[Top 5] Warframe Best Melee Weapons And How To Get Them

Ever since the melee rework, Warframe’s melee weapons have been phenomenal.

Fun, easy to use, and ridiculously powerful in the right hands, a good melee weapon is something every Warframe player should bring to a mission.

With so many weapons and stances available, it can be hard to figure out which one you want to dedicate an orokin catalyst to, not to mention all the forms you’ll need for an endgame build.

This list shows you the top five best melee weapons in Warframe, as well as where you can get them, so you can get your endgame-ready loadout ASAP.

5. Pennant (Best Heavy Melee Weapon)

Picture by u/Goreframe on reddit

Weapon Intro

Introduced with the Railjack update, the Pennant is the game’s second Two-Handed Nikana. It has high damage, a lot of range, high crit stats, and the unique effect of increasing your attack speed after getting a kill with a heavy attack.

This means that you’ll want to mod the weapon for crit damage and heavy attacks. Since heavy attacks consume your melee combo count, you don’t have to worry about building that up. Just keep slashing!

Weapon Type: Two-Handed Nikana

A new and still fairly rare melee weapon type, there are only two Two-Handed Nikana’s in the game so far: the Tatsu and the Pennant.

The only stance mod available for this type of melee weapon is Wize Razor, which has a chance to drop from the Coolant Raknoids that follow the Exploiter Orb in Orb Vallis (Venus).

How to Get the Pennant

The Pennant Blueprint can be acquired as a random drop from certain Railjack Missions. Thankfully, the blueprint pickup is shared among your squad, so you don’t have to fly around looking for it if it drops.

Pennant Stats

Taken from Warframe Wikia

  • Attack Speed: 0.92
  • Range: 3 m
  • Total Damage (Impact, Puncture, Slash): 200 (20, 140, 40)
  • Critical Chance (Critical Multiplier): 32% (2.4x)
  • Status Chance: 10%

4. Telos Boltace (Best Syndicate Melee Weapon)

Weapon Intro

The Telos Boltace is a variant of the Boltace tonfa made by the Arbiters of Hexis. In addition to having higher stats across the board, this weapon in the Boltor family comes with a unique ability on each slide attack.

As a syndicate weapon variant, it has its own ability as well as a passive stat boost when using it. While syndicate primary and secondary weapons have an explosive effect, syndicate melee weapons instead have a less obvious ability, making them more practical in stealth missions.

Weapon Type: Tonfa

The Telos Boltace is part of the tonfa family, along with the base Boltace, Kronen and Kronen Prime, and the Ohma. These heavy weapons generally have high damage and range, but can be slower than smaller melee weapons.

The available stances are Gemini Cross and Sovereign Outcast. For the Telos Boltace, the base polarity (Madurai, V) favors Gemini Cross, but for a heavy attack build you should use a forma to change the stance for Sovereign Outcast (Naramon, -). Sovereign Outcast can be acquired as a random drop from Kuva Heavy Gunners and Tusk Heavy Gunners.

As a syndicate weapon, the Telos Boltace has some unique features.

  • Performing a slide attack triggers the Stormpath ability, pulling in enemies. A slide attack following that will launch enemies, suspending them in midair.
  • This weapon provides a passive 20% boost to all parkour maneuvers, including rolls, bullet jumps, aim gliding, and wall latching.

How to Get the Telos Boltace

The Telos Boltace can be acquired from the Arbiters of Hexis syndicate after reaching the highest rank, Maxim. It costs 125,000 faction points. If you support an opposing faction (Perrin Sequence or Red Veil), you can only get the weapon by trading with another Tenno.

Telos Boltace Stats

Taken from Warframe Wikia

  • Attack Speed: 1.08
  • Range: 2.5 m
  • Total Damage (Impact, Puncture, Slash): 210 (21, 178.5, 10.5)
  • Critical Chance (Critical Multiplier): 20% (2x)
  • Status Chance: 20%

3. Dagger Zaw (Best Stealth-Melee Weapon)

Weapon Intro

Some of the fastest melee weapons in the game, daggers are amazing at racking up the melee combo counter for that sweet sweet damage boost. They’re also amazing (thanks in part to the dagger-specific Covert Lethality mod) for sneaking up behind enemies and performing stealth finishers, doing massive damage that instantly kills most mobs.

Zaws are some of the strongest melee weapons in the game, with the dagger zaw being no exception. With a high attack speed and status chance, this modular weapon is perfect for a Condition Overload melee build.

Weapon Type: Single Dagger

For the past few years, single daggers have been used mostly for Covert Lethality builds, which would instantly kill any enemy using a finisher attack. Since that’s changed, daggers have still kept part of their luster in their high attack speed, making use of the melee combo multiplier to stack damage quickly.

The stances available for daggers are Pointed Wind, Homing Fang, and Stinging Thorn. For this Zaw build, you want to use Stinging Thorn for its slash and impact procs on the regular melee combo. Stinging Thorn can be acquired as a random drop from Eidolon Vomvalysts or Tusk Thumpers.

How to Get a Zaw Dagger

Zaws are modular melee weapons that can be assembled by Hok in Cetus. Individual component blueprints can be bought from Hok using Ostron standing, then must be crafted by the player before bringing them back to Hok. Each Zaw requires a Strike, a Handle, and a Link.

