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The description for beam weapons states that their damage is reduced by one for each shield they pass through, but at least 2 beams, the anti-bio beam and the fire beam, deal no damage and instead hurt crew and start fires respectively. Do shields block these, block part of them, or do they not affect them?

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Maybe you could add spoiler protection over "anti-bio beam" ;). I am still early in the game to know it exists. – Augustus Thoo Sep 20 '12 at 6:23
@AugustusThoo, it's possible someone could know it exists before leaving the first system of their first game, they'd just have to stumble across a shop selling one, so it's hardly a secret. – DMA57361 Sep 20 '12 at 7:10
@Augustus, if you've never seen an a non-damaging beam and want to avoid spoilers, clicking on a question: "How do shields affect beam weapons which don't deal damage?" Is probably unwise. – deworde Sep 20 '12 at 11:24
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Beams that do no "damage" are blocked completely by any shield.

kotekzot notes that a Zoltan super-shield (the green shield augmentation on certain classes of ship) will take 2 damage towards its 5 damage limit from beam weapons, however.

The easiest way to test this is with the Slug Cruiser - it starts with the anti-bio beam. Just jump until you fight a ship with a shield, and try firing the beam without any other weapons. Visually, the beam is blocked by the shield, and even after firing it 10 times at an enemy ship I wasn't able to kill even one of their crew.

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Zoltan shield takes 2 damage from beams though. – kotekzot Sep 20 '12 at 9:16
@kotekzot, ooh, good to know. I will have to use my beam weapons against it more often. – agent86 Sep 20 '12 at 13:56

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