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Fencer
EDF 5 Fencer.png
Primary Role Close combat and fire support
Armor Heavy
Mobility Slow walk, very fast with dash-jumping
Weapons Heavy weapons, shields, close combat weapons
Special Attributes 4 weapon slots and 2 equip slots, dual-function weapons, destroys small scenery with contact, Riposte move to recover from knockdowns
Defensive Move Booster dash / jump, shield, reflect


For the Fencer class from EDF 2025 and EDF 4.1, see Fencer (2025)

The Fencer is the heavy soldier class in Earth Defense Force 5.

Originally, the player Fencer is a civilian worker hired prior to a planned public open day at Base 228, trained to use a powered exoskeleton modified to haul cargo. After several ill-fated attempts by the Sergeant to get him to safety, he enlists in the EDF.

Overview

The Fencers are an elite EDF unit chosen to wear a special strength-multiplying "Powered Exoskeleton" (not to be confused with the Nix walker vehicle, which the dialogue also insists on calling a Powered Exoskeleton). The exoskeleton allows the Fencer to wear a suit of heavy armour that a normal infantryman could not even move, and in addition carry weapons that could normally only be mounted on vehicles.

The vast strength of the exoskeleton allows a Fencer to carry a weapon in each hand, up to a tank-grade cannon. Additionally, they are now the only class that can equip multiple instances of the same weapon. Since they can still swap between two weapon sets, this means that a Fencer can equip twice as many weapons as a Wing Diver or Ranger and one more than an Air Raider (excluding vehicle call-ins). The Fencer still only has one weapon reload button, and so will reload both weapons at once if they are not full. As before, this does not reload his shields: doing so now has a dedicated button, using the same control as the Ranger's sprint and Wing Diver's dodge.

While the exoskeleton allows the Fencer to carry outsized weapons, it does not negate all of their effects; certain large weapons have negative effects on the Fencer's movement and aiming speed, and some also give his movement increased inertia, making him glide to a halt rather than just stopping. These effects only apply to the weapons the Fencer is currently holding, however; if the other weapons the Fencer had are light, the heavy pair will not affect how he handles while the light weapons are selected.

Fencers are also armed with a variety of close-range weaponry designed to take advantage of their toughness, and can carry a special Shield into battle which has the ability to repel projectiles. This means they are well-suited to missions involving penetrating enemy defenses, such as defeating Shield Bearers.

NPC Fencers' AI is markedly improved from the previous game: they will now use boosts and dashes if equipped with appropriate weapons, and will block with shields. The NPC Fencer unit Grim Reaper are particularly skilled with boosters and extremely aggressive, tending to go right after anything that passes within about 80 meters of them. Like other storyline units, in most missions where these characters appear, they have a special NPC invulnerable status, wherein they are knocked to one knee instead of killed when their HP is depleted: typically, when a dialog event triggers they will return to action with their health refilled to 25%.

The heavy suit means they are normally the slowest and most unwieldy soldier class, but many weapons augment their mobility with a set of thrusters mounted on the Fencer's backpack, which allow for either a boost-assisted jump or a boost dash. A weapon's stat card will include if it adds a booster to the Fencer and if so what kind.

Fencers have the highest starting armor of any playable class at 250, and the highest rate of armor gain at 0.8 HP per armor item. They also have the highest armor limits in online play.

Key Mechanics

Dual-mode weapons

Many of a Fencer's weapons have a function on both triggers on that side. It is important to look at a weapon's stat card to know what this function is, since a lot of a Fencer's mobility comes from the thrusters that some weapons are equipped with.

There are four possible functions that a weapon might assign: a side thruster allows a horizontal dash in any direction, while a back thruster allows a large vertical leap or a slightly shorter directional leap. A Shield uses the alternative function key for its reflect ability. Finally, some of the cannon weapons have a zoom mode to enable accurate targeting at range, with the precise magnification being fixed and determined by the specific weapon being used.

Booster mechanics

The Fencer no longer has the ability to dash-cancel as in the previous two games, and the booster mechanics have been reworked. While initially this seems to drastically decrease his mobility, understanding of the two boost types and how they interact with each other can actually render him more mobile than in 2025 or 4.1.

The Fencer's jump boost is key to this: it retains the Fencer's momentum at the time it is triggered, so triggering a jump boost immediately after a side boost will lead to a long-range "dash-jump" or "momentum jump" which covers an enormous amount of ground. Because jump boosts are not affected by the slowdown from taking hits, it is very hard for enemies to pin down a Fencer performing dash-jumps.

