The thing about hatching a Helminth Charger before completing the tutorial pet quest Howl of the Kubrow is that half the stuff involved in getting your Helminth Charger into battle doesn’t… actually work. So after some messing around, I got myself another Kubrow egg and went and bred myself a Kubrow.
What the fuck is a Kubrow you ask? It’s a space dog. With a horn on its nose.
Kubrows are first introduced to you on Earth, and compared to the weak Grineer you meet in your first missions, Kubrows can actually be very dangerous to a newbie. But then you forget they exist until the Howl of the Kubrow quest, which introduces you to the weird world of pets in Warframe.
You see, unlike Sentinels, which only have the base costs of the blueprint, components and potential upgrades, both Kubrows and Kavats (weird cats) in Warframe are convoluted. First you need a Kubrow egg. Yes, an egg. Then you need an incubator, which costs 150k credits and requires rapidly decaying Argon crystals. Then you need to wait 24 hours to hatch the egg. Then you get to name it and play around with a puppy until you decide to make it an adult, an action done at the click of a button. Kavats are made by scanning wild Kavats and getting their genetic code then making a Kavat clone out of that. But unless you get the Upgraded Incubator Segment, you will also spend 10k credits a day on DNA stabilizers to keep your new pet in shape. Don’t do this and your pet will hate you and slowly die.
Pets are NOT the sort of thing you want newbies having. Same way that you don’t make a kid look after a real puppy, you don’t give a newbie a Kubrow. Which is odd because the Howl of the Kubrow quest is available pretty early on in the game.
Once you have your pet though, it’s… Different. A Sentinel hangs above your shoulder, occasionally doing the odd thing or falling behind as you bullet jump. Kubrows and Kavats have their own minds (or in this case, AI), and run around like furry idiots, occasionally attacking things.
That being said, they do kinda work like Sentinels. Each breed of Kubrow and Kavat has its own mini-ability or precept, just like Sentinels do. But being animals, they only really have two – one attack precept and one utility precept – and their abilities are more animal-like. For example, a Sahasa Kubrow can randomly dig up loot and a Cheska Kubrow can disarm enemies and pick up bits of loot and bring them to you. When they do this though is completely reliant on their doggy AI.
The issue of doggy and kitty AI normally wouldn’t be a problem, but the unusual things about pets, particularly Kubrows, is the inability to actually control them. They do whatever the fuck they want, there is no option to tell them to sit or stay or attack a specific target or anything like that. Even Specters can be better controlled, all Specters can be told to follow or stay in one place, and Warframe Specters can even be given a choice of weaponry, specified when you make them.
Customizatiom though is hit and miss. Modding works the same way Warframes and Sentinels work, and you can forma and use Orokin reactors on pets. Colouring though is a whole different system. You can’t use any of your colour palettes like you can with literally everything else, and need to buy masking packs to colour your pets. Colours are cosmetic, and so is the Kubrow and Kavat armour you can buy for platinum only. Outside of trading, the only free armour comes from Baro Ki’Teer, costing various amounts of credits and Prime parts.
There are benefits though to Kubrows and Kavats. Kubrows more than Kavats, because Kavats are very hard to obtain. They are cute and fluffy, something the universe of Warframe badly lacks, and you can pet them as much as you want while in your ship. But when you’re in a mission, unlike both Sentinels and Specters, you can revive pets as much as you want. Companions go into bleedout mode the same way players do, ane are revived with full shields and health. They are also far, far tankier than other followers. My Sahasa Kubrow at level 20 has more health than my fully modded Volt Prime does! Once they’re fully modded, pets are durable and strong, as well as being adorable.
The best thing about them is watching them scamper around your ship, just like normal pets would do. Minus the pissing and pooping everywhere…