The Stalker is an ominous, vengeful figure that infrequently appears during missions, armed with powerful weapons and abilities to hunt down the Tenno.
The Stalker wears Warframe armor and is able to use ability powers belonging to various other Warframes. His arsenal is similar to that of the Tenno, utilizing a primary, secondary, and melee weapon. The Stalker's signature weapons are the bow Dread, the scythe Hate, and the throwing knives Despair.
Spawn Possibilities and Combat
The Stalker can spawn in almost any player-accessible mission. The exceptions which prohibit his appearance are:
- Syndicate and Assassination standard missions
- Archwing, Free Roam and Arena special game mode missions
- Also includes Quest and Mastery Test solo-exclusive missions
- Non-combat hub "missions" (Relays, Dojos)
- Any mission that has already been determined as "chosen" for the spawn of another Assassin (Grustrag Three or Zanuka Hunter) or is forced to, due to use of their respective beacons
- Sortie missions.
- Any mission that has already elapsed his spawn time window of around 5 minutes
At least one squad member must be marked for death by the Stalker before he will have a chance of spawning.
Upon being marked for death, the target Tenno will receive an inbox message from the Stalker (marked as ???). After this message is received, the game will calculate the Stalker's chance to spawn in a valid mission according to the following formula:
Spawn Chance = 1.5% + (0.5% × P); P = Players in Squad marked for death.
Thus with squad line-ups of 1 to 4 marked players the chances of spawn are 2%, 2.5%, 3% and 3.5% respectively for each possible combination.
When the game initiates a Stalker spawn, the targeted Tenno and other squad mates will experience the screen briefly flickering in a dark red hue (squad mates not being attacked will instead see the screen darken), accompanied with a hushing sound effect and with a faint shadow of the Stalker flickering behind the target. A transmission will open (visible only to the target), taunting the Tenno in question with threatening messages. After three taunts, the tileset will enter lockdown, and the Stalker will appear briefly invincible kneeling in a puff of black smoke before proceeding to attack the targeted player.
If the targeted Tenno is killed, the Stalker will again kneel and vanish into another cloud of smoke, proclaiming his victory and that justice was served. If his health drops below 10% before he manages to kill his target, he will attempt to flee, announcing his shock at his failure, though he can still take damage and occasionally be killed up until he despawns.
If he is defeated (regardless of whether he successfully fled or was accidentally killed), there is a chance for him to drop various loot items, such as a mod or a resource, or even blueprints for one of his weapons. As a boss, he always drops one Mod from his mod drop table.
The Stalker appears to don a unique, one-of-a-kind Warframe; completely immune to all Warframe abilities, regardless of whether they affect him directly or indirectly. He is furthermore capable of casting a wide variety of abilities from multiple Warframes, some of them with a unique variant exclusive to him.
His known used abilities are:
- Slash Dash (variant) – The Stalker will usually start the fight by charging at his target with Hate, heavily damaging any targets in the way (akin to the version of this ability in previous updates). After this, he will usually switch to Dread or Despair. This is an ability belonging to Excalibur. –
- Smoke Screen (variant) – The Stalker may occasionally disappear from sight during the battle, during which he will use Teleport in tandem to his invisibility to move erratically across the battlefield. This is another ability belonging to Ash but with a significantly longer duration.
- Teleport – If the Stalker is currently using Hate, he will often teleport behind players and use Hate to strike the unsuspecting Tenno. He usually uses this ability in tandem with his Smoke Screen to unpredictably move across the battlefield. This too is another ability belonging to Ash.
- Reckoning (variant) – Activated roughly 10 meters towards allies who are supporting the victim player. All those who are caught by the ability are held in the initial Reckoning trance for a short duration, allowing the Stalker to resume attacking his target unimpeded. This is an ability belonging to Oberon but without the slamming.
- Pull – Rarely used, if the players are out of his aiming range, he may use this ability to pull a faraway target towards him—which in turn stuns the players. This an ability belonging to Mag.
- Absorb – This is the Stalker's desperate and possibly most deadly ability. If he is low on health, he will use this ability to absorb all damage and repels it back towards nearby players, which may prove to be fatal for high-damaging players. This is an ability belonging to Nyx.
The Stalker is capable of dealing significant damage, comparable to a well-equipped Tenno, and can easily destroy an entire squad if they are caught unprepared. It is important to warn squad-mates when the Stalker begins his taunts so that they can prepare for the upcoming fight. It is also important to stay close to other squad members so that if he does manage to take his target down, the squad can revive them before they bleed out. Note that the Stalker will despawn once the targeted player goes down, even if they are revived before completely bleeding out.
