Armor hit points reduce incoming damage, and shield regenerates. According to this reddit post, shield depletes before armor, and one reddit commentor describes this effect to be extremely useful:

Torbjorn armor put on Zarya effectively turns her large shield pool into an armor pool, because shields deplete before armor, but armor provides the reduction as long as it's in your health pool.

But is this actually the case? It doesn't make much sense for armor to cause damage reduction to shields, however, if it does, that's definitely an interesting synergy.

  • 90% sure that it does based on what i can remember from last time i played zarya + torbjorn
    – Dragonrage
    Jun 30 '16 at 21:44
  • 1
    We're going to need some tests on this!
    – NBN-Alex
    Jun 30 '16 at 21:47
  • 1
    Spoiler alert, the science has already been conducted and an answer is being written up by our test subject
    – Unionhawk
    Jun 30 '16 at 21:50

So for this, we tested using Zarya's self-damage on her secondary fire since we only had two people. Let's establish the expected behavior:

No armor.

enter image description here

That's 23 damage dealt to Zarya without armor.

Now, let's get to the meat of the question.

With armor, damage on shields.

enter image description here

This is also 23 damage dealt to Zarya's shields while she has armor from Torbjorn's armor pack. But let's give it one more trial.

With armor, damage on armor.

enter image description here

269 - 254 = 15 damage dealt to her armor. While this is a bit more than the expected 5 damage reduction, it's still reduced damage which means that self-damage is mitigated by armor.


This means that we can definitively state that, at least for now (6/30/2016), the damage reduction provided by armor does not apply to shields.

  • 1
    Could the slight increase in damage reduction in the last scenario be because the shield started charging at the last moment, so the self damage from the grenade chipped 3 damage off the shield, then 20 damage went onto the armour?
    – KizTrap
    Jul 1 '16 at 9:13
  • @KizTrap It's entirely possible.
    – Yuuki
    Jul 1 '16 at 13:04

According to the OverWatch wikia it is covered that there won't be a reduction even if there is Armour on your character: Shields don't reduce damage (even if you also have armor)


Someone asked for science. According to this guy who did this already it was a misconception that people believed:

He covers this around 3:20 or covers more of it over the entire video.

  • That's a good response for now, but I think we need some Science!
    – DCShannon
    Jun 30 '16 at 21:50
  • Grabbed some science done by another player already. Jun 30 '16 at 21:55
  • 1
    I scanned through that video, and saw a bunch of unrelated stuff. Where's the relevant portion (timestamp)?
    – DCShannon
    Jun 30 '16 at 22:03
  • I did mention that it was at 3:20 however I believe Yuuki made an edit so the video skips to that part automatically and took that part out. Jun 30 '16 at 22:04
  • 2
    Yeah, my bad, I guess the timestamp skip isn't retained for mobile or something?
    – Yuuki
    Jun 30 '16 at 22:07

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