- For the health class, see Infested (Health).
The Infested are Corpus and Grineer units who have been taken over by the techno-organic parasites (or Technocytes) of the Infestation, a biomechanical pathogen used by the Orokin. The majority of Infested seem to be former Corpus Crewmen or Grineer Lancers, or "Mutalist" versions of Corpus robotic proxies. The oldest individuals, the infested Ancients, are creatures overtaken by the plague so long ago that their original form is unrecognizable, perhaps dating back to the Old War itself.
Mentioned and referenced through in-game text or by the Lotus, the Infestation seems to turn organisms such as the Grineer and Corpus as well as machines and robotics into what is known to the Tenno as the "Infested".
In Warframe, the Infestation was utilized by the Orokin to combat the Sentients. Much of the game's lore is presented in an ambiguous fashion; however it can be inferred that the virus seems to have no prejudices as to whom it affects, be it Grineer, Corpus, Orokin, robotic or unarmed civilian; only the Tenno and their Warframes, as well as the sentients themselves, appear to be truly immune to the plague. The presence of both organic and robotic Infested implies that the virus might not have an RNA/DNA base: although the affliction may have organic origins, the virus itself may be bound with nano-machines that invade living cells or machinery in equal measure.
The Mire references something called the "Great Plague" in its description. The Great Plague may be a reference to the Infestation itself or a period after its creation. The Mire's resemblance to the Infested suggests a connection between the Great Plague and the Infested themselves.
The word "Mutalist" describes the Infestation of robotics or even some weapons by a unique strain of the Infestation. While normal Infested mass can utilize spores, they had great difficulty directly corrupting mechanical and robotic tissue. That all changed when Alad V attempted to use the Infested as a bioweapon, and used the limited knowledge gained from his Zanuka Project to advance the evolution of the plague. His result was a new strain that gained the ability to more easily infest robotics and subsequently allowed the creation of more dangerous abominations.
So far in the game's lore, only Corpus robotics can become Infested, perhaps due to a lack of complexity in Grineer machinery that would not serve the Infested any real purpose. Although the Mutalist Osprey came about before Alad V's experiments, it can be assumed this timing is not to be considered lore friendly, and instead was part of Alad's work. It can also be said that the early release of this Mutalist enemy was caused by one of Alad's experiments escaping.
Weapons that have become Infested with this modern strain of the Infestation are also Corpus-based, possibly due to the initial exposure of the Infested being almost entirely based around the Corpus thanks to the intentional infection of entire Corpus ships.
- Main article: Category:Infested
More so than any other weapon category, weapons involving the Infestation are a varied lot. They range dramatically in both design and function, from Corpus mining equipment that feature infestation altering their functions, to Grineer attempts to weaponize infested bio-toxins. Most, however, are weapons that are, in and of themselves, created from either living or inactive-but-preserved infested tissue; these range from swords created from infested bio-growth to pistols which smother opponents in broiling clouds of toxic infested liquids. The most unusual Infested weapons seem to be multi-part organisms, ranging from slugthrowers that hurl toxin shards with muscular impulse to launchers that hurl a living infested bio-growth at the target like a grenade. The most extreme cases are weapons which can project streams of viral bio-energy or crackling corrosive energy via neural impulse.
Infested weapons are often hideous to behold, visibly pulsing and squirming in their use. Even ones crafted from inactive infested growth are often visually grotesque, with edges made from chitin and bone and flecked with veins that thrum with organic fluids. Ranged weapons using infested material often very literally devour their ammunition. In many ways, Infested weaponry indicate how desperate many factions have become involving the Infested, with the Grineer attempting to fight poison with poison, the Corpus finding the infested altering their existing equipment as Alad V's enhanced Mutalist strains consume mechanical constructs, and the Tenno just trying to find new ways to do their job with the new tools as the Infestation spreads – meaning that the Infested are a great threat, but also promise opportunities to any who can find a way to exploit them against their enemies. Certainly according to Cephalon Cordylon, Infested tissue can be easily grown, thrives in any environment and is as easy to manipulate for the creation tools and weapons as any non-organic material.
Reproduction and Spread
The Infestation primarily infests or corrupts its victims through airborne spores, possibly the same kind of found floating around in the air on Infested tilesets as moving colonies of orange particles. However, no enemy or ally can ever become Infested during gameplay. The only exception is during Defection missions, where it is possible to witness the only current "infestation" of a target in real time; allowing a Grineer Defector to die to the poisons in the air will eventually cause them to sprout a large Infested mass around them, which explodes in a horrifying display of light gore and rot to reveal a uniquely colored Carrion Charger. The transformation to these combat forms is seemingly quick, likely due to the Defectors weakened state due to the exposure to the spores for extended periods and possibly due to the Grineers already weak cloned bodies.
