Is the riot shield really only useful for team situations where you have one person defending while the other shoots over him? It doesn't seem the riot shield has a lot of benefit other than protecting your back when not equipped and protecting your front against an attacker while someone behind you shoots at them...

Is that the case, or are their other benefits?

4 Answers 4


The riot shield is really a situational "weapon." If you're trying to hold a location, pairing it with something like Blast Shield can give you a significant advantage. Backing yourself into a corner and crouching down can give your allies (or you) more time to capture a point.

As far as offensive capability, pair it with a gun that raises quickly (like a pistol) and Sleight of Hand Pro to allow you to quickly switch tactics to match those of your enemies. If they're firing at you, the shield will keep you covered, and if they're retreating, reloading, or trying to flank, you can switch to the pistol to take them out. Most thrown explosive equipment (semtex/frag/knife/tac grenades) can be thrown fairly quickly, especially if you're using Quickdraw Pro.

You move slower with the riot shield than most other weapons (Bora points out that without the Speed proficiency, it is in the speed class below LMGs and sniper rifles) so flanking isn't really the riot shield's forte. Also watch out for people who are smart enough to aim at your feet, or who are carrying semtex, as both of these can negate your defensive bonus. Melee'ing with the shield isn't as fast or as powerful as the knife, and coupling this with the movement speed hit means that you're usually going to have to back someone into a corner in order to get kills with it.

I've never found the "on your back" protection to be all that useful - if someone surprises you and attacks from behind, they're likely able to hit your legs or your side, so the benefit of the shield is relatively negligible.

As you've noted, you can draw fire with the shield, and give others time to deal with attackers. Air support and other killstreaks will also shoot at you, even though they can't hit you. You get bonuses for deflecting bullets (up to a certain cap per game) so you can make some quick points this way. Since air support and other killstreaks tend to only fire on one person at a time, you can also provide a distraction while teammates take them out.

  • With the RS you move even more slowly than with LMG or Sniper class.
    – DrFish
    Jan 27, 2012 at 22:31
  • Riot shields also get significantly more effective when used in groups. Two or three people using riot shields together can form an effective wall, blocking passage through a choke point and providing cover for allies behind them. This also allows them to engage more enemies - a single riot shield is easy pickings for two people, but three riot shields can protect each others' sides from attack and possibly hold back an entire 6-man team. This sort of tactic requires careful coordination and communication however, and should not be attempted if you're solo-pubbing.
    – Izzy
    May 12, 2012 at 23:16

In my own usage, I tend to see a good amount of people get frightened when they see a RS in a close quarters area. They have no way to flank and it throws them off a bit. I tend to use it on maps that have tight hallways or alleys, or anything close together. If they can't shoot you and can't flank you, whack them a couple times and see how mad they get when the game is over.


Other benefits are too have tons of fun with it haha. Using a throwing knife and having a blast. Other than all of the things you have mentioned I can't think of anything else to add besides having fun with it.

You can also use it to reduce the damage of claymores, grenades, etc.

http://callofduty.wikia.com/wiki/Riot_Shield Look at this if you wish

  • Can you throw a knife with the shield up? Jan 27, 2012 at 18:21
  • It pulls the shield down and than you toss it. It's a quick toss so you have enough time to recover if you miss
    – Samjus
    Jan 27, 2012 at 18:22

I find the riot shield on your back can save you now and then, not a lot of the time, as has been pointed out above they will often just shoot your legs.

Once you've got some decent unlocks for your secondary weapon you can do OK, however I find the scavenger perk is a must. Also you can get lots of medals post game for picking up enemy weapons and using them against their previous owners, unlock levels of guns you rarely use etc.

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