Defense is an Endless Mission type in which the players must defend the assigned primary objective or objectives from being destroyed by attacking waves of enemies. The wave will be considered cleared when all the enemies in the wave have been killed.
Every 5 waves each player will receive an option to either leave the mission individually and receive a displayed reward or to continue for more rewards against progressively harder enemies for an additional 5 waves. The mission is considered completed when players accept the offer to claim a reward and exit.
If you decide not to extract but subsequently fail to clear the next set of waves, you lose any rewards accrued for the waves already cleared, fail the mission and leave with nothing.
There are a total of 18 unique Defense maps for fifteen Tile Sets available.
Nine of them are mostly specific to the Grineer:
- A: Grineer Galleon; Defend a cryopod at an elevator platform in a galleon's ventilation complex.
- B: Grineer Asteroid, Cave; Defend a cylindrical Orokin reactor in a dark cave.
- G: Grineer Settlement, Shelter; Defend a cryopod within a metallic shelter, with entrances all around.
- I: Grineer Shipyards; Defend a cryopod sitting on a tram in a multi-decked shipyard, the tram may move after every wave.
- J: Grineer Forest, Shelter; Similar to the Grineer Settlement, with an open roof.
- Grineer Sealab
- O: Excavation Site; Defend 4 cryopods located in different corners of an Orokin excavation site.
- R: Defend an embryonic injector within a cloning lab.
- P: Orokin Moon; Defend a cryopod on an Orokin platform in the middle of a crater on the moon.
- Q: Grineer Asteroid Fortress; Defend a Kuva injector in a Grineer fortress. This area has traps that can harm the player: turrets, tesla coils that electrify the floor around the injector, flamethrowers and toxic gas sprays in the corridors.
Six (and two which were removed from the game) are mostly specific to the Corpus:
- C: Corpus Ship (Old), Cargo Bay; Defend a cryopod on a raised platform, with two main avenues of approach and 2 approaches from behind. [Superseded by Temple defense when the Corpus Ship tileset was remastered.]
- S: Corpus Ship, Temple; Defend a cryopod on an elevator platform in the middle of a large square room. [Supersedes Cargo Bay defense.]
- Corpus Outpost:
- H: Corpus Gas City (Old), Deck; Defend a cryopod on the multi-level deck of a gas city ship, with enemies approaching from three ascents. [Superseded by Dynamo defense when the Corpus Gas City tileset was remastered.]
- T: Corpus Gas City, Dynamo; Defend a cryopod on top of a lightning harvester. A console beneath the cryopod can be activated once every few minutes to electrify the cryopod platform for several seconds, dealing heavy damage to anyone standing on it. [Supersedes Deck defense.]
- N: Corpus Ice Planet, Shipwreck; Defend a cryopod just outside of a landed shipwreck.
Two are specific to the Infested:
- K: Orokin Derelict; Featuring walkways and man entrances towards a cryopod on at the center of a stand
- L: Infested Ship; inside a badly damaged Corpus Ship overrun by the infested with narrow paths towards a large room
The last one is specific to the Orokin
- M: Orokin Void; featuring a large room with laser defenses that will instantly kill anybody, Tenno included. 4 distinct paths converge down towards the cryopod.)
When an Infestation outbreak is occurring on a defense mission, the infested use the original tile set.
The maps A, B, E, G, L, N, P, Q, R and S have the objective in the center where enemies come from every direction, while the maps C, F, H, I and T are not so open to approach and have the defense objective near the edge of the map where enemies can't spawn and thus making them often more easy to defend. Maps A and S also have a moving objective, where the elevator platform can randomly raise or lower the objective to a different position every wave.
Map D has 3 different locations where a cryopod can randomly spawn: one is in the lower area of the map, one is in the upper area of the map, and one is up on the raised platform above the upper area.
- The lower area has 3 avenues of approach (the vast majority of enemies only come from 1 direction - this is the easiest location to defend on this map).
- The upper area has 4 avenues of approach (enemies are more spread out among the 4 - this is generally the hardest location to defend).
