Human Shields can be obtained by pressing Left BumperXbox360, L1PS3 or Left CtrlPC when standing near someone in Saints Row 2. In Saints Row: The Third, the Action button is used to grab a human shield.
Civilians, police and gang members can all be used as human shields. If you grab a civilian, police will not shoot at the lowest levels of notoriety, but at higher they will shoot whatever the circumstances. If you grab a police officer, the same applies but for higher levels they will try to negotiate and outflank The Protagonist and only at the highest levels they will shoot. Gang members will only stop shooting if you grab one of their own, however at higher levels of notoriety they will shoot regardless. It is not possible to grab Special Homies during missions, and if you grab any Homie they will become hostile and leave your party.
Human shields can be used for many reasons. The main reason is to stop the police and gangs from shooting at you whilst you can freely shoot at them. Also, you can grab a human shield and finish them off, expending only one bullet whereas it would take more than one normally. This can be used to save ammunition, or to stop them attacking you whilst you finish them off. Also, they can be used to throw from heights to get respect for the stunt "Throwing".
Not all weapons can be used when using a Human Shields. These are the weapons that can be used:
- Melee (Geiger Counter, Detonator and Stun Gun only)
- Pistols (No Dual Pistols)
- SMGs (No Dual SMGs)
- Assault Rifles (Except the Mini-Gun)
- Special Weapons
- Thrown Weapons
- This feature was removed from the Japanese version of the game, along with the Mayhem and Hitman activities.