Defense is a game mode 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 players will receive an option to either leave the mission and receive a displayed reward or to continue against progressively harder enemies for an additional 5 waves. The mission is considered completed when the team accepts the offer to claim a reward and exit, and fails if the objective is destroyed or the entire team dies.
There are a total of 32 Defense missions for twelve 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 are mostly specific to the Corpus:
- C: Corpus Ship, Cargo Bay; Defend a cryopod on a raised platform, with two main avenues of approach and 2 approaches from behind.
- D: Corpus Outpost, Ravine; Defend a cryopod out in the open, surrounded by snowy caves and cliffs.
- E: Corpus Outpost, Courtyard; Defend a cryopod in a courtyard in a frigid Corpus outpost.
- F: Corpus Outpost, Dam; Defend a cryopod in a frozen dam complex, with enemies storming across two bridges.
- H: Corpus Gas City, Deck; Defend a cryopod on the multi-level deck of a gas city ship, with enemies approaching from three ascents.
- 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, and R have the objective in the center where enemies come from every direction, while the maps C, F, H, and I are not so open to approach and has the defense objective near the edge of the map where enemies can't spawn and thus making them often more easy to defend. Map A also has 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 H 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 map 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.
|Earth||Lith||Grineer||1 - 6||J||1|
|Venus||Tessera||Corpus||3 - 8||D/E/F||1|
|Mercury||Lares||Infestation||6 - 11||B||1|
|Mars||Spear||Grineer||8 - 13||B||1|
|Phobos||Gulliver||Corpus||10 - 15||C||1|
|Ceres||Casta||Grineer||12 - 17||I||1|
|Jupiter||Io||Corpus||15 - 20||H||2|
|Europa||Paimon||Corpus||18 - 23||D/E/F||2|
|Saturn||Helene||Grineer||21 - 26||A||2|
|Uranus||Stephano||Grineer||25 - 27||O||3|
|Neptune||Proteus||Corpus||27 - 32||D/E/F||3|
|Sedna||Hydron||Grineer||30 - 40||A||3|
|Eris||Kala-azar||Infestation||30 - 40||L||3|
|Pluto||Outer Terminus||Corpus||30 - 40||D/E/F||3|
|Lua||Stöfler||Grineer||25 - 30||P||3|
|Void||Taranis||Orokin||10 - 15||K||1|
|Void||Belenus||Orokin||30 - 35||K||3|
|Kuva Fortress||Tamu||Grineer||32 - 34||Q||3|
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.
- 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.
During the Prime Vault unseal the Defense Void nodes have a separate drop table.
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|Ammo Drum||9.09%||50 Endo||8.33%||80 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 B5 Relic||9.09%||Shocking Touch||8.33%||Ravage||8.33%|
|Lith C3 Relic||9.09%||Meso B2 Relic||8.33%||Meso B2 Relic||8.33%|
|Lith H2 Relic||9.09%||Meso D3 Relic||8.33%||Meso D3 Relic||8.33%|
|Lith O1 Relic||9.09%||Meso R1 Relic||8.33%||Meso R1 Relic||8.33%|
|Lith P1 Relic||9.09%||Meso S8 Relic||8.33%||Meso S8 Relic||8.33%|
|Lith Z2 Relic||9.09%||Meso T1 Relic||8.33%||Meso T1 Relic||8.33%|
