Earth Defense Force 5 – Tips & Tricks, General Guide

Tips & Tricks, General Guide General Gameplay Online and Offline The progression is partly shared between […]

Tips & Tricks, General Guide

General Gameplay

Online and Offline

The progression is partly shared between online and offline (2 player splitscreen uses offline progression), weapons and armor earned follows your character between the modes, but your mission progress does not. This means you might be at mission 25 in offline, but can only create a lobby for mission 1 in online mode. You can however join another players lobby even if you havent unlocked that mission.

Online Difficulty

Switched from singleplayer to multi, started up a game on your own and got your handed too you? Its quite common… The game does a really bad job to explain it but theres a difficulty multiplier in place for Multiplayer and it gives you the 4 player multiplier if you play solo online.

Below multipliers is in comparison to singleplayer:

  • For 1 or 4 players: 2.4x enemy damage and 2.64x enemy health.
  • For 2 or 3 players: 2.0x enemy damage and health.


EDF5 have 5 Difficulties, Easy, Normal, Hard, Hardest and Inferno. Hardest and inferno is locked untill you complete the final mission on easy, normal or hard (either online of offline). This as they require quite a lot of armor and high level weapons. The difference between hard and hardest or hard and Inferno is MUCH bigger than the difference between the lower difficulties. You are expected to grind up your armor and weapons to be able to handle these difficulties. They dont just raise monster HP and damage, they add new enemy spawns and enemy types in most missions.
I would recommend starting on normal if youre new, hard is very playable from the start though, so if you want a greater challenge, go for it.

Armor and Weapon LVL

Armor is your HP in the game, all missions in online mode will have an armor limit and weapon lvl limit. If your armor is higher than the limit it will automatically be brought down to the limit. Weapons with a higher lvl than the missions limit cant be equipped. Offline mode has no limits and players who have reached 70% online progression can create lobbies without limits.

Gaining Weapons and Armor

You get new weapons and armor by picking up boxes during missions. Apart from the healing boxes you have red Armor boxes and Green weapon boxes. Do note that you only get the boxes you or someone else in your team picks up. Any boxes on the ground when the mission finishes are lost.

When you pick these up you will gain weapons and armor after finishing the mission. Failing the mission lets you keep some of the boxes, based on difficulty, 100% on easy, 75% on normal, 50% on hard, 25% on hardest, 0% on inferno (these are from memory so they might be slightly different). In the post mission screen you will see that the boxes are spread out between all the classes, with the majority going to the class you currently play. This helps when you want to try another class later in the game.

Armor boxes increases you Armor (HP), but its not a 1 box = 1 more armor, instead it depends on the class:

  • Fencer: 0.8 per box
  • Ranger and Air raider: 0.64 per box
  • Wing diver: 0.4 per box.

So 10 armor boxes will give the fencer 8 more armor/HP but only 4 for the wingdiver.

Weaponboxes on the other hand gives you 1 weapon per box. What weapons that can drop during a specific mission is based on the mission itself and the difficulty, see the Links section for a specific list. Important to know is that you can get the same weapon several times which leads us to:

Upgrading Weapons

All weapons you pick up will have a star rating, this represent the weapons current “level”. Weapons max out on a bit different star ratings. You see the max star rating for the weapon in the top right corner in the upgrade screen. Each individual stat also has a star rating, a filled star means that stat has reached its maximum, which might be lower than the overall weapon max rating.

When you pick up a duplicate weapon you MAY get an upgrade. This is completely random and will be shown with an UP marking on the end mission screen:

As you can see i got 3 upgrades here, but i also got 3 duplicate weapons that arent fully upgraded (empty star to the right) with no upgrade.
In the next screen you will see the stat increase:

In the top right corner you see the maximum overall rating for the weapon (7). Below you see the individual stat increases, some have a filled star, like Reload time at 5. This mean the reload speed has reached its maximum.

Worth noting here is that several weapon have some appalling stats before they are upgraded. One of the Fencer shotguns starts with an accuracy of J (Highest is S+ followed by A+) making it pretty much unusable, having a spread of almost your full screen. But an upgrade or two later the accuracy is at c+ and its a great weapon. So dont write off weapons because they have a bad stat when you get them, it may be worth to revisit them after upgrades.

