Arbitrations Guide: Everything you need to know – 2021
Arbitration Alerts are endless missions with unique quirks that make them especially difficult. While aimed at experienced players, the increased difficulty also results in great opportunities in terms of loot. Being a cornerstone of Warframe’s endgame, here’s a Arbitrations guide so you can reap its rewards, too.
- What are Arbitrations
- How to Unluck Arbitrations
- Unique Modifiers
- Equipment Guide for Arbitrations
- Rewards of Arbitrations
What are Arbitrations – Guide
How to Unlock Arbitrations
Starting off, unlocking Arbitrations is quite simple but would require a lot of work for newer players. The only requirement is to finish all of the Star Chart-missions except Mutalist Alad V (Eris), Jordas Golem (Eris) and Zealoid Prelate (Deimos) Assassinations.
Sounds simple but there’s a catch: The Rapolyst Assassination on Jupiter requires the completion of the Chimera Prologue, which itself requires all of the preceeding story-quests to be completed like The Sacrafice or The War Within. So in short: Finish the main story quests and the star chart.
If you’re not sure which missions you haven’t finished yet, you can go to the Arbiters of Hexis in any Relay where one of the NPCs can tell you which you’re missing.
Also, once you’ve unlocked Arbitrations you need to use a level 30 Warframe to play the Alert!
As mentioned above, Arbitration Alerts have an abundance of unique modifiers and mechanics. To not get overwhelmed by them we will go through them one by one.
Probably the biggest change in comparison to normal missions is that theres no bleedout phase whatsoever. If your health reaches zero, you are dead. And there’s no self-revive either so dying is a huge deal in this game mode!
The only way to get back into the action is by the help of your teammates: Once a player dies, Arbitration Shield Drones, which you will learn more about in the next parahraph, will start dropping so-called Resurgence Tokens. These Tokens function like Index-Points meaning they will lower your health and shields while draining energy depending on how many of them you are carrying. Your team needs to collect five of these Tokens and bring them to your death location where a Revive Tower that looks similar to Life-Support capsules will be. Note that these five Tokens don’t need to be on a single player but if they aren’t, enough players must come together at the Revive Tower until five Tokens are present in total.
This means, if one player dies the team loses 1/4th of their power while also needing to burden themselves further by collecting Tokens. As a result, the death of one player can often lead to a snowballing effect of other players dying by either being overwhelmed by enemies, debuffed by Tokens or both.
On top of that, Companions don’t have a bleedout phase either so once they die, they are lost unless mods like Regen, Reawaken or on Vulpaphylas their respective Devolution mod are equipped.
Arbitration Shield Drones
Arbitration Shield Drones are exclusive enemies to Arbitration Alerts that usually spawn within groups of enemies. In a small radius around them, they make every enemy immune to all damage and abilities while being completely immune to all Warframe abilities themselves including Exalted Weapons! The only exception to this are other Arbitration Drones. Thus, they will always be the highest priority targets unless they aren’t near enemies.
On top of all that, they also cannot be killed in a single shot no matter what hits them. Protected by a superior form of Shield Gating they will not carry damage over from shields to health once you destroy their shields. This means you will always at least take one shot to get rid of the shields and another to kill them.
On the upside, once you murdered them they will explode for scaling Blast damage to all nearby enemies while knocking them down for some decent CC, too. To spot them, you simply keep an eye out for its magenta aura or invulnerable enemies.
Bonus Weapons and Warframes
Another unique aspect of Arbitration Alerts are the bonus weapons and Warframes. Each Alert mission specifies one Warframe which receives +300% Ability Strength and one weapon which deals +300% damage. This bonus switches for everyone so other players will have different bonus Warframes and weapons. This allows for some unique builds in which you can focus on survivability or duration/efficiency/range while the bonus provides you with plenty of strength. Or you just stick with more strength and deal more damage, your choice.
Mission Type Modifiers
Each type of mission is altered in some shape or form to make Arbitration Alerts more challenging.
Starting with the most drastic changes, defense now needs you to defend a moving NPC of the Arbiters of Hexis. This NPC will follow a player from your squad and bring its own weapon which means you cannot give it your secondary. Additionaly, if the defense target dies you cannot revive him since there is not bleedout phase. As a result, you instantly lose the mission once his health reaches zero. On top of that, the downtime between waves has been reduced to a mere two seconds.
Excavation is the next on the list with an excavation time of 180 seconds instead of the normal 100 seconds and a requirement of two excavators instead of one for each rotation.
Interception is modified in that enemy towers are now twice as fast.
Life Support Capsules in Survival are 25% less effective.
The Demolysts and Demolishers beeping and marking range are halfed in Disruption.
Defection’s Rescue targets cannot be revived.
The Consoles in Infested Salvage possess only half their max health points.
