The Best Affinity Farms and XP Grinds in Warframe

Warframe is a game about grinding. Sure, there’s a small part of it that’s about skateboard grinding. But most of this game is about leveling up new gear. Not just the titular Warframes themselves, but guns and pets and swords as well. And amps, Archwings, Necramechs… The list goes on. In fact, there’s over 800 items that can be leveled up! And after a while, you kinda get tired of leveling things up.

Luckily, there are some hot spots where you can level things up more quickly.

The Obvious: Sedna’s Hydron and Saturn’s Helene

There’s very little that can beat Hydron. Between the faction, tiny map and the high enemy density, Hydron funnels affinity to you. So does Helene, with the small downside of the Grineer being a few levels lower. What makes these maps so good isn’t so much the fact that they have a lot of enemies. The Grineer all spawn pretty damn close to the objective, and many Warframes can easily cover the whole map with their abilities. This makes killing the Grineer quick and easy. Speed and efficiency are the way to go, and these tiny Grineer maps have that in spades.

However, I used to be able to recommend Corpus maps. Both Io and the indoor Corpus Ship map used to be pretty damn good for getting Affinity, because they were also tiny maps. Now though, all Corpus maps are absolutely HUGE! The only small Corpus map remaining is one of the Corpus Outpost maps on Venus (the one with the two buildings next to it), and you’ve only got a 1/3 chance of getting it.

The Slightly Less Obvious: Elite Sanctuary Onslaught

Elite Sanctuary Onslaught is amazing when it comes to getting Affinity. High level enemies constantly spawning in, tiny rooms, no need to go anywhere… it’s an affinity heaven. The entire point of the mode is to murder enemies as fast as possible, and that’s also the best way to level things up.

There’s one downside though: if you’re getting the kills with Warframe abilities, then you won’t be leveling stuff up that fast. When you get kills with Warframe abilities, most of the affinity goes into your Warframe – great for Focus, bad for actual weapon leveling. The best way to maximize affinity gains is to have someone else do all the killing, while you clear up with your weapons. (This also applies to the other options on this list, but in a less dramatic way, since kills are more easily shared.) You also can’t use gear items, meaning Necramechs and Archguns can’t be leveled up here either.

Sanctuary Onslaught, the starting room
Sanctuary Onslaught, the starting room. Every other room is just a random tile with the doors blocked off.

Normal Sanctuary Onslaught is good if you don’t have a rank 30 Warframe, but the overall exp and focus gains just aren’t quite there. Plus, you miss out on the radiant relics and elusive Braton/Lato Vandal parts. Khora components are stupidly rare as well.

The Obscure: Railjack, Veil Proxima and Gian Point

Sure, you need to do a ton of Railjack to get Intrinsics. Did you know though that Railjack’s actually a great way to level up things like companions and Amps? It turns out that your Railjack basically counts as a separate player. This means that any kills you get while in your Railjack are shared towards all your gear, not just your Warframe. By piloting a ship as an Operator, the Railjack’s affinity earnings are also shared with your Amp too!

Ironically though, it’s not really a good idea to grind Archwing affinity here. The ships are harder to kill and many of them will make mincemeat of low level Archwing gear. You also need at least one level 7 Intrinsics to access Veil Proxima, but you can easily be taxied there.

Editor’s note: At the time of writing, Gian Point was the best spot. But due to how Railjack has been updated and the fact that Gian Point no longer exists, this version of farming only really works with a maxed Plexus, and using an Operator.

The Archwing Farm: Salacia

There’s really only one node you can farm Archwing gear on. While Interception is an okay game mode for Archwing affinity, the maps are often huge and a lot of affinity is wasted because players are so far apart. Mobile Defense is the only mission where enemies come to you instead of you coming to them. And Salacia on Neptune is the only

BUT you can do Salacia on Steel Path! The mission is pretty much the same, but the enemies are a slightly higher level. Normally this doesn’t translate into too much extra affinity. However, when it comes to Archwing, the sheer lack of alternatives

The Oh-Fuck-I-Missed-It farm: Orphix Venom and Orb Vallis

I kinda missed the boat with this one. Necramechs are a pain in the ass to level up because you can only do so in Open Worlds. However the Orphix Venom event was the first normal mission in which you could use necramechs. And it turned out to be a damn good Necramech affinity farm. Unfortunately, I didn’t capitalize on this grind, and still have 4 Forma I need to shove into my Bonewidow. While Orphix Venom-like missions are due to return in Corpus Railjack, I doubt they’ll be as good as the original event was.

In the mean time, the other ways of farming Necramechs are three-fold: You can use Necramechs on either Isolation Vaults or the endless Excavation mission, but these can be tedious. After all, you need to travel around a lot and get out of your mech on the regular. Infested also don’t give out much affinity. However, you can also go to the Orb Vallis and cause a ruckus at any of the three big bases. The Temple of Profit and Enrichment Labs are the best spots since they have better enemy flow. Annoyingly though, enemies can just… stop spawning sometimes.

That being said, Orphix has made a comeback in Corpus Railjack. But you won’t find many people playing it, and certainly not up to the 36 waves the event originally had.

Anyway, these are considered the best farming spots. But I wouldn’t recommend spending all your time using these. Mix it up a little, do some normal missions and some fissures here and there. Otherwise you’ll begin to get bored…


Medic, also known as Phovos (or occasionally Dr Retvik Von Scribblesalot), writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF since she doesn't have anything better to do. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Phovos has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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