Volt is a versatile Warframe with tools for a variety of situations. His Speed ability gives faster clear rates to just about any mission you take him through, Electric Shield is amazing for both defense and offense, and Discharge is a fantastic nuke power with a crowd control component just in case.
The tradeoff is that Volt has difficulty with durability. With low health and armor, his survivability depends largely on his abilities, which can be rather expensive to fuel. Volt Prime has a very large energy pool that can pair with the Quick Thinking mod to give him some extra endurance, but with the stagger from taking a hit while you’re out of health, this often results in frustration more than salvation.
Electric Shield effectively provides immunity to all projectiles that come into contact with it, but its coverage leaves something to be desired. While stationary, it curves enough to protect just under half of the possible angles you could be attacked from. When you’re actively moving through a mission, however, a stationary shield won’t be much help to you. You can pick the shield up, but in doing so, the protection angles drops dramatically so that maybe a sixth of the area around you is protected, and you’ll constantly lose energy based on how much distance you cover.
Keeping Discharge active is another way to keep yourself alive, simply by ensuring that enemies aren’t. (Or, by giving them seizures if they aren’t killed outright.) This might be more expensive than carrying the Electric Shield with you, however, depending on how quickly you’re moving.
On the subject of quick movement, that may be your best option for survival; enemies don’t lead their shots terribly well, so keeping on the move will prevent Volt’s squishy body from being shredded by gunfire. His Speed ability ensures that shots will miss by a mile (or two, depending on your ability strength mods), though you’ll have to get used to controlling that much velocity. It’s easy to faceplant into a wall if you’re not familiar with the map you’re in, which is often followed by faceplanting into the floor when high-level enemies get a lock on you.
All that said, Volt’s abilities truly are valuable, and utilizing them to the fullest should keep Volt’s fragility from being too much of a problem.
Special Mission Types
Is Volt a Good Warframe for Elite Sanctuary Onslaught?
Yes; Volt’s Discharge is most effective when lots of enemies are tightly packed together, which describes Sanctuary Onslaught perfectly. While Grineer and Corrupted enemies may begin to be too much for Discharge to handle in later rounds of this game mode, a decent range/strength Volt build can certainly carry a team to round 8.
Given that a Warframe’s ability is locked when used more than once within a 10-second window, you’ll want to be careful not to spam Discharge too frequently. An ability duration of 165% or more will make Discharge itself last 10 seconds, letting you use the ability timer as an indicator for when it’s safe to cast again. Because enemies are twitching for the duration of the ability, you and your team are (mostly) safe from harm.
If the crowd control from Discharge isn’t enough to keep you and your squad safe, you can also take the Capacitance augment to overcharge your squad’s shields with every use of the ability. I personally haven’t found the extra survivability necessary, but it’s there if you need it.
The most difficult part of Elite Sanctuary Onslaught will be keeping your energy high enough to fuel Discharge repeatedly. I like bringing along a powerful Kitgun with the Pax Bolt Arcane equipped, which gives 30% ability strength and efficiency on the next cast after scoring a headshot kill. Using a Zenurik Operator is another good option for maintaining energy. Arcane Energize is especially good for keeping the zaps coming, but it’s a rather expensive option that isn’t necessarily available to everyone.
Overall, Volt is an outstanding Warframe for Elite Sanctuary Onslaught, and you’ll likely see a lot of them in public matchmaking for this reason.
Is Volt a Good Warframe for The Index?
No; none of Volt’s abilities are terribly useful for The Index, and can’t even be fueled most of the time due to the Financial Stress debuff’s energy drain. Volt’s fragility is also an issue, making him a fairly easy kill even without the reduced health and shields from carrying a lot of points.
Volt’s Speed ability is largely unnecessary given that the maps are small enough to be quickly traversed with basic movement. Furthermore, rounding a corner into an Auditor wall is an immediate death sentence, and moving super fast is going to make it hard to see those coming. It’s a rather minor problem, but still adds to the pile of issues that make Volt unsuitable for The Index.
Electric Shield likely isn’t going to help much, either. You might be able to use it to play goalie, but this takes a lot of vigilance to prevent any enemies from getting past you. There are many Warframes better suited to protecting the goal, and yet more Warframes that are so offensively effective that goalies aren’t necessary in the first place.
Further, though Discharge is an effective nuke ability most of the time, its power is highly dependent on having multiple enemies shocking each other. With The Index throwing a small number of durable enemies at you, Discharge has an incredibly difficult time getting any kills.
To top it all off, the crowd control component of Discharge has a heavily reduced duration, which only gets shorter the more times it affects each broker. This timer is reset each time the broker dies, but it’s still quite short even at its maximum.
