Over the weekend, Warframe players discovered it was possible to break into one of the game’s Archwing missions, space levels that play like a flight sim, without donning a special jet-propelled exo suit. Instead they explore bugged out portions of space in their regular humanoid form..
Archwing missions are fighter jet segments where players use special equipment called Archwings to zoom around Star Fox-like, completing objectives in outer space. As reported over at Eurogamer, a Reddit user who goes by Kesu_ first posted an image of the bug on the Wargrame subreddit. A veteran player, they had started a new game and decided to complete all of the missions on Earth before moving onto a different plant.
“I eventually got to Erpo when I then remembered I don’t have an archwing,” they wrote in an email to Kotaku. “Out of curiosity I clicked on the nodes [to start the mission] just to see what would happen. The countdown began and I figured it would just boot me out once the mission started, but to my surprise I saw a loading screen. I expected it to just give me some placeholder archwing, but I just didn’t spawn with one at all.”
Eurogamer’s Emma Kent was able to recreate the bug in the video below.
The irony is that this is the type of space exploration Warframe players have hoped for for some time. The game’s appeal is its speed and the satisfying feel of its twitchy acrobatics, neither of which are present in Archwing mode. Digital Extremes, the game’s makers, haven’t addressed the bug publicly, so it’s unclear how soon or if it will get patched out. Until then, players in these online missions have occasionally encountered random strangers enjoying a glitchy spacewalk.
Another Reddit user who goes by Recrewt was new to the game and had no idea what was going on when they encountered the same bug. “I started playing this game yesterday, and there’s this one archwing quest on earth that confused me like hell,” they wrote. “You can walk around and even shoot enemies in that archwing mission, but unfortunately you can’t change altitude.”
Since early on in the game’s life, Warframe players have wanted desperately to explore outer space in a similar, albeit less buggy fashion. To that point, Digital Extremes is releasing a new mode in 2019 that will apparently let players engage in ship battles with one another, including short Archwing sections for boarding one another’s ships. Whether the game ever embraces free-form space exploration remains to be seen.