There are many types of shield technologies throughout the known galaxy, in part because virtually no species manages to achieved large-scale space flight without finding a solution to both the physical objects and deadly energies that threaten anyone traveling through space. As habitable worlds are far spread, and only a small percentage of those worlds possess sentient species, it is generally up to new species to find the galactic community, rather than the other way around. As this necessitates the aforementioned space flight, many wildly different methods have been stumbled upon by various species. However, despite the sheer number of subtle and unsubtle varieties, all fall into a handful of general classifications.

By General Type:

Energy Shielding
Virtually all space stations and spacecraft of FTL capable societies include at least some minimal energy shielding. While military versions can and will block fire from directed energy weapons, the more common usage is to block out dangerous wavelengths of radiation. On planets this is rarely an issue, but among the stars is it utterly critical for most species.

Physical Shielding
While slightly less universal than energy shields, with some species preferring armor plate on non-military vessels instead, the majority of space going craft have at least some amount of particle shielding to safeguard against small, fast-moving particulate in space. Military vessels and space station also tend to have strong barriers that will adsorb or deflect kinetic energy. Such shields are commonplace due to the sheer number of species that use some form of mass driver as standard shipboard or anti-personal weaponry.

Phasic Shields

Phasic shields are currently known to exist in only one place in the galaxy. The planet of Klenthe posses a planetary shield of this type, forcing all the matter within to become partially out-of-phase with the rest of the galaxy. This protects it from virtually all known types of damage, save some exotic light-based weapon types that have minimal effect through the shields.

By General Size:

Planetary Shields
By far and away the rarest shield size category, a small number of planets have cracked the power generation and energy diffusion problems in order to create shields that encompass their entire planets. Very few of these shields can be sustained for more than a few days at a time, and generally have a bad side effect of causing ecological disasters. Though a few exceptions to both issues exist.

Ship Shielding
Nearly every ship of sound and sane design posses at least some energy shielding, and often physical shielding as well. There are occasional crazed lunatics that design race-oriented craft without them, and on rare occasions a new species is encountered that relies purely on heavy armor instead. The former generally die young, and the latter generally trade for the technology immediately upon joining the galactic community and learning it exists. Currently, the Human species is known as the most advanced builders of shielding in the galaxy, mostly on account of the dangers inherent to their infinity drive technology.

Personal Shields
Surprisingly rare, few species have cracked the problem of miniaturization without either dangerous instability or negligible ability to defend. Those few who have charge extremely high prices for their personal shield units, as they are difficult to produce in any number. As such, and combined with the discomfort most of them are known for causing, personal shields are generally restricted to security for extremely high-profile public figures.

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