Here’s how to beat the Spec Ops mission Defender Mt. Zaya in Modern Warfare 2, and get all three stars while surviving through every wave.

How to Beat Spec Ops: Defender Mt. Zaya

To beat the Spec Ops mission Defender Mt. Zaya, you’ll need to clear out a bunker and then survive against six different waves all while stopping the enemy from planting bombs.

Making the most of this supply shop, as well as coordinating well with your teammate will see you complete Mt. Zaya with ease.

Entering the MW2 Defender Mt Zaya mission in a helicopter
The landing spot in Defender Mt Zaya where you’ll find supplies

You’ll land next to the supply shop, so make sure to buy as much as you can straight away. There is also a wall of guns you can choose from next to the supply shop where you can grab your favorite ones for free.

Read More: MW2 Spec Ops Missions List & How to Beat All Levels

Best Items to Buy From the Supply Shop in Defender Mt. Zaya

There are so many great items to buy from the supply shop such as reinforcements, sentry turrets, and more. Here are the best items to buy to help you win:

  • Reinforcements – $1500
    • This will spawn a group of AI-controlled soldiers who will fight by your side. While they’re not great, they do help distract tougher enemies and protect points when you’re overwhelmed
  • Sentry Turret – $2000
    • This allows you to put down a sentry turret that will shoot at any enemy targets in range. It is an indispensable tool for defending challenging spots
  • Self-Revive Kit – $1000
    • The self-revive kit does as it says on the tin and allows you to revive yourself, but only once. Having one of these on hand will allow you to heal yourself when your teammate is defending a faraway point
  • Ammo Box – $500
    • As there isn’t much time in between rounds to head back to the supply shop, having an ammo box handy can save your life. Topping up your best weapons in a pinch is incredibly helpful
All available items to purchase in the MW2 Defender Mt Zaya mission
Every item available in the supply shop

Where Is the Supply Shop in Defender Mt. Zaya?

The supply shop can be located where you first dropped off at the beginning of Defender Mt. Zaya. However, as it is not clearly marked on your mini-map, it can be tricky to find it once you’ve moved on.

If you’re struggling to locate it, simply head to this location on the map and you’ll be able to stock up on ammunition and purchase new items:

the map of Defender Mt Zaya with the supply shop location circled
The supply shop can be found in the area within the green circle

How to Survive Every Wave in Defender Mt. Zaya

Wave One

Objective – Defend Hardpoint C

Wave one of Defender Mt. Zaya is the easiest wave, as you’ll only fight against the basic enemy types. However, they will come at you from all sides and will enter the center building within Hardpoint C.

So, to properly survive this wave, you’ll need to be constantly on your feet. Make sure to circle around the Hardpoint and search the building constantly for any remaining enemies.

Defending a hardpoint in wave one of the Defender Mt. Zaya mission
The inside of the building located within Hardpoint C

Wave Two

Objective – Defend Hardpoint B

Once again, this Hardpoint involves a central building, albeit a much smaller one. However, enemies will tend to circle around it, so make sure to stick to the outskirts if you’re struggling to find any.

Wave two in Defender Mt. Zaya also features close-air support which you’ll need to shoot down. It’s easy enough to do this but try and aim for the pilot as that’ll take down the plane instantly.

Defending a hardpoint in wave two of the Defender Mt. Zaya mission
Outside of the building near Hardpoint B

Wave Three

Objective – Defend Hardpoint A

In order to get through this wave, you’ll need to avoid getting bottlenecked inside the bunker, as the corridors are quite narrow.

You’ll also have to take down enemies wearing bomb vests, which will have a more devastating effect if they catch you inside the bunker. So, be sure to take those out from afar as soon as possible. 

shooting an enemy with a bomb vest in wave three of the Defender Mt Zaya mission
This is the bomb-vest-wearing enemy who wields an axe. Don’t let them get close

Wave Four

Objective – Defend Hardpoints A & C

This is the first wave that will require you to defend two locations at once. Trying to defend them at the same will be extremely difficult, so split up if you can.

You’ll also have to watch out for mortar teams who will shoot at you from afar. To find these mortar teams you just need to look for the red diamonds on your screen.

To avoid taking too much fire from them, it is best to stay within a building until you’ve cleared the enemies. Once you’ve done that, head out and hunt down those mortar teams.

Defending a hardpoint in wave four of the Defender Mt. Zaya mission
This is the bunker in Hardpoint A. Make sure not to surrounded inside it

Wave Five

Objective – Defend Hardpoints B & C.

Once again, you’re going to need to protect two locations at once. Only this time, there will e a handful of enemies that have riot shields. Shooting at them won’t do too much, so you’ll need to think tactically.

Having some grenades handy or a friend to circle around them is by far the easiest way to take them out. Other than them, you’re still just trying to prevent the enemy from planting bombs.

Defending a hardpoint in wave five
The red-filled C means that a bomb has been planted there, with the blue outline being the timer that gradually decreases

Wave Six

Objective – Defend All Hardpoints

You’ll need to have plenty of reinforcements and preferably a sentry turret or two to help you win this wave. Don’t forget to purchase these from the supply shop between waves.

There will be a lot of enemies to take on, as well as a heavily armored soldier (who will take quite a few shots to take down). However, don’t worry, it’s nothing you haven’t faced before.

The main thing is to react quickly to any bombs that are planted as you won’t be able to have eyes on all three locations at once.

Next, don’t forget to check out where to find all intel fragments in MW2’s Spec Ops mode!

Defending a hardpoint in wave six
Placing turrets at each location (as seen in the image) is a great way to defend them while you’re away

How to Get 3 Stars in Defender Mt. Zaya

To get 3 stars in the Spec Ops mission Defender Mt. Zaya, you will need to complete the mission without letting more than three bombs be planted.

Bombs are planted at each Hardpoint by enemies. The only way to prevent them is to either kill the enemy before they have a chance to put it down or by defusing it.

You’ll be alerted with a countdown when a bomb is planted giving you time to run over and defuse it quickly.

trying to defuse a bomb in MW2
Another example of what it looks like when a bomb has been planted. Just make sure you’re not downed before it goes off

Don’t worry if you don’t manage it the first time. This is a tricky mission, but once you’ve got the hang of each wave you’ll be nabbing those three stars in no time.

Once you finish this mission, make sure to check out our guides for the rest of the MW2 Spec Ops Missions:

Many thanks to GeekyPastimes for providing the screenshots in this article.

Former Staff Writer
Whether it's an indie platformer or a 100-hour JRPG, Tom loves talking about games. So much so, he made it his career. Since starting in 2020, he's covered a wide range of topics at sites including TheGamer and The Game Crater.