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 and/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. Link can use shields to Perfect Guard which allows him to counter attacks and deflect projectiles fired by Octoroks or Guardian laser beams by parrying them with precise timing. In fact, deflecting Guardian beams is one of the primary and effective way to damage Guardians, though it requires precise timing thus it is a good idea for Link to practice and master this skill early. Link can use shields to shield surf, by jumping while holding a shield, Link stands on the shield on the ground, he can surf over the grass, the sand or the snow. Shields have different speeds and control level characteristics for shield surfing. Link can shield surf over rocky terrain, though this reduces a shield's durability. If Link pulls out his Paraglider while shield surfing in the air, the shield will remain attached to his feet, allowing him to continue shield surfing once he lands, making it a useful way to get around without a Horse or Sand Seal, though may take a lot of practice to master and can put a strain on his shields durability depending on the surface he is shield surfing on and the type of shield he is using. Shield Surfing is a popular sport in Hyrule and Link can encounter several professional and semi-professional shield surfers during his travels.

In Gerudo Desert, the Gerudo have developed a form of transportation which involves tying a lead rope to a Sand Seal to pull them along while surfing on a shield, which serves as a replacement for horses which refuse to enter the desert, thus giving Link a way to travel through the desert quickly and does not effect his shield's durability at all. While equipped with any shield, Link can sneak up behind wild Sand Seals to tie a lead rope to them and have them pull him around or he stun one with Remote Bombs or Arrows to make the process easier, though wild Sand Seals will flee if Link detached his lead rope, forcing him to attach another lead rope. Alternatively while disguised as a Hylian Vai (woman), Link can rent Sand Seals from Gerudo Town which will not flee if he detaches his lead rope from the sand seal. However Sand Seals can only swim through sand, thus Link can not use them to travel over rocky terrain and must detach his lead rope from a sand seal to stop. Link must be equipped with a shield to travel via Sand Seal, or he will trip and fall if he tries get a Sand Seal to pull him without one. The Sand Seal Rental shops will give Link a shield if he has none in his inventory, though this increases the rental cost and they will not sell him a shield if he has at least one shield in his inventory. Sand Seal racing is also a popular sport among the Gerudo.

Like melee 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, though Breath of the Wild also introduces shields made with ancient Sheikah technology which employ shield-like energy barriers capable of reflecting Guardian based laser technology automatically without having to Perfect Guard. Like in past games, wooden shields burn when exposed to fire, though as they are non-metallic they do not attract lightning during thunderstorms. Additionally they will also burst into flame if exposed to volcanic temperatures, though Link can prevent this by unequipping and keeping wooden shields in his inventory while in volcanic areas. Like in Skyward Sword, any wooden shield can be used to collect arrows fired by enemies. Metal Shields will not burn like in past game, but attract lightning during thunderstorms and cannot be used to collect arrows. Like with weapons and bows, Link will drop his shield if hit by any form of electricity unless he is wearing armor that makes him Unshockable forcing him to pick them back up. Wearing the Level 2 or higher "Rubber" armor set with the Unshockable set bonus or Thunder Helm will make Link impervious to being shocked or taking damage from any form of electricity, thus allowing Link to use metallic shields and equipment without worrying about being killed by lightning strikes. Link can also use electric attacks (Urbosa's Fury or striking Yellow Chuchu Jelly) or weaponry (Shock Arrows or any electric elemental weapons) to force Bokoblins, Moblins, and Lizalfos to drop shields they are wielding.

During the "Hylian Homeowner" Side Quest, Link can purchase shield mounts for his house in Hateno Village from Bolson. Link can purchase up to three shield mounts which he can use to store up to three shields allowing him to hold onto valuable shields, put his favorite shields away for safe keeping, and/or if he wishes to free up space in his shield inventory. Any mounted shields will remain on display in Link's House until he removes them, though he can only remove a shield from its mount if their is an open space in his inventory. Shields found lying around in the environment will occasionally respawn in these locations if Link returns to the area later on, allowing Link to reacquire those shields if they break, lost, or discarded.

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 (which includes Link's default slots and all additional slots obtained from Hestu). 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, however if Link does not want to discard any of his shields, can always mark the chest on his map and return to it whenever his shield inventory has a free space. This also allows Link to save shields found in chests for when he really needs them, as shields found in chests do not respawn. In the inventory, Link can equip and unequip shields at will allowing him to store them in his inventory for safe keeping, though he will be unable to shield surf or guard when they are unequipped.

Link can only wield shields together with single handed melee weapons such as single-handed swords, single-handed boomerangs, rods, as well as improvised single handed weapons such as Torches, Tree Branches, Soup Ladles, and arm bones dropped by Stalkoblin and Stalizalfos. Link must sheath two-handed weapons and bows in order to guard. Two-handed weapons include Two-handed swords, Axes, Hammers, Polearms, Giant Boomerang, Korok Leaf, and arm bones dropped by Stalmoblin.

