Excalibur, Volt, Mag – Which Starter Should You Pick?

You’ve finally downloaded that weird space ninja game everyone’s talking about. You’ve installed like 40GB’s worth of stuff. You’ve made an account and you’re finally getting into the game. Immediately, you’re forced to make a choice. Which starter character should you pick?

There’s fancy sword guy, fancy electric guy and fancy magnetic girl. You have no idea what’s going on, you don’t know anything yet. This is a big decision that can impact your enjoyment of this game. What do you do? Heck, you might have already picked a character and might be wondering whether you’ve chosen wrong or something!

Well, don’t worry. No matter what frame you pick, you made a good choice. Excalibur, Volt and Mag are all good Warframes in their own ways.

In this article, I’m going to go through the pros and cons of each Warframe, and what sort of player should choose what character.

Excalibur

Do you like swords? Then Excalibur is for you! You can slide around and slash people in half, blind them with a magic sword, pin enemies to walls with more magic swords and then slice and dice them with a magical sword that shoots waves of energy.

Pros: Excalibur is the most forgiving of the three starter frames, with more health and armour and a badass sword that will carry you through most of Warframe. You can stick almost any mods on Excalibur and he’ll do the job and the fact that he also gets invulnerability frames from his first ability means you have a bit of an escape route if you need it. Most of your damage will come from your Exalted Blade magical energy sword

Cons: There’s only three real major issues with Excalibur. Firstly, Excalibur doesn’t have great crowd control, but that’s not too much of a problem if everyone is dead. The second is that he doesn’t come with many polarities, meaning you have to do extra work to mod Excalibur properly. The third issue is that, well, you shouldn’t get too attached to Excalibur because you get a way better Excalibur later on.

Pick Excalibur if you are really not sure what you are doing and want to do things the easy way. Excalibur is very simple to use and hard to mess up.

Volt

Just a head’s up, Volt’s description of being “an alternative to gunplay” is a FUCKING LIE. Volt is one of the best Warframes to go alongside gunplay, having two abilities that buff using weapons. He also has an electric nuke.

Pros: Volt is an amazing utility frame. He gives you speed boosts, he gives you shields which block almost all projectiles and he can stun entire rooms of enemies. Volt remains useful throughout the entirety of your time in Warframe and can be used in both generalist and specialist roles.

Cons: Volt is a very squishy Warframe with high energy consumption early on (at least until you get the mods Streamline and Flow) and a slower growth in power compared to Excalibur. While Volt is very versatile, if you run out of energy, you can be in quite a bit of danger.

Take Volt as your starter if you want a more rounded collection of abilities and are happy to rely on your guns and melee weapons as well as your abilities. While you won’t be nuking maps (at least not yet), Volt gives you a powerful set of tools to get you started and will always be useful in some way.

Mag

Pros: Mag can be built to be an insanely strong character who will destroy swarms of enemies with ease, and also has a few nice early game strengths like Polarize replenishing shields and her Crush ability providing Overshields. Pull does very little damage but provides nice crowd control so you can escape a sticky situation.

Cons: Like Volt, Mag has an issue with energy consumption and is very squishy, but Mag’s biggest issue is that she takes a whole to get rolling. She has a rough start, especially since her abilities don’t do obvious damage the way, so you’re more reliant on your guns. Mag’s strength also comes from Augments, which you most likely won’t be able to obtain until later on in the game.

Choose Mag as your starter if you are willing to take things slow and accept that you will grow in strength over time. Mag is also a good choice if you want slightly more challenging gameplay.


At the end of the day though, even if you pick a Warframe you don’t like, you can easily obtain other Warframes, including the other two Starters, later on. Excalibur parts can be obtained on Mars, Mag parts can be obtained on Phobos and Volt parts can be obtained in Clan Dojos. So even if you absolutely hate the Warframe you chose, you should soldier on, because a new Warframe is just around the corner.

Phovos the Excalibur in his blue and orange colour scheme.
A fresh Excalibur looks off into the mist.

Medic

Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 45% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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