Plains of Eidolon, Warframe’s 22nd major update, dprd more than give the free-to-play shooter an open-world shot in the arm. It also introduced a whole slew of new systems, upgrades, and activities to go with it—not to mention an entirely new economy of resources you'll need to farm to unlock those new upgrades.
As we've already said, Plains of Eidolon isn't the best place to be spending your time as a new player. It offers too few of the valuable resources you'll need early on, so you're better off sticking with the main campaign until you've completed The Second Dream and War Within main story quests.
That said, Plains of Eidolon is a vast and beautiful zone, and we wouldn't blame you for wanting to spend some time there even if it's not the most efficient way to gear up as a newbie. But whether you're a veteran or a new player, Plains of Eidolon's new systems like mining, fishing, and monster hunting are a lot to swallow in what’s already a tremendously complex game. For that reason, we’re breaking down the basics of what makes this new update tick—plus a few general tips on how best to spend your time.
First things first
Before you even step foot on the wide-open Plains of Eidolon, it would behoove you to research an Archwing Launcher Segment—assuming your clan hasn’t done so already.
This nonspecific-sounding device isn’t vital. It is, however, a mighty convenient tool for getting around the update’s massive map. Once constructed, the launcher will allow you to summon an Archwing, Warframe's jetpack equivalent, at any time inside the new zone. Not only does this allow you to fly around willy nilly, skipping past enemy encampments and otherwise inaccessible terrain, you can also summon Archwings for friends to use in order to keep up with you.
The downside is that the launcher requires a considerable amount of rare resources to research and construct. It also takes 72 hours to finish synthesizing the blueprints in a clan’s Tenno Lab, plus another 12 hours to construct.
If you're brand new to Warframe, you won't be able to use your Archwing until unlocking Earth and completing several secondary objectives to unlock the Mars Junction (which lets you travel to Mars). Once that is done, you'll be able to start The Archwing quest, a relatively short series of quests that will give you all the blueprints you'll needed to craft this jetpack.
Even if you don’t plan on hitting up the Plains anytime soon, do the The Archwing quest first and start construction on both it and the requisite Archwing Launcher Segment. The Archwing will save you a lot of time hoofing it on the ground.
Where to start
Besides an admittedly nice little cutscene showing your Warframe arriving at the settlement of Cetus, Plains of Eidolon doesn’t exactly tell you where to go or what to do first. Allow us to rectify that oversight with the first few things you should do and buy on the Earth colony.
The Plains of Eidolon is entirely unlike any area in Warframe. The main town of Cetus is a public instance that can house up to 50 players at one time, while the Plains themselves are a vast open world where squads of up to four players can run around adventuring. There is a real-time day and night cycle, with day lasting 100 minutes and night lasting just 50. The daytime is safest for new players because once the sun sets towering Eidolon Teralysts stalk the plains. These behemoths are extremely powerful and can only be killed by endgame players. You can still head out at night if you want, but be prepared for a difficulty spike. There is no real in-game indicator of time in Warframe, so use this website to track when the sun will set.
Here's the first two things you should do, in order:
- Talk to Konzu. You can’t do much of anything on the Plains of Eidolon without the currency known as Ostron Standing. When you first arrive at the new location, the only way to earn such standing is by doing bounties for Konzu. So complete one straight off the bat before doing anything else (there’s more on that in the next section).
- Accept and complete the Saya’s Vigil quest. This unlocks after completing your very first bounty, after which it can be accepted from Konzu. Saya’s Vigil takes you on a guided tour of the Plains with slow, scripted teasing of various locations and events. You’ll spelunk through an ore-rich cave system, meet your very first Eidolon—the terrifying monstrosities that roam the Plains at night, and get a general lay of the land that makes acclimating to the new zone much easier. On top of that, the quest gives you something to strive for by nudging you towards finding components of the new Warframe, Gara (more on her below).
- Earn 1000 Ostron Standing from completing the bounty missions Konzu offers. You'll need this first bit of currency to unlock mining and fishing, which we'll talk about more below.
- Continue doing bounties, while spending your new Ostron Standing on better fishing and mining gear. For new players, head back to the main campaign and begin working towards unlocking The Second Dream and War Within quests to fully unlock everything you need for Plains of Eidolon. Veterans can begin hunting Eidolon Teralysts and grinding for better gear, which we explain below.
