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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.

Mission Description

There are a total of 31 Defense missions for twelve tile sets available. Six of them are mostly specific to the Grineer:

  • Grineer Galleon (A: Defend at an elevator platform in a galleon's ventilation complex).
  • Grineer Asteroid, Cave (B: Defend a cylindrical Orokin Reactor in a dark cave).
  • Grineer Settlement, Shelter (G: Defend a cryopod within a metallic shelter, with entrances all around.)
  • Grineer Shipyards (I: Defend a cryopod that's sitting on a tram in a multi-decked shipyard, the tram can move every wave.)
  • Grineer Forest, Shelter (J: Similar to the Grineer Settlement, with an open roof.)
  • Grineer Sealab, Excavation site (N: Defend 4 cryopods located in different corners of an Orokin excavation site.)

Six 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 Outpost, Ravine (D: Defend out in the open, surrounded by snowy caves and cliffs).
  • Corpus Outpost, Courtyard (E: Defend in a courtyard in a frigid Corpus outpost).
  • Corpus Outpost, 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).
  • Corpus Ice Planet, Shipwreck (N: Defend a Cryopod just outside of a landed shipwreck.)

Two are specific to the Infested:

  • Orokin Derelict (K: Featuring walkways and man entrances towards a cryopod on at the center of a stand)
  • Infested Ship (L: 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

  • Orokin Void (M, 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 and N 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 A has recently been updated with 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).

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 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.
  • Councilor Vay Hek's Prosecutors begin to spawn on wave 5 and every wave thereafter.

Map O has 4 cryopods located on 4 separate corners of the map. 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.

Currently there are several planet-exclusive defense maps:

  • Grineer map G is available only on Phobos.
  • 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 is only available on Uranus.


Planet Mission Name Faction Level Map Tier
Earth Lith Grineer 1 - 6 J 1
Venus Tessera Corpus 3 - 8 E 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 24 - 26 A 2
Neptune Proteus Corpus 30 - 32 D/E/F 3
Sedna Hydron Grineer 30 - 40 A 3
Eris Kala-azar Infestation 30 - 40 C 3
Pluto Outer Terminus Corpus 30 - 40 D/E/F 3
Lua Stöfler Grineer 25 - 30 ? 3
Void Taranis Orokin 10 - 15 K 1
Void Belenus Orokin 30 - 35 K 3
There are a total of 16 Defense missions.

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.







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 percentages display the chances of a particular item being received as a reward during each extraction prompt.
View Rewards List

