5 Tips for Optimizing Warframe on Switch
With the holiday season closing in everybody is grasping for this year’s hottest games: God of War, Far Cry 5, Red Dead Redemption 2, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the list goes on. With far too many excellent games hitting shelves this year it can put quite the stretch on your wallet, not to mention DLC, Season Passes, and all manner of add-ons. If you are hoping to find an experience that will take it easy on your budget this holiday season it’s the perfect time to jump into arguably one of the absolute best free-to-play experiences which recently made its way to the Nintendo Switch, namely, Digital Extremes epic space-ninja adventure: Warframe.
While the game has existed on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One for quite some time as a free to play title, being able to take your Tenno mobile with the Switch is absolutely astounding. Offering the full sized game with complete mobility and no loss of quality in graphics or content has been fantastic, however, the game itself feels like it is still built for the more substantially sized PlayStation 4 and Xbox One controllers. If you happen to be a big fan of Warframe or are looking to dive in now that it’s available completely free on the Switch, there are five simple options which will optimize your experience for taking your Tenno on the go.
1. HUD Screen Sizing
When you first boot up the game, Warframe will ask you to size the HUD to match the corners of your TV. In most games, this makes perfect sense and it even places the HUD on the screen to give you the best possible view. Unfortunately for Warframe, when placing the HUD it won’t show you where the various items will go and if you do set the screen as intended and play in handheld mode your health, ammo, and other displays will be pushed far into the corners and almost out of sight. This isn’t so bad playing on the TV, however, when the Switch is in your hand this forces the eye to look too far away from the action to keep an eye on your information. While not a major issue, I definitely recommend setting the screen a bit smaller as seeing these stats makes fire-fights and being swarmed by the Grineer or Corpus a matter of life or death.
2. Turn Vibration Off
When Nintendo made a big deal about all the fancy tech going into the Joy-Cons we were incredibly excited to see how all of these features would impact our gameplay. While a number of these features have yet to be used and only a handful of games seem to employ basic motion controls, it seems the way to offset this is to pump up the vibration output of the Joy-Cons for every single game. Some games will put the intensity of vibration on a slider of some kind, however, in Warframe every single action seems to set off this rumbling at full power. Whether using the Joy-Con Grip or playing in Handheld, leaving Vibration turned on will very quickly become incredibly annoying and off-putting as each melee attack, each pull of the trigger, and almost every action will rattle your palms to the bone. To truly enjoy Warframe, turn this off and thank me later.
3. Set Crouch to Toggle
In a game where stealth is as important as straight up combat, crouching and sneaking will be key to victory. Warframe starts out with the crouch set as a ‘hold’ action, however given the shape of the Joy-Cons and the small size both of the buttons and how little space there is to press them in, this can be incredibly uncomfortable and awkward to perform. Switching this to a toggled option feels much more natural for gameplay and lets you hold the Joy-Cons in a much more comfortable way, letting you focus on dicing up the Grineer as opposed to awkwardly bouncing up and down from cover because your hand has started to cramp.
4. Lower Camera Sensitivity
Porting a game like this to Switch takes an incredible amount of effort and the team that worked on this should absolutely be commended for transferring such a faithful adaptation of the game onto the much more compact console. That being said, the game is such a perfect copy that even the quick-spinning camera remains as well. This can be a crucial feature when Warframe starts to get intense, however, the sensitivity of the camera is only effective with a properly sized joystick. The Joy-Cons’ joystick are sized to suit the controllers themselves, however, due to their short nature, it makes it even more touchy to adjust and rotate the camera. For the same reason some gamers like joystick extenders, this can make precision movements an absolute pain. Greatly reducing (and I do mean greatly) the sensitivity of the camera axis will slow it down enough to give you more precise control and make combat that much easier.
5. Aim Assist On
Nobody likes to admit to using Aim Assist, it feels like cheating. Well guess what? It isn’t. Warframe is a game meant for tactical precision – you are a ninja after all – yet sometimes you need to take out your enemy from a distance. Sniping them from afar is one thing, but when you have to take cover and lay down suppressing fire it requires a steady hand and careful eye. This is fine with a mouse and keyboard or Dualshock 4, however as mentioned in the previous tip, the significantly smaller Joy-Con joysticks can make it very difficult to aim with precision; the radius the joystick allows simply is not easy enough to manipulate to allow for intuitive aiming. This can be helped with reducing the sensitivity of aiming much like the previous note, however, turning on the aim assist is a great way to pull the focus on narrative and exploration and give you that extra edge in combat for the less experienced third person shooter fan.
And that’s our list, got any tips on optimizing Warframe on your Switch? Will you be picking up this fantastic free-to-play game this holiday season? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or the Comments section below.