So Specters, NPC clones you can make of your Warframes to assist you in missions, they got buffed. Big time. They can now do a much wider range of things, like using abilities! The 22.10 Warframe update hugely increased the AI of Warframe specters so that they can both use weapons better and use their actual Warframe abilities. That means that if you use one in a mission, it will actually do things!
Last time I talked about Specters, they weren’t useful at all. In fact, I had only built a set of Warframe Specters to get past a planetary junction. I still kept Warframe Specters on me, and even before the 22.10 update I occasionally used them (epecially since they can revive Sortie Defense targets). But they kept me company in solo missions and I liked them.
Warframe Specter Blueprints are rewards from Rescue missions, and the quality of blueprint (and thus specter) depends on the mission level and how well you did, like whether you set off any alarms or whether you killed all the wardens. Really, it doesn’t matter though, you get the most mileage out of Vapor Specters, since you get 10 of them. Sure, Cosmic Specters do a bit more damage and are a bit sturdier, but one blueprint (which takes 8 hours to build) only produces one Specter, while a Vapor Specter blueprint gives you ten whole specters.
When you make a Specter for the first time, it will copy your loadout. When making more specters will ask you whether to use your current loadout or the loadout you used the previous time.
But what Warframe and loadouts are best?
Well, now that Warframe Specters actually do shit, that means you can use nice things like Trinity and Oberon, who will actually activate their powers and heal you and give you energy and things like that. I’ve seen Harrow Specters do a lot of work, activating their invulnerability and their crowd control on a regular basis.
If you don’t want healing, then Rhino Specters will use Roar to give your weapons a nice 20-ish percent damage increase, while Octavia will happily cast all of her abilities and give players a buff if they fire in time with her music. Damage-dealing Specters are hit and miss, since they don’t use mods.
Nidus Specters though, they’re the best. Nidus Specters don’t have the same limitations that real Nidus Warframes have. They don’t require stacks, and instead just cast their abilities at will, instantly casting Parasitic Link and giving you 28% extra ability strength, and regularly casts Ravenous (creating healing carpets of infested matter), although it doesn’t seem to cast Larva, probably so it doesn’t interfere in Defense missions and the like.
Personally, I still recommend Volt Specters. They now deploy Electric Shield on a regular basis, which works as amazing cover for you and your team mates. You could in theory use them while out hunting Eidolons, so you can do a bit more damage, but low level Specters in general tend to have very little health. They also more regularly use Shock and Speed, which are both nice.
The worst Specter is Limbo, who can’t use any of his abilities. It makes sense because Limbo’s kit is complicated and can easily cause issues by banishing the wrong things, so I can understand why they’d just say no to Limbo. Another bad choice is Frost, since Frost Specters don’t know how to destroy unwanted snow globes, and a snow globe in the wrong place can end up hindering more than helping you. Nekros Specters are also mediocre because they can only cast Soul Punch or occasionally Terrify, which are only good for mild crowd control.
It’s worth remembering though that Warframe Specters don’t use your mods or appearance. They use the default look and base stats, which increase or decrease depending on the Specter’s level (which depends on the level of the mission you’re playing). They also don’t use energy, they have some sort of cooldown system that tells them when they can use abilities again, so you don’t need to worry about them running out of energy after two abilities if you’re using someone like normal Rhino or Volt.
What’s more important though is what weapons you take. Or rather, what primary weapon you use, because Warframe Specters can’t be bothered to use secondary weapons and only use melee weapons when they feel like it, which isn’t very often. On the flip side, Specters have unlimited ammo and will use whatever primary weapon you give them, meaning they can use otherwise too ammo-hungry weapons like the Amprex with ease. Things with high clip sizes that aren’t shotguns or short range work best because Specters don’t really understand the concept of distance.
If you want to use other Specters, the only useful ones are Ancient Healer Specters from New Loka, Shield Osprey Specters from Cephalon Suda or Clem Clone Specters, a reward from Clem’s daily mission. Everything else is crap, don’t bother.
Just don’t… use Specters in Nightmare missions. They have a habit of… turning on you…