Every 5 waves the player(s) 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 whenever the team accepts the offer to claim a reward and exit and fails if the Cryopod/Power Core is destroyed or the entire team dies.
- Grineer Galleon (A: Defend at a raised platform in a galleon's ventilation complex).
- Asteroid, Cave (B: Defend a cylindrical Orokin Reactor in a dark cave).
- Grineer Settlement, Shelter (G: Defend a cryo pod within a metallic shelter, with entrances all around you.)
- Grineer Shipyards (I: Defend a cryo pod that's sitting on a tram in a multi-decked shipyard.)
The other five are mostly specific to the Corpus:
- Corpus Ship, Cargo Bay (C: Defend a raised platform, with two main avenues of approach and 2 approaches from behind).
- Corpus Base, Ravine (D: Defend out in the open, surrounded by snowy caves and cliffs).
- Corpus Base, Courtyard (E: Defend in a courtyard in a frigid Corpus outpost).
- Corpus Base, Dam (F: Defend in a frozen dam complex, with enemies storming across two bridges).
- Corpus Gas City, Deck (H: Defend on the multi-level deck of a gas city ship, with enemies approaching from three ascents).
When an Infestation is occurring on a defense mission, the infested use the original tile set.
The maps A, B, E, and G have the objective in the center (enemies come from every direction), while the maps C, F, H, and I are not so open to approach, making them often more easy to defend (the Reactor is near the edge of the map, where the enemies can't spawn).
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).
On map D, once the game begins, the Cryopod remains in the same location for the duration of the mission; there is no way to select the spawn point of the Cryopod (but you can exit the mission and restart it to have it randomly select a new location). Note: If the Cryopod spawns in the upper area and you run underneath it (in the caves below, usually while collecting loot before the mission begins), it will trigger the start of the mission. (This is most likely a bug.)
On map I the cryo pod 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 cryo pod will always spawn in the same location.
- Councilor Vay Hek's Prosecutors begin to spawn on wave 5 and every wave thereafter.
Currently there are several planet-exclusive defense maps:
- Grineer map G is available only on .
- Corpus map H is available only on .
- Grineer map I is available only on .
|Lares||Grineer||3 - 6||1||B||1, 2, 3*|
|Kiliken||Corpus||4 - 7||1||D/E/F||1, 2, 3*|
|Venera||Corpus||5 - 8||5||C||1, 2, 3*|
|Lua||Grineer||6 - 8||1||B||1, 2, 3*|
|Lith||Grineer||7 - 10||4||B||1, 2, 3*|
|Io||Corpus||8 - 11||3||H||1, 2, 3*|
|Olympus||Corpus||10 - 15||1||D/E/F||1, 2, 3*|
|Helene||Grineer||12 - 17||2||B||1, 2, 3*|
|Hydron||Grineer||13 - 18||5||A||1, 2, 3*|
|Camenae||Grineer||13 - 18||5||B||1, 2, 3*|
|Eligor||Corpus||12 - 17||5||D/E||2, 2, 3*|
|Paimon||Corpus||15 - 20||5||D/E/F||2, 2, 3*|
|Valefor||Corpus||13 - 18||5||E/F||2, 2, 3*|
|Drunlo||Grineer||13 - 18||3||G||2, 2, 3*|
|Kepler||Grineer||15 - 20||5||G||2, 2, 3*|
|Bianca||Grineer||16 - 21||2||B||2, 2, 3*|
|Miranda||Grineer||17 - 22||4||A||2, 2, 3*|
|Gnathos||Infestation||20 - 25||5||C||2, 2, 3*|
|Ixodes||Infestation||20 - 25||5||B||2, 2, 3*|
|Kala-azar||Infestation||21 - 26||5||C||2, 2, 3*|
|Xini||Infestation||19 - 24||5||C||2, 2, 3*|
|Proteus||Corpus||22 - 24||2||D/E/F||2, 2, 3*|
|Despina||Corpus||23 - 28||1||C||2, 2, 3*|
|Varro||Grineer||20 - 25||5||I||2, 2, 3*|
|Casta||Grineer||24 - 29||5||I||3|
|Narcissus||Corpus||26 - 31||3||C||3|
|Outer Terminus||Corpus||28 - 33||5||D/E/F||3|
[*] This shows the tier of waves 5, 10, and 15
The "tier" of a set of 5 waves depends on the level of the enemies within those waves. The tier will change as enemy levels increase. There are a total of three tiers. The tier determines the reward pool players have access to at each 5th wave checkpoint.
