Let’s start with some Japanese…

Shinobi (ninja), when written in kanji (忍者), has the character for “endure” (忍) and “man” (者) in it. As such, a ninja refers to someone who can endure a lot and that was the way of a ninja in the feudal era of Japan. A ninja kept dangerous secrets, sacrificed his pride and honor to serve his masters and followed the harshest of rules.

The true measure of a ninja is his ability to endure all of life’s hardships.

Warframe, the free-to-play, third-person looter-shooter from Digital Extremes, embodies this core philosophy of the ninja. To be successful in Warframe, you need to endure…in everything.

Endure in Progression

To level up in Warframe is all about the grind, you take your Warframes and weapons into missions and earn affinity to level them up. If you don’t play, you can’t become more powerful.

Also, you need to earn credits and resources in order to craft the various Warframes and weapons in the game. The only way to get those is to play and grind it out until you have what you need.

Mods for your various Warframes and weapons can also be earned through the grind and they are necessary if you want to increase your ability to survive and defeat the ever-increasing antagonists in the game.

Crafting the weapons and Warframes also takes a lot of time, players have to wait between 12 hours to 3 days depending on what is being built in the foundry.

As a free-to-play game, Warframe has a microtransaction economy that will allow some parts of the grind to be skipped (Warframes and weapons can be bought for in-game currency) but they will be unranked and remain unranked unless you play.

There are no shortcuts in this; if you don’t play, you can’t progress.

Endure in Combat

Action is Warframe is kinetic, frenetic, and difficult to master. Most of it depends on your ability to move about the various environments and use the varied abilities of your Warframes.

Some Warframes have amazing offensive abilities that will enable them to eliminate numerous enemies in seconds. Others are defensive and can take enormous amounts of damage whilst dealing their own in return. Some are tactical and will require a more cerebral approach to combat, others are supportive and will buff allies while reducing enemy capabilities. Learning how to play as each Warframe is essential.

Knowing your enemies is also a crucial part. Enemy AI isn’t particularly notable in Warframe but enemy variety is where it excels.

Each enemy type has its own set of weapons, abilities, and tactics. There are close range specialists who will rush at you to attack and mid-range combatants who use rifles to attack at distance but have melee capabilities for those who get close. There are long-range snipers, enemies who can neutralize your Warframe’s abilities, and others who can adapt to your attacks.

Mission types are also varied, requiring different approaches to each one. Going in all guns blazing on stealth focused missions or moving too slowly when you’re hunting down a target will cost you dearly.

Endure in Lore

Warframe also comes with a rich backstory delivered in quests, hidden snippets of archived lore, and conversations with NPCs. But you aren’t just given the story of Warframe, you need to play and earn them.

The Second Dream is one of the most influential quests in Warframe. Early adopters of the game waited two years for it to be released in-game and could immediately pick it up but newer players had to work through a good amount of the game before earning this quest.

And this quest is just the beginning of a tale of tragic, traumatic experiences that your character endures to become this hardened warrior that you control. Following quests just keep on adding to the lore of Warframe, circumventing the genre tropes and delivering some of the best moments in video game history.


The art of the ninja may not include guns, space exploration, aliens, and otherwordly abilities but that core tenet of endurance rings true in every aspect of Warframe. Your only way forward is through, no matter what tries to hold you back or drag you down.

Ninjas Play Free…

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