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Preceded by
Melee 1.0 since Update 13.0

Melee is a form of combat system that utilizes edged or blunt weapons and close quarter attacks. Every attack causes the player to take a single step forward. However, if the player is crouched, non-combo melee attacks will not cause a step forward. Melee weapons can be equipped in the tertiary slot of the arsenal in Warframe.

Current melee weapons consist of a number of classes, in which each class of weapons has a unique set of attack animations, including normal, jump, slide, stealth attacks, finishers, combos, and blocking.

Basic ManeuversEdit

Melee can be switched to at any time by pressing the melee attack key (default E ), and can instantly switch back to an equipped primary or secondary weapon with the fire button (default LMB ) or zoom (default RMB ). Equipping the melee weapon will unlock additional melee combat features such as Channeling and Blocking.

Each melee weapon has a number of attributes, such as attack speed and damage. Each attribute can be altered by a variety of Melee Mods.

Normal AttackEdit

Basic Melee

Excalibur performing a basic melee combo.

Combomousewht E  Combops4wht Combops4circle

The simplest form of melee attack. The action is achieved by simply pressing the melee attack key repeatedly, in which the animation pattern continues to loop until the player ceases the attack.

Common Attributes:

  • Damage: Damage done by each hit. Enhanced by damage mods such as Mod TT 20pxPressure Point.
  • Attack Speed: Speed of the attack animation. Enhanced by speed mods such as Mod TT 20pxFury.
  • Max Targets: The maximum amount of targets that can be struck in a single cleaving motion (excludes jump attacks and slide attacks)
  • Cleave Radius: A rough estimation of the size of the swing. May not be accurate due to individualized cleaving animations.

Slide AttackEdit

Spin Melee

Excalibur performing a slide attack.

Combo While Sliding + Melee

Air variation:

Combo While Air Sliding + Melee

Also known as a Spin Attack, Slide Attacks propels a Warframe forward while performing a spinning slash around them, dealing greater damage and hitting multiple enemies. For sparring weapons like the Kogake0 Kogake and CorpusKickNPunch Obex, slide attacks perform a double kick that targets only a single enemy, but ragdolls them away instead of only dealing damage. Slide Attacks can be performed on the ground to hit low-lying enemies, or in the air to hit tall enemies, potentially landing headshots.

Slide attack damage can be increased by the Pressure Point mod and all other elemental damage the player may have equipped on their weapon.

Aerial AttackEdit

Aerial Melee

Excalibur performing an aerial attack.

Combo In Air + Melee

Also known as a Jump Attack, press melee in mid-air to perform a targeted aerial slash, regardless if a jump has already been made or not. The Warframe will slash and be propelled towards the direction that the player is aiming at, making melee capable of targeting airborne enemies like Ospreys.

Slam AttackEdit

Slam Melee

Excalibur performing a slam attack.

Combo In Air + Aim Downwards + Melee

Also known as a Leap Attack, aiming down towards the ground when performing a jump attack will perform a slam attack that forces the Warframe towards the reticle and creates a small radial damage and special effect upon impact with the ground, such as knock down or elemental damage. One can perform this move to anchor themselves to the ground, losing most if not all momentum.

There are two damages dealt by slam attacks:

  1. Direct contact to an enemy will deal Leap Attack damage, normally with the damage type of the weapons base attack.
  2. Radial damage deals a secondary damage type which diminishes with distance from the point of impact, this damage is not affected by mods, but will often have a secondary effect (knockdown, stagger, etc.).
Weapon Class Slam Radius
Dagger 5m
Glaive
Gunblade
Warfan
Claws 6m
Dual Daggers
Nikana
Nunchaku
Rapier
Staff
Blade and Whip 7m
Machete
Polearm
Sparring
Sword
Sword and Shield
Dual Swords 8m
Fist
Heavy Blade
Scythe
Tonfa
Hammer 9m

Wall AttackEdit

WallMelee
Combo While Wall-Latching + Melee

While wall running or climbing, a player may initiate a melee attack, causing the frame to launch off the wall at the angle of the direction aimed, with a special melee attack animation. The attack will change depending on what melee weapon is used; most weapons will slash the air in front of them as they launch, while heavy weapons will swing the weapon around them, and sparring weapons will launch with a forward punch. This maneuver is also useful as it may be used to leap parallel to the wall surface during a wall run; in contrast, releasing the jump key will always jump away from the wall.