Weapon Specifics

Some things that might be good to know:

  • All weapons except lasers have travel time. This means you sometimes have to lead your target to hit. The stat Shot speed shows you how fast the projectiles will travel. Some weapon also have damage drop off, noted in stats as xx~xx on the damage stat.
  • Hitboxes are quite tight, your projectile have to hit properly. For example its very possible to for example have a rocket miss because it went between the enemies legs. Jumping/flying up and shooting slightly downward can help with this.
  • Explosions can ragdoll you and your teammates, sending you flying, sometimes halfway across the map. Friendly explosives will only ragdoll you on Hardest and Inferno difficulties, but your own explosives can always ragdoll you.
  • Friendly fire is always on. The difficulty dictates how much damage it does with Easy at 10%, Normal at 25%, hard at 50%, Hardest at 75% and Inferno at 100%.
  • When using explosive weapons against a horde of enemies, try not to hit the closest enemy. Ideally you want the explosion to happen in the middle of the horde to inflict maximum damage. Again Jumping up and shooting downwards can help with this.
  • Enough damage will make the enemy flinch. This will interrupt what theyre currently doing playing a flinching animation before they can resume shooting/biting/whatever. This can allow you to fight enemies like the frogs or cosmonauts in close combat without taking any damage. A shotgun or a fast CC weapon like the fencer jackhammer can keep the enemy flinching over and over again.

Other General Tips

AlI In Missions

You will be joined by AI soldiers and vehicles in many of the missions. Thankfully the AI now packs a punch and isnt made of wet cardboard like in 4.1. Some of the vehicles does quite a bit of damage and the AI is a great distraction keeping you from getting swamped.

All AI vehicles and some AI rangers/fencers/WDs are autonomous, moving along a set patch attacking anything the come across. Others are “recruitable”, these always have a red arrow above their head, see the image on the left. Simply walk up to them and they will join you, following you around as best they can. Some autonomous units may become recruitable if their leader dies.

End of Mission Cleanup

If youre getting close to the end of the mission, leave a few enemies alive and go around collect boxes, as i previously wrote you will only get the boxes your team actually picks up, anything left on the ground is lost. If youre unsure if youre reaching the end of the mission and youre playing in a team, watch out for someone saying “Collect items”, this is the common signal to start collecting boxes and leave the remaining enemies alone.


Pressing left CTRL will bring up a quickchat wheel with some useful messages. move the cursor over the one you want to use and press the left mouse button. These will be spoken and shown as text. You can set the phrases you want in the settings menu. Oh and its pretty much OBLIGATORY to shout EDF! after a major fight and at the end of every mission.

Wrong loadout? Retreat!

You load into a mission and realize your weapons doesnt have enough range for that teleportation ship unless you climb a mountain? Mission is full of flying drones and you have a grenade launcher? Just retreat or ask the host to retreat to change loadout. Some missions can drag out forever if you have the wrong gear. Part of the game is finding the gear that works in a specific mission.


If your teammember is downed you can revive them by walking up to them and press E (enter vehicle key) this will remove HALF your current health and give it to them. It will always remove half your current health, even if that is more than the team members maximum.

Redmarkers on the ground? Get out of the way!

The red marked ground means theres an airstrike or other attack incoming, usually called in by an Air raider in your team. Some missions have NPC controlled airstrikes, these still hurt.


The basic soldier class. May not have many fancy tricks but a versatile arsenal with some good QOL things makes it a great starting point for new players as well as a powerful tool for veterans.

The ranger is the only class that can sprint. If you hold down shift the ranger lowers his weapon and focuses on running much faster than normal. He can also dodgeroll (space + left/right key) and jump (space without using left or right). When sprinting the ranger has a wider collection radius that really helps with collecting all the boxes. The ranger can also call in some vehicles.