- The raised platform only has 2 avenues of approach and MOAs can jump up the side of the platform as well (the majority of enemies only come from 1 direction - this is the second easiest location to defend).
Map E also has 3 potential locations for the cryopod; either on the center platform where the two shorter bridges meet, or on either of the corners where the long bridges and center bridge meet. The center location is by far the easiest, as enemies are funneled through the short bridges. The corner areas are more challenging as enemies come from both of the bridges, including the small walkway along the long bride, climbing up from the ravine as well as flanking from the upper areas above the cryopods.
On map I the cryopod is sitting on a tram that randomly moves along a rail between 2 locations.
- The tram usually stays in one location for multiple waves, with a chance of moving at the end of a wave. Tenno can also ride the tram while it's moving.
- The cryopod will always spawn in the same location.
Map O has 4 cryopods located on 4 separate corners of the map. After each wave one of the four cryopods is randomly selected to become vulnerable to attack, indicated by a blue aura surrounding it, and will become the current enemy target. Players must thus move to each vulnerable Cryopod as they are marked every wave in order to defend them.
Map P has a single cryopod in the middle of a platform which collapses every 5 waves. Wave 6 has the platform collapse into an Orokin complex while Wave 11 has the platform fall into a huge moon cave. The platform does not fall any further after wave 11.
Currently there are several planet-exclusive defense maps:
- Grineer map G is available only on Mars.
- Corpus map T is available only on Jupiter.
- Grineer map I is available only on Ceres.
- Grineer map J is only available on Earth.
- Corpus map N is only available on Europa.
- Grineer maps O and R are only available on Uranus.
- Grineer map P is only available on Lua.
- Grineer map Q is only available on the Kuva Fortress.
- Infested map K is only available on Deimos.
- Orokin map M is only available in the Void.
There are a total of three tiers which determines the reward pool players have access to at each 5th wave checkpoint.
At the end of each round, the decision screen indicates what each individual player intends to do, with undecided players continuing to battle. It is not a vote and extraction occurs for individual players, not the group; these players will appear to disconnect. It is normally advised to decide on a leaving wave before entering the mission or alternatively shortly after it starts. If not, then everyone should leave at the same time as soon as one of the party members decides to extract.
Significant lag may prevent this option from appearing entirely for clients if the latency is from the host of the match, and the players will be forced to stay and have a host migrate. Keep this in mind if you join a match and notice an unusually high amount of latency.
- Waves 1-4 consist of MOAs, Crewmen, Prod Crewmen, and Oxium Ospreys.
- Waves 5-9 consist of Shockwave MOAs, Shield Ospreys, Elite Crewmen, Detron Crewmen, Sniper Crewmen, Techs, Sapping Ospreys, and Leech Ospreys in addition to previous waves.
- Waves 10+ consist of Railgun MOAs, Fusion MOAs, Mine Ospreys, Nullifier Crewmen, Anti MOAs, and Scavenger Drones in addition to previous waves.
- On Io, Jupiter, near the end of every 5th wave, two or three Eximus Amalgam units will spawn.
- Waves 1-4 consist of Volatile Runners, Runners, Leapers, Crawlers, Nauseous Crawlers, Toxic Crawlers, Electric Crawlers, Lobber Crawlers and Chargers, along with a random mix of Ancient Healers or Ancient Disruptors.
- Waves 5-9 consist of Ancient Disruptors, Ancient Healers, Tar-Mutalist MOAs, Swarm-Mutalist MOAs and Mutalist Ospreys in addition to previous waves.
- Waves 10+ consist of Toxic Ancients, Brood Mothers, and Boilers in addition to previous waves.
- The only Infested non-boss enemies that don't appear in survival are Mutalist Ospreys.
- Waves 1-4 consist of Butchers, Flameblades, Powerfists, Lancers, and Troopers.
- Waves 5-9 consist of Heavy Gunners, Ballistas, Eviscerators, Shield Lancers, Scorches and Scorpions in addition to previous waves.
- Waves 10+ consist of Drahk Masters, Commanders, Rollers, Seekers, Bombards and Napalms in addition to previous waves.
- Waves 1-4 consist of Corrupted Lancers, Corrupted Butchers, and Corrupted Crewmen.