Advanced ManeuversEdit

StancesEdit

MeleeCombos

The Melee Combo list for the Mod TT 20pxCrimson Dervish Stance.

Main article: Stance

Upon equipping a Stance Mod, up to three additional advanced Melee Combos will be unlocked, which are special chained attacks that enhance the melee abilities of the weapon. These combos can only be performed while wielding a melee weapon. The combination will vary depending on the melee weapon equipped and the Stance mod equipped.

ChannelingEdit

Channel Melee
Main article: Channeling
Combomousewht Weapon Fire MMB  Combops4wht R3

Channeling converts energies from the Warframe energy pool to enhance melee attacks and blocking, and is activated by using the Melee Channeling key with the option of toggling. The melee weapon must be equipped in order to use Melee Channeling. While Melee Channel is activated, each enemy hit in melee will drain 5 Energy from the Warframe and deal +50% increased damage and any additional effects from channeling mods.  Additionally, +50% increase to damage over time per tick from statuses, e.g., slash or toxin, when they are applied while channeling.


BlockingEdit

SkanaBlocking

Excalibur with Skana in blocking pose.

Combomousewht Weapon Aim RMB  Combops4wht R2

Blocking is an automatic defensive motion that reduces incoming damage and negates knockbacks in a 45-degree angle in front of the Warframe. The amount of damage reduced differs between melee weapon types, with some blocking more damage than others. While blocking can be held manually as long as the player does not have a primary or secondary weapon equipped, this serves no additional purpose other than for executing certain Stance combos.

Channeling while Blocking will perform a parry which will nullify all incoming damage, reflect some damage back, and open up melee attackers for finishers, but will drain Energy on every blocked attack.

  • Can block Fire Blast and Rippling Shockwave. Doing so will push the Warframe back, but prevent the knockdown effect.
  • Can block continuous weapons like CorpusLaserRifle Flux Rifle lasers and Scorch flamethrowers.
  • Parrying can block Bombard Rockets, though it will not prevent damage from the explosion itself.
  • Will also block Scorpion grappling hooks to prevent getting pulled.
  • Parrying with RhinoIcon272 Rhino's IronSkin130xDark Iron Skin active will not deflect any damage and instead mitigate the hitpoints to Iron Skin.
  • Certain enemies such as Fusion Moa require the player to either back up slightly or aim slightly upward in order to parry their attack up close.
  • Will not block Status Effects from affecting the player.
  • Channeling Efficiency mods do not affect the amount of energy lost from blocked damage while channeling.
  • The amount of damage reflected can be greatly increased with the Amalgam Javlok Magazine Warp mod.
Weapon Class Max Damage Reduction
Claws 35%
Dagger
Dual Daggers
Glaive
Nunchaku
Rapier
Sparring
Whip
Blade and Whip 60%
Dual Swords
Fist
Gunblade
Nikana
Sword
Staff
Tonfa
Two-Handed Nikana
Zaw 80%
Hammer 85%
Heavy Blade
Machete
Polearm
Scythe
Sword and Shield

Exceptions to the above table are:

  • Ankyros Ankyros (PrimeAnkyros Prime), which blocks at 85% instead of other fists' usual 60%.
  • Desert Wind Desert Wind, which blocks at 80% instead of other sparring's usual 35%.
  • DragonKatana Dragon Nikana, which blocks at 85% instead of other nikanas' usual 60%.
  • DualZoren Dual Zoren and GrnDualFireAxe Twin Basolk, which blocks at 35% instead of other dual swords' usual 60%.
  • GarudaMeleeClaws Garuda's Talons and EWValkyrTalons Valkyr Talons, which blocks at 80% instead of other claws' usual 35%.
  • GramPrime Gram Prime, which blocks at 80% instead of other heavy blades' usual 85%.
  • Kama Kama, which blocks at 35% instead of other machetes' usual 85%.
  • TennoTonfa Kronen (KronenPrime Prime), which blocks at 35% instead of other tonfas' usual 60%.
  • (PrismaDualCleavers Prisma) Dual Cleavers Dual Cleavers, which blocks at 85% instead of other dual swords' usual 60%.
  • GrnClaws Ripkas, which block at 85% instead of the other claws' usual 35%.
  • (NLMagistar Sancti) PaladinMace Magistar, which blocks at 60% instead of other hammers' usual 85%.
  • SilvaAegisPrime Silva & Aegis Prime, which blocks 90% instead of other sword and shield's usual 85%.

