Masters of gun and blade alike, the Tenno are the protagonists of Digital Farthermost’s
Warframe. This popular gratuitous-to-play game tasks players with clearing sections of the solar arrangement for sweetness loot and cool cosmetics.

When the game mentions that the Tenno are masters of both gun and blade, in that location is no exaggeration. Melee weapons are some of the most powerful weapons in the unabridged game, taking out the toughest of targets in a couple of hits. Rapid attacks, fluid combos, and incredible critical and status chances make these weapons shine to a higher place most main weapons. From gunblades to heavy blades, here are the best melee weapons players tin can currently employ in Warframe.

Updated December 23rd, 2021, by Charles Burgar:
The melee meta has inverse quite a fleck in 2021. The introduction of weapon-exclusive Galvanized Mods and Weapon Arcanes has made melee weapons less dominant over the sandbox. Melees are even so more than viable, however, capable of one-shotting groups of Steel Path enemies when build right. We’ve updated this list to include some notable melee weapons we missed in our final ranking.



What could be better than a weapon tailored to a thespian’due south preferences? Well, a few things, but histrion-fabricated melee weapons are nonetheless more than than viable. Zaws are special, player-fabricated melee weapons crafted at Hok’southward Anvil in the Plains of Eidolon.

Zaws cover nearly every weapon category in the game. Skull-crushing hammers and swift nikanas are all available here. While more than recent melee weapons have better stats than Zaws, all Zaws come with an
Exodia Arcane
slot. Exodia Arcanes grant powerful passive benefits to your Zaws, some of which grant life steal or AoE pulls upon slamming the ground.

If you make up one’s mind to grind the Plains of Eidolon to craft your very own Zaw, you’ll want to use ane of three bract types:

  1. Sepfahn:
    Creates staffs and nikanas.
  2. Plague Kripaph:
    Creates rapiers and polearms.
  3. Dokrahm:
    Creates scythes or heavy blades.

These three blade types have higher base stats than the rest of Hok’due south blades. Y’all’ll find stronger weapons in each individual category than what these parts create, merely the value of Exodia Arcanes cannot be overstated. The right Zaw can serve as a specialized sidegrade to more meta picks.


Pangolin Prime

The Pangolin Prime is unquestionably the best sword in Warframe. It deals a whopping 248 damage a swing, has a 26% chance to critically striking with a 2.2x multiplier, and it has a 30% status chance per swing. Making a traditional melee build for this weapon will turn you into a red-critting, Slash-inflicting automobile.

So why isn’t the Pangolin Prime college on this listing?
Information technology’s boring.
This is as generic as melee weapons go. Nigh sword stances feature rapid slashes or sweeping attacks, naught truly unique from other melee weapons. Reddish Dervish does give this weapon plenty of sweeping attacks that inflict Slash, but the playstyle itself is quite dull. However, if you’re just looking for a weapon that can carve through the Steel Path without whatsoever fluff, the Pangolin Prime is a safe bet.


Venka Prime

Warframe Valkyr Prime and Venka Prime.

You lot’ll take a hard time finding a amend crit-focused melee weapon than the Venka Prime number. This weapon comes with a whopping 32% critical chance and 2.6x multiplier, amplifying its 188 base harm into the stratosphere when modded properly.

Amend yet, the Venka Prime is the simply melee weapon in Warframe capable of reaching a x13 combo multiplier at 240 hits, allowing you to scale combo Mods or Heavy Attacks farther than most melee weapons. If yous tin go by the Venka Prime’due south incredibly brusque reach, you’ll find that these claws tin can carve through flesh and armor with ease.


Orthos Prime

Warframe Orthos Prime and Harrow.

Polearms are fantastic at clearing out hordes of enemies all around the player, not just in front end of them. The Orthos Prime is still one of the all-time choices for clearing out hordes, cheers mainly to its 24% disquisitional run a risk and immense range. Build this weapon for disquisitional hits and range to become a whirlwind of expiry in combat.

You can also employ the Guando Prime, but both weapons are virtually the aforementioned in terms of raw lethality. Since the Orthos Prime is an evergreen detail—meaning it’ll never exist vaulted—it slightly edges out the Guando Prime for this list.


Gram Prime

Warframe Chroma Prime and Gram Prime.

Heavy blades were impacted heavily by the melee Mod nerf in the Sisters of Parvos update. These weapons are typically ho-hum and unwieldy, making the nerf to Blood Rush and Condition Overload more than impactful on weapons like the Gram Prime.

But does the Gram Prime number intendance about the nerfs? Not fifty-fifty a picayune. This weapon still chugs along as one of the most powerful melee weapons in Warframe, featuring a DPS value that far surpasses most weapons, even meta picks like the Kronen Prime number. With fantastic critical stats and base damage that biases Slash, information technology’s easy to encounter why its DPS is and then high.

Unfortunately, heavy weapons suffer from mediocre stances. Tempo Royale makes upwardly for the unwieldy nature of heavy blades somewhat, although all Heavy Attack stances lack meaningful condition procs in their combos. Most combos inflict guaranteed Touch, a status effect that isn’t nearly as strong as Slash. Information technology’south quite telling that despite the lack of South-tier Stance Mods for heavy blades, the Gram Prime even so manages to carve a spot in Warframe’due south melee meta. If yous need a weapon to melt through Acolytes or Liches, look no further.


