Note: This list was created before the upcoming changes to some weapons.
This is a follow up from a fairly older blog i made here which categorized Rifles into general and loose tiers. This focuses on the remaining weapons that can be equipped in the primary weapon slot. I have also added the Quanta to the old blog in it's proper place.
This is a common mistake i see constantly so i am attempting to categorize the weapons in warframe by 5 Tiers, and then individually categorize by faction class (best for G(rineer), C(orpus), I(nfested) in order of which is best (eg. Mk1-Braton does more slash, than puncture, than impact, so the letters would go I, G, C). note that this is based on physical, base weapon statistics so modding will never come into play into this specific categorization.
This list is based 90% on weapons stats such as damage potential, DPS (only on weapons designed for DPS), and the remaining 10% is the result of player feedback, personal experience, and a tiny bit of community hype. this remaining 10% thus will skew the results and not everyone will agree based on his or her playstyle or experience. Take each categorization as not pure factional information but a good idea into what weapon will suit your needs.
Remember that just because a weapon is in a higher tier, does not make it better than the lower tier at a particular faction. often times, a tier 3 weapon will outmatch a tier 4 against a particular faction. This is because faction specific effectiveness is not taken into consideration until after the categorization, to make it more balanced and not biased towards a faction.
Most shotguns are designed for close range battles. At their best, they deal very high amounts of damage to single targets are clustered groups. They do however, often fall short against longer ranges which requires players to close the distance.
Tier 1 Shotguns These weapons are only recommended on the lowest level content unless heavily modded, although due to their shotgun nature will deal more damage than their similarly grouped rifles.
Tier 2 Shotguns These shotguns can be considered direct upgrades to the tier 1 variants and can preform better higher in the game with proper modding.
Tier 3 Shotguns These shotguns are good solid shotguns that can plow their way through low level content while still doing alright against higher level content.
Tier 4 Shotguns Although not the heaviest hitting, shotguns in this category can punch through low level content (quite literally) with ease compared to other shotguns and make their way into high level content, especially towards Grineer enemies.
Tier 5 Shotguns These shotguns either deal the highest possible damage per shot of any other shotgun or have a high DPS potential unmatched by others. They can decimate high level enemies close range with a vengeance.
- Phage G,C,I
Notes: Tigris was chosen for it's high single shot, non-charged damage and its high potential for single targets with a very quick double burst. Hek was chosen not only for high damage but an excellent shotgun for grineer with it's high puncture damage. Boar prime was a tough choice but it's higher critical chance made it better than the boar but not quite on par with the strun wraith.
Perfect for missions where picking off enemies from afar is the best option, sniper rifles let players deal high damage to single targets from afar, but lose effectiveness when enemies close the distance or rush in groups.
Tier 1 Snipers These sniper rifles offer the lowest damage per shot of any sniper, making headshots or critical hits crucial.
- Snipetron G,I,C
Tier 2 Snipers These sniper rifles offer more damage over tier one versions, but still have trouble without headshots or critical hits.
- Vulkar C,G,I
Tier 3 Snipers These sniper rifles offer even more damage over lower tier versions, but may suffer in other stats as a result.
- Snipetron Vandal G,I,C
Tier 4 Snipers These sniper rifles can preform well in high level content and often will take down enemies without the need for headshots, but still require critical hits to shine.
- Vectis C,G,I
Tier 5 Snipers These sniper rifles will preform beyond all others in terms of raw firepower. Due to this high caliber however, you will need to calculate for the travel time.
- Lanka C,I,G
A Blast from the past (quite literally with Thunderbolt), bows offer stunning damage potential and satisfying pinning of enemies on walls but suffer charge time, travel time, and the awful effects of gravity whether natural or artificially produced. Most are silent, making them perfect high damage weapons for Stealth gameplay.
Tier 1 Bows The lowest caliber of bow, they will still deal high amounts of damage compared to low tier Rifles of the same tier. They will require headshots to deal significant damage against tough enemies.
- Attica G,I,C
Tier 2 Bows These bows offer more damage than tier 1, and can be considered direct upgrades in terms of charge damage potential.
- MK1-Paris G,I,C
Tier 3 Bows These bows, again, offer more damage than the previous tier. nothin more to say about that.
- Paris, G,C,I
Tier 4 Bows Dealing tons of damage per shot, if not for their low critical chance (for a bow) these bows would fit in the highest caliber of bows.
- Cernos C,I,G
Tier 5 Bows No only do these bows sport a high charge damage, they also feature very high critical chance, allowing them to kill high level enemies with ease. With this power comes drawbacks, like all weapons, and they specialize in particular factions.
Notes: like snipers, bows are not meant to pick off groups of enemies quickly but rather focus on one enemy at a time. the attica's firerate does not hide it's lower damage thus making it the lowest tier. Also like the snipers, there are a low number of weapons to put into the categories.
When the first man found that rocks could make perfect weapons, men have always found bigger rocks. These weapons are those bigger rocks, for the most part, and specialize in dealing large amounts of damage to groups. with great power, comes great dismemberment, and as such users may find that wielding such powerful weapons are negated by the utter fact that a single shot can kill them as well. Also, due to the awkwardness of not only having only 4 weapons, they also are quite different, so they have been grouped up a little. take it with a grain of salt people.
Whatever this category is
- Torid C,G,I
Blades of doom
- Miter I,C,G
Notes: the ogris and the penta are the only similar weapons. the torid does not deal an explosive aoe but rather a dense fart cloud which causes a DOT. and the miter...well...the miter launches saw blades. i mean come on. seriously guys, don't compare explosive with whatever this category is and blades of doom.
Also blast damage has no effect on corpus, deals comparatively minimal loss from grineer and evens out (not the same as no effect) on infested.
There are many factors that go into categorizing weapons into forced Tiers. one of the factors includes the "10%" i mentioned that is required to easily categorize. Putting weapons into Tiers that are non-existent in warframe is silly without adding in player feedback that helps make it seem more reasonable. Also be sure to remember that mods do not play a major role in this list (even less so than the other blog which focused more on automatics and rifles that are build for specific mods) so saying your 5 forma'd attica is better than a paris is silly, and irrelevant.
Did this give you an idea on what weapon you will want to get next? have you tried a weapon on the list but found it better for you than another? be sure to remember the faction you went against when looking at the list, as faction weakness is a factor determined after weapon stats. I hope this helped and gave you an idea on future weapon choices! :)