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Tactical Shield
Alternate name(s) Ballistic Shield
Riot Shield
Price $2200
$1000 [1] Css t (cut)
Used by Counter-Terrorist
Entity name weapon_shield
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For the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive iteration, see Ballistic Shield.

The Tactical Shield is a Counter-Terrorists exclusive equipment appearing in Counter-Strike, its Xbox version, and Counter-Strike: Condition Zero. The shield provides mobile cover for its user. 


The Tactical Shield was added in Counter-Strike: Condition Zero but removed in Counter Strike: Source and has not reappeared since.

The Tactical Shield costs $2200. Carrying the equipment prohibits a normal primary weapon from being carried (and vice versa), and the equipment can only be used with pistols (except for the .40 Dual Elites), the knife, and grenades. In Xbox Counter-Strike and Deleted Scenes, the Tactical Shield can only be used with the ES Five-seven.

As long as the equipment is carried, the player character will be using it alongside the normal equipment they have. Pressing the alternate fire key will deploy the shield, overriding any alternate fire the player's current weapon has (e.g. burst for 9×19mm Sidearm and silencer for K&M .45 Tactical). Even if a player selects burst-fire on the Glock-18 or attaches the silencer on the USP before equipping the shield, they will be overridden after equipping the shield, meaning that the Glock-18's burst fire mode will automatically switch to semi-automatic after equipping the shield, and the USP's silencer will be removed after equipping of the shield.

When deployed, the user is invulnerable to bullet strikes from the front, but will suffer a movement penalty and cannot attack, reload, or throw grenades. It also does not protect against grenades and explosives, and the player's legs are vulnerable when standing even when the shield is deployed; users will have to crouch to gain maximum protection. When not deployed, it hangs off to the side offering less protection, but allows the aforementioned actions.

Reloading any of the handguns takes slightly more time with the tactical shield. When using the knife with the tactical shield, the knife hits further than the player normally would[Needs Clarification].

The shield is always within the player's view. When not deployed, the player's left hand (when using right-handed viewmodel) will be carrying the shield, blocking vision to that area. When deployed, the shield blocks the majority of the player's view, allowing visibility only through a small rectangular viewport.

In Condition Zero, users can defuse the bomb or interact with the hostages from a distance (in Condition Zero) while the shield is deployed.

Bot Behavior

Bots will sometimes buy shields. Even though the bot profile file contains a Shield template, only 3 bots have it, them being Dennis (multiplayer only), Travis and Brent. Therefore, the shield is more commonly randomly purchased by easy and medium difficulty bots who have no weapon preference.

  • Bots with shields will only use their sidearm when the enemy reloads, or if the enemy is not aware of the bot.
  • Bots always spray pistols on higher difficulties, limiting their pistol accuracy at long ranges.
  • Bots with shields might trade their shield for a dropped primary.
  • Bots will never target the legs of a Tactical Shield user, preferring to attack the chests/heads of enemies.


Pistol Damage

Main article: Five-SeveN
Deleted Scenes and CSX
Hitbox Primary Attack
Unarmored Armored
Head 76 57
Chest & Arm 19 14
Stomach 23 17
Leg 14 14
Red signifies a fatal hit.


  • Use the shield to push through enemy lines.
  • Teammates can get behind you while you are using the shield.
    • Crouching is a good idea as it can give you maximum protection (including the legs) and allow your teammates more room to fire their weapons.
  • The Night Hawk .50C is a good sidearm for shield users, due to the high damage and good accuracy, as long as users can score multiple headshots.
  • If the enemy does not notice you or they are reloading, open fire. Deploy the shield and retreat once after you have been spotted.
  • You can deploy the shield when encountering snipers. While you are distracting them, teammates can take them down.
  • Do not run alone with the shield even if you are a veteran; enemies can easily hit you from the side or behind. Instead, work with your team by distracting/protecting allies from enemy snipers or machine gunners.
  • The shield can provide good defense for players who are planting or defusing the bomb.
  • Not only the Tactical Shield is good for breaching enemy lines and corners, it can alert your team members of any nearby enemies. For example, if a player has a shield and approaches an enemy player around a corner, the user can deploy his shield. In return, nearby allies will see the user deploying his shield and can quickly take down enemy players upon knowing someone is firing on the shield.
  • Watch out for incoming bullets! The more bullets hit the shield, the harder it will be for the user to see and shoot properly. Practice aiming and become accustomed to this as inexperienced users may die suddenly if they cannot control their aiming abilities.
  • Don't think that the Tactical Shield can always save your life. Crouch while it is deployed to prevent the enemy from attacking your legs. However, bots never target your legs so this equipment is more effective when playing with bots.
    • Run away if enemies decide to use explosives. The Tactical Shield provides almost no protection against HE grenades, the C4 explosion, and flashbangs can still blind users.
  • If the user is overwhelmed and forced to escape, it would be more effective to "side block" run while the shield is open and move the crosshair a bit to right. Also, it's much more safe running in a crooked line, with this way you can easily escape from a big number of enemies.
  • Terrorists can pick up and utilize the Tactical Shield if they do not have a primary weapon, ammunition for the primary weapon, or are unable to find better weapons.


