The Shield Charger is a defensive weapon manufactured by Megacorp in Going Commando and Up Your Arsenal. It generates an energy shield around Ratchet, protecting him from enemy fire until it wore out, shocking and repelling any enemies touching it.
The Shield Charger can be upgraded to the Tesla Barrier by defeating enemies with it, which zaps electricity at enemies which come close and damage them. In challenge mode, the Mega Tesla Barrier upgrade can be purchased.
The Shield Charger was available from a vendor upon returning to Aranos for 100,000 bolts. It could be upgraded to the Tesla Barrier with use. Upon reaching challenge mode, the Mega Tesla Barrier upgrade could be purchased from any Megacorp vendor for 250,000 bolts, which could be upgraded to the Ultra Tesla Barrier with use.
Up Your Arsenal
The Shield Charger was the last weapon made available to Ratchet in a normal playthrough. It could be purchased from Slim Cognito in Aquatos (or acquired for free if the player had a Going Commando save file) upon reaching the command center on Mylon. It had fewer ammunition than in its Going Commando appearance, but otherwise functioned identically.
It also similarly upgraded to the Tesla Barrier by defeating enemies with it. In challenge mode, the Mega Tesla Barrier upgrade could be purchased from any Gadgetron vendor for 700,000 bolts.
The Shield Charger deploys around Ratchet when selected, allowing him to use any other weapons simultaneously, and then protects him from damage. There is little reason not to deploy a Shield Charger in more difficult battles once it is acquired, as it provides a strong defensive boost and saves nanotech. The player should still avoid taking damage to keep the shield up for as long as possible, however, meaning despite it damaging enemies, it is best not to use it offensively, aside from when upgrading it to the Tesla Barrier, where it needs to defeat enemies to upgrade.
The Tesla Barrier provides slightly better offensive capabilities and is a greater defense. The offensive capabilities, however, are still not reliable, as it is better to let the shield last as long as possible against ranged enemies. Furthermore, as the player can already deploy Miniturrets and Synthenoids in Going Commando or Agents of Doom in Up Your Arsenal, the offensive close-range capabilities are outclassed already. It is preferable to use the Tesla Barrier purely as a shield. In challenge mode, it is particularly useful for preventing players from losing their bolt multiplier. In Up Your Arsenal the weapon upgrades in steps, though these steps are unremarkable and do not change the weapon significantly until upgrading to the Tesla Barrier at V5.