While the Infestation was always able to seep into electronic and nano-based technology, until Alad V created the Mutalist strain it was never able to control more than small masses, to the point where systems would simply corrupt and shut down (see non-Infested Ship tilesets) rather than be vulnerable to control or influence. With the Mutalist strain however, the Infestation is able to infect inorganic circuitry to control basic robotics, and even modify their weapons systems to spray payloads of Corrosive Sludge or take advantage of flight technology to Disperse Toxins into the air. While this is an impressive feat even for the seemingly mindless Infestation, it is less impressive when Corpus robotical AI is taken in account, as it is fairly easy even for the Tenno to Hack or Reprogram them, so a complete takeover of their precepts may not be necessary for them to fight for the Infestation.
More impressively however is the ability for the Mutalist strain to adapt and corrupt even a Cephalon. In the case of the Jordas Golem it somehow gained control of one despite several times during the game and in quests it it was explained that Cephalons exist on a very advanced electronic plane of existence called the "weave", something which Hunhow (who's origin is machine-based) could only barely control and eventually lose when he attempted to take over Cephalon Suda's portion of it. Even in his transmission projections Jordas is physically Infested with tissue on his portrayal, although this may just be a visual representation of his state and not necessarily prove he is actually Infested. It is possible that the equipment that stores Jordas' information is corrupted instead, essentially the same situation as other Mutalist robotic enemies. Either way, this shows that the Infestation is far more insidious than it was in the past thanks to the meddling of Alad V.
Up until recently, the Infestation was mostly contained. The hive mind on Eris sought to remedy this by dispatching Arlo, believed to be an evolved strain disguised as a young survivor that seemingly had the power to heal an endless variety of sicknesses. His so-called healing was actually a bait to lure in human impulse, where he secretly assimilated the ill Kenga and many devoted followers to the Infested hive mind where they would continue to spread Arlo's healing word. The devoted would later become weaponized Zealots, serving as an army for the Infested that would go on to raid the entire Origin System. The hive mind had proven itself to be incredibly cunning and intelligent with its scheme, having successfully created a solution to its own problems.
The standard Infested unit. Volatile runners and leapers appear to be bodies of Corpus humanoids and appear to have a fleshy "hand", perhaps made of Infested tissue, latched to their heads. Walker units rush the players and overwhelm them with sheer numbers and brute force.
- Main article: Charger
Chargers are quadrupedal abominations resembling canines made from Grineer (possibly Lancers) that almost always hunt in packs. They will quickly and repeatedly claw at players once in range, and their attacks have a chance to stun their foes (but not players) on hit. If their target is out of range they will hold position and lob balls of mass at their target which do not ignore shields.
- Main article: Leaper
Leapers are Infested Corpus Crewmen with glowing blue nodes that try to tackle players from a distance; they will signal this action by stopping a small distance from a player and performing a battle cry. While not difficult to avoid, failing to do so will knock a player down for a few seconds. Leapers will take significantly more damage (ten times the normal amount) while pouncing. After pouncing, or if players go outside their leaping range, they will run towards nearby players and swipe at them; these swipes are incapable of stunning players, but are extremely fast. They can also choose to throw globs of Infested mass at the player, provided they cannot reach the player by normal means.
- Main article: Runner
Runners are white-ish Infested Corpus Crewmen that make up the second most common enemy type of the Infested. Like Leapers, Chargers and Volatile Runners, they can lob Infested mass at players who they cannot reach, but otherwise have swipe attacks like the other Crewman Infested do. The Runner was introduced in Update 12.4.
- Main article: Volatile Runner
Volatile Runners are orange colored Infested Crewmen with explosive properties. Volatile Runners will charge the nearest player or objective and detonate themselves after a short delay, dealing damage that scales with level that will stagger the target. They can also throw balls of Infested mass at their enemies that they cannot reach normally.
Infested crawlers are those former walkers whose legs seem to have been removed or Crewmen infested after surviving the removal of their lower bodies. They will 'run' on their hands at a speed similar to the other light Infested and their unusual body structure causes most melee attacks to pass over them unless a Tenno deliberately looks down while attacking.
- Main article: Crawler
Crawlers resemble Infested Crewman with no lower limbs, which forces them to move with their hands. They are fairly agile and are hard to hit due to their habit of staying low, but besides that, they do not pose a large threat.
