Kig-Yar point defense gauntlet

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A deactivated point defense gauntlet being carried by a Jackal in Halo 3.

Point defense gauntlets,[1] also known as Jackal shield units,[2] or an energy pavise[3] are arm-held energy shields mainly used by the Kig-Yar serving in the Covenant for protection from enemy fire or close- to mid-range explosions. The point defense gauntlet was developed by the Covenant after they reverse-engineered Forerunner technology. The shields are approximately 1.22 meters (4 ft) in diameter.[4]


Diagrams of the inner workings of a point defense gauntlet in Dr. Halsey's journal.

Worn on the forearm of the user, the gauntlet creates an "linear energy field"[1] that deflects and absorbs small arms weaponry to an extent; ballistic weapons, both human and covenant, simply bounce off the energy barrier, whereas the plasma-based weaponry is absorbed by the energy barrier, eventually collapsing it, though the shield can regenerate and be reactivated.[4] Heavier weaponries such as the Covenant's Pez'tk-pattern fuel rod gun and the UNSC's M41 rocket launcher and M68 Gauss Cannon are considerably effective against the gauntlet's energy barrier. Alternatively, explosions and extreme force from grenades and melee attacks will collapse the energy barrier and likely kill the wearer in the process.

The shield of the point defense gauntlet reflects its current charge by changing color gradually from its original color to a red and then a faint shade of pink before it fades out and deactivates completely.

UNSC reverse-engineering[edit]

Several examples of the point defence gauntlet were captured by the UNSC during the early stages of the war. During the First Battle of Harvest in 2525, a pair of Marines assigned to a freighter during the planet's evacuation were able to secure a batch of gauntlets from Kig-yar after a failed attempt to board their ship.[5] During the Battle of Chi Ceti IV later that same year, the Spartan-IIs captured a Kig-Yar point defense gauntlet, believing that Dr. Catherine Halsey would be able to use it.[6] However, for over a decade, the secrets behind the gauntlet eluded scientists, such as Halsey herself and Dr. Hardy,[7] attempting to uncover its inner workings. In 2536, a graduate student took apart an outdated gauntlet, discovering that its inner apparatus was not properly sealed. The initial tests that followed revealed to the UNSC that massive power input can help replicate and sustain small-scale energy shield surface areas. Reverse-engineering of the gauntlet helped allow the Office of Naval Intelligence to develop their own energy shielding technology for the MJOLNIR armor.[7]


Jackal shield colors increase in wavelength based on current shield strength; blue-shifted emitters being stronger and reds being weaker.

There are several observed models of point defense gauntlet. The most common one is mounted on a wrist strap with an oval emitter, and has two cutaways for firing. Another model seen during the Fall of Reach has also been observed, which had only one cutaway and was emitted by a full-arm gauntlet.

A third variant has been seen in use by Skirmisher Murmillones in the Covenant and Skirmishers in the Banished, known as the defensive energy shield bracer.[8]

A fourth model is used by Kig-Yar members of the reformed Covenant faction led by Jul 'Mdama; it appears most similar to the variant used during the Fall of Reach, although it has a more compact wrist-mounted emitter like that of the traditional gauntlet.[9]


Point Defense Gauntlets have been historically employed by the Kig-Yar, serving in the Covenant and its remnants. They are most commonly employed by Kig-Yar support infantry, with higher Kig-Yar ranks such as Majors, Heavies, and Raiders being equipped with stronger shields than their Minor, Storm, and Freebooter brethren, usually denoted by red or orange colouration as opposed to blue/ purple colouration. They are also carried by Kig-Yar Snipers, though are not always employed. Nonetheless, the use of two-handed weapons such as Vostu-pattern carbines does not seem to be a significant hindrance to Defense Gauntlet Usage.[10] Kig-Yar Rangers have also been known to employ gauntlets, though their use is sporadic.[11] Common tactic with the shield is for Kig-Yar to crouch behind them and advanced while firing their weapons through the cutout on the side, though they are also capable of overlapping the shields to form a shield wall.[12][13]

