If you want to get anywhere in Warframe, you need to learn how to trade. The only thing required to progress in Warframe that requires the premium currency of Platinum is the slot. Weapon slots and Warframe slots mainly. The other slots, for Archwings, Archwing Weapons, Sentinels, Pets and Riven Mods, they’re not compulsory but needed if you want to get everything. Things like Orokin Reactors and Catalysts, or Exilus Adapters, they can be obtained during events, given as rewards during sorties or are featured in Alert missions. It’s just Weapon slots (at 12 platinum for 2 slots) and Warframe slots (20 platinum for one).
Luckily for us, platinum can be traded between players. The only rules are that gifted platinum (i.e. your first 50 starter platinum and platinum won from official giveaways) can’t be traded, and there’s a somewhat steep trading tax when you trade for platinum. For anything below 20 platinum it’s not too bad, but the trade taxes swiftly get quite high.
Oh and you can only start trading once you reach Mastery Rank 2, which gives you two trades a day. If you increase your mastery rank, you can get more trades, equal to your rank. Luckily,
But what can you trade to make platinum? And what is worth buying with platinum from other players?
When you’re a new player, not much. There is nothing you can really trade until you reach Mars and unlock the ability to open Relics and obtain Prime parts. There are two main options: opening relics and selling Ayatan sculptures. Ayatan sculptures are little white and gold statues that can be found randomly in missions, and people will buy them for 3-5 platinum each.
Prime parts are the main platinum earners. When you open a relic, you can tell which are the rarest (and thus most expensive) items because they have gold text. Silver is uncommon and bronze is common. Most people are willing to buy gold Prime parts for anywhere between 10-20 platinum for most weapon parts, to 30-50 platinum for Warframe parts, to 100+ platinum for Warframe Prime parts which have not been released in a long time (e.g. Ember, Loki, Rhino, Nyx, Nova).
But where can you sell all these items?
There are two main options: Unofficial Websites and the Trade Chat.
Trade Chat is basically the same as any trade chat in any MMO. People type out what they’re selling and what they want to buy. If you want to look for people selling or buying specific things, you can filter the chat. For example, using a WTB filter will get rid of people wanting to sell their stuff. I sometimes make lists of things I have for sale and just watch the WTBs scroll past, cherry-picking clients I want. Generally, this means messaging someone, agreeing on a price, then inviting them to your clan’s dojo or going to their dojo and doing the trade there.
This sort of selling is good for on and off stuff, if you’re just idling in your ship and don’t really take trading seriously. It’s a slow process but you’ll make more platinum over time. You can also just throw out your WTS messages then hang around in Region Chat while the cooldown in Trade Chat wears off, and wait for people to message you.
Good things to sell in Trade Chat are primed parts for the newest primed objects (currently Mirage Prime, Akbolto Prime and Kogake Prime) as well as commonly used powerful mods like Maiming Strike, Argon Scope, Condition Overload and various corrupted mods. A lot of people will ask for “prime junk”, which is generally 5 random prime parts for anywhere between 10 and 15 platinum. If you do these trades, make sure to ONLY give common parts (e.g. Paris Prime, Braton Prime, Burston Prime parts), items only worth 15 ducats in the Ducat Kiosks in relays, and make sure you try and get 3 platinum a piece.
You can also trade in Maroo’s Bazaar on Mars, but there’s an extra 10% trading tax, so it’s not really worth it.
The other places you can go are offline, unofficial websites, like Warframe.market for general trades and Warframe Trader for Riven Mods. These let you just list your items, often with an option to set whether you’re online in-game or not. These websites don’t actually do any real trading. What they do is list prices, allow you to find what you want and then allow you to easily message players… by giving you some text to copy and paste. You can paste the text in-game and it will automatically send a message to the player in question.
Trading sites are generally better for people who want to buy things rather than to sell them. They’re easier to access, you can sort out who has good prices and who is actually in game for you to be able to trade with them. Only problem is, the online status on these sites is done manually, there’s nothing allowing you to track people online outside of Warframe, so occasionally you might not be able to sell or buy things.
Generally though, you won’t get many offers on any of your things, unless you’re online in-game selling things at their lowest prices. No one in-game can see your offers, and people using the website are of course going to ask people offering the lowest prices.
The best way to use external sites is to sell cheap and fast. Quantity over quality.
Either way, it takes a bit of time to make platinum. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll at the very least be able to get the platinum you need for more slots.
One thing though. If you need mods, it’s often not worth buying them. Basic mods like Streamline, Intensify, Vitality, Redirection, Flow, Serration, Hornet Strike, Pressure Point, Continuity and more, many people will give them to you for free if you ask nicely in Region Chat. Many Veterans will help you out, as long as you help someone else out in the future, in a “pass it along” way.
Good luck, Tenno!