Bokoblins and other enemies may wield Bokoblin made Boko Shields, Spiked Boko Shields, or Dragonbone Boko Shields which are all wooden shields. Dragonbone Boko Shields are the strongest of the three while Boko Shields are the weakest. Link can use the flammable nature of these shields to destroy them, though prevents Link from acquiring them himself. However burning these shields can remove the enemy's ability to guard and removes said shield from play, preventing other enemies from picking it up and wielding it themselves. Additionally, Lizalfos and other enemies may wield Lizalfos made Lizal Shields, Reinforced Lizal Shields, and Steel Lizal Shields which are all metal shields. Steel Lizal Shields are the strongest of the three while Lizal Shields are the weakest. Lynels wield the Lynel made Lynel Shields, Mighty Lynel Shields, and Savage Lynel Shields which are all bladed metal shields capable of cutting when Link parries with his shield allowing them to be used offensively, defensively, and can even be used to cut grass. Bokoblins, Moblins, and Lizalfos may wield other shields made by non-monster races as well. If shield less and not wielding a two-handed weapon they will also pick up and wield any shield lying around including shields dropped by Link himself. Lynel made shields can only be picked up by other enemies in this manner, as only Lynel enemy archetypes actually spawn wield Lynel made shields. Shields wielded by enemies will respawn when slain enemies are revived by Ganon at midnight during a Blood Moon, thus allow Link to obtain replacements from the respawned enemies.

In addition to actual shields, Link and enemies can wield wooden Pot Lids as makeshift wooden shields, though they are weak both in terms of durability and base defense power due to their improvised nature. The Wooden Shield returns as a simple shield and is depicted as a round shield and features an eight pointed star design. The eponymous Wooden Shields are simple lightweight shields capable of withstanding light attacks. However there are several other wooden shields such as the Traveler's Shield, Emblazoned Shield, Fisherman's Shield, Hunter's Shield, Shield of the Mind's Eye, Kite Shield, and Forest Dweller's Shield. Additionally though the composition of the Soldier's Shield appears to be metallic, it has a flammable wooden core which causes it to be classified as a wooden shield as well. However wooden shields can still be used to Perfect Guard to reflect Guardian Beams (which are made of an unknown form of energy that is not a form of fire or electricity), however they will burn up if hit by Fire Arrows or the flaming rocks fired by Rock Octoroks encountered outside of volcanic areas such as Gerudo Highlands or certain parts of the Eldin Mountains.

Rusty Shields are shields that have weathered and rusted, reducing their strength and can be commonly found in ruins, battlefields, or watery areas. However Link can refresh them in better shields by dropping one near a Rock Octorok when it is sucking in air, causing it to swallow and chew the shield before spitting out a random refreshed shield. While the Rusty Shield is metal, the refreshed shield he receives can be a wooden or metallic shield. Link can even acquire strong rare shields by refreshing Rusty Shields. Other metal shields include the Silver Shield, Gerudo Shield, Radiant Shield, Knight's Shield, Royal Shield, and Royal Guard's Shield.

After completing the quest "Divine Beast Vah Naboris", Link can obtain the Daybreaker, a legendary shield once owned and wielded by the Gerudo Champion Urbosa along with her Scimitar of the Seven as part of her sword and shield fighting style. Like the Scimitar of the Seven, the Daybreaker can be reforged when it breaks making it the only reforgeable shield in the game. The Daybreaker is the second strongest shield in the game in terms of base durability, though its base defense is greater than the Knight's Shield, but lower than the Royal Shield, however its ability to be reforged makes up for this. However like the Gerudo made Gerudo Shield and Radiant Shield, the Daybreaker is metallic and will attract lightning, though Link can acquire the Thunder Helm in the "The Thunder Helm" side quest which becomes available shortly after obtaining the Daybreaker which Link can wear as head armor to make himself Unshockable and immune to lightning damage.

The Hylian Shield is the strongest shield in Breath of the Wild in terms of durability and defensive power, though is no longer unbreakable. The legendary Hylian Shield can be acquired from a Treasure Chest that appears are defeating the Stalnox inside Hyrule Castle Lockup as part of the "Test of the Royal Guard". If it ever breaks Link can purchase a replacement from the Rare Armor Shop in Tarrey Town which is opened by Granté after Link completes the Side Quest "From the Ground Up". It can withstand a total of 27 Guardian beam shots before breaking, which is a testament to its unmatched durability. However as it is a metal shield it will attract lightning during thunderstorms.

