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EDF 2017-era black ant. This alien invasion is bought to you by IGN.

Ants are the basic enemies of all the Earth Defense Force titles. Ants are usually pre-spawned during missions and can also be spawned infinitely by anthills (or Tunnel Exits in 2025 and 4.1) until the anthills are destroyed. They are always the first enemies the player encounters.

Monster Attack

Global Defence Force

In Global Defense Force there are normal black, red, and queen ants, however there are new types of ants which have the ability to fly.

Black Ant

Black Ants make up the bulk of the Ravagers' biomechanical forces. As in other appearances, Black Ants are primarily capable of firing a spray of orange-colored acid that deals direct damage to their foes. They are also capable of biting an opponent at close range. Notably, they are quite swift here - possibly their fastest speed throughout the series.

Flying Ant

Flying Ants are immature Queens which continue to swarm like the rest of their brethren, only now they are capable of taking to the skies. These are the first bug air unit seen in the series. They are fairly fast-moving and attack with the same acid spray as Black Ants. They are easily struck out of the air, similar to Dragons, and will land during this time to recover before taking flight again. A swarm of Flying Ants are also later seen protecting the Queen and her egg chamber.

Crimson Ant

A tougher and larger variant of the regular black Ant, only able to attack by biting.

Golden Ant

Only present in Global Defence Force Portable, the Japan-only PSP version, this is a powered-up Black Ant which moves faster, fires faster, is tougher and deals more damage.

Queen Ant


Eggs are stationary and initially non-hostile objects protected by the Queen. However, upon taking damage they will quickly hatch, unleashing a single Black Ant.

Earth Defense Force 2017

"Terror Ants are particularly vulnerable to close range fire from shotguns, assault rifles and flamethrowers. Grenades don't work too badly against them either"
Earth Defense Force 2017 manual.

In EDF 2017, they are referred to as Terror Ants, and come in 3 varieties. The weak and basic Black Terror Ant, the stronger Crimson Terror Ant, and the Queen Ant.

Black Terror Ant

Black Terror Ants are the most commonly used bugs in the Ravager attack force. In the first two levels they bite enemies with their mandibles but from Level 3 onward, they spew a highly dangerous acid.

These are physically the weakest members of the Ravagers' forces, but their strength comes in numbers. They are an advanced biomech technology that has been made to mimic the ecology and body structure of giant ants. The Ravagers are able to deploy these anywhere, almost instantly, making for a very effective surprise attack. They can crush their prey with powerful mandibles or spray acid that eats away at its armor and skin. This acidic substance is being analyzed at EDF headquarters.

Crimson Terror Ant

The Crimson Terror Ants are a very dangerous breed of insect used by the Ravagers, first appearing in Chapter 21: Crimson. They are much stronger and tougher than the Black Terror Ants. They get in close to bite enemies with their mandibles.

Queen Ant

The Queen Ant is by far the most dangerous evolution of the Terror Ants. They are highly capable in combat and spew an unholy amount of acid. Use your best weapons against them.

Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon

Ants return in EDF: Insect Armageddon in Chapter 1 Mission 1: Invasion Alert and come in three varieties throughout the course of the game.

Black Ants (Stage 1)

The Black Ants are the basic bugs used by the Ravagers. They are far smaller than in other EDF games, being car-sized rather than building-sized. They spit acid at enemies and they can bite enemies at close range with their mandibles. They are weak individually but their strength lies in their vast numbers.

Biomechanical Ants (Stage 2)

The Biomechanical Ants are the next evolution of the basic Black Ants. They are much tougher and have slightly different but strong attacks. They also appear in vast numbers, making them a bigger threat.

Queen Ant

Lightning Squad engages the Queen, and her servants in a fierce firefight.

The Queen Ant is a ferocious enemy in Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon. She is first introduced in the Chapter 3 level, "Mushrooms". The Queen Ant is not only stronger, but much larger, dwarfing the regular ants is size.Her lair is in the dead center in New Detroit, in a large cave. She is protected by her legion of ants, who will appear from ant hills surrounding her cave, the player can destroy them to lower the traffic, but the ants will keep re-spawning until you and your team exterminate the Queen.