Boosts are limited by a cooldown system where each "set" of boosts (defined as 1 plus the highest number of any Dash Cell or Add Booster equipped, or the number of any Multi-Charger) requires a short downtime after it completes, though it will reset mid-sequence if enough time is allowed between boosts. The reset can only trigger when the Fencer is touching the ground, but if the cooldown time is achieved off the ground a new set of boosts will be available the instant the Fencer's feet hit the pavement. By default the cooldown is about the same for both types of boost, but since Dash Cells reduce cooldown while Add Boosters do not, there is a distinct difference in the time it takes for the two types of boosts to cool down at high levels.

It should be noted that there is a short time after side thruster boosts during which the Fencer cannot fire most types of weapons or switch weapons, while back thrusters have no such interval. Side-thrusters are also affected by movement speed penalties from damage, while, as noted, back thrusters are not. The run-out animation of a side-booster can be cancelled by using a hammer, Blasthole Spear or mortar.

A back thruster will briefly interrupt the firing of any weapon with a spin-up time, but does not reset the spin-up animation, so if it was firing before it will start firing again during the jump.

As a final addition, during any kind of boost the Fencer's item pickup radius increases. As well as meaning the player controlling the Fencer does not need to be precise when dashing around for health in the middle of combat, this can often be used to pick up any items that have clipped inside buildings if the Fencer does not have a weapon suitable for destroying structures.

Riposte

This recovery move allows the Fencer to get up instantly from a knockdown by triggering one of his boosters. It is a little finicky and has two prerequisites: firstly, the Fencer must have a weapon with a thruster of either kind in the set equipped when they are knocked down, and secondly they must have at least one boost available: Riposte cannot be performed during a booster cooldown.

If a boost is available, triggering it just as the Fencer touches the ground will result in him recovering by either dashing along the ground or rising into the air depending on the thruster type used. The player only gets one attempt at this: if the booster is triggered too early, it will become impossible to trigger a Riposte on the current knockdown.

The Riposte boost animations count as "getting up" animations, meaning that the Fencer is invincible during and for a short time after them.

Weapon Classes

Shield

This is no ordinary chunk of metal; the Fencer's Shield is made from an advanced alloy and incorporates a portable forcefield generator. This allows it durability beyond any normal material.

There are four main classes of Shield. The starting Shield is the all-rounder Deflection Shield, while other classes are the Tower Shield, with improved defense and the highest durability but slow movement and turning speed, especially when it is raised, and the Ion Mirror Shield and Reflector which are specialised for reflecting enemy attacks, with Reflectors in particular having such a low durability rating that they are practically useless as actual shields.

The Shield has its own hitpoints, its "durability," which represent the device heating up. When they are fully depleted, the Fencer will have to "reload" the shield to allow it to cool down. During this time it cannot be used. The normal reload button cannot be used to reload a Shield before it is fully depleted, but there is now a dedicated reload button for doing this.

Simply holding up the Shield using the attack button will apply a percentage decrease to all incoming damage in a set angle; the number shown on the Shield's stat card is what percentage of damage is negated in this way. The shield still suffers the full damage of the attack, and the Fencer will be pushed back a distance determined by the attack's power. The latter effect can be decreased or removed with some of the new Support Equipment items. Shields can now be held up even during dashes or jumps.

Most lighter weapons can still be fired while holding up the Shield, though CC Strikers and some heavy weapons cannot. If for some reason the Fencer uses a Shield in each hand and holds up both, their defense angles are added together and their multipliers are stacked (for example, holding up two shields with a 180-degree arc that reduce damage by 90% would mean the Fencer had 360-degree protection and took 1% damage) but both Shields take the full damage from the hit.

The Shield's effects do not stop there, though. By using the other trigger ("use") with a Shield equipped, the Fencer will use the built-in deflector system. This creates a forcefield that pushes outwards from the Shield's surface, which can intercept projectiles and reflect them towards the Fencer's current point of aim, allowing a Fencer to kill an enemy with their own attacks. This reflection costs a fixed percentage of the Shield's hitpoints no matter how many projectiles are reflected, and is one of the Fencer's most powerful abilities. Almost all projectiles can be reflected in this way, though reflecting cannot cancel out explosions or physical attacks like a Crimson Ant's bite. Reflecting a missile attack will not redirect the missile, but will cancel out the damage when it explodes.

