The Stalker is an ominous, vengeful figure that infrequently appears during missions, armed with powerful weapons and abilities to hunt down the Tenno.
The Stalker wears Warframe armor and is able to use ability powers belonging to various other Warframes. His arsenal is similar to that of the Tenno, utilizing a primary, secondary, and melee weapon. The Stalker's signature weapons are the bow Dread, the scythe Hate, and the throwing knives Despair.
Spawn Possibilities and Combat
The Stalker can spawn in almost any player-accessible mission. The exceptions which prohibit his appearance are:
- Syndicate and Assassination standard missions
- Archwing, Trial, Free Roam and Arena special game mode missions
- Also includes Quest and Mastery Test solo-exclusive missions
- Non-combat hub "missions" (Relays, Dojos)
- Any mission that has already been "chosen" for the spawn of another Assassin (Grustrag Three or Zanuka Hunter) or is forced due to beacons
At least one squad member must be marked for death by the Stalker before he will have a chance of spawning.
Upon being marked for death, the target Tenno will receive an inbox message from the Stalker (marked as ???). After this message is received, the game will calculate the Stalker's chance to spawn in a given mission according to the following formula:
Spawn Chance = 1.5% + (0.5% × P); P = Number of Squad members marked for death.When the game initiates a Stalker spawn, the targeted Tenno and the rest of their squad (if any) will experience flickering darkness, temporary deafness and unstable HUD. A transmission will open, taunting the targeted Tenno with threatening messages with what seems to be the shadow of the Stalker flickering behind the player. After three taunts, the tileset will enter lockdown, and the Stalker will appear kneeling in a puff of black smoke before proceeding to attack the targeted player.
If the targeted Tenno is killed, the Stalker will again kneel and vanish into another cloud of smoke, proclaiming his victory and that justice was served. If his health drops below 10% before he manages to kill his target, he will attempt to flee, announcing his shock at his failure, though he can still take damage and be killed up until he despawns.
If he is defeated (regardless of whether he fled or was killed), there is a chance for him to drop various loot items, such as a mod or a resource, or even blueprints for one of his weapons. As a boss, he always drops one Mod from his mod drop table.
The Stalker appears to don a unique, one-of-a-kind Warframe; completely immune to all Warframe abilities, regardless of whether they affect him directly or indirectly. He is furthermore capable of casting a wide variety of abilities from multiple Warframes. His known used abilities are variants of:
- Slash Dash – The Stalker will usually start the fight by charging at his target with Hate, heavily damaging any targets in the way (akin to the older version of this ability). After this, he will usually switch to Dread or Despair. This is an ability belonging to Excalibur.
- Shuriken – The Stalker may occasionally use this ability when using Dread or Despair as a supplementary damage. This may prove to be dangerous as the projectile guarantees a Slash proc, which may kill weaker players. This is an ability belonging to Ash.
- Smoke Screen – The Stalker may occasionally disappear from sight during the battle, during which he will use Teleport in tandem to his invisibility to move erratically across the battlefield. This is another ability belonging to Ash.
- Teleport – If the Stalker is currently using Hate, he will often teleport behind players and use Hate to strike the unsuspecting Tenno. He usually uses this ability in tandem with his Smoke Screen to unpredictably move across the battlefield. This too is another ability belonging to Ash.
- Reckoning – Activated roughly 10 meters towards allies who are supporting the victim player. All those who are caught by the ability are held in the initial Reckoning trance for a short duration, allowing the Stalker to resume attacking his target unimpeded. This is an ability belonging to Oberon but without the slamming.
- Pull – Rarely used, if the players are out of his aiming range, he may use this ability to pull a faraway target towards him—which in turn stuns the players. This an ability belonging to Mag.
- Absorb – This is the Stalker's desperate and possibly most deadly ability. If he is low on health, he will use this ability to absorb all damage and repels it back towards nearby players, which may prove to be fatal for high-damaging players. This is an ability belonging to Nyx.
Stalker is capable of dealing significant damage, comparable to a well-equipped Tenno, and can easily destroy an entire squad if they are caught unprepared. It is important to warn squad-mates when the Stalker begins his taunts so that they can prepare for the upcoming fight. It is also important to stay close to other squad members so that if he does manage to take his target down, the squad can revive them before they bleed out. Note that the Stalker will despawn once the targeted player goes down, even if they are revived before completely bleeding out.