Tier 1
(Level 1- 10)
Tier 2
(Level 11 - 20)
Tier 3
(Level > 20)
Rotation A
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith A1 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso D1 Relic 14.29% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo S1 Relic 11.11%
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith K1 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso F1 Relic 14.29% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo V2 Relic 11.11%
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith C1 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso S2 Relic 14.29% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo S3 Relic 11.11%
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith N1 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso V2 Relic 14.29% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo N3 Relic 11.11%
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith V1 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso S1 Relic 14.29% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo V3 Relic 11.11%
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith S2 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso V1 Relic 14.29% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo N2 Relic 11.11%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso S2 Relic 9.09% EndoIconRenderLarge15 Endo 14.29% FusionCorePackSilversingle Vitality 11.11%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Vitality 9.09% FusionCorePackSilversingle Magazine Warp 11.11%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Magazine Warp 9.09% FusionCorePackSilversingle Trick Mag 11.11%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Trick Mag 9.09%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Pressure Point 9.09%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Ammo Drum 9.09%
Rotation B
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso D1 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo S1 Relic 6.67% VoidProjectionsGoldD Axi G1 Relic 6.25%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso F1 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo V2 Relic 6.67% VoidProjectionsGoldD Axi T1 Relic 6.25%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso S2 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo N3 Relic 6.67% VoidProjectionsGoldD Axi V1 Relic 6.25%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso V2 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo N2 Relic 6.67% VoidProjectionsGoldD Axi N3 Relic 6.25%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso S1 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo V3 Relic 6.67% VoidProjectionsGoldD Axi N1 Relic 6.25%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso V1 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo S3 Relic 6.67% VoidProjectionsGoldD Axi N2 Relic 6.25%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Reflex Coil 9.09% FusionCorePackSilversingle Reflex Coil 6.67% VoidProjectionsGoldD Axi A1 Relic 6.25%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Cryo Rounds 9.09% FusionCorePackSilversingle Deep Freeze 6.67% VoidProjectionsGoldD Axi V3 Relic 6.25%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Hell's Chamber 9.09% FusionCorePackSilversingle North Wind 6.67% FusionCorePackSilversingle Hornet Strike 6.25%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Shocking Touch 9.09% FusionCorePackSilversingle Cryo Rounds 6.67% FusionCorePackSilversingle Reflex Coil 6.25%
EndoIconRenderLarge50 Endo 9.09% FusionCorePackSilversingle Hell's Chamber 6.67% FusionCorePackSilversingle Deep Freeze 6.25%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Stormbringer 6.67% FusionCorePackSilversingle North Wind 6.25%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Point Blank 6.67% FusionCorePackSilversingle Hell's Chamber 6.25%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Fury 6.67% FusionCorePackSilversingle Streamline 6.25%
EndoIconRenderLarge50 Endo 6.67% FusionCorePackSilversingle Shocking Touch 6.25%
EndoIconRenderLarge50 Endo 6.25%
Rotation C
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso D1 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo S1 Relic 12.91% VoidProjectionsGoldD Axi G1 Relic 9.68%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso F1 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo V2 Relic 12.91% VoidProjectionsGoldD Axi T1 Relic 9.68%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso S2 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo S3 Relic 12.91% VoidProjectionsGoldD Axi V1 Relic 9.68%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso V2 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo N3 Relic 12.91% VoidProjectionsGoldD Axi N3 Relic 9.68%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso S1 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo V3 Relic 12.91% VoidProjectionsGoldD Axi N1 Relic 9.68%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso V1 Relic 9.09% VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo N2 Relic 12.91% VoidProjectionsGoldD Axi N2 Relic 9.68%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Metal Auger 9.09% FusionCorePackSilversingle Vital Sense 4.51% VoidProjectionsGoldD Axi A1 Relic 9.68%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Ravage 9.09% FusionCorePackSilversingle Metal Auger 4.51% VoidProjectionsGoldD Axi V3 Relic 9.68%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Continuity 9.09% FusionCorePackSilversingle Ravage 4.51% FusionCorePackSilversingle Vital Sense 2.26%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Master Thief 9.09% FusionCorePackSilversingle Stretch 4.51% FusionCorePackSilversingle Metal Auger 2.26%
EndoIconRenderLarge80 Endo 9.09% EndoIconRenderLarge80 Endo 4.51% FusionCorePackSilversingle Ravage 2.26%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Stretch 2.26%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Handspring 2.26%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Convulsion 2.26%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Split Chamber 2.26%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Continuity 2.26%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Master Thief 2.26%
EndoIconRenderLarge80 Endo 2.26%

