|Enemy Type||Riot Control Unit|
|Health|| 80 (Normal)|
160 (Very Hard)
480 (Mayhem/Death Wish)
720 (One Down)
|Headshot Multiplier|| 2 (Normal)|
4 (Very Hard)
3 (Mayhem/Death Wish)
3 (One Down)
|Spawn Limit|| 2 (Normal)|
4 (Very Hard)
8 (Mayhem/Death Wish)
8 (One Down)
Shields are a proven asset amongst the SWAT teams, and their ceramic barriers have saved the lives of many officers. Capable of blocking any small-arms round at muzzle velocity, and even withstanding small explosives. Their wielders are well trained in closing down the enemy, offering protection to the hard-hitters following up behind.
The Shield is a special enemy unit in PAYDAY 2 that appears on any difficulty level. Shield units have three variations, the first being the SWAT Shield that appears on lower difficulties and are equipped with a Chimano 88 pistol. Their other counterpart, the FBI Shield, supersedes them on Very Hard difficulty and above, are equipped with CMP submachine guns. The third variant is the Russian Shield, which only appears on Boiling Point, using the Heather Submachine Gun (but strangely uses the Chimano 88 on Normal and Hard). Their shields seem to be more flexible than their American counterparts.
- "Normally mostly used for riot scenarios, these phalanx-like police are not to be taken lightly, because on an assault scene, these guys are one-man APC's offering protection to the big guns behind them."
- —FBI Files Description.
- "Bigger, badder, better, the FBI shield unit isn't trained for riots; they're trained for combat. The shield is broader, the body armor is thicker and they carry a much more dangerous full-auto close-combat pistol."
- —FBI Files Description.
A new Russian variant of the Shield was released as a type of map-specific enemy in the Boiling Point heist. They wield what seems to be lightweight padded panels that acts the same way as a common riot shield, and are armed with Heather Submachine Guns.
Russian Shields behave the same way as their American counterparts.
The Zeal-force Shield is the Department of Homeland Security's answer to the DCPD and FBI's own riot units, sporting slightly different armament.
These units only appear on the new One Down difficulty setting alongside other Zeal-force combatants.
- "A great utility, but only if used correctly. These shields are a proven asset. Unfortunately, their great strength can also be their biggest weakness. It slows the wielder down and limits their vision. If one of the enemy can get behind them, they’re done."
- —Commissioner Garrett's notes on the Shield unit's weakness.
The Shield wields a large, full-body riot shield that is impervious to all frontal assault from most firearms excluding Sniper Rifles, Explosive Ammo, and Slug Ammo. Shields also carry a sidearm.
The Shield is not any more powerful than the non-special law enforcement officer it is based on and is extremely vulnerable from the sides and the back.
Shields almost always deploy in teams, but they tend to separate quickly. Upon deployment, they attempt to first block off critical areas, such as doorways or narrow corridors, before rejoining with other police units. Their tall shields block a player's line of sight from other police, SWAT, and FBI teams, allowing law enforcers to rescue hostages. They tend to focus on one player at a time, and that player will have the shield pointed directly at them. Shields will also consistently attempt to run near walls or corners, where they have the advantage of being able to gun players down while making it frustratingly hard to try and flank them without the help of another player to distract the Shield. The Shield poses an extreme threat to players while in enclosed spaces, although is less threatening out in the open where some quick maneuvering can be used to quickly dispatch them.
Another tactic of shields is to become mobile cover for other specials. Two or more shields will usually accompany either tasers or bulldozers to the location of the crew whilst forming a wall infront of them, effectively making the specials behind them bulletproof, which can be extremely disastrous if they're accompanying a bulldozer. Tasers will also attempt to electrocute players from behind shields, making them next-to-impossible to hit, most of the time.
It is worth noting that there are two variations of Shields: a SWAT Shield and an FBI Shield. They have the same health and head shot damage multiplier regardless of their apparent base unit type.
Compared to the SWAT Shield, the FBI Shield deals more damage thanks to his machine pistol and has a wider shield. The wider shield is especially notable, giving the enemy slightly more protection against attacks from the side angles. Should the shield decide to hold up in a corner, this can be extremely frustrating, as it becomes hard to attack the Shield's flank, which is covered by both their shield and the wall.
The FBI variant of the Shield has a knifing attack that they employ against the heisters in close quarters combat. This attack is similar in damage and animation to the standard knife hit of regular law enforcers and will leave the FBI Shield briefly exposed to attacks.
Like the Sniper, the Shield unit is completely silent, although law enforcers will warn their compatriots to make way for the shield. They will, however, bang loudly on their shields to announce their arrival on the site provided none of the player crew have seen them yet.
