One of the things I’ve always liked about Warframe is how almost all of the game is solo-able. The only things that weren’t doable solo were the 4-8player Trials, but they were designed with 8 players in mind. Even the Halls of Ascension, including the floating platform, can be done on your own by cleverly using your Operator, your Warframe and a handful of Specters. You can even build and fund a full dojo completely on your own. But playing solo is so, so much more work than playing with a group.
Right off the bat, the biggest challenge to a completely solo player is the fact that a HUGE number of weapons are locked behind Dojo research, which, at a bare minimum, requires a bunch of Forma and resources, just to build the four labs and an Oracle room to enable to build the labs in the first place. If you’re willing to be social, you can join someone else’s clan, but farming the resources for the weapon research and then farming the weapons themselves just takes too long.
In normal gameplay though, solo is mostly fine. Some missions are actually better to do solo. For example, a Spy mission, especially a Sortie Spy, is slower when done on your own but at least you don’t need to worry about team mates fucking up. If you ruin a spy vault, you can fix it, but if someone else ruins a vault, you can’t always fix it. The Infested Salvage mission is actually more efficient with one player than with 4 players.
Funnily enough, some missions are actually not as hard as you’d think. Interception requires you to hold 4 separate control points, but when you play solo, you can capture control points insanely quickly. The issue with doing an interception solo is that you need to be in four places at once, but if you can be in three places at once, that’s generally enough. There are also ways to control the spawns of enemies – as long as you don’t kill anyone, no new enemies will spawn. This means that, if you keep everyone under crowd control or asleep or away from the points in general, Interception becomes pretty easy.
In order for things to be more fair for single players though, there are generally less spawns – although the game doesn’t always compensate if you end up solo after a host migration. But weirdly, having less spawns can sometimes be detrimental. Excavation for example SHOULD be easier with less spawns, but less enemies means that there are less power cell carriers around, meaning you have to run around looking for them. And that’s just a pain in the ass. Survival also has the same issue, since you need a steady stream of enemies to drop life support capsules to keep life support topped up, and since there are less spawns in solo Survival, there are less capsule drops.
Some missions though, there’s simply too much going on. Eidolon hunts for example are definitely doable solo (in fact I’ve posted videos and written a couple of articles about killing Eidolons) but with the Exploiter Orb and Profit-Taker fights, you can very, very easily find yourself being overwhelmed. There’s so many enemies that doing the main tasks of keeping lures alive for Eidolons, throwing thermia at Exploiter or just shooting at Profit-Taker in general becomes tricky.
If you grab a second player though, everything becomes so much easier. You’re technically doubling the effort but the effectiveness of a single extra player is more than double, because you can both do multiple tasks and split tasks between you. It’s far easier spotting Raknoids or keeping an eye on Lures.
Doesn’t even need to be a good player either. I’ve taken low level players into Eidolon hunts, doing most of the work myself while having them look after lures, the only other thing they had to do was not die. With one less thing to worry about, one can do everything else with more efficiency and accuracy. As long as it’s clear what everyone should be doing, then things tend to go quite smoothly.
Warframe IS a game that, these days, is completely solo-able. You CAN do everything yourself. But it’s so much easier just to grab someone else to give you a hand.