Mods come in different degrees of rarity – common (bronze), uncommon (silver), and rare (gold). This rarity defines the likelihood of them dropping (yes, Warframe
utilises RNG), and some are rarer than others. As mentioned earlier, you will encounter better and better mods as you progress, and certain mods can only be obtained from certain places (in fact, there is a very specific loot table, so if there’s a mod you are chasing, you might want to refer to the Wiki). On top of these three degrees of rarity, there are other types of mods – rare multi-stat mods, “Corrupted” mods, platinum “Primed” mods, and purple “Riven” mods – but these are end-game mods, and this beginner’s guide won’t go into them any further.
I’ve explained what mods are and to some degree, what they do, but I haven’t explained what else you can do with them and why there is a Mod console on the Orbiter. Over the course of the game, you will acquire a hell of a lot of mods – there is no cap to how many you can hold. Every mod has its base stats, but on top of that, every mod can be improved through the process of fusion. By using credits (in-game currency) and endo (some kind of energy that mods need), you can increase a mod’s level by varying amounts. Each rank will increase the base stat by the amount of the base stat – for example, the Vitality mod mentioned previously will increase your base health by 20%. Increasing it by one rank will increase base health by 40%, then 60%, and so on. Considering Vitality can be ranked up 10 times, you can see the benefits there are to increase it to max rank.
However, increasing a mod’s power comes with a risk. On the one hand, every rank will take more and more credits/endo. Achieving the highest rank will cost a considerable amount. Further, increasing in rank will increase its drain on capacity… Every piece of equipment has a number of mod slots, and also a total capacity. So while a weapon might have 8 slots, it may only have an initial mod capacity of 5, so if you have a mod with a cost of 4, and all your other mods come at a cost of 2, then you need to choose between two mods with “2” cost, or one mod with “4” cost. Of course, this is the benefit of levelling your equipment – you actively increase the mod capacity. As you increase in level, you can use more/better mods. To confuse things further, mods also have a polarity. There are four polarities, recognised by a symbol in the top right-hand corner of the mod. If this matches the polarity of the mod slot you intend to use it in, it effectively halves the mod cost. If it does not match, it will increase the cost – so best to keep an eye on polarity, This system is incredibly deep and complex and given I’m still only a beginner myself, I’ve only just scratched the surface.
In addition to fusion, you can use your Mod console in further ways. You can transmute them (essentially take four mods you don’t want, and spend a bunch of credits in an effort to create an alternate random mod, which consumes the four mods. I wouldn’t recommend this, as the likelihood of getting a good mod is low, and the credit cost is generally high). You can also sell mods (but you don’t really earn many credits for common mods) or dissolve them into Endo. In my opinion, Dissolve is the best option, as Endo is not easily come by initially, whereas credits can easily be earned by playing through a few missions.
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