The Ranger is the standard character class and jack-of-all-trades character in Earth Defense Force 5.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Key mechanics
- 3 Weapon classes
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Trivia
Rangers form the core of the EDF ground forces and are highly trained frontline infantry able to use a variety of weapons and respond to many situations, admittedly usually by dying a lot. They are the most common type of NPC encountered.
The Ranger is the class selected by default and includes text encouraging new players to try him out while they are learning the ropes. He is a good general-purpose character with no specific weaknesses, and is very flexible with suitable weapons for just about any situation.
The EDF 5 Ranger class incorporates changes made for the Infantry class in Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space, specifically the moving of C Bombs and Impulse mines back to him. He has experienced significantly greater changes, however: he now has a third slot for for "equipment" items that give him various ability buffs, or for equipping vehicles like an Air Raider, using the same Reload Credit system. He also gains the ability to sprint, which increases his speed at the cost of preventing most actions and having a short recovery animation at the end of the run.
The ability to restore health to allies is no longer specific to the Ranger: instead, all classes possess a weak ability to do so, but the Ranger is able to augment this with some of his equipment items to improve the amount of health restored to his comrades. He has also lost the ability to equip the same weapon to both his weapon slots: the ability to equip multiple instances of the same weapon is now exclusive to the Fencer class.
The Ranger, like the Wing Diver, has two slots for equipping weapons. He has the same starting health as the Air Raider at 200, and the same armor growth at 0.64 HP per armor pickup.
Regardless of the chosen class, the player character is frequently accompanied by a group of Rangers called Alpha Team, under the slightly erratic command of a character generally just referred to as "Sergeant." 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%.
Sprinting and rolling
The Ranger's new sprint ability is a major upgrade to his overall mobility, allowing him to quickly move to a new location. The move requires the sprint button to be held, but has no other limitations: the Ranger can sprint indefinitely. Sprinting moves the camera slightly closer to the Ranger, and also drops it slightly lower to the ground. While sprinting, the Ranger will move in the direction he was facing when he started, but his path can be controlled using left and right on the right analog stick, which will rotate the Ranger in a similar way to how it normally rotates the camera. The camera's vertical position can also be change while sprinting. At the end of a sprint is a short recovery period where the Ranger cannot shoot or switch weapons, though he can roll immediately after (or even during) a sprint. Sprinting limits the angles at which a Ranger can roll to his frontal 90 degrees, though it does also allow him a unique ability to roll directly forwards. Sprinting does not conclude if the Ranger contacts a barrier, he will simply run on the spot, allowing the player to change his direction.
During a sprint, the Ranger's item collection radius will increase, indicated by a white circle on the ground around him. This does not occur if he has one of the "Probe" items equipped: the radius stays the same in this case.
Sprinting prevents most actions, including jumping, shooting, changing weapons and opening the chat menu, but there are several allowed actions. Most advantageously, the Ranger can initiate and continue reloads while sprinting, allowing him to ready his weapons during a run. Sprinting also does not disallow the detonation of placed C Bombs. Less usefully, he can also still zoom in if he has a weapon with a scope equipped, though all this really does is make it harder for the player to see where he is going.
The key to avoiding enemy attacks is the dodge roll move, executed by pressing the jump button while moving left or right at any angle. This not only speeds the Ranger up slightly (indeed, it is still slightly faster than his default sprint speed), it also has the effect of flattening his hitbox, meaning many enemy attacks will pass harmlessly over him, and has some invincible frames. A rolling Ranger is a much smaller target than a Fencer or Wing Diver. In addition, the first part of the roll animation will destroy small scenery objects in the Ranger's path, from the expected fences and the like, to fairly large objects like cars, buses and bike sheds. Even some extremely solid-looking objects like six-foot stacks of steel I-beams are not safe from the Ranger's dastardly rolling activities.
It is important not to roll when using burst-fire splash damage weapons like the Volcano rocket launchers and multi-shot missile launchers, as this will shift the aim point of the weapon and make it fire part of its burst into the ground, usually killing the Ranger instantly.
Hand grenades are a useful part of the Ranger's arsenal early on, but it is important to know how to use them. As in previous games, the distance they are thrown can be controlled: just tapping the fire button will drop the grenade at the Ranger's feet, which is less than optimal. Holding it will increase the range of the throw, displaying a red line to indicate the throw arc. Releasing the button at this point will throw the grenade in the displayed arc. If the arc has gone too far or the player otherwise wishes to abort the throw, switching weapons will cancel it.
If the Ranger is moving when he throws a normal grenade, the angle of the resulting throw will be altered with respect to this. This only applies to the MG-series grenades, not the DNG series which have a fixed throwing animation with a short run-up.
Recoil and burst cancelling
Useful for weapons with substantial recoil animations like the Fang sniper rifle; switching away from the weapon while its post-firing animation is playing will skip the remainder of it, allowing a reload to begin immediately. This can also be used with slow semi-automatics like the Lysander: the Lysander runs its between-shot pause even if it is not the selected weapon to prevent it from being rapid-fired just by switching weapons twice, but if the Ranger has a second Lysander (which in this game would have to be the next-best model) they can alternate which one they are firing with and never have to deal with the pause between shots for either.
A similar though unrelated tactic is to switch to a weapon that is being reloaded between shots with a slow-firing weapon, maintaining the same rate of fire as normal while using the delay to make the other weapon ready in a series of small steps.
