In pretty much every Warframe article I’ve published, I’ve written them from the point of view of Volt, my starter character and still my favourite. I’ve mentioned my other unlocked characters a few times, most notably Trinity, the healer class I dislike. While Volt and Volt Prime make up for about 60% of my Warframe gameplay, I really should mention the other 30%.
Turns out, half of that 30% belongs to Frost.
Frost was the second Warframe I acquired and leveled up, and I did so very, very quickly. So fast in fact, that I don’t actually remember leveling Frost up at all. Once I had finished with him, I quickly found myself making and leveling up Ember, then realising that my Electricity/Cold/Fire/Poison collection would take forever to complete because Saryn is all the way on Sedna. But Ember also found herself gathering dust as I went back to using Volt.
Eventually though, I decided to actually customize Frost and start properly using him. Mostly because I was finishing off missions on Venus and all of them were missions where you mostly stay in one place.
You see, Frost is actually a very stark comparison to Volt. It’s somewhat obvious by their names – Frost is clearly based on the element of ice (or cold, as it’s called in Warframe), and Volt is clearly based on the element of lightning, or rather electricity. And Frost really looks the part, wrapped up in a big, heavy, organic coat sort of thing, complete with classy tie. Seriously, look at him. He looks like he’s wearing a tie.
And on top of looking the part, Frost really acts the part too. All his abilities are incredibly cold and all obviously ice-based. But at the same time, they’re also a lot like Volt. A ‘single target’, ‘fire and forget’ first ability, some sort of shield ability and a fancy, hugely elemental ultimate ability. The main difference, ability-wise is that, rather than having a gigantic movement and weapon swing speed boost, Frost throws out a wave of ice that slows and damages everything in front of him. It’s a cool ability, but sometimes it’s easier to just use your 1st or 4th abilities instead.
But where the two of them differ completely is their speed. Volt has always been a pretty fragile speedster. My current Volt build has very high shields (900 shields on my normal Volt, 1100 shields on my Volt Prime) but very little health and almost no armour. Frost is a lot sturdier and bulkier, boasting more armour, more health and less shields. He’s also a lot slower, with a lower than average walking speed, with no real way to boost said speed without sacrificing one of mod slots. You COULD use Rush or some other movement speed mod, but it’s not really worth it.
This lack of speed though isn’t an issue. While Volt charges through missions that need to be done as fast as possible, Frost is perfect for things like defense. Just cast a Snow Globe, Frost’s shield ability, over whatever it is that needs protecting – generally a sleeping Tenno – and watch as everything that enters it is slowed down. This is also good for other things. Mobile defense suggests that it is more faster paced than normal defense, but you still have to spend 2 minutes at each place you need to defend, and unlike Volt’s shields, Frost’s ones last until they are destroyed by enemy fire. Which isn’t always easy because those shields have about 8000 health. Interception and Sabotage are also very good examples. While Snow Globes don’t stop enemies from capturing control nodes, they do help in slowing them down enough so they can’t fight back.
In my imagination, there are other stark differences. As I said in my obsessive rant about Volt, Volt is a friendly, quiet but slightly dim character. Frost though is always characterized as more of a tough guy, someone who wears all the fancy cosmetics (at least, he would if I had any) and stands around all proud and mighty. He’s also, excuse the pun, cool with pretty much everything. Grineer defense mission? Great! Corpus Index? Neat. Infested invasion? Bring it on. Orokin Sentients? Sure. Spy mission? Maybe not.
Actually, Frost gets off lucky in my imagined personalities for each Warframe. Ember always ends up blowing everything up, and often blowing up herself.
Despite Frost’s initial… unwillingness to be used, he’s a genuinely very good frame. And even better, he’s accessible early on, after your Starter Frame and Rhino. It’s definitely worth picking him up.
But Frost will never beat Volt. Ever.