Queen Attacks

Despite her vast size and durability, the queen doesn't fight that much in the battle, she will mostly just send the worker ants into battle, she does however occasionally fire acid at Lighting Squad in a shotgun like fashion, and will deliver almost instant kill hits if you get too close. She also has the ability to give the other ants strength. And also, while not much of a attack, she is surrounded by a moat of acid, making it hard to approach her.


The Queen's main weak spots are the acid glands on the rear part of her body; they emit the same flare as other weak points and additionally glow orange when hit, making it easy to tell when you're hurting her. Jet Armour players with the Neptanzer Q-series weapons or the Duplicus can do a lot of damage to her very quickly by flying over - or skirting around the edge of - the acid pool and attacking her from below. This also offers some protection from the Wasps and Ants that attack during the mission, and the Queen cannot attack you either.

Earth Defense Force 2025 / 4.1

Black Ant

Some Black Ants menace the city menacingly.

The grey-colored Black Ant is one of the most common foes throughout the game. As in 2017, it is the size of a small building, and can move on any surface with ease. In the first mission, Reconvene, black ants attack with a charging bite attack. See the section on Crimson Ants for more details of this.

In mission 2: Spreading Disaster almost all Black Ants switch to an acid spray attack; Ants with this attack have no ability to use their bite attack. In this level and the next some biting Ants will still spawn, after which this type disappears completely outside of 4.1's mission Crash. Acid spraying ants will instead just opt for a deadly point-blank shot. The acid spray launches a number of projectiles which are individually tracked and do damage individually, so it is possible to completely dodge the spray or only be partially affected by it. A hit will also slow a player character down briefly, with multiple hits stacking this effect until the character is rendered practically immobile. This can be combated by rolling as a Ranger or Air Raider, dashing as a Fencer, or taking off as a Wing Diver.

The spray is thrown in an arc and affected by gravity, meaning Ants have a limited ability to fire at their targets indirectly, such as shooting over an intervening building. There is usually a character-sized gap in the spray pattern that can be rolled or jumped through to avoid damage. The number of "splats" of acid produced by the spray attack varies according to the difficulty level, from around four on Easy to sixteen or so on Inferno.

As the difficulty increases, the basic Ant also becomes tougher, faster and deals more damage. In addition, they attack sooner on coming within range (on Easy they will pause for a moment before spraying even if their target is right in front of them, on Inferno they attack the instant they are in range), and attack more frequently.

The acid moves slowly and so is one of the easiest attacks for a Fencer to reflect with his shield.

Being a basic swarm enemy that primarily attacks at close range, there are two ways to deal with them: kill them before they get within range, or fight them up close. For the former, the best choices are long-range, area-effect weapons such as the Fencer's High-Altitude Impact Missiles and Mortars, the Wing Diver's Plasma Cannons, the Air Raider's airstrikes, howitzer-type weapons and Naegling Self-Propelled Rocket Launchers, and the Ranger's grenade and missile launchers. Ants move in dense groups, meaning even single-shot splash damage weapons will usually affect more than one with every shot. At close range, automatic weapons, spread guns like the Wing Diver's Thunder Bow and shotguns are most effective. Very short-range weapons like flamethrowers are less optimal, since they will let the Ants get within attacking range, though they are fine if the player can herd the Ants into a chokepoint, and thus very useful in tunnel missions.

They have virtually no ability to fire upwards and so are vulnerable to attack from the air, with the EF31 Nereid and HU04 Brute being particularly effective at taking them down. This applies to all Ant types, even Queens.

Needless to say, being a swarm-type enemy, the least effective weapons are those with a long lock-on time or single-shot, single-target weapons with long pauses between shots such as the Ranger's Stringer sniper rifles or the Fencer's Hand-Cannons. Ants will tend to clump up in lines, making penetrating weapons at least somewhat useful, but they are still far from a good choice if they are slow.

