The 5 most exciting Warframe announcements from Tennocon

Warframe's annual Tennocon conference was this weekend, and despite being about only one game it still somehow managed to pack in enough announcements and reveals to rival an E3 press conference. Not only are there new quests, warframes, and open world zones to frolic around in, but Warframe is also getting an entirely revamped new player experience as well as ship-to-ship combat that looks extremely fun.

The Tennolive mainstage presentation is worth watching (it's embedded above), but if you can't spare the time here's a quick rundown of all the major updates that are coming to Warframe over the next year.

Warframe's ship-to-ship combat looks incredible

Walk before you can fly

(Image credit: Digital Extremes)

Warframe is a complicated and daunting game to get into. Give yourself a proper introduction by checking out our beginner's guide for getting into Warframe, which will help you understand some basics and give you the tools you need to grow as a player.

Who could've imagined that spaceship combat would be the next frontier for Warframe? When it was first revealed last year, the Empyrean update surprised everyone but didn't offer much in the way of concrete information. During Tennocon 2019, Digital Extremes played Empyrean live on stage for 30 minutes—giving an intimate look at just how this update is going to work and fit into Warframe's already complex ecosystem of looting and shooting.

If there's one thing you should watch from Tennocon, it's this demo. There were so many cool details packed into it. Using your clan dojo (think guild housing), you can build spaceships known as Railjacks that are, like everything in Warframe, modular and customizable. Using the Railjack, you can explore regions of space around the solar system and harvest materials that will, in turn, power up the Railjack's various abilities.

The Railjack can house up to four players and a handful of recruitable NPCs who must man various battlestations to pilot and defend it from enemy threats in space. Players can also exit the Railjack to explore nearby ruins or invade enemy ships to sabotage them from the inside or even steal them. During Railjack missions, special 'SquadLink' objectives let you call on your friends who might be somewhere else in the solar system to complete secondary objectives which will, in turn, affect your mission.

Oh, and there's also a Shadow of Mordor-like Nemesis system where players are hunted by a Kuva Lich that grows stronger and mutates each time you kill it. It's a lot to take in, so read my preview to get more information.

Warframe's tutorial is getting revamped with a new prologue video

One cool surprise out of Tennocon is that it's getting a revamped tutorial that better reflects how dramatically Warframe has changed since it launched six years ago. The director of 10 Cloverfield Lane (and the upcoming Uncharted movie), Dan Trachtenberg, joined forces with Digital Extremes to make a badass new intro video. The special effects are gorgeous, but the video also serves to introduce players to the three starting warframes so they can better decide which one suits their playstyle.

As for the reworked tutorial itself, we don't know much other than it is likely coming at the end of the year. Digital Extremes implied a new series of quests will help guide players through Warframe's complex web of shooting, crafting, and modding—but even veterans will be able to go back and check them out too.

The Duviri Paradox is a surreal open world zone with horses

Warframe now has two open world zones that are both a lot of fun, but its upcoming third zone looks completely different than anything in the game so far. Details are scarce at the moment, but the trailer (embedded above) holds tons of clues—all of which imply that The Duviri Paradox is going to be one weird-ass place to visit.

For one, it looks as if The Duviri Paradox won't allow you to use your warframes and will instead force you to play as your operator but all grown up and without their special powers. The new zone will also have a new faction for players to fight (or befriend?) and implies that, despite lacking your powerful warframes or operator abilities, you'll be able to tame a weird robot-horse and ride it around. All of this is just guesswork, though. Hopefully Digital Extremes shows more soon.

The New War is coming this Christmas

One of my favorite parts about Warframe is its "cinematic quests" that feature long cutscenes, fun boss fights, and hard-won insights into Warframe's esoteric lore and backstory. And The New War quest promises to be its most climactic chapter yet.

I won't go into details at the risk of spoiling some of Warframe's coolest plot twists, but The New War, together with Empyrean, feels like a critical turning point. A mass invasion by the ancient Sentient robot race tied with the ability to finally explore space in the Railjack has tantalizing implications for the future of Warframe. It's also expected that The New War will bring to a close one of Warframe's best and most-intimate character arcs—but we're going to have to wait until The New War releases this Christmas to know for sure.

A closer look at two new warframes

New warframes are always on the horizon, but I'm particularly excited for this next pair, Gauss and Grendel. During a livestreamed art panel at Tennocon, we were given a sneak peek at each frames' idle animations, which hinted at what their play styles would be. Both also made a quick appearance during the Empyrean live demo as members of the SquadLink team that helped the Tenno in space by destroying a shield generator located nearby on Earth.

Gauss is, quite simply, The Flash from DC comics. As Digital Extremes already revealed, one of its abilities is to run super fast, which will be helpful when traversing Warframe's growing list of open world zones.

Grendel looks like a sumo wrestler crossed with a troll, but that's all we know. Digital Extremes wasn't ready to talk about either frame's abilities, and there's no confirmed release date yet.

That covers all the major announcements from Tennocon 2019. There was loads of smaller reveals, like the start of Nightwave Season 2 (which is now available) and also a contest that will send one lucky winner to outer space—yes, you read that right.

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.