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This article is about the recurring item in the Legend of Zelda series. For the spell from The Adventure of Link, see Shield Spell.

Shield is the term given to a type of hand-held personal armor that Link can carry alongside his sword. It is commonly used to block enemy attacks and projectiles when simply dodging is not feasible. Link has wielded at least one kind of shield in every Zelda game to date, and it is one of the most recognizable and useful items in his inventory. In some games, such as the original, Link starts out with a relatively weak shield, while in others, such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, he must acquire his first shield from elsewhere. It is also possible to lose an acquired non-unique shield by being swallowed by a Like Like.

What the shield protects against generally depends on the relative size of the shield, and the material out of which it has been made. Small wooden shields protect Link against most direct physical blows, as well as minor projectiles such as spears, arrows, and small rocks. However, these shields typically cannot defend against fire-based attacks without catching fire and burning up. Metal shields are more sturdy, being fire-resistant and oftentimes larger. Additionally, Link can acquire a specialized Mirror Shield in many games, whose reflective surface reflects light and magical attacks.

When Link wields large weapons that require two hands, such as Biggoron's Sword, Great Fairy's Sword or any weapons that enemies drop in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, he cannot use the shield.

Notably, in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, one of Link's Hidden Skills is the Shield Attack. This allows him to bash foes with his shield to stun them temporarily, or to bounce enemy projectiles back at the assailant.

In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, shields can no longer be used indefinitely. After one sustains a certain amount of damage, which varies depending on the type of shield, it will break and Link will have to buy a new one. Link can repair any damage his shield sustains by bringing it to the Scrap Shop located in the Bazaar. The only shield that does not break is the Hylian Shield, which is acquired after defeating eight consecutive bosses in the Lightning Round.

In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, many shields can be found all over Hyrule lying near Campfires, Cooking Pots, in Treasure Chests, or dropped by certain Bokoblins, Moblins, Lizalfos, or Lynels. Some shields can also be found lying around enemy campsites, stables, settlements, ruins, or other areas, which can be picked up and wielded by certain enemies or by Link himself. Only a select number of shields can actually be purchased or forged. Unlike Armor, Link cannot sell Shields to shops or merchants, though one type of shield can be traded. Shields cannot be upgraded, though Link may be able to acquire stronger variants or find shields with special bonuses. Similar to Skyward Sword, Shields break after one sustains a certain amount of damage depending on the type of shield, however Link is unable to repair or restore a shield's durability. Some shields allow Link to inflict damage while parrying attacks with his shield.

Like weapons and bows, Link may find shields with special bonuses that increase their defense or durability beyond the shield's base stats. Like in past games, shields can be made of either wood or metal.Breath of the Wild also introduces shields made with ancient Sheikah technology that employ shield-like energy barriers capable of reflecting Guardian lasers without having to Perfect Guard. Like in past games, wooden shields burn when exposed to fire, though they do not attract lightning during thunderstorms. Additionally, they burst into flames if exposed to volcanic temperatures. Like in Skyward Sword, any wooden shield can be used to collect arrows fired by enemies. Metal Shields do not burn, but they attract lightning during thunderstorms and cannot be used to collect arrows. Like with weapons and bows, Link drops his shield if hit by any form of electricity. Link can also use electric attacks to force Bokoblins, Moblins, and Lizalfos to drop shields they are wielding.

Link's shields are stored in the "Shields" section of his inventory, which can be increased by trading Korok Seeds obtained from finding hidden Koroks to the large Korok Hestu after retrieving Hestu's Maracas during "The Priceless Maracas" side quest. Through Hestu's upgrades, Link can have a maximum total of 18 shield inventory slots. If Link acquires a Shield from a Treasure Chest when his shield inventory is full, he will put it back in the chest and must free up a space in his inventory to obtain it. In the inventory, Link can equip and unequip shields, allowing him to store them in his inventory.

Link can use shields to Perfect Guard which allows him to counter attacks and deflect projectiles. Link can use shields to shield surf by jumping while holding a shield. Shields have different speeds and control level characteristics for shield surfing. In the Gerudo Desert region of Hyrule, Link can use a shield to surf with a Sand Seal. When renting a Sand Seal, the rental shop can give Link a shield if he has none in his inventory, though this increases the rental cost.

During the "Hylian Homeowner" Side Quest, Link can purchase shield mounts for his house in Hateno Village from Bolson.

The Hylian Shield is the strongest shield in Breath of the Wild in terms of durability and defensive power, though it is no longer unbreakable.

List of shields

Wooden

Metallic

Ancient Sheikah

Enemy Only Shields

Non-canonical

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