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Heavy armor platting allowing protection for the torso and vital organs. Favored by mommas boys who don't have time to bleed.
— Description at Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.

Body Armor is a pickup and gear featured in the Grand Theft Auto series that serves primarily to protect the player's health from specific forms of damage, most notably gunfire. In most cases, body armor in the games is illustrated as a protective blue vest.


The body armor's primary function is to serve as padding for the player health, in effect extending the player's resilience to damage from gunfire, explosions and fire. The Body armor is a standard-issue item among law enforcement agencies, but also a rare sight among criminals.

2D Universe

In early top-down GTA games, armor in both Grand Theft Auto (as well as Grand Theft Auto: London mission packs) and Grand Theft Auto 2 serves its intended purpose, adding 10 more hit points to the player's existing health, but provides no protection to the player when they fall from great heights, are run over by vehicles, or are beaten up by the police and arrested. Armor is most commonly found spawned in specific locations or crates, and, in the case of GTA 2, can also be acquired by crushing specific cars.

3D Universe

Body armor continued to be featured between Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, undergoing several more changes. In all of its appearances, armor now offers nearly the same amount of hit points as the player's full health, doubling the player's resistance to damage. The armor hit points stayed the same until Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, where the armor is now a bar instead of hit points. In addition, armor can now pad injuries from falls, collisions with vehicles on foot, and even melee attacks; the armor in GTA San Andreas and GTA Vice City Stories is an exception, providing no protection to the player from falls, while the armor in Grand Theft Auto Advance provides no protection to melee attacks.

In addition to spawning in specific locales, body armor can also be purchased at stores that sell weapons, such as Ammu-Nation, as well as entering the Police/SWAT Enforcer trucks. Like the player's health, armor hit points between Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and GTA Vice City Stories (and GTA Advance) can typically be increased easily via side-missions (such as "Vigilante"), as well as 100% completion of the game.

The appearance of armor pickups has also changed significantly after GTA III. When included in GTA III, the pickup assumed the appearance of a shield icon; in subsequent games, however, the pickup is redesigned as a spinning vest, possibly to avoid confusion with the police bribe pickup.

HD Universe

Grand Theft Auto IV

Armor in Grand Theft Auto IV and Episodes from Liberty City has been refashioned slightly out of realism. It no longer offers protection to falls, collisions with vehicles on foot, or melee attacks (including hand-to-hand combat and melee weapons), increasing the player's chances of death from these hazards. However, it may absorb damage when staying inside a broken helicopter on low altitudes (a higher altitude will not be enough to survive).

As expected, armor can be found lying about in specific points of the city (distinguishable by its red glow) as well as underground weapon dealers in GTA IV. Enforcer armored vans still provide the player some armor, but only gives the player roughly one third of the maximum amount.

When equipped, the HUD will represent it as a blue half-circle bar located next to the radar, along with the green health bar. Similarly, when aiming at armored targets, the weapon's reticle will have a smaller, light blue circle next to the health bar, usually seen on NOOSE/FIB agents.

As a side note, in the multiplayer aspect of all three games in the GTA IV trilogy, body armour is weaker overall, possibly to compensate for the large abundace of it laying around the map in Free Mode. In singleplayer, a Pistol shot typically takes a tiny sliver of armour away from the player, whereas in multiplayer, the same bullet could take nearly a third of the player's armour away. This affects all weapons, including shots fired from other players. As such, armour in multiplayer (as is the case for GTA Online) is far less useful, even with the large amount of it that can be found.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Armor in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars appears to revert to pre-GTA IV settings. They can be found on or winning it with a scratch card. Unlike GTA IV, entering a NOOSE Enforcer gives the player full armor.

Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online

Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online introduced a more complex body armor system, including five tiered armor vests ranging from small arms protection to large caliber weapon and explosive protection. Body armor once again provides protection from falls and impacts. Each next level tier provides an added 20% armor, and the player cannot buy the weaker armor after buying the next tier (buy light, cannot buy super light).

These five armor suits can be bought from Ammu-Nation, apart from the weapons area in both games. In Grand Theft Auto Online, all five armor suits can be bought from the Agency Armory in the same area as the weapons.

