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Warframe Nekros Detailed Guide (Build, How-to-Play, Tips & Strategies)

Nekros is the Dark Necromancer themed Warframe that can manipulate both the living and the dead. Despite how fun and cool he sounds, modding and making a build for Nekros in which all of his abilities are useful, powerful, and efficient feels impossible. Most Nekros builds will only focus on one ability or the other. This build is a working hybridization of all of Nekros's abilities.

This Nekros build requires an Orokin Reactor, 3 Formas, and an Exlius Adapter. 

The function of this build is to make all of Nekro's abilities useful and relevant. Which before despoil came around, was really hard to do. Just his abilities all have different ways to maximized it (Strength, Range, and Duration) and those functions interact differently with each ability. I seriously can fill this whole thing on every possible mod combination and how it treats some abilities worse than others, but that would just be a huge waste of time, for you as the abilities don't maximize in sync with the other abilities!



So this mod may not seem that great at first glance, but it really is. In game, an aware Nekros will use Desecrate maybe in burst of 3 - 6 times after a group of enemies have been killed and for all of the bodies’ loot tables to re-drop. Which translates to using 150 - 300 energy in just 10 seconds, now all of your energy is gone, and that is if you had full energy at that point. But enemies keep coming and life support is still needed, but now you can't cast anything. Sure you can have Energy Siphon running and you can get maybe enough energy to get another desecrate or a soul punch, or maybe the drop tables gave you some energy orbs, but the only guaranteed drops from desecrate are health orbs. So in as little as 10 seconds, your Nekros just became completely useless. Sure you can build efficiency mods, but it only delays the halt by only so much.

Despoil just avoids that problem in whole.

This Augment makes you use health to cast despoil instead of energy, think of it as a separate energy reserve just for desecrate. Now you can cast Desecrate and still keep energy to use for your other abilities, so you can terrify and Raise the Dead. Plus since bodies are a guaranteed percent to transform into a health orb from desecrate, you are instantly gaining back the health you just used to cast it, and in the addition of loot, energy orbs, ammo, life support, and all other sorts of goodies.

Can be acquired by attaining the rank of Partner under The Perrin Sequence, or the rank of Exalted under the Red Veil, and spending 25,000 Reputation to purchase it. Trading/ Buying is also and always an option.

If you are in a pinch and need some health, use melees with life strike or you can cast Shadows of the Dead. The newly raised Shadows will cover you and kill for you. And once those Shadows have died, you can desecrate them as well for Health orbs. Converting your energy into damage and back into health.


Without Polarity Slot - 12 / With Correct Polarity Slot - 6

Now continuing on from Despoil, you use health for energy. But Health still has a more obvious and different use: how much damage you can take before going down! So then it becomes a bit of a juggling act between casting Desecrate and taking (unwanted) damage. Vitality just increases the buffer, plain and simple. You can now take on more damage which is obviously better and you can now cast Desecrate more often!

Vitality is one of the most common mods within the game, several enemies and bosses drop it so it’s not too hard to find. Check the wiki if you want exacts.

Also a plus side is that you can still use desecrate even after suffering from a magnetic proc (which drains all of your energy), however it will be effected by a viral proc (which halves your max hp temporarily) but not many enemies do viral damage so it will be a rare case.

Nekros has a built in D-Polarity so I placed Vitality in this slot, seeing as how this mod becomes a big drain as you rank it up.

Rejuvenation (Aura Slot)

Without Polarity Slot - 7 / With Correct Polarity Slot - 14

Now continuing on from Despoil and Vitality, despite the cycle of turning health into drops and back into health again, it still is risky for players to play with their health like such. Rejuvenation makes it more sustainable and safe. Now rejuvenation makes it so your Warframe recovers health over time. Plus your allies heal too!

Rejuvenation is an uncommon mod but can be treated as if it is rare. The Aura as well as all others can only be obtained via Mission Alerts.

Now only health damage, not shield damage, stops the regen for a brief moment. However casting Desecrate doesn't count as damage, so the instant you cast your first desecrate, you will see your health already regening. If your shields have broken or about to break, it is just wise for any frame to dodge around or find some cover till shields recharge.

Also Nekros is the only Frame that doesn't have an Aura Polarity Slot, so this is where you want to use your first Forma for a D-Polarity so you can get an extra bonus from Rejuvenation.