- Waves 5-9 consist of Orokin Drones, Corrupted Heavy Gunners, and Corrupted MOAs, in addition to previous waves.
- Waves 10+ consist of Corrupted Ancients, Corrupted Bombards and Corrupted Nullifiers, (T2, T3 and T4 only), in addition to previous waves.
Rewards from Defense missions are offered every 5 waves during the extraction prompt. If a player chooses to extract, they receive the reward for that particular wave along with rewards offered from previous extraction prompts on that mission. The order of the rotations is AABC.
- The percentages display the chances of a particular item being received as a reward during each extraction prompt.
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|Ammo Drum||9.09%||100 Endo||8.33%||200 Endo||8.33%|
|Magazine Warp||9.09%||Cryo Rounds||8.33%||Continuity||8.33%|
|Pressure Point||9.09%||Hell's Chamber||8.33%||Master Thief||8.33%|
|Trick Mag||9.09%||Reflex Coil||8.33%||Metal Auger||8.33%|
|Lith C6 Relic||9.09%||Shocking Touch||8.33%||Ravage||8.33%|
|Lith D1 Relic||9.09%||Meso E4 Relic||8.33%||Meso E4 Relic||8.33%|
|Lith D2 Relic||9.09%||Meso I1 Relic||8.33%||Meso I1 Relic||8.33%|
|Lith M5 Relic||9.09%||Meso K3 Relic||8.33%||Meso K3 Relic||8.33%|
|Lith M6 Relic||9.09%||Meso N10 Relic||8.33%||Meso N10 Relic||8.33%|
|Lith P3 Relic||9.09%||Meso N9 Relic||8.33%||Meso N9 Relic||8.33%|
|Lith S10 Relic||9.09%||Meso P2 Relic||8.33%||Meso P2 Relic||8.33%|
|Meso P3 Relic||8.33%||Meso P3 Relic||8.33%|
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|Meso E4 Relic||14.29%||150 Endo||6.25%||Neo A3 Relic||11.06%|
|Meso I1 Relic||14.29%||Cryo Rounds||6.25%||Neo I2 Relic||11.06%|
|Meso K3 Relic||14.29%||Deep Freeze||6.25%||Neo M3 Relic||11.06%|
|Meso N10 Relic||14.29%||Fury||6.25%||Neo R4 Relic||11.06%|
|Meso N9 Relic||14.29%||Hell's Chamber||6.25%||Neo T2 Relic||11.06%|
|Meso P2 Relic||14.29%||North Wind||6.25%||Neo T3 Relic||11.06%|
|Meso P3 Relic||14.29%||Point Blank||6.25%||Neo Z5 Relic||11.06%|
|Reflex Coil||6.25%||300 Endo||4.51%|
|Neo A3 Relic||6.25%||Ravage||4.51%|
|Neo I2 Relic||6.25%||Stretch||4.51%|
|Neo M3 Relic||6.25%||Vital Sense||4.51%|
|Neo R4 Relic||6.25%|
|Neo T2 Relic||6.25%|
|Neo T3 Relic||6.25%|
|Neo Z5 Relic||6.25%|
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|Magazine Warp||10%||200 Endo||6.67%||Axi A10 Relic||11.06%|
|Trick Mag||10%||Deep Freeze||6.67%||Axi A11 Relic||11.06%|
|Vitality||10%||Hell's Chamber||6.67%||Axi B3 Relic||11.06%|
|Neo A3 Relic||10%||Hornet Strike||6.67%||Axi B4 Relic||11.06%|
|Neo I2 Relic||10%||North Wind||6.67%||Axi C5 Relic||11.06%|
|Neo M3 Relic||10%||Reflex Coil||6.67%||Axi T4 Relic||11.06%|
|Neo R4 Relic||10%||Shocking Touch||6.67%||Axi W1 Relic||11.06%|
|Neo T2 Relic||10%||Streamline||6.67%||400 Endo||2.26%|
|Neo T3 Relic||10%||Axi A10 Relic||6.67%||Continuity||2.26%|
|Neo Z5 Relic||10%||Axi A11 Relic||6.67%||Convulsion||2.26%|
|Axi B3 Relic||6.67%||Handspring||2.26%|
|Axi B4 Relic||6.67%||Master Thief||2.26%|
