When you start Warframe, you’re given 50 Platinum. Platinum is the premium currency of Warframe which, unlike many other premium currencies, can be traded with other players. Most of the time. The 50 Platinum you start off with though can only be spent in the Warframe Market and can’t be traded with other players in any way. The question is, how do you spend that Platinum?
It’s very tempting to instantly spend that 50 Platinum on one of the cheap Syandanas for your Warframe. The Uru Syandana for example is very nice, with a metallic sheen to it and a nice collar around your Warframe’s neck. The temptation is strong. But cosmetics are the last thing you need when you’re a Warframe newbie.
The the obvious thing is to buy as many useful things as possible. There’s actually two very useful things you can buy: weapon slots and Warframe slots. With 50 Platinum, you can but 2 sets of 2 Weapon Slots and 1 Warframe Slot. A set of 2 Weapon Slots costs 12 Platinum and a Warframe Slot costs 20 platinum, so you can spend a neat 44 Platinum, leaving you with 6 Platinum left. Those slots won’t cover you for the whole game, but they’ll certainly do for now, especially if you get rid of your MK1 weapons and replace them with proper weapons (or cycle through weapons as per my low-level mastery guide).
The question is, what do do from here? You’ve spent all your Platinum and you’re going to want to buy more things. You need to start getting things you can trade.
Luckily, Lith Relics are your best friend. They’re easy to obtain by doing Spy missions, Excavation missions, Defense missions, all sorts, and generally on the first rotation (so 5 waves of Defense, 2 Excavators, etc.). Basically, you want to get as many Lith Relics as possible. Getting Meso Relics and Neo Relics is great as well, but if you’re a newbie, you won’t have access to the places where Neo and Meso fissures tend to appear, so you can’t open the relics.
The trick is, you open relics, claim the rarest items (things with gold names, then silver names, then, if all the items are bronze, whatever you like the look of) and hoard them. Most Primed stuff can’t really be used until MR4 (with some Primed Warframes being locked at MR2-MR8 and many Primed Weapons being a lot higher) so you might as well just grab what you can.
Once you’ve got your collection of assorted parts, then the easiest way to make Platinum is to sell your Primed parts to people who need Ducats whenever Baro Ki’Teer is visiting. There’s always a market of people who will pay, for example, 10 platinum for 5 common Prime parts – mostly Braton, Fang and Paris Prime parts. But whenever Baro Ki’Teer comes along, people will be willing to spend more because they more desperately need the Ducats.
But whatever you do, don’t just sell everything to the first person who comes along. You will want to go through your parts and look for any rare ones. If you can’t remember which parts are rare, you can go to a Ducat Kiosk in the relays – anything that sells for 65 or 100 Ducats is a rare part and you should sell that on its own. For example, a Zephyr Prime Systems is a rare part from a Lith Z1 relic and on its own, it sells for 15-20 Platinum.
Of course, this is all kinda moot until you’re MR2 and can trade. And frankly, even until about MR4, the Warframe Slot and 4 Weapon Slots will last you a while, alongside the free slots you obtain simply by finishing the tutorial. You can go a long way on all of that alone, and you shouldn’t feel like you’re in a rush. After all, there’s always people willing to trade and there’s so many items that it’ll take a looong time to obtain slots for everything.
There are other ways to make Platinum, as well as buying Platinum with real money, but frankly, you can play Warframe completely free if you really want to.