I've been playing Warframe for a bit now and I still can't figure out what I should be expecting with regards to mission levels and difficulties.

I'm talking about the level that you see on the planet map for mission selection, like this:

Warframe mission selection screen capture

And I'm talking about the difficulty you see on the mission loading screen, like this:

Warframe mission loading screen capture

I've been thinking perhaps the level is how hard enemies are and the difficulty how many there are, but I haven't really managed to figure out a pattern. What do they mean?

3 Answers 3


The level of the mission dictates the levels of enemies (or the levels they start at for endless defence). Bosses and nightmare mode's enemies are higher level than the mission level, but they also depend on it. Bosses in lower level missions will be much lower level than those in Pluto/Europa.

Difficulty seems to refer to the amount of enemies.

  • I'm basing this on my own experience from version 9.3. It might have changed since.
    – 3ventic
    Aug 30, 2013 at 4:35
  • Being an active player, I can confirm that the first part is correct. I have yet to notice the second one ever, but it makes sense. A Difficulty 3 Exterminate should have more people than a Difficulty 1 Exterminate. But, Difficulty might be related to how many objectives there are, which capture missions and other types,
    – The Man
    Apr 22, 2014 at 12:02

Level refers to the level range of spawned enemies (not my idea, it's 3ventic's, but I'll back him up), difficulty refers I think just to how purely difficult the mission is, usually certain gamemodes are harder than others, but there is quite a bit of variation. Also, I use the level to predict what rate of gear I need. It's kind of subjective, but for every 10 levels on the mission, I would use gear with 3-5 levels more if I have 2-3 other players with me.


the first image represents the enemies lvl you will encounter and the second image represents the range enemy lvls you will come across throughout the mission. for ex. infestation-lvls 20-23. difficulty 4 means this lvl will start enemies at 20 but over time players will encounter lvls 21, then 22, and lastly lvl 23.

  • The idea here might be right, but the numbers you provide are obviously false if you've played. Difficulty only goes up to 5, and enemy level range goes way above that.
    – Cascabel
    Dec 24, 2013 at 15:12

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