The Air Raider is the support class in Earth Defense Force 2025 and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair. A variant Air Raider class with more limited abilities also appears in Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space.
OverviewEditAir Raiders are the battlefield logistical arm of the EDF forces, and are relied upon for precise tactical data and support for other EDF infantry. Oddly, though much focus is placed on them, no NPC Air Raiders are ever encountered by Storm Team.
The Air Raider is an oddity at first, seeming feeble with his fiddly, strange weapons and reliance on vehicles, but with a proper understanding of his various gizmos he is a powerful soldier even on his own, and can turn a struggling team into a wrecking ball.
While they can benefit all EDF troops, the Air Raider is a particularly strong ally for the Fencer, allowing the use of his most powerful missile weapons, and the Wing Diver with his items that allow faster replenishment of her energy supply.
The Air Raider has three weapon slots, though the third is reserved for vehicles; he cannot place vehicles in his two normal weapon slots, or place weapons in his third. He has the same starting HP as the Ranger at 200, and only slightly lower armor growth at 0.46 HP per armor item. In EDF 4.1, he has a lower armor growth rate at 0.424 HP per armor item, leaving him with the same armor growth as Ranger. He has the same middle-of-the-road armor limit as the Ranger in online play. He is one of only two classes that can occupy the driver's position of vehicles other than Walking Fortress Balam in EDF 4.1, with the other being the Ranger.
The Air Raider is the only class to have storyline events interfere with their abilities; in a few missions, strikes and vehicle deliveries will be made unavailable. In addition, strikes are not available in underground missions, and in EDF 2025 neither are vehicles.
Key Mechanics Edit
The Air Raider is probably the most complex class in terms of the number of distinct concepts the player has to understand to use them effectively.
Reload credits Edit
At the heart of the Air Raider is the reload credit system, which is used to replenish his strikes and vehicle requests. All such abilities require a set amount of credits, which are earned by defeating enemies. There is no numeric display of how many credits the Air Raider has or which enemies award what, but it does not take long to get a feel for it. Every enemy killed in a mission, be it by the Air Raider, other players, NPCs or scripted airstrikes, counts towards every Air Raider's reload credits; this even applies if he is downed in multiplayer. Every Air Raider earns the full credit allocation; there is no way for one Air Raider to reduce the allocation of another.
Credits are earned simultaneously for everything that uses the system; each one gets the full credit allocation, it is not divided among them and does not require the strike or vehicle to be equipped. Even taking two of the same strike works like this; both will be reloaded at the same rate as if the Air Raider only had one. If a strike or vehicle drop is already fully reloaded, any further credits earned while it is full are lost.
Once the full allocation of credits for something has been reached, the Air Raider will receive a notification with a speaker icon on-screen from whichever character is responsible for the particular thing that is ready.
The Air Raider receives a starting credit allocation that is enough for all but the most powerful strikes and vehicles to be deployed for the first time the instant the mission begins; for more powerful ones, the bar begins the mission part-filled. The starting credit allocation depends on the vehicle or strike and is specific to that vehicle or strike, and in some cases is higher or lower: for example, all EF24 Bazelart helicopters require 4000 credits to deploy, the first three can be deployed immediately, but the Bazelart Vulture 2 starts 200 credits from being deployable and the next two models require 400 credits. Meanwhile, the Air Raider starts a mission with the full 6400 credits required to fire a Tempest S1A. The exception to this is Versus mode: since it is impossible to generate reload credits in this mode, all vehicles and strikes begin with a full set of credits.
Often between requesting a strike and it actually deploying, reload credits can be generated for it again; sometimes a strike will generate enough credits to reload itself and instantly become ready again. This is particularly true of the 200-point single-shot strikes from Whale in 4.1, which on some missions can be used as a basic weapon by equipping two of them.
It should be noted that in Brute Force and Mountains Ablaze where support is temporarily disabled but later returned, using a strike or drop marker will have no effect other than resetting the reload credits for that thing to 0, meaning it cannot be called upon when support is returned until a full set of credits has been earned. Therefore, do not do this.
Vehicle deployment Edit
Summoning a vehicle once the player has enough credits is a matter of selecting it and throwing a smoke grenade to mark the desired drop location. A Hydra Transport Helicopter will fly onto the map after a short time, hover briefly, and then release a large shipping container over the marker, which will break open and deploy the vehicle wherever it lands. The transport cannot be targeted by enemies and is invincible, so there is no risk of losing a vehicle drop by requesting it in a "hot" landing area.
As with any grenade, the smoke grenade marker can be thrown a greater distance by holding the button down; a tap will drop it at the Air Raider's feet. The arc will extend as the button is held; if the player reconsiders and wants to throw the grenade closer, switching weapons will abort the throw. As with the Ranger's MG-series grenades, if the Air Raider is moving when he throws the grenade, its trajectory will be altered with respect to his motion.
Careful placement of the marker is important to avoid wasted credits. For example, if the marker is placed next to a building, it is quite likely the vehicle will end up on the roof. The game actively attempts to avoid this by having the container bounce once when it lands, but this can just result in the box breaking open in the air and the vehicle landing upside-down or sideways. If a vehicle is on a roof the best way to get it down is to destroy the building, though this requires the Air Raider to have a suitable weapon equipped. There is no way to recover a vehicle which is flipped completely over, though if a tracked vehicle is on its side it can sometimes be knocked down. Walking vehicles are not subject to this and cannot fall over, they will just end up standing with one foot on thin air.
