The Earth Defense Force Wiki

A variety of powerups are dropped in the EDF games. These items aid the player in a variety of ways, such as by increasing health or granting access to new weapons.

Monster Attack

Monster Attack features the same four items as other games, marking them as green dots on the minimap. Uniquely, these green dots are the highest-priority icon on the minimap: if an enemy walks over items, their red blip will be hidden under the green ones.

Monster Attack has a more primitive physics engine than the other games (it is, for example, the only game where enemy corpses are complete intangible and can be fired and walked through), and this affects items: once an item settles on a surface, it is not affected by further physics events. For example, if an item lands on a building and the building is destroyed, the item will remain hovering in mid-air rather than falling down.

Health Pack

Round white tub with a red X shape on the top. Restores 10% of the character's current maximum HP.

Large Health Pack

Brown briefcase with a red X shape. Restores 30% of a character's current max HP.


Green ammo can with "WEAPON" on the side. Grants a level-based random weapon unlock if the current mission is successfully completed; this can be a weapon the player already has, in which case unlocking it again has no effect. They can be thought of as similar to tokens to put in a slot machine; each item is one spin of the reels, which may or may not result in a new weapon.


Grey bulletproof vest with "ARMOR" underneath. Increases the character's maximum HP if the current mission is successfully completed. Monster Attack has the fastest armor growth of any EDF game, with each Armor pickup increasing health by four points.

Global Defence Force

Health Pack

Round white tub with a red X shape on the top. Restores 10% of the character's current maximum HP.

Large Health Pack

Open yellow-brown box with three white circular tubs inside with red X markings, and "EDF AID KIT" written underneath. Restores 30% of a character's current max HP.


Green briefcase with "WEAPON" on the side in yellow. Grants a level-based random weapon unlock for the current class if the current mission is successfully completed. Weapons are specific to each class, and cannot be used by the other.

Ten weapons are exempt from being dropped by this system, 5 for the Infantry and 5 for the Pale Wing. These weapons are instead rewards for completing the entire campaign on each of the first 5 difficulty levels. There is no reward for completing Impossible difficulty.


Grey-blue bulletproof vest with "ARMOR" underneath. Increases the character's maximum HP if the current mission is successfully completed. In Global Defence Force the health increase per item is 1.5 for the Infantry class and 0.5 for the Pale Wing.

EDF: 2017

All pickups are marked as green dots on the minimap. The in-game pickups are two-dimensional sprites.

Health Pack

A white circle with a red cross sign. Restores a reasonable percent of the player's maximum health. Health packs cannot fill the player's health past the max quantity, which is fixed while playing a level.

Large Health Pack

Three white circles with red cross signs. Like a health pack but restores a much more sizeable portion of a player's health.


A green box. Grants the player an additional random weapon unlock if they successfully complete the current stage. Weapons unlocked are randomly picked from a pool for each stage and difficulty level combination. Weapons may have already been unlocked, in which case nothing is gained by the player. All players gain the new weapons.

As with Global Defence Force, there are five weapons that do not drop as part of this system and are instead awarded when all missions for each difficulty level are completed. In 2017 Portable this applies to 5 more for the Pale Wing.


This is a red image of a bulletproof vest. Collecting armor powerup items will increase a character's health in future play sessions by 1.2 for each armor acquired. Grinding for armor is commonly neccessary when preparing for the higher difficulty levels. Armor will not be saved unless the level is successfully completed. All players gain the additional health permanently.

EDF: Insect Armageddon

Insect Armageddon features a rather complicated system of unlocks with in-level weapon drops, a credit system and an experience system. Experience and credits are based on a scoring system rather than items; the player's experience for a particular class determines their level, which in turn determines that class' maximum health: there are no Armor items to increase this. "Armor" is instead a bonus applied on top of the character's normal maximum health by "overcharging" the health meter with additional pickups: for example, the Tactical Armor in the images below has a health rating of 350, but in the first image also has full armor, raising his total health to 437.

Weapons are divided into tiers with access to each tier granted as the class gains experience and levels up; each tier more or less replaces the one before it. There are three types of weapons with different unlock methods: some must be bought with credits earned in the same way as experience, while others can only be found in boxes that are dropped by tough enemies: usually a Hector, Hector Mk. II, Robotic Praying Mantis, Bomber Spider or Daddy Long Legs will drop one when destroyed, though on rare occasions they do not. These weapon types do not overlap: bought weapons cannot drop, and drop weapons cannot be bought.

For each class there are also ten DLC weapons that cannot be unlocked in any normal way and must be purchased if the player wants them. These weapons still cannot be accessed until the appropriate tier is unlocked.

Health / Armor Pack

Travel size.

Indicated by a blue cross icon on the minimap, these bluish cube-shaped cases restore a quantity of the player's health. If one player picks up a health pack, all characters below full health will gain the same amount of health up to full health. "Overcharging" the bar to gain armor does not work like this: only the character who who picks up the item will gain any armor, though other characters will still gain health if theirs is less than full. If a character has full health and armor, picking up one of these items is still possible, but does nothing.

Large Health / Armor Pack

Family of family size.

Like a health pack, but it restores more health because it is larger. It is an oblong rather than a cube.



Indicated by a yellow cross icon on the minimap and shown as a greyish case with a radiation symbol on it, these grant a random weapon unlock from a subset of weapons that cannot be unlocked using credits in the normal manner. The weapon's name will briefly appear when the item is picked up, and will be followed by "**NEW**" if the player does not already have it. Weapons found in the field become available when the required tier is reached in the proper class and cost no credits to unlock. New weapons found on the map are indicated by a radiation sign on the loadout screen, though those with a green radiation sign are DLC.