And finally, even if Volt’s abilities were more effective in The Index, finding the energy to fuel them is a nightmare. Financial Stress obliterates your energy pool very quickly, and energy orbs must be grabbed sparingly as the entire team will be counting on them to fuel their own abilities.
Overall, Volt is a very bad choice for Index. His abilities are both expensive and ineffectual, and you may end up being a detriment to the team if you hog the energy orbs.
Is Volt a Good Warframe for Eidolon Hunts?
Yes; as the only Warframe capable of boosting Operator Amp damage with his Electric Shield, Volt is highly desired in Eidolon Hunts. Electric Shield also offers a considerable boost to weapon damage, though this is less essential in an optimized squad.
Because Electric Shield boosts the critical multiplier of any weapons fired through it, critical-focused Operator Amps can tear through Eidolon shields in an incredibly short time. The defensive value of Electric Shields, however, tends to be rather low; Eidolon attacks often come from obscure angles that make them difficult to obstruct, and some attacks ignore the shield altogether. You’ll need to be on your toes to avoid being smacked around.
Volt’s Speed ability doesn’t have much value in boosting movement speed, as it’s fairly easy to keep up with the Eidolons, though it can be useful if the Eidolon turns and you need to get a new angle on them for attacking the chosen Synovia. However, if your squad’s weapons aren’t powerful enough to take the Synovia’s out in one magazine, Speed can give your reload rate a boost that effectively increases your overall damage output.
Unfortunately, Discharge has no effect on the Eidolon, nor the Vomvalysts that flock to it during its final scream phase, so any dreams of halting its healing process are out the window. However, the ability can be useful if the Eidolon wanders into a Grineer camp, and you want to stop the pesky soldiers from poking at you and your squad.
One somewhat more obscure benefit to Volt is his Shock Trooper augment. On top of the high damage boost from Electric Shield and the roundabout increase from Speed, you can use Shock to give even more of a damage bonus to allies, ensuring rapid completion of each Synovia phase. Modding for ability strength makes this boost even higher, so though it won’t affect your Electric Shields, it can still come into play if your team needs the extra output.
Overall, Volt is an excellent choice for Eidolon hunts, bringing damage boosts that only he can provide. Volt is almost always included in optimized Eidolon squads, which is quite indicative of his tremendous impact.
Core Mission Types
Is Volt a Good Warframe for Defense?
Yes; Volt’s Electric Shield can keep stationary Defense objectives safe from enemy fire, though it has trouble with melee-focused Infested enemies. Discharge will quickly clear each wave and prevent stronger enemies from advancing.
Given Electric Shield’s limited angles of coverage, you’ll likely need to use at least three shields if you want to make sure nothing gets through. In the case of especially large defense objectives like the cylinder in Grineer asteroid tilesets, you may not be able to fully cover the objective at all. With how much energy all of these shields consume, you’ll want to observe the map layout and focus on the directions that most enemies seems to be coming from.
Thankfully, Electric Shield is not your only tool for Defense. Arguably, it’s not even your best tool; it’s more of a failsafe. Discharge is a large component of Volt’s effectiveness in Defense missions. The ability will eradicate most enemies in a wave, leaving just a few of the more durable ones twitching in place for you to pick off.
As you progress through a Defense mission and enemies begin to scale to higher levels, Discharge may start having difficulty eliminating everything in one cast, but the crowd control component will retain its value at all levels. Grineer are the harshest example of this, as their armor quickly drops Discharge’s electric damage to a tickle.
Overall, Volt is quite suited to Defense missions in both a protective and proactive role. However, he will start to have difficulty with offense at higher levels.
Is Volt a Good Warframe for Disruption?
Not really; though Volt has some useful abilities for Disruption, his fragility ultimately makes him unsuitable to the game mode, as you’ll generally want to play to high round counts to take advantage of Disruption’s unique reward rotation.
If you do take Volt to Disruption, you’ll likely need to spend a lot of time stationary, protected by your Electric Shields. You can use Speed to change position when you move to a new console, but you’ll want to get those shields back up the moment you arrive.
On the plus side, with your shields active, you can do substantially more damage with your weapon, helping to prevent Amalgams from reaching the consoles. Volt has a hard time taking a proactive role in Disruption missions, but he makes an adequate last line of defense.
Furthermore, Discharge can help to quickly get keys to drop, and halt enemy attacks for its duration with the electric status effect. The crowd control even affects Amalgams, though it does so at a reduced duration.
Overall, Volt can function well enough for Disruption missions, but is easy to die with. There are many better choices for the game mode, even if those choices can’t handle enemies as quickly.
Is Volt a Good Warframe for Excavation?
Mostly yes; Electric Shield can keep Excavators safe from enemy fire, though they’re not quite tall enough for full coverage, and cannot protect against melee enemies. Discharge is also very useful, disrupting or eliminating enemies in the area.
