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A replicant cloned from a Warframe that can be deployed to assist Tenno on missions.
Warframe Specters are AI-controlled replicants of Warframes. These Specters act autonomously from the player, and can provide support by engaging enemies with their weapons and Warframe powers. There are four ranks of Specter based on their acquisition difficulty, namely Vapor, Phase, Force, and Cosmic. Specters can be customized with any Warframes and weapons that the player owns, allowing for a wide range of versatility in Specter loadouts.
A Specter is crafted from the Foundry by copying the player's current loadout. However, this does not copy any installed mods or appearance. Instead, Specters utilize the Warframe and weapon's base unranked statistics then scale them according to the Specter's level. Additionally, the more rare the Specters the higher the damage dealt. All weapons and frames will have their default appearance.
Like the SyndicateOperatives, Specters can be commanded to Hold Position or Follow by interacting with them (X ). By default, Specters are set to Follow.
Specters can be crafted in the Foundry (under Gear section) and once crafting is finished they must be equipped from Gear in Arsenal.
Before a Specter building begins, a Specter loadout screen appears where a player must first set the Warframe and loadout that the Specter will use. Specters of a particular Blueprint grade use a template loadout that is derived from a player's current Warframe and weapon loadout in their Arsenal. Players can choose to change a Specter's loadout by changing their own loadout, which the Specter will replicate upon creation.
Once a Specter has begun construction, the template loadout used is saved, and can be used for future Specters to be built, allowing Specters of a certain loadout to be built even if the player changes their own loadout. The template loadout can be changed upon creating another Specter of the same grade, or the player can choose to use their previously saved loadout. Note that the loadout it copies only reflects the base statistics (scaled by level) and not the mods, and the only way to change their loadout is to finish crafting and claiming a new set of specters from the foundry.
Up to four different loadouts can be saved, one for each Blueprint grade; Vapor, Phase, Force, and Cosmic, from lowest to highest grade.
The blueprints necessary to build Specters are automatically rewarded by Rescue missions upon completion, with the type of Blueprint dropped depending on the node that was played, and how many points were acquired. In total, three points can be attained in a mission: one point for rescuing the target, another point for not triggering the execution sequence in the process, and one more point for killing all the Wardens.
The Vapor Specter (or Bronze Specter) blueprint is rewarded from Easy and Medium difficulty Rescue missions, and yields 10 Specter uses per build. Spawns at the current level of the enemies in the mission.
The Phase Specter (or Silver Specter) blueprint is rewarded from Easy, Medium and Hard difficulty Rescue missions, and yields 5 Specter uses per build. Spawns at the current level of the enemies in the mission, plus three levels.
The Force Specter (or Gold Specter) blueprint is rewarded from Medium, Hard, and Nightmare difficulty Rescue missions, and yields 3 Specter uses per build. Spawns at the current level of the enemies in the mission, plus five levels.
The Cosmic Specter (or Platinum Specter) blueprint is rewarded from Hard and Nightmare difficulty Rescue missions, and yields a single Specter usage per build. Spawns at the current level of the enemies in the mission, plus ten levels.
Tenno Specters don't rely on Energy, instead of utilizing a short cooldown system for their abilities. As their health, armor, and shield scales with the mission level, their Effective Health will generally scale far past the player's Warframe. When spawned during a Nightmare Mode mission, specters will attack the player instead of enemies, forcing players to play without an AI partner.
Depending on the Warframe being used, each of these specters has its own specific AIs tailored to assist the player Tenno in their endeavor. Abilities used by Specters have different values from their regular versions.
Casts Shuriken when enemy is in line of sight. Cooldown of 15 seconds.
Casts Smoke Screen very sporadically, regardless of enemy presence. Attacking with Warframe weapons will end Specter's invisibility. Operator attacks will not end invisibility. Will cast every 8-12 seconds.
Casts Teleport when enemy is more than 10m away. Cooldown of 10 seconds.
Casts Blade Storm when 5+ enemies are within 50m with at least one within line of sight. Does not necessarily tag all 5+ enemies with the power. Cooldown of 55 seconds.
Casts Mach Rush when enemy is in line of sight. Does not cast if set to Hold Position. Maintains until targeted enemy is knocked down. Can cast other abilities while active, but cannot use weapons. Cooldown of 5 seconds, starting when Mach Rush's effect ends.
Casts Feast when enemy is within 10m. Cooldown of 40 seconds.
Casts Nourish when holding an enemy with Feast. Cooldown of 30 seconds.
Casts Regurgitate when holding an enemy with Feast, and another enemy is in line of sight within 10m. Cooldown of 5 seconds.
Casts Pulverize when holding an enemy with Feast, and another enemy is in line of sight within 45m. Maintains for up to 1 minute. Cooldown of 1 minute, starting when Pulverize's effect ends. Uses Roller AI when in this form.