Unlike in other EDF games with multiple classes, Weapon items give a random item from the list for all classes rather than only the one being played as, using the current difficulty to determine the maximum level of the unlock; the maximum drop level is 5 for Normal, 7 for Hard, and 8 for Inferno. This means that it is possible to unlock weapons too high-level for the class they are for to use them: if this occurs, a padlock symbol will be shown next to the weapon on the end-of-level result screen instead of an image of it.

EDF 2025 / EDF 4.1

All pickups are marked as green dots on the minimap, exactly as in 2017. Rather than being 2D sprites as in 2017 or flat drops that simply appear on or fall to the ground when an enemy is defeated as in Insect Armageddon, they are now physics-enabled objects that stack up and bounce around if dropped from a height.

Enemies have a set chance of dropping pickups: with some, it is the chance of them dropping anything, while with others it is the number of things they drop that is randomized. The type of pickup dropped is also randomized, though the system seems to have a higher chance of dropping health and armor than weapon crates.

Items cannot spawn outside of the map area; if they would, they will instead magically appear at the border of the map at whatever height they would have appeared at. They can land close enough to the map edge that the pickup location of a vehicle (its approximate center) cannot touch them, though if this occurs all the character in the vehicle needs to do to pick them up is briefly get out.

Health Pack

"Cool, a weird fraction of my health!"

Small white cube with rounded corners, with a red X-shaped sign. Restores roughly 15% (appears to be 10/65) of the maximum health of the character who picked up the box. Does not heal others, except when playing as the Ranger in 4.1, where it also restores 11% of health for any NPCs currently following him. Health pickups cannot restore health above the current armor limit, and picking them up when at maximum health simply wastes a health pickup.

Large Health Pack

Just climb inside and sleep it off.

Yellow-bordered white oblong box, with three red X signs on the side. Restores one-third of a character's maximum health. Restores 21% for any NPCs following a Ranger in 4.1.


It's really powerful, especially against living things.

Green oblong box with rounded corners and "WEAPON" on the side in yellow text. As before, grants one random weapon unlock at the end of the current stage if it is completed, with the level range based on the current mission and difficulty setting. In 2025 and 4.1 this will only ever be a weapon for the character class the player used to complete the mission.

In online mode each player gets one random unlock for their current class for every weapon box picked up by the team, regardless of who picked it up. The randomization is different for each player, so even if they are playing as the same class as someone else, they will not necessarily gain the same unlocks.

In split-screen mode, on the other hand, only the class that actually picks up the weapon crate will get an unlock.


Do not ask what is supposed to be in these boxes. It is best you do not know.

Red oblong box with grey corners and "ARMOR" on the side in white text. As before, armor items permanently increase the character's overall health at the end of the mission if it is completed. However, unlike previous games, the health upgrade stats are different for different classes: Fencers gain 0.58 health per armor pickup, Rangers and Air Raiders gain 0.47, and Wing Divers 0.23. In 4.1 armor growth is a little slower, at 0.53 for Fencers, 0.424 for Rangers and Air Raiders, and 0.212 for Wing Divers. If the character's health is not a whole number it will be rounded down during gameplay, but the game stores the actual amount. Only the armor of the class currently being played is upgraded. In online mode, all players get every armor upgrade picked up by the team for their current class, while in split-screen mode both classes being played gain the full armor amount regardless of which one picked them up; if the two players are the same class, the amount of armor gained will be doubled.


Earth Defense Force 5 uses essentially the same system as 2025 and 4.1, with a couple of important alterations. Firstly, the game processes weapon and armor drops differently. Rather than all drops being only for the class currently being played, about 50% of drops are given to that class, with the remainder being distributed approximately equally between the remaining classes. This is seemingly intended to avoid over-specialization rendering other classes too weak to be played. The class being played is more likely to receive weapon upgrades than the other classes. The 999 item per mission limit is still in place, but is only per attempt at the mission: because of the new system of getting drops after failed runs on all difficulties but Inferno, the aggregate total for multiple runs can exceed this by at least one order of magnitude.

This dovetails into the second change: weapons can now be upgraded. Duplicate weapons have a chance of having one or more special upgrade points, which the game conceptualizes as additional "parts" for the weapon. Indeed, even the first instance of a weapon that a player acquires may be partially upgraded. This is randomly assigned on the mission result screen, and if a weapon can accept the upgrade it is automatically applied (a green "UP" appears next to the weapon thus upgraded). If all of a duplicate weapon's stats are the same as or inferior to the version the player already has, nothing happens. The class being played is more likely to receive weapons with high-level "parts," but contrary to what is stated in the manual, upgrades can be earned for classes other than the one being played.

A weapon that can still be upgraded will show a number and the outline of a five-pointed star next to a stat that can be upgraded on its item card: the number will increase as the weapon increases in quality, and the star will turn white when the stat is maxed out. If no star appears, that stat is fixed. Once all stats for a weapon are maxed, a white star will appear next to its name in the weapon select menu.

The final alteration, as mentioned above, is that failing a mission does not result in the loss of all items: instead, if the player chooses to retreat after dying, a percentage of the weapon crates and armor acquired which scales by difficulty will be granted to them. This goes from as high as 100% in Easy to as low as 25% on Hardest: the only difficulty that gives nothing is Inferno. Selecting "retry" will save any awarded weapons from prior runs: they will be given when the mission is completed or the player chooses to retreat. Retreating from the pause menu without dying will result in the loss of all items from the current run, but will award any items saved up from retries: similarly, restarting the mission from the pause menu will not result in any items being carried over.