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Shield

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Orb Shields or simply Shields are rechargeable shield generators that prevent characters from receiving damage to their health, including projectile weapon damage, elemental, melee or even damage from falling, until a shield's charge is depleted.

Borderlands

Appearance

43 PNG-50XC IMPENETRABLE ENDURING SHIELD
Shields are invisible when not active, however once a character takes damage a colored hexagonal grid contours to the character's figure as the bullets are blocked. The color of the shield (as it takes damage) denotes what kind of shield it is and what kind of special ability it has. Shields with fire resistance will be red, shields with shock resistance will be purplish-blue, shields with corrosive resistance will be green, non-elemental shields will be white. There are only a few shields that offer protection from explosive damage.

Gameplay

Shields are essential to any player as they recharge much faster than conventional health regeneration. An equipped shield will gradually recharge to full power during periods when the wearer is not sustaining damage. It does however take a slight delay after the last time damage was taken to initiate the recharge effect. When mostly depleted, a blue exclamation alert flashes above a character's Health bar to warn the player.

  • Shields are acquired in the same manner as all other loot: dropped by enemies and chests, purchased at vending machines or rewarded by missions.
  • Shield rarity is similar to that of all weapons, except that the rarity found among shields goes from purple to pearlescent with no yellow or orange rarity in between.
  • Shield capacity can be increased by some character skills or COMs.
  • Shield recharge rates (energy recharged per second) directly affect the time it takes to recharge to 100% capacity - the higher the recharge rate, the faster the shield recharges to full.
  • Shield recharge delay is a hidden value that determines the number of seconds after taking damage that the shield begins to recharge. This delay is not directly related to the recharge rate. The only way of finding this rate is either through the debug info for PC users, or timing with a grenade. A bit of reverse engineering with gear-calc can also help.
  • Shield recharge delay may simply be a dividend of capacity divided by recharge rate with the result measured in seconds.
  • Shields with elemental resistances reduce damage taken by that element. 66% damage received for regular resistant Shields, 50% damage received for high resistant Shields & 33% damage received for extreme resistant Shields. For example, if a shock bullet were to hit a character for 120 damage (100%), then they would only receive 80 damage (66%) with a regular shock resistant shield, 60 damage (50%) for a high shock resistant shield, and 40 damage (33%) for an extreme shock resistant Shield. (Note that different elements naturally have different affinity for shields, for example, shock is 200% effective against shields, thus a shock bullet will actually do 33% x 2 = 66% damage to an extreme shock resistant shield)
  • Shields which create elemental bursts when depleted will do so only if the shield was recharging or full before being depleted. However the skills Quick Charge, Girl Power and Unbreakable will not cause such shields to continuously emit elemental bursts if they are repeatedly depleted when the skill is active.

Shields are an effective defense against projectile attacks like bullets and rockets and will also protect against any melee attack. They are, however, extremely vulnerable to shock attacks and will diminish quickly if under constant fire.

Unique Shields

Pearlescent Shields

These Shields are only available from The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC. They are the first shields in the game to have red text abilities.

  • Ironclad - "I stand unvanquished!" - Boosted Shield capacity.
  • Omega - "The alpha and that other thing" - High recharge rate, buffed capacity.
  • Rose - "Beauty and life" - Gives massive health regeneration when depleted, super fast recharge rate.

Special Effects

All shields1 in Borderlands are outfitted with special modules, giving them various effects, from offensive elemental properties to extra health or healing. The effects are chosen by the manufacturer, and the intensity of the effect by the Material Grade. As a general rule, effects or higher quality effects do not come at any trade-off to Shield stats. You do not "pay" to have the effect (unlike, for example, weapons that "pay" reduced damage, to have elemental ability).

Finally, note that this effect (material grade) is responsible for the Shield's name. Torgue will share several Titles for the same effect.

