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.