Porters seems to try to avoid drop locations where the helicopter's rotors would be clipping inside buildings, and so in areas surrounded by skyscrapers may drop a vehicle in the middle of a road rather that at one side as requested.
The number of vehicles allowed in play at once is limited: each Air Raider can have two vehicles in 2025 and three in 4.1. Summoning a further vehicle will make the one that has been unoccupied the longest explode when the container for the new one opens.
Using a vehicle requires the character to step inside one of the one or more glowing blue circles around it and pressing the revive / enter vehicle button; if the vehicle has multiple positions, there will be multiple circles corresponding the the crew positions. If there is no circle, the vehicle is either occupied or the class being played as cannot get into any of the vehicle's available positions. While in a vehicle, any weapon reloads in progress are paused, though the Air Raider's reload credits accumulate as normal. A Wing Diver's energy will also regenerate as normal, and because the mechanics do not account for her unique off-hand reloading, the weapon she does not have selected will continue reloading normally. The crew of a vehicle retain their hitboxes while inside it even though there is no way for them to take damage; this means that Life-regenerating devices will heal their hitpoints and the vehicle's at the same time. It also gives the Air Raider a minor disadvantage in the never-used Versus mode since a missile launcher will generate two lock-ons (his vehicle's hitbox and his) rather than just one.
It is still possible to pick up Items in most normal-sized vehicles, with the collision box for doing so in the approximate middle of the vehicle model near the bottom. Since a tank's tracks are too far away from this point, if an item is right up against an object it may be necessary to get out to pick it up.
Vehicles can be healed by any life-replenishing device, but all vehicle weapons other than Balam's fists and feet have limited ammunition that cannot be replenished in the field. The only way to replenish ammunition for a vehicle is to summon a new one.
Enemies tend to ignore unoccupied vehicles, though they may attack them accidentally while trying to hit something else. Occupied vehicles seem to have a slightly higher aggro priority than dismounted characters, probably due to the aforementioned twin hitboxes.
Target marking Edit
The Air Raider has multiple methods at his disposal for designating targets, some for off-map artillery strikes while others allow designation of targets for other players using lock-on weapons. Strikes provide their own method of marking the target; either a smoke grenade in the same way as vehicle drops, a provided Laser Guide Kit (which does not function as a normal Laser Guide Kit and can only be used to direct that specific strike) or in 4.1 a special Limpet Gun that launches a marker.
Prolonged strikes using the Guide Kit may require direction throughout their duration, or benefit from it; the Satellite Blaster shots from Nothung can be redirected at any time with the Guide Kit or left in place, while Nothung's "Laguna Blaster" will fire shots completely at random if it is not directed. Missile strikes will fire the missiles so they fly over the map at a fixed altitude and the Guide Kit is required to guide them down to the ground; if this is not done, the missiles will keep on flying and the strike will be wasted.
Outside of strikes are the normal guidance devices. The Air Raider's Laser Guide Kits and Guide Beacon Guns are far more than just pointers; they multiply the lock-on range and lock speed of any guided weapon, and can allow a normally multi-target weapon to lock all of its attacks onto a single target, allowing area suppression weapons to bring down powerful enemies they would otherwise barely scratch. The lock target from a Laser Guide Kit is not fixed and can be moved by the Air Raider at any time; any missiles already locked on to it will shift their target accordingly, which can allow for aim adjustments on a moving target or sweeping the aim of a group of missiles to hit multiple enemies. If the Air Raider ceases to aim the Guide Kit, any missiles locked on to it will act as if the lock target still exists for a brief period, then lose target and continue moving in whatever direction they are currently moving in, though this can result in them hitting the target anyway.
A Guide Kit or Guide Beacon is required to designate targets for certain powerful Fencer weapons, specifically Haytal Multiple Missiles and the Phoenix and Leviathan: without one, they cannot be fired at all.
Guide Beacon Guns can affix a lock-on designation Beacon to a fixed position or an enemy; they are perfectly accurate and like the Guide Kit are fitted with a zoom mode for precision targeting, and have a long range. Placed Beacons last forever if left to their own devices, even if the Air Raider who placed them is downed, though they will vanish if the thing they are affixed to is destroyed, lasting until a corpse or vehicle wreck is deleted by the game engine. At any time the Air Raider can reload the Beacon Gun, a five-second procedure, which will delete all currently placed Beacons. They offer an inferior boost to the Guide Kit and generate a target at a fixed point that will only move if the Beacon does, but have the advantage that the Air Raider can place multiple Guide Beacons at the same time (with all but one of them) and that they do no have to continue aiming to designate the target after the Beacons are placed. They also allow him to single-target his own multi-target guided weapons like the Naegling Self-Propelled Rocket Launcher. Guide Beacons can also be affixed to vehicles and player characters, enabling gleefully stupid plans involving, say, firing Leviathans at a hidden Tunnel Exit using a Guide Beacon attached to a Wing Diver.
When a weapon is being guided or locking on, small squares will appear in the Air Raider's HUD: a red square indicates a lock-on weapon trying to acquire a target or a missile from a strike following a current aiming point, while a green square indicates a lock.
Assist devices, Decoys and generators Edit
The Air Raider's arsenal of support equipment includes special deployable devices and guns that can heal, increase the defensive or offensive capabilities of allies, recharge the energy supply of a Wing Diver, distract his foes and even generate forcefields that can block the shots and in some cases the movement of enemies.