There are several ways to deal with the Stalker once he spawns, such as constant movement, tanking, and / or fighting with melee weapons. The Stalker will often use abilities from other Warframes, which should be avoided if it at all possible.
If the targeted player attempts to run from the Stalker, he will occasionally teleport behind them and engage in melee attacks, similar to the Grineer Flameblade. The Stalker has also been known to Slash Dash towards a ranged target, dealing potentially lethal damage upon impact. He may also use Pull to drag his victim back towards him. When in melee combat, Stalker can stagger his target by striking with Hate at just the right moment. He may also attempt to evade melee combat by back-flipping away from the engaging player. If the Stalker's health gets too low, he can cast Absorb, forming a shield bubble around him which absorbs all incoming damage and explodes outward, dealing 100% of absorbed damage as Magnetic damage to players within range, draining their Energy, and inflicting a Knockdown.
When actually fighting the Stalker, it has been found that fighting with melee weapons are particularly useful, as Hate is less powerful than Dread and Despair, and both Dread and Despair can be blocked by parrying. In addition, having Reflection can reflect some of the Stalker's damage back to him, largely eliminating the necessity of risking death in counterattacks with a player's own weapons. Do note, however, that the Hate staggers players who parry its blows, leaving you open to attack.
High burst-DPS weapons such as beam weapons and shotguns are also highly effective; with the right weapons and mod configurations, many players can kill the Stalker before he has a chance to attack. It should be noted that he may use Reckoning to negate taking large amounts of damage.
It is critical to avoid firing on him when he casts Absorb, as the resulting explosion deals not only the ability's base damage, but also any damage the sphere takes before the explosion and can be very damaging and even fatal.
- The Stalker typically only attacks his marked target, but he has been known to engage other party members and even enemies if the target is out of range or out of his line of sight. This can be used in large rooms or invasions to make the fight easier. All allies in Invasions will prioritize the Stalker (or any other assassin) over regular enemies.
- Players may be able to avoid the Stalker's attacks by keeping 50 meters of distance between the target and Stalker, but due to the frequency of his Teleport, this may be impossible to achieve.
- It may be significantly harder for the targeted player to avoid or maintain distance from the Stalker when they are the host of a multi-player session, as there is no latency while he targets the player and tracks their movements.
- When Stalker spawns, the current section of the tileset goes into lockdown. Depending on which tileset players are on, there is a possibility that it can be released by Hacking, either manually or with a Cipher.
- If mission objectives are already complete, players can rush to extraction to complete the mission, avoiding having to fight Stalker entirely.
- There is a delay of 30 to 280 seconds (~4 minutes) before the Stalker will spawn in a given mission.
- The Stalker has a base spawn level of 30. While partially influenced by the level of enemies in the mission, his level upon next spawn for the targeted player increases every time the player or their squad succeeds in defeating him, as with all assassins. If the player dies to him, said factor will reset.
- In a team, he will contact the marked player, but all players will see the lights flicker before his appearance. They will flicker again when he leaves.
- Normally, upon reaching 10% health, the Stalker will announce his failure to defeat the targeted player, kneel, and disappear in a puff of smoke. An excessive amount of damage that fully depletes his health before he can do this will cause him to fall over similar to a downed player, but will disappear in smoke either way. He may sometimes glitch in this case; not disappearing, becoming invulnerable and frozen.
- If the Stalker is killed while he is kneeling down, he still has a chance of dropping a blueprint.
- The Stalker can drop mods and rare resources (save for Orokin Cell) of the current planet when defeated, and often drops Heavy Impact.
- Death marks given upon killing a boss can stack.
- If kept about 10 metres away while in smoke form and constantly taking fire from the player, the Stalker may stop teleporting and simply drift slightly on the spot until he is defeated, making the fight trivial.
- Prior to Hotfix 11.0.5, the Stalker had a 5% spawn chance. It has since been reduced.
- As of Update 11.6, the Stalker's (and incidentally Zanuka Hunter's) spawn chance was modified from 2.5% flat spawn chance to 1.5% + 0.5% per player. This update also introduced death marks for all existing Assassins.