ComboEdit

Combo CounterEdit

ComboCounter

A 45-hit Combo Counter with a 2.5X Damage Multiplier

Each successful consecutive melee hit against enemies with a Melee weapon equipped within a short period of time will start a Combo Counter that appears above the weapon UI, which tracks how many hits have been performed. Once a certain number of consecutive hits have been made, a Damage Multiplier will be given to the Melee weapon, increasing the weapon's overall damage including any additional elemental damage. The Damage Multiplier increases as larger consecutive hit counts are achieved, allowing for greater damage against larger numbers of tougher enemies. The Combo Counter resets if no enemies are hit after 3 seconds, which can be increased up to 31 seconds with the Mod TT 20pxBody Count, Mod TT 20pxDrifting Contact, and Mod TT 20pxGladiator Rush mods.

Combo MultiplierEdit

The Bonus Damage Multiplier starts at 1.5x the weapon's base damage after five consecutive hits. The multiplier is increased by +0.5x after achieving three times the number of hits of the previous multiplier, i.e. 15 consecutive hits yield a 2x Damage Multiplier, 45 consecutive hits yield 2.5x Damage, 135 hits yield 3x Damage, 405 hits yield 3.5x, etc. The exact formula used for this growth in terms of the combo multiplier is known to be H = 5 × 32M - 3, where H denotes the number of hits when M is the desired combo multiplier.

Currently, only VenkaPrime Venka Prime has a modified Bonus Damage Multiplier which starts at 1.75x of the weapon's base damage. As a result, each subsequent Combo Counter multiplies the damage by +.75x instead of the normal +.5x, thus gaining 1.75x combo multiplier at 5 hits, 2.5x after 15 hits, 3.25x after 45 hits, etc. The exact formula used for Venka Prime's growth in terms of the combo multiplier is known to be H = 5 × 3(4M - 7) / 3, where H denotes the number of hits when M is the desired combo multiplier.

The table below displays the values up to a damage multiplier of 8.0x.

Combo Counter Bonus Tier Total Base Damage Multiplier Total Base Damage Multiplier for
Venka Prime
Minimum Consecutive
Hits Required
0 1.0x 1.0x 0
1 1.5x 1.75x 5
2 2.0x 2.5x 15
3 2.5x 3.25x 45
4 3.0x 4.0x 135
5 3.5x 4.75x 405
6 4.0x 5.5x 1,215
7 4.5x 6.25x 3,645
8 5.0x 7.0x 10,935
9 5.5x 7.75x 32,805
10 6.0x 8.5x 98,415
11 6.5x 9.25x 295,245
12 7.0x 10.0x 885,735
13 7.5x 10.75x 2,657,205
14 8.0x 11.5x 7,971,615
  • Damage bonus from combo counter and channeling stack additively with each other, as per the formula:
    Effective Damage Multiplier = 1 + (Channeling Multiplier - 1) + (Combo Multiplier - 1)
    • As example while channeling without channeling damage mods and at a combo counter of 2.5x you gain a combined damage multiplier of 1 + (1.5 - 1) + (2.5 - 1) = 3x.
IMG 1444

8.0X Damage Multiplier Confirmed after 7,971,615 hits.

