Earth Defense Force 5 – Assault Rifles Guide

Assault Rifles Guide

Snarky, unprofessional, biased, yet useful comments on the Ranger’s arsenal. Potentially better than any other Assault Rifles guide for Earth Defense Force 5.

Assault Rifles Guide


Objectively the most gooder guide. If you disagree, leave a comment and I’ll ignore it since you clearly are wrong for disagreeing with me.

This whole thing is based on a gun’s average performance. Bad luck in upgrades may cause a weapon to perform much worse than expected.
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Some quick things you should know before reading.

[PT] = Penetrating. The projectiles goes through the enemy (not terrain), drastically increasing effectiveness since it allows you to hit several enemies at once.

Damage fall off = Some weapons have damage stats like 100~10 dmg – these weapons are subject to the damage fall off mechanic. How does this work? Imagine a rifle that deals 100~10 damage and has a range of 500 metres. At point blank, the weapon deals the full 100 damage. After 250 metres, the damage has dropped to 50 and at the very end, you’re left with a pitiful 10 damage.

ROF / Rate of fire = how quickly your weapon can attack. The game runs at 60 FPS and the fastest you’re able to shoot is once every frame which equals max ROF is 60 shots / second.

PA – Babby’s first rifle

Tutorial guns, their best trait is that they aren’t completely worthless.
Low level, low performance, does the job when starting out, but just barely.
Nothing to comment on, no reason to keep using these.

Stork – If vanilla was a rifle

These do exactly what you expect the average rifle to do and not a thing more.
Decent magazine, damage, accuracy, velocity, reload and rate of fire.
The rate of fire is high enough to make it good at stunlocking and the accuracy is good enough to let you stay on target, making the stunlock reliable. The solid damage is enough to likely kill whatever you shot at before you need to reload, which, by the way, isn’t gonna take long since even the reload is around or better than the average assault rifle.

A downside is that the damage is only solid and not amazing. Since you can only shoot at one enemy at a time, you usually need to shoot while kiting other enemies.
However, the range is probably the weakest part of the rifle.
Long and accurate enough to be comfortably used at mid range without the damage fall off being too severe but any longer than that and you start wishing you were holding anything else, yes, sometimes even a shotgun, and don’t even think about sniping.

Stork rating: You don’t know what to bring, the Stork is a safe bet / 10.


Lv. 31 – T3 Stork.
Much higher damage per shot, much harsher damage fall off. Treat it like the range was half.. or just take something that’s more consistent.

Lv. 36 – T3 Stork Burst.
3 shot bursts, seem good but is a net loss in DPS.. at medium-short range, that is. The damage fall off is small compared to other Storks and if you keep fighting at a longer range, it will outperform many assault rifles. Can be treated like a pseudo sniper. Teleportation ships hate this one trick! It’s actually pretty chill to use and handles well. Though in prolonged fights, the lower sustained DPS will be brutal. Probably use something else.

Lv. 58 – T4 Stork AE.
Has [PT] and therefore it is the best Stork so far. The range is greater, the velocity is higher. It’s a good weapon. You shoot the enemy, they get hurt, and the enemy behind gets hurt – it’s great.

Raven – That’s so Stork

A fairly basic series. While it has some traits to take into consideration the performance is good and there are no special things you need to learn or know to be effective with a Raven. Pick it up, point at the enemy and you’ll do fine. A slightly spicier general-use rifle than the Stork but only just. In fact, the general performance is close enough to the Stork that 9 times out of 10, you wouldn’t hurt your chances to clear a mission if you just picked your personal preference… so about that 1 out of ten times – why wouldn’t it work? What sets it apart from the Stork?

I had some joke here and a witty comparison but when I read it again I hated it. Here’s just a pros and cons list.

+ Bigger magazine.
+ Higher rof.
+ Better stun lock.
+ Higher DPS up close.

– Harsher damage fall off.
– Shorter range.
– Worse accuracy.
– Longer reload times.
– Slower bullet speed.
– Lower DPS from range.