Shields are usually spawned into the play field via common enemy deployment zones such as armored trucks and rappel spots. There is an upper limit for how many Shields are allowed on the map at once, which scales to the chosen difficulty. Triggered spawns can exceed this limit (such as Watchdogs Day 1), and their spawns are added to the total Shield head count on the map. Also note that Shields can spawn in packs, and thus can exceed the limit, though no more will spawn until it is lowered beneath the limit again.
Shields will sometimes announce their presence by banging on their shield a few times, which can let you hear them through walls or alert you if they're sneaking up behind you. Shields usually focus on a single player, even if there are multiple crew members around. By working as a team, players can easily terminate Shields; one player draws the Shield toward them either with gunfire or by shouting at him, while a second, third and/or fourth player attacks from a flank or from the rear. As long as two players are at angles of greater than 90 degrees from a Shield enemy, at least one of the players will be able to hit him directly; once flanked, their actual durability is fairly low, comparable with normal SWAT enemies.
It is worth noting that Shields tend to defend a particular spot before a brief shuffle. If the player takes advantage of this and flanks them, they can be defeated easily. Oftentimes though, it is better to ignore the Shield altogether, unless under direct attack from it. The Shield tends to get "bored" after a while and heads for another player or location, exposing their vulnerable sides and back.
Trip mines are very effective at taking down Shields. FBI Shields walking through trip mines backwards will be protected from the blast however. If the player Aced the Iron Man skill from the Enforcer tree, the player can melee the Shield to break the Shield's defense, which will cause him to stumble backward with his shield knocked to the side, thus making the Shield vulnerable to frontal assaults for a few seconds. Also, well-placed Grenades can kill Shields outright. At the very least, grenades will cause a Shield to stumble and lower his shield, which deals roughly 80% damage to their health. After he recovers, he will sometimes turn to look in the direction of the grenade. This can give players an opportunity to finish Shields off, had they not done so during the shield's stumble.
Sentry guns can prove a valiant distraction as well as means of eradicating shields without having to engage in combat and/or fire your weapon. Shields are usually the biggest rival of a sentry, as the shield is completely resistant to the modified Compact-5's bullets, and shields will generally stand in front of the sentry, soaking up bullets until the sentry gun is destroyed or runs out of ammunition. While a shield is distracted by the sentry, you can usually sneak up and quickly eliminate it, or, if you for any reason miss, getting the shield's attention and forcing him to turn around will provide a well-stocked sentry the opportunity to shred the shield's unprotected areas such as it's back or side.
The Shields will put their shield aside while undergoing certain actions (e.g. climbing walls/fences), which serves as a great opportunity to take them out. This can also work as a disadvantage however, as some of these actions (such as climbing) will cause the law enforcer to place the shield on his back. This can make him very hard to hit if he is climbing up a large wall or fence like the ones surrounding the meth lab on Day 1 of Rats, as he effectively traps himself between the wall and the shield.
If left with no other option, and you are facing a Shield alone, you can sprint and circle around him for a bit. The Shield will eventually be unable to catch up to point his shield at you, giving you a small window of opportunity to eliminate him.
If you're having a hard time getting into a position to shoot a Shield's back (he might be backed into a corner, for example) then jumping close to him and looking down can sometimes create enough of an angle with which to get a quick headshot. Note that this is much easier to do if they're distracted/not focusing their fire on you. If you are their current target then they'll will often turn upwards to face you in mid-air, causing their shields to become horizontal and acting as a small platform and possibly preventing you from landing immediately. Although you might be extremely vulnerable in this position and unable to return fire (the Shield will still be able to shoot you though) as their shield's have now been raised above their heads their bodies become much more exposed, allowing a clear shot for any nearby teammates.
Another viable tactic, though risky, involves a player running up to the Shield to trigger his knife melee attack and then quickly backstepping. If timed correctly, the Shield will miss and be left vulnerable for the entire duration of the attack (approximately 0.9 to 1.2 seconds) during which gunfire can be used to tear at their health. This has so far only been confirmed when used against the FBI variant, the normal SWAT variants does not seem to employ the knife attack.
The basic version of the Counter-Strike skill from the Fugitive tree will also counter-attack the shield's melee attacks, causing them to briefly stagger with the same effect as if someone had melee'd them with the Aced Iron Man perk.
Shields who are reloading their pistols or CMPs will slightly lower their shield, briefly exposing a part of their head and right arm.
As of Update #27 and the release of the Gage Sniper Pack, Shield units can be killed by shooting through their shields with any sniper rifle. Doing so with the R93 will even unlock an achievement and weapon modifications. Shotgun AP Slugs can also penetrate shields. Note, however, that any shield-penetrating attack will have its damage reduced to approximately 25% of its normal value. This means headshots are essential, and slug rounds are a very ineffective option unless using perk/skill combinations to boost damage as high as possible.