The ability's effectiveness is reduced somewhat when it is used against Spiders in this game: in 2025 and 4.1, reflecting a Spider's attack would have the strands behave exactly as they would if the Spider itself fired them, dealing damage along their whole length: this allowed the Fencer to deal a colossal amount of reflected damage with proper aim. In 5, only the tips of the strands will deal damage.

The "reversal range" of a Shield affects how large the reflection effect is and how far it travels. However, this is a double-edged sword; the larger the reversal effect, the slower the animation for using the reflection ability.

If a shield is held up it is possible for a Ranger to replenish its hitpoints with a Reverser, while a Reverse Shooter will replenish the hitpoints of any equipped shield a Fencer has, even if they do not hold it up. This does not work with the Air Raider's life-replenishing items, however.

CC Striker

Close-Combat Strikers are a series of unique and powerful short-range weapons that can only be used by the Fencer. They resemble old-fashioned melee weapons such as hammers, axes and swords, but are actually high-tech energy weapons.

CC Strikers each have two or three possible attacks governed by an energy bar that is charged by holding down the fire button for that weapon; the bar will turn from blue to yellow to red to indicate which attack will be triggered if the button is released, though weapons with only two attacks skip the yellow phase. Their stat card will show the damage and effect radius or range of these attacks separated by forward slashes.

It should be noted that many of these weapons propagate effects through the ground; swinging a weapon that does so while in the air will do nothing at all. Neither will the weapon affect aerial enemies, even if they are within its apparent blast radius. Ground-propagating weapons can generally destroy buildings, while those which fire projectiles through the air cannot. Several have other interesting effects in their effect radius such as destroying silk threads from Spiders.

All CC Strikers except the Force Blade, Force Axe and Dynamo Blade also produce an effect like holding up a Shield while their attack animation is playing, and as with shields show the amount they reduce incoming damage by, confusingly labelled as their "Defense Damage." This means constantly using a CC Striker will offer a degree of protection against enemies at close range. Using two, alternating which, will provide this effect almost constantly. However, they also have the knockback effect of a shield associated with them, making them a little harder to use effectively as the Fencer may be pushed outside of their effective range.

The Vibro Hammer series, including the Finest Hammer, are weapons which create powerful ground-based straight-line shockwaves. The first model has no level 2 charge, but the others do.

The Vibro Roller is a stranger beast, a hammer with tank treads attached to its head that results in an attack where the Fencer charges forward with the head on the ground and creates a massive straight-line shockwave. This is shorter-ranged than the Vibro Hammer's shockwaves, but deals far more damage.

The Vibro Hakens, including the final Quake Haken, are low-damage Strikers with fast charge-up times and a broad area of effect. Their stage 2 and stage 3 attacks fire multiple shockwaves in a fan-shaped pattern rather than just one. The second DLC adds a level 106 variant.

Vulcan Hammers are a massively powerful derivative of the Vibro Hammer, generally generating a short-ranged circular blast effect around the point of impact with only the stage 1 charge firing forwards, but have the highest single-hit damage of any Striker. They also have long striking animations, meaning their very substantial defense boosts are active for a long time. Despite the final Vulcan Hammer ZD only being level 56, its 13,000 damage and 90% defense boost mean it is still an appropriate weapon to use even on Inferno difficulty.

Force Blades are the first weapon not to use ground propagation, instead firing a "sword arc" forwards using forcefield technology. They lack a middle stage and do not do enormous damage, but charge quickly and have good range. As noted, this weapon and the two below have no damage reduction effect.

The Force Axe is a faster derivative of the Force Blade that works similarly. The first model is a 2-stage charge that works exactly like a faster-swinging Force Blade, but the other two have a 3-stage charge with the final level moving forwards like a short-ranged Vibro Roller and firing the shot significantly further.

The Dynamo Blades including the final Dyna Force Blade are beefed-up Force Blades with similarly beefy charging times; their damage is much greater, but it is their range that shows the greatest increase, with the last two having a 3-stage charge that has a range of 1 kilometre (!) meaning these are the world's first sniper swords.

Interestingly, Axes and the stage 3 charge of the Dyna Force Blade have a piercing ability which allows their attack to pass through a Shield Bearer's screen, though the engine tags projectiles that have done this and prevents them dealing damage to the Shield Bearer itself (showing this behavior is intentional). They will also pass through Retiarius webs.

CC Piercer

The Piercers are a longer-ranged companion to the Strikers. They are designed for directional attacks against a single enemy or line of enemies, and require aiming like a firearm. They have no defense-boosting functions, relying on distance rather than damage reduction.