- Main article: Nauseous Crawler
Nauseous Crawlers are yellow variants of regular Crawlers. Any players that linger too long in front of one will be sprayed with a yellow fluid that will hold them in place for a few seconds, thus stunning them. This is hinted by the crawler stopping in one spot, and it will begin to puff up slightly and shake, before releasing the fluid. This attack is not blocked by effects such as Iron Skin which would otherwise negate the stun effect.
- Main article: Toxic Crawler
Toxic Crawlers are black and green Infested Crewmen which now contain toxic chemicals within. Killing them will release a small toxic cloud that does constant damage to anyone within, and ignores shields.
- Main article: Electric Crawler
Electric Crawlers resemble a grey Infested Crewman with no lower limbs, forcing them to move with their hands. This crawler will remain at a short distance and use a continuous electrical attack that can proc Electricity. They can target players up to around 10 meters and are not affected by stun.
- Main article: Lobber Crawler
Lobber Crawlers resemble a light blue Infested Crewman with no lower limbs, forcing them to move with their hands. It will stop at decent distances away from players, arch up a bit, then spit an explosive toxic tissue that can seem to home in on players slightly, and creates a buff that appears only two meters wide although affecting players up to six meters away. The grenade does damage directly to health, although the effect is fairly weak.
Mechanical units infested by a mutated strain of the Infestation.
- Main article: Mutalist Osprey
- Main article: Swarm-Mutalist MOA
Swarm Mutalist MOAs are Infested Corpus MOA that launch swarms of infested spores which hinder targets by diminishing visibility and dealing minor damage over time, while granting armor to light infested units.
These heavy units consist of large Infested that are much sturdier than standard Walkers, and do not appear to be an infected host, but rather a separate entity, or perhaps an infested host so old as to be unrecognizable. They have a large amount of health and will charge at players when close enough. Heavies also come with special abilities, making them a nuisance on their lonesome, and a nightmare in groups.
- Main article: Ancient Healer
An Infested heavy melee unit, the Ancient Healer stands out for the ability to cast a damage mitigation aura around surrounding allies.
- Main article: Ancient Disruptor
An Infested heavy melee unit, the Ancient Disruptor stands out for the ability to drain away a Warframe's energy. Not only does the Ancient Disruptor possess an aura that allows its nearby allies to drain Warframe energy with each attack, their own melee attacks have a 10% chance of dealing Magnetic proc on players, draining the player's Warframe energy over the duration of the proc and temporarily reducing shields.
- Main article: Toxic Ancient
An Infested heavy melee unit, the Toxic Ancient stands out for the ability to grant nearby allies a toxic aura, granting them Toxin damage as well as a large resistance to Toxin and Gas damage. Along with their toxic aura, these Ancients possess the ability to excrete a deadly toxic cloud when they do their "roar" animation, dealing heavy Toxin damage that can easily kill players caught in the radius. Melee combat against this type of ancient is not recommended if your melee weapon has a short range.
- Main article: Boiler
Boilers are large, corpulent Infested riddled with pulsating boils, which launch an Infested seed occasionally. When killed, it will burst and launch several Infested seeds that grow into spawn pods. Left unchecked, these spawn pods unleash a variety of smaller Infested to overwhelm their enemies.
- Main article: Brood Mother
Brood Mothers are large, heavy Infested that spawn Maggots within their chest cavity, which the Brood Mother can then release to attack enemies. Brood Mothers will also charge at nearby opponents, and release an additional swarm of maggots upon death. They were introduced in the Operation: Mutalist Incursions event in Update 15.5.
- Main article: Juggernaut
The Juggernaut is a large, quadrupedal Infested creature armed with formidable ranged attacks and deadly close-quarters combat abilities. Combining these threats with its heavy armor shell, the Juggernaut becomes an intimidating opponent. The Juggernaut's abilities include a charging body attack, a ranged spine strike (a scaled version of the Phorid's similar attack) and the ability to resurrect a number of nearby dead Infested.
- Main article: Bosses
Bosses are over-mutated enemies within the Infested faction.
- Main article: Hemocyte
The Hemocyte is a gigantic Infested creature that can be encountered during Operation: Plague Star. It is summoned using an Infested Catalyst during the toxin mixing phase and drops the Hunter Set Mods.
- Main article: Juggernaut Behemoth
The Juggernaut Behemoth is the larger, boss variant of the Infested Juggernaut enemy.
