said, Sevagoth is a powerful boss killer, trash farmer and rather agile. Sevagoth is solid A Tier for the amount of power but his tricky to master nature stops his ascension to the S Tier.

Xaku – A-frame with a lot of things going on. Some mind control, some tanking, and some rotting with void damage. This pick plays rather like Revenant with the ability to enslave up to 14 enemies, forcing them to join your cause. Not to mention that this pick lowers enemies strength while buffing your own shooty boys and girls.

B Tier

Garuda Warframe

Atlas –  The master of stone. He can petrify opponents, throw rubble and heal from those turned to dust. You can consider this frame self-sufficient, with the added bonus of two golem allies. However, it is no Wukong who generally feels too strong for solo content. If you like the aesthetic, Atlas is a sound choice, though.

Banshee – The very definition of a glass cannon. It can devastate all the enemies played well, but it drops incredibly quickly, even with tankier upgrades in the kit through arcanes and upgrades. One to certainly experiment with in group content, but other picks give off much more value.

Excalibur – The Arthurian legendary sword is now a frame. Generally a strong and popular newcomer frame, with some decent power at the higher levels. But it’s not as strong as it could when compared to A and S tier frames.

Frost – Feels very similar to Khora with the CC enemies and nuking department, albeit on the weaker side to the two. If you like the idea of a frost mage freezing and shattering them, then this is still a decent pick.

Garuda – The bloodlust Frame, where she gains more damage the lower her health is. There is some support utility, too, able to heal allies with her strikes. However, Garuda is a little awkward to play. Dropping too low on harder difficulty is dangerous in a group setting, and lower level gameplay means she will clear through it with ease anyway. Requires a very good player and coordinated group to pull off to its fullest potential. If you can manage that, this will pick will naturally move up a tier in this Warframe tier list.

Harrow – Generally a supporting character but can convert the incoming shield and energy into damage for solo content. It is generally a good flex support if you want a different shielding mechanic, but it is by no means anywhere near as good as Equinox.

Hildryn – Decent shielding support, that empowers allies with buffs. However, the buffs aren’t as competitive as Trinity’s or Oberon’s output. If you like the shield playstyle then go ahead with this as preference is everything in Warframe.

Loki – Not one of the best stealth Frames in the game, but it certainly is great for several reasons. The Frame is one of the best for clearing out Spy missions with his incredible stealth capabilities. Furthermore, the trickster can swap places with hostiles, allowing him to perform some incredible manoeuvres to get into combat or to get to new advantage spots. There is some tactical play with teleport switching to the decoy too, making it a nice option for solo content. In addition, Loki is easier to acquire than stealth Frames like Ash and Ivara,  Loki also comes across an entry-level stealth option for new players wanting to try stealth gameplay. Don’t be fooled by the B Tier ranking in the Warframe tier list, it still has its purpose.

Mag – A nice and easy to play DPS build with some inbuilt sustainability. Mag offers some decent group farming but overall lacks the full potential other DPS frames do.  You should mainly consider Mag a Frame that is better for beginners to learn the game with.

Mirage – One of the least obvious playstyles. Mirage relies on dazing and confusing enemies with mirrors, light, and lasers. One of the harder frames to master, but certainly has its niches.

Valkyr – One of the strongest melee DPS themed Frames in the game. However, the skill required to push out damage is based on energy usage and the meta has shifted to AOE spam. Once upon a time, Valk was much better, the question is can Valk return to those better days?

Vauban – A decent character for solo players, with plenty of CC, and damage boosts to those under CC effects. A decent kit but overall a little lacklustre compared to other CC damage dealers.

Yareli – Yareli is the latest Frame players have picked up, but she is rather peculiar. She has a mixture of CC, shielding and burst damage that makes her a jack of all trades and a decent AOE and solo farmer. However, her mitigation and destruction are not anywhere near as good as anyone higher than the B Tier. For that reason, this water-loving Frame seems very average. However, there is still some room for a meta defining build to come out of nowhere that makes us think twice about Yareli, but for now, a B Tier seems acceptable.

Bottom of the pack

Zephyr Prime Warframe

Grendel – Generally a really bad tank in comparison to those already in the game. Energy consumption largely punishes players feasting on enemies. The more enemies consumed gives buffs to allies, but there’s no point buffing allies if they are all in his belly. Give this one a miss.

Hydroid – Another self-sufficient trash farmer, but requires mods to make it work.  However, Hydroid is largely a weaker Nekros and the tool kit doesn’t offer what dedicated A and S tier damage dealers do. Rather disappointing, hence the C tier placement in the Warframe tier list.

Nyx – The original Revenant, however, the Chaos caused via Nyx is generally weaker. Mobs attack different factions at random, making Nyx harder to use for arbitrary reasons. Furthermore, the kit generally lacks damage. Overall just a much weaker Revenant – just play Rev okay?

Zephyr – One of the earliest released Frames in the game. The developers originally designed her for the game at launch. But, as the game has progressed, the kit has been left behind. However, Zephyr is all about making more moves in the air, making her a decent Frame to play in the free-roaming spaces of the Plains of Eidolon.

This concludes our Warframe Tier List. We hope you enjoyed getting a closer look at the playstyle, strengths and weaknesses of many Frames in the game.

Staff Writer AT WEPC

Craig Robinson

Craig has spent several years in esports. He began his journey as a volunteer, writing about games he loved whilst studying at University. Upon graduating, he worked as a freelance writer, talking about esports and gaming for several years before landing in WePC's gaming section.

5 thoughts on “Warframe Tier List (September 2021): Best Tank, DPS and Support Warframes”

  1. Ballistic Battery is literally Mesa’s worst skill, and the one most often selected for being swapped out with Helminth.

    Likewise, Wisp’s beam is her worst skill.

  2. The sheer number of titles to cover makes keeping up essentially futile. However, as this is a game in constant flux/improvement, updates may convert some players over into giving it a shot (even if temporarily). Case in point, you have Zephyr at the bottom. After a very recent rework, she can be a game-changer for solo or group play. That’s one example, granted, but it’s a strong one if you’ve either seen the difference first hand or read about the details through the developer, forums, or even streamers. Cheers, and thanks for showing WF some attention.

    • Hey pal, yeah you’re correct, I’ve not had the chance to go over it in a while. We do have someone looking at the game for New War, though. Hopefully, we can give it another update in the near future. We will keep it in mind and thanks for the nice comment!

  3. Not including Ember in best tank category is a tragedy.

    • I have to confess I’m a bit of a Rhino simp since it was my first ever crafted frame like 5 years ago, so I do tend to overlook other tanks largely due to that. Ember seems good though so I’ll give it to you. Opinion is subjective after all ^^

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