  • Currently the highest reachable Damage Multiplier is 8x with the combo counter unable to exceed 2^24 = 16,777,216 consecutive hits.
    • However, with the addition of VenkaPrime Venka Prime, the Damage Multiplier is increased to an 11.5x modifier with the same amount of consecutive hits.
  • In practice, the number of possible consecutive hits is limited by the number of enemies, their durability, and the player's skill at connecting combos to other enemies.
  • Certain Warframe abilities benefit from and contribute to the Melee Combo Counter, allowing them to further enhance their damage as the Combo Counter increases. The following are the list of abilities that use the Combo Counter:
  • Despite its name, the Combo Counter should not be confused with the Combos performed using Stance Mods. The Combo Counter will count all melee attacks performed while equipping Melee weapons, including stealth attacks.
  • Melee hits against objects, like Mining Equipment, do not count towards the Combo Counter.
  • The Combo Counter does not increase the damage of prompted stealth attacks or prompted finisher attacks.
  • The Combo Counter does not apply to thrown attacks from Glaives

Charge AttacksEdit

Chargeattack

An example of a charge attack.

Holding down the melee attack key while melee is equipped will perform a Charge Attack. After approximately 1 second of charging, the attack will release, dealing 3x damage (unconfirmed with non-sword weapons). It is still possible to sprint, slide, crouch, double jump, and bullet jump while charging, though double jumping and bullet jumping will have a lesser effect. Being knocked down will cancel the charge.

Some weapon types can have up to two different types of charge attacks, the type of attack performed being dependent on when during an attack chain the charge attack is begun, ex. the first type is performed if the charge is done after the first melee attack, while the second type is performed if the charge is done after the second melee attack in a chain, etc. Stances can further modify the attack timing necessary to perform the desired type of charge attack.

Charge attacks are generally precise melee attacks; melee weapons will be swung in the direction of the reticle and can more easily obtain headshots or more accurately hit targets.

FinishersEdit

Dual Swords Back Finisher

Excalibur executing a Stealth Attack with Dual Swords.

Main article: Finisher

Finisher attacks have custom animations, and deal a very high percentage of the equipped melee weapon's total damage. Players performing finishers are immune to any kind of damage for the duration of the animation.

The three types of finishers are:

  • Ground Finisher, on knockdowned targets
  • Stealth Attack, on unalerted enemies
  • Front- / Back-Finisher, under specific effects

TipsEdit

  • For players wanting to specialize in melee combat, remapping the equipped melee attack key to LMB  can make performing attacks and melee combos easier and more instinctive.
  • While doing charge attacks, the moment the swing does damage, immediately pressing the melee key will execute another charge attack, this can be repeated.

BugsEdit

  • Successfully blocking an attack while rolling can make a player unable to attack with their melee weapon. This is usually accompanied by a slight change in camera perspective where the camera is positioned slightly down while facing upwards. This bug can be resolved by performing a roll or dodge again.
  • Tapping the melee key slightly before landing causes the player to slide across the ground with minimal friction for a brief period.

Patch HistoryEdit

Update 25.5
  • Adjusted the holster position of Warfans, Polearms, Scythes and Staffs on Zephyr Prime.
  • Adjusted the Holster position of Sword and Shields on multiple Warframes so it is attached and rotated correctly.
  • Fixed Melee Channeling toggling off when swapping to a Primary / Secondary.

Update 25.2

  • Fixed the bright white FX projector on Electrical Melee FX.

Update 24.6

  • Whip and Sword slide attacks now do the same damage with a Stance equipped as without.

Hotfix 24.5.3

  • Changed the Glaive recall to be done with Melee instead of Melee Channel so its consistent again (Channel being a toggle-only messed up this function).
  • Fixed cases of performing a Melee ground slam at an extreme horizontal angle if you move your mouse downwards while pressing Melee.
  • Fixed an error where, after Dual-Wielding gun and Glaive, throwing the Glaive in the "normal" Melee only mode could result in a turbo throw that is only supposed to apply for Dual-Wield.
  • Fixed a movement hitch that happened if you tried to sprint right after a Melee ground slam.