Ignores Hold Position command while rolling, but will return to position after ending the ability.
Specter corpses do not despawn. Likely tied to Inaros' passive ability.
Casts Desiccation when enemy is in line of sight within 5m. Cooldown of 20 seconds.
Casts Devour when enemy is in line of sight within 20m. Cooldown of 45 seconds.
Specter will not shoot at enemies affected by Devour.
Casts Sandstorm when 5+ enemies are within 25m with at least one in line of sight. Maintains for up to 10 seconds. Cooldown of 1 minute, starting when Sandstorm's effect ends. Casting Sandstorm will disable the Hold Position command.
Casts Prowl off cooldown. Lasts indefinitely, until Specter fires an Alarming weapon or until player attacks with any Warframe weapon, even if silenced. Abilities and Operator attacks do not cancel Specter's Prowl. Does not steal from enemies. Cooldown of 13 seconds, starting when Prowl's effect ends.
Casts Artemis Bow when 4+ enemies are within line of sight. Maintains for up to 20 seconds. Cooldown of 50 seconds, starting when Artemis Bow's effect ends.
Casts Decoy when enemy is in line of sight, placing Decoy on top of targeted enemy. Lasts 25 seconds, or until death. Cooldown of 10 seconds, starting when Decoy is cast.
Casts Invisibility off cooldown. Lasts for 11 seconds, or until player attacks with any weapon Cooldown of 3 seconds if Invisibility ends via reaching its maximum duration, or cooldown of 7 seconds if Invisibility ends due to player using a weapon.
Casts Parasitic Link when any ally is within 30m, though the max range is 40m. Provides 10-28% Ability Strength boost depending on player's Warframe rank. Cooldown of 20 seconds, starting when Parasitic Link's effect ends.
Does not use Parasitic Link on enemies.
Casts Ravenous when enemy is within 15m. Seems to heal for 23 when casted without link, and 30 with. Cooldown of 50 seconds.
The Specter possesses a passive but does not use it intelligently.
Casts Grenade Fan with Shrapnel Vortex only when any enemy is in line of sight within 30m. Cooldown of 30 seconds.
Casts Blaze Artillery when any enemy is in line of sight within 60m. Cooldown of 12 seconds.
Casts Dispensary when player is below 70% energy/health or 70% ammo on primary or secondary (reserves). Lasts 25 seconds with a cooldown of 40 seconds after casting.
Casts Temporal Anchor when Specter's health is brought below 75% and 2+ enemies are within line of sight. Duration up to 10 seconds depending on whether enemies are in close proximity.
The implosion on ability expiration does occur but it is not currently known if the Specter's stockpiled damage has an effect on the implosion's damage. It is also not known if the ability can save the Specter from lethal damage similarly to a player-controlled Protea Warframe.
Casts Rhino Charge when enemy is 5-20m away. Cooldown of 15 seconds.
Casts Iron Skin when enemy is in line of sight. Cooldown of 20 seconds, starting when Iron Skin's effect ends.
Casts Roar when any enemy is in line of sight and 2 or more other Specters are in the mission. Cooldown of 75 seconds.
Companions and other players do not count towards the trigger conditions. These Specters can belong to other players, they do not have to come from you. Note that you can only have one Tenno Specter out at a time, so you will need Syndicate Specters to trigger Roar when solo.
Casts Rhino Stomp when enemy is within 15m. Cooldown of 70 seconds.
Casts Tail Wind when enemy is within 5m. Cooldown of 20 seconds.
Casts Airburst when enemy is within 10m. Cooldown of 20 seconds.
Casts Turbulence when Specter takes damage. Cooldown of 50 seconds.
Casts Tornado when enemy is within 10m. Cooldown of 70 seconds.
The most important part about Tenno Specters' weapons is that they are not bound by normal ammo limitations. This allows them to use otherwise extremely ammo inefficient weapons and reduces the importance of melee. Reloading time shouldn't be taken into account as they have infinite magazine size.
Tenno Specters prefer to closely guard you or their assigned position, and rarely move out of close range to take on enemies itself, a specter never chooses to melee the enemies out of range of their melee weapon, even despite having better damage than its rifles, and capability of performing finishers (if they attempt to melee an eligible enemy). Thus you might prefer to give them long-range heavy hitters such as whips, polearms, and heavy blades. Or you can equip them with something with high block rate, since Specters love to channel-block with melee.
Specters will rarely ever use secondaries unless when they go into bleed-out. The Kulstar can be good as a "flare" gun of sorts that can let you know if they are down, otherwise, it does not matter what secondary is equipped. Also note, Specters will only use the primary firing mode of an equipped weapon and not any alternate fire modes, such as that on a Stahlta. If that weapon is highly dependent on its alternate fire mode to be most effective, it may be better to choose something else.