|Synthula||9.09%||Meso T3 Relic||8.33%||Meso T3 Relic||8.33%|
|Meso Z1 Relic||8.33%||Meso Z1 Relic||8.33%|
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|15 Endo||12.5%||50 Endo||5.56%||Neo A2 Relic||8.6%|
|Meso B2 Relic||12.5%||Cryo Rounds||5.56%||Neo B5 Relic||8.6%|
|Meso D3 Relic||12.5%||Deep Freeze||5.56%||Neo G1 Relic||8.6%|
|Meso R1 Relic||12.5%||Fury||5.56%||Neo H2 Relic||8.6%|
|Meso S8 Relic||12.5%||Hell's Chamber||5.56%||Neo K2 Relic||8.6%|
|Meso T1 Relic||12.5%||North Wind||5.56%||Neo L1 Relic||8.6%|
|Meso T3 Relic||12.5%||Point Blank||5.56%||Neo M1 Relic||8.6%|
|Meso Z1 Relic||12.5%||Reflex Coil||5.56%||Neo N8 Relic||8.6%|
|Stormbringer||5.56%||Neo S7 Relic||8.6%|
|Neo A2 Relic||5.56%||80 Endo||4.51%|
|Neo B5 Relic||5.56%||Metal Auger||4.51%|
|Neo G1 Relic||5.56%||Ravage||4.51%|
|Neo H2 Relic||5.56%||Stretch||4.51%|
|Neo K2 Relic||5.56%||Vital Sense||4.51%|
|Neo L1 Relic||5.56%|
|Neo M1 Relic||5.56%|
|Neo N8 Relic||5.56%|
|Neo S7 Relic||5.56%|
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|Magazine Warp||8.33%||50 Endo||7.14%||Axi A4 Relic||12.91%|
|Trick Mag||8.33%||Deep Freeze||7.14%||Axi C3 Relic||12.91%|
|Vitality||8.33%||Hell's Chamber||7.14%||Axi E2 Relic||12.91%|
|Neo A2 Relic||8.33%||Hornet Strike||7.14%||Axi K4 Relic||12.91%|
|Neo B5 Relic||8.33%||North Wind||7.14%||Axi L2 Relic||12.91%|
|Neo G1 Relic||8.33%||Reflex Coil||7.14%||Axi O4 Relic||12.91%|
|Neo H2 Relic||8.33%||Shocking Touch||7.14%||80 Endo||2.26%|
|Neo K2 Relic||8.33%||Streamline||7.14%||Continuity||2.26%|
|Neo L1 Relic||8.33%||Axi A4 Relic||7.14%||Convulsion||2.26%|
|Neo M1 Relic||8.33%||Axi C3 Relic||7.14%||Handspring||2.26%|
|Neo N8 Relic||8.33%||Axi E2 Relic||7.14%||Master Thief||2.26%|
|Neo S7 Relic||8.33%||Axi K4 Relic||7.14%||Metal Auger||2.26%|
|Axi L2 Relic||7.14%||Ravage||2.26%|
|Axi O4 Relic||7.14%||Split Chamber||2.26%|
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|Lith B5 Relic||14.29%||Lith B5 Relic||11.06%||Lith B5 Relic||6.67%|
|Lith C3 Relic||14.29%||Lith C3 Relic||11.06%||Lith C3 Relic||6.67%|
|Lith H2 Relic||14.29%||Lith H2 Relic||11.06%||Lith H2 Relic||6.67%|
|Lith M2 Relic||14.29%||Lith M2 Relic||11.06%||Lith M2 Relic||6.67%|
|Lith O1 Relic||14.29%||Lith O1 Relic||11.06%||Lith O1 Relic||6.67%|
|Lith P1 Relic||14.29%||Lith P1 Relic||11.06%||Lith P1 Relic||6.67%|
|Lith Z2 Relic||14.29%||Lith Z2 Relic||11.06%||Lith Z2 Relic||6.67%|
|Meso B2 Relic||3.22%||Meso B2 Relic||6.67%|
|Meso B3 Relic||3.22%||Meso B3 Relic||6.67%|
|Meso D3 Relic||3.22%||Meso D3 Relic||6.67%|
|Meso R1 Relic||3.22%||Meso R1 Relic||6.67%|
|Meso S8 Relic||3.22%||Meso S8 Relic||6.67%|
|Meso T1 Relic||3.22%||Meso T1 Relic||6.67%|
|Meso T3 Relic||3.22%||Meso T3 Relic||6.67%|
|Meso Z1 Relic||6.67%|
- Taranis, Void
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|Meso B2 Relic||5.56%||Neo A2 Relic||10%||Neo A2 Relic||7.74%|
|Meso B3 Relic||5.56%||Neo B5 Relic||10%||Neo B5 Relic||7.74%|
|Meso D3 Relic||5.56%||Neo G1 Relic||10%||Neo G1 Relic||7.74%|
|Meso R1 Relic||5.56%||Neo H2 Relic||10%||Neo H2 Relic||7.74%|