Ostron Standing and how to get it
The Ostron are the people of Cetus, the settlement around which Plains of Eidolon is centered. They’re also the backbone of Warframe’s open-world update. So you want to be on their good side. Luckily, their goodwill is clearly represented with “standing.” And similar to standing gained with Warframe’s existing Syndicates or Cephalon Simaris, there’s a limit to how much you can earn per day: 1000 multiplied by your profile’s Mastery Rank, plus another 1000.
Standing is used to both buy gear from Ostron vendors and to level up your overall ranking with the settlement. Each new rank opens a new tier of items that must also be purchased with more standing. The combined costs add up quickly. Which is why we’ve listed where to focus your earning and buying efforts below.
If the Ostron are the backbone of Plains of Eidolon, then bounties are the backbone of the Ostron. The multi-stage missions set in the Plains are the most efficient way to earn standing by far—not to mention a subset of gear and crafting materials you won’t find anywhere else.
To initiate a bounty, hit up Konzu at the northmost end of Cetus. He’s just below the giant door leading into the Plains. You’ll find that his missions are split into five categories—each more difficult than the last. Of course, harder bounties also yield greater rewards. These bounties can be completed multiple times for the rare loot drops (like Gara's blueprints), but they'll only offer Ostron Standing once. Fortunately, Konzu refreshes his list of bounties every two hours (essentially after each in-game day/night cycle), so check back in the morning so you can earn the Ostron Standing again.
Once you actually select a bounty, you’ll be sent into the Plains. The quest will be broken down into several steps (with harder bounties taking more to complete). The upside is that each step rewards its own share of standing. You won’t get the bonus reward unless you complete the full bounty, but this way even a failed one is worth something.
Incursions are basically mini-bounties. You don’t collect them from Konzu. Instead, they pop up automatically while you’re roaming the Plains without an active objective. You’ll be given a heads-up message via radio and told to reach a certain location within a certain amount of time.
There will be a one-stage mission waiting for you once you get to the incursion site. Complete it to earn a stipend of standing and a light bonus reward (usually crafting materials, credits, or mods).
Turning in Materials
Besides bounty and incursion-based combat encounters, you can also turn in materials gathered from the Plains for Ostron Standing. Said materials include fish and gems, which are gathered by fishing and mining. We’ve included more specifics on both of these activities farther down. In the meantime, know that neither is the best method of acquiring standing.
Early on, about a dozen ore deposits’ worth of gems are worth just a couple hundred standing—or about what you can earn from just one phase of a mid-tier bounty. Beyond that, gems and ore are used as weapon crafting materials and as an additional cost to level up with the Ostron.
By hanging onto the resources from the get go—especially the rarer gems that can be sold for standing—you’ll save yourself a lot of grief down the line. The same goes for spearfishing. Instead of standing, fish can be converted into materials with a variety of uses—not least among them is the Fish Oil that’s needed to power your Archwing on the Plains of Eidolon.
The Ostron aren’t the only new faction in Plains of Eidolon. Once you’ve beaten The War Within and Saya’s Vigil story quests you can unlock a more secretive group called The Quills. Head up the staircase northeast of Konzu in Cetus to find them behind a blue door. This door can be opened by switching to Operator mode—which you'll fully unlock after beating The War Within.
Earning standing for The Quills is much more specialized and difficult than with the Ostron. You need to turn in Intact, Exceptional, and Flawless Sentient Cores at the hidden outpost for 100, 500, and 1200 standing apiece. The only way to earn said cores is from killing Eidolons. You can learn all about that process in our full guide.
How mining works
Mining is exactly what it sounds like. The Plains of Eidolon are filled with rocky outcroppings marked by red and blue veins of ore and gems, respectively. You’ll almost certainly stumble upon them while exploring, but you’ll need a Nosam Cutter to actually carve out the stoney treasure troves.
You can purchase your first cutter from Old Man Suumbaat in Cetus. He’s the NPC marked with a pickaxe on your map. Although you’ll need to complete a bounty or two first to afford its 500 standing pricetag.
The most helpful tip we can offer about mining is to do it while you’re already leveling up your standing with the Ostron. Each grade of Nosam Cutter comes with built-in radar for ore deposits. If you equip it while leaping from one bounty objective to the next, you can make periodic stops to collect ore on the way. That will save you time and effort hunting the right randomized minerals for crafting and leveling up your Ostron Standing later.
