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The Armor Lock is an external energy shield amplifier, developed by the UNSC as a supplement to the shielding systems of SPARTAN-III personnel issued with a variant of MJOLNIR powered assault armor/Mark V. The use of this device is referred to as "Armor Locking".
This device can temporarily amplify a SPARTAN's energy shielding into near-invincibility levels, although when the shield is active, the user is completely immobilized. After a five-second period, the device deactivates and an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is released from the armor. The Covenant also possess a form of this technology, but the means through which it functions is unknown.
When performing an Armor Lock, the player is impervious to all damage, but it also renders the player immobile. When Armor Lockup is activated, it will shed stuck Plasma Grenades and Needler rounds, Plasma Launcher rounds will be rendered harmless, and rockets will be deflected. It will charge up a powerful electromagnetic pulse when in use, which is detonated when Armor Lockup is released. Upon activation of Armor Lockup the user will slam his fist into the ground engaging the device. In doing so, he starts to charge an EMP as long as the Armor Lock is active or until the ability runs out of charge.
Armor Lockup can be charged up in three stages, with each stage inflicting a stronger EMP and pushing opponents farther away. The EMP blast can also temporarily disable vehicles in close proximity to it. This is a useful tactic for boarding enemy vehicles. Health and shielding restore normally when Armor Lockup is in use unless attacked while in Armor Lockup, in which case the recharge duration is reset just as when taking damage normally. Like all other Armor Abilities, Armor Lockup will recharge when not in use. A quick way to neutralize the advantage of an opponent utilizing Armor Lockup is to remain outside the EMP radius, periodically damging them to prevent their shielding from recovering, and then attack when they deactivate or are unable to maintain Armor Lock.
Those who attempt to melee an Armor Locked adversary are momentarily stunned, allowing the Armor Lockup user to gain a small advantage over them if they exit Armor Lockup quickly enough. Also, as a means to prevent an Armor Lockup user from simply being gunned down as soon as they exit Armor Lockup and having no chance to defend themselves, there is a quarter-second interval after Armor Lockup is released in which the user remains invulnerable - enough time for a player to exit Armor Lockup and take a single step in whatever direction they want to go before becoming vulnerable again.
During the Halo: Reach Beta, Armor Lock was available only to SPARTANs.
After the title update Armor Lock drains when the player is hit and does not save them if they are stuck with a plasma grenade.
Armor lock is also useful for destroying vehicles. For example, if a ghost is boosting at you, armor lock just before it hits you and you will most likely destroy the ghost.