Melee weaponry in Warframe is pretty varied. I mean, it’s not Skyrim with a billion mods levels of varied, or as varied as all the randomly generated bladed weaponry that increases melee damage in the Borderlands games, but really, unless you want spears, there’s a little bit of melee weaponry for everyone.
That being said, there are spears. They’re just primary weapons – The Javlok and the Ferrox, which fire elemental blasts and can be thrown at enemies to cause explosions. The only downside is you need to go and pick them up afterwards.
Anyway, back to melee weaponry. There’s a lot of it. Melee weaponry tends to come in distinct ‘stances’, i.e. the animations used to make said weaponry hurt enemies. Great Swords all use the same animations, Heavy Weapons use the same animations, Swords use the same animations, Whips use the same animations… you get the point. On top of the default animation sets, all melee weapons have Stance mods, which, when put in the Stance slot of a melee weapon, allow you to do some pretty neat combos with your weapons. Oh and they work a bit like aura mods in Warframes, giving you extra mod capacity in your melee weapon.
Melee attacks are equally varied, with not just light and heavy attacks (tapping and holding E respectively), but also things like air attacks, spin attacks from rolling and meleeing together and wall attacks, which I haven’t seen anyone use but according to the stats of my weapons, seem to do a lot of damage. You can also block attacks with your melee weapons (right click) and do channeled attacks, but no one does channeled attacks. This is on top of the combos you can get from your nice stance mods.
The most impressive thing about melee weapons though is that they can be the strongest weapons in the game. While explode-y guns like the Simulor can clear rooms pretty damn fast, so can melee weapons like the Telos Boltace, a set of Tonfas, and the Secura Lecta, an electric whip, which can hit multiple enemies at once and often have extra effects on special attacks. Even heavy swords like the War and the Galatine can hit multiple enemies at once, and combined with spin attacks, can easily do upwards of a thousand damage, even before you start throwing forma at your weapons.
Weapons like the Atterax, a chainsaw whip, are incredibly easy to get and are capable of doing Sortie-level damage with just two forma and a catalyst, due to having range and slash damage, which has a chance to instantly damage health rather than cut through shields. This is compared to Sortie-tier gun weapons like the Tigris Prime, which needs a Mastery Rank of 13 to build, as well as multiple forma to make it do lots of damage.
While whips, tonfas and greatswords are often the most powerful weapons, there’s plenty of other weapon types. Swords, axes, daggers, double daggers, double swords, double axes, maces, heavy weapons, swords and shields, claw weapons, staves, polearms, punching fist weapons, glaives, machetes, boomerangs, whip-blade combos, scythes, a rocket-powered hammer, a gunblade, chainsaws attached to one’s wrists, and my all-time favourites, the sparring weapons Kogake, Obex and Hirudo, which allow you to beat and kick your enemies to death.
Of course, I have other favourites. Right now, I’m rocking the Orthos Prime, which is a ‘rare double-bladed stave’. It’s a stick with sharp bits on each end. But what makes the Orthos Prime so much fun is that you can use it while sprinting, with no change in speed. Coupled with my beloved Volt, I basically turn into an electric blender for up to 17 seconds at a time, mowing down anything up to level 50ish enemies with ease.
Really, there’s something for everyone, no matter how you want to hit your enemies.