Switching weapons while firing a burst-fire weapon will skip the remainder of the burst; this can be useful if firing will aggro an undesirable number of enemies, but mainly is worth keeping in mind to avoid wasting shots.
It is important not to forget about these powerful devices when playing online; while it turns the Ranger into more of a support character, in certain situations keeping one character up and running is more valuable than another gun. For example, a Reverser can allow an Air Raider to call in a critical strike while under heavy fire that would otherwise kill him, fix a damaged vehicle, or repair a Fencer's shields enough for him to survive an attack. Even in singleplayer they allow the Ranger to heal NPC allies without needing to find a health pickup. In addition, a Ranger can carry a Reverse Shooter to heal himself, which can be very useful in a mission where one weapon can deal with most enemies.
Rather than being a long series of weapons with minor variations on the same name, the Assault Rifles are now divided into a series of distinct subtypes. Many Assault Rifles now have a damage falloff gimmick whereby their shot power decreases as their shots approach their maximum range: as a tradeoff, at close range they are generally more powerful than the standard assault rifles of previous games. In addition, it is more common for Assault Rifles to have scopes or laser sights. The Fusion Blaster series are no longer present.
The "Balanced" assault rifle series start out being called PA-11, before proceeding into a series called Stork at higher levels. DLC 1 and 2 each add a final rifle to this series called Slade, with similar stats but the addition of a short-range penetration ability like a shotgun. Many rifles in the series are equipped with a laser sight, and some also have a 2x magnification scope for accurate shooting. Stand-out weapons in the series are the T3 Stork Burst, the only one which does not have unrestricted automatic fire, and the T4 Stork AE, which has a unique gimmick for the series in that it fires rounds that penetrate out to their maximum range. Almost all can be levelled to A rank accuracy or better, with the exception of the T3 Stork which for some reason maxes out at B.
The Raven series instead focus on capacity and fire rate, excelling at close range combat and having very pronounced damage falloff at range. The derived MXR Sirius has mediocre accuracy but an absurd 1,092 round magazine when maxed out, and additionally has the same penetration-to-range ability of the T4 Stork AE. It is particularly effective against green Ants.
The Slugger series is also close range focused, but while the Raven series focuses on volume of fire, the Sluggers instead focus on per-shot power. The derived Orchid series feature scopes and enhanced range and accuracy, to the point they can be used for sniping at mid-range against weaker foes.
The Minion Buster is an odd weapon that functions rather like a Limpet Gun: it fires delayed-explosive rounds which explode a short time after impact with a small blast radius. The weapon thus deals damage twice, on impact and on detonation: it does not, however, deal its full damage stat twice. Instead, the number is the full damage, which is divided into 20% for the initial impact and then the remaining 80% when the bullet explodes. All Minion Busters deal their full damage regardless of range. Fire rate is comparable to a Stork, but range is inferior, and most variants also suffer from low muzzle velocity that can make leading targets difficult. None have a scope, and only the final model has a laser sight. Most are fully automatic, though the Minion Buster Burst fires in 3-round bursts, while the Minion Blast is semi-automatic, also bucking the trend of low muzzle velocity by having one on par with a G&M rifle.
The G&M series are semi-automatic rifles with the lowest magazine size in their class (to the point of being physically possible), but almost no damage falloff coupled to longer range and high muzzle velocity. All but the first two models also have to-range penetration capabilities. Curiously, though it would be ideal for the class, only two rifles in the series have zoom capability.
The Blazer is a one-off level 108 weapon which can only be earned in DLC 2. It is essentially a souped-up Fusion Blaster, with a range getting on for 700 meters. It fires at 60 shots per second, which still allows it to fire for 16.65 seconds between reloads thanks to a 999-round magazine, and each shot is about as powerful as one from a mid-level Slugger. The sole drawback, apart from the difficulty of getting it in the first place and the lack of a zoom, is that the Blazer has by far the slowest reload of the assault rifles at a minimum of 7.4 seconds, though given this makes it a reloadable Fusion Blaster it is more just another bonus.
Shotguns have been significantly buffed since 4.1, with higher damage and shorter reloads. Many also have a new ability to penetrate multiple enemies if they are fired at close range (in most cases roughly 30 meters, equivalent to three times the body length of an Ant). If penetration occurs, there will be a burst of blue sparks from around the enemy the shot penetrated. Like assault rifles, shotguns experience damage falloff at range, in most cases down to around one-tenth of their full power. The Wide Shot series have been removed.
The Slaughter series are closest to the old Buffalo shotguns, being pump-action weapons with strong close-range abilities, moderate spread and magazine size, and excellent per-shot power. As the series goes on their range improves gradually and their muzzle velocity becomes significantly better, from a mediocre 180 m/s for the starting Slaughter E20 to a somewhat ridiculous 1,200 m/s (Mach 3.5) for the final Slaughter EZ model. Quite a few come with laser sights.
The SGN series are new for EDF 5, being semi-automatic shotguns that boast a higher fire rate than the Slaughter series and larger magazines for all but the first variant, with the tradeoff being reduced range, damage and pellet count, and a longer reload.
The SGN-A series, including the one-off Herring, are fully automatic shotguns. Their fire rate is actually quite low, around half the firecap for the semi-auto variants. The Herring boasts a Slaughter-like reload time, but the SGN-As have SGN-like reload times and all their other stats are comparable, making the series rather redundant. The main benefit comes from the SGN-11A coming in at level 65 with a 30-round magazine, while it takes the main series until level 82 to have this.