Without Polarity Slot - 14 / With Correct Polarity Slot - 7

Now continuing on from Rejuvenation, a common thing or complaint among players is that we need Energy and the last 3 categories were all about using health. Don't worry, that is covered. Since you are guaranteed at some point for the body to turn into a health orb form desecrate, Equilibrium is now guaranteeing you gain some energy from it too. This now promotes an alternate way of gaining energy from desecrating, and you can still get energy orbs too.

Equilibrium only drops from one boss in the game, however if you were farming for Nekros, you already faced the boss! Lephantis heads drop equilibrium mods. So it’s like hitting 2 birds with 1 stone.

Also, it works vice versa as well. Come across some energy orbs, get some health back. The Gain depends on levels and is a little weak at low levels, however after a while the gain is noticeable and potent. 

Note: Also Nekros doesn't have a Dash-Polarity, so you can use your Second Forma for this mod.

Natural Talent


Now for all of Nekros's abilities, he just feels slow. His Desecrate takes way too long for a single roll, he is caught stuck in his summon animation for what feels like forever with Shadows of the Dead, and for his quick Scare of Terrify, isn't so quick. Natural Talent just speeds him up, and going with the rest of the game flow.

Natural Talent is dropped from Interception missions, probably more so on the later tier planets with a rarer chance, and from the Grustrag Three, the Grineer Assassins. Trading is also an option.

At first this mod was only meant to speed up Desecrate, however it effects on the other abilities came in as a bonus and just another reason to use this mod.



Stretch is the simple range mod that helps out all but Shadows of the Dead. The range on Terrify and Desecrate only cover a somewhat decent size zone around you, stretch just lets you get practically the whole room terrified and you can stay in the same spot when you desecrate them instead of running around and racing the body dissolve timer.

Even though Stretch is an uncommon mod with weird drop tables, it is a mod that you have a good chance of encountering. Check the wiki for actuals.

This mod does help Soul Punch but I will go more in depth on it when you reach the Soul Survivor Category.

Thief's Wit (Exilus Slot)


With the recent addition of the utility slot, I decided to give Nekros a chance with some utilities. I simply went with thief's wit, seeing as how Nekros will constantly be Desecrating, why not know where all the loot is? You sometimes can miss things you've desecrated or point out loot to allies that have fallen behind obstacles or other things. Also, it shows where syndicate medallions are on your mini-map, so that helps Syndicate missions’ a lot.

This mod is a common mod, meaning it’s easy to find, even if it only dropped from a few enemies in the game. Shouldn’t take too long, but if you are really unlucky just got trading, sure someone has a stockpile of like 200.

You can choose the mod to the pure fact of it being related to drops. This mod is also the most flexible in comparison to the other mods in this build personally. Some of the other Utilities are practically pointless and while Rush is a good contender, everyone is just bullet jumping from room to room now, except Loki’s.

Also this slot really doesn't make a big impact on the build itself, it’s just a utility. You personally can save yourself a Forma and an Exlius Adapter by not using this slot at all but that is up to you.

Transient Fortitude

Without Polarity Slot - 16 / With Correct Polarity Slot - 8

These mods are affecting desecrate, almost seeming to be ironic to this whole guide. It is just there is so much that needs to go into desecrate for it to truly be useful. And you would need to use more mods for it if it weren’t for Despoil, like Max Energy mods, efficiency mods, and more range mods along with balancing and forma-ing. That set up presented to you is effective and efficient. Now we can focus more so on the other abilities

Transient Fortitude gives power strength at the cost of power duration. To an unaware and perhaps new player, that seems like a no-win mod. But it really is. Power strength increases the damage your soul punch does, the amount of enemies effected by terrify as well as their armor loss percentage, and the amount of shadows spawned by Shadows of the Dead, along with a damage and health bonus those shadows get. Desecrate doesn't do anything with power strength and it seems like a no brainer to have it in some form, seeing as it buffs. 

Now for the lost Duration, you will relax a bit to find out that Soul Punch and desecrate won't be effected by duration. But it does reduce the time shadows are alive as well as the time the enemies are running around terrified. For the shadows, you are keeping around for about ~23 seconds, which still isn't a big loss compared to 30 but is still a loss. It’s actually better to have a shorter, but not too short, shadow time. Seeing as how it is your ult you create a whole squad to fight for you, in those ~23 seconds you can kill a whole group of enemies, get all your energy back, and make a new group of fully healed shadows. And it gives you an ideal time to travel to a new spot that you want to control for a bit, instead of the shadows lingering at your old spot for a while.