An assist device will affect all player characters and friendly NPCs in its radius of effect; this includes plasma assist devices replenishing the energy supplies of NPC Wing Divers. The life-recovering items also affect all enemies in their area of effect, but since the radius is small, this is very seldom a disadvantage in practice. Power assist devices will not affect the damage dealt by turrets, bombs or mines, or by any form of Air Raider strike. Guard assist devices will not affect the durability of Decoys, though Life Vendors will work on them. Neither device provides any kind of bonus to forcefields.
Assist devices have a fixed duration of effect, after which they will disappear. If the device can be reloaded, reloading it does not delete any active devices; they will remain until their timer expires.
The plasma and life devices, because their duration is noted in seconds, appear useless when their stat card is examined: what use, the starting player might ask, is a device that only regenerates 0.12 health or 0.05 energy per second? The answer is that this boost is provided not for each second but for each frame, and thus 60 times per second. For reference, the default recharge rate of a Wing Diver's energy meter is 0.1% per frame (6% per second), meaning just the 0.05 recovery of the basic Plasma Charger increases her recharge rate by 50%.
Power and Guard assist devices show their effect in terms of the multiplier applied to damage; a Power Post with a rating of 1.2 increases ally damage by 20%, while a Guard Post with a rating of 0.7 decreases enemy damage to 70%. They do not stack their effects if several are placed, so there is no point in placing more than one in a specific area. If for some reason the Air Raider brings two Power or Guard devices with different multipliers, only the better multiplier is applied. Plasma and life recovery devices, on the other hand, do stack their effects. Overlapping forcefield generators will have to be penetrated one at a time.
The forcefield generators create glowing walls of various shapes that can absorb a set amount of damage. Allies can fire through the field (though their splash damage from explosive weapons will reduce its hitpoints, even the normally harmless splash damage weapons of NPCs), while it will block shots from enemies. It should be noted that the laser from a Guide Kit cannot pass through a forcefield, though the device's description is incorrect and it actually will stop enemy explosions from dealing splash damage though it, just not allied ones. The precise method of identifying the allegiance of an explosion is a closely guarded secret of the EDF.
Enemies cannot walk through most forcefields, though large physical attacks like charging Ants or a Deroy's lunging stab attack may pass through them. Unlike assist devices, generators will last until their hitpoints are exhausted and are not on a timer; however, they will all vanish if the system is reloaded.
Decoy devices seem to function by having a much higher targeting priority than NPCs or player characters. They work like a hybrid of an assist device and a forcefield, having their own hitpoints and a timer, but like assist devices will remain in effect even if they are reloaded. They take up an equipment slot with something that is not a weapon, but can be valuable if used correctly. Normal Decoys are placed, while the DLC "Pure Decoys" are fired from a modified Limpet Gun and can thus be placed at a distance; Pure Decoys have twice the duration of the longest-operating normal Decoy though only one-third the durability of the lowest-ranked normal one. It is more than a little amusing watching a Hector attempting to target a Pure Decoy that is attached to its own elbow.
Uniquely, Decoys will take damage from normal shots fired by NPC allies, though allies will not deliberately target them. In 2025 early-game biting Ants, Crimson Ants and Dragons could grab a Decoy, which would mean targeting of it was disabled and it would only be good for distracting one such creature. In 4.1 a Decoy is instead treated like a vehicle, taking a fixed amount of damage per bite attack but not being picked up, making it more effective.
All devices will adhere to vehicles and travel with them, though forcefield generators tend to fall off after a while, and assist guns can also be fired directly at NPCs or player characters and will adhere to them, providing the boost for as long as they are active. One useless curio is that a character getting into a vehicle with anything attached to them (including Assist Devices, C Bombs, etc) will leave the objects hovering in the air where the character was when they got in: they will teleport to the character's new location when they get out. Until then they count as being where they are hovering for purposes of assists, not blowing up the vehicle and so on.
Limpet Gun functionality Edit
For first-time players there is often some puzzlement as to why these weapons do not appear to do anything but attach flashing lights to enemies. The Limpet Guns fire one or more sticky projectiles that must be detonated manually using the alt-fire button; reloading them makes all currently planted projectiles disappear, and is intended as a safety measure if one of them has attached itself to something the Air Raider does not want to blow up for some reason.
Another point of note is that often only one explosive Limpet Gun projectile attached to a specific building or low-level enemy will actually detonate, as the game engine sometimes deletes all the others as the target switches from its normal model to its destroyed model. This is particularly common with small structures and high-level Limpet Guns.
The Wireguns are rather strangely hidden away in the Special category and missed by some beginner Air Raiders, particularly since early tests might lead to the assumption that they do not do much, but in 2025 are among the class' most important firearms, though far less so in 4.1. They are the only gun he has access to that he cannot harm himself with and therefore are vital in letting him free himself from Crimson Ants in 2025, and are also his only effective handheld weapon for attacking aerial foes.
The lines function rather like a Retiarius web, being thrown in an arc and able to snare multiple enemies and deal damage over time, though they do not draw foes in. Rolling while the wires are still present will therefore allow the Air Raider to inflict damage on additional enemies.
It should also be noted that the wires persist even if the Air Raider switches weapons, and that wires will remain attached to corpses and "live." Blowing the corpses further away with a Limpet Gun or other explosive will therefore extend the radius of effect of the Wiregun shots already fired.