Monsoon series shotguns are pump-action and for the most part comparable to the Slaughter series: their main gimmick is they are magazine-fed for a faster reload. While this results in a slight capacity reduction compared to Slaughters, the Monsoons reload faster than assault rifles when fully upgraded, making them extremely valuable for dealing with swarms.
The Breacher series are equivalent to the previous game's Governor shotguns: while most of their stats are mediocre, particularly their range and rate of fire, they fire between 40 and 125 (!) pellets when fully upgraded, producing unparalleled damage at point-blank range, even able to take down boss-grade insects quickly. At very close range, the final D110 Breacher can deal over 42,000 damage per shot. Because of the very wide area of shot in the later variants, it can be a good idea to jump before firing to maximise damage, as otherwise the lower part of the circle of shot will tend to hit the ground almost immediately.
The Slugger Shot series are the diametric opposite, firing just one projectile: however, this projectile penetrates out to the maximum range of the weapon. They are somewhat weakened compared to 4.1 due to having range falloff, even if it is only to 25% rather than the 10% of most other shotguns: because their range is only 70-75 meters to begin with, they lose power extremely quickly
DLC 1 adds the ability to unlock the level 103 Buster Shot, which is functionally a cross between a Breacher and a Minion Buster. While it has no penetration ability at any range, the tradeoff is that it has absolutely no damage falloff at range. It fires the same delayed explosive rounds as the Minion Buster, following the same 20-80 damage rule, and when fully upgraded fires 102 of them per shot. Some care must be taken due to the 4 meter blast radius of each charge: friendly fire against other player-controlled characters is a particular problem, since the shotgun's ammo detonating will tend to blast their corpse to the nearest map edge.
Another one-off shotgun, the level 106 Fracture, was added in DLC 2. This weapon is a powered-up Slaughter EZ in terms of stats, with improved fire rate, shot power and pellet count at a cost of a somewhat slower reload, but its main gimmick is firing flechettes instead of pellets, giving it a much greater penetration range. It also has greater horizontal spread than the Slaughter EZ.
The Nova Buster weapon series and Zero Laser Rifle are no longer present.
The KFF Series are the Ranger's basic bolt-action, magazine-fed sniper rifles, similar to the MMF Series of the previous game but only containing the basic models, as the automatic and burst types are now distinct weapons. All but the initial level 0 model have a laser sight to allow for no-scope aiming. They are slightly more powerful than the nearest comparable MMF variant when fully upgraded, have their range increased by about one-third, and almost all variants have a maximum accuracy of S++.
The exceptions to the general tendencies of the series are the level 6 KFF50LS, which has a 5.5-power scope instead of a 4-power like the others, and the level 32 KFF60LS, which represents a substantial step up in power, but has a minimum 3-second reload time instead of 2 like the others, and maxes out at S+ accuracy rather than S++. DLC 1 adds the final level 104 KFF71S, which as well as being a step up in all categories, also has a shotgun-like range-governed penetration capability which is effective out to 360 meters.
The NP Series are the new burst-fire sniper rifles, with the first three variants firing a 3-round burst while the final one fires a 4-round burst. Their per-shot power is slightly weaker than the KFFs, but they deal a lot more damage if the whole burst hits. Their rate of fire stats as shown are actually incorrect, with each firing very slightly slower than indicated.
The Lysander series returns, as before being slow-firing, high-power magazine-fed sniper rifles which benefit from extremely high muzzle velocity. Even the first model maxes out at the same muzzle velocity as the Slaughter EZ, while later ones can reach up to 6,750 m/s (Mach 19.7), which is almost escape velocity and means that the impact is essentially instantaneous. There is now a low-capacity level 4 Prototype Lysander, but for some reason the Lysander 2 has been removed and so there is a 43-level gap between the basic Lysander and Lysander F. DLC 2 adds the level 112 Lysander ZF, which as well as general upgrades sports a slightly higher rate of fire and a penetration effect out to around 700 meters. All Lysanders come with a laser sight.
The Fang is basically just a renamed Stringer, though the per-shot power of these single-shot piercing rifles is greatly reduced compared to 4.1. There are now only three variants, with a vast gap of 56 levels between the last two. The final variant was initially rather underpowered at only about 9,000 damage when fully upgraded, but the 1.02 patch increased this to around 13,600.
Dunkel rifles are the new fully-automatic series, boasting similar stats in most areas to the MMF series, but with larger magazines, lower per-shot power, and somewhat longer reloads. While most are rather slow-firing for an automatic weapon, their per-shot power is better than a comparable level G&M rifle and they have no damage falloff at range, making them a decent choice as a primary weapon. All variants have a laser sight.
The DLC 1 added level 101 Dunkel N236R represents a step up in all ways and also has over double the fire rate of any other model as well as a jump from a maximum of 21 rounds for most models to 82, allowing it to be used as a very capable assault rifle substitute. Its only downgrade is mounting a 3-power scope rather than the 4-power scope used by all other models.
The Ptarmigan is a new semi-automatic sniper rifle series that handles like a slow-firing, high-powered G&M assault rifle with a smaller magazine and no damage falloff at range. They are well-balanced weapons, with the Ptarmigan HAZ in particular being one of the Ranger's best high-level weapons. All variants have 4-power scopes and laser sights.
