Shields are a system that projects a protective barrier around your ship, which absorbs damage until it is removed. In detail:
- Lasers, flak, and asteroids will remove one layer of shields or damage the ship if shields are down. An ion blast will ionise the shield system if it hits a shield layer.
- Beams cannot reduce shield layers by hitting them, but can damage ships through shields if they are strong enough. For instance, the Glaive Beam does three damage to each room it hits, or two damage per room through one shield layer, or one damage per room though two shield layers.
- Having shields up reduces fires and hull/system damage due to solar flares.
- Missiles, bombs, teleporters, boarding drones, and the Artillery Beam ignore shields entirely. Cloaking and defense drones counter some of these.
Provided they are powered, shields regenerate quickly after being depleted. It takes 2 seconds for each of layers 1 and 2 to regenerate. The third shield layer regenerates slightly faster, and the fourth layer faster still.
Manning shields recharges them faster. Unskilled crew improve shield recharge by 10%, level 1 crew by 20%, and level 2 crew by 30%. A Shield Charge Booster improves recharge by 15%, and these stack additively with themselves and crew skill.
For example, with fully-skilled crew and 3 Shield Charge Boosters, the bonus is 30% + (3 * 15%) = 75%. In this case, the first two shield layers will take only 0.5 seconds each to regenerate.
Shield upgrade costsEdit
Every two points in shields provides one layer of shielding. Keep in mind that upgraded shields still need to be powered in order to provide increased protection.
Stealth Cruisers start without a shield system, and can buy one at a store for 125 scrap. This gives them level 2 shields (1 shield layer).
Some enemies can have level 9 or 10 shields (up to 5 shield layers).