It is a massive quadruped Infested creature, armed with formidable ranged attacks and deadly close-quarters combat abilities, which combined with its heavy armor makes it an intimidating opponent. Initially introduced in the Black Seed Scourge Tactical Alert, it can now be found in the last mission of The Jordas Precept, as well as the first portion of the Jordas Golem assassination mission.
- Main article: Jordas Golem
The Jordas Golem, also known as J3-Golem, is the Infested Boss of Eris. An amalgamation of Infested flesh merged with Corpus ship technology and a reprogrammed Cephalon, the massive Jordas Golem uses powerful weapons combined with its formidable armor to combat enemies in deep space.
The Jordas Golem is found in its own Assassination node on Eris after a player has completed the Jordas Precept Quest. After defeating them and finishing the mission, the player receives either Atlas Neuroptics, Chassis or Systems blueprint.
- Main article: Lephantis
Lephantis is a massive, multi-headed Infested boss introduced in Update 10.0. It is found in the Assassination mission located in the Orokin Derelict. To fight Lephantis, the player must craft a Derelict Assassination key, which requires five Lephantis Nav Coordinates. These special Nav Coordinates can only be obtained from Derelict missions. Defeating Lephantis will reward the player with a blueprint for the Neuroptics, Systems, or Chassis of the Nekros Warframe upon mission completion.
- Main article: Mutalist Alad V
Controlled by the Infestation and corrupted with its power, Mutalist Alad V is one of the two bosses of Eris, introduced in Update 15.5. To fight him, players need to craft the Mutalist Alad V Assassinate Key with the blueprint awarded from completing the Patient Zero quest. Only the player starting the mission will lose a key, similarly to Orokin Derelict keys.
- Main article: Phorid
Phorid is an Infested Boss only found when an Invasion takes over the Assassination mission of a Planet. After players defeat it and reach the extraction point, they will receive either a Nyx Neuroptics, Chassis, or Systems blueprint upon mission completion. Upon death, Phorid has a chance of dropping rare resources of the planet it appears on.
- Infested enemies, most notably bosses, refer to themselves in a plural way, implying that a hive mind of some sort controls them.
- This seems to be supported during gameplay with the near-impossibility of utilizing stealth in an Infested-controlled area; if even one unit in the area detects a Warframe, every single other Infested in the area will become alerted to their presence and begin hunting them down, even from across the entire tileset.
- The Infested as a whole displays confusion and fear when encountering the Tenno's Warframes, referring to them as "their flesh" and constantly asking why they would attack their own via transmissions, which implies that the greater Infested believes that the Warframes are just another kind of Infested life-form like them.
- The Sacrifice would go on to reveal that the original Warframes were actually Orokin men and women that were infected with a unique strain of the Infestation by the Helminth, with this unique strain not only reshaping their bodies to fit inside of the actual Warframes' chassis, but also keeping them safe from the 'Infested madness.'
- This fear is elaborated upon in The Glast Gambit quest, where The Lotus reveals that the Infested fears hybrids, specifically those that combine themselves with the Infestation without actually succumbing to it. For example, the space-bound colony of Mycona takes advantage of this to harvest Infested materials from the ship on which they live without individual colonists risking death or infection via passing down the Triuna.
- The Infested have shown the ability to even corrupt Cephalons, as shown in The Jordas Precept with Cephalon Jordas.
- Despite their description claiming that the Infestation has no cure, the aftermath of Operation: Tubemen of Regor showed that this is somewhat false, as Alad V has seemingly cured himself of being Infested after partially succumbing to the virus. Despite this however, a violet scar remains on his cheek, possibly suggesting he isn't completely cleansed.
- According to a story told by Konzu, despite the Infested otherwise being a ravenous hive mind, "it" is capable of speaking to others directly via using an Infested victim as a sort of speaker or "vessel."
|Walker||Charger • Leaper • Maggot • Runner • Volatile Runner|
|Crawler||Crawler • Electric Crawler • Lobber Crawler • Nauseous Crawler • Toxic Crawler|
|Machine||Mutalist Osprey • Swarm Mutalist MOA • Tar Mutalist MOA • Power Carrier • Venin Mutalist|
|Ancient||Ancient Disruptor • Ancient Healer • Boiler • Brood Mother • Toxic Ancient|
|Archwing||Attack Mutalist • Mutalist Lightning Carrier • Mutalist Toxic Carrier|
|Others||Infested Tumor • Leaping Thrasher • Undying Flyer • Zealoid Bastion • Zealot Baptizer • Zealot Herald • Zealot Proselytizer|
|Jordas Golem • Juggernaut (Behemoth) • Lephantis • Mutalist Alad V • Phorid • Zealoid Prelate|
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