The Eagle series are a low-to-mid-level oddity, with models at levels 14 and 30. They are essentially high-precision KFF rifles, with their stand-out feature being their 12-power scopes, the strongest zoom of any sniper rifle. Both also have laser sights.
Flounder rifles are similar to the Five Card X series, being essentially sniper shotguns. Their low accuracy results in a greater spread at range than the Five Cards, however, and the first one only fires 4 pellets. Both have a laser sight.
The Pylon is a one-off level 45 rifle with inferior power and range to an equivalent KFF, but a better rate of fire, slightly larger magazine, and a full-range penetration capability.
The Penetrator is effectively a hybrid of the Flounder and Pylon, firing a spread of penetrating projectiles, either 8 for the first model or 12 for the second. The projectiles are fired in a horizontal row and fan out with distance.
The Ranger's rocket launchers in general fire slower projectiles than in the previous game. In addition, the Plasma Bomber series has been removed.
The Ranger's standard rocket launcher is the Grant, equivalent to the old Stingray series. This is a magazine-fed launcher firing accurate unguided rockets with reasonable splash damage and blast radius, backed up with a very fast reload. It is a very useful general combat weapon, equally good against moderately tough targets and groups.
The Leopard series are new for EDF 5 and an interesting departure in that they actually fire missiles rather than rockets, using laser semi-active homing: the missile will rapidly seek any target "painted" by the launcher's laser sight, in a similar manner to the Air Raider's missile strikes. Due to this, these launchers will not start their reloading animations until their missiles have hit something. The Ibis is a one-off mid-level launcher in this series which looks like a Cascade, and is distinguished by its enormous magazine, high rate of fire and lower per-shot power.
Goliath launchers have the highest damage and blast radius, but only a single-shot capacity and a slow reload. They have a zoom function for accurate shooting at long range. The final model available without DLC features laser semi-active homing like the Leopard series, though this has the downside that the weapon also cannot reload until impact like the Leopard: in addition it has a 5-second minimum reload rather than the series' usual 3. As well as this, because it uses the same firing animation as the standard Goliath, if there is a surface above the Ranger the missile will briefly swing upwards immediately after firing due to the launcher's muzzle jump, making it hazardous to use in confined spaces. The Goliath ZDXE, a level 102 weapon unlockable with DLC 1, removes this function and handles like a standard Goliath.
Cascade launchers have the lowest damage and blast radius of any rocket launcher, but the highest rate of fire and capacity. They are useful for saturating an area with fire at close range.
The Hornet series are another set of launchers new for EDF 5. In their case, the gimmick is high velocity: the rockets are weaker and have inferior splash to a Grant of similar level, but get to their target almost instantly, allowing the weapon to be used like a sniper rifle. Some care is required when firing a Hornet as the rocket is ejected from the tube and drops very slightly before its main motor starts, and will detonate if it hits the ground during this.
The Volcano series are high-capacity burst-firing rocket launchers. They reload quickly and have a good blast radius, but only moderate damage per rocket; nevertheless, the whole volley does a lot of damage. Oddly, their volley size is fixed but their magazine is not: when they are upgraded beyond their burst size they have two shots, one a full burst and one a partial burst.
Like all guided weapons, the Ranger's missile launchers 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. A launcher will lock on to targets within the bounding box in order of proximity: to aim at a more distant target it is best to start out aiming at nothing and then bring one of the corners of the bounding box onto the preferred target. If something undesired is locked on to, the player can manually cancel the lock by switching weapons.
They take a moment to "forget" their lock if aimed away, allowing them to be aimed away to clear intervening obstacles. 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. Additionally, the Ranger now has the power to do this himself by equipping one of the "Multiple Lock-On Device" Support Equipment items.
Some alterations have been made to missile systems: they will now cease tracking if their target is killed and continue flying straight until they disappear, and they cannot lock-on during evasive rolls anymore.
The Air Tortoise is one of the classic weapons of the series and returns again. As ever it fires a single large slow-moving missile and takes some time to lock on (except the second model, which is actually fairly fast), but deals very high damage with a large blast radius. Early models are fast to reload, though the final model ups this to a painful 10 seconds: the result is the level 7 version actually has superior DPS to the level 43 version. Some care must be taken since the missile drops slightly as it comes off the launch rail; if there are obstructions in front it can strike them and instantly explode, probably killing the Ranger in the process. Since the last model is level 43 and unlike the others lacks a fast reload, it quickly becomes irrelevant at higher difficulties.
Emerald missile launchers are multi-shot general-purpose launchers with fast reloads and lock-on times coupled with good damage. As the series goes on they gain an increasing number of locks: of note is that all Emerald variants can be upgraded to fire more missiles than their model number would suggest, from 3 for the first model to up to 8 for the last. In EDF 4.1, the series suffered from a huge gap of 42 levels between the level 35 ME4 and level 77 MEX5, but this has been remedied with the addition of the ME4R Emerald S at level 52.
The MLRA series feature the highest number of locks of any of the Ranger's missile launchers, up to 45, but deal puny damage compared to the others and only have a tiny splash radius, not sufficient to damage buildings. They are primary useful against aerial foes and Spiders, and are also quite effective at targeting the leg weapons of Deroys due to their ability to attack most or even all of them at the same time. Early variants fire forward, while the later TW (two-way) and new final level 75 TF are vertical launchers that fire their missiles in a V-shaped upward pattern. Each shot from these launchers is actually two missiles as a result. These use a soft launch and drop down by the sides of the launcher before their main boosters ignite, and as well as the usual prohibitions against rolling while using a burst-fire launcher, there is a very real risk of the Ranger blowing himself up if he fires the weapon while moving on uneven ground.