All CC Piercers are a ram assembly that propels a large object towards an enemy. The signature Piercer, the Blasthole Spear, fires an enormous steel spike which penetrates an enemy and then injects plasma into them to cause an explosion. This can attack multiple enemies at once, and attacking twice in a row in quick succession triggers a lunging attack with better damage and far greater range than the normal attack. New for EDF 5, upgrades for these weapons can increase their attack speed. However, their first-stage range has been decreased somewhat and their second-stage range decreased significantly (more than halved on high-end models), limiting their range to a maximum of just under 125 meters as opposed to the previous 270.

The Blast Twin Spear is a variant on the same theme. This weapon features an automatic boost when fired and attacks with two spears at the same time, consuming two ammunition per shot but dealing incredible damage. Like the Blasthole Spear, a quick follow-on attack leads to an even more powerful lunge. The timing on the lunge is long enough that it will still trigger after firing another Blast Twin Spear in the Fencer's other hand, allowing a pair to be alternated. One bonus of the Blast Twin Spear is that its integral boost overrides the knockback of a Shield held up in the other hand in a way a normal boost does not.

The Spine Driver sacrifices the Blasthole Spear's penetration and high-powered lunge attack for a stronger basic attack and lack of a set-up animation. All Spine Drivers have received a range buff of about one-third compared to the previous game when maxed out, giving them superior range to equivalent-level Blasthole Spears, and have also been given a damage buff on about the same scale.

The Flashing Spear and Jackhammer weapons are rapid-fire versions of the Blasthole Spear and Spine Driver, weaker than a single attack with either of the latter and lacking the Blasthole Spear's lunge ability, but more useful against swarms. They can be thought of as the submachine guns of the Fencer's arsenal. The Flashing Spear maintains a penetration capability, while the Jackhammer lacks this just like the Spine Driver. It must be noted however that the Flashing Spears come with a short "startup" animation, limiting their usage in kiting: the Jackhammer has no such issue. The Jackhammer also allows the Fencer to defeat his enemies with a comically large mechanical fist.

The Jackhammer has another specific advantage over the other CC Piercer types, in that it firing one does not interfere with the operation of the weapon in the Fencer's other hand. This allows it to be paired with weapons with spin-up times without issue, and also means the Jackhammer is the only CC Piercer that doubles in effective damage output when dual-wielded, rather than having to alternate shots.

Automatic Artillery

This category is mostly the Fencer's equivalent of the Ranger's assault rifles, and includes Gatling guns and single-barrel heavy machine guns. There are also automatic shotguns and some oddities like Flame Revolvers and the Disruptor energy weapon.

There are two types of Hand Gatling, both including a Jump Booster: the FG series deal more damage per shot and have superior range, fire rate, and accuracy, giving them higher damage output; while the UT series have vastly more ammunition (with many explicitly stating in their description that they can fire for over a minute without reloading) and a faster spin-up time, making them better-suited to suppressing/stunlocking hordes of enemies or holding a chokepoint. Both types have long reloads and take a short time to spin up before firing their first shot, and have a small but controllable amount of muzzle climb; this is increased, though still manageable, if two are fired at once.

The Galleon Cannon is a single-barrel or dual-barrel heavy machine gun with a much slower rate of fire than the Hand-Gatlings, but much higher per-shot damage. These are general-purpose weapons with few real drawbacks: they have high damage for an automatic, good accuracy and range, decent fire rate and a high capacity for the pace at which they spend ammunition. Their only real shortcoming shows up against dense hordes of weak enemies, as they have no penetration. The back-mounted twin version fires faster, while the handheld single-barrel version is more powerful.

The Dexter Automatic Shotgun is a belt-fed shotgun with a similar rate of fire to the Galleon; in fact it would be easy to compare it to a Galleon loaded with shotgun shells. These have high damage with a broad spread of shot, and are useful against aerial foes and at close range. These weapons are now subject to damage falloff at range like the other classes' shotgun weapons; however most have gained much higher ammo capacity, making them more useful for sustaining fire in their intended role of blasting through swarms of enemies at close range, and have had their fire rate increased as well. Unlike Ranger shotguns, they have no penetration capabilities. They have a small amount of muzzle jump, but their rate of fire renders this easily manageable and they do not require recoil mitigation to be effective.

The Disruptor is a powerful but short-ranged direct-fire energy weapon. It fires a continuous series of beams (with scatter similar to one of the previous game's thrust-type Rapiers) and cannot be reloaded. A Disruptor will continue to fire even if the fire button is released, but it is possible to cease firing by switching to the Fencer's other weapon set. Disruptors are at their best in singleplayer, and degrade in value with larger player counts due to enemy health boosts.

