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Active Defenses, also called "Gun Emplacements", are a type of Defensive Structure. They are essentially immobile weapons, placed in a specific position in order to defend that position against enemies attempting to approach or go through it. They will either autonomously or manually open fire at enemy units within firing range.

Most Active Defenses are constructed by dedicated engineering-and-repair infantry. Light weapon emplacements may sometimes be constructed by core infantry units to help defend themselves.

Most Active Defenses consist of direct-fire weapons, such as Machine Guns or Cannons. These are expected to engage approaching enemies, delay them and/or destroy them. Often entrenched with additional protection from enemy fire, they are usually tougher than similar mobile units and cheaper to maintain. Some Active Defenses are little more than crewed weapons with no additional protection, and if their crewmen are killed these weapons can be captured by enemy infantry.

Some Active Defenses are in fact field artillery pieces, capable of lobbing high-trajectory shells to great distances. They can often be used offensively as well as defensively, shelling enemy positions prior to an assault by the player's other, mobile units. These are often expensive to construct and maintain.

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