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Guide: Shields

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A starship's shields are an integral part of any vessel, however unlike the hull where statistics like hull strength and repair rate are known, the shield array is a modular component so the shield capacity and regeneration rate are dependent on the type of shield that is installed, among other factors. A vessel's exact shield statistics are non-trivial to determine, but there are some simple rules to help a player calculate their value.

Each shield array has three primary statistics; capacity, regeneration rate, and absorption. This guide describes the effects of each and how they are calculated.

This guide is intended first to demystify the way shields work, and second to help guide players in choosing the most appropriate shield array for their playing style.

Note that this guide does not cover Personal Shields, though they are likely to follow similar rules.

Capacity[edit | edit source]

The capacity or strength of a ship's shield determines how much damage it can take before it fails. If a player's overall style requires them to withstand sustained fire then a high shield capacity is desirable.

A shield array has a basic capacity that a player can see on the item itself in the game's UI. This value is based on the statistics of the shield array itself and the ship that the player currently has set as their default. While on the ground the player's ship will show this same value in the ship Stats tab under the 'Defense' heading. Once in space though, other factors are taken into account such as consoles and player skills. This is the effective capacity while in space, and the ship statistics UI will reflect this.

Note that the numbers and formulae in this section are based on experimentation and are not confirmed by Cryptic.

Basic Capacity[edit | edit source]

The formula to calculate a shield array's capacity is as follows:

Capacity = 2,500 × S × A × M × (T + K)

Where:

  • S is ship shield modifier
  • A is the shield array type bonus
  • M is the modifier bonus, +10% for each [Cap]
  • T is the ship tier bonus; see the below table
  • K is the 5% the Mark number or, if the item scales with player, this modifier is 1% of the player's level
Mark Bonus
Mark K
Mark 1 5%
Mark 2 10%
Mark 3 15%
Mark 4 20%
Mark 5 25%
Mark 6 30%
Mark 7 35%
Mark 8 40%
Mark 9 45%
Mark 10 50%
Mark 11 55%
Mark 12 60%
Mark 13 70%
Mark 14 100%
Standard Ship Shield Modifiers
Ship Type S
Shuttle 50%
Bird-of-Prey 80%
Raptor 83.3%
Escort 90%
Cruiser 100%
Science Vessel 130%
Tier bonus
Ship Tier T
Tier 1 100%
Tier 2 114%
Tier 3 129%
Tier 4 144%
Tier 5 159%
Tier 6 159%

For any shield array that has a Mark number, the mark or level modifier K is equal to the mark multiplied by 5%. For instance a Shield Array Mk V will receive a bonus of 25%. Mark 13 and 14 shields don't follow this rule. Mark 13 shields have a modifier of 70% and Mark 14 shields have a modifier of 100%.

Shield arrays that level with the player, such as the Aegis Covariant Shield Array or Borg Assimilated Regenerative Shield Array, the modifier K is determined by the player's level multiplied by 1%. For instance a Lieutenant Commander grade 7 gets a bonus of 17%, where as a Vice Admiral grade 1 receives a 51% bonus.

Reputation shields like the Iconian Resistance Resilient Shield Array can come with hidden [Cap] modifiers.

Effective Capacity[edit | edit source]

Once out in space, the capacity of the shield array itself will read the same. The actual capacity though, shown in the ship statistics window, is modified by Starfleet Training skills and console upgrades.

The Skill: Shield Capacity applies to all types of vessel, and gives a bonus .3% shield capacity per point. In addition there are various sources of +X% Maximum Shield Capacity in the game including consoles, T6 ship mastery, the Strategist captain specialization etc. This results in the following equation for effective capacity.

Effective Capacity = C * (1 + (K * .3%) +  B))

Where:

  • C = Basic Capacity
  • K = Skill: Shield Capacity skill Points
  • B = Sum of all + % Maximum Shield Capacity sources used

Players should note that shield capacity is unaffected by power levels.

Examples[edit | edit source]

To illustrate the formulae above, there follow some examples based on typical configurations. This also serves to demonstrate that the formulae do actually reflect the real in-game values, albeit approximately. The screenshots in each example below show two values for shield capacity. The value shown in the box on the right is the basic capacity, and the value under the Defense tab is the effective capacity.

Tier 1 Light Cruiser with Shield Array Standard Issue[edit | edit source]

Actual in-game values
  • S = 100% (Cruiser)
  • A = 100% (Shield Array)
  • M = 100% (No modifiers)
  • T = 100% (Tier 1)
  • K = 0 (Standard Issue is effectively Mk 0)
  • B = 0 (No +X% Shield Capacity)

Clearly, the result is:

Capacity = 2,500 × 1.00 × 1.00 × 1.00 × (1.00 + 0)
         = 2,500

Lets say this ship's captain has two ranks in Skill: Shield Capacity, giving a bonus of 85 points.

Effective = 2,500 × (1 + 0.003 × 85 + 0)
          = 2,500 × 1.255
          = 3,137.5
          = 3,137

We can see that the ship gained a 25.5% bonus to its effective shield capacity. Now lets try something more complex...

Tier 4 Tactical Escort Retrofit with a Covariant Shield Array Mk III[edit | edit source]

Actual in-game values
  • S = 90% (Escort)
  • A = 110% (Covariant Shield Array)
  • M = 100% (No modifiers)
  • T = 144% (Tier 4)
  • K = 15% (+5% × Mk 3)
  • B = 0 (No +X% Shield Capacity)

The overall capacity for this shield array will be:

Capacity = 2,500 × 0.90 × 1.1 × 1.00 × (1.44 + 0.15)
         = 2,500 × .99 × (1.59)
         = 2,500 × 1.5741
         = 3,935.25
         = 3,935

The captain of this vessel has 1 rank of Skill: Shield Capacity which gives 50 points, 10 points from the selection of Maximum Shield Capacity in the science skill tree and 10 points from his epic quality deflector array for a total of 70 point of Skill: Shield Capacity.

