New Player (Defiance)  

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While organized similar to a FAQ, this page is a general guide to all things Defiance to remove some of the confusion when a new player enters the game for the first time.
The INTEL section of your EGO HUD has a section called Progression (under Help) that gives basic hints to all the ways you can improve your character. To get here, go to Loadout, then hold down SPACEBAR and click INTEL > Help > Progression.

There are two playable races:

  • Humans (male and female)
  • Irathient (male and female)

Later, Trion has promised that buyers of DLC will unlock additional playable races.

There are four jobs:

  • Veteran
  • Survivalist
  • Outlaw
  • Machinist

Job is mostly cosmetic but does effect your starting weapons.

There are three archetypes available. This is a general physical setting that rules general appearance. Basically, the three archetypes are: Young, Mature, and Older.

Contents [hide]

Starting Area

You start in Crash Site, where your escape pod landed.

Your first quest is Recovery Mission. This will walk you through finding a Shield, a Secondary Weapon, and a Grenade.

Once this is done, the second task will be to rescue Cassie from Mutants that have her pinned down at an installation.

Once you cross over the wall with her at the end of that scene you will be in the game world, proper.


EGO (Environmental Guardian Online) is your nanite-supported tech enhancements, making you stronger, faster, and sturdier than an unenhanced person. EGO enables communications, HUD and various EGO Powers such as Decoy, Cloak, Blur, and Overcharge. You may also unlock EGO Perks along predetermined paths through the EGO Matrix. Perks are passive and do not have to be activated, only equipped. Your abilities will grow as EGO continues to integrate "her" nanites with your body over time.

Just because you have unlocked a Power or Perk does not mean you are using it. You have to equip it into one of the slots on your Loadout Screen. So, at max, you can only use one Power and nine Perks at the same time. Changing which EGO Power and Perks you have equipped is equivalent to re-specing for a different combat role.

Your EGO Grid shows the four Powers and many perks. Spend EGO Units to unlock abilities, but in order to use them you must equip specific skills in the one EGO Power and one to nine EGO Perk slots. More Perk slots will unlock as your EGO Rating increases.

You get your first EGO Power during the tutorial. After that you cannot upgrade a Power to Rank 2 until EGO 100, then again at 200,300,400 (Max Rank: 5). of course, you can put a point into one of the other three Powers if you can get to it through the EGO Matrix. There is no required Rating limit for Perks but you can only put 3 points into a Perk.

Level Cap

At launch, the maximum EGO Rating is 5000.


Boosts may be purchased in the Defiance Store (Cash Shop) using Bits. They can increase your gain in Loot, Reputation, Scrip, Skill and XP for 24 hours and can affect just you, your entire group, and your whole clan. the effects are cumulative so it is very worthwhile for clans to encourage members to buy boosts.


E is the default button to interact with objects. Some, like EGO or a person that starts a mission, will just require a tap on the key, but many times you will need to press and hold the E key while a progress bar/circle completes. Releasing the E key early when looting a weapon puts it in inventory instead of equipping it. Advanced Weapons will equip no matter how quick you release the key but when expended your former weapon will be restored.


There are four chat channels: Area, Grp, Team and Clan. Area appears to be limited to your immediate surroundings (like SAY in other games), Grp is limited to your 4-man Group, Team is for all players on the same side of Competitive or Shadow War play and Clan is your Guild.

The "X" key will toggle your current channel, then Enter, type your message, and Enter to send it. Ther eis also an Full Chat Window under Quick Chat (press "Z" to open Quick Chat) but you cannot fight or move while using this.

Weapon Tweeking

There are several ways a weapon can be improved. Mods can be added to the weapon. Mod slots can be added, as well. Under the mod slots display you will see a progress bar. Fill it with XP and you master that weapon. Not all weapons with that name, it really means THAT weapon. When you have mastered it you reveal an extra ability such as a Melee DMG multiplier or better Aim.

Salvage Matrix & Mods

FRC SAW (LMG) with a Barrel mod
FRC SAW (LMG) with a Barrel mod

The Salvage Matrix can be used to break equipment down into resources. You can then use the resources to Add, Remove or Retrieve Mods to/from equipment. You can also use resources to make a new mod slot for an item.

