Hi and welcome to another beginner’s guide for Escape from Tarkov. This time we will be talking about armor. We will dive into armor’ stats, it’s properties and some armor related mechanics. In short, all you need to know about armor to make conscious decision when picking your gear of war. After you finish watching this video you should be able to tell what are the best armor options in the game and why, just by looking at armor’s stats screen. So let’s go down the rabbit hole. When investigating armor in stash you can see right away there is a lot of information on that panel. Good for us, this is almost all the information we will ever need. There will be one more crucial number we will have to worry about, but more about it later. So the first thing, armor class. Tarkov is loosely based on Russian GOST armor class system, following the standard for most of the time, but not always.
Gameplay trumps realism in this case. So we have 6 armor classes in the game, class 1 is the weakest protection and class 6 is the best one. Decision making on this one is quite simple, go with the best armor class you can afford, but don’t don’t expect that armor will save you all the time. If your enemy is using high penetration rounds he will chew through your armor like it’s made of paper. You have to remember that your enemy can also land a good headshot and that will be enough to put out of raid. Ok, so the next stat defining armor is armor durability. I think this is the stat that gives new players a big headache and probably often mislead them when thinking about real armor protection capabilities. So let’s break this one and let me explain some details that make a huge difference, but before we do so, let me actually add another very important variable into the equation, armor material. So armors in Tarkov can be made from ceramics, metals and polymers. Now, each of those materials have a hidden destructibility statistic that impacts how much durability will be lost when hit by bullet.
Thanks to a community member, NoFoodAfterMidnight, that you should know from his famous ammunition charts, we know exact numbers of those multipliers. So let’s take Gzhl armor that has 65 durability and it’s made from ceramic material and let’s compare it to the other budget option in the game, the Korund armor with 45 durability made from steel. To get a little better understanding of how much protection those armors give, let’s look at the destructibility stats and do some math.
Equation for this one is very simple and you can see that Gzhel has 81,25 effective durability, while Korund only 64,28. Alright so we know now that the durability shown on armors can be little misleading when looking just at the raw numbers. Sadly, that’s not the only time where EFT make it harder than it should be. Another common belief of new players is thinking that only the armor class matters, while in fact, when you are being shot and bullets hit your armor, game will make a complicated calculation to determine if it the bullet penetrated or not.
While armor class is very important in this case, the other big factor is the current durability of your armor. To be more precise, game will check current durability of you armor and compare it to the maximum durability, and by that I mean the brand new armor maximum durability, not the current maximum shown on your armor. As you can imagine, the lower is your armor durability, the worst is it’s stopping power. Let’s continue with our Korund and Gzhel example and let me explain how all of this works. Let’s assume we are using brand new armors and simulate being hit by somebody using 5.45 x 39mm BT round that has 37 penetration value. I’m using this round for a reason, in my opinion this is the minimum penetration value you should aim for when using guns late in the wipe cycle.
Unless of course you know what you are doing. This is probably also one of the most commonly used bullets in the game. So the first shot has only 1,2% chance to penetrate our brand new armors. Ghzel will lose around 11 points on durability after being hit, while Korund will lose 9 points. Remember when I was talking about the effective durability and how important it’s the material armor is made of? Now you can see more clearly why it matters. Both armors are class 5, shot by the same bullet but because ceramic has 0.8 modifier compared to 0.7 modifier of steel material, the Gzhel is taking a bigger hit to durability. To compare it to other class 5 armors, let’s say the Killa armor, that armor would lose only 6 points of durability per shot with BT round.
The durability your armor will lose is also tied to the armor class. Higher the class, less durability armor will lose. So after first shot Ghzel is at 54 durability and Korund is at 36. To make it more visual, Gzhel is at 83% of it’s maximum durability and Korund is at 80%. Now the stopping power of armor is more complicated than just a percentage of durability remaining. I will not go into details about how Tarkov calculates all of this, but if you are interested into running your own simulations I made Armor Calcualtor that will do all the math for you. You can find link in the video description. It’s still a work in progress, so don’t expect too much, but I will try to improve it over time. Also a big shutout to the Tarkov Armory for releasing their project on github, I wouldn’t be able to make my calculator without that info! Ok, going back to our example. Penetration chance for the second shot for Gzhel is now at 4,5% and for Korund at 5,8%, still pretty decent chance to stop bullet from penetrating.
Let’s simulate more shots and look at the data. Now we can see a little bigger picture. First, let’s compare armors protection capabilities. Gzhel should stop at least 4 rounds and then it’s very easy for BT bullets to go through. For Korund it looks like we should be reliably able to stop 3 rounds and then BT will start chewing on our flesh.
But there is more we can take away from all of this. Let’s actually look at calculations with more durability ranges. n case of Gzhel and Korund when we start approaching around 40% of their maximum brand new durability, we are starting to lose more and more stopping power and bullet’s have much easier time to penetrate our armor. In fact, this is the point where our armor is behaving more like class 4 armor in terms of it’s protection. That’s why I would recommend to sell armor that is below 60% of it’s maximum brand new durability. At that durability level you should get protection from 1 or maybe even 2 shots of lower penetrating rounds, but after that point bullets will probably go through your armor. If you don’t want to bother will calculations, the moment you can’t sell repaired armor to Ragman, is the moment when you should not use that armor.