Shield Prefixes from Materials
Manufacturer Name Description Effect
Anshin Guerrilla Fast Recharge Recharge Delay -30%,
Recharge Rate +20%
Skirmisher Very Fast Recharge Recharge Delay -40%,
Recharge Rate +27%
Ambush Super Fast Recharge! Recharge Delay -60%,
Recharge Rate +54%
Atlas Grounded Shock Resistance Only 66% of shock damage taken
Anionic High Shock Resistance Only 50% of shock damage taken
Cationic Extreme Shock Resistance! Only 33% of shock damage taken
Dahl Neutralizing Corrosive Resistance Only 66% of corrosive damage taken
Dilution High Corrosive Resistance Only 50% of corrosive damage taken
Hazmat Extreme Corrosive Resistance! Only 33% of corrosive damage taken
Hyperion Thermal Fire Resistance Only 66% of fire damage taken
Asbestic High Fire Resistance Only 55% of fire damage taken
Endothermic Extreme Fire Resistance! Only 33% of fire damage taken
Maliwan Shock Burst Creates a small Shock Burst
when depleted
Shock Burst radius 256
Shock Wave Creates a Shock Wave
when depleted
Shock Wave radius 384
Shock Nova Creates a large Shock Nova
when depleted
Shock Nova radius 512
Pangolin Unyielding High Capacity +30% Capacity,
+30% Recharge Delay
Enduring Very High Capacity +40% Capacity,
+20% Recharge Delay
Fortified Overcharge Capacity! +60% Capacity,
+10% Recharge Delay
S&S Munitions Acid Burst Creates a small Acid Burst
when depleted
Acid Burst radius 256
Acid Wave Creates an Acid Wave
when depleted
Acid Wave radius 384
Acid Nova Creates a large Acid Nova
when depleted
Acid Nova radius 512
Tediore Healing Very slow health regeneration +(0.4 Base + 0.04 per Shield Lvl)
Health Regeneration/Second
Restorative Slow health regeneration +(1.0 Base + 0.08 per Shield Lvl)
Health Regeneration/Second
Panacea Quick Health Regeneration! +(2.4 Base + 0.2 per Shield Lvl)
Health Regeneration/Second
Torgue Tough Guy Health Boost 30% Health Boost 30%
Tough Guy or
Muscleman
Health Boost 40% Health Boost 40%
Muscleman
or Macho
Health Boost 60% Health Boost 60%
Vladof Fire Burst Creates a small Fire Burst
when depleted2
Fire Burst radius 256
Fire Wave Creates a Fire Wave
when depleted
Fire Wave radius 384
Fire Nova Creates a large Fire
Nova when depleted
Fire Nova radius 512

1With the exception of Tediore Standard Shields found in the very first Med Vendor in Playthrough 1 Fyrestone.
2This Shield's name is bugged, in-game it will be only called a Shield instead of a Fire Burst Shield (e.g. VDF-10FRR Quick Charge Shield). Vladof's other shields are named correctly.

Shield Anatomy

All shields have the same base stats that are entirely determined only by their level. The recharge rate is always 15% of the capacity, and the Recharge Delay is of 7 seconds.

Shields are constituted of 4 parts: The the body, the left side, the right side and the manufacturer material. The shield stats are then modified by its parts. Shield effects have no effect on shield stats, apart from Anshin and Pangolin shields. Notice that part modifiers stack additively.

The left side and right side of the shield improves the shield's speed and capacity respectively. There is no trade-off: Higher quality is better.

Note: the parts of the shield known as "left" and "right" are relative to the shield's point of view. This means that on screen, the shield's "left part" appears on the right, and the "right part" appears on the left.
Left & Right Side Effects
Part Name Effect Graphics Part Name Effect
rightside1 - Shield side1 leftside1 -
rightside2 Capacity +10% Shield side2 leftside2 Recharge Delay: -15%
Recharge Rate: +13%
rightside3 Capacity +20% Shield side3 leftside3 Recharge Delay: -25%
Recharge Rate: +27%
rightside4 Capacity +35% Shield side4 leftside4 Recharge Delay: -45%
Recharge Rate: +47%

The body is the most defining feature of the shield. The parts come in three categories: Balanced, High Capacity, and Fast Recharge. There is a choice to be made, as each have their ups and down:

  • body1 and body1_balanced are of type rounded balance, with body1_balanced substantially better than body1.
  • body2 and body4 are of type fast recharge, with body4 substantially better than body2.
  • body3 and body3b_power are of type high capacity, with body3b_power being substantially better than body 3.
Note: The only way to tell apart two shields with the same body type is to use the shield code
Body Effects
Part Name Type Effect Prefix Graphic
body1 Balanced - OBS Shield body1
body1_balanced Balanced +20% Capacity
-25% Recharge Delay
+33% Recharge Rate
OS Shield body1 balanced
body2 Fast Recharge -25% Recharge Delay
+33% Recharge Rate
FRR Shield body2
body3 High Capacity +25% Capacity
+30% Recharge Delay
OC Shield body3
body3b_power High Capacity +40% Capacity
+30% Recharge Delay
XC Shield body3 power
body4 Fast Recharge -50% Recharge Delay
+66% Recharge Rate
AWE Shield body4

Shield Name

Unlike weapons, the name of the shield has no incidence on the stats of the Shield. An Alacritous Shield will recharge quite fast, but this is just an indication, not an extra effect.

