Shields are typically equipped on the offhand slot. Pressing L1/LB causes the player character to guard him or herself from incoming damage. Shields absorb damage; although weapons can also absorb damage through blocking, they almost always feature much lower Stability and damage reduction. How much shields absorb are reflected by their statistics. Generally speaking shields are great at absorbing physical attacks, but poorer at absorbing Fire, Magic, and particularly Lightning damage. L2/LT generates a parry from light and medium shields, or a bash from heavy shields.
Shields may be used on the right hand slot as rather ineffectual weapons. There are effective exceptions, though.
- Small Shields
- Small Shields are the lightest shields, making them good for faster classes that do not want to be encumbered by heavy equipment. Small shields have poor damage reduction and stability, but most use the fast parry animation. Some small shields have unique parry animations with different hitframes. The in-game weapon type is listed as: Small Shield.
- Medium Shields
- Medium Shields usually have better stability and damage reduction than small shields, but at the price of increased weight. Medium Shields can also parry, some being faster than others. The in-game weapon type is listed as: Shield.
- Greatshields are different from their lighter cousins predominantly in that they trade the ability to parry for a shield bash. Shield bashes are good for stunning enemies and still partially block attacks, making them good against relentless hordes of enemies. However, their lack of parrying ability makes them a poor choice for PvP. Greatshields usually come with better defensive values and stability than small and medium shields, but at the cost of greater weight. The in-game weapon type is listed as: Greatshield.