The FORK series are similar to the MLRA in terms of functionality, but lock all of their vertically-launched missiles onto one target for focused damage and fire them all at once instead of in a burst. Some care must be taken to ensure the space above the Ranger is clear in the FORK's entire fire arc, since it is very easy for the Ranger to accidentally kill himself if he fires while walking past an overhead structure like a building sign or telegraph pole.
Prominence launchers are a Ranger's most powerful. They fire a single large vertically-launched missile which travels upwards for several seconds before starting to home in. This does render them totally useless in underground missions since they will simply slam into the ceiling, and makes it dangerous to fire them against highly mobile enemies due to the risk of them closing range before the missile impact. The missile deals high damage with enormous splash, meaning their mediocre homing performance has little impact on their ability to deal damage. Prominence launchers reload incredibly quickly, and while their default lock-on speed is fairly slow, when fully upgraded they can easily be used without any assistance from an Air Raider, turning them into very effective fire-and-forget weapons. Even when moderately upgraded, the Ranger's Radar Support System item can render them quite usable.
The MS Falcon is a one-off, DLC 2 exclusive level 110 weapon which looks like an MLRA and functions rather like a Fencer's High-Altitude Impact Missiles. Previously it was able to be upgraded to a capacity of 9, but could only actually generate 5 lock-ons. Patch 1.06 fixed this bug, but reduced the weapon's maximum capacity to 7.
The grenade category includes both grenades and grenade launchers, and weapons that fire both impact and timed explosives. It is particularly important to check a weapon in this class' item card to identify what it does before attempting to use it.
The MG Series are standard thrown hand grenades. They reload the instant the throwing animation concludes and have reasonable damage, with a good blast area. The only oddity among the basic MGs is the MG13, which the EDF apparently found in a box marked "Danger" and so decided to issue to troops: this variant has the short MG throw range despite using the long DNG throwing animation, deals very high damage, and has the highest blast radius of any impact-detonated MG. The basic MG models detonate on impact, while those with J in the title are timed and deal more damage. Most have a rather hard-to-work-with 10-second fuze, while the MG14J has a more useful 5 seconds and the 13J a ridiculous 30 seconds. The J series also includes the Bound Grenade, a device that ricochets off walls for 10 seconds before dealing almost 8,500 damage to anything within a 24.1-metre radius when fully upgraded. Listening for online players saying "hey, what just killed me?" is the best way to figure out where it ended up.
The DNG Series are heavier and more powerful impact grenades that require a slower "pitching" animation. This travels forwards slightly, and so care must be taken if throwing near a ledge..
The UM Grenade Launcher is a multi-shot rotary launcher that can fire grenades further and faster than they can be thrown by hand, at the cost of lower damage per shot. The basic versions fire impact grenades. There is a single RA variant which is essentially a grenade machine gun with high capacity but reduced damage and blast, while the later-model BRUTE and CRUMBLE launchers have lower capacity but fire a spread of 3 or 2 grenades at once. UM-type launchers with J in the name, much like grenades, fire timed explosives, with a very usable time-to-detonation of 4 seconds. All timed models are fairly low-level, but deal more damage than near-level impact launchers with a broader splash radius.
Volatile Napalm, including the Volcanic Napalm, is a specialised type of grenade launcher that fires an impact-fuzed round. Rather than exploding, however, it creates an area of flames that burns for some time and deals powerful damage-over-time. If it hits the ground it will damage any enemy that contacts it; if it hits an enemy (or anything else mobile) the flames will move around and potentially damage things around them, though the flame effect will disappear if it is attached to a corpse and the corpse vanishes. Most can fire two or four times and have a reasonable reload, though Volcanic Napalm ignores this pattern, firing one shot that, when fully upgraded, deals over 22,000 damage with a 23.3 second reload. Firing Volcanic Napalm at a Fencer holding up a pair of Great Shields also has a very amusing, if completely useless, effect.
The Flame Geyser is a Napalm variant which fires two sticky grenades per reload, or 3 for the DLC unlockable level 106 variant if it is fully upgraded. Once these attach to something, they will begin to emit a jet of flames roughly 40 meters long, perpendicular to the surface they are attached to: the jet, like any directional flame weapon, will always fire out to its full range and will flow around any surfaces it encounters. The jet is incredibly powerful and lasts for about 15 seconds, allowing four (or six for the DLC variant) to be running at once, and will stunlock most normal enemies that attempt to walk through it. Flame Geysers are particularly potent in underground missions where two placed at right-angles will almost entirely prevent enemies from proceeding. Care must be taken not to attach them to enemies, though; on living enemies it will only barely damage them with the very beginning of the jet and if attached to their head will result in an enemy equipped with a very powerful flamethrower, while on dead enemies the jet will function like a rocket and propel the corpse around shooting fire in all directions, which, while hilarious, can also result in the Ranger's death if it moves close to him.