There are several ways to deal with the Stalker once he spawns, such as constant movement, tanking, and / or fighting with melee weapons. The Stalker will often use abilities from other Warframes, which should be avoided if it at all possible.
If the targeted player attempts to run from the Stalker, he will occasionally teleport behind them and engage in melee attacks, similar to the Grineer Flameblade. The Stalker has also been known to Slash Dash towards a ranged target, dealing potentially lethal damage upon impact. He may also use Pull to drag his victim back towards him. When in melee combat, Stalker can stagger his target by striking with Hate at just the right moment. He may also attempt to evade melee combat by back-flipping away from the engaging player. If the Stalker's health gets too low, he can cast Absorb, forming a shield bubble around him which absorbs all incoming damage and explodes outward, dealing 100% of absorbed damage as Magnetic damage to players within range, draining their Energy, and inflicting a Knockdown.
When actually fighting the Stalker, it has been found that fighting with melee weapons are particularly useful, as Hate is less powerful than Dread and Despair, and both Dread and Despair can be blocked by parrying. In addition, having Reflection can reflect some of the Stalker's damage back to him, largely eliminating the necessity of risking death in counterattacks with a player's own weapons. Do note, however, that the Hate staggers players who parry its blows, leaving you open to attack.
High burst-DPS weapons such as beam weapons and shotguns are also highly effective; with the right weapons and mod configurations, many players can kill the Stalker before he has a chance to attack. It should be noted that he may use Reckoning to negate taking large amounts of damage.
It is critical to avoid firing on him when he casts Absorb, as the resulting explosion deals not only the ability's base damage, but also any damage the sphere takes before the explosion and can be very damaging and even fatal.
- The Stalker typically only attacks his marked target, but he has been known to engage other party members and even enemies if the target is out of range or out of his line of sight. This can be used in large rooms or invasions to make the fight easier. All allies in Invasions will prioritize the Stalker (or any other assassin) over regular enemies.
- Though extra buffs are purged, actions which modify existing stats (such as player shields and health) are still effective, such as the shield and / or health effects of Blessing and Shield Polarize.
- Stalkers Dispel will also not affect any charged Scarab Armor of Inaros.
- Stalker will Dispel Cat's Eyefrom a Kavat however.
- Players may be able to avoid the Stalker's attacks by keeping 50 meters of distance between the target and Stalker, but due to the frequency of his Teleport, this may be impossible to achieve.
- It may be significantly harder for the targeted player to avoid or maintain distance from the Stalker when they are the host of a multi-player session, as there is no latency while he targets the player and tracks their movements.
- When Stalker spawns, the current section of the tileset goes into lockdown. Depending on which tileset players are on, there is a possibility that it can be released by Hacking, either manually or with a Cipher.
- If mission objectives are already complete, players can rush to extraction to complete the mission, avoiding having to fight Stalker entirely.
- If a player is "taxied" (invited to a node/planet they have not unlocked) to a boss fight, they will not receive Stalker's mark for any boss fight they are taxied to as long as they have not unlocked the planet. If the planet is unlocked already but the node is not when the player is taxied, the boss node and those around it will be unlocked and all subsequent runs of the battle will not earn the player Stalker's mark so long as they are not hosting/playing the mission solo.
- The Stalker can drop the rare resource (save for Orokin Cells which have their own entry on his drop table) of the current planet when defeated.
- There is a delay of 30 to 280 seconds (~4 minutes) before the Stalker will spawn in a given mission.
- The Stalker has a base spawn level of 30, While partially influenced by the level of enemies in the mission his level.
- Normally, upon reaching 10% health, the Stalker will announce his failure to defeat the targeted player, kneel, and disappear in a puff of smoke. An excessive amount of damage that fully depletes his health before he can do this will cause him to fall over similar to a downed player, but he will disappear in smoke either way. He may sometimes glitch in this case; not disappearing, becoming invulnerable and frozen.
- If kept about 10 meters away while in smoke form and constantly taking fire from the player, the Stalker may stop teleporting and simply drift slightly on the spot until he is defeated, making the fight trivial.
- Prior to Hotfix 11.0.5, the Stalker had a 5% spawn chance. It has since been reduced.
- As of Update 11.6, the Stalker's (and incidentally Zanuka Hunter's) spawn chance was modified from 2.5% flat spawn chance to 1.5% + 0.5% per player. This update also introduced death marks for all existing Assassins.
- If more than one player has a death mark from the Stalker, he might target other marked players and kill them if they engage him; however, upon downing his newly selected target, he will immediately leave and his attention will revert to his original target if it is within line of sight.
