Counter-Strike Wiki

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 all Classic game modes in all Counter-Strike titles (except for Casual in Global Offensive), players on both teams initially spawn with neither armor nor a helmet.

A Kevlar Vest 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 arm 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%.[1]

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 ("assault suit") 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 to a much greater extent.

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. Additionally, should the armor value be reduced to zero, the player's helmet (if worn) is considered compromised and is discarded. Subsequently, any headshots received will deal full damage.

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 are generally 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[]

Weapon Armor Penetration
Glock-18 47.5%
P2000 50.5%
Dual Berettas 52.5%
P250 64.0%
CZ75-Auto 77.65%
Five-SeveN 91.15%
Desert Eagle 93.2%
R8 Revolver
Weapon Armor
Nova 50%
Sawed-Off 75%
XM1014 80%
Weapon Armor
MAC-10 57.5%
PP-Bizon 60.0%
MP7 62.5%
UMP-45 65%
P90 69%
Weapon Armor
M4A4 70%
AK-47 77.5%
Galil AR
G3SG1 82.5%
SSG 08 85%
AUG 90%
AWP 97.5%
SG 553 100%
Grenades / Melee
Weapon Armor
Grenade impact* 50%
HE Grenade 60%
Knife 85%
Incendiary Grenade 100%
* all grenades deal 1-4 damage on direct hit depending on range/hitbox, this is halved by armor and may do 0 health damage.

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.



Rebuying Armor[]

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 and Kevlar and was shot in the following round, they may repurchase the helmet and Kevlar again in the next round and will only be charged $650 to replenish the damaged armor, regardless of where the player was shot.

However it's important to consider only purchasing when the value is less than the 50%; in earlier rounds where losing opposite team decide to play eco, they are more likely to be armed with pistols and SMGs which in turn reduce the armor's value more than rifles due to poorer armor penetration. In later rounds opposite team are more likely be buying rifles and because those weapons possesses better armor penetration it's unlikely for the player's armor value to reduce below the half unless the player survives multiple rounds.


Buying Helmet[]

In general, the decision of buying a helmet comes down on which team the player are and depends on player's and enemy's economy:

  • If the player is on the Terrorist side and assuming the player is not on economy difficulty, then the player should always buy a helmet if possible; as none of the Counter-Terrorist's assault rifles can kill with a single headshot (except for the AUG at very close range).
  • If the player is on the Counter-Terrorists side, the purchase of helmet depends on Terrorist's economy;
    • If the Terrorists are able to afford an AK-47 or SG 553, then the purchase of helmet is generally not required given the fact both of assault rifles can kill in one headshot regardless of helmet or not. Saving $350 for one Grenade or a Defuse Kit.
    • If the Terrorists are expected to be on save or eco, then the player is strongly recommended to purchase a helmet especially if the player decided to purchase an assault rifle; as Terrorists are very likely trying to prioritize killing the player armed with assault rifles in an attempt to get said rifle. Typically Terrorists on eco are armed with pistols or SMGs which cannot kill the player with a single headshot at a distance, with an exception for the Desert Eagle, and the Tec-9.

Identifying enemy (not) wearing a helmet[]

Enemies hit in the head without a helmet but survives will make splash sounds. While the enemies with helmets will make a "dink" sound.

In Counter-Strike and in Condition Zero, a player surviving a headshot without helmet will often show large amount of blood splash from the head upon impact at while in Source and Global Offensive normal blood splash will appear when shot at. If the player was shot in the head while helmeted (regardless of surviving or not) it will produce a white spark.

Although most skilled players will generally follow the aforementioned tactics and purchase the helmet depends on their economy and their needs, less experienced players (low skill matchmaking and Legendary Eagle+ Wingman) are generally less willingly to spend or may purchase a helmet randomly, making their approach initially unpredictable. If (multiple) enemies are identified as not wearing a helmet for multiple rounds and assuming they're not aware of player's position or is located at medium range, then feel free to purchase a cheaper weapon with good kill rewards and high mobility such as the UMP-45 and make attempts to headshot the said player that otherwise be very risky when they have a helmet worn.


Safety First css Safety First
Survive a shot to the head because you had the good sense to wear a helmet.

Unknown Category
Csgo-achievement-temp-icon Safety First
Survive a shot to the head because you had the good sense to wear a helmet (Competitive Mode only)

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 drops the armor condition 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 armor (without helmet).
    • Note that when a player's Kevlar is reduced to zero, they cannot pick up a new Kevlar vest by walking over it. The player must either buy a new Kevlar or die in order to able to pick up a new one. Moreover, if the player has already bought a Kevlar beforehand, they cannot pickup another Kevlar.

See also[]

External links[]