As shown in the image above, Electric Shield is a tad shorter than the excavator itself. This isn’t typically a problem, as enemies will be aiming further down. However, if there are paths above the excavator for enemies to follow (such as the scaffolding in Earth tilesets), they may end up firing at such an angle that they will hit the exposed top section of the excavator. You can prevent this by either hopping on top of the excavator and placing another shield facing the high ground, or by simply preventing enemies from reaching the high ground in the first place.
Because Volt can place six shields at once, you can potentially protect two excavators at the same time. However, getting the maximum coverage on two different excavators requires proper positioning, which may not be immediately apparent. When placing shields with your back to the excavator, you will end up with large gaps between shields if you only place three.
To fully cover an excavator with only three shields, you’ll want to stand to the side of the excavator as you cast each one so that you end up with a sort of sawblade appearance when looking at the shield layout from a top-down view. It may take some practice to learn the exact direction you should face, but if you get it right, there should be no gaps through which enemies can hit the excavator.
Bear in mind that your Electric Shields won’t protect against melee attackers. If you have the energy for it, however, you can cast Shock on your Electric Shields to electrify them. Enemies can still run through them without much issue, but they’ll deal constant damage to enemies in contact with the shield itself. This may be enough to take out low- to mid-level basic melee enemies, but if you’re in a Steel Path Excavation or are facing Eximus melee units, you’ll probably need to eliminate the threat manually.
Beyond Electric Shield, Volt’s Discharge ability is also quite useful for Excavation missions. It can be cast to give the team some breathing room through its crowd control component, which is particularly useful if you notice that an excavator is beginning to take unexpected damage, as it gives you time to troubleshoot why. Usually, this comes down to melee enemies, or small gaps in your Electric Shield triangle.
If you’re protecting multiple excavators across different rooms of the map, or simply one very large room, the Speed ability can be extremely useful for responding to emergencies, or simply for grabbing fuel cells to keep the excavators going.
Overall, Volt requires a somewhat more attentive playstyle than a few other Warframes for Excavation missions, but is ultimately able to handle more than most frames if you’re willing to put in that effort.
Is Volt a Good Warframe for Exterminate?
Somewhat; Discharge can clear most enemies in a room, and Speed allows you to move more quickly between rooms than most other Warframes. However, Discharge often leaves a few enemies by the end of its duration, as its damage is highly dependent on having multiple enemies shocking each other, which slows down progression relative to more thorough damage abilities.
You’ll want to have a good weapon for finishing off the enemies that Discharge couldn’t kill, and it may also be wise to get some extra enemy radar mods so that you can quickly locate the stragglers.
Steel Path Exterminates will be quite difficult, as Discharge’s damage doesn’t scale well with enemy level. However, it is still essential in these higher-level missions, as you’ll want the Electric status effect to keep enemies from tearing you apart with their heavily-increased damage output.
Overall, Volt fares decently well in Exterminates, but can get frustrating with Discharge leaving enemies for you to root out on your own. Thankfully, Speed can offset some of the time you waste with searching.
Is Volt a Good Warframe for Interception?
Yes; Volt’s Speed ability allows you to quickly respond to enemy capture attempts across the map, and Discharge will halt the attempt altogether without having to aim or even have line of sight on the enemy.
For lower-level missions, you can also place an Electric Shield in front of each console and electrify it via Shock. This won’t prevent enemies from accessing the console, but the constant damage may be able to kill it before the hack is completed. This tactic won’t work well at high levels where enemies can tank the damage easily, though, so don’t waste the energy if you’re further along the star chart or playing in Steel Path mode.
Strangely, though Discharge stops enemies from hacking consoles, Shock does not. Therefore, you can’t use Shock to stop a hack as a cheaper alternative to Discharge. You could still use Shock to briefly stop enemies in their march towards the console, but the duration is far lower than Discharge, and I’d ultimately say it’s not worth the energy to cast.
Overall, Volt can keep on top of all Interception points with relative ease because of Speed and Discharge. So long as you have the energy to fuel these abilities, you should be all set.
Is Volt a Good Warframe for Mobile Defense?
Yes; Electric Shield will prevent most damage from coming in, Discharge can be used if the enemy swarms become overwhelming, and Speed helps to progress through the map very quickly.
As with other defensive applications of Electric Shield, melee enemies can present a problem. However, since you only need to defend one location at a time, you can stay behind the shields yourself and handle any enemies that come too close. Given the size of most Mobile Defense objectives, you’ll likely need to use multiple Electric Shields to cover it; make sure that they overlap with one another so that there are no gaps for enemies to shoot through.
