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Guide To Everything Nova – Warframe

Warframe Nova

Hey there! My name is Melan and I somehow feel obligated to teach you the ways to play Nova!

Introduction and why you should try Nova!

Hey there! My name is Melan. I’ve been playing warframe for quite a bit now. I want to help out players who want to play Nova and explain some differences behind her builds as well as the usage of her abilities.

Nova (in my opinion at least) is an incredibly useful warframe that has a great variety of abilities. She shines with overall versatility. Her strong sides include enormous ENORMOUS energy pool, fast sprint speed (second to Loki), damage reduction to her health, barrage of AOE nukes, instantaneous teleports, map-wide enemy slow speed buff with a right build that multiplies their damage intake by 200%.

Acquiring Nova

You can get regular Nova by farming Raptors on Naamah, Europa.

Drop chances:

Chassis Blueprint 38.72%
Neurooptics Blueprint 38.72%
Systems Blueprint 22.56%
Nova Blueprint can be acquired from the shop for 35000 credits.

Ability overview

Let me explain her abilities one by one:

Null Star

Nova creates antimatter particles that orbit her dealing a little bit of Slash damage to enemies around her. The amount of particles scales with Duration up to 18 particles. Best thing about this ability is that each particle reduces Nova’s damage intake by 5%. With the maximum of 18 this reduction can reach 90% wich makes Nova surprisingly tanky. Even if you are not maxing Duration I suggest using it from time to time to provide yourself with a little bit of that reduction. You may never know when it can save you!

Antimatter Drop

Nova creates a shiny bubble that is steered by your crosshair. Upon contact with a solid object (an enemy or a surface) it explodes dealing Radiation damage. Bubble is also capable of accumulating(absorbing) damage from you and your allies (simply shoot the bubble and it will do more damage). Base damage of this ability is affected by Ability Strenght. Most important thing is that the absorb damage only increases by the damage done to the bubble! This means that however you build your Nova, you will always be able to drop huge nukes on your foes!

Worm Hole

Nova creates a one-way portal in front of her. Pretty simple ability really. It teleports you, your allies, your enemies, even defection targets. Amount of simultaneously opened portals is not affected by stats, however duration of a portal is affected by Ability Duration and range is affected by Ability Range accordingly. You can also troll your allies with this by spawing a portal on top of them.

Molecular Prime

Ability that is both loved and hated among the players. In the wrong hands can be pretty annoying like Limbo and even has some mission-failing qualities.

Nova unleashes a wave of particles that starts at 5 meters from Nova and then spreads more. All enemies affected by this are slowed and take 2x more damage. Upon killing an enemy affected by this debuff, enemy explodes dealing Blast damage to the surrounding enemies.

Few important points here:

  • Enemies that are closer than 5 meter from Nova will be instantly affected by the debuff.
  • Wave’s initial range is not affected by stats.
  • The value of the speed debuff is affected by Ability Strenght. Values above 100% Ability Strenght will slow enemies even more, but lowering your Ability Strenght below 100% will increase their movement and attack speed. This is heavily used for farming, fast clearing of defence missions and for running survival missions a lil bit more efficiently.
  • Debuffed enemies always take 200% damage. This is not affected by stats.
  • Blast damage that is caused by enemy detonation does up to 800 damage within up to 10 meters. Blast damage scales with Ability Strenght and explotion radius with Ability Range.

Slowa, Slowy Nova

General purpose slow build. All around useful build.

However I don’t use this build too often. Sacrifice of range limits Nova’s mobility.

Aura slot can be changed from a basic Corrosive Projection to anything you like. In case you don’t use Zenurik’s Energizing dash, I suggest something like Energy Siphon (it does stack with Zenurik giving you even more energy to waste! yay!)

Spowa, Speedy Nova

Really fun and useful build. I run it all the time since Nova’s portals reach absurd range and +60% faster enemies are both hillarious to look at and useful for farming.

Instead of Power Donation you can use both Corrosive Projection or Energy Siphon to not give your already terrified allies a heart attack. Enemies will be only +30% faster which is usually enough, but I like to push my builds to the limit. Also, Power Donation requires some Arbitration griding wich I would not recommend doing unprepared and in a squishy warframe.

In the bottom left slot (with a D polarity) you can use Redirection, Vigor, Quick Thinking or pretty much anything for survivability.

This one in particular has synergy with both Flow(or its primed variant) and Nova’s huge energy pool.

