Railjack Beginners Guide – Warframe

We’ll be be sailing to the sun, Till the voyage is done, Then we’ll be sleeping in the cold below.

May 25, 2021

The Railjack is back with a bang in update 29.0 (30.0 for consoles) and is bigger and better than ever and far closer to the original concept that was teased back in 2019. Yet all the new content can feel extremely overwhelming to the new and returning player alike. So join Smough in this Railjack Beginners Guide for Warframe.

The Railjack Proxima map is entirely new side of Warframe with new rewards, new gameplay and new lore. There is even an incredible new Quest that is very Railjack centric (trailer here), making mastery of the Railjack more important than ever.

So, we have pulled together this Railjack Beginners Guide to help you take to the stars and face off against the sentient threat.

Archwing looks at the Railjack over Pluto

Spoiler Warning: For the Railjack quest itself and current lore developments as the Railjack features heavily in the evolving story.

Acquisition

The first step is, of course, getting your hands on your very own Railjack and this is primarily done through the ‘Rising Tide Quest’ an so this is what we will first cover in this Railjack Beginners Guide. The requirements to start this quest are; having completed the second dream quest and doing the necessary research, which thankfully you can now do at a relay rather than just at a Clan Dojo. To start the quest, copy the Cephelon Cy blueprint from the Dry Dock research console and then build him in your foundry. Make sure you have 2 each of Mutagen Mass, Detonite Injector and Fieldron ready for his foundry requirements.
Generic Railjack Combat Screen

Rising Tide Quest

The quest then begins as Cy warns of the growing might of the Sentients and that an Orokin Era Warship, a Railjack, is necessary to counter the threat. He will then, in turn, direct you to 6 crash sights where you recover a piece of the Railjack at each. Each mission requires you to hold a defensive parameter around the wreckage and stay in the area while the item is scanned. The timer will be interrupted when enemies enter the defensive circle and likewise you must stay in the circle for the timer to progress.

Rising Tide Quest
As you progress to each mission this well get harder as the sentients will send forces to halt your progress. This first takes the form of ‘Vombalysts’ which form a parameter around the wreckage and block any scanning progress until you take them out. Fortunately, unlike the Vombalysts on the Plains of Eidilon, these only require conventional weapons to destroy. The frequency of interruptions by the Vombalysts and the number involved will steadily increase each recovery mission and later Battalysts will come to make your time a lot harder. Aside from this just keep the circle clear and the timer moving, and you won’t have much issue recovering each piece.
Finished Railjack
After you recover each part, you will be required to return to a dry dock to install the piece and pay a number of credits and resources to repair the part in turn. The requirements are listed on the Warframe Wikipedia and I highly recommend you make sure in advance that you have everything. Additionally, each part takes an hour to repair, which breaks up the speed at which you can complete the quest. With that said let us move onto the next part of this Railjack Beginners Guide

Basics and Proxima Map

Once you have built your Railjack and integrated Cephalon Cy, you just need to do a quick mission to grab a ‘void key’ from Lua and then you are good to go! First things first; once built you can access your Railjack right from your orbiter by using the circular platform at the back between your quarters, the transference room and the Helminth; you can even see your Railjack above the orbiter attached by an umbilical, neat huh! Aside from this you can access it straight from the menu or any Dry Dock. In the next part of the Railjack Beginners Guide, we will look out the layout of your new ship.
Railjack as viewed from the Orbiter

Interior

Once inside the Railjack it is good to know where everything is, so you can quickly move from station to station while in combat.

The Helm

The Pilot's Set of the Railjack

Arguably the most important part of the ship, this is where you take command of the steering of the ship while in a combat zone and the ability to fire the front mounted weapons.

Forward Artillery

The Forward Artillery Seat

More easily missed but extremely important to know where it is; especially if you are a one-man band and you need to jump from piloting to the main cannon.
The entrance to the seat is located directly behind the helm against the wall and when you enter it you drop down into the main cannon, which sits below the Pilot’s seat.

Navigation

Navigation sitting behind the Pilot's chair

This is located between the Helm and the Forward Artillery and is used essentially the same way navigation on your Orbiter is, except that it brings up the ‘Proxima’ Map which is a group of nodes separate from the main game where the Railjack is used.

Dorsal and Ventral Turret

The two middle turrets

These are in the middle section that lies behind the helm/nav section and are two turrets for other Tenno/Crew to mount and add to the helm’s firepower, as well as having a much better field of vision for shooting.

Forge

The forge sitting at the aft of the ship

The Forge is right at the aft of the ship and contains four individual forges that allow you to use materials found in mission to restock and resupply.

Arch-Wing Exit

Slingshot for the Archwing, Railjack

At certain points during certain missions, you will be required to exit the Railjack and the portal between the Dorsal and Ventral Turrets is how you quickly exit.

Later on, you can gain access to the Archwing slingshot, which propels your towards enemy ships like a bullet and either destroying them outright or allowing you to breach and board bigger ships.

Now it wouldn’t be a complete Railjack Beginners Guide if we didn’t have a look at the new Navigation and nodes.