- As of Update 18.5, the Stalker will not appear to attack players using a Warframe under Rank 10.
- A Stalker mark can be gained quickly by repeatedly running the assassination for the Hyena Pack on Psamathe, Neptune, as both Hyenas have a chance to give a mark.
- If more than one Stalker Beacon is used in a mission, the user will be prompted with an error sound and no beacons will be consumed.
- Digital Extremes staff has been known to occasionally "hijack" the AI Stalker as a player character under their control. A more refined version of this "Stalker Mode" was presented during TennoCon, where selected players were allowed to hunt down others and has since returned from time to time during Prime Time streams.
- His internal name (in the game files) is simply "Assassin".
- Apart from his unique helmet, his Excalibur body is also (now) somewhat unique, as he still uses an older version of Excalibur (which is also still used by Nyx) before he received a slight overhaul to his textures and color channels, most noticeably at the outer arm pieces and the cables on his neck sides which are more of a shiny grey whereas the updated Excalibur textures have them of a darker, matted color.
- The Stalker's favorite breakfast food is "sugar crisps" according to the lead developer, Steve Sinclair as jokingly stated on Prime Time #190.
- Before Update 18.0, the Stalker communicated with the Tenno with indecipherable whispers.
- This taunt is actually played in reverse. The actual message heard is a long, drawn out message that simply and repeatedly says "Death" at varying speeds.
- The voice lines are still used for the Acolytes.
- The Stalker has his own theme when encountered:
- As of Update 7.11, the Stalker's loadout was altered to his signature load-out. Before this update, his arsenal was comprised of a Cronus and a Braton Vandal.
- It has been noted that the Stalker does, though rarely, exhibit much higher intelligence, performing wall runs, dive rolls, tracking cloaked players, and even actively avoiding enemies and other Tenno. It is unknown if this is due to certain rooms being designed for his AI, or reasons unknown.
- As with all assassins, prior to Update 16.2, the Stalker used to drop his sigil as a rare drop upon death. This was changed to allow a player to get his sigil as a drop the first time he was killed.
- You will not gain a death mark for assassinating Corrupted Vor, who is found in T4 missions.
- A Death Mark is acquired from the Stalker upon killing a valid boss, not upon completing a mission (i.e. a boss can be killed and the mission aborted or failed and the player will still receive a warning from the Stalker).
- Due to the Stalker's rather lenient spawn options, he had some more unusual appearances in the past before a stricter ruleset was applied to him:
- In the now replaced old Tutorial (if replayed by veteran players with a death mark).
- During the Mastery Rank tests.
- Weirdly, despite consistently appearing in promotional materials or ingame dioramas, the Stalker helmet does not have any glowing "eye" part on the front.
“You're not supposed to be in here! You're going to ruin the surprise!”The following section contains spoilers.
- During The Second Dream Quest, the Lotus says that the "truth" of the Tenno Reservoir "drove the Stalker to madness".
- During The Second Dream, Hunhow rhetorically asks the Stalker "Who destroyed the Orokin, your way of life?" further suggesting that he might have been aligned with the Orokin or perhaps one of the Orokin himself.
- It is possible that the Stalker himself is confused about or does not remember his true nature and origins. This is hinted at by this line spoken by Hunhow during The Second Dream Quest: "You're asking yourself... Was I one of these wretched things? You know the answer. You still hate them... you still hate... yourself."
- If the Stalker spawns in the Orokin Derelict and there happens to be a lot of infested in the room and the room happens to be really big, when the target player moves far enough away from the Stalker he will forget about the player and start targeting infested instead. He will attack his target if it comes back into range or most infested have been killed.
- Having Guardian equipped on your sentinel will allow his Dread to deal no health damage if the damage were to surpass your shield limit. This only happens when the Guardian is not on cooldown.
- When the Stalker is killed during a mission, the mission complete music is replaced with the Stalker theme. The same thing happens to the defense music, you will continually hear the Stalker music during the wave. After finishing the mission, it will return to normal music.
- The Stalker may sometimes cast Absorb as soon as he is defeated. This will cause him to immediately disappear right as he finishes his ability. (The damage from Absorb will still trigger).
- Sometimes, the Stalker may say that the player has killed a boss other than the most recent one killed (ex.The Stalker may state that the player has killed Lech Kril, despite the player not even having Kril's system unlocked).
- The Stalker will sometimes taunt and attack players below Warframe rank 5 though this occurrence is extremely rare unless the player is in a lobby with another player who has the deathmark.
Last updated: Hotfix 24.1.2
|Acolytes||Angst • Malice • Mania • Misery • Torment • Violence|