The key to moving around quickly without a vehicle and 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 Air Raider up slightly, 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 Air Raider is a much smaller target than a Fencer or Wing Diver.
The Air Raider has the most major changes of any class in 4.1. For a start he gains two new vehicles, the Depth Crawler and Walking Fortress Balam, and the ability to deploy two vehicles, the Depth Crawler and SDL1, in underground levels. Doing so causes them to simply appear exactly where the grenade landed in a puff of smoke.
All of the Air Raider's handheld weapons are re-tuned. Limpet Guns are primarily reworked to make them less prone to killing him accidentally; all but Limpet Snipers have decreased damage and blast radius, but faster fire rates and reload speeds, making them more suited to defending him. Limpet Splendor flechettes move faster and last longer, making them more practical against aerial enemies, but most Splendor weapons generate fewer flechettes in addition to lower damage per flechette. Limpet Snipers have increased damage but decreased blast radius (so much so that they no longer destroy buildings, since the minimum blast radius to do so is 3 metres and theirs is now 2.5), with their reload speed and fire rate the same. Seemingly because this gives the Air Raider a workable short-ranged weapon by default, the Wireguns have their damage cut by two-thirds, making them much less suited to frontline use and only useful against weaker enemies such as Hornets and Spiders, though they can still be good against Dragons since these creatures will spin out or crash if they take any damage whatsoever while airborne.
Almost all vehicle-mounted weapons now project a laser line to show their point of aim, the line even arcing for indirect fire weapons. Many vehicles also receive significant boosts: all Naegling Self-Propelled Rocket Launchers have double ammunition, all BM03 Vegaltas with revolver cannons deal more damage and all those with missile pods have double ammunition, and all EF31 Nereids deal increased damage with their cannon. Armored Vehicle Grape has decreased cannon damage, but also decreased recoil, making it much easier to control. In addition, the Air Raider can now have three vehicles in the field instead of two.
Multiple SDL1 bikes can now be deployed using a single set of supply credits, either 2 or 3 for each. The reload button can be used to end the current set of drops and start accumulating a new set.
Some strikes are re-tuned: the incredibly powerful Artillery Team Cannon strikes cost more and start out with just 540 credits out of 2,700, while the Charon Bomber strafing runs cost less. The Lionic 30 cruise missile strike deals twice as much damage. Strikes from Charon and Fortress Aircraft Carrier Despina (and the Tempest S1A, somehow from Whale) are fired at lower altitude and can now be used even in the presence of Earth Eaters. All cannon strikes from Whale see the greatest alteration, now using a modified Limpet Gun to fire the strike marker rather than a grenade; it functions similarly to a Guide Beacon Gun, but has a slight arc. This hugely increases their accuracy and makes the single-shot strikes, which were previously very difficult to use, among the most powerful tools in the Air Raider's arsenal.
Rather than every model being limited to just three uses, higher-level Life Vendors enable up to 5 uses, and Life Spout Guns up to 9. As noted above, enemies with grab attacks can no longer pick up Decoys, meaning they will continue to distract a group of such enemies rather than becoming ineffective as soon as one grabs them.
Since NPC Wing Divers in 4.1 carry a more diverse variety of weapons and are sometimes equipped with energy-hungry, powerful weapons including MONSTER sniper rifles, it can now actually be a good idea to bring a Plasma Charger to some missions even in singleplayer.
Weapon Classes Edit
Including his vehicles, the Air Raider has the most weapons of any class, with 263 in EDF 2025 and 286 in EDF 4.1. The latter number includes the largest number of DLC items for any class, with 12: five Pure Decoys, five Gigantus tanks, the Vegalta Gold, and the Depth Crawler Gold Coat.
Guidance EditThis category includes the two laser guidance systems described in the "key mechanics" section.
The Laser Guide Kit is the basic pointer-type guidance system. They are always equipped with a zoom function, and as they increase in level their multipliers to lock distance and lock speed increase in power. A unique variant is the High Speed Laser Guide Kit, which has an extremely short effective range but the best boost to lock-on distance of any guidance system and the second-best bonus to lock speed, despite being only level 6. This version seems to be designed for an Air Raider on the frontlines to act as a spotter for a distant Fencer.
Guide Beacon Guns, as noted, offer an inferior effect but the ability to place several at a time (usually) and no need for the Air Raider to keep pointing at the target to maintain the lock. The exception to placing several at a time is the Power Beacon Gun, which only allows the placement of one, with the tradeoff being that it is by far the strongest type.
Support Request Edit
All of the Air Raider's strikes are in this category, from wide-area attacks to precision single shots. All items in this category use the reload credit system, and cannot be used in underground missions.
Strikes from the Artillery Team consist of either broad Howitzer or more focused Cannon attacks. Both use a grenade marker and come down in an arc, and are good for attacking groups. Howitzer strikes deal fairly low damage (a maximum of 2,800) with an enormous splash area (up to 160m per round) and are best against groups of low-level enemies such as Ants and Spiders, while the Cannon strikes fire double the number of shots with less than half the splash radius, but can deal up to 40,000 damage per hit, more than enough to bring down a Hector on Inferno. These ultra-powerful strikes are more expensive in 4.1 and have fewer starting credits.
