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Gameplay articles
FalloutCombat armor
Brotherhood armor
Fallout 2Combat armor
Combat armor Mk II
Brotherhood armor
Fallout 3Combat armor
Tenpenny security uniform
Rivet City security uniform
Ranger battle armor
Talon combat armor
Winterized combat armor Operation: Anchorage (add-on)
Lag-Bolt's combat armor Broken Steel
Winterized medic armor Mothership Zeta (add-on)
Fallout: New VegasCombat armor
Combat armor, reinforced
Combat armor, reinforced mark 2
NCR Ranger patrol armor
NCR Ranger combat armor
Van Graff combat armor
US Army combat armor Lonesome Road (add-on)
Desert Ranger combat armor Honest Hearts
Lonesome RoadUS Army combat armor
Riot gear
Advanced riot gear
Elite riot gear
Fallout 4Combat armor
Marine armor Far Harbor (add-on)
Fallout 76Combat armor
Marine armor
Scout armor
Fallout: BoSCombat armor
Fallout ShelterCombat armor (sturdy, heavy)
Battle armor (sturdy, heavy)
Fallout: The Board GameCombat armor
This is an overview article, focusing on background information and cross-game comparisons.
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Combat armor is a general term for any suit of personal body armor employed before the Great War by the United States Armed Forces.


A diverse family of personal body armor with varying degrees of sophistication, providing balanced protection against both energy and ballistic damage.[1] A wide variety of such armor can be found throughout the wastelands, ranging from the early iterations developed by the United States Army to the cutting-edge riot gear that came into use prior to the Great War.[2]


The United States Armed Forces were the principal operator of the entire family of combat armors before the Great War, although some were provided to law enforcement agencies. It was not available to civilians without a special permit provided by the BADTFL.[3]


  • Brotherhood of Steel: The largest operator of combat armors, principally the Army, standard, and advanced combat armor. Basic combat armor was usually used with the standard woodland camouflage,[10] while standard armor was deployed with a custom, copper-colored finish providing additional resistance to radiation.[11] The most advanced armor of this family was the Brotherhood armor, an upgraded variant of the basic version. Manufactured by Brotherhood knights, it looks like normal combat Armor, but is made of substantially improved materials and is designed better.[12]
  • Enclave used advanced combat armor as standard equipment for its light infantry stationed on the mainland.[13]
  • Vault City provided suits of advanced combat armor to its patrols operating away from the City itself.[14]
  • New California Republic Rangers used advanced combat armor in 2241,[15] but by 2281, after being folded into the NCR military command, switched to hand-made combat armor pattern suits, with LAPD riot gears provided to its veteran members.[16]
  • Rivet City's security guard all used Army combat armor painted black with riot helmets as its security uniform in 2277.[17]
  • The wealthy merchant houses of the Hub provided full suits of advanced combat armor to the Hub police in 2161.[18]
  • Some wealthy merchants would continue the practices of providing their security detail with combat armor, such as Duppo in 2242, with advanced combat armor,[19] or Allistair Tenpenny in 2277, who provided his security with security uniforms in characteristic beige.[20] Van Graffs also wore black combat armor for brand recognition.[21]
  • The Gun Runners provided combat armor for all of its security between 2161 and 2281.[22]
  • Various mercenary units and other groups throughout the centuries made use of combat armor of all types. Notable examples include Bishop's mercenaries, Darion's elite New Khans, and the Hubologists of 2241, Talon Company and Reilly's Rangers of 2277, as well as Gunners of 2287.[23] Individuals would also be able to purchase an intact suit with increasing ease, due to the increased availability of suits on the market (although prices are typically high).[24]


Combat armor

A full suit of Army combat armor used on the Alaskan front

M Torso Heavy Reinforced.png
US Army combat armor.png

New California

Even with the widespread deployment of standard combat armor, work continued on more advanced suits of combat armor. The largest and most successful model was a high-tech armor using advanced defensive polymers to provide a high degree of protection.[25][26] The advanced model represented a new approach to design, doing away with the modular construction of its predecessors, and was hailed as an advanced personal armor for the 22nd-century police officer or soldier.[3] Highly effective against most types of damage and lightweight. Unlike older models, materials used in the advanced combat armor also provided limited protection from radiation by default.[27] Some variants incorporated forms of camouflage.[28]

The basic component of this advanced armor is a long-sleeve jumpsuit, incorporating thermal dissipators and general-purpose dissipative membranes.[29] It is worn underneath the actual combat armor, manufactured from polymer impact plates providing concussive protection and incorporating additional dissipation cells and membranes.[30][31] The Brotherhood of Steel also fashioned its own variant, recognizable due to polished rivets incorporated into its pauldrons and blue trim on the edges.[12]