The Stampede is a fantastically silly grenade-firing shotgun launching between 10 and 30 arcing impact-fused rounds at once in a broad cone, effectively being a handheld version of the Dispersal Mortar used by the Fencer and the Dispersal Howitzer mounted on Buster-type Nixes: it is actually stronger per-shot than the Fencer Mortars, and only slightly less damaging than a Nix firing both Howitzers at once. It has a long reload and only a single shot per magazine, but is among the finest area suppression weapons the Ranger has access to.
The Splash Grenade is somewhat similar to the Stampede, but fires in a shorter, wider spread and shoots 20 timed bouncing grenades that explode after 10 seconds. It is very difficult to keep track of them, and quite likely to harm the Ranger since they have a wide blast radius.
The first two Sticky Grenade launchers function in the same way as the Splash Grenade, but have a shorter 4-second fuze and will adhere to any non-scenery object they encounter. The final variant, Sticky Grenade α, is totally different, firing a single very powerful grenade that is much easier to keep track of and has double the blast radius of the prior model.
Weapons that do not fit anywhere else, including flamethrowers, healing devices and, um, marbles.
Acid Guns are weapons with varied effects depending on the precise model. The Acid Shots and Wide Acid Gun fire a shotgun-like blast of arcing acid splats rather like an Ant's spray attack, while the Acid Gun and Super Acid Gun fire an arcing stream, resembling a small version of a Queen Ant's attack. They are largely just gimmicks, but the Super Acid Gun is actually extremely powerful and deals slightly higher DPS than the top-level rifles, and its 60 shots / sec fire rate means it is very good at stunlocking enemies.
Flamethrowers are potent constant-fire close-range weapons. While the initial weapon in this class is literally a blowtorch with a range of 20 centimeters and damage that makes a single Ant on Easy a formidable foe, later versions are powerful, firing jets of flame that will flow around corners and pass through multiple enemies, often dealing multiple hits to the same enemy with the same shot for enormously high damage. They have a 60 shots / sec fire rate, along with high capacity and a fairly fast reload, and will typically stunlock anything in their area of effect. Unlike the previous game, Flamethrowers are capable of harming the Ranger, though this requires they be fired in such a way that the flame reflects off a wall and hits him. They still produce the so-called "type A" flames which have the unique ability to penetrate the barrier of a Shield Bearer and still damage the machine itself.
The Firecracker is a strange and rather silly weapon which functions like a grenade, but instead throws what appear to be a handful of anything up to 90 exploding marbles in a spread. Each deals low damage and has a tiny blast radius, but the damage quickly stacks up since they are thrown as fast as normal grenades. When fully upgraded, the final variant gains a large enough blast radius to destroy buildings, and deals an extremely respectable 16,308 damage per throw. It is about as close to an Air Raider artillery strike as the Ranger is ever going to get.
The Bound Guns are rather gimmicky weapons that fire ricocheting bullets. They can be useful in underground levels, but are not particularly powerful; they typically have the same stats as the normal weapon they are based on, but with much longer range and a longer reload. The final version, HX50 Bound Shotgun, is a Bound variant of the D55 Breacher shotgun (though it still looks like a Slugger like all the others do), and was 2017's reward for completing the game on Hardest as Storm 1.
C Bombs are a classic weapon for the old Storm 1 class, extremely powerful demolition charges that are dropped and then detonated remotely using the alt-fire button. While they have a fairly slow reload, the Ranger can place 6-11 of most variants at a time, and they deal devastating damage with huge splash. A stand-out in the class is the CX Special Bomb, which has an inferior blast radius for its level but allows the placement of up to 23 charges per reload. They are very useful if the movements of a large enemy can be predicted, or for setting in the path of enemy groups.
The Impulse series are Claymore-style directional landmines fitted with short-range proximity triggers. They are much more useful than in the previous game, due to having their reload times cut by about two-thirds. There are variants that fire along the ground or diagonally up to hit low-flying aerial foes, and the later versions are quite powerful. Their projectiles can penetrate multiple enemies and will ricochet off walls, allowing them to deal immense damage in confined spaces. It is worth noting that they only detonate when an enemy enters their detection area; if they are placed with an enemy already inside it, that enemy will be unable to set them off unless they leave and re-enter detection range. In addition, they only detonate if the "origin bone" of the enemy's 3D model enters their detection range: large enemies often cannot set them off. They can also be placed on vehicles to give them "reactive armor," though unless this is done very carefully it will usually end badly for the vehicle.
Reversers are a special type of "weapon:" instead of dealing damage they heal whatever they strike, using nanomachines (son). This includes allies, enemies, player-controlled and NPC vehicles, Decoys, and the shield of a Fencer if it is held up while the device is fired at it: the only real thing they cannot heal is the Air Raider's forcefields. While the description claims it cannot heal the Ranger, this is not actually true: it uses the same tricky physics as trying to self-harm with a flamethrower, but is possible if the Ranger fires the weapon at his own feet or into a wall he is standing right in front of. The basic Reverser is effectively a flamethrower that must be fired at whatever is to be healed and will pass through multiple targets, healing them all. Reversers cannot be reloaded, but usually have a generous allocation of "ammunition."
High-Cycle Reversers function more like the Acid Gun, firing a continuous stream of nano-goop that is shorter-ranged but has a stronger healing effect, and the High-Cycle models can also heal the most in total. There is no way for the Ranger to heal himself with this variant.