Gunfire strikes from Whale include the rather vaguely named Artillery, along with the 105mm Cannon, 120mm Cannon and 150mm Cannon. The "Artillery" strikes are shots from Whale's Vulcan guns, firing a burst of 300 low-damage, low-splash rounds at the targeted area. The 105mm and 120mm Cannons fire 20 fairly powerful rounds at the designated area, while the 150mm Cannon fires just one shot with minimal splash damage but immense power, and requires just 200 reload credits to fire again. All of Whale's gun strikes are fairly quick to reload, with the Cannons requiring 600 credits and the 105 / 120mm Cannon strikes 900 credits. In 2025 these strikes are marked with grenades, making the single shots very hard to use, while in 4.1 they switch to a marker fired from a modified Limpet Gun that is much more accurate.
Strikes from Bomber Charon and Bomber Midnight use a grenade marker, and consist of a series of strikes of specific shapes using one or more aircraft. The Bombing Plans from Charon consist of aircraft dropping lines of bombs diagonally down on the target area; these include lines deployed forward of the marker, across the marker, and intersecting over the marker. Wave Attack is a unique across-the-marker strike where ten aircraft attack the same target one after another. At 7,500 credits, it is also the second most costly strike in the game.
Strafe Plans are gun runs that work in much the same way. They have lower damage but a much longer attack range; Bombing Plans are 300-500m long (Wave Attack 100m), while the Strafing Plans hit an area one kilometre long ahead of the marker, making them very good for attacking a large group or several groups in a line. The cost of Strafing Plans is reduced in 4.1.
Bomber Midnight is only used to deliver the Cluster Hit, a very wide and powerful single-line Bombing Plan deploying 50 bomblets that deal over 2,000 damage and each have a 50m splash radius.
Missile strikes from Whale and Fortress Aircraft Carrier Despina use a Guide Kit marker. There are two types of missile strike: the AH Coastal Missiles, N-Series Coastal Missiles and Lionic missiles form the first, with the NX Large Coastal Missile and Tempest forming the other. Both types launch the ordered missile strike to fly over the targeted area; it must then be guided down to the ground using the Guide Kit, or the missiles will just keep flying horizontally until they exit the map.
The first type is a volley of between 4 and 30 small missiles fired over a period of time. These can be guided to separate targets, allowing the strike to suppress a significant area.
The second type is effectively a giant Air Tortoise, deploying a single vast, slow-moving missile with immense power and splash damage. It is excellent for attacking large groups of enemies that have not been aggro'd, though the sheer radius will mean the Air Raider draws a huge amount of aggro in the aftermath. Oddly, despite these strikes requiring 6,400 credits, they are still available at the start of a mission.
The Satellite Blaster locks-on very quickly and fires a continuous beam of energy for around 30 seconds. The stated damage is done 20 times per second, meaning it is quite powerful. If left alone it will simply fire constantly at its initially-marked location, but if the Air Raider desires, the beam can be repositioned using the Guide Kit; it takes a short time to move to a new location, and some care must be taken to not accidentally move it to the Air Raider's own position. The beam only hits targets it physically contacts, and comes down at a slight diagonal, though this only really effects plans involving shooting a target in mid-air with it. While the effect will pass through a Transport Ship, it is not capable of damaging the weak point, though it will damage a Large Transport Ship as normal as long as the weak point is exposed. It also has very silly effects on Deroys.
Spritefall is Nothung's area-effect weapon. The marked location is used as the midpoint, with 45-80 shots being fired into the area around it; these deal substantial damage and have a good splash radius. Like the Satellite Blaster, all Spritefall weapons have a very fast initial lock-on.
Nothung's other other weapon is the Laguna Blaster. This weapon fires small red laser beams across the entire map, each dealing 600 damage. Left to its own devices it will attack at random, friend or foe, but it can be directed to focus its attacks on a point. Oddly, the Laguna Blaster ignores the armor of the Mothership and is the only satellite strike that will damage its weak point. Unlike other Nothung strikes, the initial lock-on is very slow.
At 8,000 credits, Rule of God is the most expensive strike in the game; in spite of what it claims, though, it does not also cost health to use it. The weapon is targeted like a normal satellite strike and takes a long time to lock on, but the result is a shot from a orbiting Mothership's Genocide Gun that drops overlapping 10,000 damage explosions across the entire width of the map, perpendicular to the direction the Air Raider was facing when it locked on. It cannot be called in at the start of a mission, requiring an additional 4,000 Credits before its first deployment.
Support Equipment Edit
This category consists of the "assist devices" previously mentioned. There are two types for each, guns and posts / vendors. Posts are placed on the ground straight down from where the Air Raider is holding them, between his feet, while guns fire a small post that will adhere to anything it contacts. Both types will attach to vehicles, while the mini-posts from guns will also adhere to scenery, NPCs and player characters, enemies, etc.
All such devices are defined by their magnification / recovery amount (the latter for life-restoring devices), duration and area of effect. All posts have incredibly long reload times (a minimum of 30 seconds, with many up to 60) while guns usually reload more quickly but have shorter duration, though some have greater effects to compensate. No device that restores life can be reloaded. In 2025, it was originally impossible to reload any support device, but this was changed to reloading all but the Life devices in the major balance changes of patch 1.03.
The Life Vendor is the Air Raider's default assist device, a post-type device which dispenses health at a set rate and has no ability to differentiate friend or foe, though the small radius of effect means that if any enemy is in a position to benefit from the Vendor, several other things have already gone wrong. All models have a small radius and are effective for 60 seconds after being placed. In 2025 the Air Raider can only ever place three Vendors regardless of model, while in 4.1 later models allow the placement of up to five.
