This guide will introduce you to sentinels, compare them and provide you with hands-on builds. Sentinels are the oldest and most versatile group of Warframe’s 26 different companions. They are amazing vehicles for utility and warframe protection. With Taxon you get one of the best sentinels early on in the game but you should switch to a better sentinel in your late game. 

Acquire, build and understand sentinels

You can choose between 16 different sentinels; they come as base sentinel, prime sentinel or prisma sentinel. You can use them to auto collect dropped resources, provide healing, shield recharge or to provide overshields. Like all companions they also provide 6000 mastery rank the first time you rank them up to rank 30. 

You can equip only one sentinel with your warframe. The menu item can be accessed in the arsenal. 

arsenal sentinel icon

All but one sentinel are built directly in your foundry. Any base sentinel, meaning not a prime or prisma sentinel, can be completely built from one single blueprint. Prime sentinel variants require you to build four different blueprints similar to prime warframe. You have to build a carapace, systems and cerebrum from blueprints and then use the built components as resources for the main blueprint. There is also a single Prisma sentinel that needs no building at all. It can be acquired fully built from Baro Ki’Teer. 

Once built, sentinels have no additional maintenance costs, like beasts have. But you need to buy robotic inventory slots when you want to keep them all. You get two additional slots for 12 platinum. Sentinels unlike all other companions stay always next to your warframe in mission and do not suffer from bad AI nor do they get stuck in terrain. 

Sentinel weapons

Every sentinel has its own weapon. The weapon is built automatically when the sentinel is constructed but it also requires its own sentinel inventory slot. You can equip almost every sentinel weapon on each sentinel. The weapons themselves can be sniper-like weapons, shotgun-like weapons, rifle-like weapons or even melee-like weapons. Sentinel weapons use your already owned weapon mods to increase damage, add multishot, add reload speed or supply additional elemental damage. 

Sentinel weapons

I would not advise to use or optimize sentinel weapons to kill enemies. When a sentinel weapon kills an enemy you will not gain affinity from that. After you cleared the first few planets your warframe and your normal weapon will outdamage any sentinel weapon by a mile. The only reason to keep a sentinel weapon active is to damage enemies and use mods that synergize with that. 

Top 7 sentinel list

#1 Helios Prime – clever tank late game sentinel

Helios Prime is not as sturdy as Carrier Prime but tanky enough for everything the star chart and even sortie might throw at you. Helios Prime is very popular due to the Helios exclusive mod Investigator. Investigator will scan anything you do not have already scanned for your Codex or Simulacrum use. It only works when you have also equipped your codex scanner or synthesis scanner and have enough scan charges left. 

Helios Prime

Helios’ weapon, Deconstructor Prime, is a melee weapon. You can turn this to your advantage by using the Healing Return mod and turn Helios Prime into a sturdy self-healing machine. You can jump right to the complete build for Helios Prime and Deconstructor Prime or read two more sentences to learn where you can acquire it. 

Helios Prime is vaulted but is returned from time to time in different relics. The easiest way to get a complete Helios Prime set of carapace, systems, cerebrum and main blueprint, is to buy it from other players. Check the price for a complete Helios Prime set on warframe.market.

#2 Taxon – best new player and late game sentinel

You get Taxon early on in the game as a reward for clearing the Venus junction on Earth. Like all base sentinels Taxon is squishy but does an extremely great job of standing its ground throughout the star chart. 

Taxon

This sentinel is built to keep your warframe alive. It will not mow down enemy hordes for you but it will restore your warframe’s shields by using the exclusive Molecular Conversion mod. You should also have Assault Mode on Taxon because its weapon Artax will slow down enemies and its beam will show you approaching enemies. 

Taxon is an amazing sentinel that I use in sorties, arbitrations and even in Kuva Fortress relic missions. There are only a few things that will bring your Taxon down. Check the basic sentinel build if you want to get started with Taxon or take a look at my late game Taxon build

#3 Carrier Prime – tanky utility

For the longest time Carrier Prime was my personal number one sentinel. But the introduction of Taxon, Helios Prime and Vacuum for every sentinel pushed Carrier from its top position. 

Carrier Prime

Carrier Prime has the highest survivability in terms of health, armor and shield. It can also use the exclusive Carrier sentinel mod Ammo Case. Ammo Case gives 25% more ammo for all weapons and converts unused ammo drops to the ammo type of your currently equipped weapon. You can go full utility with Carrier Prime and ignore the sentinel weapon. 