On paper, it seems like the Raven would perform poorly against the Stork but getting into close range to the enemy isn’t something you’ll ever have trouble with. The closer you are, the better it stands up to the Stork and at some point, you’re close enough that you won’t miss, which lessens the accuracy and bullet velocity cons. Get close enough and the Raven is practically stronger than the Stork in all aspects except reloading.
Though shooting at Drones will be a painful experience since they wobble around and quickly move unpredictably when they get hit, making it much harder to stay on target.

It’s really a personal preference but from level 55 onwards, the damage fall off isn’t as severe and that’s the point where I almost always take the Raven over the Stork. Unless I know I won’t be close to the enemy, that is.

Raven Rating: A different flavour of Stork / 10.
(they are about equal, pick your preference)


Lv. 42 – MXR Sirius.
Obscene magazine size and it has [PT]. The damage is somewhat low but who cares, it has [PT]. The accuracy is even worse than normal but it has [PT]. It’s more or less a slightly nerfed Lv. 31 – M2RER Raven but with triple the magazine and [PT].

Lv. 64 – M4 Raven.
It’s at max ROF. The standard Raven has a ROF of 30 and this one doubles that. At 60 ROF it shoots every frame. That’s the game’s literal cap. All the other stats are generally equal or worse than a lower level Raven but it has twice the normal magazine size and the aforementioned twice as fast ROF.. It’s like someone remade the Sirius concept but gave it ROF instead of [PT]. It’s really good if you can figure out a way to get close.

Lv. 82 – M5 Raven.
It’s at max ROF. The standard Raven has a ROF of 30 and this one doubles that. At 60 ROF it shoots every frame. That’s the game’s literal cap. All the other stats are generally equal to or worse than a lower level Raven but it has twice the normal magazine size and the aforementioned twice as fast ROF. It’s like someone remade the Sirius concept but gave it ROF instead of [PT]. It’s really good if you can figure out a way to get close.

(Yes, it’s just a better M4 Raven. The reload, magazine, and ROF stays the same but everything else is just improved with no downsides. The accuracy is even S rank.)

Minion Buster – You’d get a +2 in score if I could predict the future.

Great stuff, apart from the bad stuff, of which there are plenty.
First off, it explodes. The area is small, don’t ever count on any meaningful aoe damage except when you get bitten, then you will hurt yourself.
Secondly, it explodes. The explosion can’t be affected by damage fall off, though the range is pretty short, you’ll be in their face anyways.
Thirdly, it explodes. The delay between the hit and explosion is like a second. This is good because the second hit can help stun lock during a weapon switch. This is bad because it means that it didn’t die immediately and you’ve now spent time swapping weapons instead of shooting / reloading.

The damage is split in a 2:8 ratio, meaning that if the stats say 100 damage, then the enemy takes 20 damage when getting hit by the bullet and 80 damage when it explodes.
On paper, the DPS is very high for an assault rifle but in reality, you’ll never get the full potential damage from this series.
Low velocity will make aiming harder. Low range means that you won’t have nearly as good uptime as other assault rifles. Delayed damage means that you’ll often shoot the enemy more than necessary and because of that, many explosions will detonate on an already dead enemy.
If there was a large / slow enemy with a billion hp that was safe to be close to, this would be pretty neat.

Minion Buster Rating: Fun but generally just an ok-ish option for bosses / 10.


Lv. 49 – Minion Blast.
Ridiculously high damage per shot for its level. Low magazine, semi automatic fire, pretty good range and very high velocity. This gun is like 80% assault rifle and 20% rocket launcher and I would 100% of the time pick something that’s automatic fire instead.

G&M – My mind is happy – my finger, crying

Shoots far, shoots fast, shoots hard. Shoots semi automatically..
Half of them come with [PT] making them great as far as assault rifles goes. Low magazine is a concern but utilising the [PT] effect, this drawback is lessened. The sustained DPS is high and if you can ignore your finger cramping, it’s a great weapon – it even has extremely low damage fall off.
The ones without [PT] are not cool though.. not nearly strong enough to make me use a semi automatic gun.

