The armour was not a passive system. Upon activation it conferred greatly improved durability and immunity to EMP at the expense of the vehicle's rate of fire and mobility. This could be advantageous or disadvantageous depending on the situation.
Once researched, Adaptive armor is an activatated ability that bestows outstanding defensive bonuses to Titan Mk. II battle walkers and Mammoth Tanks, at the cost of substantially lower firing rates and slightly impaired mobility.
When activated, the ability effectively reduces all incoming damage by 30% - equivalent to an approximate 43% boost to overall health (almost equivalent to the full heroic veterancy health bonus of 50%). This acts as a substantial boost to the Titan's already strong armour, but really shines when activated on Mammoth Tanks: whose massive health pool makes exceedingly good use of the ability—possessing resilience that puts even GDI's own Mammoth tanks to shame.
The armour bonus is so substantial, that in a pitched battle between identical units - with and without the armour active, the armoured variants often come out on top, even with the 25% reduction to their rate of fire and 15% slower movement speed.
Adaptive armour also importantly allows Titans and Mammoths to completely ignore the disabling effects of EMP: whose primary usage lies in disabling high-value units for ease in bringing them down. All these advantages combined with support from repair units available to the Steel Talons such as Mobile Repair Transports and Rigs easily make Steel Talons mechanized forces among the most exceedingly difficult in the game to destroy.
Adaptive armour may be used in conjunction with railgun accelerators to negate the slower firing rate. With this approach, the armour is able to partially mitigate the damage inflicted on the vehicle by the accelerator. Though in general, the armour should only be activated on units that are being focused down by the enemy, since railgun-equipped units with inactive armour benefit far more from the Accelerators, and their very limited active duration.
- Kane's Wrath patch 1.02: cost reduced to $1000