Knight's Shields, Royal Shields, and Royal Guard's Shields are all shields wielded or developed to be used by members of the Knights of Hyrule, with Royal Shields and Royal Guard's Shield being primarily used by Royal Knights that protected the Royal Family of Hyrule before the fall of Hyrule during the Great Calamity, while the Hylian Shields are shields passed down through the Royal Family of Hyrule which are implied to have been all been once wielded by previous incarnations of Link. Soldier's Shields are round shields with flammable wooden cores originally issued to Hyrulean Soldiers that once guarded Hyrule Castle before the Great Calamity. Royal Guard's Shields are Royal Shields created with ancient technology to fight the Calamity, but despite having higher defense they lack the Royal Shield's durability made them impractical and as a result can only be found in Hyrule Castle, however like the rest of the Royal Guard's Series equipment, Link can trade them to Parcy for gemstones at the Riverside Stable during or after the side quest "The Royal Guard's Gear". Kite Shields are lightweight shields create by the Rito to be used in aerial combat. The Shield of the Mind's Eye is a small wooden shield traditionally used by the Sheikah which features the Sheikah Eye symbol and a designed with unique shape intended to decrease blind spots without sacrificing too much defense.

While Zora tend to favor spears and tridents which cannot be wielded together with shields, there is a Zora made Silver Shield which is a rust proof metal shield, presumably intended to be wielded together with the Zora Sword. The Gerudo Shield is a small round ornate metal shield used by both Gerudo soldiers and civilians. The Radiant Shield is an even stronger and more ornate shield traditionally awarded to Gerudo soldiers who attain the rank of Captain. Forest Dweller's Shields are Korok made shields designed to be used by Hylians and is one of the strongest wooden shields in the game as it is even stronger than the Dragonbone Boko Shield in terms of base durability and base defense. Fisherman's Shields are light wooden shields used by fisherman in Lurelin Village and features a fish design that is said to represent the hope of a good catch, a symbol that is quite prominent in the seaside fishing village. The Emblazoned Shield is a round wooden shield with a traditional deer heed design from the Necluda province. The Hunter's Shield is a round wooden shield favored by hunters and Hylian women for it's rabbit design, which is said to bring good luck when hunting, though it should be noted that equipping this shield has no effect on materials drop by animals as its description is likely not meant to be taken seriously or literally. The Traveler's Shield is a round shield made of animal hide and study wood commonly used by travelers and features double serpent design. Pot Lids are wooden lids designed for large soup or cooking pots and smells vaguely of poultry broth, though are durable enough to be used as a makeshift shield and are often wielded by Hylian chefs in both cooking and for self-defense. Presumably due to their natural defensive abilities and toughness, Gorons apparently do not use shields as there are no Goron made shields in Breath of the Wild.

Additionally, Link can have the Ancient Oven Cherry forge a high-tech Ancient Shield after lighting the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab's Furnace with a Blue Flame during the side quest "Robbie's Research" (Link only has to restore power to Cherry and activate the Lab's Travel Gate during the side quest to access Cherry's Ancient Soldier Gear forging shop to be able to forge equipment). The Ancient Shield is equal to the Royal Guard's Shield in terms of base defensive power, though has far greater durability. Guardian Scouts wield Guardian Shields which like the Ancient Shield are high-tech shields made of ancient technology. Link can acquire their shields by defeating Guardian Scouts that wield them. In addition to the base Guardian Shield, their are also stronger more powerful + and ++ variants wielded by more advanced Guardian Scout models. Guardian Shield ++ is the strongest out of all the Guardian Shields, though even it is not as strong as the Ancient Shield which is superior in both durability and base defense. The Ancient Shield and all Guardian Shields have the unique ability to automatically deflect Guardian beams without a Perfect Guard making them ideal for combating Guardians. As Ancient Shields and all Guardian Shields are made of ancient technology, they are neither wooden or metallic, thus they will not burn and can be used regardless of weather or volcanic heat. The Ancient Shield is anti-Calamity Ancient Soldier Gear developed by the Sheikah Ancient technology and chief Guardian researcher, Doctor Robbie through study of the same ancient technology used by Guardians which presumably includes Guardian Shields which may explain why it is superior to the Guardian Shield++. For the price of 1,000 Rupees one can be forged by Cherry using fifteen Ancient Gears, five Ancient Springs, and a single Giant Ancient Core however Link must supply the ancient materials used to make it which can be obtained from defeated Guardians, by searching Guardian remains, certain treasure chests, or by purchasing them from the traveling merchant Teli. Ancient Gears can be also be purchased from the Tarrey Town Slippery Falcon branch. Link can forge as many Ancient Shields as he wants as long as he has the materials and Rupees to forge them and space in his Shield inventory.

Link can also obtain the Hero's Shield randomly from Treasure Chests spawned when the 30th Anniversary Toon Zelda amiibo is used with the amiibo Rune, though only after Link has freed at least one Divine Beast. This Hero's Shield is a special shield based on the Hero's Shield used by the Hero of Winds in The Wind Waker. If it breaks Link can obtain replacements by using the same amiibo again. It is the third strongest Shield in terms of base durability, and third strongest shield in terms of base defensive power (as the Ancient Shield & Royal Guard's Shield have the same base defense causing them to be tied for second strongest shield in terms of defensive power).

List of shields



Ancient Sheikah Technology

Enemy Only Shields/Materials