Nonetheless, Carrier Prime also includes the most popular of all sentinel weapons: Sweeper Prime. You might not use this weapon on Carrier Prime but it is useful for other sentinels.  My rather popular late game Carrier Prime build without the use of the sentinel weapon can be found a bit further down. 

Carrier Prime is vaulted but is returned regularly in different relics. Your best bet is to buy a set that includes all 4 blueprints, carapace, systems, cerebrum and main, from other players. You should check warframe.market for the current price of a Carrier Prime set.

#4 Wyrm Prime – status removal & crowd control

Wyrm Prime is useful in your late game if you no longer need to scan anything using Helios Prime and do not have any ammo issues that Carrier Prime would solve.

Wyrm Prime

Wyrm Prime has more health and shield than Helios Prime has but is not as tanky as Carrier Prime. It can equip the Wyrm exclusive mod Negate that you have to acquire from Simaris. Negate will prevent any status effects on your warframe with a 5 second cooldown. This is very useful for your late game when enemy status effects tend to stack up. There is also a very useful synergy of its exclusive Crowd Dispersion mod that knocks down enemies around you and the Synth Deconstruct mod that can spawn health orbs. 

Feel free to jump into the Wyrm Prime status removal and crowd control build.  

Wyrm Prime is another one of the vaulted sentinels. You most likely have to buy a complete set that includes all 4 blueprints, carapace, systems, cerebrum and main, from other players. For the current price of a complete Wyrm Prime set you should check warframe.market.

#5 Helios

Helios is the base variant of the number 1 sentinel Helios Prime. The main difference is lower health and armor compared to its prime variant. That makes Helios good enough for most of the star chart but it will die often if you go to places like sortie, arbitrations or railjack.

Helios

Helios is popular due to its exclusive Investigator mod. It will scan enemies and items you have not in your Codex and Simulacrum. Make sure you have equipped codex scanner or synthesis scanner and still have scan charges. 

Helios’ weapon is a melee weapon with decent status chance. We can use this to our advantage to build around the Healing Return melee mod. You can use the same build for base Helios as we already used for Helios Prime.

The blueprint for Helios can be acquired in the Energy Lab of your dojo for 15’000 credits but it requires one forma to build it. A build Helios including Orokin Reactor and needed robotic slots is available for 75 platinum. 

#6 Dethcube Prime – okay for late game

Although at position 6, Dethcube Prime is far away from number 5 of this list. Dethcube Prime is tankier than its non prime variant but has nothing else to offer. To make Dethcube Prime work as good utility for late game it has to be built around Synth Deconstruct and Synth Fiber. It is also highly advised to use Sweeper Prime instead of Deth Machine Rifle Prime as a sentinel weapon. 

Dethcube Prime

You can acquire Dethcube Prime from current relics because it has been released together with Atlas Prime. I have a separate Dethcube Prime synth late game build for you in the build section. 

#7 The rest

On place 7 you will find all other sentinels because they only have their tiny niches where they make sense. But they either limit you to a certain playstyle or are too squishy to survive missions even in mid game. You should get them for mastery points somewhere along the way but do not expect too much from them. 

The rest, base sentinels

Carrier

Your base Carrier is as squishy as all base sentinels. It can use the exclusive Ammo Case mod that gives 25% more ammo to every weapon and converts unused ammo drops from enemies into ammo you can use. You can get Carrier by buying its blueprint for 100’000 credits from the marketplace. 

Dethcube

Base Dethcube like all base sentinels is very squishy. It does a bad job killing enemies and his only good exclusive mod Energy Generator is situational because it requires 10 assists before you get an energy orb drop. You get the blueprint for 100’000 credits from the marketplace. 

Diriga

Diriga belongs also in the squishy sentinels category. It has very low shields and no armor to back up its rather large health pool. The exclusive mod Electro Pulse does a great job of stunning enemies around you but Diriga will go down very fast. You can get the blueprint for 100’000 credits in the marketplace. 

Djinn

Djinn is a great idea of a sentinel but again is too squishy. Its exclusive Reawaken will revive Djinn after 90 second when it went down but that is far too long to be useful. There is an interesting synergy of it exclusive Fatal Attraction mod and the Gazal Machete that gives additional Corrosive damage. But it ultimately works only with a specific playstyle and only against some Grineer and Infested. You can get the blueprint from your clan Bio Lab for 50’000 credit but it requires 2 forma to build. 