The Reverse Shooters, including the Reverse Gun and Reverse Bomber (which is still present despite the removal of the Plasma Bomber), are the other subtype of Reverser. They function like a rocket launcher, firing a projectile that creates a gas cloud which heals anything within it instantly, for once deliberately including the Ranger himself. The Reverse Bomber is the exception and functions like the old A2 Plasma Bomber, firing 10 healing projectiles in a shotgun-like spread. These weapons will heal any shield in a Fencer's current weapon pair, even if he is not holding it up. While a Reverse Shooter deals negative damage to enemies, it has a blast effect associated with it that can blow enemies back and even free the Ranger from a Crimson Ant or Tadpole's grab attack.
Pure Decoy Launchers are DLC-only devices, actually pink Air Raider Limpet Guns, that launch a low-HP, long-duration version of the Air Raider's Decoy that activates instantly on impact. There are a total of nine variants, all of which are just cosmetic variants with the same stats: one is a Pale Wing and the others are characters from D3 Publisher's dating sim Dream Club. They are somewhat less useful than in the previous game due to firing their shots in a much shorter arc. They can be glitched inside buildings by firing them right up against a wall: while Ants and Spiders can still destroy them in this state, Hornets (including Queens), Drones and Tadpoles cannot.
A new category of items which can only be equipped to the Ranger's third slot, these incorporate various stat boosts, as well as a selection of vehicles. Vehicles are only subject to the upgrade system in terms of reducing their reload credit cost and have fixed stats, while Support Equipment items do not upgrade at all.
Stat-boosting items that provide various passive buffs to the Ranger. They are not visually represented in-game.
Protectors serve the basic function of increasing the Ranger's walk and sprint speed: those with Hybrid in the name will also grant the Ranger the ability to destroy obstacles by running into them in the same manner he does by rolling, allowing him to charge headlong through minor obstacles. Later models also provide buffs to the Ranger's sprint acceleration and turn speed while sprinting. The DLC 2 unlocked level 108 Hybrid Protector XE adds a final additional function from Liquid Armor, halving the movement penalty from hits.
This brings things nicely to Liquid Armor, the primary function of which is to reduce the movement penalty from taking hits. The level 20 Perfect Liquid Armor is the only type which negates it entirely, while other later models instead offer movement bonuses similar to Protectors. The Hybrid Liquid Armor also has obstacle destruction thrown in.
Under Assist focuses on sprint enhancement: it offers no increase to walk speed, but a superior run speed boost to a Protector. All models reduce the Ranger's ability to turn while running, and all but the last also impose an acceleration penalty. They also increase the time it takes the Ranger to come to a halt at the end of a run, adding a Fencer-like momentum effect: one advantage of this is that the Ranger can run up much steeper slopes than he would normally be able to, particularly with high-level versions. They also have increasingly powerful negation of movement speed penalties from taking hits (though only during a sprint) with the final model on par with the Perfect Liquid Armor, and all have obstacle destruction during sprint.
Explosion Proof Suits negate the knockdown effects of enemy explosive weapons, in both cases removing it entirely: this also removes the ability of Rollers to knock the Ranger down, as well as other physical attacks with knockdown such as being stabbed with a Deroy's foot. Explosive attacks still deal normal damage, with only the physics effects being negated. It should be noted that this also means the Ranger's own burst-fire explosive weapons can deal absolutely incredible amounts of damage to him if the launch is blocked, as he will not be knocked out of firing them if he damages himself: this can be a particular issue with the MLRA launchers. The first model does nothing else, while the second adds in Protector-like movement bonuses and obstacle destruction while sprinting.
The Multiple Lock-On Device series allow the Ranger to acquire the same target multiple times with any missile weapon, even if it would normally not allow this: this works in the same way as locking on to an Air Raider's beacon or Guide Kit. The player can sweep the aim point around to lock on to multiple targets even with this item equipped, but it will preferentially lock all shots onto one target unless the target priority charges (ie, there is a closer enemy in the launcher's bounding box than the one originally locked on to). The first model does nothing else, while later ones offer an additional boost to lock-on speed.
The Radar Support System provides the other side of a Guide device's functionality, enhancing the lock-on range and lock-on speed of the Ranger's guided weapons. As with other devices that boost lock-on range, it should be noted that a guided weapon's range is governed by an un-displayed "projectile duration" stat, not by its lock-on range, so it can be possible to boost a weapon's lock-on range beyond the range its projectiles can actually travel.
Rescue Support Equipment provides a boost to the amount of health gained by NPCs teamed up with the Ranger when he picks up a health item. It has no effect on health gained by NPCs any other way. The DLC 2 exclusive level 106 variant has an extremely high ally health bonus coupled to a collection radius only slightly inferior to the final Probe.
The Probe increases the range at which the Ranger can pick up items, with this range indicated by a white circle on the ground around the Ranger: this can be increased by up to 1,000% by these items. This bonus only applies when on foot: it does not affect the item collection radius when in a vehicle. Most variants do nothing else, but the paid DLC S-Type Probe also has a small bonus to ally health recovery. While these might seem like they are just there to make gathering weapon and armor items easier, the later models actually give a distinct advantage in combat, allowing the Ranger to keep up a constant supply of health pickups if he is defeating enemies at close range without the player being distracted by having to spot them and work towards them.