Armor Description Cost (GTA V) Cost (GTA Online)
Super Light Armor
(20% armor)
This body armor offers good protection from small-caliber handgun projectiles but is also extremely lightweight and easily concealable. $500 $100 (Rank 5)
Light Armor
(40% armor)
This lightweight body armor combines the comfort and mobility of a soft vest with the option of hard armor inserts for extra protection. $1,000 $200 (Rank 10)
Standard Armor
(60% armor)
Featuring full-size hard armor panels to the front and rear, with the option to fit additional soft side panels, this ballistic vest offers excellent protection from handgun and rifle projectiles. $1,500 $300 (Rank 15)
Heavy Armor
(80% armor)
This heavy-duty ballistic vest comes with full-size front and rear hard armor panels and optional hard armor side inserts for all-round protection. $2,000 $400 (Rank 20)
Super Heavy Armor
(100% armor)
This heavy-duty body armor features full-size high tensile strength ballistic plate to the front, rear and sides for maximum protection against large-caliber firearm projectiles and high-explosive shell fragments. $2,500 $500 (Rank 25)
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Armor suits have been reported to be massively weaker in Grand Theft Auto Online, even at 100%. Probably to compensate for this, players are able to have up to a maximum of ten reserve armor vests (at level 135) in their inventories.

The strength stat, when fully increased does seem to negate this. As it seems the strength stat gives a boost to both armor and health slightly. The armor difference is still very low (around 10-15% depending on the weapon used) but it seems that a super heavy vest (%100), with a character at max strength, can take 2-3 more hits from a carbine rifle or handguns, than a character with a super heavy vest (%100) without a very noticeable strength stat. This is caused by the fact that the strength stat DECREASES overall damage, and not just adds more health. This can be beneficial as it allows much more resilience with armor at range, and thus making armor purchases, and strength enhancing activities a better investment.

Image Gallery


Grand Theft Auto 2

Grand Theft Auto III



All body armor locations (GTA III)

Shoreside Vale


Grand Theft Auto: Vice City


  • Available in Ammu-Nation, for $200.
  • Awarded to the player by entering an Enforcer.

Ocean Beach

Washington Beach

Leaf Links

  • In a sand bunker at the Northwest part of the course.

Vice Point

Prawn Island


  • On roof of a building near the test track at the north of the district (use the stairs behind).
  • On roof of Hyman Condo (10 Hidden Packages collected award).
  • In a alley at south of The Well Stacked Pizza.
  • Can be bought for $200 in the Ammu-Nation after Jury Fury.
  • Behind a building beside the The Greasy Chopper.

Little Haiti

Little Havana

  • In the corner of a blue house just west of the basketball court complex (behind some bushes).

Vercetti Estate, Starfish Island (after "Rub Out")

  • Southeast beside the steps leading to the upper garden (10 Hidden Packages collected award).
  • In a small room at bottom of the stairs.
  • In the lounge North of the main hall central staircase (after "Keep Your Friends Close...").

Vice Port

Fort Baxter

  • At top of the east entrance guard tower.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas


  • Available in Ammu-Nation, for $200.
  • Awarded to the player by entering an Enforcer.
  • Inside all accessible police stations.

Los Santos

San Fierro

Las Venturas

Red County


Bone County

Tierra Robada

  • Bayside - At the beach north of Bayside Marina, where a Vortex also spawns.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories


  • Available in Ammu-Nation, for $240.
  • Awarded to the player by entering an Enforcer.



Shoreside Vale

  • Next to the firetruck at the airport.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories


  • Available in Ammu-Nation, for $240.
  • Awarded to the player by entering an Enforcer.


Little Havana

Ocean Beach

  • At the Marina Sands Hotel.
  • In front of a wall in the underground carpark.
  • Southwest corner on top level of the Ocean Beach Parking Garage.
  • At the parking garage near the Ocean Bay Marina piers.
  • Grassy area at southeast part of Ocean Beach.