Volt’s Speed ability will let you dash to the next objective much more quickly than you would otherwise be able to. If you’re not familiar with the tileset, however, you may end up spending more time than usual due to running into walls or overlooking passages. And even if you know the way, your allies may not; I’ve caused frustration in multiple friends by giving them Speed when they weren’t ready for such power. Mind your allies.
Discharge generally won’t be necessary in Mobile Defense missions, but it can stop the mission from going south if your shields come down before you’re ready, or a lot of melee enemies come rushing it. And of course, you can always just use it for some kills and affinity.
Overall, Volt takes more effort in Mobile Defense than a Warframe like Limbo or Gara, but can still ensure that the mission goes smoothly so long as the player is attentive.
Is Volt a Good Warframe for Rescue?
Yes; since most of a Rescue mission is spent on the move, Volt’s Speed ability will be a major benefit. With proper map navigation, you may not even have to acknowledge wardens or defend the hostage, as you’ll finish each objective too quickly for fail conditions to be met.
If you do have to deal with wardens rather than just beelining for the hostage, you do have some options. For one, Speed can let you get in position behind a warden to perform a stealth attack before they even have time to enter an alert state.
If this opportunity is missed, you can plop down an Electric Shield to ramp up your damage and kill off the warden the old-fashioned way. Or, use Speed’s melee attack speed boost to take them out more quickly with your melee weapon of choice.
Your last trick, should wardens manage to get to a console before you can take them out, is Discharge; like in Interception missions, enemy console interactions can be halted by the crowd control component of your fourth ability, giving you more time to deal with them.
After freeing the hostage, you don’t have much to protect them aside from Discharge. Thankfully, however, you don’t necessarily need to protect them… As soon as you reach extraction, even if the hostage is bleeding out, the mission ends in success. Therefore, if you so choose, you can ignore the hostage entirely and just use Speed to make a mad dash to the exit.
This may not work out well if you’re in a squad, though. In order to extract immediately, all players need to be at extraction. If just one player gets left behind, either due to crashing into a wall or by trying to protect the hostage in a more traditional fashion, the hostage’s bleedout timer is at risk of running out.
Overall, Volt can clear Rescue missions extremely quickly, but generally only while solo. Squad play, especially via public matchmaking, massively increases the potential for stumbles that will extend the mission for much longer, or possibly fail it outright.
Is Volt a Good Warframe for Sabotage?
Yes; Volt’s Speed gets him to the objective quickly, and in Sabotage routes that require defending a point, Electric Shield and Discharge will make the task easy.
You’ll still need to be careful moving through the coolant rooms if you want to avoid locking the cells in place, but with the time saved getting to those rooms with Speed, you can easily afford those couple seconds of caution. And, of course, you could always just barrel straight through to finish the mission as quickly as possible; reinserting the fuel cell is the quickest option, anyway.
If your goal is to find the hidden resource caches, Volt is only slightly better than other unspecialized Warframes in that Speed lets you search the map more quickly. Discharge doesn’t break loot containers, and though Volt’s Shocking Speed augment can do so, its range is pitifully low. There are far better options for resource cache farming.
Overall, Volt can clear Sabotage missions more quickly than most other Warframes simply by virtue of moving faster with Speed, though he does have tools for completing defensive objectives if you choose to trigger them.
Is Volt a Good Warframe for Spy?
Slightly good; Volt’s Speed lets him reach vaults faster, and Discharge can destroy Corpus cameras. However, Grineer camera drones will set off the alarms as soon as Discharge damages them, and Speed won’t help much in the vaults themselves given the need for cautious movement.
If you have a weapon that deals its damage in a single shot rather than depending on a high rate of fire, and that weapon happens to not be able to take out Grineer camera drones on its own, Electric Shield can give it a bump in effectiveness that might be enough to one-shot the drones. Hitting that window of strong-but-not-strong-enough is unlikely, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Overall, there are better choices for Spy missions, but Volt has some small advantage over most other Warframes.
Is Volt a Good Warframe for Survival?
Yes; though Volt is fragile, optimal Survival play typically has the squad waiting for enemies to come to them, which means you can easily set up Electric Shield to stay safe. Discharge kills enemies quickly, bringing frequent life support drops.
If life support gets low due to a lull in enemy waves or sheer bad luck with life support drops, Volt can quickly reach a life support tower, using Discharge to lock down enemies while he activates it.
Even when Discharge begins to have trouble killing enemies, Electric Shield will give a helpful offensive boost to Volt’s weaponry that can help to keep life support coming.
Overall, so long as you hunker down in a side room and let enemies come to you, Volt is a highly effective Warframe for Survival missions. Discharge can mostly keep you safe should you decide to use a more mobile playstyle, but you may be asking for trouble.