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A Ballistic Shield or Tactical Shield is a hand-held shield that is capable of defending the user from handguns, shotguns and submachine guns. Less common are heavier and thicker rifle-protection shields that are mounted on wheels for ease of mobility. Ballistic shields have been used by law enforcement and military throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
The Ballistic Shield is a Support gadget featured in the Battlefield 4: Dragon's Teeth expansion. It is unlocked upon the completion of the Vanguard assignment. It was added as a useable gadget in the Community Test Environment for early testing on June 7, 2014, as a part of the second initiative's focus on core gameplay.
When deployed, the shield is held with both hands and is capable of deflecting all incoming small-arms fire, up to the Scout Helicopter's 7.62mm Minigun. The player is only able to see through the small glass viewport and cannot look down completely or go prone. The player's lower legs will still be exposed while standing, so crouching is recommended to maximize personal protection. Aiming will pull zoom in slightly through the viewport and slow down the player, while crouching this will also expose the player's feet, so it is not recommended to aim with the Shield while actually deflecting incoming fire. The player is also vulnerable while sprinting, as the shield is held to the left during the sprint as opposed to directly in front.
The player cannot wield any weapons while holding the shield, making them unable to engage enemy players at range while it is being held. Instead, the player is able to perform a close-range shield bash which will take three hits to kill enemy infantry within a two meter range. The shield is lowered during the attack, however, leaving the player open to gunfire for the short duration. The knife may also be used normally while the shield is equipped by pressing the knife button.
While the player is almost completely defended from frontal attacks, they will still take damage normally from the sides and back. The glass viewport can also be penetrated and destroyed by heavier rounds from Sniper Rifles, the M82A3, the AMR-2, the Rorsch Mk-1, 12G Slug rounds, all revolvers, and any sort of explosive ordnance. The viewport will be visibly shattered if it is hit by any of these, and the player will take damage from attacks aimed at the viewport as a result. The shield is still vulnerable to tank shells, and the player will still die if directly hit by one.
Due to the fact that the player cannot safely retaliate with the Shield unless at very close range, the gadget is most effective when coordinating with other players and squadmates, providing them mobile cover for a push through enemy defenses. Multiple Supports carrying Shields can effectively defend several teammates, but are still highly vulnerable to explosives and high-caliber weapons.
Of note is the fact is that the player does not carry the shield on their player model when it is not in use, and subsequently does not protect the player in any direction when not equipped.
The Ballistic Shield is a gadget featured in Battlefield Hardline.
It functions in a similar manner to that of the Battlefield 4 variant though it features a few key differences. Unlike the other variant, it is much more resilient to explosives that have detonated in front of the shield. The Shield now awards points for blocking damage, providing more of an incentive for players to actively use it. When not in use, the shield will be held on the Enforcer's backside and will protect them from incoming fire accordingly. While the shield must be held with both hands, it can still be used to perform a bash attack on hostiles. It generally takes three hits to kill an enemy.
The shield is able to withstand all forms of incoming ammunition from firearms, as well as 40mm Grenades, C4, M67 Grenades, and most melee weapons. Player's sides and feet are exposed unless they are crouching, and even then, it is still possible to damage their feet while moving forward.
While able to withstand numerous types of ammunition from infantry weapons before being destroyed, it can also be destroyed by vehicle weapons such as the M2 Browning, as well as the RPG-7V2 and SMAW, and heavy hammers. It takes two RPG rockets, one SMAW rocket, or six hammer strikes to destroy the shield. If it is destroyed by a rocket, the explosion will also kill the player.
A Ballistic Shield coin is awarded upon deflecting 100 points of incoming damage.
- Originally, the Ballistic Shield was supposed to allow users to also wield handguns. This was later scrapped because of memory constraints caused by the previous-generation consoles (the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360).
- The Ballistic Shield is the only gadget that can have Paint applied, using the paint selected for the player's sidearm. The player's emblem is also displayed on the front of the shield. If no emblem is used, the flag of the player's faction is displayed.
- The player's emblem and the phrase "FOR MILITARY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT USE ONLY" are viewable in first-person when the shield is equipped.
- The printing of this phrase is borrowed from the Holographic Sight.
- Using the shield for five minutes will award the "Bulletproof. Sort Of..." Achievement/Trophy.
- Due to a bug, the viewport glass will occasionally shatter when the shield is equipped without taking any damage.
- A Ballistic Shield Coin originally counted 1 bullet as 1 point of damage, requiring a total of 100 bullets to be deflected in order to obtain a Ballistic Shield coin. Visceral later admitted that this was a bad design choice and changed it to allow bullets to count more points of damage in the 1.03 patch released in the Criminal Activity expansion.