I also suggest using Antimatter Absorb Augment. It allows your antimatter bubble to absorb enemy bullets within a pretty big radius. It gives you a lil bit of protection while charging up your bubble and under the heavy enemy gunfire it charges even faster! Antimatter Absorb Augment can be bought for 25000 reputation from Cephalon Suda and Steel Meridian Syndicates.

Tough Nova, Nova for Sorties

Build designed for high-level content (including sorties), where with a regular build Nova can be taken down with almost a singular shot.

This build utilizes Nova’s huge energy pool, Primed FlowQuick Thinking and Neutron Star Augment.

Neutron Star Augment is mostly used for refreshing Null Star to always be capped at that juicy 90% damage reduction. It even works with Quick Thinking, making Nova even more tanky.

You can get Neutron Star for 25000 reputation in Cephalon Suda and Steel Meridian syndicates. If you are familiar with Rhino’s Iron Skin Augment – they are used pretty much the same way.

Other Nova Aguments

Escape Velocity

A pretty interesting yet not really useful agument. Like most other arguments for different warframes, this one offers a decent sidegrade.

If you do want to run this mod, I suggest this build focused on mobility. Since Escape Velosity can be fit in the Exilus mod slot, you can squeeze this mod in there!

Molecular Fission

Most recently introduced Nova agument. In certain circumstances can be more efficent to refresh Null Star. Both Null Star and Molecular Fission actually dont have to be maxed. They function decently enough on rank 0 , that way you can save up some mod capacity.

My suggested build:

Weapon recommendations

Primary Weapons

Tigris Prime

Classical two barreled weapon of devastation. Shreds everything you will face on the starchart and even more.For Nova in particular, capable of completely charging her bubble with one shot(that means two bubbles per one reload).

This is a standard “100% status before multishot” build.


Big ol’ lazor annihilation device. Charges up kinda slow but much like Tigris Prime is capable of blasting he thro most of the foes you will encounter. Due to presence of some AOE and innate Punch Through can charge more than one bubble at a time (some timing and aiming required because steering more than one bubble can be annoying).

Average critical build. You can consider Heavy Caliber (because lower accuracy doesn’t affect opticor that much), Vile Acceleration (for charging up alot faster at the cost of tiny bit damage reduction per shot, keep in mind that overall damage per second will increase with this mod).

And if you have a Riven Mod for it, Opticor becomes even better due to pretty high riven disposition.


Calling this thing a great “bow” is kind of an understatement. With its absurdly high damage, this beast is capable of demolishing groups of some of the strongest enemies in the game. Even tho this weapon has only 6 ammo, every shot will count. Plus, due to innate ammo mutation you can sustain your ammunition by simply killing enemies and picking up any ammo they leave!

For the build, you can use any combination of elements you want. Dual stat mods for this would probably work even better. A

Build without a riven. Max out Malignant Force and you are good to go! Also that juicy 125% critical chance.

Arca Plasmor

A really good pump-action shotgun. Packs high amount of Radiation damage and alot of Punch Trough. Most importantly – a really fun and satisfying weapon to use. Firing its blast down a hallway full of enemies and then watching huge damage numbers accompanied by crackle sound of crits is a pleasure every shotgun lover should experience!

I suggest going with this high status and a decent crit build. Primed mod can be changed to its normal counterpart, you also can consider using Vigilante Armaments. Also, you can swap elemental mods to form other elements you may like more.

Secondary Weapons

Synoid Gammacor

Really effective weapon for energy heavy warframes (including Nova). Offers an Entropy effect that upon activation regenerates 25% of the warframe’s energy and provides an energy boost of +25% base energy for 30 seconds. Pretty decent for charging Nova’s bubble, erases Nullifier bubbles, with build in Magnetic damage effective against Corpus faction overall.

Not much to say about the build really. Decent status and crit, with Corrosive mods makes it effective against armored targets. Since this is a beam weapon, recently changed Magnum Force mod (now same as Heavy Caliber for primaries) can take place of Augur Pact.

Melee Weapons

It’s down to personal preference. Only synergy here could be gunblades but in my opinion they do not stand out here.

Orthos Prime

Great polearm: huge range, fast attack speed, ok crits and status chance. Most of the stances for polearms are great and the builds are pretty similar so you can use GuandaoTonboCassowar, polearm Zaw and others instead. Yes you can use Maiming Strike but its rare and expensive to be considered.

Primed mods can be downgraded to their normal variants and vice versa. Stance is down to personal preference, all of them have both advantages and disadvantages.


Thanks for going thro this guide! I really hope you found it helpful/interesting or maybe even both!

Please, leave comments and rate this guide at your convenience!

I would really appreciate your feedback and advice!

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