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How do Shields work in Borderlands 3?

Borderlands 3 Shield Guide
Borderlands 3 Shield Guide

What are Shields?

Shields provide an additional life bar that shields your health points. Unlike your health bar, your shield will refill itself after a short delay.

Shields come in different varieties but the higher the level and rarity tier the shield is, the stronger the shield is. You will find your first shield in the 4th section during the tutorial of the game. Your first shield will automatically be equipped. You can change your shield in the inventory menu or on the fly by holding down the pick-up button.

Shields consist of 3 main attributes:

AttributesDescription
CapacityDisplays the number of hit points the shield can endure before it breaks.
Recharge DelayThe time you need to wait before your shield starts recharging when it’s been damaged or broken.
Recharge RateThe number of hit points it refills per second when recharging.

Shield Parts Explained

Shields can come with a lot of different parts and each of these components has a different effect on the capabilities of your shield. Higher rarity tier shields have more parts. These can be unique parts or even stack the same parts for an increased effect.

RarityColorParts
CommonWhite0
UncommonGreen1
UniqueBlue2
RarePurple3
LegendaryOrangeUnique

Shield Components List

ComponentEffect
AbsorbAdds the chance to absorb bullets as ammo.
15%/30%/40%
AdaptiveIncreased Health and (elemental) resistance to the last damage type received for a few seconds.
8% health, 17% resistance, 3 seconds/15% health, 33% resistance, 4 seconds/23% health, 41% resistance, 5 seconds
AdrenalineIncreased Reload Speed while the shield is depleted.
23%/38%/50%
AmpWhen the shield is full, Shots will drain a portion of your Shield’s hit points to deal bonus Weapon Damage.
Shield Drain 30%, +20% Weapon Damage/Shield Drain 25%, +50% Weapon Damage/Shield Drain 20%, +100% Weapon Damage
BoosterWhen damaged, it has a chance to drop a Booster that restores a portion of your shield.
15% chance, 8% restoration/20% chance, 15% restoration/25% chance, 23% restoration
BrimmingIncreases the Max Health per second while the shield is full.
5%/10%/15%
CapacityIncreases the Max Capacity
25%/50%/75%
DelayDecreases the Recharge Delay.
25%/40%/50%
FleetIncreased Movement Speed while the shield is depleted.
10%/17%/24%
Fortify ChargeWhen damaged, it has a chance to drop a Fortify Charge that provides some Damage Reduction.
15% chance, 10% Damage Reduction/20% chance, 15% Damage Reduction/25% chance, 25% Damage Reduction
HealthIncreases the Max Health
10%/25%/50%
Health ChargeWhen Damaged, it has a chance to drop a Health Charge that restores some of your health.
15% chance, 15% max health restored/20% chance, 25% max health restored/25% chance, 35% max health restored
NovaTriggers a Nova blast damaging nearby enemies when the shield breaks.
34658 Nova Damage/74268 Nova Damage/123780 Nova Damage
Power ChargeWhen damaged, it has a chance to drop a Power Charge that increases your weapon damage.
15% chance, +10% weapon damage/20% chance, +20% weapon damage/25% chance, +30% weapon damage
ProjectedCrouching projects your shield forward, gaining some Damage reduction.
20%/35%/50%
RechargeIncreases the Recharge Rate.
15%/30%/45%
ReflectAdds the chance to Reflect projectiles while shielded.
15%/30%/40%
ResistantAdds some (elemental) Resistance.
27% elemental resistance (32% if Shock)/38% elemental resistance (41% if Shock)/51% elemental resistance (53% if Shock)
RoidIncreased Melee Damage while the shield is depleted.
80%/180%/300%
SpikeReturns X-amount of damage if meleed while shielded.
9902 damage returned/19805 damage returned/39609 damage returned
Safe-SpaceDeals area-knockback on shield break.
Trigger HappyIncreased Fire Rate while the shield is depleted.
10%/17%/24%
TurtleIncreases the Capacity, While draining your Max Health.
40% capacity, -10% health/80% capacity, -20% health/120% capacity, -30% health
VagabondIncreases your Movement Speed while the Shield is full.
10%/17%/24%

Special Components

Quest Rewards and Legendary Shields have their own unique components and therefore have special hidden powers. Check out their respective guides on how they work.

Vault Hunter Tips

Amara has a lot of survivability with her “Sustainment” and “Mindfulness” Skills. Look for shield components that add to your play style.

FL4K is the Glass Cannon character, use weapons or shield components to keep you in the fight. Hyperion Shields will often do the trick.

Moze can really benefit from Absorb shields to keep her bottomless mag builds going. Turtle shields are beneficial for her “Shields of Retribution” Builds.

Zane can easily refill his health. Look for shield components that add to your play style. If you are using the Barrier, look for shields with a low recharge delay. Zane can benefit from more movement speed, therefore, Fleet could be useful.

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