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 out of 3 main attributes:

  • Capacity
    • Displays the number of hit points the shield can endure before it breaks.
  • Recharge Delay
    • The time you need to wait before your shield starts recharging when it’s been damaged or broken.
  • Recharge Rate
    • The 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.

  • Common shields have 0 parts
  • Uncommon shields have 1 part
  • Unique shields have 2 parts
  • Rare shields have 3 parts.
  • Legendary shields have unique parts that give the shield special effects.

Shield Components List

  • Absorb
    • Adds the chance to absorb bullets as ammo.
  • Adaptive
    • Increased Health and (elemental) resistance to the last damage type received for a few seconds.
  • Adrenaline
    • Increased Reload Speed while the shield is depleted.
  • Amp
    • When the shield is full, Shots will drain a portion of your Shield’s hit points to deal bonus Weapon Damage.
  • Booster
    • When damaged, it has a chance to drop a Booster that restores a portion of your shield.
  • Brimming
    • Increases the Max Health per second while the shield is full.
  • Capacity
    • Increases the Max Capacity
  • Delay
    • Decreases the Recharge Delay.
  • Fleet
    • Increased Movement Speed while the shield is depleted.
  • Fortify Charge
    • When damaged, it has a chance to drop a Fortify Charge that provides some Damage Reduction.
  • Health
    • Increases the Max Health
  • Health Charge
    • When Damaged, it has a chance to drop a Health Charge that restores some of your health.
  • Nova
    • Triggers a Nova blast damaging nearby enemies when the shield breaks.
  • Power Charge
    • When damaged, it has a chance to drop a Power Charge that increases your weapon damage.
  • Projected
    • Crouching projects your shield forward, gaining some Damage reduction.
  • Recharge
    • Increases the Recharge Rate.
  • Reflect
    • Adds the chance to Reflect projectiles while shielded.
  • Resistant
    • Adds some (elemental) Resistance.
  • Roid
    • Increased Melee Damage while the shield is depleted.
  • Spike
    • Returns X-amount of damage if meleed while shielded.
  • Safe-Space
    • Deals area-knockback on shield break.
  • Trigger Happy
    • Increased Fire Rate while the shield is depleted.
  • Turtle
    • Increases the Capacity, While draining your Max Health.
  • Vagabond
    • Increases your Movement Speed while the Shield is full.

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.


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