The First Descendant vs Warframe – Which should you play?

The First Descendant is often compared to Warframe—and with good reason. The First Descendant draws direct inspiration from Digital Extreme’s free-to-play looter shooter and its unique mechanic of farming and building new characters. So, which one should you play?

We’ll help you decide whether you should play The First Descendant or Warframe.

Warframe or The First Descendant?

Jade with her weapons in Warframe
Tenno vs. Descendants. Let the games begin. Image via Digital Extremes.

Below, we’ll cover gameplay, monetization, and new player experience before giving you our final verdict.


When it comes to gameplay, The First Descendant and Warframe are similar. Both are third-person shooters with a lot of killing, a bunch of looting, and plenty of farming. The biggest similarity between the two games is how you get new classes and weapons. Players farm specific enemies and bosses to pick up materials they later combine. This farming loop is the main draw of the games. 

Each weapon, descendant, and equipment also has Mods or Modules, which you can upgrade and dismantle to make the ultimate build. If this sounds fun to you, both games will provide.

Warframe has more content than The First Descendant, seeing how it’s been around for longer. But that may not be a good thing.


The slots menu in the Warframe Market.
Warframe is generous with its monetization system. Screenshot by Dot Esports

We’re just going to say it: Warframe wins. Even after 10 years of being available, Warframe is still considered one of the friendliest free-to-play games. It’s so friendly that even non-paying players can get premium currency with enough time and dedication. Sure, you can still buy a lot of things in the game to speed up your process, and even then, the company often gives you coupons with discounts of up to 75 percent.

The First Descendant isn’t so friendly. The game sells pretty much the same things as Warframe but doesn’t let players earn or trade for premium currency. The prices are also higher than Warframe’s. Things could change, but we wouldn’t hold our breath.

New player experience

Hands down, The First Descendant wins. We’re not saying The First Descendant explains all its mechanics well (because it doesn’t), but it’s miles better than what Warframe teaches you. The First Descendant has a story that guides you through different zones and teaches you the mechanics as you progress.

Warframe, on the other hand, has you play through one of two decent tutorial zones before leaving you clueless about what to do next. Even the most hardcore Warframe players say you need a second monitor to look up guides as you play the game because of how little the game tells you. Even worse, with each new expansion, the game adds more mechanics and, naturally, doesn’t bother explaining any of them. If there ever were a definition for “feature creep” in video games, Warframe would be a prime example.

The verdict

The First Descendant cutscene of players talking to the guide.
It’s just easier to get into. Screenshot by Dot Esports

We think The First Descendant wins by a millisecond. Don’t get us wrong—we love Warframe and its generous free-to-play model, but we can’t get over how many players are drawn away by the horrible new player experience.

Even if you have the most honest free-to-play game, it won’t matter if players don’t know how to play it. The First Descendant, for all its faults, at least makes it easy for new players to jump in and play. But if you don’t mind the unfriendly and tedious start, Warframe might be the better game for you.

Even though things could change for the worse, The First Descendant seems like the better choice for now.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Cheats Little Alchemy