Proxima Map

Accessed through Navigation; this is your navigation map for the Railjack and works exactly the same as your Orbiter ones, except all the nodes are of course unique and separate from the ‘main’ game nodes. From here you can also access the relays which will park your Railjack in a dry dock and renter the ‘normal’ game.

The Proxima Map for Railjack
The nodes also provide their own unique materials, much like the open world areas do, and these materials can either be used in the forge or for various Railjack improvements/crew members. A very useful node can be found at Earth ‘Free Flight’ which is a space free from combat which allows you to gather a crew before venturing out or allow you to practice flying without having to worry about combat.
Prozima node on Venus

Quick Note on Orphix Missions

Just as a heads up for new players, there is a special mission type for Railjack called ‘Orphix’ missions that start out like any other but near the end will contain a Sentient enemy section, where you will not be able to use your Warframe and will need a Necramech to beat.

If you are new to the game and have not grinded up your own Necramech, I would stay clear of these missions unless you have a high-level player to help you. There are Necramechs lying around that you can use, but they aren’t particularly well levelled.

With that, let us touch on the basics of flight itself in the next section of the Railjack Beginners Guide.

Taking Flight

The actual act of flight and controlling your Railjack is mechanically easy; the difficulty learns in managing your ship, crew and understanding the various objectives.

Piloting

Piloting the ship is very straight forward, using your mouse or left stick to aim and change the direction of the ship. The ship is very manoeuvrable, and you can turn it to face any direction extremely quickly with no real constraints. For movement you are using your right stick or WSAD and to ‘boost’ you are using the same button you use for your slide. As the pilot you also have front mounted weapons that can be aimed at anything that is on front of you.
the HUD for a Pilot of a Railjack

Just like in regular Archwing missions, your objectives and enemies are highlighted and so it is generally very easy to see what is going on.

Forward Artillery and Swivel Cannons

Your fellow Tenno, or crew members can mount the Dorsal and Ventral cannons to provide additional fire support. Unlike the Front facing weapons the pilot has access to, these cannons have a full range of movement and are therefore useful for taking out enemies above, below and behind the pilot’s field of vision.

The Forward Artillery is a bit more of a specialist weapon that has limited ammo and is a heavy cannon used to take out heavily armoured targets. This can either be crew ships or certain objectives; if you run out of ammo during a mission you can have more made at the foundry or you can destroy Crew Ships by boarding the ship and destroying it from the inside.

Onboard Emergencies

The difficulties of space combat can sometimes be felt within your ship itself ranging from enemy boarding action to hull breaches.
When you first enter a Railjack you are given a tool called the Omni; which is essentially your Railjack repair tool.

Rather than outrighting ‘dying’, in Railjack if your ship’s ‘health’ is reduced to zero there will be a hull breach and you then have 1 minute until the ship decompresses and you fail the mission.

A Hull Breach on a Railjack
If you have an NPC crew member assigned as an Engineer then you can trust them or ask another Tenno to patch the hull. Otherwise follow the marker on your map and whip out your omni tool, aiming and firing it along the breach lines until the damage is repaired. If enemies board and damage is done to your ship, then fires can break out on and much like hull breaches, you must use your omni tool to target these and put them out.
A crew mate putting the fire out
When enemies board your ship, you can have NPCs assigned as defenders to take them out (including your Kuva Lich Ally) or you can just wipe them out yourself with the familiar base game combat. Do not fret about the details of hiring a crew, as we will be covering that later on in this Railjack Beginners Guide.

Combat, Arch-Wing and Boarding Enemy Ships

The mission will begin with your Railjack entering the mission area and you will be initially in combat with enemy fighters that should be cleared out for their materials and to relieve the pressure on your ship. Like Archwing mode, enemy ships are clearly outlined in red, while your objective is marked in yellow.

Quite often the objective will require you to board an enemy capital ship or space station after securing the parameter.

Quick Note on ‘Crew Ships’

While in your Railjack you will often find elite enemy ships among the basic fighters called ‘Crew Ships’. These are armoured corvettes that cannot be destroyed by your conventional weaponry. They either must be boarded and destroyed or targeted by the Forward Artillery.

Forward Cannon doing the business
So it’s time to suit up, grab your Archwing and move out! Either using the portal exit between the swivel cannons or the slingshot, you are soon out in space in the classic Archwing mode while the battle rages around you. Make a beeline for your objective and board the enemy ship. Once boarded you will be ‘handed over’ to the Lotus and the mission will become very much like a regular Warframe mission; i.e. a spy or Exterminate mission.
Boots onthe ground inside a boarded ship
Once you have cleared this ‘mission’ you have to follow the marker to an exit (although later you will get the ability to teleport back with your Omni!), mount your Archwing once more and return to the Railjack. The entrances to the Railjack are at the sides near the bottom of the ship. Congratulations, you have just completed your first Railjack mission. But what to do with all the unique materials you have gathered? It is time to return to the Dry Dock.

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Upgrading and Customization

Now here comes the fun part!