Same goes with Terrify. They aren't scared for as long, but an enemy just mildly running away and not shooting with weakened armor? You should be able to kill them within that said timeframe easily.

Corrupted mods are obtained from Orokin Vaults, require dragon keys to open them. So either get a group of friends and do so Derelict runs or get one from trading.

Nekros has a built-in V-Polarity so place Transient Fortitude in this slot, because this mod is the most expensive out of the whole build.


Without Polarity Slot - 11 / With Correct Polarity Slot - 6

Use Intensify the same way you use Transient Fortitude, without further hurting my Duration. 


One of the First Rare mods you can get in this game, Mission rewards as well as Bosses can drop this. Check wiki for actuals.

This mod is also pretty flexible, can easily be swapped out for something equally beneficial like Streamline. You will definitely enjoy the stronger shadow and you will not have much trouble with efficiency and needing to cast.

Tip: You can use your 3rd Forma here, seeing as how it has a higher cost. 

Soul Survivor


Soul Punch Sucks. No amount of normal maximization modding can make this ability as useful as an Ember's Fireball or a Volt's Shock or any other frame of that matter, including Zephyr! 

Soul Punch now becomes an instant revive for allies, kubrows, and hostages at a distance. With increased Power Range, you can revive people who are farther and don’t have to worry about being attacked while reviving. With increased Power Strength, the punch now recovers more health to the fallen comrade.

The downside is that you use all of your energy and a portion of your health when you revive someone, but you can get it back by desecrating. And honestly, you get used to the flow of losing and gaining.

Can be acquired by attaining the rank of Partner under The Perrin Sequence, or the rank of Exalted under the Red Veil, and using 25,000 Reputation to purchase it. Once again, trading still an option.

You can still use Soul Punch for Damage, it just won't really do anything but make a spooky sound effect. Just only use Soul Punch to revive now.


So now you've seen all the mods and why they are there. This Section is a overall refresher of how the mods affect Nekros and his abilities from a mod-less level 30 standpoint. Basically a TL;DR version of Everything above this.

Soul Punch
+Increased Enemy Target Range
+Increased Damage
+Faster Cast Time
+Can now revive allies
~No change in efficiency
-Drains all energy when reviving an ally

+Increased Area of Effect 
+Terrifies more enemies
+Enemies terrified lose more armor 
+Faster Cast Time
~No change in efficiency
+/-Shorter Terrified Duration

+Increased Area of Effect
+Doesn't use Energy to Cast
+Faster Cast Time
~No change in efficiency
-Uses health to Cast

Shadows of the Dead
+Increased Number of Shadows
+Increased Shadow damage and health
+Faster Cast Time
~No change in efficiency
+/-Shorter Shadow Duration

+Increased Health
+Health Regenerates over time
+Can detect loot
+Health gives energy
+Energy gives health
~No change in Armor
~No change in Shields
~No change in Sprint Speed
~No change in Energy Capacity

Suggested Weapons and Companions

But a Good Guide doesn't stop at just the mod configuration. These next few weapons and companions have some good synergy with Nekros and you should take into consideration when making your loadouts.

Tigris / Sancti Tigris
Tigris to begin with is simply a powerful and burst-y shotgun, which may not exactly fit Nekros but the Tigris has a very unique trait of cutting up bodies upon killing an enemy. If an enemy is killed and the body splits apart, say a torso and legs, they will each count as separate entities when it comes to desecrating, so double loot from a single body.

Plus if you have the Sancti version, you get an Area of Effect damage that heals you, which goes nice with Despoil.

Vasto / Akvasto / Vasto Prime
Vasto is a sidearm that also shares the same trait with the Tigris, however you have more range and different stats than that of the tigris.

Raksa Kubrow
The Raksa Kubrow is what you can call the "Tanks" out of all the Kubrows. The Raska will use the two abilities of Howl and Protect. Howl is just Terrify, coming from a Kubrow, so think of it as a free cast. Protect recharges your shields instantly by the Kubrow coming to you, which is a nice feature since Nekros doesn't have good shields. You can also use a Raska all the time for it can deal damage fairly well as well as endure some higher level enemies.

Carrier / Carrier Prime
Carrier is a sentinel that automatically picks up all nearby loot and shoots nearby enemies. It just gives you all the loot you created so you know you didn't miss anything and can focus more on objectives rather than searching for you loot drops.

Credits: Guide by Dr. Leonardo