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The Steel Path – Warframe Hard-mode

  • New hard-mode version of the Origin System missions
  • All enemies get level and defense buff
  • Increased Mod and Resource drop rate
  • New cosmetic rewards from map completion and new currency

What is the Steel Path

The Steel Path is a new hard-mode version of every Origin System Star Chart mission in Warframe. The mission types (e.g. Capture, Exterminate, etc.) and the locations (tile sets) are still the same, but the difficulty of the enemies is significantly increased. Even veteran players will have to go through every node again one by one to re-unlock the entire Star Chart. This includes the Solar Rail 1v1 fights and even new level 100 bounties at Cetus and Fortuna.

How to Unlock the Steel Path

Space Dad has a new challenge for you

You will need to complete you entire connected Star Chart to unlock the Steel Path. This includes the Dark Sector missions, the Kuva Fortress, the and Orokin Derelict. The few exceptions are Mutalist Alad V Assassinate, the Jordas Golem, and the Derelict Emissary Assassinate. Once you have these complete, talk with Teshin on any Relay (you can Fast Travel to him). Asking him about the Steel Path will unlock a new toggle option on the side of your star map. This allows you to freely switch between Steel Path and normal missions.

To access some of these missions, you will need to have completed most of the main story missions. For instance, defeating the Ropalolyst is required, meaning you will have to completed at least the Chimera Prologue. If you are relatively new to Warframe, don’t bother rushing to get to the Steel Path. This is more of an endgame option for those of us that don’t have much else to do.

How Difficult is This New Hard-Mode


Missions are mostly unchanged. This means that unlike Sorties, you can fail up to two Spy terminals, extract after the first set for endless missions (5 min. Survival, 5 wave Defense, etc.), defend only one Disruption objective, instant hack terminals with ciphers, and all the other things you could do in normal Star Chart missions. There are also no modifiers added, like those found in Sorties and Nightmare missions, other than the increase in enemy level and defense. This applies to bosses too; it’s still the same fights, they just take longer to kill.


Enemies in the Steel Path missions have their level increased by a flat +100. For instance, enemies that were level 1 will now be level 101 and enemies that were 60 are now 160. The exception to this is Archwing missions, were enemies only receive a 50 level increase. In addition their health, armor, and shields are 250% of their normal value (2.5 times as much). This makes them more than 2.5 times more tanky than normal enemies of their level, since they are getting increases in all three defense stats.

The damage they deal is not artificially increased for their level, meaning they hit hard, but not TOO hard. You’ll need some defensive options or crowd control (CC) available to you, but for the most part you can still focus on killing quick and you’ll be fine. Defensive missions like Defense and Mobile Defense don’t require a heavy CC as long as you’re killing quick, but a good Vortex or Snow Globe will make it more comfortable.

You will still get ambushes by the syndicates and the Stalker, and while these enemies will be tougher than their normal counterparts, they are still easily overcome with good damage. One enemy type to be concerned about though are the Sentients on Lua. Try to not let those Oculysts see you, or you’ll be in for a long fight.

New Steel Path Rewards

Steel Essence

There is a new currency called Steel Essence that can be found rarely on Eximus enemies in Steel Path missions and as a reward for world completion. This currency is spent at Teshin for a small set of rewards.

There is a new set of cosmetic armor for your operator, resembling a Dax uniform (like Teshin’s). The full set will cost 90 Essence. Individually, it’s 20 for the iconic hat, 25 for the chest piece, 25 for the legs, and 15 for the arms. You will still need to craft them, but the crafting requirements aren’t too much of a concern for veteran players.

Teshin also sells Kuva at 10,000 per 15 Steel Essence, Relic Packs for 15 Steel Essence each, and Stance Forma for 10 Steel Essence each. None of these are all that great considering how slow you get Steel Essence, but it gives you something to spend your essences on after you finish the cosmetics.

Check out out guide on the best way to farm Steel Essence.

World Completion

Completing the Steel Path version of every node on a planet will earn you a new decoration and emote of that planet. In addition, you will earn two Steel Essences per world. Also, just like the normal Star Chart, the first completion of any node will earn you mastery points. Still can’t make True Master yet, but we’re getting closer!


Steel Path missions also give a 100% increase to resource and mod drop chance. While this is a nice bonus, it’s not likely that Steel Path missions will become the place to farm resources. While you do get double the drops, the enemies take far longer than twice as long to kill. Orokin Cell and Nano Spore farming is still best done in normal missions.

Steel Path Builds

If you want to efficiently, effectively, quickly, and comfortably dominate the Steel Path Star Map, be sure to check out our build guide specifically for this new challenge. Also check out our mission specific builds for those bosses that require a little something extra:


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