During the War, SPARTAN-II personnel were known to retrieve Point Defense Gauntlets when possible to augment their defense, in particular those of the SPARTAN-III program whose SPI armor did not have energy shield capabilities.[14] A group of Sangheili were also given point defense gauntlets in addition to their existing energy shields on at least one occasion, an action which many of them felt was dishonorable.[2]


Changes from Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo 2[edit]

  • Shields now slowly turn a red color as they take more damage.
  • Kig-Yar Minors have turquoise shields instead of purple, while Majors keep their orange color.
  • Kig-Yar Majors are indicated by an orange shield and orange armor, rather than brownish skin.
  • The gaps for firing weapons are slightly smaller.

Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST[edit]

  • Kig-Yar Majors are indicated by a purple-blue color in their shield, rather than orange.
  • Unlike the first two games, the gauntlet protects against melee attacks. A melee collapses the shield on lower difficulties with one hit, while it takes a couple on Legendary (melee weaponry such as the energy sword will cut through it instantly, regardless of the difficulty).
  • Shields will recharge significantly faster than in the first two games.
  • Small gap for the firing weapon is slightly larger and can more easily be exploited by the player.

Changes from Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST to Halo: Reach[edit]

  • There is now only one cutaway for return-fire as opposed to two in previous games.
  • The shield is now more rounded and much larger, making it harder for the player to get around it.
  • Kig-Yar now wield the shield with their left arm and fire with the right hand.
  • High-ranked Skirmishers also use a variant of the shield gauntlet on each wrist.
  • The shield now floats in front of the gauntlet, as opposed to being attached to a circular emitter.
  • Higher-ranked Kig-Yar have shields that start red and turn blue as they deplete, the opposite of previous games blue-to-red.

Changes from Halo: Reach to Halo 4[edit]

  • The shield of a Kig-Yar Storm has a purple tone to it.
  • Shields of a Kig-Yar Storm turn a dark red as they deplete.
  • The shield is slightly smaller in comparison to the Kig-Yar, making it easier for the player to get around it.
  • It now takes two hits with the energy sword to cut through the shield.
  • The shield is once again attached to a circular emitter.

Changes from Halo 4 to Halo 5: Guardians[edit]

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  • Kig-Yar now use their shield to bash opponents in melee.
  • A Spartan charge temporarily stuns a Kig-Yar carrying shields

Changes from Halo 5: Guardians to Halo Infinite[edit]

  • Kig-Yar Freebooters have blue shields, while Kig-Yar Raiders have orange ones.
  • The shield's emitter is oval again.
  • The shield's design resembles the design from Halo 3 with two openings, though it is still worn on the left arm.
  • A Grappleshot temporarily stuns a Kig-Yar carrying shields instead of a Spartan charge.

Halo Wars[edit]

In Halo Wars, point defense gauntlets are equipped for the Covenant's Jackal units. The initial Jackal does not spawn with a shield, but can be given one with the Defense Gauntlet upgrade. These initial shields are prone to collapse under enemy fire, however, though this can be mitigated with the Supreme Gauntlet upgrade, which allows the shield to absorb fire indefinitely. These shields are equipped and operated by snipers operating two-handed carbines and beam rifles, a departure from typical Halo games.


  • In the original Xbox version of Halo: Combat Evolved, Kig-Yar shields turn red when hit by energy weapons, while in all subsequent ports of the game, the shields do not change color at all, as with other broken textures.
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved for PC, the coloring for the Kig-Yar's personal energy shield will not be of the correct color. In the original Xbox version, the Kig-Yar Major has an orange energy shield whereas the Minor has cyan energy shield. The PC version, however, has a light green-blue energy shield coloring for all of the Kig-Yar, regardless of ranks.
  • Originally, in Halo 2, some Carrier Forms were intended to utilize Kig-Yar point defense gauntlets.


List of appearances[edit]