If they are not aggro'd they will shuffle around and assume various weird states of being upside down on small pieces of geometry. Usually if they switch from idle to aggro status they will emit a screeching sound.

They have two Mutant sub-varieties:

Gold Ant

This sight tends to be followed immediately by the retry / retreat prompt.

The Gold Ant is the first Mutant variant, returning from the Japan-only PSP version of Global Defence Force and the PS Vita version of 2017. In 2025 it is introduced in DLC2: Mutant Rampage, but Gold Ants appear in the regular missions of 4.1 on higher difficulties: usually at least Hardest, though the online-only missions Demon Army and Surrounded! have them on Hard. A Gold Ant is significantly tougher and much faster than a regular Black Ant, but its party trick is the absolutely absurd damage of its acid spray attack; on Inferno, each single "splat" deals in the region of 540 damage, and a point-blank blast can deal over 10,000. Their spray attack also has more splats in it than a normal Ant's.

Gold Ants will attack from longer range, which is particularly dangerous in outdoor levels. Their spray has a higher "muzzle velocity" than a regular Ant's, making it a potent long-range weapon, the spray pattern does not spread out as much at range which adds to this, and just to cap things off the Gold Ant also has a higher rate of fire than its non-bonkers brethren.

On the plus side, they seem to have a chance of dropping items close to 100%, with it being very rare for them not to.

Dark Green Ant

Some Dark Green Ants helpfully fill an area with nourishing acid.

The Dark Green Ant is exclusive to EDF 4.1, first appearing in DLC1: Time of the Mutants. It is not quite the show-stopper its Golden brother is, but does have its own trick; these ants are incredibly fast, able to match pace with even a Wing Diver, and usually spawn in large groups. They are actually weaker than normal ants in terms of health, though, and do not seem to do more damage either, relying on numbers to bring down their foes. The game is more than willing to help them out with this by deploying the Nitro Burning Funny Ants in groups up to 200 strong.

They are described as being like termites, and it is implied that their acid can eat through buildings, but functionally this just means that in some scripted instances they spawn en masse from disintegrating buildings.

Crimson Ant

"What's an Air Raider?"

Crimson Ants, first appearing without any real fanfare in mission 20: Shining Stronghold, are significantly larger than Black Ants, and are also much tougher. They attack in the same way Black Ants do in the first level, rearing up slightly and then charging forward with their head low to the ground and their jaws wide, attempting to grab the player character or NPC they are targeting. This can be avoided by jumping or rolling, or using certain attacks which grant strong defense boosts like a Fencer's Vibro-Roller attacks. If the attack connects, they will hold the character they have grabbed in their mouths and do constant damage for several seconds, after which they will throw the character aside even if they are still alive.

If a member of Storm Team is grabbed, the player is still in control when the ant is not violently shaking them. The player can still switch weapons, reload, and perhaps most importantly use their weapons to attempt to free themselves by killing the ant. It is also possible for an Air Raider to place turrets on the ground or the ant itself while grabbed. NPC EDF soldiers will never try to free themselves and must be rescued by either other NPCs or the player(s), though they have enough health to wait out an ant bite several times.

One oddity of this attack is that a player character being bitten will not be targeted by other enemies, and can only be hit by them accidentally. Sometimes being grabbed is actually a good idea since it allows an Air Raider to reload their turrets or a Wing Diver to refill her energy meter without being attacked by a swarm.

Player characters can still be damaged by their own weapons and the weapons of other players while grabbed, meaning some weapons are either entirely useless or need to be aimed away from the ant. For example, a Wing Diver's Thunder Bow or Idunn weapons will probably kill the Wing Diver herself if aimed at the ant's head, but will only harm the ant if aimed at the ground underneath it. The difficulty of freeing themselves from a Crimson Ant without blowing themselves up in the process was the main reason for EDF 4.1's alterations to Air Raider Limpet Guns, which now have a smaller splash radius and deal less damage, but fire and reload faster.