The Life Spout Gun is the long-range version. Posts fired by a Life Spout Gun have almost ten times the healing rate of the equivalent level Vendor, but only last for ten seconds and like all gun-fired posts have a radius of effect of just 4 metres, making it unlikely that as many characters will be healed by them; they are more suited to focused emergency healing of a single character rather than a group. In 2025 the guns are limited to just three shots as with the Vendors, while in 4.1 they can have up to nine.
The Plasma Charger is a special post for assisting Wing Divers by increasing the recharge rate of their energy bar. It has no effect on any other class even if they have a "plasma" weapon equipped: a Fencer's Disruptor or a Ranger's Fusion Blaster still cannot be reloaded. Only one charger can be placed at a time unless the Air Raider has them equipped to both of his weapon slots, and while they have a generous duration of 90 seconds and a broad radius of 100-200 metres, they still take 45 seconds to reload.
The Plasma Streamer is a sub-variant post with a smaller area of effect and very short duration, but very high boost to regen rate. They have a shorter reload time than standard Chargers, though it is still 30 seconds. Like Chargers, only one can be placed at a time.
Plasma Battery Guns continue the theme of being stingy with ammo by only having 2-3 shots between reloads, though their boost is similar to a Streamer. Uniquely for a gun version, they actually take longer to reload than the equivalent post, clocking in at 60 seconds. Also uniquely, they feature a zoom mode to allow accurate placement of posts.
Power Posts magnify outgoing damage from other player characters, vehicles and friendly NPCs. Up to three can be placed at a time, though since their effects do not stack it is better to regard this as one post that lasts three times as long in most situations. The posts include one unique variant, Offensive Territory, which gives a moderate boost over a much wider area. All take 60 seconds to reload.
Power Assist Guns have the same placement limits, but only give a mediocre boost, compensated for with a fast reload for an assist device (7.5-15 seconds).
The Guard Post is the inverse of the Power Post, decreasing incoming damage rather than boosting outgoing damage. The "magnification" stat is what the post decreases incoming damage to rather than by, so smaller numbers are better. The two variant types are the Zone Protectors, which like Offensive Territory have a mediocre boost but a larger area of effect. Guard Posts have the longest "up time" of any assist device at 120 seconds. All have a 60-second reload time.
The Guard Assist Guns feature a boost almost the same as the nearest normal Guard Post and a generous effect time of 60 seconds, making them very useful for protecting a specific character. They have the same faster reload times as the Power Assist Guns.
Limpet Guns Edit
Per the 4.1 section, the functionality of Limpet Guns changes drastically in 4.1, with reduced splash damage; most have decreased damage but increased rate of fire and reload speed, while the Snipers have increased damage and are unchanged in terms of reload speed and fire rate.
Limpet Guns are the Air Raider's main type of personal firearm. They are a strange launcher that fires a number of small bombs that stick to targets. As noted, they must be detonated with the alt-fire key; reloading disarms all currently placed shots. The basic Limpet Gun can fire a handful of shots before needing to detonate or reload, while the rapid-fire Limpet Chain Gun can fire 24 smaller bombs in quick succession to suppress groups.
The Limpet Splendor guns function differently, firing canisters that detonate in a spray of lethal flechettes that rebound off surfaces; it should be noted these can still damage the Air Raider himself. The basic models have the highest count of projectiles placeable at once of the Limpet Guns, all with at least ten and the Splendor Chain Gun able to lay down 40 canisters per magazine. The Splendor Shot and Limpet Buster types are exceptions; these can only fire a few rounds, but each shot is actually 6-10 individual canisters, functioning like a shotgun, and each of those then release their own flechette burst when they are detonated, generating up to 160 flechettes per shot. The Detector models also do this, with the additional change of having a proximity fuze that will automatically detonate them. The fuzing on this is a little more finicky than an Impulse mine, however, requiring the target to stand directly over the centre of the canister to set it off. The Splendor guns are one of the Air Raider's best tools in underground missions, saturating whole rooms with lethal bouncing projectiles.
Limpet Snipers are a long-ranged variant firing 2-3 very powerful explosive charges, but have a slow rate of fire. They are limited somewhat by using the alt-fire button as a detonator, which means they do not have any kind of zoom mode.
This category includes all of the Air Raider's placed weaponry such as sentry guns, mines and demolition charges, as well as a few very odd weapons that are not, in fact, stationary at all.
C Bombs are a classic weapon for the old Storm 1 class (as are the two below), extremely powerful demolition charges that are dropped and then detonated remotely using the alt-fire button. While they have a fairly slow reload, the Air Raider can place several at a time, and they deal devastatng damage. They are very useful if the movements of a large enemy can be predicted, or for destroying Tunnel Exits if the Air Raider can get close enough to set them.
The Impulse series are Claymore-style directional landmines fitted with short-range proximity triggers. Like the C Bombs, they are slow to reload, but many can be placed at once. 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. 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.
The ZE-GUN series are automated sentry guns which will target enemies within their search range and engage them with machine-gun fire. The ZE Sniper variant fires far more slowly, but features improved search range and increased per-shot damage, at a cost of only having 20 shots: sadly, the weapon is a level 19 one-off, and so becomes irrelevant at higher difficulties. The ZE-GUN 10 is a special variant which allows the placement of up to 10 guns at once; though these do more damage per shot than the final ZEXR-GUN, each indidivual gun only has 100 rounds, and they have half the search distance of most models, the same as the first level 6 ZE-GUN.