The Flame Revolver is one of the Fencer's stranger weapons, a special rotary gun which generates enormous amounts of heat in its barrels before firing off a powerful jet of flames. The Flame Revolvers are very powerful in tunnel levels, but have the longest spin-up time of any Fencer weapon (over 7 seconds, though this can be upgraded down to a very responsive 0.5 seconds) and ridiculous recoil; it is impossible to aim two Flame Revolvers at the same time since the recoil is so strong the Fencer will end up looking straight up. The recoil of a single Flame Revolver is still hard to control: it can bought to heel to an extent by increasing turning speed in the options menu. However, the "Muzzle Stabilizer" Equipment items can now entirely mitigate this recoil at high levels.

Lower-level versions have fairly short effective ranges, but the final Hell Flame Revolver has three times the range of any other variant and is one of the most effective and powerful weapons the Fencer has, able to scythe through the armor of even Inferno-level Cosmonauts remarkably quickly.

They have major buffs compared to their previous iteration when upgraded: while they now have damage falloff at range, their extremely long spin-up times are reduced to almost nothing, their point-blank firepower is more than doubled, and they have significantly larger magazines coupled to faster reloads.

Artillery

This category mostly consists of arcing-fire weapons, including tank-grade cannons and heavy mortars. It also contains an oddity, the one-off Powerdyne. The Javelin Catapults and Javelin Storm have been removed, probably on the basis of being more than a little useless for anything but dash-cancelling, and the one-off DLC-only Ifrit is also gone.

The Hand Cannon is a modified tank gun designed for infantry use. It fires massive armor-piercing shells that arc with distance, and is equipped with a zoom as its use option for precise fire. Compared to 4.1, these weapons have gained a large increase in fire rate, enough for a single one to match or exceed a dual-wielded pair in the previous game. This increase does, however, mean that when fired as a pair the muzzle climb is significant, and they are hard to control without the use of a Muzzle Stabilizer. All variants have S++ (perfect) accuracy at max level.

The Gallic Heavy Cannon is a slower-firing but even more powerful version of the Hand-Cannon. Its shots arc more with range and maximum range is slightly inferior, and it has higher recoil and stronger effects on inertia. In addition, they push the Fencer back slightly with each shot. Their slower rate of fire does however come with the advantage that it is much easier to correct for recoil between shots than when firing a pair of Hand Cannons. They boast a 50% damage buff compared to 4.1 when fully upgraded. The series unfortunately still suffers from a 37-level gap between the third and fourth variants.

The Cannon Shot is another cannon-turned-shotgun, this time a Gallic Heavy Cannon. These require a bracing animation before firing a wall of up to 80 projectiles at a time, with the highest recoil of any Fencer weapon. The recoil is applied mostly as a twisting motion in the direction of the arm the gun is equipped to. Individual shot damage is quite high for a shotgun-type weapon, and the projectiles have long range, high speed, to-range penetration, and no damage falloff at range. Compared to 4.1, these weapons are much more usable and much more powerful; their pellet spread is much tighter, meaning enemies will typically be struck by many more pellets.

Given their long maximum range and penetration, these weapons can massacre crowds of insects; when firing into a swarm, they can usually be trusted to kill any non-boss insects in the cone of fire in a single shot. Because their pellet-count-to-spread ratio is very high, their cone of fire is very dense; again, because of their long range, nearly anything in the cone will almost always catch a few pellets, and the larger the target the more they will be struck. This quirk means they are still useful for faraway enemies or swarms of flyers such as Hornets, and their high total damage means bosses or larger flyers such as Queens and Type-2 Drones will take huge damage from the hail of lead. Capacity is usually low and reloads are long, but the sheer carnage they create makes them well worth it when used well. In particular, they can be an excellent secondary weapon to pair with a CC Piercer or Force Blade.

The Canister Cannon is similar to the Cannon Shot, but with a smaller count of lower-damage projectiles that arc with gravity. It functions like a Limpet Splendor, the projectiles bouncing off surfaces until they have travelled the equivalent of their maximum range. It is significantly changed from its incarnation in 4.1, with a much higher projectile count (from 6 and 12 for the two variants to a maximum of 32 and 60 when fully upgraded) and the per-pellet damage significantly reduced, improved range and a to-range penetration effect which allows it to damage multiple enemies or the same enemy multiple times. These modifications mean that while the highest-level variant is level 56, it is still a serviceable weapon even on Inferno.