|Meso S8 Relic||5.56%||Neo K2 Relic||10%||Neo K2 Relic||7.74%|
|Meso T1 Relic||5.56%||Neo L1 Relic||10%||Neo L1 Relic||7.74%|
|Meso T3 Relic||5.56%||Neo M1 Relic||10%||Neo M1 Relic||7.74%|
|Meso Z1 Relic||5.56%||Neo N8 Relic||10%||Neo N8 Relic||7.74%|
|Neo A2 Relic||5.56%||Neo N9 Relic||10%||Neo N9 Relic||7.74%|
|Neo B5 Relic||5.56%||Neo S7 Relic||10%||Neo S7 Relic||7.74%|
|Neo G1 Relic||5.56%||Axi A4 Relic||2.82%|
|Neo H2 Relic||5.56%||Axi A5 Relic||2.82%|
|Neo K2 Relic||5.56%||Axi C3 Relic||2.82%|
|Neo L1 Relic||5.56%||Axi E2 Relic||2.82%|
|Neo M1 Relic||5.56%||Axi K4 Relic||2.82%|
|Neo N8 Relic||5.56%||Axi L2 Relic||2.82%|
|Neo N9 Relic||5.56%||Axi O4 Relic||2.82%|
|Neo S7 Relic||5.56%||Axi S4 Relic||2.82%|
- Belenus, Void
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|150 Endo||12.5%||150 Endo||38.72%||Forma Blueprint||22.56%|
|240 Endo||12.5%||240 Endo||38.72%||Meso B2 Relic||11.06%|
|Lith B5 Relic||12.5%||Mutalist Alad V Nav Coordinate||22.56%||Meso D3 Relic||11.06%|
|Lith C3 Relic||12.5%||Meso R1 Relic||11.06%|
|Lith H2 Relic||12.5%||Meso S8 Relic||11.06%|
|Lith O1 Relic||12.5%||Meso T1 Relic||11.06%|
|Lith P1 Relic||12.5%||Meso T3 Relic||11.06%|
|Lith Z2 Relic||12.5%||Meso Z1 Relic||11.06%|
- Defense, Orokin Derelict
Dark Sector Defense
Defense missions that take place in Dark Sectors can only be reached by Solar Rails and 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. There are currently 13 Dark Sector Defense Missions, one each for every planet except Mercury.
|Earth||Coba||Infestation||6 - 16|
|Venus||Romula||Infestation||6 - 8|
|Mars||Kadesh||Infestation||10 - 20|
|Ceres||Seimeni||Infestation||15 - 25|
|Jupiter||Sinai||Infestation||20 - 30|
|Europa||Larzac||Infestation||23 - 33|
|Uranus||Ur||Infestation||27 - 37|
|Sedna||Sangeru||Infestation||35 - 45|
|Eris||Akkad||Infestation||35 - 45|
|Pluto||Sechura||Infestation||32 - 36|
Wave Defense functions similar to the standard endless defense type, except that Tenno must protect the Power Core, Cryopod, or Artifact for a predetermined number of waves. There are no mission rewards until all waves are completed. This is used in Defense Alerts (10-15 waves), and Nightmare Mode Defense missions. This mission type was first introduced in the Artifact Defense Event.
- 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 only when one of the players have reached the activation "ring" around the objective. 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.
|PvE||Standard||Assassination • Capture • Defection • Defense • Excavation • Exterminate • Hijack • Interception • Junction • Mobile Defense • Rescue • Sabotage (Deception, Hive, Orokin, Reactor, Sealab) • Spy • Survival|
|Archwing||Exterminate • Interception • Mobile Defense • Pursuit • Rush|
|Unique||Arena (The Index, Rathuum) • Assault • Infested Salvage • Recovery • Sanctuary Onslaught|
|Arena||Cephalon Capture • Annihilation • Team Annihilation • Lunaro|
|Alert • Arbitrations • Crossfire • Dark Sectors • Hazards • Incursion • Invasion • Nightmare Mode • Sortie • Tile Sets • Void Fissure • Free Roam|