The Kevlar Vest and Helmet, also known as simply Kevlar + Helmet, is a combination of protective equipment found in the Counter-Strike series. The Kevlar Vest can be purchased by itself, while the helmet cannot.
In most games and in Global Offensive Competitive, players start the game without armor and helmet. A kevlar body armor costs $650 and reduces damage taken by players from bullets and grenades by a percentage that varies with the armor penetration of each weapon. The kevlar vest protects the chest, stomach and the arms (starting at BETA 1.2) areas of the hitbox while the helmet protects the head. The legs are always unprotected.
The current armor value is always visible as a value and a bar next to the player's health bar on the HUD. In every Counter-Strike game, the icon next to the bar will change depending on if the player is equipped with a helmet or not.
Each time the armor is hit, the armor value will drop by a percentage based on how much damage was absorbed. Armor disappears after its value reaches 0. A vest will reduce damage and reduce aimpunch from attacks to the torso by 95%.
Aside from reducing damage from weapons, Kevlar can also reduce environmental damage such as fire, toxic materials, etc by 50% in some custom maps.
Players can also buy a vest with a helmet for $1000, or add a helmet to existing armor for $350 as long as the armor value is still 100, which extends protection to the player's head. The helmet can save players from headshots by most weapons with the notable exceptions of sniper rifles, the Desert Eagle, the SG 553, and the AK-47. Like the vest, the helmet removes aimpunch from headshots, though this time almost completely.
As long as the armor value is not zero, the exact armor value does not matter and damage will always be reduced. Therefore, having higher armor value does not give better protection unless the value is reduced to zero. In addition, should the armor value be reduced to zero. Helmet is discard and will no longer provide damage reduction to the head.
See tables below for armor penetration values of each weapon.
The VIP in Assassination scenario has 200 armor, which will reduce damage by taking the initial absorption as explained above and then reduce it by 50%. However, since he is the top priority target for Terrorists, he must rely on his teammates to ensure his escape as his unique armor count is not a substitute for adequate protection.
The Kevlar and Helmet is less effective in Source and Global Offensive as armor penetration from most weapons is increased.
Counter-Strike: Condition Zero Deleted Scenes
- Kevlar armor in Counter-Strike: Condition Zero Deleted Scenes provides significantly better protection than its multiplayer counterpart, and can be found in the environment in most missions. However, no helmets are obtainable in Deleted Scenes.
- Each Kevlar pick up will refill the armor value to 100%. Thus its recommended to pick up armor vest when the player is only low on armor value.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
If a player has armor (not at 0%) and is shot at in an armored hitbox area, the damage dealt by the shot is multiplied by the armor penetration power of the weapon that fired it. For example: An AK-47 shot deals 35 base damage. When the target is armored, it is multiplied by 77.5%, effectively incurring a 22.5% damage reduction, and is then rounded to deal a final 27 points of damage. Weapons with 100% armor penetration do not suffer any damage penalty when hitting armor.
Damage to the armor value is equal to the amount of damage absorbed by the armor. Weapons with 100% armor penetration completely bypass armor, and will therefore not damage the armor value.
Damage from C4 explosions are halved by the armor at most ranges, and the amount of damage the armor takes is half of the absorbed damage instead of the full absorbed amount.
In general, the point at which rebuying armor may become useful is found by determining the maximum damage to armor that may be sustained in a round before the next damage applied will kill the player. For example: of the most commonly used weapons, the weapons with the lowest Armor Penetration (and therefore lowest HP Damage to Armor Damage ratio) are the Glock and P2000. The Glock can inflict 12 HP damage/8 Armor damage. A player can therefore survive up to 8 hits before dying. The maximum value of useful armor in this instance is 8*8=64. Contrast this with the P2000 which can inflict 15 HP damage/8 Armor damage. At this rate, a player can survive up to 6 hits before dying. The maximum value of useful armor in this instance is 6*8=48
Unless a team can afford full buys for the rest of the half regardless of round wins/losses, it is important to consider the point at which rebuying armor is equitable and not just the maximum armor potentially required. Another example is as follows: of the most commonly bought weapons, the weapon with the lowest Armor Penetration is the M4. The M4 typically inflicts 22 HP damage/5 Armor damage. At this rate, a player can survive up to 4 hits before dying so the maximum value of useful armor against this weapon is 5*4=20
If a player previously bought a helmet + kevlar, is shot, and purchases the helmet + kevlar again in the next round, the player will only be charged $650 to replenish the damaged armor, regardless of where the player was shot.
- In CS:GO, the sound of a player hit in the head without a helmet is different from the sound of a helmet hit. In low skill matchmaking ( and Legendary Eagle+ Wingman ) or as a terrorist you can tell when a player tends to skip helmets and use it to your advantage ( for example take a UMP and tap him )
Bug & Exploits
- Like most items, weapons and non-playable characters in the GoldSrc games, if the Armor is spawned and hasn't been placed by the map creator, the game will force the player back in the main menu with a precache error.
- In Counter-Strike 1.6, if a player is shot in the head and the shot causes the armor to reduce to 0%, the normal headshot sound is heard but the helmet impact can be seen.
- If a player is shot in the head while wearing a helmet and assuming the shot is non-lethal, the third person view will display the player's head snapping violently back and forth. This however, does not appear in Counter-Strike: Source as players will never flinch when injured.
- There is no visual difference to the player character when having armor and helmet equipped. Also, most CT models have Kelvar or armor, or both already equipped, although they still have to purchase one at the start of the round.
- The world model file for Kevlar is named "w_kevlar" while the Kevlar and helmet is named "w_assault".
- Kevlar and Helmet is referred as "assaultsuit" in the game files while the Kevlar is still "kevlar".
- On the Dynamic Weapon Pricing website, the Kevlar + Helmet combination was known as the "assault suit".
- If a mapper has decided to use content from Half-Life and place the battery used specifically for the H.E.V. suit, players will gain 15 points of armor. In some custom servers, if a Half-Life NPC is used, the Kevlar has the same properties as the H.E.V. suit. This mechanic also applies to medkits (which heals the player instead).
- Moreover, both the H.E.V. and health recharge port is usable in the GoldSrc Counter-Strike games.
- Although the world model of the Kevlar does not appear in official maps (except the training mission from Counter-Strike 1.0), some custom maps feature the MDL file that can be obtained by players.
- The Kevlar model in the first training map actually functions as HEV suit which the player will able to see their HUD, the announcer refers it as "training suit". While the Kevlar in the last map actually grants the player his armor (without helmet).
- Note that when a player's Kevlar is reduced to zero, he cannot pick up a new Kevlar vest by walking over it. The player must either buy a new Kevlar of getting killed in order to able to pick up a new one. Moreover, if the player has already bought a Kevlar beforehand, he cannot pickup another Kevlar.
- Kevlar vest at Wikipedia