The Problems with Mobile Defense

Mobile Defense is probably one of the least-played mission types in Warframe. While it isn’t nearly as forgotten as things like Infested Salvage or as hated as Defection, Mobile Defense isn’t popular. On the surface, the mission type seems simple, but there’s more to mission types than being easy to do.

Mobile Defense itself is fine. But it has issues. Let’s have a look at them.

A typical Mobile Defense mission with a Khora
A typical Mobile Defense mission with a Khora

The missions are slow

Mobile Defense missions are, by default, slow as heck. You spend your time waiting for the Lotus (or Ordis or whatever) to hack into a terminal while you stop said terminal from blowing up. You can spend ages waiting though. Anywhere from 45 seconds (in low level missions) to nearly 2 minutes! Per terminal! That’s a lot of waiting!

Quite often, it IS solely waiting. A Limbo, Khora, Gara or Frost can easily make a Mobile Defense insanely easy. But so can any nuke frame. Saryn can just kill every enemy before they even get close to the console. And Volt has the best of both worlds, being able to nuke AND put up shields to protect a terminal.

And what do you get if you finish the mission? Not very much.

The rewards are mediocre

Mobile Defense has no rotations. It has a reward pool, but that reward pool works the same way that Exterminate or Capture reward pools work. You do the mission and get one reward at the end. But hang on, a Mobile Defense mission takes way, way longer than an Exterminate mission! Generally the reward is a relic and some credits. In the time it takes to do one Mobile Defense, especially on higher levels, you could do multiple Exterminates or Captures in the time it takes to do one Mobile Defense mission.

So you’re only getting one reward… in a mission that takes two or three times as long as other missions. That doesn’t seem right.

There’s no scaling at all

Mobile Defense missions also don’t particularly ramp up much. The most you’ll probably see is an increase in bursas and Nullifiers on Corpus missions. Or maybe a few more Eximus enemies. That’s about it. The only genuinely hard missions are Lua ones, simply because Sentient Battalysts are assholes with attacks that can’t be blocked in any way.

There’s also no scaling between each console, or any difference in the health of each terminal or anything like that. In comparison, in Disruption missions, you have different buffs and debuffs per conduit, and a reward based on how many you save or destroy. Mobile Defense has nothing like that at all.

The variations are no better

There are actually a handful of variants of Mobile Defense. For example, there is a tile set on Grineer Asteroids that only has two terminals to protect… But then you find yourself defending something. An “artifact” that’s just a cryopod. You kinda wonder what the point is. The lack of variations makes Mobile Defense worse than it should be. At least with Sabotage missions, you do actually have some variant nodes, like the Jupiter reactor destruction, the Uranus Tyl Regor sabotage and the super simple machine destruction missions on Grineer Asteroids.

You can’t speed the missions up

This is probably the worst offender. Most other missions, you can speed up the completion of. You can kill things faster in Defense Missions and exterminates. And you can speed through missions more quickly in Sabotage or Capture missions. But you can’t do that in a Mobile Defense. The ONLY way to speed things up by a tiny bit is the travel time to each terminal.

If you want Mobile Defense missions to be desirable, then you need to be able to speed them up, based on player skill. Whether it’s via killing enemies to reduce timers or some other method, unless you can speed up these missions, no one will want to play them.


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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