The downside is their pellet velocity is quite low and they have small magazines and a mediocre rate of fire. They are primarily useful in underground missions. If using a pair, it is best to shoot all the ammunition in one before starting to use the other rather than alternating, as their reload time is quite long even when fully upgraded and this allows constant fire to be maintained.

The Fencer has three types of Mortar at his disposal, all of which fire arcing explosive rounds. The Light Mortar has the lowest damage but does not have the setup time of the other two, allowing it to be used quickly, and features a large magazine for sustained fire. The Heavy Mortar deals far greater damage, but at the cost of a short setup animation prior to each shot and a smaller magazine. The smallest magazine is that of the Dispersal Mortar, a version which fires up to thirty explosive submunitions per shot to saturate an area with firepower.

Light Mortars have been altered somewhat from the previous game, now having a Jump Booster like a Dispersal Mortar rather than a zoom like a Heavy Mortar. Their damage has been reduced by about a third and their splash radius reduced slightly, but their rate of fire has been more than doubled, going from 0.8 to a maximum of 1.8, making them much more suited to saturation fire. The DLC 1 level 101 FH29RE Mortar further improves this to a fire rate of 3.8 shots/sec.

It is worth noting that the longer-ranged Mortars cannot actually be fired in a high-arc trajectory and have the shot come back down: this is because their range is such that the round hits the limit of the skybox and is deleted before it can start to arc downwards.

A unique one-off is the Super Heavy Crusher Mortar, a DLC 2 level 111 weapon. This functions more like the main gun of a B651 Titan than any normal mortar, shooting a gigantic projectile with an essentially flat trajectory which accelerates after leaving the barrel (the incredibly low muzzle velocity only reflects the instant of launch) and maxes out at almost 22,000 damage with a blast radius maxing out at just over 60 meters, using the same explosion effect as the Mothership's Genocide Gun. This comes with the significant drawback of a 1-shot magazine and a 60-second reload.

The Powerdyne is a one-off, a piercing energy weapon with a zoom that cannot be reloaded and has ten shots. For a level of just 2, its maximum damage of 845 is actually quite a lot and it is well worth using if playing on lower difficulties.

Missile Launchers

This category includes a series of powerful guided weapons, some of which can only be used with the assistance of an Air Raider with a Guide Kit or Guide Beacon Gun. They generally do not include a thruster.

Like all guided weapons, they use a red bounding box that is of a specific size depending on the weapon, and must be locked on before firing by placing a target in the bounding box until it is properly acquired. The crosshair will change shape to show this has happened and the beeping lock-on tone will end with a cheerful ping. If the weapons are used to lock on to an Air Raider's Guide Kit or Guide Beacon, multi-target missiles can all be locked on to a single target, allowing them to deal enormous damage.

Among these perhaps the most versatile and distinctive are the High-Altitude Impact Missiles. These back-mounted launchers can lock on to a large number of targets and fire vertically, and are one of the Fencer's best weapons for dealing with swarms and flying enemies at range. The missiles are a little slow and their climb-out prior to tracking means it can take them some time to track down a fast-moving target, making them dangerous to use against enemies that can get close in that time: this is particularly true online where they can easily end up damaging other player characters. If two are used, they will generally both lock on to the same targets if used together; damage can be spread out and fire rate sustained if the Fencer locks on one and then the other. Care must be taken since the missiles are soft-launched and fall slightly before their boosters ignite; if the Fencer is moving sideways or standing on rubble the missiles may hit the ground tail-first and explode.

Compared to the previous game, their blast radius and damage has been reduced slightly. This seems mostly done to reduce the risk of damaging allies and make misfires with the top-level version more survivable. All variants also fire more missiles than before. Their biggest boosts are to lock-on range and lock speed: when fully upgraded, even the two 14-missile variants will only take just over half a second to lock on with all of their missiles, a massive step up from the 0.5 seconds it took for one missile to lock on previously. In addition, their reload speed is slightly reduced, from 10 seconds to a minimum of 8.2.

They now feature a jump booster that can be useful for dodging attacks while locking, as well as making launching safer by conducting it in mid-air. However, it should be noted that the missiles inherit the Fencer's momentum: firing while descending from a jump will tend to result in the missiles slamming into the ground before their boosters can ignite. It can also be dangerous firing while jumping directly to the side the launcher is on, as the missiles will sometimes drop right into the Fencer's path.

