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Combat in Starbound is designed to require strategy rather than button mashing. Shielding against an enemy attack allows for a powerful counter-attack. Damage taken while blocking will turn into white "recoverable" health, that can be regained after battle.
Armor defends the player from melee attacks.
- Main article: shield
Shields are one-handed protection items, requiring the player to use the shield at the correct moment to counter an enemy attack. Enemies will attack not by touching the player, as in most platformers, but rather will perform attack animations which, if contacting the player, will do damage. Shields do not offer protection passively. Shield damage is applied to the player as "recoverable" damage, presumably as a mechanic to prevent turtling, which is a gameplay strategy that emphasizes heavy defense. Where, risk to the turtling player is minimized while baiting enemies to take risks in trying to overcome their defenses. "Recoverable" damage is also planned to allow for counterattacking and doing better damage. 
(Swords, daggers, lances, etc.)This ones can be used to deal body to body damage one-handed weapns can be combined with shields to protect and attack, with two-handed weapons you can't use shields but you can block with them needing some recovering time to cover again
(Pistols, rifles, crrossbows, etc.) Ranged attacks are supossed to make distance bitween player and foe, pistols can be combined with Shields for meelee protection, rifles crossbows and others can't so the player must trust their power to kill the enmy before be too late.
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