They are placed with the fire button and activated with the alt-fire button, meaning they can be placed in advance as part of any number of dastardly plans. Increasing models of the normal ZE-GUN have a higher rate of fire, greater damage and more ammunition, and also have a faster traverse speed which means the final models more or less snap from enemy to enemy. ZE-GUNs can be placed on vehicles to improve their anti-bug capabilities, though care must be taken since the gun will cheerfully shoot the vehicle it is mounted on if given half a chance. The Achilles' heel of the system is the reload time, a full 20 seconds, and reloading early will immediately delete all guns currently placed. They also have limited elevation, making them less useful against aerial foes.
One oddity of the ZE-GUNs and Launchers in 4.1 is that while reloading in an underground mission, the Air Raider's helmet light (which follows his weapon's point of aim) will be pointed down and to the right, making it very hard to see.
The ZE Launcher is a subtype of ZE-GUN that fires powerful explosive rockets instead of bullets. It is a lot more powerful, but also a lot more dangerous to the Air Raider and his vehicles, and must be placed carefully. It also has much more limited ammunition, the first having just 20 rounds like the ZE Sniper and the second still only 40. The first model was originally the reward for completing all missions on Normal in 2017 as Storm 1.
The Roller Bomb is one of a series of exploding Roombas the Air Raider can access. That is not a joke, these weapons are actually referred to as Roombas in the game files. The Roller Bomb models will behave like an actual Roomba, proceeding forwards until they encounter an obstacle and then trying to move around it, and are detonated with the alt-fire button. They are about as powerful as the Ranger's mid-level hand grenades, have a large blast area and up to six can be placed at once with a fast reload, but they are still more of a fun gimmick than anything else.
The Patroller is a more combat-focused exploding Roomba ("sentences you never thought you would assemble" no. 349) that will seek out enemies if it passes within a short distance of them and explode automatically, dealing damage like a landmine rather than a bomb. They can actually be quite useful in underground missions, though they cut into the Air Raider's ability to carry sensible weaponry. On that subject, the middle version, the Speed Star, is purely for fun since it cannot explode and is notable for travelling at 200 kph, actually slightly outpacing the top-level SDL1.
The Assault Beetle continues the theme of stationary weapons that are neither stationary or weapons; it is a mobile toy beetle stuffed full of explosives that can be detonated manually, and will stick to enemies if it encounters them. It will only stick to mobile enemies, and ignores Tunnel Exits. The last model, the Stag Beetle, rises vertically; it is unfathomably difficult to use effectively, but actually deals quite a lot of damage.
The "Special" category includes a variety of things that do not fit into the other categories, though given precedent they could probably all be in the "stationary" category and nobody would bat an eye.
The Bunkers are a series of portable forcefield generators which create translucent walls in various shapes and sizes. Later models are immensely tough and block enemy movement, and they can be very useful for shutting off tunnels providing enemies are prevented from crawling around the top of them. They are extremely effective if combined with indestructible scenery to protect from above, such as the small bridge over an underpass at the edge of the park in one of the city maps.
They also include the remarkably poorly-translated "Elerctormagnetic Prison."
There are two types of Decoy available to the Air Raider. The basic Decoy is a modified hand grenade thrown as normal, while the DLC Pure Decoy Launchers are fired from a modified Limpet Gun and can therefore be set at range. Both are manually activated after being placed, using the alt-fire button. Both types have enormously long reloads of 20-30 seconds, but allow multiple decoys to be installed at a time.
There are also two types of Wireguns. Caesar Wire (and the subtype Rapidfire Wire) is a forward-focused type designed for attacking ground targets, while the Skytrap Wire fires a much wider spread and is suitable for both aerial targets and broad groups of enemies. As noted, they are essential Air Raider equipment in 2025, but are severely weakened in 4.1 to the point there are very situational in that version.
All vehicle requests use the reload credit system.
The E551 Gigantus is the signature tank for the Air Raider, but since it lacks a secondary weapon it is actually more like a self-propelled gun. It is a single-seat vehicle and is fast, powerful and has heavy armor, but ammunition is limited and its main gun cannot be elevated very far. In EDF 2025 it is quite tricky to use since it has no indication of where the shot will end up, though with 4.1's added laser sights there is less of a learning curve.
The Epsilon Armored Railgun is slower but even more heavily armored than the Gigantus, 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. It is one of only two vehicles in the original game to have a laser sight for its weapon, having one for the main railgun.
The E651 Titan is an even larger 3-seat tank, 25 metres long and armed with a battleship-grade main gun, a very powerful hull machine gun, and two sub-turrets with launchers as a secondary weapon. It is by far the slowest of the Air Raider's tanks, but also one of the most durable and powerful vehicles in the game.
Ground Vehicles Edit
This category includes all of the Air Raider's other wheeled and tracked vehicles that are not tanks.
Armored Vehicle Grape is a wheeled infantry fighting vehicle with lighter armor than the tanks, but much greater speed. It is armed with a reasonably powerful gun in a limited-traverse turret, and can carry up to four crew, though the three additional positions are just seats in the back of the vehicle and characters in them cannot do anything but ride along. It is a little tricky to handle due to having overly realistic 8-wheel steering.