They can be fought like regular ants, but will typically end up close to Storm Team due to their increased toughness, though a large group can be a perfect target for the Air Raider's artillery and airstrikes as it approaches. A group will tend to start fanned out and form into an arrowhead as they approach a player character retreating from them, with Ants occasionally breaking away from the sides of the arrow to try to flank their prey.

Since they have no ranged attack and are only dangerous when they are allowed a second to begin their charging animation, the most effective tactic is to stunlock them with continuous-effect weapons such as flamethrowers or the Wing Diver's Idunn electricity cannons while walking backwards away from them.

Crimson Ants cannot grab vehicles, and simply charge through them, dealing a set amount of damage along the way.

The Crimson Ant also has two Mutant sub-varieties:

Dark Crimson Ant

"I can still turn up in a mission called 'Crimson,' right?"

This mutant only appears in EDF 4.1, particularly on higher difficulties, and is near-black in color, meaning it stands out easily. It is essentially just an HP-buffed Crimson Ant, and has exactly the same attacks and behaviour, though it seems to be very slightly faster and more aggressive. A Dark Ant's increased durability means that is much harder to kill if it grabs a player character, and since its bite attack also deals more damage, it is a much greater threat.

Light Green Ant

Light Green Ants, attempting to be too cute to kill.

These ants are companions to the Dark Green Ant, and similarly only appear in EDF 4.1's DLC. They are comparatively tiny, though still the size of a car, and while they are probably supposed to be juvenile Dark Green Ants, they are mechanically a variant of the Crimson Ant. They are the fastest and least durable of all ants, and are too small to bite; instead, if their charging attack connects they will briefly grab the player character in their jaws and then toss their head like a bull to throw them. The damage is substantial, though nothing like as great as the bite of a full-size Crimson Ant.

Queen Ant

An overly dramatic Queen Ant shrouds herself in mysterious darkness. Also acid.

These skyscraper-sized winged ants first appear in mission 29 (32 in 4.1) Charge Phase 3, and their destruction is the final objective of the EDF assault on the underground nest. Their toughness is appropriate for their size, orders of magnitude greater than their offspring. In spite of this they are about as fast as regular ants. Despite having wings, they are incapable of flight.

A less dramatic Queen has second thoughts about the whole fighting the EDF thing and tries to go back home.

A Queen attacks by rearing up and unleashing a continuous spray of acid in one of two ways: if she is stood on flat ground she will rear up and unleash a vertical spray in an up-down pattern, while if she is on a wall she will sweep her acid horizontally. This acid functions like a flamethrower, leaving lingering clouds that do damage over time for a substantial period after the attack itself has concluded, and will funnel through tunnels and similar obstructions to produce a devastating concentrated flood. This flood of acid also has associated physics effects, often leading to a torrent of ant corpses and dismembered limbs being thrown through the tunnel to the Queen chamber in Charge Phase 3: this can also sometimes have the useful effect of throwing team members knocked out by the acid spray clear of its area of effect, allowing them to be revived safely.

Since they are so dangerous at close range it is foolhardy to face them that way, and the best tactic is to keep distance and use long-range, high-damage weapons to wear the Queen down. Where this is not possible (such as when the Queen is first encountered in the underground nest) a Wing Diver can use weapons that fire around corners to avoid a direct engagement, while other classes have to do their best to duck in, damage the Queen, and retreat before she can return fire with her acid spray. Like a regular Ant, she can be stunlocked, and while dangerous, a group of players can take turns damaging her so she cannot return fire when one is reloading.

While it might seem like a futile gesture, a Fencer's Deflector Shield can actually reflect a Queen's acid spray, and it will do devastating damage to her if this is done successfully.

There is one Mutant variant of the Queen Ant:

Gold Queen Ant

"Acid for everyone!"

First appearing in DLC 2 for EDF 2025, like the Golden Ants they can appear in regular missions of EDF 4.1 on higher difficulties (for example, one Gold Queen joins the three regular Queens at the end of mission 35 (36 in 4.1) Inferno on Hardest, while one of the regular Queens is swapped for another Gold Queen on Inferno). Like their Golden offspring, a Gold Queen is incredibly tough and faster than a regular Queen while dealing several times more damage, though their damage boost is not nearly as high as that of a Gold Ant. A Gold Queen attacks in the same way as a regular Queen.

