Shields in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom are pieces of defensive Equipment that Link can actively use to defend against Enemies and Bosses. Shields have their own dedicated equipment slot and can be used while Link is empty-handed or wielding one-handed Weapons. Raising a shield blocks attacks from the direction Link is facing, preventing him from taking damage if the shield is durable enough. Much like Weapons, Shields have limited durability and will break upon continued use. Shields form Link's main defensive capability and are important tools for combat in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. This page covers all Shields obtainable in the game, their mechanics, properties, and other useful information.
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One of Link's newest skills in Tears of the Kingdom is the ability to magically fuse objects to his Weapons. With the Fuse ability, Link can take an object — almost any object — and combine it with his currently equipped weapon, be it a sword, spear, or a bow and arrow. Doing so not only increases the weapon's durability and damage, but can also impart various effects, or change the weapon's properties depending on the items used in the fusion process. Fusing a boulder to a bat, for example, creates a hammer that deals much more damage, while fusing a large piece of plywood or similar will result in a very large fan that releases strong gusts of wind with every swing.
This ability extends to Shields as well, giving Link a plethora of new ways to interact with enemies both offensively and defensively.
With the Fuse ability, Link can affix his shields with nearly anything he comes across. This can add effects to the shield when he blocks attacks. One such example is fusing a shield with a Puffshroom. While the concept of a mushroom shield seems almost too ridiculous for combat situations, it does have practical applications.
Blocking with this fused shield will result in a large explosion of spore clouds, causing enemies in the area to lose sight of Link, allowing for a safe getaway when things get too hairy, or the opportunity to stealthily dispatch groups of enemies while their vision is obscured.
This is only one facet of Shield Fusion, and experimenting with other materials may also modify Link's other shield-related abilities such as Perfect Guard and Shield Surfing.
How to Fuse Equipment
Once the Fuse ability is unlocked, it can be used at any time. There are two main ways to Fuse equipment:
The first method is fusing directly from the environment by activating the Fuse ability, selecting an object to attach and then pressing the button corresponding to the equipment you wish to fuse (ZL in the case of Shields).
The second method is fusing via the materials menu, allowing you to attach your collected materials such as monster parts to your equipment.
Nearly anything can be used as Fusion materials for your equipment. This includes rocks and boulders in the environment, leaves from a tree, fruit and vegetables, as well as Monster Parts. Items such as Chuchu Jelly can impart weapons with elemental properties, while Keese Eyeballs can grant arrows homing capabilities. The possibilities are endless!
Weapons can even be fused with other weapons! While spears have an inherently longer range than most melee weapons, try attaching a second spear or similarly long object to it and you will be able to keep enemies away and dispatch them at twice the distance! It is currently unknown if shields can be fused with other shields or weapons, but Fuse's incredible flexibility would suggest so.
Detaching Fused Items
Objects fused onto Weapons & Shields can be detached at any time by entering the equipment menu, selecting your fused weapon or shield and choosing Destroy Fused Material from the options menu. This will destroy the fused object, but will revert the weapon or shield to the state it was in prior to fusion. Only one object can be fused onto a weapon or shield at any one time, and undoing fusions is a useful feature to extend a piece of equipment's usability.
Fusion & Durability
One of the most divisive aspects of Breath of the Wild was the breakability of equipment, and while the Durability mechanic returns in Tears of the Kingdom, it has been heavily addressed with the Fuse ability.
One of Fuse's most important effects is its ability to extend Weapon & Shield durability. When you fuse an object to your equipment, it essentially creates a separate durability meter, allowing you to continue using the weapon or shield for longer. Note that this does not eliminate breakability completely, and your fused equipment will eventually still break with continued use.
However, the ability to detach fused items and fuse a new one onto the same piece of equipment before it breaks completely can theoretically allow you to keep using the same equipment for a much more extended duration, as long as you keep a healthy stock of fusion materials. This also helps tremendously with equipment hoarding and the limited amount of space Link has in his Weapon & Shield inventory, which is also a returning mechanic.
Shields have been a staple of Link's arsenal ever since the Zelda series' inception, forming the basis of his defensive capabilities. Shields were given more functionality in Breath of the Wild, allowing Link to approach combat and exploration in different ways. These features return in Tears of the Kingdom, with more possibly yet to be revealed.
Shields in Tears of the Kingdom typically come with a standard Shield Guard rating which is visible in the lower-right corner of the item's icon in the equipment menu. The Shield Guard property determines the amount of Durability Damage the shield takes, in relation to the damage dealt by a blocked attack.
Shields with a higher Shield Guard than an enemy's weapon or attack damage will greatly reduce the amount of damage the shield takes and vice versa, irrespective of the shield's Durability rating. In Breath of the Wild, some shields also came with randomized special modifiers such as Shield Guard Up, increasing their effectiveness both in and out of combat, depending on the effect. Some also had unique special effects, such as the Ancient Shield, which could deflect Guardian Beam attacks with a simple block. These modifiers and special effects are likely to return in Tears of the Kingdom.
Shields also have a Durability Property, which is an invisible stat that exists on all Weapons & Shields link has in his possession, causing his equipment to break with continued use. In the case of Shields, durability is reduced with each attack blocked, as well as when Shield Surfing on terrain other than snow or sand. Durability varies from shield to shield and while it can be hard to keep track of your shield's integrity, a pop-up appears when your currently equipped shield is about to break, allowing you to prepare for its inevitable breakage by finding and switching to other shields, or extending its life by fusing objects onto it. Equipment in pristine condition will also have a sparkle visible in the top-right corner of their icon in the equipment menu.
