"Normally mostly used for riot scenarios, these phalanx-like police are not to be taken lightly, because on an assault scene, these guys are one-man APC's offering protection to the big guns behind them. " —Bain's Description of the SWAT Shield variant. "Bigger, badder, better, the FBI shield unit isn't trained for riots; they're trained for combat. The shield is broader, the body armor is thicker and they carry a much more dangerous full-auto close-combat pistol. " —Bain's Description of the FBI Shield variant
The Shield is a special enemy unit in PAYDAY 2 that appears on any difficulty level. Shield units have two variations, the first being the SWAT Shields that appears on lower difficulties and are equipped with a Chimano 88 pistol. Their other counterpart, the FBI Shields. supersedes them on Very Hard difficulty and above, are equipped with CMP submachine guns.
"Shields are a proven asset amongst the SWAT teams, and their ceramic barriers have saved the lives of many officers. Capable of blocking any small-arms round at muzzle velocity, and even withstanding small explosives. Their wielders are well trained in closing down the enemy, offering protection to the hard-hitters following up behind.
My Notes: A great utility, but only if used correctly. These shields are a proven asset. Unfortunately, their great strength can also be their biggest weakness. It slows the wielder down and limits their vision. If one of the enemy can get behind them, they’re done. " —FBI Files Description.
The Shield wields a large, full-body riot shield that is impervious to all frontal assault from most firearms excluding Sniper Rifles, Explosive Ammo, and Slug Ammo. Shields also carry a sidearm.
The Shield is not any more powerful than the non-special law enforcement officer it is based on and is extremely vulnerable from the sides and the back.
Shields almost always deploy in teams, but they tend to separate quickly. Upon deployment, they attempt to first block off critical areas, such as doorways or narrow corridors, before rejoining with other police units. Their tall shields block a player's line of sight from other police, SWAT, and FBI teams, allowing law enforcers to rescue hostages. They tend to focus on one player at a time, and that player will have the shield pointed directly at them. Shields will also consistently attempt to run near walls or corners, where they have the advantage of being able to gun players down while making it frustratingly hard to try and flank them without the help of another player
to distract the Shield. The Shield poses an extreme threat to players while in enclosed spaces, although is less threatening out in the open where some quick maneuvering can be used to quickly dispatch them.
Another tactic of shields is to become mobile cover for other specials. Two or more shields will usually accompany either tasers or bulldozers to the location of the crew whilst forming a wall infront of them, effectively making the specials behind them bulletproof, which can be extremely disastrous if they're accompanying a bulldozer. Tasers will also attempt to electrocute players from behind shields, making them next-to-impossible to hit, most of the time.
It is worth noting that there are two variations of Shields: a SWAT Shield and an FBI Shield. They have the same health and head shot damage multiplier regardless of their apparent base unit type.
Compared to the SWAT Shield, the FBI Shield deals more damage thanks to his machine pistol and has a wider shield. The wider shield is especially notable, giving the enemy slightly more protection against attacks from the side angles. Should the shield decide to hold up in a corner, this can be extremely frustrating, as it becomes hard to attack the Shield's flank, which is covered by both their shield and the wall.
The FBI variant of the Shield has a knifing attack that they employ against the heisters in close quarters combat. This attack is similar in damage and animation to the standard knife hit of regular law enforcers and will leave the FBI Shield briefly exposed to attacks.
Like the Sniper. the Shield unit is completely silent, although law enforcers will warn their compatriots to make way for the shield. They will, however, bang loudly on their shields to announce their arrival on the site provided none of the player crew have seen them yet.
Shields are usually spawned into the play field via common enemy deployment zones such as armored trucks and rappel spots. There is an upper limit for how many Shields are allowed on the map at once, which scales to the chosen difficulty. Triggered spawns can exceed this limit (such as Watchdogs Day 1), and their spawns are added to the total Shield head count on the map. Also note that Shields can spawn in packs, and thus can exceed the limit, though no more will spawn till it's lowered beneath the limit again.