Capital/Mojave Wastelands

An early type of combat armor developed by the United States Army, the combat armor consisted of individual armored plates attached to standard load-carrying equipment of the infantryman. The individual components included a combat helmet issued with matching goggles in hazardous environs, front and back ballistic plates, and a pair of axillary protectors. Additional forearm protectors were issued to frontline troops.[32] The lower body was protected by a pair of thigh plates, worn together with a groin and kidney protector. The shins, knees, and feet were covered by frontal plates worn over standard combat boots.[33]

The armor was typically worn in conjunction with standard Army fatigues, as seen in the Commonwealth, or specialized uniforms. It was manufactured in various solid color camouflage patterns including arctic white, coyote brown, and olive drab. Rank indicators were typically painted about the shoulders,[34] with the Army insignia and identification numbers printed on the back plate.[35][33]


The success of the Army combat armor paved the way for superior models such as a standard-issue variant[36] combat armor issued to military units nationwide.[37][38] The new combat armor was manufactured in three different variants, for wearing with the standard armed services uniform: Light, medium (sturdy), and heavy. The modular suit of armor was manufactured from alloys that offer balanced protection from conventional firearms and energy weapons[39] and provide load-bearing functionality in combat.


The armor was at times provided to servicemembers relegated to domestic and garrison duties.[40]

Combat armor, reinforced

Combat armor reinforced.png

Advanced combat armor was manufactured alongside standard combat armor, providing additional variants. The combat armor mark II is a heavier set designed for use by shock troops and Special Forces, incorporating additional armor plating and increasing its protective qualities.[12]

Marine armor

Fo4FH MarineCombatArmor.png

Gameplay articles: Far Harbor, Fallout 76

An advanced model of combat armor designed for the United States Marine Corps,[41] the Marine armor serves to completely protect users, levels above even that of the heavy combat armor. Outclassed only by Power Armor, every piece of was designed to provide exceptional protection in nearly every battlefield scenario.[42]

Riot gear


Gameplay articles: NCR Ranger combat armor, Desert Ranger combat armor, Riot gear, Advanced riot gear, Elite riot gear, Ranger armor outfit, Advanced ranger armor outfit, Elite ranger armor outfit

Another advanced design fielded before the Great War, riot gear was a specialized model of combat armor used by the United States Marine Corps,[43] Army units in the American West,[44] and select law enforcement agencies, such as the Los Angeles Police Department.[45]

The helmet is a rounded shell that protects the head from incoming gunfire, while the lamps on the right side of the helmet.The armored mask designed to be worn with the helmet is necessary to use the IR lamp, due to the low-light optics integrated into the lenses.[46][47] Some upgraded models also include communications gear and upgraded filtering apparatus.[48]