|Axi C5 Relic||6.67%||Metal Auger||2.26%|
|Axi T4 Relic||6.67%||Ravage||2.26%|
|Axi W1 Relic||6.67%||Split Chamber||2.26%|
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|Lith C6 Relic||12.5%||Lith C6 Relic||9.68%||Lith C6 Relic||6.25%|
|Lith D1 Relic||12.5%||Lith D1 Relic||9.68%||Lith D1 Relic||6.25%|
|Lith D2 Relic||12.5%||Lith D2 Relic||9.68%||Lith D2 Relic||6.25%|
|Lith G1 Relic||12.5%||Lith G1 Relic||9.68%||Lith G1 Relic||6.25%|
|Lith M5 Relic||12.5%||Lith M5 Relic||9.68%||Lith M5 Relic||6.25%|
|Lith M6 Relic||12.5%||Lith M6 Relic||9.68%||Lith M6 Relic||6.25%|
|Lith P3 Relic||12.5%||Lith P3 Relic||9.68%||Lith P3 Relic||6.25%|
|Lith S10 Relic||12.5%||Lith S10 Relic||9.68%||Lith S10 Relic||6.25%|
|Lith D2 Relic||2.82%||Meso E4 Relic||6.25%|
|Meso E4 Relic||2.82%||Meso F2 Relic||6.25%|
|Meso F2 Relic||2.82%||Meso I1 Relic||6.25%|
|Meso I1 Relic||2.82%||Meso K3 Relic||6.25%|
|Meso K3 Relic||2.82%||Meso N10 Relic||6.25%|
|Meso N9 Relic||2.82%||Meso N9 Relic||6.25%|
|Meso P2 Relic||2.82%||Meso P2 Relic||6.25%|
|Meso P3 Relic||2.82%||Meso P3 Relic||6.25%|
- Taranis, Void
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|Meso E4 Relic||6.25%||Neo A3 Relic||12.5%||Neo A3 Relic||9.68%|
|Meso F2 Relic||6.25%||Neo I2 Relic||12.5%||Neo I2 Relic||9.68%|
|Meso I1 Relic||6.25%||Neo M3 Relic||12.5%||Neo M3 Relic||9.68%|
|Meso K3 Relic||6.25%||Neo R4 Relic||12.5%||Neo R4 Relic||9.68%|
|Meso N10 Relic||6.25%||Neo S5 Relic||12.5%||Neo S5 Relic||9.68%|
|Meso N9 Relic||6.25%||Neo T2 Relic||12.5%||Neo T2 Relic||9.68%|
|Meso P2 Relic||6.25%||Neo T3 Relic||12.5%||Neo T3 Relic||9.68%|
|Meso P3 Relic||6.25%||Neo Z5 Relic||12.5%||Neo Z5 Relic||9.68%|
|Neo A3 Relic||6.25%||Axi A10 Relic||2.82%|
|Neo I2 Relic||6.25%||Axi A11 Relic||2.82%|
|Neo M3 Relic||6.25%||Axi B3 Relic||2.82%|
|Neo R4 Relic||6.25%||Axi B4 Relic||2.82%|
|Neo S5 Relic||6.25%||Axi C5 Relic||2.82%|
|Neo T2 Relic||6.25%||Axi E1 Relic||2.82%|
|Neo T3 Relic||6.25%||Axi T4 Relic||2.82%|
|Neo Z5 Relic||6.25%||Axi W1 Relic||2.82%|
- Belenus, Void
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|250 Endo||11.11%||250 Endo||38.72%||Forma Blueprint||22.56%|
|250 Endo||11.11%||250 Endo||38.72%||Meso E4 Relic||11.06%|
|Lith C6 Relic||11.11%||Mutalist Alad V Nav Coordinate||22.56%||Meso I1 Relic||11.06%|
|Lith D1 Relic||11.11%||Meso K3 Relic||11.06%|
|Lith D2 Relic||11.11%||Meso N10 Relic||11.06%|
|Lith M5 Relic||11.11%||Meso N9 Relic||11.06%|
|Lith M6 Relic||11.11%||Meso P2 Relic||11.06%|
|Lith P3 Relic||11.11%||Meso P3 Relic||11.06%|
|Lith S10 Relic||11.11%|
- Hyf, Deimos
Dark Sector Defense
Defense missions that take place in Dark Sectors always involve the Infested. These Defense missions have a higher level range (and thus, higher difficulty) than the planet they're found on, but give out larger quantities of experience, including the experience bonuses inherent in Dark Sectors, and have a chance to reward melee mods which cannot be obtained outside of Dark Sectors.
