Mods Guide
Upgrade your Warframes, Weapons, Companions and more!
Posted On 2020-01-01 00:00:00
Mods Guide

Mods are one of the vital and versatile ways to rise in power in Warframe. You can equip them on everything from Weapons and Railjacks, to Kubrows and Kavats, to Warframes and Necramechs. But many basics remain the same no matter which Mods you use or where!

1. You can equip most Mods from the Arsenal by selecting “Upgrade”
2. Every Mod takes up one slot in an item’s Upgrades Menu
3. Mods typically have an associated “Drain” cost listed in their top-right corners
4. You can upgrade Mods by selecting “Fusion” at the Mods terminal on your Orbiter
5. One copy of the same Mod can be equipped to multiple items at the same time with no downside

While these fundamentals are fairly simple, there’s quite a lot of nuance to budgeting, upgrading, collecting and mixing your Mods. Let’s go into some greater detail about what the various elements of the Mods system mean.


This is the single most important thing to learn about equipping and upgrading Mods. Every Mod you equip comes with an associated “Drain” cost (indicated at the top-right corner of the Mod itself). This is then subtracted from the overall “Capacity” of your Warframe — or whatever equipment you intend to upgrade with Mods. You cannot equip Mods with a greater total Drain than your Capacity.

For example, if your Excalibur has 20 total Capacity (shown in the Upgrades Menu when equipping Mods) you can equip Mods equal to 20 total Drain. If you equip a copy of “Redirection” that costs 10 Drain and a copy of “Vitality” that costs 10 Drain, you can’t equip any more Mods to your Excalibur. Even if you have more open slots left to use.

Different Mods come with preset levels of Capacity Drain. However, when you upgrade a Mod using Fusion on your Orbiter, that level rises. Be mindful of this so that you don’t accidentally make a set of Mods too powerful to wear on your current equipment!


One way to reduce Capacity Drain is by matching Polarity symbols. Most Mods come with a Polarity symbol shown right next to their Drain number. In turn, many Weapons, Warframes and other pieces of equipment come with a few matching symbols in specific Mod slots. Placing a Mod in a matching slot will cause its Drain number to glow green.

Matching symbols this way will always reduce the Capacity Drain of a Mod by 50 percent (rounded down). Conversely, mismatched slots will double the Capacity Drain. In short: always try to match the symbol of your Mods to the correct slot!

Forma & Polarization

If you’re not happy with your Polarity slots, or just want to make more room for extra-powerful Mods, you can change and add Polarities to any piece of equipment with a resource called Forma. To do so, select the “Actions” button at the bottom of the Upgrades Menu and choose “Polarization.” This will prompt you to select a Polarity symbol and to select whichever Mod slot you want to place it in.

You can purchase fully constructed Forma from the in-game Market for Platinum. Forma Blueprints are also a fairly common drop from Void Relics, as well as certain events and specially marked activities. There is also Umbra Forma (to match Umbra Mods), Aura Forma (for Polarizing Aura Mod slots) and Stance Forma (for Polarizing Melee Weapon Stance Mod Slots).

Orokin Catalysts & Orokin Reactors

Another simple way to raise your equipment’s capacity is with Orokin Catalysts and Orokin Reactors. Installing one of these will permanently double an item’s Mod Capacity. Note that Orokin Catalysts can be installed on Weapons. Whereas Orokin Reactors are needed for Warframes, Necramechs, Archwings, Companions, K-Drives and your Railjack Plexus.

You can purchase Orokin Reactors and Orokin Catalysts from the in-game Market using Platinum, or with Nightwave Cred in Nora Night’s “Cred Offerings” tab. They’re also given out as rewards for several special events and activities.

To install an Orokin Reactor or Orokin Catalyst, select the “Actions” button at the bottom of the Upgrades Menu and choose “Upgrade.”

Unique Mod Types:

Most Mods come from Quests, as Mission Rewards or simply drop from defeated enemies. There are a few special subcategories that you can only acquire from certain types of activities, however. These are often the most powerful types of Mods in the game, or have a very unique impact on your build and play style, so let’s go over what these unique styles entail.

