The function of the energy shield has always been the same. It's sole purpose is to protect the person inside the suit. The energy shield has been a part of every iteration of the Spartan Armour, as well as the Covenant armour. In a sense, the Energy Shield is what makes Halo the game it is today. If the Energy shield didn't exist then the arcadey sense of the game would be obsolete and everyone would be vulnerable.
Every Halo has had energy shields. They are simple constructions that carry out a not-so-simple purpose. They are a protective layer that sits above your armour. It can absorb a certain amount of shock and energy before it gets overloaded, but because of the shield's design, all the bearer needs to do is take cover for a moment and the shield will recharge itself. A simple tool that has saved countless spartans, countless times.
Shields have different effective zones. Taking shots to the body will deal sufficient but not excessive amounts of damage. It will take three or four bursts of a Battle Rifle to the torso to take down a shield, but it will only take two or three to take down a shield and kill it's bearer if they are all headshots.
 Elite's Shields
The Elite's energy shield has one notable difference to the Spartan's. Low energy ammo, such as human bullets from the Assault Rifle will sometimes be deflected entirely instead of being absorbed as shock damage to the shield. This allows the Elite's shield to be somewhat more effective against human weapons than Human ones.
 Spartan Shields
The Spartan's shield however does have another trick up it's sleeve. If the Spartan's shield is full charged, Plasma Grenades or Spike Grenades will not stick to it, but will deflect entirely, leaving the bearer only liable for the splash damage of the grenade and nothing more.
- Some higher ranking Elite's shields will glow a bright purple as apposed to the standard white coloured glow that emits from the shields when they take damage.
- Elites that wield swords were originally meant to have a large diamond-shaped shield to hold in their other hand, similar to the Jackal's shield.
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