Blocking is the standard defensive ability afforded by Shields. Hold ZL with a shield equipped to raise Link's shield in front of him and block any attacks from the direction he is facing.
Note that the shield cannot be drawn if Link has both hands occupied, such as when wielding a two-handed weapon. Link can still raise his shield with a two-handed weapon equipped, as long as it is not currently unsheathed.
Perfect Guard is an advanced technique that utilizes shields to parry attacks. It can be performed by raising Link's shield with ZL and pressing the A button the exact moment an attack lands. This effectively deflects the attack and can stagger the opponent. Using shields with a high enough Shield Guard rating can even disarm an attacker. In the case of beam-type attacks, performing a perfect guard can reflect the beam at the source.
Perfect Guard also has the added utility of eliminating durability damage for the parried attack, preserving even the flimsiest of shields on the verge of breaking. It is a high risk, high reward ability that can be very useful when mastered.
Shield Surfing is an ability of Link's which allows him to ride his shield like a snowboard to quickly descend hills and slopes. It can be performed any time link is in the air by holding ZL and pressing the A button. Shield Surfing requires some downward momentum and will stop if Link slows down too much. While surfing, Link can aim and shoot his Bow, as well as perform a spin attack by pressing the Y Button.
While Link can surf down any terrain, his shield will take durability damage while doing so, except when surfing on snow or sand.
Zelda TotK All Shields Comparison Table
Quick Search of All Shields
|A shield passed down through the Hyrulean royal family, along with the legend of the hero who wielded it. Its defensive capabilities and durability outshine all other shields.||__locations__|
|The lid of a large soup pot. It smells vaguely of poultry broth.. Yum! It can take quite a beating before breaking.|
|An aged, worn-out wooden shield. It can withstand lighter attacks, such as arrows.|
|This lightweight, simple shield is ideal for less experienced fighters. It can withstand light attacks, but blocking stronger blows is not recommended.|
|This shield features a traditional design from Necluda. Its combat capabilities aren't much better than the standard wooden shield, but it found popularity for its design.|
|Favored by hunters for its rabbit design, which is said to bring luck on hunts. It's easy to use, but its durability leaves something to be desired.|
|Often carried by fishermen for its fish design, which represents hope for a great catch. Its light wooden construction makes it convenient to take onto a boat.|
|A sturdy shield loved by many an adventurer. It is made of animal hide and sturdy wood and is best suited to defending against weak monsters or animals.|
|A shield once used by the guards of Hyrule Castle. It's easy to handle, but its core is made of wood, so it can catch fire.|
|A shield favored by the knights who served the Hyrulean royal family. Its sturdy metal construction makes it quite durable, but its weight requires decent skill to wield.|
|A shield issued to the Hyrulean royal family's immediate guard detail. It boasts a high defense, but these days it's more a collector's item due to its ornamentation.|
|The Koroks made this shield specifically for Hylians. It's made from the finest hard wood of trees that grow only in Korok Forest, so it's sturdier than it looks.|
|A Zora-made shield adorned with intricate ornamentation. It's said that true masters of this shield can redirect attacks as a rock redirects rushing water.|
|Rito warriors cherish this shield. Its unique shape is designed with midbattle flight in mind to facilitate aerial combat.|
|The design of this metal shield has changed over time to match the Gerudo's sword-and-shield fighting style. It's favored by soldiers and travelers alike.|
|This extravagant shield is presented to Gerudo warriors who rise to the rank of captain. Its apparent opulence is rivaled only by its combat capabilities.|
|This shield was cherished by the Gerudo Champion Urbosa. The gold used to make it was handpicked to ensure a design that is both lightweight and durable.|
|A small Sheikah-made shield. Its design is intended to decrease blind spots without sacrificing too much defense.|
|A shield said to have been the favorite of a hero who traveled the open seas. It was apparently a family heirloom, passed down through many generations.||__locations__|
|It's likely this rusty old shield once belonged to a knight. It still has some defensive capabilities, but its usefulness has been worn down by time.|
|This shield was forged using ancient Sheikah technology. It boasts extremely high stopping power, but its structural weakness made its low durability impractical for combat.||__locations__|
|A Bokoblin-made shield created by attaching a handhold to any flat tree bark picked up off the ground. It's pretty shoddy, so don't expect it to last very long.|
|A Boko shield made of slightly stronger wood and reinforced with animal bones.|
|This Boko shield is reinforced with fossilized bone. Its defensive capabilities are respectable, but its predictably slipshod craftsmanship spells low durability.|
|A common shield found among the Lizalfos. It's made of metal but it's sloppy craftsmanship offers poor durability.|
|This Lizal shield has been strengthened by adding a different type of metal to the mix. The edge is lined with spikes, so handle with care.|
|This Lizal shield is adorned with several metal shells as a means of reinforcement. Its defensive capabilities are high, but its weight requires a skilled soldier to bear.|
|A shield used by Zonai and made of zonaite. It lowers the energy consumption of an attached Zonai device.|
|A shield used by Zonai and made of zonaite. It is moderately durable and lowers the energy consumption of any attached Zonai device.|
|A shield used by Zonai and made of zonaite. It is very durable and draws on its stored energy to more efficiently use an attached Zonai device.||__locations__|
|A study shield favored by Lynels for its defensive and offensive capabilities. First and foremost a shield, but the bladed edges can deal slashing attacks when deflecting.|
|This Lynel-made shield has been reinforced with armor and even more blades. Stronger in both defense and offense, it can tear through basic armor when deflecting.|
|This ultimate Lynel shield is favored by the White-Maned Lynels. It excels at defending against even the most brutal of attacks and cutting down powerful foes when deflecting.|
Zelda TotK All Shields Gallery