Shields are the first layer of defense for your ship, protecting your hull from damage. This advanced technology reduces most incoming damage to your vessel by dispersing kinetic and thermal energy that impacts the vessel.
Shield strength is monitored on the HUD next to the hull meter.
The shields can, however, be temporarily modified to counter specifc types of damage for short periods of time by the use of ship modules.
EM damage, as explained above, causes extra damage to shields. Thus, the weapons most effieciently used against shields would be plasma cannons which deal EM damage in their unaltered state.
In contrast to kinetic or EM damage, thermal damage does normal damage to shields.
Shields can also be disabled by direct missile impacts, which cause enough damage to knock them out in a single hit.
Ship shields can be modified in the heat of battle using different on-ship modules to reduce incoming damage, alter the resistance or boost regeneration speeds.
Modules such as this can be vital to survival when facing multiple damage types, and are available from T2 and up.
A full list of modules can be found on the Modules page.