I really don't understand the way shields are supposed to work.

I know that you need to upgrade them, and I have done so for every game that I've played. But why is there only ever one blue marker in the top left-hand of screen when I've upgraded to 60%?

When I hover over the shields button the tooltip says "Partially Powered, Manned by Crew", but I have 15 unused reactor bars and still the shields don't power up? I appreciate that the additional unpowered bars help protect the system, but I want my goddamn blue shields please. I'm getting nailed at the later sectors.

Why haven't my shields upgraded?

  • 8
    It's actually very impressive that you've got that far and got the Red-Tail without ever powering up your shields or engines...
    – deworde
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 14:59
  • 1
    @deworde - please don't think bad of me but I cheated with the unlock everything app (can't remember the correct name of it) as I was so frustrated not understanding the basic principle of power management. Now that I do, and enjoy it too, I've reverted back to the original profile and restarted. Haven't unlocked the red tail yet though this time round. Will work on it though.
    – user35954
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 23:08

2 Answers 2


The problem you're having is that you aren't actually giving the shield any additional power.

In your screenshot, there are four unpowered nodes on your shields. Simply add power to those nodes by clicking on them (like you would to add power to any other part of your ship), and you will be able to fill those extra empty shield bars.

Each level of shield requires two power for the full effect, so you would need to add four more power to your shields.

enter image description here

It should look something like that.

  • thank you so much (and @Resorath) - all this time I've been getting creamed for nothing :)
    – user35954
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 1:28
  • 25
    oh btw, your ship is on fire
    – Robotnik
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 2:35
  • Hey thanks again for the help. I just defeated the big bad boss (on easy, but you got to start somewhere).
    – user35954
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 18:58
  • @user35954 No problem! I lost on Easy because I didn't even know how to fight the final boss. =P
    – Niro
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 19:00

You need to actually click on the shield icon on the bottom left to transfer power from "unused" to "shield".

A fully upgraded ship won't actually have enough power bars to power every component fully, forcing you to choose what you want to power. At the moment this isn't a problem for you. This is why it is not done automatically.

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