In Warframe, ‘standing’ is a currency. Not only does standing measure your rank within a syndicate, from anything from the bickering relay Syndicates to the unplayed Conclave to the secretive Quills and Nox Solaris, but it’s also a currency that you can use to buy things. It’s basically using reputation with a group as cash.
Standing can be earned in a huge number of ways, depending on each Syndicate. The six normal Syndicates all have daily missions which reward more standing based on your rank, as well as medallions which can be traded in for standing later on, and you can always wear a Syndicate’s sigil and basically be a walking, murdering advert for them in exchange for some more standing.
Other Syndicates are less straight forward. The Quills only accept standing in the form of Sentient Cores, meaning you have to kill Sentients (either the Lua ones, Vomvalysts or Eidolons), pick up what they drop and trade them in with Quill Onkko for standing. Grinding for the Quills is very tiring. Cephalon Simaris isn’t much better but at least scanning things is pretty easy.
The two major open-world areas though, Cetus and Solaris United, they have multiple ways of earning standing. The most common way is via Bounties, which give a specific amount of standing per bounty stage completed. Solaris United bounties have nice little bonus tasks that can earn you extra standing as well. Any other standing can be earned by donating gems and fishes, and the Business, the Orb Vallis’s local animal guy, will also give you standing for successfully capturing animals.
So there’s often multiple ways of getting standing for any syndicate. But there’s always a catch.
You see, the amount of standing you can earn in a day is limited by two things: your rank in a syndicate and your mastery rank.
The syndicate ranks are simple. The first rank of most syndicates is 5000 standing. You can’t earn any more standing past that initial 5000 standing until you level up, and when you do level up, you start at 0 for the next rank, which is normally 22000 standing.
But in a day, you can only earn a specific amount of standing, generally equal to your mastery rank. A MR3 player can only earn 3000 standing a day for a Syndicate, while an MR23 player can earn 23000 standing per day. This resets daily and basically delays your ability to level up, acting as a time gate to better loot. It’s an incentive to increase your mastery rank, but the maximum standing per day is a massive roadblock in the progression of any syndicate.
On top of that though, as standing is a currency, you can find yourself spending more than you’re earning, while also getting in the way of ranking up.
Like, for example, if I (being an MR24 player) want to build a MOA via Solaris United, it will cost me round about 5k standing. But if I spend that 5k standing before I hit the highest rank with Solaris United, I set my progress back a day because I am now missing 5k standing towards the next rank. Alternatively, I could wait until I hit max rank with Solaris United and be able to buy whatever I want without having to halt my progress. Which, aside from buying required items like fishing rods, is what I’ve done for Solaris United.
That doesn’t always work though. You can’t always hold off from buying items until you reach maximum rank because sometimes you NEED items. Cetus is a good example. You need certain fish parts to reach certain ranks, but you HAVE to buy the baits to get them. And many of those baits require other items that you ALSO have to buy with standing.
It’s not too bad for me, I’m Mastery Rank 24 now, I get 24k standing a day. If you’re only Mastery Rank 10, that’s a huge long grind in front of you. You need about 250k standing to reach max rank in most Syndicates, meaning it will take 25 days or so to get to said rank. Potentially even more because you also need to farm the items you need to sacrifice in order to level up. Sure it’s an incentive to level up more, but it’s pretty harsh at times.
I suppose at least you get a free item every time you level up with a syndicate. But if you level up with one of the six syndicates on your ship, you should ALWAYS go for one of the sigils, because it means you can gain more standing more quickly. With Cetus and Solaris United, it’s best to go for the gem/ore blueprints. Gems for Solaris United (to build Garuda) and ore blueprints with Cetus because they’re really expensive otherwise. For the last rank on Cetus and Solaris United, I went for the Captura scenes because they are by far the most expensive, but you could go for the sentinel for Solaris United if you wanted to.
Still, your best bet is to just get to max level first before buying anything. It sucks, but you have so much more freedom once you have max rank, being able to buy any item you want.