- Waves 1-4 consist of MOAs, Crewmen, Prod Crewmen.
- Waves 5-9 consist of Shockwave MOAs, Shield Ospreys, Sniper Crewmen, Techs in addition to previous waves.
- Waves 10+ consist of Railgun MOAs, Fusion MOAs, Mine Ospreys and Scavenger Drones in addition to previous waves.
- Waves 1-4 consist of Volatile Runners, Leapers, Chargers.
- Waves 5-9 consist of Ancient Disruptors, Ancient Healers in addition to previous waves.
- Waves 10+ consist of Toxic Ancients in addition to previous waves.
- Waves 1-4 consist of Grineer Lancers, Grineer Troopers.
- Waves 5-9 consist of Grineer Heavy Gunners, Grineer Ballistas, Grineer Shield Lancers, Grineer Scorch in addition to previous waves.
- Waves 10+ consist of Grineer Rollers, Grineer Seekers, Grineer Bombards, Grineer Scorpion in addition to previous waves.
Keep in mind, that values listed below are most probably outdated, since datamining is now impossible.
|Tower I Extermination Key||9.48%||2.76%||2.76%|
|Tower I Survival Key||9.48%||2.76%||2.76%|
|Tower I Capture Key||3.69%||2.76%||2.76%|
|Tower I Defense Key||3.69%||2.76%||2.76%|
|Tower I Mobile Defense Key||3.69%||2.76%||2.76%|
|Banshee Systems Blueprint||1.01%||1.01%||1.01%|
|Tower II Extermination Key||1.84%||1.84%||1.84%|
|Tower II Survival Key||1.84%||1.84%||1.84%|
|Tower II Capture Key||1.84%||1.84%||1.84%|
|Tower II Defense Key||1.84%||1.84%||1.84%|
|Tower II Mobile Defense Key||1.84%||1.84%||1.84%|
|Tower III Extermination Key||2.01%||2.01%||2.01%|
|Tower III Capture Key||2.01%||2.01%||2.01%|
|Tower III Defense Key||2.01%||2.01%||2.01%|
|Tower III Mobile Defense Key||2.01%||2.01%||2.01%|
|Tower III Survival Key||2.01%||2.01%||2.01%|
|Tower II Extermination Key||15.17%||15.17%||15.17%|
|Tower II Survival Key||15.17%||15.17%||15.17%|
|Uncommon Fusion Core||15.17%||15.17%||15.17%|
|Rare Fusion Core||2.01%||2.01%||2.01%|
The percentages are an indicator of what you can expect as a wave 5, 10, etc. reward.
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 missons 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.
|Romula||Infestation||8 - 18|
|Coba||Infestation||11 - 21|
|Sinai||Infestation||13 - 23|
|Kadesh||Infestation||14 - 24|
|Caracol||Infestation||14 - 24|
|Sangeru||Infestation||17 - 27|
|Larzac||Infestation||17 - 27|
|Memphis||Infestation||18 - 28|
|Ur||Infestation||20 - 30|
|Akkad||Infestation||23 - 33|
|Yursa||Infestation||25 - 35|
|Seimeni||Infestation||25 - 35|
|Sechura||Infestation||30 - 40|
Wave Defense is similar to the typical endless defense type, except to complete the mission Tenno must protect the Power Core, Cryopod, or Artifact until the given number of waves have been defeated(akin to a down-counter). In each progressive wave enemies get stronger like a standard endless defense mission. 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, 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, 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 'Claim and Exit' or 'Battle' will result in the typing player ending the mission as if they chose 'Claim and Exit', even if they chose 'Battle' explicitly.
- 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.
| Assassination • Capture • Conclave • Deception • Defense • Escape • Excavation • Exterminate • Hijack|
Interception • Invasion (Solar Rail) • Mobile Defense • Rescue • Sabotage (Hive) • Spy • Survival
|PvP • Environmental Hazards • Nightmare Mode • Tile Sets • Alerts • Pickups|