The Naegling Self-Propelled Rocket Launcher is a single-seat multiple-launch guided missile launcher and the closest thing the Air Raider has to a controllable artillery piece, able to lock on to up to ten targets. It is powerful against distant swarms, but has very weak armor.
The Caravan Armored Vehicle is an extremely fast and incredibly tough mobile field hospital with four seats, which can replenish the health of characters who sit in the rear compartment. It is the only health-restoring system in the game which can be reloaded, and while situational, can make the difference between victory and defeat if employed well.
The SDL1 is an incredibly hard to use two-seat motorcycle with a mounted machine gun in the sidecar. It is the smallest, fastest and cheapest of the Air Raider's vehicles and the gun is quite powerful, but is also the only ground vehicle that is damaged by collisions and is very likely to destroy itself before anything else. In 4.1 it is the only vehicle in the game that can be deployed multiple times for a single set of credits. This does not help.
Helicopters in the two games 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 SDL1 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; while it might be expected that the helicopter would be destroyed by such silly activity, it will actually continue to hover until its rotors spin down, and then descend vertically and land, not taking any damage unless it collides with something on the way down. It is also briefly possible to get back into the helicopter after exiting it since the circle is quite large: this can actually be useful, since it allows Vulture-type Bazelarts to save ammunition for their lasers by exiting to cut short the normal five-round burst. 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.
It should also be noted that unless the player really wants to damage their wrist, it is best to turn vibration off when using a helicopter while playing 2025. The vibration from simply applying power to a helicopter's rotors is toned down significantly in 4.1.
If the player can get used to their odd handling they can be extremely powerful; in fact, the Bazelart Powered has the highest damage for all of its ammunition of any single-seat vehicle in either game. They also allow the formulation of wonderfully ridiculous strategies such as landing on a stationary Transport Ship and distracting the enemies it spawns by placing a Decoy on top of it.
The EF24 Bazelart is the classic EDF helicopter, now enhanced with lock-on missiles as well as guns. It is the most manoeuvrable of the three helicopters and is can be considered the "fighter" of the group, with a focus on targets in front of it. The "Vulture" versions replace the short-range gun with a pair of powerful long-range, burst-fire laser cannons, and several versions mount a napalm cannon instead of guided missiles.
The EF31 Nereid, on the other hand, is a specialised ground-attack helicopter armed with an extremely useful machine gun which automatically targets enemies below, and either unguided rockets or in one case bombs. The camera is fixed at a angle down and forward, which makes the rockets rather difficult to aim. It is the other vehicle with a targeting laser in the original EDF 2025, though it has to fly very low for the player to be able to see what the laser is actually pointing at.
The HU04 Brute is the final helicopter, a three-seat giant with extremely sluggish handling but preposterous damage output from its two mounted cannons. It is useless in singleplayer, since it lacks a driver's weapon.
Power Suits Edit
The category of "Power Suits" includes several things that are certainly not power suits, but consists entirely of vehicles that walk in some fashion.
The BM03 Vegalta is a very versatile single-seat bipedal vehicle available in different configurations, for general combat, close-range, mid-range and fire support. The series start out ungainly and slow and cannot turn on the spot, but become reasonably manoeuvrable. They are also able to jump and hover by pressing the left stick or the normal jump button; hovering is achieved by pressing the button again and holding it while the Vegalta is in mid-air.
The BMX10 Proteus is a wholly different beast, a 20-metre giant with four seats designed exclusively for multiplayer use since like the Brute it lacks a driver's weapon. In 2025 it is the toughest vehicle in the game, and can throw out enormous amounts of damage from its powerful Buster Cannons. Somehow, it is also still able to jump.
The Depth Crawler is a new vehicle in EDF 4.1. It is a single-seat quadruped designed for underground deployment, able to jump, perform a sliding side-dodge, and walk on walls and ceilings, and is available with a variety of weapon fits. All models have two side-mounted guns which vary, and a chin-mounted rotary machine gun which is comparable to a Ranger's assault rifles, if not slightly better. It is very fragile, however, and rather difficult to control.
Walking Fortress Balam is another vehicle exclusive to 4.1. It is a ridiculously large, ridiculously slow, ridiculously ridiculous robot primarily used for punching the monster Erginus in the new missions that involve punching it, and is even tougher than the Proteus.
- The Air Raider is somewhat inspired by the Tactical Armor of Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon, though the Air Raider has more limited direct-fire weaponry and a broader spread of abilities, and most of their similar abilities are taken from Storm 1.
- The close interaction between the Air Raider and Fencer, on the other hand, is rather similar to the pairing of the Medic and Heavy in Team Fortress 2.
- The character Honda in EDF 4.1's video advertising is an Air Raider. He gives a very accurate demonstration of what happens when the Depth Crawler is used as if it is a tank.
- "Coastal" missile is a mistranslation, it should be "cruise" missile.
- When using "gesture" actions from the chat menu, the radar antenna on an Air Raider's backpack will sometimes have its own set of gestures to go with them.
|Global Defence Force & Earth Defense Force 2017||Storm 1 • Pale Wing|
|Earth Defense Force Insect Armageddon||Trooper • Jet • Tactical • Battle|
|Earth Defense Force 2025 & 4.1||Ranger • Wing Diver • Air Raider • Fencer|
|Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space||Infantry • Pale Wing • Air Raider|