Wave Defense is a variation of the normal Defense rules, commonly found in Nightmare Mode, Invasions, and previously Alerts. Instead of starting at wave 1 and counting up until the players extract or leave, the waves start at a predetermined number and count down to 1, after which the mission ends automatically. There are no mission rewards until all waves are completed. This mission type was first introduced in the Artifact Defense Event.
The following Defense variants, organized by the number of waves, operate by Wave Defense rules:
- 15 Waves: Icefields of Riddah (Grendel Chassis Locator)
- 10 Waves: Syndicate, Void Raider, Nightmare Mode, Sortie, Alert
- 5 Waves: Invasion, Kuva Lich Controlled Territory
Healing Interactions With Defense Objects
- Main article: Defense Objects
Only static defense objects can be healed or receive damage reduction from other sources in accordance with the tables below:
|Healing source||Normal effect||Effect on all types of static defendable objects (Cryopods, Excavators, etc)|
|Gara's Mending Splinters||3 HP per sec for each active splinter||Same as normal|
|Hildryn's Haven|| 500 Max Shields|
80% faster Shield recharge
|Same as normal|
|Protea's Grenade Fan|| 500 Shield restore on attach|
50 Shield restore per second
|Trinity's Blessing||Up to 100% HP and Shield restore||Heal for 500 over 5 seconds, can’t stack|
|Trinity's Well Of Life||100 HP/sec + 1% life steal||100 HP/sec, no life steal|
|Equinox's Mend & Maim (Mend)|| 25 Shields for each enemy killed|
Burst heal based on how much damage was dealt
|Shields per enemy killed and heal for 500 over 5 seconds, can’t stack|
|Vazarin's Protective Dash|| 5 seconds invulnerability|
60% Heal over 5 seconds
| No invulnerability|
Heal for 500 over 5 seconds, can’t stack
|Khora's Venari||Heal for 50 HP/sec||Same as normal|
|Hydroid's Curative Undertow||Heals 30% hp every 1.5 secs when ally stands on it||Heal for 100 per 1.5 sec|
|Harrow's Penance||Heals allies for a % of damage dealt||Heals are capped up to 50 per second.|
|Oberon's Renewal|| 125 burst heal|
50 health per sec
|Same as normal|
|Garuda's Blood Altar||Heals by % of missing health/second||No effect|
|Inaros' Scarab Swarm||Heals for damage dealt by Swarm Projectile divided by allies in range.||Same as normal|
|Nidus' Ravenous||Heal allies standing on it for 20 HP per second||Same as normal|
|Wisp's Reservoirs (Vitality mote)||Increase max hp by 300 and heal for 30 HP per second||Same as normal|
|Volt's Capacitance||Grants shields based on 3% of damage dealt||Capped at 250 shields, no overshields|
|Titania's passive||4 HP per Second for 20 Seconds||Same as normal|
|Sancti Magistar||Heals for damage dealt in an AoE||Heal for up to 500 over 5 seconds, can’t stack with other players. Going from a burst to Heal over Time.|
|Ancient Healer Specter||Heal for 100 HP every 20 seconds||Same as normal|
|Rejuvenation||Heal 3 HP per sec||Same as normal|
|Arcane Pulse||60% chance to heal for 150 HP when picking up a health orb with a 15 sec cooldown||Same as normal|
|Damage Reduction Sources||Normal effect||Effect on all types of static Defendable objects (Cryopods, Excavators, etc)|
|Trinity's Blessing||50% Damage reduction||Capped at 50% Damage Reduction|
|Mirage's Total Eclipse||Grants 75% Damage reduction to allies||Capped at 50% Damage Reduction|
|Titania's Tribute (Thorns buff)||50% damage redirected to enemies||No effect|
|Gara's Splinter Storm||70% Damage reduction||Capped at 50% Damage Reduction|
|Ember's Immolated Radiance||50% of Immolates Damage reduction applies to allies||Capped at 45% Damage Reduction|
|Baruuk's Desolate Hands||80% Damage reduction||Capped at 50% Damage Reduction|
|Harrow's Warding Thurible||40% Damage Reduction||Capped at 50% Damage Reduction|
|Nezha's Warding Halo||Absorbs 90% of damage||Capped at 50% Damage Reduction|
- Defense missions are considered some of the best missions for mod farming due to the unlimited amount of enemies and the ability to easily leave after each 5 rounds.