Grand Theft Auto IV and EFLC



  • Cerveza Heights - On the rooftop of Sum Yung Gai building, inside the large noodle bowl with chopsticks. Can be accessed with the help of a car to access from the emergency stairs on the south side, or by getting into the subway overpass from the Huntington Street LTA station and jump into the rooftop.
  • East Hook - In the Platypus control bridge up top with the steering wheel, but is only accessible via helicopter, as the location is only available in the mission A Dish Served Cold (Only if choosen Revenge after the mission One Last Thing).
  • Firefly Projects - In a junkyard to the right, between the junk and the roofing, in the leftover remains of a pickup.
  • Francis Intl. Airport:
    • Northwest of an orange and white box, behind the cement barrier. Careful, as one will get a 4-star wanted level.
    • On some rooftop generators of the FIA area. There is a ladder on the side to access it.
    • In a small grassy area, near the airport fuel station just off the Broker - Dukes Expressway
  • Hove Beach - Across from the first safehouse on the billboard. It is really hard to get it, the player have to jump off the Broker - Dukes Expressway to the north to access the rooftops and them carefully jump to the billboard to get it.
  • Meadow Hills - Behind a two-car brick garage off Sillwater Ave.
  • South Slopes - On the east side of a steel gated door, in an alley north of Sundance St.
  • Steinway - North Dukes Drive, under the boardwalk on the rocks, as it descends down to the water.





  • Acter - In an alley near the corner building off Lee Rd. To find it, climb the wall on the side, where police cars are usually seen, and finding the way down the alley to the armor.
  • Acter Industrial Park:
    • On the western side, near a burning barrel on the railroad tracks.
    • Inside an old warehouse, just inside the door. The player may see it in the mission "Pegorino's Pride" given by Jimmy Pegorino.
  • Alderney City:
  • Berchem:
    • Next to the west wall of the Plumbers Skyway, on the ground.
    • Next to the stairs from the building that leads out into the parking lot of Babbage Drive and Fleming St. The player can get there from the east side building entry and walking up the stairs.
  • Leftwood - North-east from Franklin St and Rand Ave junction, in the alleyway on the north side of a chain link fence.
  • Tudor - Below the Plumbers Skyway bridge on a support beam. The player can hop over from the one next to it.
  • Westdyke - On a ledge above the door of a building with the Sprunk sign in the front. The player may need to climb on the dumpster to get it.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

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Broker, Dukes, Bohan


Happiness Island

Grand Theft Auto V

Body armor locations in Grand Theft Auto V.


  • Available in Ammu-Nation, with a price range between $500 (the lightest) and $2,500 (the heaviest).
  • Awarded to the player by entering a Police Riot.

Los Santos

Los Santos County

Blaine County

Grand Theft Auto Online

  • Available in Ammu-Nation, with a price range between $100 (the lightest) and $500 (the heaviest). (Discount available if purchased from an Agency Armory, and a small permanent discount may also be awarded for ongoing good behavior.)
  • Awarded to the player by entering a Police Riot.
  • Can be dropped by an MC Enforcer and a CEO, for $1,000 and $1,500 respectively.
  • MC Presidents and Road Captains can enable Riding Formation, which will allow players to enter a formation with their bikes to gain up to 100% health and 100% armor, as long as the former is filled already.
  • Occassionally awarded to players during special events, such as Festive Surprises and other weekly events.
  • A full inventory of super heavy armor vests, along with some ammo and a first aid kit, will be given to the player after calling Franklin Clinton's Supply Stash service for $5,000 and collecting it.


Grand Theft Auto IV

Body Armor clothing.jpg
  • In the Grand Theft Auto IV beta, body armor would be physically represented on one's character model if equipped. As with the fingerless gloves that were also 'cut', this wearable armor still exists in the retail version and can be equipped via a trainer, though without any effect unless the in-game armor is equipped as well. However, body armor is now able to be physically shown on players in Grand Theft Auto Online.

Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online

  • The armor depicted on the ground when picking it up does not match its armor value. Say, the armor pick-up on the ground is a super light $500 body armor bought at Ammu-Nation, even though it gives the armor value of a $2,500 super heavy body armor bought at Ammu-Nation.
  • In GTA V and GTA Online, the super light vest model in Ammu-Nation is actually a plate carrier model, and is used by the military. The model of the in store vest also does not match the actual model used when worn by a character. Its model is still visible when worn by NPCs (professional criminals, and military).
  • While wearing body armor, player characters will have gray-white bullet wounds around their torso if shot in that area. If shot anywhere else, they will have normal, bloody wounds, as seen here in this cutscene.

See Also