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Energy Shields: Misc



Up to date as of February 08, 2010

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The MJOLNIR Mark VI armor's shields glow after taking damage.

Energy Shields are an important piece of technology that protect the users from harm, if only for a short time. Energy Shields, which are generated by MJOLNIR armor, Elite's armor, Brutes Power Armor and Drone Leader's exoskeleton, provide the user with an extra layer of protection. However, the shields will collapse after taking multiple shots. It will protect the user's Health from damage until it is depleted, and it will regenerate after a while, provided that the user is not injured during this time. Be forewarned: although the shield protects your health, it doesn't render you invincible. Pay attention to your shield meter, and if it is depleted, seek cover until it regenerates. Also, it will not protect you from everything, and rockets, grenades, sniper bullets, and some other weapons such as the Needler may shred right through it. Energy shielding is also more vulnerable to plasma-based weaponry (e.g. the Covenant Plasma Pistol, especially overcharged) than to ballistic weaponry (e.g. the UNSC Assault Rifle). Any person will die, no matter how much resistance their shield has, if they are assassinated.

In Halo: Combat Evolved it is shown at the top-right corner of the screen above the health bar, in Halo 2 it is in the bottom-left above the motion tracker, and in Halo 3 it is in the top-center of the screen. They have been modified since Halo: CE to charge faster and be more resistant.


Human Energy Shielding

Testing the shields on MJOLNIR Mark V Armor adorned by the Master Chief.

Humans started using energy shields with the production of the MJOLNIR Mark V powered assault armor and later the Mark VI. It uses a reverse engineered Jackal Personal Arm Shield that has been modified into a full body shield, much like a Covenant Elite's. Unlike the Covenant Elite Personal Energy Shield, when the human shield takes damage, it glows gold instead of the Covenant blue. The color difference is believed to be because of the difference in the two technologies.

Although the shields of MJOLNIR armor are very resilient, they can be stripped in seconds if the wearer isn't careful. Plasma weapons are especially effective against MJOLNIR and Elite Personal Energy Shield shields. This seems to be a natural weakness of energy shielding. Plasma Rifles, Plasma Pistols, and Plasma Cannons are all very good at depleting the MJOLNIR's shields.

The UNSC's most recent breakthrough in energy shield development came with the creation of the Bubble Shield, which is far superior to MJOLNIR shielding. It was not incorporated in later models of MJOLNIR armor because it would be too expensive to do so. A larger scale version of the design may provide protection for UNSC Military Bases.[1]

Covenant Energy Shielding

A Covenant Elite's energy shielding.

Unlike the humans, the Covenant has a very extensive knowledge of shielding equipment and its uses. Examples of this excellent understanding are everywhere. Elite Personal Energy Shields, Jackal Point Defense Gauntlets, Brute Power Armor, Stationary Shield Generators, Portable Shield Generators, Shield Doors, and Starship Shields are just some of the basic examples. The greatest example of the Covenant's understanding is that of body shielding, as all Elites, with the exception of Stealth Elites in Halo: CE, use it.

Also, the Covenant have discovered how to run Active Camo and Shielding at the same time. Even Tartarus and the Prophet of Regret were equipped with personal shields. Regret's shield, presumably projected by his Gravity Throne, was very similar to the Bubble Shield. It deflected all forms of projectile, plasma, and explosive weaponry and never depleted. It was also similar in that one could simply walk through the shield. It was this that allowed the Master Chief to kill Regret. Tartarus' shield is much different and seems to have to be actively turned on. His shield would deflect almost all attacks from the elites, even energy swords, and the only weapon really able to overload it was a beam rifle. It is implied that other brutes  do not have this type of shielding since Cortana says when first fighting brutes on the Gravemind (Level): "They don't have shield generators, but take them out before... it's berserking!".

The only Covenant vehicles to have shielding are the Locust and after an upgrade the Wraith and Ghost. It is odd that the Covenant do not have energy shields on any of their ground and aerial vehicles in the other Halo games (Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, and Halo 3). Since they are able to make personal energy shields they should be able to have shields protecting their Wraiths, Banshees and Ghosts. It is likely that Bungie did not add shields to these vehicles in order to make them balanced. A shielded Wraith, for example, would be a significant challenge to the player.


Starship Shielding

The only known starships to have shields are Covenant ships. Nearly all Covenant vessels are protected by a highly resistant energy shield that can recharge over time. Covenant Starship shields are a light-gray color. The shields can take a vast amount of punishment, and can recharge very quickly. The only known flaw of Starship shields is that when the vessel fires its Plasma weapons, the ship needs to drop a section of its shields for a fraction of a second. Otherwise, the Plasma Torpedo would detonate on the inside of the shields. This weakness was demonstrated when a group of Spartans destroyed a Covenant ship in Halo: Fall of Reach, by going inside of the ship and planting an explosive. Additionally, when a Covenant ship unloads troops and supplies, it must lower its shields to let dropships out.

They can absorb almost all missile fire, including hundreds of Archer Missiles and even a Shiva nuclear missile (although Shiva nukes will usually deplete their shields, making them vulnerable to smaller weapons). The only UNSC weapons capable of penetrating a Covenant Starship's Shields is the MAC cannon. Even then, ship-based MACs take multiple rounds to drop the shields; a Super-MAC only needs one hit.

