Warframe: Is it a Gacha Game? Unveiling the Gacha Game Elements

Warframe’s gacha game elements and overuse of randomized loot is leaving players longing for the freedom they once enjoyed.

Summary (TL;DR)

Warframe is a free-to-play game with extensive features that initially offered an exciting, story-driven experience. However, the game has heavily incorporated gacha mechanics and extreme grind, making it less enjoyable. Gacha elements center around obtaining powerful Prime gear, obtainable through a complex system of random loot drops and lengthy crafting times. The focus on grind and random item acquisition can be frustrating, especially in newer content that limits player choice. Many players hope Warframe will find a better balance between its engaging gameplay and its increasingly demanding systems.


Warframe, a free-to-play game known for its vast arsenal of weapons, extensive customization options, and exhilarating mobility, has undergone significant changes over time. Initially captivating players with its immersive storyline and exciting gameplay during quests like The Second Dream. Unfortunately, Warframe has gradually transitioned into a game that has more grind and randomization than the gacha mechanics already in the game, resulting in mixed feelings among both new and veteran players. Yes, Warframe is a gacha game.

What Makes a Game a Gacha Game?

What distinguishes a gacha game? Gacha games are a genre of video games that employ a randomization mechanism, similar to that of a vending machine or a capsule-toy dispenser, to grant players virtual items, ranging from characters and cards to equipment. These items possess varying rarity levels and utility, obtainable through in-game currency or real money. Many gacha games incorporate RPG elements into their gameplay experiences.

How is Warframe a Gacha Game?

In Warframe, the gacha elements are reflected in the distinction between Prime and non-Prime weapons and Warframes. Non-Prime variants are less potent compared to their Prime counterparts. Acquiring Prime items requires players to obtain the respective Prime blueprints and parts, subsequently crafting the items. The crafting process involves gathering three Warframe components and a blueprint, each taking 12 hours to complete, followed by an additional 3-day wait for the Warframe to be built. To expedite this process, players can utilize Platinum, a currency obtainable through real money or player-to-player trading. Notably, Prime Warframes cannot be directly purchased with Platinum.

Warframe employs Void Relics as the means to obtain parts for Prime Warframes and weapons. Void Relics has a loot table a six of items, each with different levels of difficulty in acquiring them. Players can enhance their chances of obtaining rarer items within a Void Relic by utilizing Void Traces, but the rewards remain subject to random generation. Cooperative play allows teammates to choose from each player’s randomly generated roll, boosting the likelihood of acquiring desired items.

The methods of obtaining Void Relics in Warframe include:

  1. Receiving random Void Relics as mission rewards.
  2. Purchasing random Void Relics using Platinum.
  3. Exchanging Aya for a Void Relic.
  4. Purchasing Void Relics with reputation.
  5. Trading Void Relic parts with other players using Platinum.

However, not all Void Relics are readily available, as some reside within the Prime Vault. Presently, the Prime Vault houses 467 Voic Relics, contributing to the challenge faced by new players seeking their desired Prime Warframes and weapons. In response to this issue, Digital Extremes introduced Prime Resurgence, enabling players to directly purchase specific Warframes using real money by acquiring Regal Aya. The release schedule for Prime Resurgence remains undisclosed, lasting approximately one month for each wave of Warframes.

Considering the elements that define a gacha game, Warframe undoubtedly aligns with this classification due to its reliance on the Void Relic system for Prime items. The acquisition of Prime items is subject to randomness, exemplified by the unavailability of some Void Relics. Players desiring Trinity Prime, for instance, must obtain the required Void Relics, Aya, or Regal Aya before June 2, as Void Relic availability may change after that date. Rhino Prime is unavailable.

It’s important to note that the grind for Prime items in Warframe surpasses even the challenges faced in other gacha games, such as Genshin Impact. Unlike Genshin Impact, which incorporates a pity system increasing the odds of acquiring desired characters after a certain number of unsuccessful attempts, Warframe lacks this predictability. Additionally, crafting Prime items requires multiple parts, elongating the grind and intensifying the randomness.

Digital Extreme Stopped Respecting Player’s Time

Regrettably, Digital Extremes seems to have diverted from respecting players’ time, as demonstrated by the recent Durivi Paradox update. This update forces players to use randomized Warframes and weapons, which players may not own, restricting the freedom to choose preferred loadouts. They also added roguelite features to the area, adding more randomized things to impact gameplay. The focus on using specific characters, Warframes, and weapons in new content has overshadowed the player’s ability to exercise their desired customization options.

Warframe’s gacha game and unnecessary grind mechanics has affected players’ connection with the game, eliciting dissatisfaction among both new and veteran players. As the game progresses, players hope for a balance between rewarding progression and the enjoyable freedom they once cherished in Warframe.

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