  • Lob grenades at its users:
    • HE Grenades can damage them while they have their shields deployed.
    • Flashbangs will disorient them, giving the opportunity to finish them.
    • Smoke Grenades are also good to hamper users (although this may not always be effective).
  • Collaborate with a teammate and flank the Tactical Shield user. Remember, the shield cannot deflect bullets from two sides.
  • As shield users' legs are not protected when the shield user is standing, shoot them in the legs to harass them. An AWP can instantly kill a shield user by shooting them in the legs.
  • As shield users' back is not protected, going up close and strafe around them can expose their unprotected sides, allowing for them to be quickly finished with a knife or a gun.
    • Their RIGHT (your left) is the vulnerable side; if they lower their shield it goes to their left (your right).
  • Be sure to keep an eye on Tactical Shield users as they will seize the opportunity to inflict damage in any moment when you aim your weapon elsewhere at another direction.
  • If you are using the tactical shield with a USP or Glock-18, The MOUSE2 key is used to cover yourself with the shield. That means that you are unable to use the 3-burst feature on the Glock-18 or attach a silencer on the USP. Even if you select the 3-burst firemode on the Glock-18 or attach a silencer on the USP before obtaining the shield, then the the firemode for the Glock-18 will be set to default and the USP will become unsilenced. This means that enemies may not use their specialties while carrying the shield, therefore making their shots less effective.


In the Tour of Duty, the tactical shield kill challenge appears in:

Map Difficulty Challenge
Cbble tod wide
Easy Kill 2 enemies
Normal Kill 3 enemies
Hard / Expert Kill 3 enemies without dying
Airstrip tod wide
Easy Kill 2 enemies
Normal Kill 3 enemies
Hard / Expert Kill 5 enemies

The following bots use the tactical shield:

The Tactical Shield appears in Fastline in conjuction with the ES Five-seven. Unlike its multiplayer version, the shield simply reduces damage taken rather than negating damage from the front entirely.

  • The only weapon players will never get hurt from is the Schmidt Machine Pistol. However, the 9×19mm Sidearm can still hurt the player if a shot penetrates through the view port.
  • Other weapons will only deal low damage, usually around 1-5 damage per bullet on easy.
  • The machete inflicts 4-6 damage per hit instead of 15 (on easy).
  • Melee attacks while wielding firearms deals 3 damage instead of 5 (on easy).

Bugs & Exploits

  • In Counter-Strike, if a bomb carrier is to acquire the shield, the bomb's viewmodel will be mirrored upon picking up a Tactical Shield. This is easily reverted by dropping the shield.
  • The shield viewmodels are always displayed with the weapon being held on the right hand, regardless of the left or right handed display setting.
  • Spectators may observe Tactical Shield where users continuously reloading their sidearm, even though that user has already reloaded. This is done by viewing from first-person perspective and switching back and forth to another player's view.
  • Bots have difficulty reacting to shield users.
    • The shield can sometimes allow you to run away from enemy bots since the AI will usually stand still rather than strafe and flank you.
    • If the user stays long enough before enemy bots, they may retreat. This can be useful if in an area like a Bombsite while the CT bots attempt to stop you from planting the C4. In hostage rescue maps, this tactic can prevent them from interacting or rescuing the hostages. Bots will also ignore enemies from behind so you can report to your teammates and they can easily eliminate distracted enemies.
    • When an enemy bot sees a shield user with a deployed shield alongside with a teammate without a shield, the bot may completely ignore the user and engage their teammate, making him easy to eliminate.
    • Another way to exploit the bot AI is to run up close to them while the shield is deployed, and then aim your weapon somewhat to the right (not on that bot) and undeploy the shield. Bots will open fire but all their rounds will only hit the shield. As soon as they are forced to reload, quickly open fire and kill them. This is useful on any difficulty (although expert bots tend to strafe so try to pin them into a corner by pushing or stand in front for a sufficient and then implementing the aforementioned method. Bots on easy will never switch to a secondary weapon when they need to reload a primary weapon. Bots on normal or higher difficulties will switch to a pistol so wait until they need to reload and then open fire.)
    • As a Counter-Terrorist, a human player can defuse the C4 without killing Terrorist bots by deploying the shield in front of them.
    • This is equally useful to avoid being fired upon while rescuing the hostages, especially when the enemy is at a long distance if the enemy has caught sight of you. Take note that they will shoot through hostages or any obstacles in their aim between the user and the enemy.
  • In the Xbox version of Counter-Strike, if pointed upwards, the shield negates any fall damage, allowing players to take shortcuts that would normally put them in a disadvantage should they encounter any opposition.