Dagger Zaws can be made using the Balla strike, a one-handed grip, and any link. For a Condition Overload build, I recommend the following parts:

  • Strike: Balla. Deals primarily Puncture damage, with 8% base status chance.

    • Requires 20 Nistlepod, 15 Fish Scales, 10 Tear Azurite, 60 Pyrotic Alloy
  • Handle: Peye. One-handed grip that massively increases speed at the cost of damage.
    • Requires 20 Iradite, 50 Fish Oil, 850 Alloy Plate, 60 Pyrotic Alloy
  • Link: Ekwana II Jai. Increases speed and status; reduces damage and critical chance.
    • Requires: 5 Maprico, 20 Fersteel Alloy, 5 Condroc Wing, 5 Mortus Horn

Dagger Zaw Stats

Taken from Warframe Wikia

Note: Your Zaw will only reach its full potential after being leveled to 30 and gilded by Hok.

  • Attack Speed: 1.17
  • Range: 1.7 m
  • Total Damage (Impact, Puncture, Slash): 216.0 (10.8, 129.6, 75.6)
  • Critical Chance (Critical Multiplier): 10% (2x)
  • Status Chance: 32%

2. Lesion (Best Status Melee Weapon)

Weapon Intro

I’ve talked about the Lesion before in our Top 10 Best Weapons in Warframe post <link>: it’s just that good.

With the passive ability to increase attack speed and do additional Toxin damage every time you inflict a status effect (which will be a lot with this infested weapon), this might be the one melee weapon that you’ll take into every mission. The high damage and range are nothing to scoff at, either.

Like the Dagger Zaw, this polearm can spread crazy status effects among enemies, but unlike the dagger, the Lesion has some great range and notable critical stats, too.

Weapon Type: Polearm

Polearms are like staves in that they’re basically long sticks. Unlike staves, these come with a sharp end (or two). Polearms are a balanced weapon type, with respectable damage, speed, and range, making them fairly easy to use in any situation.

The available stances for polearms are Shimmering Blight, Bleeding Willow, and Twirling Spire. For the Lesion, Twirling Spire is favored for its guaranteed status procs on the basic combo. Note that the Lesion’s basic polarity (Zenurik, scratch) should have a forma installed to fit the stance’s polarity (Naramon, -).

How to Get the Lesion

Lesion blueprints can be purchased at the Market for 25,000. Crafting the Lesion at your Foundry requires 1,400 Plastids, 4 Neurodes, 2,300 Nano Spores, and a built Tipedo. Note that the Tipedo requires a built Kunai and Bo to craft.

Lesion Stats

Taken from Warframe Wikia

  • Attack Speed: 1.0
  • Range: 2.7m
  • Total Damage (Impact, Puncture, Slash): 237.0 (47.4, 11.85, 177.75)
  • Critical Chance (Critical Multiplier): 15% (2x)
  • Status Chance: 37%

1. Machete Zaw (Best Overall Melee Weapon)

Weapon Intro

The best melee weapon in Warframe is a Machete Zaw, built for status using a Condition Overload build, and using the Zaw-exclusive arcane Exodia Force. This not only does insane damage, but also attacks quickly, inflicts status effects with every slash, and does bonus damage to nearby enemies.

It may not be as flashy as a Nikana, as explosive as a Gunblade, or as sexy as a Rapier, but boy is it effective!

Weapon Type: Machete

Once a melee weapon type occupied by a single weapon (the eponymous Machete), the Machete class uses brutal, hacking strikes rather than the more elegant slashes of swords.

Available stances for Machetes are Sundering Weave and Cyclone Kraken. For the Zaw Machete, use Sundering Weave for its bonus damage and guaranteed status procs on its basic combo.

How to Get a Zaw Machete

Zaws are modular melee weapons that can be assembled by Hok in Cetus. Weapon part blueprints can be bought from Hok using Ostron faction points, then must be crafted by the player before bringing them back to Hok. Each Zaw requires a Strike, a Handle, and a Link.

Machete Zaws can be made using the Cyath or Kronsh strikes, a one-handed grip, and any link. For a Condition Overload build, I recommend the following parts:

  • Strike: Cyath. Deals primarily Slash damage.

    • Requires 1 Breath of the Eidolon, 55 Fish Scales, 6 Marquise Veridos, 20 Fersteel Alloy
  • Handle: Peye. One-handed grip that massively increases speed at the cost of damage.
    • Requires 20 Iradite, 50 Fish Oil, 850 Alloy Plate, 60 Pyrotic Alloy
  • Link: Ekwana Jai II. Increases speed and status; reduces damage and critical chance.
    • Requires: 5 Breath of the Eidolon, 20 Auroxium Alloy, 5 Condroc Wing, 2 Cetus Wisp

Machete Zaw Stats

Taken from Warframe Wikia

  • Attack Speed: 1.17
  • Range: 2.6 m
  • Total Damage (Impact, Puncture, Slash): 218 (43.6, 10.9, 163.5)
  • Critical Chance (Critical Multiplier): 14% (2x)
  • Status Chance: 25%

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A gamer since the 90s, Jason enjoys writing about all things gaming. When not sitting in front of a PC, he loves playing The Outdoors, co-op with his dog.
Gamer Since: 1997
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Warframe
Top 3 Favorite Games:Guild Wars 2, Spec Ops: The Line, BioShock
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