- If more than one player has a death mark from the Stalker, he might target other marked players and kill them if they engage him, however, upon downing his newly selected target, he will immediately leave and his attention will revert to his original target if it is within line of sight.
- As of Update 18.5, the Stalker will no longer appear to attack players wearing a Warframe under Rank 10.
- When farming for stalker marks, run the assassination for the Hyena Pack on Psamathe, Neptune. As you can acquire a mark from each Hyena, effectively giving you two chances at a mark per mission.
- The Stalker's favorite breakfast food is "sugar crisps" according to lead developer, Steve Sinclair as stated on Prime Time #190.
- Before Update 18.0, the Stalker communicated with the Tenno with indecipherable whispers.
- This taunt is actually played in reverse. The actual message heard is a long, drawn out message that simply and repeatedly says "Death" at varying speeds.
- The Stalker has his own theme when encountered:
- As of Update 7.11, the Stalker's loadout was altered to his signature load-out. Before this update, his arsenal was comprised of a Cronus or a Scindo, and a Braton Vandal.
- Prior to Update 9.6, the Stalker would not appear when the targeted player was standing on a crate. This has since been changed.
- The Stalker appears to be wearing a dark-colored Excalibur suit, with a modified helmet.
- In Update 18, the Stalker's Excalibur body was replaced with Excalibur Umbra's. It's more noticeable on the chest, which has an extra plate in the middle, and the sides of his torso, which have an extended metallic part and a differently shaped light. He also has a loincloth.
- It has been noted that the Stalker does, though rarely, exhibit much higher intelligence, performing wall runs, dive rolls, tracking cloaked players, and even actively avoiding enemies and other Tenno. It is unknown if this is due to certain rooms being designed for his AI, or reasons unknown.
- The Stalker will toss his Despair in the air when in an unalerted status (usually caused by a bug).
- If ever the Stalker appears and disappears in one of the victim's missions, his Combat Music will replace the conventional Combat Music for the rest of the mission.
- The Stalker seems to spawn from inside of the cryopod in defense missions if the character he is targeting is somewhat near it or on top of the pod.
- If a player is "taxied" (invited to a node/planet they have not unlocked) to a boss fight, they will not receive Stalker's mark for any boss fight they are taxied to as long as they have not unlocked the planet. If the planet is unlocked already but the node is not when the player is taxied, the boss node and those around it will be unlocked and all subsequent runs of the battle will not earn the player Stalker's mark so long as they are not hosting/playing the mission solo.
- According to the codex, the Stalker's faction is Stalker.
- As with all assassins, prior to Update 16.2, the Stalker used to drop his sigil as a rare drop upon death. This was changed to allow a player to get his sigil as a drop the first time he was killed.
- You will not be marked for assassinating Captain Vor on Mercury, but you can get a death mark on Ceres. It is worth noting that Stalker's warning will first note Kril and then Vor.
- It was originally speculated that the Stalker could be a Tenno, however it is unknown if its true.
- It is possible that the Stalker was a servant of the Orokin Empire, since in his Codex entry he describes himself as hearing the Naga Drums that announced the end of the Old War "from a distance, with the rest of the low Guardians". It is unknown if these Guardians were Dax soldiers or another warrior caste of the Empire.
- During The Second Dream Quest, the Lotus says that the "truth" of the Tenno Reservoir "drove the Stalker to madness".
- During The Second Dream, Hunhow rhetorically asks the Stalker "Who destroyed the Orokin, your way of life?" further suggesting that he might have been aligned with the Orokin or perhaps one of the Orokin himself.
- It is possible that the Stalker himself is confused about or does not remember his true nature and origins. This is hinted at by this line spoken by Hunhow during The Second Dream Quest: "You're asking yourself... Was I one of these wretched things? You know the answer. You still hate them... you still hate... yourself."
- A Death Mark is acquired from the Stalker upon killing a valid boss, not upon completing a mission (i.e. a boss can be killed and the mission aborted or failed and the player will still receive a warning from the Stalker).
- There used to be a glitch with Stalker by killing bosses like Captain Vor and Lieutenant Lech Kril and have him permanently after you, despite the number of times he kills you.