Update 24.5

  • Upon picking up a Datamass, a Melee to gun swap will automatically equip your Secondary weapon instead of your Primary weapon, which would make you drop the Datamass.
  • Pressing F when in Melee mode now switches you back to your "other" weapon. For example, if your Primary weapon is equipped when you trigger a Melee attack, you will return to your Primary weapon when you aim or fire. If you instead press F while in Melee mode, you will now equip your Secondary weapon.
  • Fixed a case where you could be left in an UNARMED state after using a non-Melee Exalted weapon (like Hildryn's Balefire) and went back to Melee when you had no other weapons in your loadout, having gone Melee only to that mission.
  • Fixed the Operator's Vazarin Guardian Shell not manifesting the charged Void Blast shield.
  • Fixed an issue where auto-blocking could cancel the charged/heavy Melee attacks.
  • Implemented fixes toward briefly being unable to Melee after an Aerial Attack, which breaks the flow of battle.
  • Fixed being able to Quick Melee when you equip an Archgun with either a Primary or Secondary equipped before that.
  • Fixed the Melee-only Parry becoming a toggle that you can't release until you attack for Clients.
  • Fixes towards the Wise Razor Stance giving unintended extreme velocity. Comical yes, but clearly an oversight of gravity!
  • Fixed the Melee combo menu not updating with the proper button inputs to use Melee when using a controller.
  • Fixed missing Melee Channeling binding callout in the Advanced Melee screen of the Codex when using a controller.
  • Fixed a number of Melee attacks that could leave weapon trails active after the attack is finished.
  • Fixed losing your crouch position when initiating a Melee to gun swap while crouching.

Hotfix 24.4.2

Melee Phase 1 - 'Flow' Changes
  • Manual blocking/parry has been added when players wield only a Melee weapon in a mission (i.e NO Secondary or Primary equipped). This is possible because in this specific state, the keybindings are free to allow this manual blocking. We do not plan on adding it to any other state yet. The default keybind for this is RMB/Right Mouse Button, as it was in the past.
Controller Changes & Fixes
  • Melee Channeling can no longer be rebound on Controller due to it completely breaking Melee 2.99997 changes. We apologize for the discomfort this may cause for those who have built their controllers comfortably around a different binding. You can't make an omelette without cracking some eggs!
  • Fixed a widespread issue where players using Controllers could no longer Aim after the Melee 2.99997 changes. This affected numerous mechanics like Aim Gliding, Melee Channeling, etc.
  • We’ll be continuing to monitor controller issues as they arise! If you’re still having issues, restoring your Controller bindings to ‘Default’ will help in the meantime. Please let us know of further issues!
  • Fixed an issue where attempting to reload your Primary/Secondary while in Melee mode would not transition you back to your gun.

Update 24.4 https://gfycat.com/darkdesertedharlequinbug

MELEE REVISIT - PHASE 1 - "Flow"

Tenno - your favorite melee weapon probably feels a little different today. Today we bring you Phase 1 of 2019’s melee upgrade - we hope you love all the gorgeous new visual effects, streamlined combat, and high fidelity hit reactions! Here's what you can expect:

Let The Gun & Blade Flow

Swap between your gun and melee at the press of a button, no holstering required! Combos can be executed and resumed between movement and more. Blocking is now automatic in melee mode when aiming at an attacking enemy. Your stance combos may have changed, check out the Stance interface!

Death From Above

A Tenno is a master of aerial tactics - now you can better target enemies on the ground with deadly and responsive aimed ground slams.

Effects Upgrades

We've done a complete overall of all Melee Effects! Hit animations, elemental effects and slam attacks: making melee look as good as it feels!

More to Come

Fundamentally, we aim to upgrade Melee. This is Phase 1.

No one knows the power of their Arsenal better than the Tenno - your adaptability and skill with the blade will be tested, and as we continue these changes, we rely on your feedback!

If you missed the full workshop discussing Phase 1, you can catch it here: https://forums.warframe.com/topic/1063446-melee-changes-phase-1/

https://gfycat.com/scrawnyshinycrustacean

Our Mainline update notes will summarize the information from within the Workshop, plus denote additional information
1) Uninterrupted Combat - firearm to equipped melee (and vice versa) states are instant.
Bonus 1.a) Combo Resume.
2) Ground Slams are more controllable, cleaner, and simpler.