- As of Update 9.0, enemies will now swarm the pod or reactor much more aggressively, with more enemies running up to the defense objective and attempting to destroy it. Also due to update 9, enemies will increase in level with each wave faster then before.
- The first wave will start when one of the players have reached the activation "ring" around the objective, or when 3 minutes have passed. Players are free to loot all the resources around the map before activating the first wave by stepping into the ring.
- As of Update 9.7, enemies can jump onto boxes and ledges, including many "safe zones" (such as the platform on the bottom right of the picture) making it even harder to avoid damage.
- Update 9.7 also made it possible for enemies to walk onto and across the large railbox (top left of the picture) providing another (and quicker) way for enemies to reach the pod, and that pathway is more difficult to defend.
- As of Update 12.0, the being inside any cryopods has changed from a human to a humanoid wearing a gold and black suit, similar to the color scheme of primes.
- There is a bug where you will click to exit the defense mission, but you will stay in the mission without a HUD, and sometimes not being able to move or chat at all. Dying will not bring back the HUD and you will not be able to revive. The only way to leave the mission is to force close the game using Alt + F4 or through a process manager.
- Having the chat window open and active while in the process of choosing between 'Extract' or 'Battle' will result in the typing player ending the mission as if they chose 'Extract', even if they chose 'Battle' explicitly.
- A test mod card labeled "Ancient Retribution" may show up as a reward, although it cannot actually be rewarded and claiming the card may crash the game or cause instabilities afterwards. The card is used by Digital Extremes for testing and does not actually represent a real mod now or in the future.
- Infested Leapers have a tendency to leap into the Warframe Cryopod which the player/s is/are supposed to be defending in the Dark Sector Defense nodes where the defendable object is a Warframe Cryopod. They will leap straight through the Cryopod and end up in the middle of it and will proceed to swipe at the center of the Cryopod, often spinning around the center of the Cryopod and taking no direct damage simply from being there. It has been tested on multiple levels that Leapers which end up in the center of the Cryopod seem to take more damage from Primary and Pistol weapons than they otherwise would.
- Many Defense mission tilesets can spawn enemies that end up getting caught inside walls or other terrain, and need to be killed with an AoE weapon or ability to continue the mission.
|PvE||Standard||Assassination • Capture • Exterminate (Crossfire) • Hijack • Mobile Defense • Rescue • Sabotage (Deception, Gas City, Hive, Orokin, Reactor, Sealab) • Spy|
|Endless||Defection • Disruption • Defense • Excavation • Interception • Survival|
|Archwing||Exterminate • Interception • Mobile Defense • Pursuit • Rush • Sabotage|
|Arena||The Index • Rathuum|
|Free Roam||Bounty (Isolation Vault • Heist)|
|Special||Assault • Granum Void • Infested Salvage • Junction • Recovery • Sanctuary Onslaught|
|Conclave||Cephalon Capture • Annihilation • Team Annihilation • Lunaro|
| Arbitrations • Dark Sectors • Environmental Hazards • Invasions • Kuva Siphon|
Kuva Lich • Nightmare Mode • Nightwave • Sorties • The Steel Path • Void Fissures