Plasma and other energy weapons, on the other hand, can easily disable the shields, in much the same manner as Elite Personal Energy Shields. It must be noted that the size and class of a vessel determines the strength of its shields. Also, even though the shield can absorb a direct nuclear missile, if it detonates "inside" the shield, the blast will be magnified. It has been observed exploding inside the shield, and destroying the ship before the shields collapse. The pressure and heat released would bounce off the shields back into the ship to further damage it.

Another way to disable the shipboard energy shields is through an EMP, which would knock out the shields, but EMPs are only seen being used by Shivas when they blow up, so it is a much more wasteful method of taking them out.

Forerunner Energy Shielding

A Sentinel's energy shield.

In all of the Halo campaigns, the player encounters several Sentinels that are equipped with energy shields, possibly suggesting that the Covenant's shielding technology was scavenged from Forerunner technology. Their shields are about equal to an Elite's. The Enforcer is also energy shielded, and can absorb more damage than a normal Sentinel. The shield, which only guards the front area of the machine, is nearly immune to ballistic weapons, similar to the Jackal shield, but is weak against plasma weapons. It is also very strong, capable of withstanding up to three Scorpion shells or two Wraith shots. In the novel, Ghosts of Onyx, a group of Spartan-IIIs encounter a unique type of Sentinel. While other types of shielding are always on, the Onyx sentinel can actively turn on their shield just before contact in order to deflect fast-moving projectile. However, this can be overcome by slow moving projectile such as rocks, and in one case, being boarded by a Spartan. Onyx sentinels can combine their shields to make the joint shield more effective.

It was also revealed that the Huragok are equipped with a personal energy shield which activates only when they are under duress. Additionally, these Huragok are also able to project an energy shield around its allies, or enhance shielding already present, if they are within its proximity.

Energy Shields in Multiplayer

A Spartan's and Elite's shield recharging in multiplayer.
  • Like in Campaign shields protect you for a brief amount of time from small arms and weapons. However in Multiplayer, you can have 50%, 100%, 200%, 300%, 400% (Halo: Combat Evolved), 500%, 1000%, 2000% shield, or none at all. Both Elites and Spartans have the same amount of shielding. A player's shields can be further augmented if they pick up an Overshield.
  • In Halo 3, energy shields begin regenerating 4.5 seconds after last being hit, and take 1.75 seconds to fully recharge from a total drain.
  • A Regenerator can be used to make your shields recharge instantly after taking damage.
  • If a player deploys a Bubble Shield they will be protected from weapons fire by a spherical energy shield.
  • Activating the Deployable Cover will give you a stationary one way shield to hide behind.
  • Shield doors can be found on several maps and placed in all DLC maps in Forge.

The Possibility Of Real Life Shielding

No devices of this kind currently exist in a practical form, although the University of Washington and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory are exploring separate projects encasing satellites in a plasma "bubble", contained by wire mesh or electromagnetism, to vaporise debris before it can damage the satellite within. The possibility of Solid Light also fits the criteria. However, one known flaw of the plasma "bubble" would be that it isn't designed to protect any specific subject. As a result, the bubble would overheat and incinerate the occupant of the bubble since it is made out of pure energy and heat.


  • Contrary to popular Fan and Halo community belief, the Energy Shield is always present, even while not under fire. However, under the stress and strain of projectile resistance when under fire, it glows blue/gold in an electrical design around the wearer's body, eventually giving way due to heavy fire. The Energy Shield is marked as a constant, unwavering protection that covers a Spartan or Elite's entire body, safeguarding the player from any known projectile that isn't more potent than bullets or plasma.
  • It is odd that the Covenant do not use shielding on their ground and aerial vehicles, since they have the technology to make personal energy shields. However, this may be due to the presence of weaponry on the vehicles that would make a shield impractical due to the requirement of dropping the shield to fire.
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, the shielding that Elites use is slightly stronger than that of a Spartan. Elites' shields only take 70% of the damage that projectile weapons deal out, whereas a Spartan's shielding tends to take full damage. (Case in point, the Spartan shield, with 75 hit points, only takes three shots from the M6D Pistol to break, whereas a Minor Elite's shield, which has 100 hit points, takes 8 shots from the same weapon.) Apparently this was changed in Halo 2 and 3 - in Halo 2, it takes four bursts from a Battle Rifle to break either a Spartan's shield or a Minor Elite's shield. But, when testing the Hit Points of the Master Chief in the campaign at normal (which is considered canon) the Master Chief has a lot more health than on multiplayer (heroic in halo 2 and 3).
  • It is never fully explained what happens to the plasma bolts or bullets when they make contact with the Energy Shield; however, it is witnessed that most bullets disappear, plasma always following this, whilst some bullets will bounce off the armor, usually at a 1 out of every 7 ratio.
  • In Halo 3, in Campaign, the energy shields of Shielded Flood Combat forms do not flare when taking damage. However, other Elite's shields still flare when taking damage.
  • In Halo Wars, many ground vehicles have shields, including Ghosts, Wraiths, and Locusts.
  • In Halo 3: ODST, certain Drones are outfitted with personal shields.[2]


  1. Halo 3, Crow's Nest (Level); Tech: "Shielding failing. They're down and charging."

Related Pages

This article uses material from the "Energy Shields" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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