Here at the dry dock you can upgrade your ship, customise it’s look and manage your crew by accessing the Rail jack Terminal in front of your ship. Let’s look at each screen in turn in this section of the Railjack Beginners Guide.

Components

Railjack Components

These are the not combat aspects of your ship that you can upgrade including; the Shield, Armour, Engines and reactors. Upgrading these increase the stats of your ship and are self-explanatory.

Armaments

Railjack Armaments

As you would expect these opens the different armaments of your ship which you can upgrade and mix and match. The top option is your pilot guns, the second are your swivel turrets and the third is your secondary fire option.

There is quite a variety of different weapons that have different fire rates, ranges, and attributes. So, find what suits you, and mix and match your perfect loadout here.

Plexus

Plexus and Railjack Mods

The Plexus is essentially the part of the ship that you can install mods in. Like your Warframe it will level up and as it does its capacity increases. Like a Warframe you can install Forma to improve its polarity but resetting it to rank one.

You gain mods from Railjack missions from enemy drops and mission rewards, and as per normal mods they can all be improved with endo. The main difference is that aside from the main normal mods on the ‘integrated’ tab, you also have two separate tabs for ‘battle’ and ‘tactical’ mods. Do not worry about these too much as a beginner as they essentially just give you extra abilities, rather than buffing your ship’s stats.

Intrinsics

Railjack Intrinsics

This is probably the most important aspect to improving your Railjack – each level in the 5 categories unlocking new abilities and aspects of your ship to use, whilst also giving you mastery points.

You gain one intrinsic token (shown here as 25 in the top left) per 1000 Affinity earned during Railjack missions, so you can rack these up fairly quickly but it is absolutely key you start using them as soon as possible as several fairly vital functions are unlocked via these attributes.

For example you cannot create dome ammunition (Forward Artillery Ammo) unless you have Engineering level 4, you cannot recruit a npc full crew until you start levelling up your Command and you cannot access your tactical overlay until you are Tactical Level 1.

So, moral of the story is return to the Dry Dock regularly after missions and spend those points!

Crew

Railjack Crew Guide

This is where you outfit and customise your crew, who take positions onboard the ship when you are not matchmaking with other players and make solo play a hell of a lot easier.

However, to have a crew you must a) have your Command at a level where you have unlocked your crew slots (Level 5 is needed for all 3 slots and 8 is required for Kuva Liches) and b) you must visit Ticker to recruit them. Their costs will be discounted or jacked up depending on your standing with the different syndicates!

Visit Ticker at Fortuna to grab your crew

Once you have your crew you will notice that they all have different ratings for different jobs, Engineering, Combat, Piloting, Gunnery etc.

My advice? Get a decent Engineer first as whenever there is a hull breach you can breathe easy knowing they will have it fixed right up.

Based on what ratings they have and what you need you can then assign them roles (even pilot if you want) and they will go about their business while you go about yours.

Finally, you can increase your crew’s attributes by improving your own command intrinsic, which will unlock points for you to allocate to your crewmate’s skills.

Customization

Railjack customization

The fun screen where you get to flex your creative juices!

You get to name your ship and see it proudly displayed on the hull alongside your glyph of choice; along with the usual colour customisation (Fashionrail?). You can even press the ‘toggle inside’ button to change the colour makeup of the interior.

Salvage and Capacity

At the top right of the screen on the Armaments and Components screen you see two buttons that allow you to see your inventory; both scrap you have picked up from missions and armaments/components you own but are not using. You can salvage scrap for large amounts of endo or salvage any components you like if you possess a Rush Repair Drone.

Research and Material

An important aspect of Railjack to understand is that it has it own separate crafting and materials from the main game. You pick up a vast number of new materials during your Railjack sorties and aside from refuelling gear at the foundry, what is it for? Well, it is now time to visit the Railjack Research terminal to turn those materials into new upgrades.
Research

Research

The research terminal works like any other that you would find on the Dojo; you need to select which component you would like and pay the cost to replicate it. Instead, here you do not need to rush to your Foundry to construct it; as you pay the material cost upfront and instantly gain the upgrade.

You gain these new materials very quickly and so I would advise new players to check back at the dry dock frequently between missions to look and see if they can upgrade. Upgrade your shields and your weapons first and find a turret design that suits you.

Get Out There

You now know the basics.

My final bit of advice?.

Grind the easier Earth missions a few times, upgrade your intrinsics, get a crew, better weaponry, and master your mods.

Before you know it, you will be charging headlong into void storms belting out the space shanty ‘Sleeping in the Cold Below’.

That concludes our Beginners Guide for Railjack. Let’s get out there Tenno – the Sentients are on the rise and the Corpus are beginning to unite behind an old power…

 

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Geoff SmoughTown

Geoff SmoughTown

Editor

My grandfather was a man way ahead of his generation, owning his first PC in the early ’90s. When I and my sister came to visit he would fire up ‘Rabbit Reader 2’, and I was transported to the world of ‘Wordsville’. Since then my tastes have developed finding myself attached to Lore rich games; the Souls series, Dead Space and any RPG with a good story. For me, Games can be forms of art to be dissected, analyzed and appreciated.

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