How fishing works
Fishing in Warframe is even more straightforward than mining. Which is great, since anyone spending a great deal of time on the Plains of Eidolon will want to do it somewhat regularly. The reason being that Fish Oil, one of the basic rewards for fishing, is necessary to craft charges for your Archwing Launcher Segment so you can fly over and around the open zone.
To begin fishing, purchase a spear from Hai-Luk in Cetus for 500 Ostron Standing. They're marked by a fish icon on the map. Then just equip the thing near a body of water to make fish appear. When they do, you can aim and throw the spear the same way you’d fire any normal weapon, albeit with a travel time. Just be sure to lead your target.
Fishing is a bit less efficient than mining in that you can’t just clear out a vein and move on. The critters only spawn into the world when you stay put at a body of water. On the plus side, as far as fishing minigames go, Warframe’s is a lot fun and relaxing. It might not be as conducive to multitasking as mining, but it’s a great way to unwind while you grind out standing and crafting materials or wait for a blueprint to craft.
Crafting Zaws, Amps, and Arcanes
Each of these aforementioned activities—bounties, fishing, mining, and Eidolon hunting itself—are all in service of buying and crafting your way to the top. Even with its new open zone, Warframe is still a loot game, after all. Its endgame amounts to making your character as powerful as possible.
If you're immediately interested in obtaining Gara as a newer player, it's possible but it will take time. The Warframe requires three component blueprints which are randomly awarded from various bounties (explained below). From there, you'll need a combination of fairly common resources along with some mid-tier materials exclusive to the Plains of Eidolon that will require a bit of grinding in order to get. It's not an impossible task for a new player, but you might want to consider investing your time leveling up your current Warframe first or working towards the recommended newbie favorites like Rhino.
The most accessible steps on that road to new power are the Zaws. This new class of melee weapon is the first-ever set of fully customizable gear. You build them from the ground up by combining different grips, links, and strikes that determine what kinds of damage, movesets, and special abilities each custom Zaw offers.
Zaw parts and upgrades are purchasable from Hok in Cetus. His shop is the one marked by a hammer and anvil on your map, but you might want to wait just a minute before visiting. You won’t have immediate access to his best blueprints right away and even his cheapest wares cost a decent chunk of Ostron Standing.
High level players will almost certainly have equal or better gear than the first tier of Zaws available to them. Unless you’re just itching to make your own custom weapon, Ostron Standing is best saved for ranking up with the Ostron. That way you can permanently unlock access to better gear rather than wasting your time with the lower, weaker tiers.
Amp crafting is another story. These gauntlets are weapons used in Operator Mode, powering up their Void Beam and giving them a new energy pool to draw from rather than their generic Void Energy. The system—accessible from The Quills’ secret station inside Cetus—is largely identical to the three-part system of making Zaws. The difference is that Amps are brand new to Plains of Eidolon, and are meant for for late-game players. There's plenty of room to improve and experiment with combinations as they're not a replacement to a regular weapon like Zaws are.
Plains of Eidolon also introduces a suite of new Arcane Enhancements, permanent upgrades for Zaws and Operators themselves. These are crafted from Eidolon Shards, which you get from taking down the monstrous Eidolon Teralysts that wander around at night. They allow a bit of wiggle room when it comes to tailoring your Zaw's powers and abilities. In the case of Operators, it’s a straightforward passive upgrade.
As a newer player, your efforts are best spent on gathering Ostron Standing and spending it on fishing and mining gear, farming their resources and completing bounties. From there, begin ranking up with the Ostron while working through the main campaign to eventually unlock Operator Mode from The Second Dream and War Within Quests. Once you're closer to Warframe's proper endgame, you can begin investing your Ostron Standing in Plains of Eidolon's more costly pursuits, like Arcanes, Amps, and Zaws while also looking to hunt the Eidolon Teralysts.
Plains of Eidolon's massive new zone is accompanied by an equally large grind. But the trick is knowing which systems to focus on at which stage of your time with Warframe. You don't have to focus on everything at once, especially as a new player. Now, armed with a bit of that knowledge and where to start, you should be well-equipped to tackle Warframe’s biggest update yet.