- "Heavy armor platting allowing protection for the torso and vital organs. Favored by mommas boys who don't have time to bleed."
- — Description at GTA CW.
Body Armor is a pickup 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.
First introduced in the original Grand Theft Auto, 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.
GTA 1 — GTA 2
In early top-down GTA games, armors in both GTA 1 (as well as Grand Theft Auto London mission packs) and GTA 2 serve their 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. Armors are most commonly found spawned in specific locations or crates, and, in the case of GTA 2, can also be acquired by crushing specific cars.
GTA III — GTA Vice City Stories
Body armor continued to be featured between GTA III and GTA 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 GTA 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 GTA Vice City and GTA Vice City Stories (sans 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 games after, however, the pickup is redesigned as a spinning vest, possibly to avoid confusion with the police bribe pickup.
GTA IV — GTA Chinatown Wars
Armor in GTA IV 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. Armor in GTA Chinatown Wars appears to revert to pre-GTA IV settings.
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 or AmmuNation.net in GTA Chinatown Wars. NOOSE Enforcers still provide the player some armor, but only gives the player roughly one third of the maximum amount (With the exception of GTA Chinatown Wars, which gives you full armor).
Grand Theft Auto V 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 you cannot buy the weaker armor after you buy the next tier (buy light, cannot buy super light).
- Super Light Armor: $500 (20% armor)
- Light Armor: $1000 (40%)
- Standard Armor: $1500 (60%)
- Heavy Armor: $2000 (80%)
- Super Heavy Armor: $2500 (100%)
These five armor suits can be bought from Ammu-Nation.
Armor suits has been reported to be massively weaker in GTA 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.
- Atlantic Quays:
- Far northeast Portland Harbor - near Emergency Vehicles Import/Export crane.
- Red Light District - near the safehouse after collecting 50 hidden packages.
- Saint Mark's - in a area behind Momma's Restaurante, where a Mafia Sentinel is parked, follow the edge around the building and down a side ramp. There's also an AK-47 near the armor.
- On roof of Liberty Pharmaceuticals, across Bitch'n' Dog Food, along with a Hidden Package, an AK-47, an adrenaline and a health pickup. From train tracks, make a running jump onto a black roof beside Mean Street Taxis and follow it to the end to get there.
- Beside a fenced area across from Joey's Garage.
- Cedar Grove - inside the storage garage in the front yard of the Cartel Mansion (use the Cartel Cruiser to enter).
- Francis International Airport - atop the road tunnel entrance next to the Airport.
- Pike Creek:
- Wichita Gardens - near the safehouse after collecting 50 Hidden Packages.
- Bedford Point:
- In the southeast corner of a large building beside Liberty City Cathedral, next an AK-47 pickup icon.
- At the Liberty Tree parking lot (where the mission Kingdom Come takes place), in the walled area behind a parked Moonbeam. Use the van to get there, park it by the lowest part of the wall, climb the car, then jump over the wall. It is also a Carbine Rifle location.
- Belleville Park:
- Fort Staunton - on second floor of the building in Panlantic Constrution site, near a health pickup (take the ramp in the west side, follow it to the end then turn right on the stairs).
- Liberty Campus - on porch of the north building.
GTA Vice City
- On roof of a building near the test track at the north of the district (use the stairs behind).
- On roof of Hyman Condo after collecting 10 Hidden Packages.
- 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.
- At top of the east entrance guard tower.
- In a sand bunker at the northwest part of the course.
- On roof of Print Works (use stairs).
- In the corner of a blue house just west of the basketball court complex (behind some bushes).
- Inside Ocean View Hotel (after collecting 10 Hidden Packages).
- In the building beside Pay 'n' Spray where a Banshee and a PCJ-600 spawn (go upstairs).
- Can be bought for $200 in the Ammu-Nation after Jury Fury.
Vercetti Estate, Starfish Island (after "Rub Out")
- In a small room at bottom of the stairs (after collecting 10 hidden packages).
- Beside the steps leading to the upper part of the garden on the south side (after collecting 10 hidden packages).
- In the bar beside the large central stairs of the main hall.
- In front of Standing Vice Point building.
