The Defense (or DEF for short) statistic of a character affects the damage taken by that character from an enemy (or enemies). Higher Defense means less damage taken from attacks. Defense, along with the Attack and Bravery statistics, can be viewed in the Item Screen. Defense appears as a white number which represents the Base Defense statistic for a character, followed by either a light blue plus sign and number showing increase to Defense, or a red minus sign and number showing decrease to Defense.
A character's innate defense statistic can be permanently increased when Neku or another character digests food, specifically the following:
- French Fries: 8 bytes, adds 1 defense (Ratio: 0.125)
- Salad: 8 bytes, adds 1 defense (Ratio: 0.125)
- Shio Ramen: 9 bytes, adds 1 defense (Ratio: 0.111)
- Mystic Ramen: 14 bytes, adds 4 defense (Ratio: 0.286)
- DEF Medicine: 16 bytes, adds 2 defense (Ratio: 0.125)
- Mako Sinnergy: 14 bytes, adds 6 defense (Ratio: 0.429)
For grinding innate defense increase, Mako Sinnergy is ideal, but it requires access to Nishimura Drugs at Shibu-Q Heads and 3 Adamantite pins each (the other swag items, Mystery Liquid and Swallow's Nest, can be bought at Herbal Remedies at the Shibukyu Dept. Store for yen) so it is difficult to acquire until late- or post-game. Mystic Ramen, the second-best choice, is available at Ramen Don in Dogenzaka for 3 Tektite pins, Jumbo Chicken, and Extra Fine Noodles, the latter two of which are available at the Shibukyu Dept. Store for yen as well. However, the French Fries are also a good choice as they simply cost 320Y and are immediately available from the Burger Shops at either Shibukyu Stationside or Shibukyu Main Store without increasing the friendship gauge.
A character's maximum defense is 100. A character's defense modifier can be changed by:
- Collecting DEF Boost stickers for that character (9 total are available for Neku's partners, and each increases the defense modifier by 1)
- Adjustments from equipped threads, through thread stats and thread abilities, which can be positive or negative
Defense can also be modified during battle by:
Available Defense Stickers
- D+B- 104: (S) DEF Boost, x1 Scarletite
- AMX: (S) DEF Boost, x1 Scarletite x1 Rare Metal
- D+B- Molco: (S) DEF Boost, x1 Scarletite x2 Rare Metal
- Pegaso Atelier- Shibu Dept. Store: (S) DEF Boost, x1 Scarletite x1 Rare Metal
- Dragon Couture- Shibukyu Main Store: (S) DEF Boost, x1 Scarletite x2 Rare Metal
- Shibu-Q Heads 3F: (S) DEF Boost, x1 Scarletite
- Wild Boar- 104: (S) DEF Boost, x1 Scarletite
- Shibu-Q Heads 3F: (S) DEF Boost, x1 Scarletite x2 Rare Metal
- Wild Boar- Udagawa Back Streets: (S) DEF Boost, x1 Scarletite x1 Rare Metal
In Solo Remix, partners are no longer vulnerable to attack. As such, defense was redesigned so that the total partner defense was added to Neku's defense modifier. The same mechanic was employed in Final Remix.
Noise defense is not shown anywhere in-game, but is zero for the few enemies tested so far. It is expected to differ from zero sometimes, due to some in-game comments. Noise have resistance to positive and negative psychs, which may take the place of defense entirely.
See also: Damage.