Concept art
Renders and game assets


  1. Fallout 4 loading screens: "Combat Armor offers balanced protection against both energy and ballistic damage."
  2. Riot gear variants available in Lonesome Road.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p. 5-17: "Combat Armor is advanced personal armor for the 22nd century police officer or military grunt. This is about the best armor a Vault Dweller is likely to see in their lifetime. Combat Armor is highly effective against most types of damage, is light weight (for it’s protective value), and is, unfortunately, not available without a special permit. Interested parties should contact the BADTFL office near them."
  4. Operation: Anchorage
  5. Fallout
  6. Fallout 2
  7. Lonesome Road
  8. Honest Hearts Desert Ranger armor.
  9. As seen in the Fallout intro
  10. Initiate Pek wears this armor in the field
  11. Fallout 4 upgrade options
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets p. 65: "Combat Armor is prewar personal body armor. Combat Armor Mk. 2 was designed as a heavier set of personal armor, reserved for use by shock troops and Special Forces."
    "Brotherhood Combat Armor, manufactured by the Brotherhood of Steel, looks like normal Combat Armor, but is made of substantially improved materials and is designed better. In addition to its other protective features, Combat Armor gives the wearer a 20% bonus to their Radiation Resistance."
  13. Navarro infantry in Fallout 2
  14. Fallout 2 random encounters with Vault City patrols
  15. Rangers in Shady Sands and on patrols wear this armor
  16. Rangers in Fallout: New Vegas
  17. Rivet City security guards in Fallout 3
  18. Hub police officers in Fallout
  19. Duppo's guards in the Bazaar in Fallout 2
  20. Tenpenny security guards in Fallout 3
  21. Simon: "Welcome to the Silv- ah crap, don't tell me you're my new guard. Okay, now let's get you geared up. First, your armor. Standard issue is your run-of-the-mill combat armor, with a nice dark coat of paint for both brand recognition and sheer intimidation value. Next, your weapon. Guards are required to use rifles. Anything lighter compromises your combat effectiveness. Anything heavier and people are too scared to come in the door. What's your preference, laser or plasma?"
    (Simon's dialogue)
  22. Gun Runner guards in Fallout and Fallout: New Vegas
  23. Appearance of these characters in Fallout 2
  24. Availability of armor between Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 4
  25. Fallout demo, Fallout and Fallout 2 item description: "{1700}{}{Combat Armor}"
    "{1701}{}{High tech armor, made out of advanced defensive polymers.}"
    (PRO ITEM.MSG (Fallout demo), PRO ITEM.MSG (Fallout), PRO ITEM.MSG (Fallout 2))
  26. Fallout Official Survival Guide p.122: "Combat Armor: High-tech armor made out of advanced synthetic materials."
  27. Combat Armor item perk in Fallout and Fallout 2.
  28. Sid: "{127}{}{It's camouflage, you blend so well. Wait! Where'd you go?}"
  29. The Chosen One: "{292}{}{The Phoenix Armor Implant.}"
    Johnson: "{310}{}{According to the reports, Phoenix Armor Implants give you 5% resistance to thermal damage (fire, laser, and plasma) - over and above any other armor you're wearing. The operation takes a few days, one suit of Combat Armor (for the thermal-dissipative membranes), and it will cost you $8,000. Not to worry, though; this operation *should* create only minimal scarring - at least that's what I read.}"
    The Chosen One: "{318}{}{That sounds great, Doc. Let's do it.}"
    Johnson: "{326}{}{Coming around, are we? You're just jam-packed with thermal-dissipators and dissipative membranes. You won't look quite so lumpy in a few weeks, but you won't be winning any beauty pageants again, either. Try not to pick at the pus-crusts near the drainage incisions until they stop suppurating.}"
  30. The Chosen One: "{278}{}{Do you have what you need to perform the operations?}"
    Johnson: "{279}{}{Mostly. I have the skill and the training, but I don't have the implant material.}"
    The Chosen One: "{280}{}{So, what does that mean?}"
    Johnson: "{281}{}{That means that we'll just have to improvise. I think I can get what I need from a set of standard combat armor. I can take the concussive protection plates and also the thermal cells from the armor.}"
  31. The Chosen One: "{213}{}{Combat implants? What do you mean?}"
    Andrew: "{214}{}{Well, according to the schematics I saw, you can graft dermal plates and thermal dissipators to a person's skeleton using the following procedure...}"
    The Chosen One: "{211}{}{I found some combat implant schematics in the Vault City medical database. Could you perform the operation?}"
    Andrew: "{215}{}{Huh. Well, I suppose with help from the ol' Doctor I could do that operation. Course, I'd need some impact plates and dissipators first...might be able to pry some out of a suit of combat armor, if you can find one.}"
  32. Only Operation: Anchorage soldiers are shown wearing them, they are absent from domestic armor
  33. 33.0 33.1 Armor appearance in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas
  34. US Army combat armor in Lonesome Road has the rank insignia of private
  35. Ranger battle armor in Fallout 3
  36. Bethesda UK Official Twitter
  37. Frontline troops in Alaska wear this type of combat armor.
  38. As seen in the Fallout 4 intro
  39. Fallout 4 loading screens: "Combat Armor offers balanced protection against both energy and ballistic damage."
  40. Fallout 76 intro shows this type of armor issued to United States soldiers
  41. DiMa's memory No. 5: "Memory file identification: 0Y-8K7D. Converted to audio transcription. Beginning playback. I've discovered a curious record inside the prewar data files of this submarine base. The marines here were equipped with an advanced model of combat armor. There are several suits already in the base, in various states of deterioration. But there were more shipments of the armor on its way to the base, the day the bombs fell. They could be in prime condition if the sealants have held. I have no use for them, but you never know. Maybe they'll be worth digging up one day... Additional data appended. Armor Shipments Tracking Information. Coordinates downloaded."
  42. Fallout 76 loading screens
  43. Desert Ranger combat armor was used by a marine in China
  44. Riot gear availability in Lonesome Road
  45. Fallout: New Vegas loading screens: "The distinctive black ranger combat armor consists of the Desert Rangers' traditional trench coat worn with pre-War riot armor. Ranger patrol armor is hand-manufactured in the NCR."
  46. The Courier: "What do the new rangers mean for NCR?"
    Hanlon: "The Baja rangers can do more advance night scouting and sharpshooting to assist the troopers. Ranger combat helmets are old Pre-War gear. They have built in low-light optics. Makes a big difference."
    (Hanlon's dialogue)
  47. As seen in the Fallout: New Vegas intro
  48. Appearance of NCR Ranger combat armor, Desert Ranger combat armor, and riot gears