- Near the basketball courts behind some apartments facing east The Well Stacked Pizza.
- At the Vice Point Police Station, part central of the district (get in the Enforcer).
- In a shrine just south of the El Swanko Casa.
- Can be bought for $200 at the Ammu-Nation inside North Point Mall after Jury Fury.
- At the building just south of the bridge that leads to Prawn Island (climb the ramp).
- In the corner of a building just south of 3321 Vice Point.
- In the entrance of a building across the street from the big ship.
- Between some crates in the parking lot beside Vice City Transport Police (east of Escobar International Airport).
- Behind a pink condo building east of Hotel Harrison, by the pool (Micro SMG and Hidden Package nearby).
- At the north corner of the building destroyed in the mission Demolition Man.
GTA San Andreas
- Easter Basin - At the base of the hill under the freeway, at the north end of the large red brick factory due west of the docks.
- Rockshore West - Between the stairs of the dock south of the district.
- Dillimore - One inside the prison cells and another in the locker room in the Dillimore Police Station.
- Montgomery - In the trailer park.
- Palomino Creek - Between a house and a garage in the northeast part of town.
- Mount Chiliad - At the summit.
GTA Liberty City Stories
- Callahan Point - On the lower level of the dock.
- Saint Mark's - On top of one of the garage roofs just east of the Portland Island Safehouse.
- Newport - Can be bought in the Ammu-Nation for $240 after the completion of the mission Driving Mr. Leone.
GTA Vice City Stories
- Can be found on the roof of the The Greasy Chopper.
- 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.
- Acter - In an alley near the corner building off Lee Rd. To find it, climb the wall on the side where there usually are police cars, and find your way down the alley to the armor.
- Acter Industrial Park:
- Alderney City:
- At the end of the easternmost wall at the Alderney Ferry Terminal.
- Near some red and white plastic crates off Jonestown Ave
- 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. You can get there from the east side building entry and walk up the stairs. You will find this useful in a mission later in the game.
- Leftwood - In the alleyway on the North side of a chain link fence of Franklin St.
- Tudor - Below the Plumbers Skyway bridge on a support beam, you 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, climb on the dumpster to get it.
- Castle Gardens - In a pipe in the construction area.
- Colony Island - In the graveyard behind an Angel Statue marker.
- Hatton Gardens - In a construction area, walk down the ramp and you find it underneath it.
- In a small alley North of the Skeeza shop off Albany Ave.
- At the junction on the docks between the wood and cement (off Grummer Road), on the lowest level.
- Below the Northwood Heights bridge support between the columns.
- Purgatory - In the southwest corner of the parking garage on the second level next to a trash receptacle in Purgatory.
- Star Junction:
- You find this body armor in the mission "Late Checkout" given by Ray Boccino. If you don't do the mission, it is only accessible by helicopter drop and its on the rooftop patio near the red and yellow LOGGER umbrella in Star Junction at the Majestic.
- On a back alley ledge in Star Junction off Lorimar St where you see some skylights. Use the dumpsters to access it.
- The Exchange:
- The Triangle - In an alley, on the Northwest corner of the block, its a slim alley to go into.
- Cerveza Heights - On the rooftop of Sum Yung Gai inside the large noodle bowl with chopsticks. There are emergency stairs on the south side, with the help of a car you can jump on them. You can also access the bowl by getting into the Subway overpass from the Huntington Street LTA station and jump into the rooftop.
- East Hook - In the Platypus ships central control area up top with the steering wheel. You will have to helicopter drop to get it, there is a mission ("A Dish Served Cold" (Only if you choose Revenge after "One Last Thing")) you may be able to use it in as well, but you wont have to drop to get it then.
- Firefly Projects - In the junkyard to right, between the junk and the roofing, in the leftover remains of a pickup.
- Francis Intl. Airport
- Northwest of an orange and white box and then behind the cement barrier. You WILL get a 4 star wanted level if you dare to go after this one.
- In the Francis International Airport area, on some rooftop generators. There is a ladder on the side to access it.
- Just off the Broker Dukes Expressway, in a small grassy area, near the airport fuel station.