Since Specters will mostly use unmodded primaries, cannot compensate for lengthy travel time, and their DPS will be the weapon you equip, the most useful would be hit-scan, non-crit weapons with decent base damage output. You should avoid most projectile weapons and special weapons such as Synoid Simulor (Specter AI does not understand them). Syndicate weapons will not proc their effects while used by Specters.
Range-limited weapons might be less effective since Specters do not account for that behavior and do not move around much by themselves. But Glaxion, Amprex, Phage, and shotguns seem to be exceptions and will produce a good "bodyguard" Specter for the cost of efficiency at long distances.
Weapons with innate elemental damage, high base status chance, or CC potential will make Specters useful past being just another source of damage. For example, a Specter equipped with an Amprex will quite often trigger Electricity procs, which helps with crowd control in close quarters. (Proboscis Cernos is an useful option because of its crowd control abilities and high base damage.
Tenno Specters have some specific behavior towards some specific kinds of weapons:
Bow weapons are an exception for the non-projectile weapon rule, as specters will always charge a full shot before firing and have almost pinpoint precision, meaning they will never miss unless the enemy is behind cover, and will usually land headshots, which does not happen with other weapon types.
Supra is also an exception since travel time is fast enough.
Tenno Specters using throwing explosives will only detonate the grenade when the substance limit has been reached. They will, however, detonate the Penta's grenades when it is in the proximity of an enemy. They aim the weapon so as to try to hit the enemy with the projectile. It does not seem that Specters are affected by self-inflicted damage due to close proximity detonation. Generally, specters seem to be better with the Penta than with the Tonkor due to better aiming and sustainability.
Dera does not have pinpoint accuracy with Specters, instead, it has some deviation per shot, much like a Crewman, although the fire rate and overall damage output is still that of a player's Dera.
Stationed Tenno Specters are quite vulnerable to ground slamming enemies, Arson Eximus and such, since they tend to quickly displace them into bad positions.
Affinity earned by the specter goes to the player's frame.
Specters deployed in Nightmare Mode missions will be hostile to the player and defense objectives as well as enemies.
Killing them gives affinity.
Tenno Specters are spawned from golden balls. This allows Specters to be spawned at a desired spot by throwing the ball to that location.
Tenno Specters cannot spawn if the Specter Ball is thrown to an out-of-bounds place, e.g. behind a container or at the corner of the hallway.
Only a single Tenno Specter per player can be active at any time during a mission. Attempting to summon a second Specter will result in the previously active Specter being killed when the second one spawns. This does not apply to their Syndicate counterparts though, it is possible to use them together.
Following Tenno Specters will always teleport to a player if left behind far enough.
Pre-built Specter Gear acquired as special mission rewards will use the previous loadout saved under the player's Specter tab in the Arsenal. If no previous loadout was saved, the Specter will not be able to be summoned.
Once Crafted, you can view your saved Specter loadouts under Specters in the Equipment menu.
Vapor specters are logically more efficient, despite the 'default' survivability, due to being able to craft 10 each time instead of waiting the 8-hour crafting timer for a single Cosmic with only marginally higher stats.
Specters have 100% power strength (with the exception of Nidus having 115 power strength due to his passive - hence the Parasitic Link giving +28% instead of +25%.
Power Donation is the only aura that can give the specters power strength, up to 120%.
To change the loadout of a specter, the player must build and claim an entirely new set of that specter type. Until claimed, the specters of that type will remain the original loadout.
Each Specter type can be visually distinguished from each other via their color (Which is applied on their Accents):
Vapor Specters have a bronze energy glow.
Phase Specters have a silver energy glow.
Force Specters have a golden energy glow.
Cosmic Specters have a white energy glow, with thin rings emanating out of them.
Before their release, specters were referred to as Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum specters, matching their current color distinctions.
If a player has a fishing spear or mining drill equipped while on an open world landscape, specters will kneel or duck when a player is aiming towards them.
Throwing the ball on shallow water will make it disappear.
Specters can be built using Zaws, however they do not seem to use them (or if they can, some don't at all) causing the specter to stop attacking when enemies get close.
When holding position, melee combat may cause the specter to become unresponsive. This can be fixed by ordering them to follow and hold their position again.
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Increased proficiency with Weapons, and power-casting logic. Virtually every power is now castable with only a few exceptions! Specters CANNOT cast the following Abilities: Vauban's Minelayer, Ivara's Zipline, Titania's Razorwing, Nekros’ Desecrate and Shadows of the Dead, Excalibur’s Exalted Blade, Valkyr’s Hysteria, Wukong’s Primal Fury, Cloud Walker, and Defy, Atlas’ Petrify and Tectonics, Limbo's entire kit (save for the damage aspect of Banish), and finally Zephyr’s Dive Bomb.