The GL40, HRL-7, or Piglet can also be used; either by shooting near the Shield's feet, or by striking the shield itself with a grenade. In either case, the Shield should be killed instantly. If the shot is slightly too far away, the Shield should still be stunned and/or staggered by the blast, leaving them vulnerable to followup attacks.
If the player aced the Skill Shock and Awe, the player can stumble shields by just firing directly at their shields, Giving you or other players the chance to shoot at him, a fast weapon like the Locomotive 12G or any rapid-firing weapon is recommended, it's advised for the player rapid-fire at them, because it takes a couple of shots to stun them. You can also use a melee weapon to continuously stun them. Players should only do this if you are alone with the shield or the player just don't have time to reload. Also, doing this to a shield with a crowd of enemies around you is not recommended, because it leaves you open to enemy fire.
A relatively obscure-but-highly efficient anti-Shield tactic is to face away from the unit entirely, and then move backwards past the unit. As the Shield AI was specifically scripted to always try to face the front of a player within its line of sight (so as to be more effective at blocking damage), if one were to turn around and start walking backwards towards the unit, the Shield will be confused as he is not in the correct position to block and won't know where to face, and the player can easily get behind him.
Captain Winters commands a band of specialized Shield officers, The GenSec Elite Shields, which bears heavier and more well-protected plates compared to the previous two what can bounce away explosive projectiles fired at them.
A simple and surefire way to deal with a shield is to set them on fire using incendiary weaponry or a shotgun with the Dragon Breath ammo mod, as they can be set on fire, even from the front.
Even after the Shield officer is killed the shield will still stop bullets; depending on where and how it falls due to physics (and those physics often not being fully synched between players) this can be a blessing or a curse, as the shield stops all bullets from passing, not just those of players. A well-positioned shield at the top of the stairs on Rats Day 1, for instance, can allow a player to fire down at enemies advancing up the stairs whilst being immune to almost all return fire. In contrast, if it were at the bottom of the stairs or only half way up them, it would offer the advancing law enforcers more protection from the player, and offer the player almost no cover in return.
Dropped shields will eventually despawn, but this could take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes depending on client ragdoll limits and enemy counts.
- FBI Shield officers wear the same heavy welding mask-style ballistic helmets as Maximum Force Responders, but wear the same uniform as the Heavy Response Units.
- Despite the description Bain provides of the FBI Shield, they do not possess higher-grade armor than the SWAT Shield and have the exact same health values.
- The description of the knives on the Gage Weapon Pack 02 announcement page mentions that the players can "repeatedly stab a Shield in the neck" for a "satisfying" takedown. Despite this, doing just so in-game can quickly spell doom for the player, especially when faced with the FBI variant that can and will use their own knives against anyone with this bright idea.
- A modified FBI Shield with the words "Suck It!" spray painted on is featured on the back of the Halloween-exclusive Headless Titandozer from Hell. Like an ordinary shield, it provides near-complete protection from bullets fired at the Titandozer's rear, though also like an ordinary shield it can be pierced by sniper fire.
- The shield will continue shooting at the player even after they're unable to use their gun when downed.
- A shield walking into a downed player will move the player in the direction he is walking, which may severely complicate rescue from other players by taking a downed teammate across the map, or help them by pushing a downed teammate towards other players.
- The SWAT shield officers seem to be the only special unit to actively spawn on Normal difficulty alongside the Sniper.
- On the Death Wish poster, what seems to be a GenSec Elite SWAT team member replaces the FBI officer as the shield bearer, though the in-game model remains the same. With the release of Update 109, Shield officers will now be wearing GenSec Elite uniforms on Mayhem and Death Wish.
- The Shield's 2014 April Fools joke variant, the "GenSec Mirror Shield", are allegedly capable of reflecting bullets and melee hits back at the players. They also wore what seems to be a slightly altered version of the GenSec Elite uniform, which fits the general theme of the announcement.
- The shield-banging noise they make is also different from the usual unit, consisting of dull bumps instead of metallic clangs.
- In Rats, FBI shields have flashlights on their weapons on Day 1. This is unique since they have no flashlights on their weapons on any other heist that plays at night.
| Fool Me Once, Shame on -Shame on You. Fool Me - You Can't Get Fooled Again|
While wearing the "43rd" mask, kill 95 Shields using the Swedish K submachine gun.
| Maximum Penetration|
Kill 10 Shields by shooting through their shields using only the R93 sniper rifle. Completing this achievement will unlock the Short Barrel for the R93 sniper rifle.
| Knock, Knock|
Kill 50 Shields using any shotgun and slug ammo. Unlocks the Collapsed Stock for the M1014 shotgun.
| Police Brutality|
Beat a Shield to death using the Telescopic Baton.
| Their Armor Is Thick and Their Shields Broad|
Kill 10 shields with a Gage Chivalry Pack melee weapon in a single heist. Unlocks the "Agatha Vanguard Veteran" mask, "Chain Armor" material and "Medieval" pattern.