With hundreds of melee weapons to choose from, Warframe can feel a little overwhelming at times. The below list will point you towards some very strong options in the game right now, but you should always remember to experiment with weapons, builds, and tactics. Warframe’s inventive community is always finding a new combination of weapons and mods to turn your Tenno into a murder machine, and there is always something new to discover.
Orthos Prime is a superb polearm weapon. You will need to be Mastery Rank 12 to use it, but taking this for a spin will make you understand the insane power it can unleash. With a critical chance of 24 percent, a status chance of 36 percent, and a critical multiplier of 2.2x, the build options for this are varied. You can lean into status or critical hits, or a hybrid build of both. Stacking mods like Organ Shatter, True Steel, and Primed Pressure Point will give a solid base of critical damage, with Blood Rush and Body Count complimenting it perfectly.
The Shimmering Blight stance will allow for rapid and fast attacks, allowing you to rapidly build your combo, and force plenty of critical hits on large groups of enemies.
The Guandao Prime is another weapon that can put out insane damage for a very low Forma investment. Building a pretty standard critical chance and critical damage build will get you some amazing results, which combined with some range and attack speed mods will see you melting down groups of enemies.
Venka Prime gives you the highest base damage from all claw weapons, combined with very high Slash damage, great critical chance, critical multiplier, and attack speed stats. They also have the highest status chance of any claw weapons. In short, if you want to use claw weapons, then it has to be the Venka Prime. Leaning heavily into a critical build, and getting as much range as you can, will turn this into an absolute monster. It is also a fantastic candidate for a bleed build, modding for more slash damage, base damage, and status chance, but you should still work in some mods that increase the critical chance and critical damage to take advantage of Slash procs.
Nikana Prime is the king of the Nikana weapons. Huge Slash damage, critical chance, and critical multiplier values combine to make this a monster. Combined with the Blind Justice stance, it becomes an absolute whirlwind of death. Combine it with range mods to cut down large numbers of enemies. A Berzerker mod will give you plenty of attack speed, Blood Rush to keep the critical hits flowing, and then mod in whatever damage types you like with a Condition Overload on top.
Like all Condition, Overload builds, you will benefit from running a secondary weapon to dump extra status damage on your enemies before you engage them. The Zakti or Cyanex are perfect for this.
Silva and Aegis Prime
Silva and Aegis Prime is another weapon that had been lost to the depths of time in Warframe, but Melee 3.0 brought it back with a vengeance. It does innate Heat damage and combines perfectly with Bezerker and Blood Rush. Many of the combos result in automatic status procs, so modding for three different damage types and Condition Overload can amp up your damage.
Related: Best Primary Weapons in Warframe
Zaws are the problem child of Warframe melee weapons, giving so many options, potential strong builds, and general advantages over other weapons that it is almost impossible to talk about them individually. Build different Zaws and experimenting with them is one of the most worthwhile things you can do in the game if you are looking for a strong melee weapon. The huge variety of potential builds means you can build a Zaw for every occasion, and get some amazing damage numbers from them.
One particular highlight of Zaws is the Plague Kripath, which is a must-have weapon in Warframe since it’s inception. You can get this through events like Plague Star, so make sure you jump on it when you get a chance.
For a long time, Scythe weapons were left out in the cold in Warframe, but Melee 3.0 changed all that, and the Reaper Prime is now one of the best weapons in the game. Like most other weapons on the list, it does high Slash damage, has great critical values, and backs it all up with some pretty good status chance. The Reaping Spiral stance mod will add some spin-ti-win elements to your arsenal, and give you the tools to do insane amounts of damage to tough units.
Lesion is the second Polearm on the list but deserves to be here for its ridiculous damage output. Lots of Slash damage, the highest status chance of all Polearms, and a passive bonus that increases attack speed when you inflict status procs on an enemy. It will also gain 100% Toxin damage, making it very easy to strip away any armor if you mod for Corrosive damage. This weapon works extremely well with a Condition Overload build propped up by three Dual Status mods to bring the status chance to 100 percent, and a Sacrificial Steel mod to bring the critical chance up to nearly 50 percent.
Redeemer Prime is Warframe’s ultimate Gunblade. Part of the appeal is that you don’t need to spend any Forma on it to make it a huge source of damage. It can hit 100 percent status chance with the four Dual Stat mods, and then a standard damage build combined with Fury or Primed Fury for attack speed. The Redeemer Prime will switch between arching swings of the blade, followed up with shotgun blasts. The Bullet Dance will give you multiple combos based around shooting, and best of all, the weapon effectively has infinite ammunition because it’s a melee weapon.
As a good alternative to the Redeemer, the Stropha is capable of some of the most insane single hit damage of any weapon in the game. While it originally lacked the appeal of the Redeemer, we would argue that buffs have made it a better weapon. Building this beast to take advantage of Heavy Attacks will allow you to delete pretty much anything in the game.
The Gram Prime is a Heavy Blade with high Slash damage, the best critical chance and status chance in the Heavy Blade class, and can take advantage of both the Cleaving Whirlwind and Tempo Royale stance mods. Mod for Critical chance, base damage, attack speed, and range to see what this monster can do.
Kronen Prime are best in class Tonfa weapons. These dual blades have the second-best base damage, high Slash, and best critical chance and attack speed of all the Tonfa weapons. Combining them with the Sovereign Outcast stance mod will result in insane damage output, even with a low investment of Forma and a fairly standard build.