The design and characteristic loads for a wave energy converter from the environment are defined using design load cases. Specific guidance and standards for DLCs exist in literature for offshore structures such as wind turbines, oil platforms and marine energy converters in general. Unlike usual offshore structures for which standards are broadly available, a wave energy converter is intended to move and interact with the waves. This paper presents an adaptation of existing guidance for the application of a point absorber design and characteristic load definition. The design load cases considered by CorPower Ocean are presented and prioritised to identify those critical to derive the dimensioning loads on the CorPower Ocean device and ensure its survival. The adapted design load cases include normal operation, power production plus the occurrence of fault, survival, and aborted operation due to fault. By considering a reduced sub-set of design load cases, the number of required simulations and tank testing runs is less. This allows CorPower Ocean to quickly derive the critical driving loads and focus on load reduction. For the survival cases, the sea states are given along extreme contours. The methodology for determining design and characteristic loads using multiple time-series simulation results along an extreme contour line is given. This paper provides a novel adaptation of existing standards and literature, as used to provide useful and accurate design load case results for the CorPower Ocean wave energy converter.