  • Breakdown to Resources and Attach Mods are instant.
  • Remove Mods destroys all the mods but not the weapon (2 mins)
  • Retrieve Mods destroys the weapon but puts the mods back in inventory. (2 mins)
  • Add Mod Slots uses Ark Salvage resources to create a Mod Slot. Which slot is random and the resources required goes up for each Mod Slot added and the Min EGO and quality of the weapon. (10 mins)
  • Add Mod Slots, Remove Mods and Retrieve Mods: the weapon must NOT be equipped on any loadout!

You can mod up to five items at once (depending on your level). The better you get at it, the more you can modify at the same time (at EGO 250 you can do two at once).

  • Mods can be purchased from some vendors. The available types of Mods are Stock, Barrel, Magazine and Sight.
  • Sawed-off Shotguns cannot equip Magazine mods
  • Base mods for all weapons are on Mod Vendors
  • Some vendors have mods as specials

See Mods for more information.


The Goals screen is like an automatic guide to completing the game. Each Season (like a TV show, get it?) will list zones to explore and other objective groups to complete. Think of them like Meta-Missions or Achievements. Each Pursuit will list Main Missions, Side Missions, Time Trials, Hotshots and other goals. Completing a Pursuit will give its own rewards, in Titles, items and XP.

Goals is also where Contracts (Daily and Weekly Faction Missions) will be listed, but only after you reach EGO 175.

See Pursuits and Contracts for more information.

User Interface

Three corners of your UI report the status of your various physical and EGO-enhanced systems.

Upper-LeftMy name is Maladict. My EGO rating is 113. My shields and health are currently at 100%. I have 4 Boosts currently active: XP, EGO Rating, Scrip and Luck. I also have soe unspent EGO points I need to assign.
Lower-LeftThe "2" in the box to the right of Quick Menu means that I have 2 notifications, such as a group invite. I have 8,553 Scrip and 35 Keycodes (max I can carry is 75). My EGO Power, Overcharge, is ready to use and it uses key 1. My grenade is ready and uses G, and I have a Car I can call using V. My weapon is a Light Assault Rifle and it has 30 rounds in the magazine. I have 441 rounds for this weapon in my backpack.
Upper-RightThis is your minimap, showing just the area within EGO's scanning range. I am at Iron Demon Ranch and there is a Main Mission available very close to me. Several players (pink dots) are here as well as an important NPC (Cass is the star). There are 3 interactive objects (open diamonds); these are vendors. An ammo cache uses the same icon.



There is no bank in Defiance, and no Auction House. You start with a limited amount of backpack space but can buy +5, +10 or +15 slots in the Defiance Store. IF you get an item from a Mission but do not have space for it you LOSE it!!! For this reason, be sure that you have at least one empty slot before completing Mission and four empty slots before buying a Lock Box or completing a Major Arkfall!

If you get an item or items at the end of a Major Arkfall and do not have space for it, you will find it in the Claim Items section of the Defiance Store.


  • Main Mission (open yellow square with an !)
  • Episode Mission (open yellow square with a star)
  • Mission objective (open yellow pentagon with an *)
  • Side Mission (solid yellow diamond with !)
  • Time Trial (solid yellow diamond with clock)
  • Hotshot (solid yellow diamond with crosshairs)
  • Rampage (solid yellow diamond with flame)
  • Arkfall (falling triangle in flame)
  • Shadow War (purple orb around an E)

You can only have a single mission at a time. When you accept a mission all other mission-starters cease displaying icons. For this purpose only, Hotshots, Time Trials and Rampages do NOT count as Missions. You can have a Main or Side mission and still accept a Rampage, for example.


As you move around the world you will encounter Emergency situations. These will display at the top-center of your screen. They are like an instant mission. They do not interfere with the mission you are on and have no effect on game progression except as a way to pick up some easy scrip and XP.

See Emergency for more information.