Reaper Prime

Warframe Frost Prime with Reaper Prime.

The Reaper Prime is a plumbing equipment name for this regal scythe. Even after the melee nerfs in Update 30.v, the Reaper Prime still stands as one of the most versatile melee weapons in the game.

A fantastic stat bundle and solid stances let the Reaper Prime to excel at virtually everything. Reaping Spiral has many forced Slash procs that the Reaper Prime can take full advantage of, making it a great light attack spam weapon.

If you’d rather kill enemies with Slash procs that bargain over a one thousand thousand damage, build the Reaper Prime number for Heavy Attacks. All scythe stances force Slash procs on a Heavy Attack, and with the Reaper Prime number’s great base damage and disquisitional stats, this weapon has no outcome killing Acolytes or Liches. Keep an eye out for when this weapon gets unvaulted.



Warframe Excalibur holding Stropha gunblade.

Gunblades are one of the strongest melee archetypes in Warframe due to their inherent benefits of firing projectiles while benefiting from a melee combo multiplier. While the Redeemer Prime is i of the best melee weapons in the game, it doesn’t stand a take chances confronting a good Stropha build.

Obtained from the Jackal and diverse tiers of Granum Void, the Stropha is an Arca Plasmor variant of the Redeemer Prime. This toaster gun/melee hybrid features a 30% critical striking chance with a 2.4x critical impairment multiplier with a subpar 14% condition hazard, although this can easily be fixed with Weeping Wounds. When this weapon is congenital around Heavy Attacks, cipher inside the player’southward close proximity will survive. Its plasma rounds will disintegrate all but the toughest of foes and penetrate through unabridged hallways worth of enemies.

Why Not The Redeemer Prime number?

The Redeemer Prime is an first-class weapon, arguably a sidegrade to the Stropha. We ranked the Stropha over the Redeemer for two reasons:

  1. Information technology volition never be vaulted.
  2. It has slightly better disquisitional stats.

Better criticals might not seem similar a major boon, yet it makes the Stropha much more consequent. It does endure from less status chance than the Redeemer Prime, simply you tin hands fix this with a primer weapon (Kuva Nukor, Epitaph,
or the Cedo). For general gameplay, the Stropha slightly edges out over the Redeemer Prime. Nevertheless, if you’re fighting Profit Taker or need to take full advantage of Status Overload, the Redeemer Prime will serve yous better.


Nikana Prime

Warframe Saryn Prime holding Nikana Prime.

The Nikana Prime number has been a powerhouse e’er since it was released. Through various updates through the years, the Nikana Prime’due south identity has slightly shifted towards a Heavy Set on weapon.

And every bit a Heavy Attack weapon, the Nikana Prime number is second to none. Stances like Bullheaded Justice brand it a breeze to rack upwards a high combo counter for your next Heavy Attack. Whatever enemy unfortunate enough to exist in the path of your Heavy Attack swing volition cease to exist. Heavy Gunners? Dead. Liches? They’ll flee in terror. Acolytes? They’ll vanish in an instant. If an enemy somehow survives the initial hit, the following Slash proc will surely impale them. Those looking for a proficient counter to Steel Path Acolytes or Liches should give the Nikana Prime a try.


Glaive Prime

Warframe Ember Prime Glaive and Sicarus Prime

If you’re a Warframe veteran, this should come as no surprise. The Glaive Prime is less of a melee weapon and more of a throwable bomb. Very few users equip the Glaive Prime to spam its light set on. This weapon is mainly used for its Heavy Assault, releasing an AoE explosion that deals guaranteed Slash and Touch procs.

Since the Glaive Prime has excellent critical stats and a high status chance, this weapon is the perfect candidate for a hybrid build. A good Heavy Attack build can easily i-shot a horde of enemies with a unmarried Heavy Attack. All glaives can also exist paired with a unmarried-handed secondary weapon similar the Zakti, applying an immense amount of condition procs before yous throw a Heavy Assail. This makes Condition Overload absurdly strong on the Glaive Prime, allowing it to articulate groups of Steel Path enemies with no effect. If you want an effective melee weapon that doesn’t demand calorie-free attack spam, y’all’ll dear the Glaive Prime.


Kronen Prime

Warframe Tiberon and Kronen Prime weapons.

This should come up every bit no surprise if you lot’ve played Warframe much recently. The Kronen Prime number has everything you lot’d want from a melee weapon:

  • Loftier base damage
  • Fast attack speed
  • Good disquisitional stats
  • High status chance
  • Adept range
  • Excellent Stance Mods

About every melee weapon has all of those elements except one: a good Stance. Tonfas accept some of the all-time Stances in the game—the nearly used Stance being Sovereign Outcast. It packs forced status procs, mobility, and multi strikes into a neat bundle that brings the Kronen Prime to its meta-defining status.

Does this weapon have the highest DPS value? No. Is information technology the best Heavy Attack weapon? Not even close. But for those that want to swing their melee weapon with reckless carelessness against Warframe’s toughest foes, the Kronen Prime number is hard to beat.

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