A Warframe player with hundreds of hours on the game, and hundreds of hours on the Wiki.
Mastery Rank Guide
Introduction to Mastery Rank
Measures of progression in Warframe are a bit nebulous, but the clearest reflection of a player's progress is Mastery Rank. Mastery Rank is roughly representative of a player's broad experience within the game.
To increase Mastery Rank, you must earn Mastery Points. Mastery Points are primarily earned by ranking up equipment such as weapons, with a few other sources as well. The sources are:
- Mission nodes
- Railjack Intrinsics
To rank up equipment, you need to earn affinity points. In short, use the equipment and get kills with it. Depending on how an enemy is killed, or if a nearby teammate kills an enemy, the affinity distribution will be different, but that's for later. Equipment grants mastery points every rank until they reach their respective maximum rank (often 30.) This does not reset if a Forma is used to reset the item to rank 0.
Simply put, use equipment to earn affinity points to rank them up to earn Mastery Points to increase your Mastery Rank.
Mastery Breakdown by Category for an MR21
Benefits of Mastery Level
Besides a key reflection of progression and the fun of using different equipment, there are other explicit reasons to increase your mastery level. In fact, there are a ton of direct and indirect reasons why you should push your Mastery Level. But a handful of key ones:
- Many equipment pieces are locked by Mastery Rank
- Unranked equipment will have a mod capacity equal to the player's Mastery Rank. (EX: a MR20 will have 20 mod capacity on an unranked item, allowing them to immediately equip and use many mods)
- Bounties and many quests, notably many main storyline quests, are gated by Mastery Rank
- Each rank up increases daily caps on earning Syndicate standing and Focus points
- Additional deployments of Extractors can be unlocked
- Riven mods have Mastery Rank requirements
There are others as well but the key is that Mastery Level is useful.
Mastery Rank Tests
Unlike a traditional level system, Mastery Rank features a test for every rank up. When you've accumulated enough Mastery Points to reach the next rank, you must first complete a test to earn it. Each Mastery Rank has a specific unique test and while many are easy, some can be very challenging. Furthermore, you can only attempt the test once per 24 hours, though you are allowed to practice it. Many players view guides or videos on the tests to avoid failing and having to wait a day to try again.
Simply put, Affinity is a effectively experienced granted for doing normal things in Warframe. Most notably, killing enemies or completing mission objectives. If you're playing the game, you're likely earning affinity.
There is a list of rules of how affinity gets attributed to your equipment:
- The general rule is that 25% of earned affinity goes to your Warframe, and 75% gets split among your equipped items
- Kills from Warframe abilities grant 100% of the affinity to the Warframe
- Kills from weapons grant 50% to the weapon itself, and 50% to the Warframe
- Kills from nearby teammates grant all nearby teammates full affinity, distributed based on the general rule above
The short of it is if you want to rank up your equipment, use that equipment or get help from teammates in quickly ranking up.
There are locations in the game where players go specifically to rank up equipment, the primary locations are:
- Sanctuary Onslaught / Elite Sanctuary Onslaught
- Saturn - Helene
- Sedna - Hydron
You'll often find parties at these locations looking to rank things up. The general etiquette is to bring something that can kill well so you aren't entirely leeching from the party.
Keeping Track of Equipment
There are many pieces of equipment that grant Mastery Points and it can be difficult to keep track of what you're done with, what you need, and what else you can go try to find. This is especially the case given how many different ways there are to acquire equipment. The best way to ground yourself is to go to the equipment tab in your profile by hitting the ESC button, bringing your cursor over your player icon, and selecting "Show Profile." You can then go through various categories and see what you don't own, own, and mastered.
This screen is also a great way to get a sense of what different items grant Mastery Points as it can get confusing. For example, only one piece of modular gear grants Mastery Points. In the case of the melee weapon Zaws, this piece is the Strike and you must rank up each Strike to get all available Mastery Points. But you can see and track them in the Equipment screen.
The Equipment Screen
While the approach is somewhat atypical, the idea that your Mastery Rank is a summary of your breadth of experience in the game can be quite nice. It rewards you for trying many different and new ways to play the game which may lead you to identifying fun or powerful new strategies. The worst part about Mastery Rank is the lack of clarity in how to get different items as there are many different ways to acquire things and it can be easy to get lost or confused.