The Arm Hound series are fast-firing, fast-reloading, low-damage launchers with large splash damage, slightly inferior to a Ranger's Emerald launchers in terms of per-missile damage, but with more missiles. Lower-level versions are fairly short-ranged, but later ones improve this: the short range does have the advantage that the weapon can be used to engage enemies close to the Fencer with no risk of accidentally aggroing distant ones. Their lock-on time can be reduced to 0 seconds when fully upgraded, allowing a volley to be targeted instantly, and they have superior velocity to other Fencer missiles. They now have a side booster secondary function like a melee weapon (and are the only weapon outside the CC categories to have such a booster), allowing the Fencer to stay mobile and dodge attacks while locking targets, though he is locked into a firing animation when launching them. A level 80 variant has now been added, keeping these weapons relevant up to the highest difficulty. The second DLC adds a level 110 variant with slightly lower per-missile damage and blast radius, but a much faster firing rate, decreasing the amount of time the Fencer is locked into the firing animation, and missiles that travel much faster while having barely any degradation in homing performance.

Arcane 6-Barrel Missiles deal more damage but have lower capacity and their volleys release slower; these are somewhat better suited to general use against tougher targets, especially flyers such as Drones because of their higher damage. However, unlike the High Altitude Impact Missiles and Arm Hound, they lack a thruster. In addition, they only actually fire six missiles when their capacity is fully upgraded, and have a disagreeable feature of freezing the Fencer in place during their rather long firing animation. In addition, the Fencer will fire a pair one at a time, rather than both at once as with High Altitude Impact Missiles. Their diagonal launches and high splash damage mean they require a fair amount of clearance to the sides in order to fire safely.

Given their lack of a thruster and locked-in-place firing animation, these are quite risky to use at closer range. However, their reload speed vastly outpaces the HAIL and Arm Hounds; coupled with their high damage, they are well-suited to a Fencer staying at long range and constantly bombarding enemies as an impromptu "missile turret." This strategy obviously works best when the Fencer has other allies to keep enemies at a distance.

There are only two Blood Storm missile launchers in the main game. These missiles split into a spread of explosive bomblets just before striking the target, functioning a little like a Dispersal Mortar: after deploying, the submunitions are unguided. The series normally concludes at level 32, but DLC 1 allows the unlocking of the level 104 M3 Bloodstorm, which is about six times more powerful than the M2.

Haytal Multiple Missiles are something of an oddity; they require Air Raider guidance, and fire a spread of 15-30 small missiles which all lock on to a single target extremely rapidly; while they say they can have 15-30 targets, in practice it is very difficult to not have them all lock on to a single Guide Beacon even if there are several present, though it is possible to shift the aim point of a Guide Kit to have the missiles hit different targets. The missiles are fired in a horizontal spread, and so care must be taken that they do not hit anything close by. If two launchers are fired together, the Fencer will fire one and then the other in turn, in the same way as Arcanes. Because they are fired in a wide spread and have poor turning performance, they are only useful at long range.

The Phoenix is a powerful missile that must be guided by an Air Raider, with high damage and a fast reload allowing for prolonged bombardment of tough enemies. It is particularly well-suited to use with a Guide Beacon Gun, since this will allow repeated attacks on a tough enemy while the Air Raider goes and does something else. One particularly powerful tactic is to attach guide beacons to the Fencer's head and arms and fire the Phoenix downwards using a Jump Booster: because of its unguided coasting period, it will function like a very powerful mortar if it is fired close enough that the missile cannot turn around.

The almighty Leviathan is a Fencer's ultimate weapon, a gigantic, slow-moving cruise missile with an incredibly long lock-on time and a tiny lock-on box, and a requirement for Air Raider guidance, that is capable of dealing incredible damage with a huge blast radius if it connects. It should be noted the Leviathan missile, particularly the final Wild Leviathan, is ridiculously large, and if the Air Raider is standing too close to the Fencer both of them may be killed the instant the missile's collision box appears.

Support Equipment

These accessories fit into two special slots. While there are two slots, these do not correspond to the Fencer's weapon sets: the Equipment in both slots is always active. In general, the effects of these items do not overlap: instead, the highest-rated item will apply its bonus while the lower one will be disregarded. None of these items have any visual representation in-game.

Enhanced Boosters

Dash Cells increase the number of sequential dashes that can be performed with a side-thruster equipped weapon, adding their bonus to the default single dash. At higher levels they also decrease the "cooldown" time after each full set of dashes: this has no effect on either the time between dashes, or the period in which the Fencer cannot shoot at the end of a dash. They have no effect if the Fencer does not have a weapon with a side thruster equipped.