Equipment Guide on Arbitrations
Warframes Guide for Arbitrations
Arbitrations are endurance runs and thus your Warframe needs to do one of the following things:
- deal damage
- heal teammates/defense targets
- CC enemies
- be a self-sustaining allrounder
If you are going solo or with a random squad the last option is of course the most reliable as you are affected the least by your teammates actions. As long as you can keep potential defense targets alive by either killing enemies fast enough or with some sort of heal, being self sustained is your best bet. On top of that, using a tanky Warframe keeps you from dying so even if you’re not carrying your squad of randoms to victory, making them collect tokens for you because you die all the time would be far worse. After all, when in doubt, pick Rhino.
When running in a coordinated squad it can help tremendously to bring dedicated damage dealers, healers, CC or defensive frames and so on. This all depends on your mission type and the respective bonus Warframe each of you can use but by utilising these bonuses and building a good team composition around it you can reap insane rewards from Arbitrations. For example, a squad consisting of Trinity, Gara, Saryn (Build) and Mesa (Build) could go hours in a defense mission with Trinity providing heals, energy and damage reduction, Gara giving shielding and Saryn + Mesa killing everything thanks to +300% strength.
Weapons Guide for Arbitrations
The very first thing one wants their weapons to do is of course deal damage. In Arbitrations, it’s slightly different although the same principles apply.
Because of the way rotations work (see above) you will want to stay as long as you can which sooner or later results in very high level enemies. With the exception of melee weapons, most of your guns fall off at some point. This results in us killing normal enemies almost exclusively with Warframe abilities or said melee weapons ignoring primaries and secondaries most of the time.
Still, they fill a crucial role in most loadouts in that secondaries with high fire rate are great against nullifiers and the primary weapon will be your go-to way of dealing with Arbitration Shield Drones.
First and foremost, Primary weapons need to be able to destroy Arbitration Shield Drones. The best type of weapons for this are Snipers because their precice, high damage shots can easily target the small drones and shotguns because of their potention in close combat. Assault Rifles for example would have you aiming at the drone for extended periods of time because their damage per shot is so low which is quite hard to do due to its size. Furthermore, Snipers can take care of Nullifiers by shooting the little drone on top of their bubble in a similar fashion. Shotguns aren’t bad for the same reasons, though they require you to get quite close. A few examples include:
Secondary Weapons are your most reliable way of getting rid of nullifier bubbles when you either can’t reach the drone with your Sniper or you didn’t choose a Sniper to begin with. The way nullifier bubbles work is that they have a minimum and maximum amount of damage they can take with each shot. To no one’s surprise, this is exactly what we will be taking advantage of by using low base damage, high fire rate secondary weapons. As the bubbles minimum damage is 100 for each shot, it will increase every single bullet of our gun to 100 damage even if it was lower originally. Now, if we spray 25 bullets per second with even unmodded twin vipers into the bubble, it will be gone in the blink of an eye. The best choices for this job are:
Lastly, Melee weapons will be your primary way of dealing damage if not by using your Warframe. To make them scale to high levels more often than not a combo build with Blood Rush is a great idea. In general, keep an eye out for high critical multiplier and maybe decent status chance and high slash damage. Some awesome examples include:
Companions Guide for Arbitrations
There’s one overarching problem with Companions in Arbitrations: If they die, they stay dead. Sentinels, of course, are affected by this problem in every mission except Djinn with its Reawaken mod but in non-endurance missions (Primed) Regen is usually enough to get your Sentinel through it. Also in normal mission, you can revive your pets which is not the case in Arbitrations as explained above.
So, which Companions can actually be useful in long Arbitration runs? The answer is Vulpaphylas and Djinn. Djinn because of his Reawaken mod and Vulpaphylas because their Devolution mods let them respawn automatically in a similar fashion making them unkillable.
Personally, I would choose either the Panzer Vulpaphyla for offense or the Sly Vulpaphyla for defense as the Crescent one is arguably the weakest and Djinn needs three times as long to respawn compared to the Vulpaphylas. Here are their respective mods so you can see for yourself:
Rewards of Arbitrations
Vitus Essence is a reward unique to Arbitration Alerts and is used as currency at the Arbitrations Shop in the Arbiters of Hexis room at any relay. They uncommonly drop from Arbitration Shield Drones, are rewarded at the end of every rotation and have a chance of being a rotation reward themselves.
Mentioned shop sells exlusive mods, cosmetics like Ephemeras or decorations as well as an Ayatan Statue and Kuva. On top of that, it is the only way to acquire the Grendel Warframe! Here’s the Wiki page with a complete list of all the items they sell.
One of the main motivations to play Arbitrations are the awesome rotation rewards containing insane amounts of Endo! As a result, they are high up on the list in my post on how to farm the most Endo the fastest. On top of all the Endo you will be getting Arcanes, Mods and even Aura Forma blueprints and an Ephemera! Here are the official droptables for Arbitrations.
Conclusion – Arbitrations Guide
And that’s it! In conclusion, try to stay as long as you can in these mission, possibly utilising the equipment shown in this Arbitrations Guide and you will end up with a lot of Endo and other cool stuff!