- Hove Beach - Across from your first safehouse on the billboard. Its really hard to get, you have to jump off the Broker Dukes Expressway to the North to to access the rooftops and them carefully jump to the billboard to get it.
- Meadow Hills - Behind a 2 car brick garage off Stillwater Ave.
- South Slopes - On the East side of a steel gated door, just walk right through to get it. In an alley north of Sundance St.
- Steinway - Under the boardwalk on the rocks as it descends down to the water, north Dukes Drive.
GTA Chinatown Wars
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- Altruist Camp, Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness:
- Grapeseed - Intersection of Grapeseed Main Street and Union Road, inside a white small shed, near the HVY trailer.
- North Fort Zancudo - At Fort Zancudo Treatment Works just outside the army base, in the middle of the eastmost water processing tank.
- Mount Josiah - In front of the train tunnel over the eastern side of Raton Pass, between a small fenced shack and some generator boxes.
- Paleto Bay:
- Sandy Shores:
- Stab City - In the covered area beside the northmost trailer, near a Carbine Rifle.
- South side of Millar's Fishery, next to some red gas tanks.
- Inside the large warehouse on the nothern dirt road off North Calafia Way, lying on a pile of laths next to the boat.
Los Santos Metropolitan Area:
- Rancho - Rancho Projects, intersection of Dutch London Street and Jamestown Street, south side of the southmost building, near some green dumpsters.
- Strawberry - At the northern side of a homeless camp under Olympic Freeway, lying on a couch. You can also find a Health Pack nearby.
- Del Perro - Intersection of Prosperity Street and Marathon Avenue, on the sidewalk in front of the Maze Bank, near Del Perro Station.
- Mission Row - Sinner Street, inside the Police Station, near the seating area.
- El Burro Heights - Capital Boulevard, in the area just behind the Fire Station and next to St. Fiacre Hospital, at the bottom of a tower.
- Elysian Island - In the area between Elysian Fields Freeway and Chum Street, in the middle of an unfinished silo near Abattoir Avenue.
- Little Seoul:
- Pillbox Hill - at the underground of Union Depository, in a small hole under the floor, along with an Assault Shotgun.
- Vespucci Beach - at very end of the pier walkway, southmost point of the beach.
- Vespucci Police Station, Vespucci Canals - on the garage rooftop patio, next to a metallic statue.
- Hawick/Alta - near the swimming pool inside The Pink Cage Motel.
- Hawick - Elgin Avenue, at the end of a small driveway between the Police Station and a "Parking" building.
- La Puerta - Inside Rogers Salvage and Scrap, under a metal structure next to the eastern entrance on Alta Street.
- LSIA - At the west side of the NOOSE Building on New Empire Way, next to a pillar and just behind the Police Car.
- West Vinewood - Intersection of Strangeways Drive and Spanish Avenue, near the entrance to the "Parking" building, at north of the Epsilon Building.
- Vinewood Hills/Banham Canyon - On the third floor of a construction site next to the intersection of North Rockford Drive and Ace Jones Drive, behind the blue tarp.
Outside Metropolitan Area:
- Land Act Dam - In the center, inside the dam building (the building has a small tower on the top), next to a generator box.
- Richman Glen - Intersection of North Rockford Drive and Banham Canyon Drive, at the north side of the LTD Convenience Store, sitting on the wall beside a HOBO dumpster.
- Baytree Canyon - Intersection of Baytree Canyon Road and Marlowe Drive, in a white outhouse shed at the picnic area, next to the end of the bike race against Mary Ann.
- Vinewood Hills:
- Banham Canyon - Ineseno Road, at the bottom of a blue house located just north of No Marks Cleaners, next to some rocks on the beach side.
- Redwood Lights Track - At northwest, on top of a large storage tank (near the letter scrap).
- Great Chaparral - On a dirt road off Galileo Road, just northwest of the starting point of the "Ridge Run" Offroad Truck Race.
- Palmer-Taylor Power Station - at northwest, inside a grey cabin located at the furcation of the train tracks (take the stairs around the cabin to access).
- 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 characters in Grand Theft Auto Online.
- In GTA V, 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 weak $500 body armor bought at Ammu-Nation, even though it gives the armor value of a $2500 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).