Add Booster offers the same functionality for jump boosters, with all variants also offering an increase in the speed of directional jumps.

Multi-Chargers offer a combined Dash Cell and Add Booster function. Their bonus is inferior to the dedicated equipment of the same level, with the main benefit being that they only take up a single slot. Their dash interval reduction and jump speed bonus is also inferior.

Enhanced Shields

Note that the items in this category only affect the performance of shields: reductions to knockback and damage cut rate bonuses are not applied when using a melee weapon which provides a shield-like effect during its swing animation.

Deflect Cells offer a decrease to the rate at which a shield's durability decreases with damage, along with a decrease to damage that passes the shield's protection and a decrease to how far the Fencer is knocked back when hit with his shield raised. The decrease to damage that goes through the shield is applied after the shield's damage reduction, not added to it. For example, if the Fencer is using a Master Shield (80% damage reduction) and the default Deflect Cell (20% damage cut rate) and is hit with an attack that deals 500 damage, the Deflect Cell will reduce the 100 damage that overruns the Master Shield by 20%, resulting in the Fencer taking 80 damage. If the damage of an attack is reduced to less than 1.0 but not to 0, it will not visually affect the Fencer's health bar, but the engine will track the fractional damage.

Barricade Systems increase the rate of shield consumption, in return for a much higher bonus to the damage cut rate and knockback reduction than the Deflect Cells, with the final Barricade X offering a 100% reduction to both. Equipping two Barricade Systems offers no additional benefit, only combining their shield consumption.

Shield Protection Armor offers an increase to the durability of any equipped shield (up to 800% of its rated durability), along with a bonus to its defense angle rating (up to 60 degrees). The increased durability has no effect on the Shield's "reload" time. It is very powerful when combined with a Barricade System, as it more than offsets the additional consumption.

Enhanced Cannons

This category only consists of the Muzzle Stabilizer series, a set of devices which decrease the muzzle climb or jump of the Fencer's weapons, with the final variant totally removing it. It is worth noting that they only cancel out crosshair movement: other weapon-specific recoil effects like being pushed back by firing a Heavy Mortar are not altered, and the firing animations do not change.

Enhanced Exoskeletons

The series simply called Exoskeleton provide enhancements to the Fencer's basic movement speed, as well as decreasing inertia effects on his movement and aiming. Their effects are generally equivalent to a combination of the Arm and Leg Exoskeleton items one level below: like the Multi-Charger, their main advantage comes from only taking up a single equip slot.

Leg Exoskeletons, including the DLC Wild Exoskeleton and DLC 1 Gale Exoskeleton, provide only the increase to walking speed and the decreased movement inertia. The Wild Exoskeleton additionally incorporates a Dash Cell 1 and has a superior walking speed modifier to the basic Leg Exoskeleton, making it very worthwhile at lower difficulties. The Gale Exoskeleton, meanwhile, provides a ridiculous 300% boost to the Fencer's walking speed, allowing him to be very mobile even without any dash abilities.

Arm Exoskeletons offer only a decrease to aiming inertia effects. They are good when combined with weapons with a lot of "weight" which require precision shooting, particularly Gallic Heavy Cannons.

The Bombard Exoskeleton is a unique level 108 one-off from DLC2. It offers moderate reductions to inertia effects along with a built-in Muzzle Stabilizer 4, at the very significant cost of reducing the Fencer's walking speed to 25% of normal. This can be increased if an Exoskeleton or Leg Exoskeleton is equipped as the second Support Equipment, but the 25% will be treated as the default: in other words, even if a Gale Exoskeleton is equipped, the Fencer's movement rate will still only be 75% of normal. It should be noted that only walk speed is affected: the Fencer's dash and jump boosts are not.

Trivia

  • When using in-game chat commands, any voiced character speech will be randomly chosen from lines recorded by Matt Nipperess (who is also the Grim Reaper Captain, EDF Chief Commander and DE 202's pilot) or Russell Wait (who also voices HQ and Bomber Phobos).
Classes in EDF
Monster Attack & Earth Defense Force 2017 Storm 1Pale Wing
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Earth Defense Force 2025 & 4.1 RangerWing DiverAir RaiderFencer
Global Defence Force & Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space InfantryPale WingAir Raider
Earth Defense Force 5 RangerWing DiverAir RaiderFencer
Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain TrooperJet LifterHeavy StrikerProwl Rider
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