Unless of course you don’t mind running with armor that is basically one class lower than what it says on the stats screen. This is also the reason why you should not bother will very low durability and a very high armor class vests you can see sometimes on Fence. As you can see, it will not protect you from anything! While this is not a guide about ammo, let me just put it there one more time. You should always use the best penetration round you can afford. Just look how easy it is for a 5.45x39mm BS round, that has 51 penetration power to go through class 5 armors. I hope that now you understand a little better why in the beginning of this guide I said, that you should go with the best armor class you can afford. There is just no point investing a very high amounts of money for a very small chance that your opponent is using bad ammunition.
I still think it’s worth using armor all the time, just don’t invest everything you have into one good kit or you may be for a big disappointment. Let’s go back again to our budget class 5 armors example. From information we gathered so far, you may now think that Gzhel is a clear winner in this category, but it would be just too simple, wouldn’t it? This is again where armor material comes into play. Armor material also determines how well armors repair. To put it into numbers perspective, better material equals less durability loss after repair plus it should also cost you a lot less money to do so. Going back to our example. After the first repair Gzhel sits at 56/56 durability, but how the game actually sees it in terms of calculations, it’s at 56 out of 65.
Korund on another hand did get drop only by 1 durability point and is at 44 out of 45. Let’s roll the simulation again from those starting values and let’s look at the results. So right now both armors perform on a similar level, protecting you from three bullets on average. Let’s repair armors one more time. Now Gzhel gives decent protection only from 2 bullets while Korund still maintains it’s high protection. Let’s also add repair costs to get a better picture. For Gzhel we had to spent around 90k on our repairs, while on Korund only 15k. Now that’s a huge difference when on the budget. You can basically buy the second Korund for the cost of repairing Gzhel. Gzhel while it’s great while being brand new, will very shortly lose it’s edge to Korund. So at this point you should tell by glance what armors are good and which ones are quite bad at long term protection.
Of course there are more armor characteristics you have take into account when making your final decision, so let’s dive into them too. Very important factor is what body zones given armor will protect. All armored vest and armored chest rigs will protect your thorax, some will also protect stomach and also arms. Right now if armor protects that area it covers it completely, even though visuals may indicate they shouldn’t. For the future there are a big plans to introduce armored plates into the game, thus dividing those protection areas into smaller ones, meaning you will have to seriously consider effectiveness of your armor based on that property. For instance, you will be able hit somebody into arm pit and ignore his armor completely, so if you are watching this in the future, evaluate and see what makes the most sense. You may think that armor that protects every zone possible should be the best one, but that’s not case.
I would probably try to avoid armors protecting your arms. The reason is, even if will get blacked arm, the next shots into that body part will deal only 0.7 damage, so you can actually tank a lot more shot that way. Second big thing, when in firefight it’s very common that arm will take few shots and that’s very bad for our armor durability. Just imaging being shot 3 times into the arm with very bad penetration bullet, thus dropping stopping power of our armor, and then the rest of enemy’s shots will go for thorax giving him a very big chance to penetrate and kill us. Now when it comes to stomach protection, that’s actually something you should care about a lot. Especially when you like running armored chest rigs. Shotguns in Tarkov can be very deadly killers, the MP-153 shotty with magnum buckshot or KS-23 shotty with Shrapnel rounds can actually 1 tap you when hitting your stomach. n my book that’s a very high risk situation.
I lost good kits to deaths like that in the past, so when I pick my armor I always try to go with stomach protection. Since we are talking about zones of protection, let’s take this opportunity and let’s talk a little about helmets. Helmets can protect top of your head, your ears, eyes, jaw and nape. The ideal helmet will protect each of those zones with a very high armor class and also will let you use headsets, but there is no such an item in Tarkov, at least not right now.
So you have to pick and choose wisely. f possible I always try to use helmet with headset, usually the one that also offers ears protection. don’t care that much about visors, because most of them will be class 3 only. If you don’t care about sound that much then there are some options for helmets with a very high armor class visors, but muffled sound can be a very huge drawback in that case. Also if enemy is using high penetration ammo, even that will not save you.
But there is one more special statistic on helmets, called ricochet chance, that may give you an additional protection. It’s only expressed by the rough chance, we don’t have the exact numbers. The best one is high chance and this is the stat you should care about on your helmets. If using visor also make sure the check if their ricochet chance is high. If you will get hit by bullet from certain angles then there is a chance that it will just bounce of the helmet, saving your life. It’s rare, but definitely can happen from time to time. Ok, we are almost there, but we still have some stuff to explain when it comes to armor. First one is the weight.
If you are wearing very heavy loadout it may reduce your overall speed very fast when you start picking some loot along the way. On top of that there is actual movement speed debuff on each armor and to be fair, anything above 20% makes you feel very slow and clunky, so obviously you should aim for the lowest penalty in this category. Possibly something around -10%. Next stat is turning speed which will make you feel that you are actually wearing heavy armor and can throw off your point fire aim a little.
While it’s immersive and makes some sense, it’s for sure very annoying to deal with. But don’t worry, at least your aim down sight sensitivity will not be affected by this debuff, you will only suffer when looking around. The last stat modifier is for ergonomics. It will lower your gun ergonomics, so your ADS speed may be a little slower. It’s shown as percentage, but in reality we are talking here about values ranging from -5 to maybe -10 ergo at most, so to be fair, nothing game breaking. I did some detailed testing about gun ergonomics in my other video, so if you are interested you should see link somewhere on the screen. There is actually a little more when it comes to bullets vs. armors interactions, but I will go about that stuff in one of the future guides focusing on ammunition and ballistics. I will talk about stuff like blunt damage, damage reduction when hitting armor, stamina drain, aim punch etc. lso guys, it really takes a lot of time make guides like this, so if you enjoyed this one and want to see more stuff like that on the channel, please consider subscribing.
Thanks for watching and see you in raids!.