  • Assault Rifles
  • Shotguns
  • Sniper Rifles
  • Rocket Launchers
  • Missile Launchers
  • Grenades and Grenade launchers
  • Special weapons
  • Support Equipment

Shotguns got a really nice buff compared to 4.1! Shotguns now penetrate, allowing you to hit several enemies with the same pellet. Many shotguns also have decent range and with their insane close combat damage i often prefer to bring a shotgun instead of an AR and bring explosives or long range snipers. Most weapons are pretty straight forward and does what you think it will do, with the exception of Special Weapons. Here you have things like Flamers/acid guns, healing guns, mines and bombs. Some of the healing guns (called reversers) are really great on higher difficulties, theres several different versions, some only heals other, some has a healing explosion etc. Mines/bombs are mostly a waste of a slot but Acid guns/Flamers can be great in the right situations (Take the lvl 0 burner for a spin and let me know how you did).

Support Equipment

The ranger has several different types of support equipment. Theres a few vehicles like tanks, helicopters and bikes, these must be “earned” in mission by killing enemies (your whole teams kills counts) and when the meter is filled you can call it in.
The rest of the equipment are different buffs:

Armor/Protectors: Doesnt help with damage taken but instead gives you a buff to walking/running speed, acceleration, turning speed, speed reduction when hit, ability to destroy minor object by running through them and immunity to knockdown. Theres several types which usually focuses on a few of the above. Do note that 100% is the base, anything below that is a reduction, like the Under assist which gives you higher sprint speed but halves the acceleration and reduces the turning speed to 25% of normal. Speed reduction on impact is the exception, it starts on 0%, when you get hit by an enemy while moving you are slowed down, this stat reduces the speed penalty.

Lock on/Radar Systems

These are for your missile launchers, they improve lock on speed, increases lock on range and the Multiple Lock on devices allows you to lock on several times to one target. For example if you use this with the MLRA, which can have 30 missiles, you could lock all 30 of those on to one target instead of 30 different targets. This can help you do a lot of damage very quickly to bosses and larger enemies.

Relief Support Equipment

When you pick up an healing item you also heal any NPC soldiers currently attached to you. This increases the amount of HP they heal. Usually not worth using the slot for this.


These increases the collection radius and makes it permanent, not just while running. Nice QOL thing and very useful for farming.


The Fencer is the heavy weapons guy in EDF. Using an armored military exoskeleton this guy can carry 4 weapons and is the only class that can equip the same weapon in multiple slots. Its a bit more complex than the ranger for example, but in return it has a very high skill ceiling and with the higher level support equipment it can become a very mobile class (in my opinion, on par with the wing diver).

It can be played in several different ways, long range heavy weapons platform, Close combat brawler, Mid range AOE etc, and thanks to the 4 weapon loadout you can have 2 different sets.


  • CC Strikers

Close combat weapons such as Hammers, swords and axes with some very special ones as well. All of these can be charged up by holding the firing button to increase the damage, range, AOE etc. Usually theres 2 or 3 levels, regular attack, high voltage and fully charged with the regular attack just swinging the weapons and the other two levels can have additional hits, larger aoe or in the case of the Vibro roller, it will perform a charge straight ahead doing AOE damage along the way.
These weapons are harder to use in general but when played properly they can be very strong.

  • CC Piercers

Close combat weapons that “shoots” out from the weapon giving them a range of ~40 – ~100m. The Spears are piercing and can hit multiple enemies but have a swing animation playing before firing. The Jackhammers and Spine drivers doesnt pierce but in return they fire immediately. The jackhammer firing very quickly with lower damage while the spinedriver does more damage but fires slower. These are usually my go-to weapons for CC on the fencer, im partial to the Jackhammers paired with a shotgun.

  • Shields

What it sounds like, Shields are held up infront of you and blocks damage in a certain arc untill its HP is depleted, the shield will regenerate over time. Some shields have low HP but the ability to reflect incoming projectiles with a well timed activation. You can fire most weapons (in the other slot) while having the shield raised but raising the shield will slow your walking and turning speed.