Contracts, Factions and Reputation

Contracts become available when you reach an EGO Rating of 250 175. Contracts involve a Daily or Weekly task for a specific Faction and earn Reputation and Faction Tokens (same number) with that Faction. No Turn-in is required as Contracts are completed passively. Faction Tokens may be spent at a Faction Vendor for special gear. All gear (except Mods) will also cost some Scrip.

Note: Prior to EGO Rating 175 you cannot even see what the Faction Vendors offer!

See Factions for more information.


They come in two flavors, Minor and Major. A Major will show as a large area with Minors within. Clear all the Minors and the Major will spawn at the center.

The highest XP you will earn in this game from a single Mission is 3500. Most are 1000 or 2000. For a single Hellbug Minor Arkfall in Mount Tam, as the highest kill-score I got 5000 XP plus Keycodes and Ark Salvage. Never pass up a chance to go do an Arkfall. After all, they do call you Ark Hunter for a reason, ya know?

After a Major Arkfall you will receive 1 to 4 green or better shields and/or grenades depending on your participation in the event. Your participation is measured against the entire event from Minor Arkfalls to the Major finale. We have yet to ever see a weapon rewarded this way, so it is pretty safe to say they do not. you will see weapons as ground drops from mobs during an arkfall, though. They have the same chance to drop as any other time, you just deal with more mobs faster during an arkfall than at any other time.

Fast Travel

As you explore the world you will unlock Fast Travel locations. To go to one, open your Map and double-click on a Fast Travel icon. There is no cost to use this.


  • Scrip - In-game currency, used to buy almost everything.
  • Bits - Cash Shop currency. Purchased with RL money and used in-game to buy boosts and conveniences.
  • Ark Salvage - Gained by scavenging fallen enemies and by breaking down found equipment.
  • Keycodes and Key Fragments - Keycodes are used to open special caches. For example, to buy a Tier 2 Lock Box from the Paradise Territory Vendor will cost you 1,000Scrip 8Keycodes  or 120Bits ($1.32) . Tier 3 Lock Box costs 2,000Scrip 24Keycodes  or 240Bits ($2.64) , while Tier 4 Lock Box' is 3,000Scrip 64Keycodes  or 400Bits ($4.40) .


A Loadout is equivalent to a Spec in Rift. This allows you to have different gear configurations remembered for specific roles and quickly switch between them.


Something you are very good at. From time to time, as you practice your favorite game, you will see various messages float up from your victim. Some pursuits require to to rack up a number of a specific type of kills.

  • Chain Kill: The target died within X seconds of your last kill.
  • Power Kill: The target dies while you were using an EGO Power.
  • Rescue Kill: The target died while he was targeting someone else.


Equipped Secondary Weapon
Equipped Secondary Weapon
See also: Items

Many weapons do elemental damage in addition to base kinetic damage. The type of damage is indicated by a small icon next to the weapon icon.

 Biologicalpoison/disease, DoT
 SyphonDOT, transfers some of the damage to user as healing.

A few acronyms for you:
  • LMG - Light Machine Gun
  • SMG - Sub Machine Gun
  • BMG - Bio-Medical Gun (Infectors)
  • SAW - Squad Automatic Weapon

The Equipped Secondary Weapon pic, from the Loadouts screen. is a good example of most of the info you can find here. Upper-right tells you what ammo this weapon uses (Belt Ammo), how many rounds you have and how many the max you can carry is. Lower-left tells you the minimum EGO Rating required to equip the weapon as well as its name and quality. Bottom-right tells us that this weapon does Radiation damage.

If you see an item on the ground glowing green or better, this is lootable. Use E to pick it up. IF it has a glowing, floating red cloud above it, this is a special item, provided to help you. BE AWARE! When you loot it, it will replace your currently selected weapon!


When you pick up an item, you have a choice whether to equip it at the same time. If you hold down E until the cycle completes it will be equipped, but if you let go of E early, or just press it quickly, you will pick up the item without equipping it.


When you get a new weapon it is new to you, even if you have used the exact model before. Every weapon is a bit unique. Over time and use you adjust to the eccentricities of your weapon. In-game, when you fill the XP displayed on the weapon's details you will discover some extra boost when using your weapon.