Primed Mods: These supercharged Mods typically have a higher Drain number than their standard counterparts, but make up for it with massive stat bonuses. They are only sold by the Void Trader, Baro Ki’Teer, who appears on a randomly selected Relay somewhere in the Origin System once every two weeks. His wares are also random, but they typically include at least a few different Primed Mods to choose from each visit.

Baro will announce his presence with a message directly to your Inbox each time he appears. You can also find him by looking for his white, diamond-shaped symbol that appears on the Star Chart whenever he returns from the Void. You’ll need both Credits and Orokin Ducats to buy from his collection — which you can by selling him Prime Parts and blueprints acquired from Void Relics.

Nightmare Mods: These Mods provide a boost to two different stats simultaneously (such as “Vigor,” which raises both Health and Shields). You can find them by completing randomly selected, extra challenging Nightmare Missions. Check the Alerts tab of your Star Chart to see which Nightmare Missions are available at any given time.

Corrupted Mods: These potent Mods provide a massive benefit at a cost. “Narrow Minded,” for instance, offers greatly increased Ability Duration with a detriment to Ability Range. You can find them inside locked Orokin Vaults on Deimos. Squad up with other Tenno to bring Dragon Keys researched in your Clan Dojo’s Orokin Lab and crafted at your Orbiter to unlock the hidden vaults.

Aura Mods: Besides providing a buff to your entire Squad, these special Mods actually increase your Warframe’s total Mod Capacity rather than eat into it. Slotting one into your Warframe will boost your total Capacity equal to the number written on the Mod. Because of this, it’s always a good idea to fully upgrade any Aura Mod you intend to use. There is no downside to making it as powerful as you can! Matching the Polarity symbol will also double the bonus, too, while mismatching it will cut the number in half.

Stance Mods: Stance Mods are exclusive to Melee Weapons. They can dramatically alter the way a particular Weapon combo works — providing different ways to cut down your enemies. They also add additional Mod Capacity instead of drain it (similar to Aura Mods).

Exilus Mods: You might consider these to be “bonus Mods.” Exilus Mods typically provide useful but less explosive perks than other Mods, such as increased mobility or battlefield awareness. They can be worn on any normal slot in your Weapons and Warframes. However, installing an Exilus Adapter or an Exilus Weapon Adapter will unlock a special slot exclusive to Exilus Mods. This allows you to fit even more Mods and power onto your favorite tool of choice.

Augment Mods: Pledging yourself to different Syndicates will offer access to their unique selection of Augment Mods. These Mods don’t necessarily raise your overall power. Instead, they fundamentally alter how a particular Warframe Ability Works. “Dread Ward,” for instance, causes Garuda’s “Dread Mirror” to make her invincible for several seconds whenever the Ability kills an enemy.

Riven Mods: These unique, entirely randomized Mods are one of the ultimate ways to customize your combat style and alter your Arsenal. Whereas most Mods come with preset stats, a Riven Mod can provide wide-ranging positives (and negatives) to any Weapon in the game.

Additionally, different Weapons come with higher and lower “Dispositions.” The higher a Weapon’s Disposition, the more likely it is to provide a massive positive with fewer negatives. So there’s always room to experiment and try new equipment!

You can earn Rivens every week as a potential reward for Sorties, or purchase them from Palladino in Iron Wake on Earth using Riven Slivers. These are commonly dropped by Eximus enemies and in Requiem Relics. However you acquire a Riven Mod, you’ll typically need to “unveil” its properties by completing an in-game challenge listed on the Mod itself.

Umbra Mods: These are more advanced versions of existing Mods that grant increased effect when equipped together. For example, equipping both “Umbral Vitality” and “Umbral Intensify” at the same time will boost the effect of both Mods compared to wearing just one at a time.

These Mods are acquired automatically at the end of the Quest “The Sacrifice.” They also come with a distinct Polarity type that requires rare Umbra Forma to Polarize on your Weapons and Warframes.

This is just a brief look into the deep world of upgrading your Arsenal, Tenno! There are hundreds of Mods to discover and countless ways they can interact. Be sure to keep an eye out for more and experiment to discover which you prefer to use!