Earth Defense Force 5

Aggressive Alien Species Alpha

As in the previous games, the black ant variant is the most commonly encountered enemy in Earth Defense Force 5, this time referred to as Aggressive Alien Species Alpha (or Species Alpha for short) (Japanese: 侵略性外来生物α, "Shinryaku-sei Gairai Seibutsu Arufa") . These ants are identical to their counterparts from Earth Defense Force 2025, and are easy to kill but rely on their numbers to remain a threat. The black ants are encountered in the very first mission of the game, and reappear throughout the remaining missions. They attack with their usual acid spray attack, though this now leaves impact decals and can destroy buildings if enough acid hits one, and are often deployed into combat by the Primers' Teleport Anchors.

Aggressive Alien Species Alpha Red Species

The crimson ant variant returns as well, under the name Aggressive Alien Species Alpha Red Species. Much like in 2025, the crimson ants are much tougher and more resistant to damage than their black counterparts, and attack by charging and biting enemies instead of spraying acid.

Mother Monster

Queen ants, referred to as Mother Monsters, return in EDF 5 as well. A larger winged variant of Aggressive Alien Species Alpha, the Mother Monster is over 50 meters long and is typically encountered in underground areas. The Mother Monster can release an extremely powerful continuous stream of red acid which is substantially more damaging than the black ants' acid spray.

Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain

Storm Ant

Storm Ant 1.jpg

The Storm Ant is the most common enemy variant encountered in Iron Rain, standing in for the standard black ant from the Sandlot games. The Storm Ant attacks by biting with its jaws and spitting acid from its mouth. The Storm Ant's bite can knock the player character down if it connects, however this attack is only effective up close. Storm Ants are relatively easy to kill though they are a danger in numbers.

Storm Ant Scout

Storm Ant Scout.png

The Storm Ant Scout is a slightly more powerful variant of the Storm Ant encountered on underground missions. They have been tampered with by the Kindred Rebellion, allowing them to be controlled using PA Gear. They are distinguished from the regular storm ant by the red paint on their bodies.

Silver Ant

A variant of Storm Ant with a silvery appearance, they are about 1.5 times stronger than regular Storm Ants and have increased resistance to optical weapons.

Zombie Ant

Zombie Ants are dead Storm Ants which have been reanimated by the green gas used by the Hivecraft to control Raznid. They are around 2.5 times stronger than Storm Ants and have greatly increased resistance to hit-stun effects. They still attack with their jaws and acid, though they now stumble around and spit acid more erratically. Their acid deals greater damage and has an associated poison effect. Zombie Ants attack in massive hordes, stumbling around each other and lunging at their opponents. They are uniquely vulnerable to healing items, which deal damage to them when used.

Imperial Ants

Imperial Ants and twisters.jpg

A variant of the Storm Ant introduced in the Golden Storm DLC, Imperial Ants are characterized by their golden coloring, but do not behave like the Gold Ants seen in the mainline EDF games. Instead, they exclusively attack with their jaws, dealing an electrical discharge through their bite that can overload and disable Closer's PA Gear. Imperial Ants are common enemies in the DLC, and are brought into the combat area by twisters.

Crazy Ant

Crazy Ants.jpg

A faster and more ferocious variant of giant ant capable of spitting acid in multiple directions, the Crazy Ant first emerged in South America, and when the EDF's South American branch attempted to control and breed these creatures, the plan backfired and they quickly multiplied out of control and wiped out EDF South America. Crazy Ants have since migrated north, putting them into contact with Blast Team. Crazy Ants are less common than Storm Ants, but can deal greater damage thanks to the multiple blasts of acid they fire, and their heightened speed makes them dangerous as well.