Oxylus

Oxylus is another great idea for a sentinel but works only in a tiny niche and way too late in the game. Oxylus is as squishy as all base sentinels but it shines with its exclusive Scan Aquatic Lifeforms mod. When you need to fish on the Plains of Eidolon or in Orb Vallis this mod will automatically drop Luminous Dye on fishes in the water and it will mark any fishing hotspots on your minimap. You need to have a proper supply of Luminous Dye equipped to see the fish.
To get Oxylus you have to have the highest rank in Vox Solaris and spend 20’000 standing at The Business. 

Shade 

Base Shade has a surprisingly large health pool but no armor or shields to back that up. One of its sentinel exclusive mods sounds promising. The Ghost mod will cloak your warframe when enemies are in a 10m radius. The cloak is broken when you attack enemies and has a 10 seconds cooldown. The cloaking does not work in spy vaults nor does it stop enemies from spotting you at a distance. It can be helpful in emergency situations but a tankier warframe or a warframe with real cloaking are better options.
The blueprint for Shade can be bought in the marketplace for 100’000 credits.

Prisma Shade

Prisma Shade has more shield and slightly more armor than its base variant. It also uses the Ghost mod that cloaks your warframe when an enemy is in a 10m area. The cloak is again broken when you attack an enemy and will after a 10 seconds broken activate once you stop attacking. Although being tougher than its base version it still lacks a clear purpose.
You can get the Prisma Shade completely built from Baro Ki’Teer 300’000 credits and 500 ducats. 

Wyrm

Base Wyrm is too squishy to be used all over the starchart. This reduces the usefulness of its exclusive mods Crowd Dispersion and Negate drastically because Wyrm will go down too early and too often. Crowd Dispersion sends a shockwave to enemies in a 10m radius and stuns them for a short time. To make this effective Wyrm needs to be tankier.
The base Wyrm blueprint can be acquired in the marketplace for 100’000 credits. 

Unique concept to mod all companions, pets

Sentinels like all companions or pets have a unique way of modding. They all have 10 mod slots and a mod capacity of 30. To make full use of those mod slots you should install an Orokin Catalyst that doubles your sentinels’s mod capacity. If you want to be serious with modding you will have to spend a large amount of forma. End game sentinels similar to Kubrow or Kavats will easily have 4-6 forma on them.

All companions have special ability mods and for sentinels these are called sentinel exclusive mods. They have the Penjaga polarity that looks like the small letter “l” followed by a dot. penjaga polarity

Abilities will be activated in a special order. The basic concept is left to right first row and then left to right second row

Companion mod priority

This is important for abilities with cooldown that provide healing or shield charging. Best keep those mods in the upper row and use the lower row for the rest. This is just for ability mods which are normally 2-3 out of your 10 equipped mods. The Vacuum mod that collects all resources around warframe should always cover the last slot. It works perfectly fine that way and will not get in the way with other ability mods.

Sentinel builds

Basic sentinel build

There is a basic build all your sentinels can follow in terms of survivability and warframe utility. Once you reach late-game and have access to Arcanes some of the mods might be replaced. Consider this basic sentinel build a starting point.

Basic sentinel build

Survivability mods

  • Enhanced Vitality, +220% sentinel health
  • Calculated Redirection, +275% sentinel shield capacity
  • Repair Kit, sentinel self-healing 6 health per second
  • Regen, self-revive once if killed

Utility mods

  • Vacuum, collect dropped resources
  • Animal Instinct, shows enemies, dropped resources and lootable containers on minimap

Warframe survivability mods

  • Medi-Ray, heals your warframe 12%, 12 seconds cooldown

Helios Prime build, tanky self-healing late game

This tanky build combines different synergies for self-preservation and warframe healing. Metal Fiber, Calculated Redirection and Enhanced Vitality will bring Helios Prime to solid 800 health backed by 210 armor and 375 shield. Assault Mode is needed to make constant use of Deconstructor Prime because this will provide constant healing for the sentinel. 

Vacuum and Animal Instinct are staples of every build to be able to loot properly. Primed Regen and Sacrifice will work together to revive your warframe up to 3 times. Medi-Ray will heal your warframe constantly. Depending on your progress in the game you can use one of three mods on the 10th mod slot: Investigator, if you have to scan something; Guardian, if you need fast warframe shield recovery; Synth Deconstruct, to spawn health orbs because of the use of Deconstrutor. 