- His captions also glitch as an indication when you glitch his targeting. It will say /Lotus/Language/Bosses/(Boss Name) instead of the actual boss name.
- On rare occasions, the Stalker will glitch when he uses his cloaking ability, becoming permanently invincible to damage dealt by your team, being only damaged by enemies. This seems to be associated with the bug below as well.
- Rarely, the Stalker can spawn in a defense mission, but replace the pod health bar with his own health. Even if the pod were to be destroyed as long as the Stalker remains alive, the mission continues. The Stalker then proceeds to attack enemies by itself. Once the Stalker gets downed, he can be revived normally just like a downed teammate.
- If the Stalker spawns in the Orokin Derelict and there happens to be a lot of infested in the room and the room happens to be really big, when the target player moves far enough away from the Stalker he will forget about the player and start targeting infested instead. He will attack his target if it comes back into range or most infested have been killed.
- Having Guardian equipped on your sentinel will allow his Dread to deal no health damage if the damage were to surpass your shield limit. This only happens when Guardian is not on cooldown.
- When the Stalker is killed during a mission, the mission complete music is replaced with the Stalker theme. Same thing happens to the defense music, you will continually hear the Stalker music during the wave. After finishing the mission, it will return to the normal music.
- There is a rare bug where the Stalker will be named after the respective boss of the area in his health meter. (i.e. Tyl Regor on Titania, Uranus, or Kela De Thaym on Merrow, Sedna). (Needs Confirmation)
- There have been occasional encounters with level 1 Stalkers, perhaps due to host/client lag or glitches.
- If the targeted Tenno is downed already before the Stalker spawned, the Stalker will freeze and become invincible.
- Due to the Stalker's lenient spawn options, he had some rather unusual appearances in the past:
- In the now replaced old Tutorial (if replayed by veteran players with a death mark).
- During the Mastery Rank tests.
- Stalker may become permanently invulnerable after using his Absorb ability.
- The Stalker may sometimes cast Absorb as soon as he is defeated. This will cause him to immediately disappear right as he finishes the ability. (The damage from Absorb will still trigger).
- The Stalker can kill you while you are at the continue screen of defense and interception missions.
- Sometimes, the Stalker may say that the player has killed a boss other than the most recent one killed (ex.The Stalker may state that the player has killed Lech Kril, despite the player not even having Kril's system unlocked).
- The Stalker will sometimes taunt and attack players below Warframe rank 5 though this occurrence is extremely rare unless the player is in a lobby with another player who has the deathmark.
- If the Stalker taunts you in a Rescue mission, his portrait may be replaced by the portrait of the hostage.
- The Stalker's portrait can sometimes be replaced with the portrait of the Lotus.
- Sometimes, the Stalker's portrait will have a black bar covering his face.
|Acolytes||Angst • Malice • Mania • Misery • Torment • Violence|
|Grineer||Planet||Captain Vor (Mercury/Ceres) • Councilor Vay Hek (Earth) • General Sargas Ruk (Saturn) • Kela De Thaym (Sedna) • Lieutenant Lech Kril (Mars/Ceres) • Tyl Regor (Uranus)|
|Mission||The Grustrag Three (Assassin) • Ven'kra Tel and Sprag (Orokin Sabotage)|
|Event||Balor Fomorian (Fomorian Fleet)|
|Corpus||Planet||Alad V and Zanuka (Jupiter) • Ambulas (Pluto) • Jackal (Venus) • The Sergeant (Phobos) • Hyena Pack (Neptune) • Raptors (Europa)|
|Mission||Lynx (Orokin Sabotage) • Zanuka Hunter (Assassin)|
|Event||Razorback (Razorback Armada)|
|Infested||Planet||Jordas Golem (Eris) • Mutalist Alad V (Eris) • Lephantis (Orokin Derelict)|
|Mission||J3 Golem (The Jordas Verdict) • Juggernaut (Infested Ship) • Juggernaut Behemoth (The Jordas Verdict)|
|Event||Phorid (Phorid Manifestation)|
|Orokin||Mission||Corrupted Vor (Void)|
|Sentient||Mission||Eidolon Teralyst • Gantulyst • Hydrolyst (Plains of Eidolon)|
|Stalker||Mission||Stalker or Shadow Stalker (Assassin)|