Focus, unlocked by completing the Second Dream and expanded upon in the War Within, is a strange, somewhat tedious thing to farm. At first, farming Focus is insanely difficult as you’ll only ever have one or two Focus Lenses at first. You’ll obtain more later on, via bounties and events and things like that, but the initial focus farm is slow and tedious and just doesn’t get anywhere, because about 1% of all affinity you earn is turned into Focus. On whatever you have a lens equipped on.
Slowly, things do open out. Over time, you’ll get more lenses and you might even be able to get Eidolon Lenses, which grant a massive 2.5% of affinity earned as Focus. But you still need 50,000 Focus to even unlock a new Focus School, let alone start working on unlocking abilities. Sure, you can do Sanctuary Onslaught and Eidolon Hunts as a way to earn Focus, but it’s not something you can bang out in a few days. Or a few weeks. It takes time to max out those Focus Schools.
Honestly though, MOST Focus abilities are not worth it. The benefits they give are small and the amount of time spent farming them isn’t always worth it outside of niche cases. What you want to do is focus on the most useful Focus abilities and go from there. I’d heavily recommend starting with Zenurik, mainly because it’s the energy-based school and you always need energy for your Warframes, unless you’re playing Hildryn.
So, here are the five Focus abilities and two Focus schools you should probably unlock first.
Energy Pulse – Zenurik
It may not seem much, but 25% extra energy over 10 seconds is actually pretty good. That means every 100 energy you get from an orb, you get 25 energy extra. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but that energy can make the difference between casting an ability and dying. It also makes life a little easier while doing Sanctuary Onslaught since you can’t use gear items there.
Energizing Dash – Zenurik
There is no reason why you shouldn’t skip over Energizing Dash while you’re working on unlocking other Focus things. Energizing Dash means you leave a dome when dashing that gives you regenerating energy for 10 seconds at the lowest rank. Again, like Energy Pulse, this doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s a boost that gives you a head start at the beginning of a mission and is so easy to do that you’d be insane to ignore it. Allies also get energy too, which is nice.
Void Flow or Void Siphon – Zenurik
The base energy and energy regeneration that Operators start out with are pretty low and slow. Void Siphon isn’t as useful as Void Flow, which allows you to stay invisible longer and also grants you more void dashes, but the regeneration does affect all types of Operator energy regeneration, like energy gained when hitting enemies. While there is no need to make both of these Waybound, it will make your life easier when you start using other schools and don’t have much filled out yet.
Protective Dash – Vazarin
Frankly, Protective Dash feels like cheating. If you Void Dash into an ally, they get a brief hit of invulnerability and are healed by a percentage of their health. You can’t Void Dash and get invulnerability on your own Warframe but you can heal it, as well as your companions. What makes Protective Dash so powerful is that it works on allied targets as well, like Mobile Defense consoles and Excavators.
Enduring Tides – Vazarin
Frankly, 100 health (which becomes 250 health after joining the Quills) doesn’t get you very far, and the Operators themselves can’t get shields and have very little armour. Okay, sure, they have 25 armour (more than some Warframes) but that doesn’t mean much when you only have 250 health. Enduring Tides means you can at the very least take more than one hit in a mission without being forced back to your Warframe. There IS Magus Vigor, which also increases your health, but later on you’ll want to swap out Magus Vigor for more useful Arcanes, but you can have Enduring Times all the time once you’ve unbounded it.
Honourable mentions go to Mind Step and Mind Sprint in the Naramon school, which increase how fast the Operator can move, Mending Soul in Vazarin which gives you instant revives and Stone Skin, which weirdly gives both Operators and Warframes extra armour.
But really, with just those focus abilities, or even just the Zenurik ones, you don’t need that much else in order to play well.