  • In Counter-Strike, the shield has the same height as the user. In Condition Zero, the size of the shield is smaller thus exposing the legs of the user. Regardless, the Tactical Shield does not provide adequate defense (although the user can now withstand at least two sniper shots if sufficient health is available) unless the player's legs are in front of an impenetrable object/surface.
  • When a shield user is shot, that player will lack a flinching animation in third person.

Behind the scenes

  • The shield was planned to appear in the Counter-Strike Beta, specifically the 4.0 version.
    • A sprite script indicates which sprite sheets contained the weapon's icons. Said icons are however missing from the sheets.
    • A player held model can be found in the game files. The shield itself is of a primitive rectangular metallic shape with no vision port or handle. It might have been a placeholder or temporary model.
    • All player models were given animations for it in which they hold the shield with both their hands. This suggests that the shield was originally meant to be a purely defensive item as players would only be able to hold it and deflect or stop incoming fire. The lack of deployment animations suggests it didn't need to be even deployed.
    • It is unknown which slot the weapon occupied.
  • Early versions of Counter-Strike allowed players to shoot the user through the shield's view port.[citation needed]
  • The Tactical Shield was one of the few weapons made for Gearbox Software's version of Condition Zero to make it to the Counter-Strike 1.6 patch.
    • Gearbox's version however only intended the Five-seven to be usable with it.
    • Unused HUD and kill icons for this instance of the shield can be found in Counter-Strike's game files, even the "v_shield.mdl" model in the game files with the Five-seven as its pistol is still present.
    • The weapon also makes an appearance in the Xbox Counter-Strike under the name "Ballistic Shield (ES Five-Seven)" under the "Heavy" category.
    • In the Xbox preview version, the shield costed $1000 instead of $2200.
    • Early trailers of the Xbox version show that the original weapon intended for the shield was the Night Hawk .50C. This might have been a placeholder as it uses the Counter-Strike models instead of the Condition Zero model for it. Alternatively, the Condition Zero model had not been developed yet.
  • In Counter-Strike: Source's files, references to the shield in text and images can be found as it was originally planned for the game.
    • Its entity "weapon_shield" remains in the game files. Attempting to spawn it will not generate a NULL ent error, though nothing will spawn.
    • The shield could be spawned in the Counter-Strike: Source closed beta if "give item_shield" was input in the console. Although it could be picked, it could not be used. It was also seen in several Counter-Strike: Source previews.
    • The shield also appeared in the Counter-Strike: Source pre-alpha build that was leaked with Half-Life 2 Beta. Although having a worldmodel in the game files, the weapon does not have an entity thus is non-existent. Attempting to purchase it through the buy menu will generate an unknown command error.
  • Although the Tactical Shield is not included in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the game files include a property, CanEquipWithShield, for weapons, suggesting the item has at least been considered.
  • In Counter-Strike (Xbox), the special function for the Tactical Shield is known as “Riot Mode”.

In Counter-Strike: Source Alpha and Beta, the shield did make appearances in the game files and in the CT Buy menu. In the Alpha, the shield was to be listed at the price of $1000. However, there was no entity for the shield during the Alpha stages, so attempting to buy it will spawn nothing. In the Beta, the shield can be spawned and picked up. This time, the shield has a new worldmodel, as it features tiny dots, glass on the viewport, it is slightly curved, and has text reading "POLICE" on it. However, equipping the shield will still not gain the special function. It would correctly have bullet holes on the shield if shot upon.[2]


  1. [1] - CCCS#10 - The Leaked Alpha
  2. [2] - Counter-Strike: Source E3 Beta, Team Fortress 2 Alpha and Beta, Half-Life 2 Beta Full Fixed

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