Rotation A
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith C1 Relic 2.76%
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith V1 Relic 2.76%
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith N1 Relic 2.76%
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith S3 Relic 2.76%
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith A1 Relic 2.76%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Fast Deflection 30.36%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Vitality 15.18%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Magazine Warp 15.18%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Trick Mag 15.18%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Rush 2.76%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Ammo Drum 2.76%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Fast Hands 2.76%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Pressure Point 1.01%
FusionCorePackSilversingle True Punishment 1.01%
Rotation B
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso S2 Relic 1.84%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso V2 Relic 1.84%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso D1 Relic 1.84%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso F1 Relic 1.84%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso V1 Relic 1.84%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Speed Trigger 8.43%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Point Strike 8.43%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Vital Sense 8.43%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Pistol Gambit 8.43%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Target Cracker 8.43%
FusionCorePackSilversingle No Return 8.43%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Ravage 8.43%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Blunderbuss 8.43%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Pressure Point 8.43%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Fast Hands 1.84%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Piercing Hit 1.84%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Metal Auger 1.84%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Point Blank 1.84%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Serration 1.84%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Hornet Strike 1.84%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Reflex Coil 1.84%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Fury 0.67%
FusionCorePackSilversingle True Punishment 0.67%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Quickening 0.67%
Rotation C
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso S2 Relic 15.18%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso V2 Relic 15.18%
VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo S1 Relic 2.21%
VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo V2 Relic 2.21%
VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo S3 Relic 2.21%
VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo N2 Relic 2.21%
VoidProjectionsSilverD Neo N3 Relic 2.21%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Hellfire 15.18%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Heated Charge 15.18%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Molten Impact 2.21%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Barrel Diffusion 2.21%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Streamline 2.21%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Intensify 2.21%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Thunderbolt 0.4%
FusionCorePackSilversingle True Punishment 0.4%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Quickening 0.4%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Enduring Strike 0.4%
FusionCorePackSilversingle Life Strike 0.4%
EndoIconRenderLarge 80 Endo 2.21%
EndoIconRenderLarge 50 Endo 15.18%

Rotation A
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith N1 Relic 12.5%
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith S3 Relic 12.5%
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith V1 Relic 12.5%
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith A1 Relic 12.5%
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith C1 Relic 12.5%
VoidProjectionsIronD Lith K11 Relic 12.5%
EndoIconRenderLarge 80 Endo 12.5%
EndoIconRenderLarge 50 Endo 12.5%
Rotation B
MutalistNavCoord Mutalist Alad V Coordinate 22.56%
EndoIconRenderLarge 80 Endo 38.72%
EndoIconRenderLarge 50 Endo 38.72%
Rotation C
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso V1 Relic 12.91%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso D1 Relic 12.91%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso S2 Relic 12.91%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso F1 Relic 12.91
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso V2 Relic 12.91%
VoidProjectionsBronzeD Meso S1 Relic 12.91%
Forma2 Forma Blueprint 22.56%

Source: VoiDGlitch's Warframe Data
Last Update: 25/08/2016 (The Silver Grove: Hotfix #3)

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.

Planet Mission Name Faction Level
Earth Coba Infestation 6 - 16
Venus Romula Infestation 6 - 8
Mars Kadesh Infestation 10 - 20
Phobos Memphis Infestation 15 - 25
Ceres Seimeni Infestation 15 - 25
Jupiter Sinai Infestation 20 - 30
Europa Larzac Infestation 23 - 33
Saturn Caracol Infestation 26 - 36
Uranus Ur Infestation 27 - 37
Neptune Yursa Infestation 30 - 40
Sedna Sangeru Infestation 35 - 45
Eris Akkad Infestation 35 - 45
Pluto Sechura Infestation 32 - 36
There are a total of 13 Dark Sector Defense missions.

Wave Defense

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.[1]
  • 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.


  • Endless Defense as seen in the lobby (U9)
  • Level: 541
    Participants: iizoell1029, wink46, lefthandshoot, 41rd13
  • Tenno? inside the cryopod.
  • Cryopod after update12


Start a Discussion Discussions about Defense

  • Operative in Defense capabilites

    5 messages
    • He's always an idiot, but when he doesn't have a weapon he just wanders aimlessly as opposed to seeking out enemies.
    • I tested what you said or tired and it works like a charm. i've never seen the guy stop moving. My team kept giving him weapons and I took t...
  • Loot table is innacurate

    5 messages
    • U do know that rush is sprint speed. 
    • Sandman br wrote:I run the 31-38 Corpus missions in Pluto and all I got for first waves were Tier 2 MODs. According to the table, it should...

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