NOTE: You cannot gain skill levels in the weapon type if you are already familiar with the weapon you are using, so pay attention! For hard missions, get "Betty" out of your bag and use her, but for everyday missions and arkfalls, be sure to always use a weapon you are still learning about!

Note: Arkfalls do NOT contribute to weapon XP so i twould be a good idea to keep a loadout slot as your Arkfall slot and keep the weapons you MOST like to use for the big rumbles there but your main loadout should have the weapons you are currently working on leveling up.


Advanced Weapons may have Synergy. The effects listed under the Synergy only proc if the weapon has Synergy Mods of the same type. After Synergy it will display the proc and a number. That is how many Synergy Mods you need to unlock the effect. Synergy Mods come from Synergy Mod Caches which can be purchased from Lock Box Vendors. The cache will have two random Synergy Mods and costs 1,500Scrip 16Keycodes .


Ammo PoolWeapon TypeCarry Limit
Pistol AmmoPistols150
Assault Rifle AmmoMachine Guns (LMGs, SMGs, Assault Rifles)500
Shotgun ShellsShotguns250
Hi-Power Rifle AmmoSniper Rifles50
Explosive ChargesDetonators40
RocketsRocket Launchers15
Infector DartsBMG450
Ammo Caches found in the world will contribute to all seven Ammo Pools. If you run dry of your favorite ammo and cannot find more, you can buy ammo from some vendors. Ammo may also be found as drops.

Aim Assist

Under Settings>Controls is a toggle labelled Aim Assist which is on by default. What this does is when you press the right-mouse-button to go into Aim mode (not-aim is called From the Hip) you only need to be very close to the mob you are trying to hit as the system will adjust your aim just a little. You still need to be pointed the right way and fairly close to your target. This is the reason that you will find yourself shooting skitterlings in midair as they leap at you. it DOES make you look awesome!


The Matchmaking UI (default key: N) will allow you to take part in instanced maps matching yourself against other players. There are three types of maps: Co-op (group PvE), Competitive (Group PvP) and Shadow War (1v1 PvP).


In the event you are incapacitated your EGO implant is capable of calling for an Extraction for you. Alternately, your EGO may give you a chance to recover your senses on your own and resume the operation. EGO will only give you this option when she determines you have reserve power sufficient to revive with.

What this means in terms of game play is that you will get the chance to revive in-place, but once this ability is used it cannot be used again until it recharges. You have 90 seconds to decide or you will be automatically extracted.

Extraction means you will leave the location of your defeat and re-awaken at the last Extraction Point you reached. Nearby Extraction Points will be marked on your map (green sign with a check mark). You will be charged 180Scrip  for each Extraction.

Additionally, you could be revived by another player. All players have the ability to do this. While incapacitated you can still crawl, slowly, so you can creep out of the main melee into a safer position.


You will have many different weapon and vehicle skills available and using them will improve your ability. Each rank you achieve with a weapon type will improve some stat (or Boost) that is specific to that weapon type. For instance, ranking up in Sub Machine Guns (SMG) will reduce the amount that recoil damages your aim, while improving your skill with Pump Shotguns will help you reload faster.

Vehicle skill ranks all do the same thing, increasing your max speed.

NOTE: You cannot gain skill levels in the weapon type if you are already familiar with the weapon you are using, so pay attention! For hard missions, get "Betty" out of your bag and use her, but for everyday missions and maps, be sure to always use a weapon you are still learning about! See Weapon Familiarization for more info and advice


To invite to a group, you need to find them first. You can do this from the Quick Menu easiest. There will entries for Nearby and Clan. Just follow the nested options to Group Invite.

If you are not in a group and you sign up for a Co-op or Competitive Map you will be automatically grouped with your team in the map.

There are only three ways to leave a group:

  • Log Off
  • wait for the leader to join a map, then answer the prompt that pops up and choose to Leave
  • Use the Quick Menu. Choose Matchmaking, then yourself, then Leave

This page last modified 2013-05-09 18:25:44.