Winged Ant

Winged Ants.jpg

For the first time since Global Defence Force, Winged Ants make an appearance. These are variants of Storm Ants with the ability to fly, making them similar to the Hornets from the Sandlot games. They attack by spitting acid at the ground, with their aerial mobility making their acid blasts harder to dodge.

Queen Ant

Queen Ant 1.jpg

Once again, winged Queen Ants are the largest and most powerful variants of Ants. However, in Iron Rain the Queen's wings actually allow her to fly. At 50 meters in length, she functions effectively like a larger Winged Ant which deals greater damage and is harder to kill. The Queen Ant is first encountered underground, though they are later sighted above ground.

Empress Ant

Empress Ant 1.jpg

A variant of Queen Ant introduced by the Golden Storm DLC, Empress Ants bear the same golden coloration of the lesser Imperial Ants. Rather than acid, Empress Ants attack by firing electrical orbs.



  • In EDF 2025 and 4.1 the Ant acid spray effect is also used by several player-usable weapons, such as the Meltgun of the Air Raider's Melt Buster tank. The Ranger's Super Acid Gun uses a much smaller version of the Queen acid spray effect.
  • The bulk of the Ants shown in the EDF series seem to be based off of Camponotus Japonicus, the Japanese Carpenter Ant. The ones in Insect Armageddon, however, seem to be based off American Harvester Ants.
Enemies in the EDF Series
Monster Attack AntsCrimson AntsQueen AntSaurousDarogaUFOCarriersMothership
Global Defence Force Giant AntCrimson AntsQueen AntFlying AntBauKing SpiderEggAnthillsDragon CentipedeSaurousUFOElite SaucerShield BearerImperial GuardBomberSuper BomberDarogaDeroyGilioMothershipFloating City Adan
Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space Giant AntCrimson AntsQueen AntFlying AntBauKing SpiderEggAnthillsDragon CentipedeSolasUFOElite SaucerShield BearerImperial GuardBomberSuper BomberDarogaDeroyGilioMothershipFloating City Adan
Earth Defense Force 2017 Terror AntsCrimson Terror AntsQueen AntAssault SpidersKing SpiderHolesVallakGunshipHectorCarriersQuadruped FortressMothership
Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon AntsAnthillsSpidersTickersWaspsBomber SpiderGunshipHectorCarriersDaddy Long LegsRobotic Praying MantisMothership
Earth Defense Force 2025 AntsCrimson AntsQueen AntSpidersKing SpiderRetiariusHornetDeath QueenTunnel ExitDragonsGreater Wild DragonMutantsFlying DroneRed DroneFlight VehicleShield BearerTransport ShipLarge Transport ShipHectorDeroyArgoQuadruped FortressMothershipEarth EaterBrain
Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair AntsCrimson AntsQueen AntSpidersKing SpiderRetiariusHornetDeath QueenTunnel ExitDragonsGreater Wild DragonMutantsErginusFlying DroneRed DroneFlight VehicleRed Flight VehicleShield BearerTransport ShipLarge Transport ShipHectorDeroyArgoQuadruped FortressMothershipEarth EaterBrain
Earth Defense Force 5 AntsCrimson AntsQueen AntSpidersKing SpiderAraneaRollerHornetQueenHiveTadpoleColonistCosmonautErginusArchelusBattle DroneType 2 DroneLanding ShipTeleportation ShipTeleport AnchorShield BearerDeroyOutpost BaseMothershipNameless
Earth Defense Force:
Iron Rain
Storm AntsStorm Ant ScoutZombie AntsImperial AntsCrazy AntsWinged AntsQueen AntEmpress AntBomb BeetleGreen Bomb BeetleWolf SpidersBaby SpidersDeathstalkerSiderosBeizalRaznidScourgerScourger BeastAttack PodHarvesterGargantHivecraftRaidshipPillar
Earth Defense Force:
World Brothers
AntsSpidersCarriersHornetDarogaGunshipHectorErginusSiderosBeizalSaurousRobotic Praying MantisShield BearerVallakDragon CentipedeQuadruped FortressDark Tyrant