Teleport Anchors, sometimes referred to as Pylons, are large transportation systems used by the Primers to deploy forces in Earth Defense Force 5. They serve as the equivalent of the older Anthill / Tunnel Exit spawner, and totally replace them in-game.
Teleport Anchors are deployed in mid-air by the Primer Motherships, crashing to Earth and destroying everything around them before starting to teleport swarms of insects into battle. Physically they resemble a scaled-down version of the Ravager Brain from the previous game, consisting of a skyscraper-sized stalk resembling an industrial chimney, with their weak point at the very top.
Their impact angle and the depth they drive themselves into the ground on impact can vary, which affects the height of the target area. The enemies spawned by a Teleport Anchor will appear in mid-air all around the weak point, and drop the ground before attacking. If the Anchor is at a sharp angle, the enemies that spawn on to topside will generally fall onto the stalk and have to work their way down, which tends to take a while if they are Ants. As with any spawner, a Teleport Anchor will spawn a specific number of enemies and then only spawn more to "top up" the group to this set number: it keeps track of which enemies "belong" to it and will only deal with maintaining that group. They may, however, have special spawns based on mission state that do not count as part of their normal spawn.
If the player is a long distance from a Teleport Anchor, the replacement enemies it deploys may well not spawn aggro'd.
Teleport Anchors are sometimes dropped in a dormant state: in this state they function in accordance with the aggro system used by standard enemies, but are not even activated by proximity and only respond to being attacked. Once attacked, they will alert any nearby Teleport Anchors: in some cases, it is possible to single out isolated Anchors to reduce the overall spawn rate before going after ones which will alert others. Allied NPCs will not fire on a dormant Teleport Anchor, leaving activating it up to the player.
Teleport Anchors are the basic type and the one most commonly encountered, first being seen in Mission 4 (online mission 3) where several are deployed to the EDF military base the player character has just escaped from. They can spawn all types of standard biological enemies except Aranea, including Hornets and Tadpoles.
As with the previous game's Tunnel Exits, they are slightly tougher than Transport Ships, with the tradeoff of being a lot easier to attack due to their exposed weak point. Since their weak point is smaller than the tunnel exit and high off the ground, they are slightly less vulnerable to broad AoE strikes, being best fought with high-damage precision ranged weapons like heavy sniper rifles or the Air Raider's 150mm Cannon strikes.
These diamond-shaped devices are the equivalent of Teleport Anchors in underground stages (though a couple of these have regular teleport anchors), and differ mainly in that they are placed flat on top of walls or the ground rather than being up in the air. They emit a reddish glow to make them easier to locate. They function exactly like the Tunnel Exits of previous games, spawning enemies on top of them.
Big Anchors first appear in Mission 43 (42 in Online mode) during EDF operations in Europe. They are a larger, tougher Teleport Anchor which can deploy multiple types of giant insect at once and generally spawn more of them, and are also capable of spawning Battle Drones to defend themselves. Big Anchors also have a larger alert radius if they are attacked.
This enormous Anchor variant, which is never given a name, is only encountered once in the singleplayer campaign outside of DLC, in offline Mission 108 (online 107). It is a vast structure with a dark gray body and a deeper red top section, requiring fairly long-ranged weapons to even hit it, and spawns boss-type giant insects, either "Mother Monsters" (Queen Ants) or "Kings" (King Spiders), and can have one of each out at any given time. On Hardest and Inferno difficulties it also spawns a group of normal enemies including Ants, Spiders and Tadpoles to support them.
In the online-only Mission 108, three Super Anchors are present: depending on what the players do in the mission, these can spawn Queen Ants, King Spiders, or Death Queens. On Hardest or above, they can also spawn Gold Queen Ants, Silver King Spiders, or Red Death Queens.
Super Anchors also appear in DLC missions, usually dropping bosses but sometimes just used as extra-tough spawners for regular enemies.