The Ranger can call on two low-level variants of the Blacker tank, one being the level 6 Blacker E1 and the other a paid DLC vehicle called the Blacker 4.1 which has an EDF 4.1-themed skin and is armed with a Dispersal Howitzer that fires 20 projectiles at once, but only has 15 shots. Due to their low level, both are limited in usefulness, though they can be good when starting out at a lower difficulty.
The Ranger now gets all variants of the Epsilon Armored Railgun, now called Epsilon Self-Propelled Railgun. This vehicle is slower but even more heavily armored than the Blacker, a 3-seat vehicle armed with an electromagnetic cannon that effectively makes it a tank-sized sniper rifle. It has two additional crew positions which grant access to heavy machine guns mounted on the turret. Compared to the previous game the damage of the railgun has been reduced significantly, generally by about a third, but it is otherwise essentially identical save for a snazzy new blue paintjob.
New for EDF 5 and exclusive to the Ranger is the EMC, a massive self-propelled energy cannon which fires an "atomic ray" in sustained bursts which can deal enormous damage. It is extremely expensive to call in, particularly when not upgraded, but is devastating if its beam can be started up as a swarm is approaching.
With DLC the Ranger can also deploy a light Truck, a civilian vehicle which can seat three passengers. It is basically an unarmed Armored Vehicle Grape in functional terms, and while gimmicky, is faster and more maneuverable than the civilian trucks that spawn in some maps.
Helicopters feature extremely strange handling. Rather than having buttons to alter height up and down like most videogames, there is no button to descend, and the ascend button functions by spinning up the rotors so that they generate lift, which gradually decreases if the ascend button is left alone as if the rotors are some kind of flywheel. The helicopter will only start to descend once the rotors have slowed down enough.
It is probably better to imagine them as hot-air balloons with the ascend button the equivalent of using the burner; even if the burner is off, the balloon will not descend by itself until the air in it has cooled down.
Helicopters are the only vehicles other than the Free Bike which are damaged by contact with scenery; this includes their rotors. Small scenery objects will cause minor damage to a helicopter as the rotors spin up, while having it wedged against the side of a building can prevent the rotors from turning at all. Therefore, it is necessary to request and land helicopters in clear spaces to avoid wasted credits or needless damage.
Exiting a helicopter in mid-air is possible since there is no such thing as fall damage: however, there now is for the helicopter itself, and doing so is likely to damage it on landing. It is briefly possible to get back into the helicopter after exiting it since the circle is quite large: this is no longer particularly useful, however, since burst-cancelling by exiting vehicles has been removed. It is also possible to get into the secondary seats of an HU04 Brute while it is still airborne, though barring very bizarre actions by one or more players this is only really practical for a Wing Diver.
Helicopters are also one of the two vehicles to now have limited fuel. This will only really become relevant if the player is attempting extremely cheesy tactics such as beating up Spiders by throwing ZE-GUNs off the wing of a hovering Brute at the top of the skybox, as the fuel limit is so high that a helicopter being used normally will almost certainly run out of ammunition before it becomes an issue.
If the player can get used to their odd handling they can be extremely powerful.
For whatever reason, the Ranger is able to unlock only the first variant of the N9 Eros, which is exactly the same as the version for the Air Raider. Being a first-model helicopter, it is extremely unwieldy and takes a long time to take off. The item card for the Ranger's version incorrectly gives a durability rating of 390: in-game, it is actually the same 780 as the Air Raider's version.
The EF31 Nereid is now exclusive to the Ranger. This is a dedicated ground-attack helicopter armed with powerful rockets and an auto-locking chin-mounted gun weapon.
Also exclusive to the Ranger is the mighty HU04 Brute, a 3-seat gunship with no pilot's weapon but secondary positions controlling a pair of powerful cannons mounted on the sides. It should be noted that a Brute consumes fuel even if only its gun position is occupied, but does not consume it at any faster rate if it has multiple crew. Summoning a Brute in singleplayer and using it on the ground as a fixed gun position is eminently possible, and works better in this game since the Ranger is more capable of defending a grounded helicopter than the Air Raider was.
The only vehicle in this category is the Free Bike, a single-seat vehicle that replaces the two-seat SDL1 from the previous game. As with the SDL1 in 4.1 it can be requested underground, and it is the only one of the Ranger's vehicles that can be. It now controls by using the left trigger as an accelerator rather than the analog stick.
It is extremely fast and surprisingly quite tough, with Free Bikes having roughly double the health of equivalent SDL1 variants: additionally, it is no longer permanently off-balance due to mounting a sidecar, and so is much easier to drive in a straight line. It is however the only vehicle other than helicopters which takes damage from collisions, and indeed also the only vehicle other than helicopters to have limited fuel. In addition, it is now possible (and indeed very easy) to fall off the bike due to either collisions or turning at too steep an angle. It is armed with a pair of fixed forward-firing machine guns: these have been massively beefed up compared to the SDL1's weapon, doing about two and a half times more damage per shot and certainly putting paid to any negative comparison's to an Epsilon's secondary weapons this time around.
The DLC level 12 Omega Free Bike is instead armed with a short-range laser weapon called the Force Saber which forms a "blade" that hits anything within 25 meters of the front of the bike and has a piercing effect. The only other armament variant is the level 57 version, which mounts a pair of powerful guided missile launchers instead of guns. The ability to call in multiple bikes at once is mostly absent, though the level 28 and 63 versions can be called in twice per set of credits.
- 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).
- The joke model 13 grenades reflect a general Japanese adherence to the Western idea that the number is unlucky.