  • Autocannons

Gatling guns, shotguns, lower caliber cannons and heavy flamers. Gatling guns and flamers have a spin-up time before they start firing and will slow your walking speed while firing. Some also have very heavy recoil. Shotguns are what it sounds like. Worth noting here is that some have an appaling accuracy when you first get them and needs to be upgraded before being properly usable, see Weapon mechanics. The lower caliber cannons are also what it sounds like, firing a solid projectile in full auto. Damage is often a bit on the low side.

  • Cannons

The heavy cannons and mortars. The heavy cannons are all extremely accurate, long range guns, with the exception of the Cannister/cannon shot which is a heavy shotgun. The cannons are split between the NC cannons and the 30/35mm cannons. The NC cannons fire immediately upon pressing the button and has a faster firing rate and lower damage (about 2 shots per second) compared to the 30mm which has a firing and recoil animation and fires about one shot every 3 seconds with really high damage. These guns are for long range, single target damage. The mortars fires explosive shells for AOE damage. The dispersal mortar shoots several smaller shells that can cover a large area or fired closer to the target for crazy single target damage.

  • Missile Launchers

Lock-on seeking missile launchers, most multi-target. The leviathan requires an air raider laser to lock-on and has a 17 second lock-on time (fully upgraded) but in return has insane damage. Some other needs air raider laser as well. The blood storm launchers are usually a great choice, it fires missiles that separates into several smaller missiles just before hitting the target.

Special Mechanics

The fencer plays differently than the other classes and it has several things you need to know to get the most out of the fencer.

Inertia/Turning Speed

The heavier weapons and shields will affect your turning speed and add inertia(only the shields state the amount in the stats). Think like supercrazy high mouse smoothing. Movement will start slow and build momentum and will take time to stop after you stop moving the mouse. This and the firing animation of some weapons can make the aiming quite difficult, but keep at it and you will get used to it. The CC and autocannon weapons have some inertia, but its very little compared to the cannons/mortars. There is support equipment that helps with this and recoil. See the video for examples with two “light” and two “heavy” weapons.

Dash and Jump

The main mobility tool for the fencer. First of all these abilities comes equipped on WEAPONS with CC weapons providing dash and autocannons, some mortars and missile launchers providing jump. There are boosters in the support equipment that allows you to do several jumps/dashes in a row. Without them you have a cooldown between each use. You need to have the weapon in hand to be able to use the ability. The currently equipped left hand weapons ability will be on left shift and right hand on space. The dash makes you charge forward a shorter distance while the jump makes you jump. Standing still and jumping makes you jump straight up but MUCH higher.


If you have one weapon with dash and one with jump you can dashjump. Dash and then directly jump while still in the dash and be amazed at your newfound mobility. With the support equipment boosters you can do several of these in a row (you dont have to land between them), flying all over the map like some heavily armed and armored angel of death. Mastering this lets you bounce around the battlefield, avoiding damage and spreading death like the plague. See the dash, jump and dashjump in the video to the left.

Firing Animations

Some weapons have a firing animation, mostly for the fencer but there are some for the ranger and wingdiver as well. The fencer 30mm Gallic heavy cannon for example will have a 1 second wind-up animation before firing and then a ~3 second recoil and resetting animation. During this time youre completely stationary (but can still aim) which can mean death if done at the wrong time. You can interrupt the recoil animation after about 1.5 sec with another action, firing the other gun or jumping/dashing. You can however not walk or change weapons untill the full animation plays out. This is not noted in the weapons stats (miniguns and flamers have spinup time but that doesnt lock you in an animation). A ranger example is the DNG grenade which have you do a little sprint forward and then throw the grenade when releasing the fire button.

Support Equipment

  • Enhanced boosters
    Boosters that adds consecutive dashes/jumps. The Multi charger variant adds both.
  • Enhanced Shields
    Improve shields by increasing durability/HP, amount of dmg blocked, blocking arc and reduced knockback when hit
  • Enhanced Cannons
    Recoil reduction plain and simple. The highest one (lvl 76) totally removes recoil.
  • Enhanced Exoskeletons
    Combats the inertia/turning/walking speed debuff from heavy weapons

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