The shield's name is determined by the manufacturer and material quality. The shield's prefix is determined by the body type and the quality/rarity of the shield (and not by any actual stats):

Shield Prefixes from Modules
Obtained From Prefix Denotes Requirements
All body types Standard No Particular Quality Rarity <= 4
body1 or body1_balanced Balanced Good Quality Rarity > 4
Symmetrical High Quality Rarity > 7
Sterling Higher Quality Rarity > 10
Harmonious Highest Quality Rarity > 14
body3 or body3b_power Reinforced Good Max Capacity Rarity > 4
Hardened High Max Capacity Rarity > 7
Unbreakable Higher Max Capacity Rarity > 10
Impenetrable Highest Max Capacity Rarity > 14
body2 or body4 Quick Charge Good Recharge Speed Rarity > 4
Accelerated High Recharge Speed Rarity > 7
Rapid Higher Recharge Speed Rarity > 10
Alacritous Highest Recharge Speed Rarity > 14

The shield code is determined by all of the above. It starts with manufacturer code, an hyphen, then the sum of the left and right side code3, and finally body code, as follows:

Shield Codes
Manufact. Prefix Left Side Prefix Right Side Prefix Body Prefix
Tediore TDR leftside1 - rightside1 - body1 OBS
Dahl DHL leftside2 200 rightside2 100 body1_balanced OS
Vladof VDF leftside3 400 rightside3 300 body2 FRR
S&S SnS leftside4 50 rightside4 500 body3 OC
Maliwan MLN body3_power XC
Anshin4 ANS body4 AWE
Pangolin5 PNG
Torgue TRG
Hyperion HYP
Atlas ATL

3When the rightside is rightside1, or the leftside is leftside1, a 0 is removed from the code. For example, rightside1+leftside3 becomes 40.
4When material2 or material3 is used, Anshin shields are promoted to ANS2
5When material3 is used, Pangolin shields are promoted to PNG2

Borderlands 2

Manufacturer

Manufacturer Model Effect
Anshin Adaptive Increases Maximum Health. Resists elemental damage (based on the last type taken).
Bandit Roid Bonus melee damage while depleted.
Dahl Booster Chance to drop shield booster when hit.
Hyperion Amplify Partially drains shield (if fully charged) to empower a shot.
Jakobs None See The Rough Rider
Maliwan Elemental Spike Melee attackers take elemental damage when hitting the shield. May reduce or negate corresponding elemental damage (burn, corrode, shock).
Maliwan Elemental Nova Elemental area damage when depleted; must fully recharge between novas. May reduce or negate corresponding elemental damage (burn, corrode, shock).
Pangolin Turtle Dramatically increased Shield Capacity, but lowers Maximum Health
Tediore Shield Lower capacity, higher recharge rates, shorter recharge delays (much more pronounced with rarity).
Torgue Explosive Spike Melee attackers take explosive damage when hitting the shield. May reduce or negate explosive damage.
Torgue Explosive Nova Explosive area damage when depleted; must fully recharge between novas. May reduce or negate explosive damage.
Vladof Absorb Chance to absorb bullets that hit the shield, adding to your stock.

Shield Components

Manufacturer Body Battery Capacitor Capacity Recharge Delay Recharge Rate Special 01 Special 02
Anshin Shield Body Anshin Shield Battery Anshin Shield Capacitor Anshin Increase Increase Decrease Increase Increase
Bandit Shield Body Bandit Shield Battery Bandit Shield Capacitor Bandit Increase Increase Increase Decrease Decrease
Dahl Shield Body Dahl Shield Battery Dahl Shield Capacitor Dahl Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease Decrease
Hyperion Shield Body Hyperion Shield Battery Hyperion Shield Capacitor Hyperion Decrease Decrease Decrease Increase Increase
Maliwan Shield Body Maliwan Shield Battery Maliwan Shield Capacitor Maliwan Decrease No change Increase Increase Increase
Pangolin Shield Body Pangolin Shield Battery Pangolin Shield Capacitor Pangolin Increase Increase Decrease Decrease Decrease
Tediore Shield Body Tediore Shield Battery Tediore Shield Capacitor Tediore Decrease Decrease Increase Increase Increase
Torgue Shield Body Torgue Shield Battery Torgue Shield Capacitor Torgue Increase Increase Increase Decrease Decrease
Vladof Shield Body Vladof Shield Battery Vladof Shield Capacitor Vladof Decrease Increase Increase No change No change

This is a table of shield components and their stats modifiers. All three parts of the shield from the same manufacturer have the same stats modifier. Special 01 and 02 are the special effects of the shield, e.g: on an adaptive shield, the elemental resistance is "Special01" and the boost of maximum health is "Special02".

Capacity-based Effects

Certain skills, abilities, relics, class mods, or other effects are percentage-based, calculated off the capacity of the currently worn shield. In most cases the percentage is calculated as would be expected, but shield-based calculations in Borderlands 2 have a maximum allowed value based on the character's level. The specific formula is 1.13L × 64, where L is the character's current level. If a shield's capacity exceeds this value, then all percentage calculations based on the shield's capacity will use this maximum allowed value instead.

As an example, a level 50 Maya character has five points in the Ward skill and is wearing a Turtle Shield with a capacity of 50,482. Ward will provide a 25% bonus to shield capacity; however, the maximum calculation value for a level 50 character is 28,847. Because of this, Ward will only increase Maya's shield capacity by 7,212 - 25% of 28,847 - rather than the expected 12,621 - 25% of 50,482.

A small number of class skills and other effects are exempt from this calculation cap. This is typically limited to effects which require an accurate measure of current shield capacity, such as Axton's Quick Charge or Gaige's Blood Soaked Shields.

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