All melee weapons have had their ground-slam ranges increased and new FX added:

  • Glaive slam range increased to 5m
  • Warfan slam range increased to 5m
  • Dagger slam range increased to 5m
  • Dual dagger slam range increased to 6m
  • Claw weapon slam range increased to 6m
  • Gunblade slam range increased to 5m
  • Nunchaku slam range increased to 6m
  • Sword and Shield slam range increased to 7m
  • Single Sword slam range increased to 7m
  • Blade Whip slam range increased to 7m
  • Rapier slams increased to 6m
  • Dual Sword slam range increased to 8m
  • Tonfa slam range increased to 8m
  • Machete slam range increased to 7m
  • Nikana slam range increased to 6m
  • Hammer slam range increased to 9m
  • Staff slam range increased to 6m
  • Polearm slam range adjusted to 7m
  • Scythe slam range increased to 8m
  • Heavy Blade slam range increased to 8m
  • Fists weapon slam range increased to 8m
  • Sparring weapon slam range increased to 7m
3) Visual FX
2019 style!

A full Visual FX pass has been done for Phase 1! Because this is Phase 1, it 'means all the unique weapons will have new generic FX for a little while (Jat Kittag etc.) until we can get through them all and make new clean variants'.

New and cleaner FX have been created with the idea of beautifully short, highly detailed lifespans. Not infinite - meaning the 'Constant Weapon Trail' option will be removed as a result of this change (at least for Phase 1, we really do think it looks better removed).

4) Keybinds!

Notable Keybind changes:

BLOCKING

  • Blocking with a melee weapon is no longer keybound, it is automatic when facing enemies who are dealing damage to you in melee mode. Your Reticle determines all!

CHANNELING

  • Channeling is now a toggle set to your alt-fire button when in melee mode.
  • Your 'F' button (if using default key bindings) now exclusively swaps between Primary and Secondary weapons with a tap.
  • Your left mouse button is gun fire, always, instantly.
  • Your right mouse button is now aim, always, instantly.

OPTIONS:

  • We are adding a toggle to preserve one aspect of the older melee system. You will be able to toggle an option, allowing you to continue melee attacks with the left mouse button once in melee mode.
Additional Information and Changes
  • Updated Reticles: Melee mode has received its own reticle!
  • Archwing: Arch-Melee & Archgun now also use the 'instant swap' behaviour.
  • Dual Wield (i.e Glaive & Single Secondary) is still supported!
  • Exalted weapons will also benefit from the uninterrupted swaps! Be aware that Energy will still drain, even when swapping between weapons!
  • AI hit reacts are getting updated! Enemies will have a more visceral/realistic response to the various hits you dish out.
  • With Melee Blocking now automatic, the Blocking angle has been reduced to 45 degrees.
  • If using no custom Energy color, the weapon will inherit the colors of the Elemental FX (or base trails if no elements are present). This unifies all colors (swing FX, trails, hit FX, etc).

Hotfix 23.10.2

  • Minor sounds mix adjustments to Melee slide attack / heavy attack / slam attack.

Update 23.10

  • Updated Melee slam and elemental FX!
  • Cleaned up Melee FX when hitting an enemy.

Update 22.20

  • Melee attacks (including spin attacks) will no longer sweep through walls or objects. Please read our Dev Workshop for Melee insight!

Update 15.0

Directional Air Melee!
  • Allows you to jump, pick an angle and then hit the melee, which will then send you with momentum in the given direction
  • This will enable you to hit enemies in the air
    • Note: this feature is planned on being revised depending on feedback

Update 11.1

  • Melee Auto-Targeting System:
    • Allow more customization based on player preference.
    • Add Settings for Auto-lock (Melee Assist), attack toward character facing or camera (Align Attacks To Camera)
    • Auto-turning the camera to face the target (Camera Tracks Melee Target)
    • Do smooth turns when attacking away from a melee target.

Update 7

  • New moves - Ground Attacks, smart-actions for finishing off downed enemies (no more jumping)!

Start a Discussion Discussions about Melee

  • Melee revision/changes

    • This information isn't accurate anymore as of the recent changes to the Melee system (that have now reached console). Mentioning holding ...
  • Melee Combos with RMB

    • I find it more comfortable to bind my three main mouse buttons as follows: Left click to shoot, middle to aim and right to melee. With the ...
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