G&M Rating: I want to buy a rapid fire button / 10.

Slugger – Identity crisis

Odd series is odd. Very high per-shot damage but with severe fall off and pitiful range. The bullet velocity is high, making it easy to stay on target which is very important since it has low ROF. Better not miss, or the enemy will have enough time to attack. The accuracy is low but it doesn’t matter when you’re this close to the enemy. If the reticule is on the enemy, they’ll get hit. Doesn’t this seem like a shotgun?

Then we have the Orchid variants, which I guess could be added as outliers but relevant sluggers are few enough that the entire Slugger series could be outliers. The Orchids have the same low ROF but not quite as high damage (still very high). Instead, they opt to have excellent accuracy, even higher bullet velocity and a range that is significantly longer, surpassing even the Lv. 58 – Stork AE. The higher level Orchid even comes with a 4x scope. Does it kind of seem like they want to be a sniper?

Ultimately, they both fail as a shotgun because they don’t have any [PT] and shoot only 1 bullet per shot, making them ill-suited against large numbers. They also fail as a sniper because the damage fall off is so severe that they can’t inflict any meaningful damage on targets far away. At least all Sluggers, Orchids included, come with a very hefty magazine, beating almost all non-Raven rifles – you can be mediocre for long periods of time!

Slugger Rating: Just take a shotgun or a sniper / 10.

Slade – Everyone else go home

(Except the next entry)

What if there was an assault rifle that had a good rate of fire, massive range, speeding bullets, perfect accuracy, a nice reload time for a top of the line magazine and a decent damage stat that wasn’t demolished by damage fall off while being equipped with a laser and a scope, allowing you to comfortably use it at longer range? You’d get a Slade. The two Slades, Lv 100 – MA9 Slade and Lv. 111 – MA10 Slade, are technically Storks but since they are DLC only I’ve split them. Compared to the Storks, the Slades are so good that aside from the reload, every other stat is just better than any Stork rifle – truly cementing themselves as the premiere all rounder assault rifles.


Slade Rating: I often pick them even though there are better options because nothing feels as good to use as the Slades / 10.

Blazer – ThE bLaZeR’s PoWEr is aBOut 12% oF tHe eMC

(This line is said by an NPC during mission 78 – Monster Extermination Plan)

If you take a Wing Diver’s closed laser but make it deal so much damage that you’re questioning whether or not someone is cheating you get a Blazer. Shoots every frame, deals ridiculously high damage, perfect accuracy, sniper level bullet speed and enough range to shoot across a third of the map while having no damage fall off. Oh, it also has a 999 magazine which you better appreciate because it takes 9 seconds to reload. Good news is that surviving the 999 shots is a rare feat. You could play mission 108 – Despair on Inferno with 4 player scaling online and you’d be just shy of slapping a Queen Ant in one magazine. This weapon is strong enough to have the Ranger stand out on the battlefield even among Phalanx wielding Wing Divers, Jackhammer + Dexter Shotgun slapping Fencers and Phobos 4 spamm- actually, nevermind. Phobos Z Plan 4 is just a different game. Point still stands – the Blazer is disgustingly strong despite the reload and is well worth bringing on every single mission that allows it.

I would end the Blazer section here but I wanted to bring up a personal gripe – the hidden Blazer tax. See, it’s good enough to be used as a sniper but it doesn’t come with a scope. This means that the strain on your eyes, when you’re squinting to see the five pixels of an enemy behind a house, builds up. In terms of user-friendliness, the Slade with a shorter reload, [PT] and a scope wins hands down for me.

Blazer Rating: Tempted to tape a magnifying glass to the monitor / 10.


And there we have it. Again, these are all based on average performance or the performance when you’ve gotten them upgraded a bit. Doesn’t matter how cool your Stork is if it doesn’t have any accuracy – that’s just a bad Raven.

I might be tempted to do one for the shotguns. I might not be. Don’t stay tuned.

So that is it for today. Officially written and produced by Shiina’s.

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