Helios Prime build

Survivability mods

  • Assault Mode, use sentinel weapon
  • Enhanced Vitality, +220% sentinel health
  • Calculated Redirection, +275% sentinel shield capacity
  • Metal Fiber, +110% sentinel armor

Utility mods

  • Vacuum, collect dropped resources
  • Animal Instinct, shows enemies, dropped resources and lootable containers on minimap

Warframe survivability mods

  • Medi-Ray, heals your warframe 12%, 12 seconds cooldown
  • Sacrifice, revives your downed warframe by giving up its own life
  • Primed Regen, self-revive 3 times if killed

Flexible mod 

Choose one of these 3 mods depending on your preferences for the 10th mod slot. 

  • Investigator, scans unknown objects and enemies
  • Guardian, restores you warframe shield when it depletes
  • Synth Deconstruct, enemies that have been wounded by sentinel and killed by warframe have a 25% chance to spawn a health orb

Deconstructor Prime build for Helios Prime

The Deconstructor Prime build is the backbone of Helios Prime. It is a glaive build that uses Healing Return to constantly heal the sentinel. Drifting Contact, Volcanic Edge, Virulent Scourge and Vicious Frost bring the status chance to 80%. And gas has a good chance to proc on other enemies to further increase usefulness. Power Throw will add punchthrough to hit covered enemies and Rebound will add more bounces to Deconstructor Prime to hit even more enemies. 

helios prime deconstructor prime build
  • Healing Return, 7 health for each status on enemy
  • Volcanic Edge, adds status chance, adds heat (needed for gas)
  • Virulent Scourge, adds status chance, adds toxin (needed for gas)
  • Vicious Frost, adds status chance, adds cold 
  • Fury, adds faster shooting
  • Drifting Contact, adds status chance
  • Power Throw, adds punchthrough
  • Rebound, hitting more enemies

Taxon build, late game utility

This build is focused on keeping your warframe alive. Medi-Ray heals your warframe. Primed Regen allows your sentinel 3 additional deaths that can be used in synergy with Sacrifice; consuming a sentinel life to revive your warframe. Molecular Conversion will boost your warframe shields when the sentinel weapon hits an enemy for 200 damage. With Taxon even Assault mode works for your warframe survivability. Enemies will be marked and slowed down

Taxon late game build

Survivability mods

  • Enhanced Vitality, +220% sentinel health
  • Calculated Redirection, +275% sentinel shield capacity
  • Repair Kit, sentinel self-healing 6 health per second

Utility mods

  • Vacuum, collect dropped resources
  • Animal Instinct, shows enemies, dropped resources and lootable containers on minimap

Warframe survivability mods

  • Molecular Conversion, deals 200 damage & converts damage to warframe shields or overshields
  • Medi-Ray, heals your warframe 12%, 12 seconds cooldown
  • Assault Mode, use sentinel weapon
  • Sacrifice, revives your downed warframe by giving up its own life
  • Primed Regen, self-revive 3 times if killed

Artax utility build for Taxon

You do not need to do any additional damage with Artax because its unique utility of freezing enemies neither be increased nor decreased. Adding punchthrough, more range and more higher fire rate will make the most of its utility. Punch through will freeze enemies behind shields or walls. Range will obviously increase its range and fire rate will reduce the time that it takes to freeze an enemy. 

Taxon Artax build
  • Metal Auger, adds a large chunk of punchthrough
  • Sinister Reach, adds lots of range
  • Shred, increases fire rate and adds some punchthrough
  • Magazine Warp, larger magazine
  • Fast Hands, increases reload speed
  • Vile Acceleration, increases fire rate significantly

Carrier Prime build, utility no-weapon late game 

This build is focused on self-preservation, warframe healing and large portion utility. Ammo Case will provide 25% additional ammo for all weapons equipped and will convert any unused ammo on the ground into that for your currently equipped weapon. Vacuum will collect resources. Animal Instinct will display enemies, not yet collected loot and lootable containers on your minimap. With Primed Regen and Sacrifice you will gain 4 revives for your warframe through your sentinel. Enhanced Vitality, Calculated Redirection and Metal Fiber will tank up Carrier Prime to 1280 health, 315 armor and 375 shield.

