“Holy fucking Bahrag, Medic, do you play anyone but Volt?” Well, I do use Frost occasionally, and Titania has proven herself to genuinely be very fun, but no, I am normally playing Volt. Volt Prime, in fact, because he’s the only guy with a Focus Lens installed. Let’s just say, after a good hundred hours and several obsessions, I think I’m starting to understand this character, and I want to share that understanding with newbies who probably picked Volt and don’t know what the fuck they’re doing. Because I didn’t have a fucking clue what I was doing when I started.
This is a Volt guide, written by an idiot.
Let’s get started!
Alright, Volt is a squishy as fuck caster frame who combines guns with throwing lightning at people and running stupidly fast. In later gameplay, Volt works as a speedy crowd-control machine due to pretty much guaranteed stuns on two or even three of his abilities.
Volt has average health (100 at unranked, 300 at level 30), above average shields (150 – 450) and below average armour (15 – which is used to decrease damage to health). He starts off with 100 energy, and reaches 150 energy at max rank, which is not a lot at all.
You also have four abilities. Your first ability and passive ability are always unlocked and the other three unlock as you level up, with your fourth unlocking at level 10. Abilities can ‘rank up’ but really, when you hit specific levels in your Warframe, depending on the level one of your abilities will get stronger. You don’t really need to worry about that for now.
Volt’s passive ability is Static Discharge. If you walk, run or slide around without attacking, your ‘static energy’ will increase (shown beside your health and shields), and your next attack will deal extra electricity damage.
Shock is an ability that shoots lightning, bouncing from enemy to enemy, the number of bounces depending on the ability’s rank and costing 25 energy. It has no cast time and can be used as long as you have energy. If you don’t hit an enemy, Shock will still bounce to a minimum of 2 nearby targets.
Speed does what the name suggests, it gives you and nearby allies a massive speed boost for a short amount of time. It also increases reload speed and and attack speed. It costs 25 energy.
Electric Shield creates a shield placed in the direction you are facing, costing 50 energy to deploy. The shield cannot be destroyed but has a limited life time – starting from 5 seconds. Only attacks with high punch-through (e.g. the starter weapon, MK1-Paris) can penetrate the shield but these are rare. You can pick up and carry the Electric Shield and/or put it down with the context key (x by default), but this drains 5 energy per second and increases based on distance traveled. If you use Shock on an Electric Shield, it will electrocute enemies that pass through it.
Discharge is a channeled ability, meaning you stand still and an animation plays. Once it’s finished, every enemy in a radius is stunned and after a little time, starts taking damage. Enemies that come close also get electrocuted. This costs 75 energy to use.
Despite these cool abilities, when you start out, you won’t be able to use many abilities at all, due to your low energy pool and high cost for each ability. Until you either get a Streamline or Flow mod and have the space to use it, you’ll only be able to use a handful of abilities before being out of energy. Let’s be frank, the caster-based style isn’t really true, you’ll still be using your guns 99% of the time. You need mods to make the most out of your abilities.
The mods you really, really need are Streamline and Flow. Streamline reduces energy costs and Flow increases your energy pool to 300. After that, an Intensify will increase the damage that you do and the buffs from Speed. If you want your Speed boosts Electric Shields to last more than 10 seconds at max rank, then you’ll need a Continuity, but that bastard is hard to get.
Because Volt has very low armour, you’re better off getting more shields as the percentage increases from armour mods won’t really do much for you. Get a Redirection mod. Don’t worry if you can’t fill it up completely, getting the mod to level 6 will do for now. Ideally, what you want to do is run away from all your enemies anyway, because Volt simply isn’t designed to take a lot of damage.
There are also three augment mods for Volt, that add to Volt’s abilities, but they are locked away behind Syndicates and low level players should avoid Syndicates at first. Shock Trooper causes Shock to gives an ally 100% electricity for 40 seconds, Capacitance gives extra shields to Volt and his team mates when you use your fourth ability and Shocking Speed guarantees to stun enemies whenever you run past them using Speed. You pick the one you want, but personally, Shocking Speed is the best as mini-stunning everyone you run past is pretty cool.
In the mean time though, a newbie Volt can still make the most out of his abilities. Static Discharge in particular is very useful early on as you make your way through your first few missions, as you can run around in circles a few times and use that discharge to take out tougher unalert enemies.
Shock is good for getting things out of the way while you reload, as it can be cast pretty much anywhere. It’s best used just as you empty your weapon’s clip, as Shock will hopefully stun enemies and give you a chance to reload your weapon.
Electric Shield sadly isn’t that useful at low levels, as its starting duration, 5 seconds, just isn’t worth it. It does increase to 10 seconds, but carrying it will sap at your rather small energy pool very quickly, and running around carrying it will leave you empty. What you can do though is place one behind you before you hack consoles, so that enemies can’t shoot you while you’re unable to shoot back.
Speed has similar issues, but a speed buff is much more universally useful than a shield that enemies can walk through. Enemies aren’t complete aimbots, and combining a faster movement speed with normal ninja acrobatics means you’ll be able to avoid more damage.
Discharge sadly is best kept for emergencies only, as the high energy cost means you can’t spam it all day, even with a full set of mods. But stunning enemies in a large radius is always a good thing if things get bad.