Of course, plans aren’t very good without the components they need. Each set of blueprints you acquire comes with its own requirements which, in addition to credits, are usually unique to whatever you want to build.
You can see these requirements by reading the description of the plan in the Marketplace or wherever you won the item. However, it is often more convenient to watch them in the foundry. This is the workbench-like structure towards the port and center of your ship. In the Foundry, all of your blueprints will be sorted by category and show you how many components you need to build them. Additionally, you can see how much of a given resource you already have.
Components are won in several ways. The most common, if not the most direct, way to do this is to simply play Warframe. Most of the components flagged as common or unusual drop like mad from fallen enemies and containers strewn across missions. Each has its own distinct shape, so you’ll almost always know what you’re about to pick up before you even pick it up.
The hum of extractors
A more passive way to collect minerals is to use extractors. These are unique gaming devices that can be deployed, one at a time, to any location in the game. By “location” we mean planets and moons such as Saturn, Earth, Mars, and more. You can deploy Extractors, as well as check which planet could give you which resources, from the same map as you select missions. This also corresponds to components that have a chance to drop in these areas during regular missions.
You can only have one extractor deployed on such a satellite at any given time. During this time, the total number you can deploy throughout the Warframe space is determined by your account level or mastery rank. After some time in the real world, the extractor absorbs a semi-random number of semi-random minerals from this location.
Level 0-4 allows you to use one extractor and 5-9 is worth two. Anything above that gives you three. You can increase this number even further by being a founder of Warframe (which would have meant paying for the game while it was still in beta) or spending real money on Prime Access on the game’s website.
Finally, extractors are not invincible. Once you’ve claimed them (and the delicious crafting pieces they’ve collected) after a cycle, there’s a chance they’ll take damage. This damage heals naturally over time, but if you send in a damaged extractor and it loses all of its health, it will disappear forever, so you’ll have to create a new one. If an extractor takes damage, it is best to wait for it to heal before redeploying it.
However, some components simply cannot be obtained by extractors. You will actually have to research which planets and moons have the resources you are looking for and hope that they fall during a regular mission.
Much like plans, most of these categories are not worth specifying. However, a few manufacturing components deserve special attention:
Argon Crystals can only be acquired in the Orokin Void area as a rare drop from enemies and containers. What makes them really special, however, is that they disintegrate over time – around 24 hours. So it’s usually best to collect them last when planning to create a specific recipe.
Cryotic is rewarded with excavation missions on any planet. Rather than falling to the ground, this resource is awarded through on-mission drills that players must protect from enemies. Each percent of a completed drilling cycle is worth one cryotic. So a 100% complete cycle will award 100 Cryotic and so on.
Oxium drops in any mission where you fight the Corpus faction. They are secured by the flying and suicidal “Oxium Osprey” enemies that appear randomly in such missions, although you have to kill the Ospreys before they have a chance to blow themselves up, otherwise they won’t drop anything. Oxium also has a miniscule chance of dropping containers on any mission and as a reward for finding secret caches during Sealab Sabotage missions. These are quite unreliable methods, however.
Nitain Extract is only awarded for completing specific Alert Missions. It is guaranteed that there will be at least four alerts with Nitain as a price every 24 hours.
Tellurim might just be the biggest hassle of a resource up for grabs in the entire game. He has an extremely rare chance of dropping in any Archwing mission and very rarely appears as an Alert reward. It’s harder to get than it looks, but only because of the rarity of these things.
Kuva can only be earned after completing The War Within story quests. You will get it for destroying “Kuva Siphons” in environments during missions in Kuva Fortress or on planets near Kuva Fortress. However, the fortress moves from level to level in real time, so you will need to check back periodically. It is also a semi-common reward for bounties in the open world area of Earth, Cetus.
Ore, fish, flora, and fauna are unique resources that can only be gathered in open-world areas like the Plains of Eidolon. Ore is collected with mining lasers. The fish are caught with spears and bait. Plant and animal parts are obtained simply by destroying the corresponding life forms in the plains.
Simple farming tips
If you understand all of the above information and you’re still having trouble getting the resources you need, there are a few last-minute tips and options available to you.
The first is to equip a companion drone with the “Vacuum” mod equipped. This allows ammo and nearby resources to be picked up for you, making their individual pickup much less of a hassle. You might even accidentally catch some that you haven’t seen in the first place.
The Smeeta breed of Kavats (Warframe’s mutant attack cats) also comes with a neat, but unreliable mod that sometimes causes additional material to drop.
Or you can try looking for “endless” missions (Survival, Defense, etc.) that have a Warframe logo on their icon on the star map. These were tied to a PVP system called “Dark Sectors” – the system has since disappeared, but missions now permanently offer bonus resources and experience points to anyone who plays them. You will however have to make sure that the mission is on a planet with the materials you need.
Alert Missions also often give guaranteed resources as a reward, and this is a particularly effective way to earn Oxium. Any alert rewarding the stuff gives 300 units per pop, whereas Oxium usually drops in lots of around 10. The @WarframeAlerts Twitter account will even give you real-time updates on the alerts and their rewards.
Finally, as with most things in Warframe, you can just buy most of the resources with Platinum from the in-game market – assuming you’re very desperate.