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] 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.[3]


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

Worn on the forearm of the user, the gauntlet creates an energy barrier that deflects and absorbs small arms weaponry to an extent; UNSC ballistic weapons and the Type-33 needler simply bounce off the energy barrier, whereas the Covenant's plasma-based weaponry is absorbed by the energy barrier, eventually collapsing it, though the shield is regenerative.[3] Heavier weaponries such as the Covenant's Type-33 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.

During the Battle of Chi Ceti IV in 2525, the Spartan-IIs captured a Kig-Yar point defense gauntlet, believing that Dr. Catherine Halsey would be able to use it.[4] However, for over a decade, the secrets behind the gauntlet eluded scientists, such as Halsey herself and Dr. Hardy[5], 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 In 2536, a graduate student took apart an outdated gauntlet, discovering that its inner apparatus was not properly sealed.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.[5]


There are several models of point defense gauntlets. The most common one is mounted on a wrist strap with an oval emitter, and has two cutaways for firing. A newer, more advanced model was first seen during the Battle of Reach, which had only one cutaway and was emitted by a full-arm gauntlet. A third variant has been seen in use by Skirmisher Murmillones, known as the defensive energy shield bracer.[6]

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.[7]


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

  • Shields now slowly turn a red color as they take more damage.
  • 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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  • The Kig-Yar point defense gauntlets were often used by Spartans who wanted enhanced shielding. They are commonly used by SPARTAN-IIIs, as their SPI armor doesn't include a built-in energy shield projector,[8] similar to the way they were utilized by the SPARTAN-IIs before they were given the energy-shielded MJOLNIR Mark V. 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]
  • The early MJOLNIR armor's shield system was reverse engineered from a Point Defense Gauntlet, but due to the way the shield being stretched, projectile weapons will collapse it.
  • Kig-Yar Snipers and marksmen do carry these point defense gauntlets just as other Kig-Yar do, but do not activate them, as the brightly colored lights will reveal their location to the enemy. Canonically, they would possibly be used in case an enemy came in close.
  • In Halo 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.
  • The shield seems to be a dual-wieldable item, as Jackals are never seen holding a weapon in their shield hand, as this would interfere with their shield, aim, and posture (one exception is in a Halo 2 glitch where the Arbiter could give shield bearing Jackals two-handed weapons). In Halo Wars, they can hold a Covenant Carbine or Beam Rifle, along with the gauntlet, with ease.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Type-33 Guided Munitions Launcher : 9/6/2007
  2. ^ a b Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 16
  3. ^ a b Halo: Encyclopedia, page 359
  4. ^ Halo: Fall of Reach, page 151
  5. ^ a b Halo: Reach, Dr. Halsey's personal journal
  6. ^ Halo: Encyclopedia, page 156
  7. ^ Halo 4, gameplay
  8. ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 14