Carrier Prime late game build

Survivability mods

  • Enhanced Vitality, +220% sentinel health
  • Calculated Redirection, +275% sentinel shield capacity
  • Metal Fiber, +110% sentinel armor
  • Repair Kit, sentinel self-healing 6 health per second

Utility mods

  • Vacuum, collect dropped resources
  • Ammo Case, +25% more ammo for each warframe weapon & ammo mutation 
  • (Primed) Animal Instinct, shows enemies, dropped resources and lootable containers on minimap

Warframe survivability mods

  • Medi-Ray, heals your warframe 12%, 12 seconds cooldown
  • Primed Regen, self-revive 3 times if killed
  • Sacrifice, revives your downed warframe by giving up its own life

Wyrm Prime build, status removal & crowd control

Half of the mods for this build are to protect your warframe in late game. Negate removes any status but has a 4 second cooldown and Crowd Dispersion will ragdoll enemies hordes that come too close. Medi-Ray, Primed Regen and Sacrifice will heal and revive your warframe if needed. There is also some basic utility in this build that will help you collect resources and update your minimap. Only 3 mods are for Wyrm Prime survivability. 

Wyrm Prime build late game

Survivability mods

  • Enhanced Vitality, +220% sentinel health
  • Calculated Redirection, +275% sentinel shield capacity
  • Repair Kit, sentinel self-healing 6 health per second

Utility mods

  • Vacuum, collect dropped resources
  • (Primed) Animal Instinct, shows enemies, dropped resources and lootable containers on minimap

Warframe survivability mods

  • Medi-Ray, heals your warframe 12%, 12 seconds cooldown
  • Negate, stops status effects with 5 second cooldown
  • Crowd Dispersion, enemies within 10m get ragdolled away, 15 seconds cooldown
  • Primed Regen, self-revive 3 times if killed
  • Sacrifice, revives your downed warframe by giving up its own life

Dethcube Prime build, late game synth

This build will keep your warframe alive as long as you have enemies you can shoot you. Dethcube Prime has the usual backbone of Enhanced Vitality, Calculated Redirection and Repair Kit to keep itself alive.

Synth Fiber will add more armor if a health orb is picked up. Synth Deconstruct synergizes by having a 25% chance of spawning a health orb for every killed enemy the sentinel weapon did damage to. That in turn requires Assault Mode to actually shoot things. You can use the Deth Machine Rifle Prime sentinel weapon but Sweeper Prime does a way better job. 

Dethcube Prime build late game

Survivability mods

  • Enhanced Vitality, +220% sentinel health
  • Calculated Redirection, +275% sentinel shield capacity
  • Repair Kit, sentinel self-healing 6 health per second
  • Synth Fiber, sentinel armor increase by 100% upon health orb pickup
  • Assault Mode, use sentinel weapon

Utility mods

  • Vacuum, collect dropped resources
  • (Primed) Animal Instinct, shows enemies, dropped resources and lootable containers on minimap

Warframe survivability mods

  • Synth Deconstruct, 25% chance to spawn a health orb from killed enemies wounded by the sentinel weapon
  • Primed Regen, self-revive 3 times if killed
  • Sacrifice, revives your downed warframe by giving up its own life

Sweeper Prime build for Dethcube Prime synth build

The idea behind this build is to do damage to as many enemies as possible. That is why it needs to shoot fast, has to have punchthrough and a long range. Having gas damage offers a chance, although small because Sweeper Prime is a shotgun, to spread toxin damage to enemies in a 3 meter radius.

Dethcube Prime Sweeper Prime build
  • Point Blank, increases damage output
  • Hell’s Chamber, adds multishot, more pellets more chances to hit
  • Seeking Fury, adds punchthrough, increases fire rate
  • Shotgun Spazz, increases fire rate significantly
  • Scattering Inferno, adds heat damage (needed for gas)
  • Contagious Spread, adds toxin damage (needed for gas)
  • Accelerated Blast, increases fire rate
  • Fatal Acceleration, increases range by adding projectile flight speed

Youtube Warframe sentinel guide

If you prefer video over reading this article you can go into my youtube guide. But keep in mind that the video is a 2020 snapshot while this article gets updated regularly.

Summary

Before I started to work on this list I was under the impression that only Carrier Prime is worth using as a sentinel. But the more time I spend with other sentinel the more I appreciated their ways to keep your warframe and themselves alive. With Taxon we have an extremely capable and helpful sentinel early on in the game that made it to position 2 on this list. When you entering the late game of Warframe switching to Helios Prime or Carrier Prime is advised.

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