Effective = 3,935 × (1 + 0.003 × 70 + 0)
          = 3,935 × 1.21
          = 4,761.35
          = 4,761

Tier 6 Temporal Multi-Mission Science Vessel with an Iconian Resistance Resilient Shield Array Mk XIV [Cp/Rg][Reg][edit | edit source]

Actual in-game values
  • S = 147.5% - T6 ships often have additional shield modifier. See their wiki entry for the shield modifier
  • A = 95% (Resilient Shield Array)
  • M = 130% (+10% [Cap] × 3) - This shield has two hidden [Cap] modifiers plus one for being Epic
  • T = 159% (Tier 6)
  • K = 100% (Mark 14)
  • B = 20% (No +X% Shield Capacity)

The overall shield capacity for this vessel will be:

Capacity = 2,500 × 1.475 × .95 × 1.30 × (1.59 + 1)
         = 2,500 × 1.821625 × (2.59)
         = 2,500 × 4.71800875
         = 11,795.021875
         = 11,795

This time the captain has a typical set of captain skills which modify the statistics of their chosen ship type:

Effective = 11,795 × (1 + 0.003 × (100 + 10 + 10) + .1 + .1)
          = 11,795 × 1.56
          = 18,400.234125
          = 18,400

Regeneration[edit | edit source]

Basic Regeneration[edit | edit source]

The formula to calculate a shield array's tool tip regeneration is as follows:

Regeneration every 6 seconds = 125 x A x S × M × (T + K)

Where:

  • A is the shield array type bonus; see the below table
  • S is ship shield modifier
  • M is 100% plus the sum of all bonus +X% Shield Regeneration sources, +10% for each [Reg] modifier
  • T is the ship tier bonus; see the below table
  • K is the 5% the Mark number or, if the item scales with player, this modifier is 1% of the player's level
Mark Bonus
Mark K
Mark 1 5%
Mark 2 10%
Mark 3 15%
Mark 4 20%
Mark 5 25%
Mark 6 30%
Mark 7 35%
Mark 8 40%
Mark 9 45%
Mark 10 50%
Mark 11 55%
Mark 12 60%
Mark 13 70%
Mark 14 100%
Standard Ship Shield Modifiers
Ship Type S
Shuttle 50%
Bird-of-Prey 80%
Raptor 83.3%
Escort 90%
Cruiser 100%
Science Vessel 130%
Tier bonus
Ship Tier T
Tier 1 100%
Tier 2 114%
Tier 3 129%
Tier 4 144%
Tier 5 159%
Tier 6 159%

For any shield array that has a Mark number, the mark or level modifier K is equal to the mark multiplied by 5%. For instance a Shield Array Mk V will receive a bonus of 25%. Mark 13 and 14 shields don't follow this rule. Mark 13 shields have a modifier of 70% and Mark 14 shields have a modifier of 100%.

Shield arrays that level with the player, such as the Aegis Covariant Shield Array or Borg Assimilated Regenerative Shield Array, the modifier K is determined by the player's level multiplied by 1%. For instance a Lieutenant Commander grade 7 gets a bonus of 17%, where as a Vice Admiral grade 1 receives a 51% bonus.

Reputation shields like the Iconian Resistance Resilient Shield Array can come with hidden [Reg] modifiers.

Effective Regeneration[edit | edit source]

The formula the calculate a ship's effective shield regeneration is as follows:

Regeneration every 6 seconds = S × M × (T + K) x (125 x A x P + 2500 * R)

Where (in addition to the definitions from the Basic Regeneration calculation):

  • P is the shield power bonus which can be calculated as 1+(Power-50)*2%
  • R is the % increase for the Skill: Shield Regeneration which is .1% times the number of skill points

Note that when using this formula and comparing to the in-game result you must either calculate your actual shield power level, or remove all soruces of fractional shield power level like Warp Cores, the Efficient trait, and Warp Core Efficiency.

Shield Resistance[edit | edit source]

Shield resistance is modified by a number of things. Some shields have innate resistances, and some abilities, including Transfer Shield Strength, Extend Shields, Rotate Shield Frequency, Emergency Power to Shields, and others, increase shield resistance. Shield resistance is affected by Shield power level per the formula shield power * .2% = damage resistance. Shield resistance is also affected by Skill: Shield Hardness per the formula Shield Hardness points * .2% = damage resistance.

The shield damage resistance values are multiplicative. They are scalers that multiply against the incoming damage.

For example, an ability that grants a 25% shield damage resistance is actually multiplying the damage by .75. On its own, this will result in a 25% damage reduction.

When more than one shield damage resistance ability is being applied, the scalers are multiplied. Two abilities that grant a listed 25% shield damage resistance would actually look like this:

.75 * .75 = .5625 * incoming damage (or an approx. 44% damage resistance).

There is a maximum of 75% damage resistance. In other words, the final multiplier to incoming damage can't be less than 25%.

Absorption[edit | edit source]

By default, shields have 10% bleed-through and 0% absorption. Resilient shields are an exception, having 5% bleed-through and 5% absorption.

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Regenerative Shield Array bonus was 85% before Season 4, but is now 90%
  2. Covariant Shield Array bonus was 125% before Season 4, but is now 110%
  3. Paratrinic Shield Array bonus was 162.5% before Season 4, but is now 143%