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Armors help protect a player from damage. The armor attribute starts at zero percent and may go as high as 200 percent (or, in versions of Doom on and before 1.2, a much larger value).

The armor value is a percentage in relation to the protective value of the green armor item the player may pick up, or 100 hit points. The current armor percentage is shown on the status bar.

The armor percentage is reduced when the player absorbs damage due to enemy attacks or environmental hazards (damaging floors, exploding barrels, pods, or crushing ceilings).

In the Doom games, when a player is attacked, the standard green armor absorbs one third (1/3) of the damage from each hit, thus lessening the decrease in health. The blue megaarmor and the megasphere are more protective, and absorb one half (1/2) of the damage until fully depleted. Beneath 100 points, the megaarmor and the megasphere still absorb one half of the damage, so it is therefore good practice to avoid regular armors until the superior type has been depleted to a value significantly beneath 100 percent. Picking up armor bonuses simply increments the armor value by one percent, and does not otherwise affect the protectiveness of the suit or powerup previously picked up.

In cases where neither the armor, megaarmor or megasphere have been picked up, acquiring armor bonuses will assume a protection of only one third (1/3). If, on the other hand, a megaarmor has been picked up and depletes to zero percent the protectiveness is again likewise only one third.

Calculating the armors damage absorption

For this explanation, we are taking a simple example where the player is hit by a bullet that deals 15 hit points of damage.

If the player has picked up normal armor or a few armor bonuses, the armor and health percentages are reduced by 5 and 10, respectively. Instead, if the player acquired a megaarmor or megasphere, the armor and health percentages are reduced by 7 and 8, respectively.

Without any armor, health is reduced by the full 15. If armor is less than the calculated amount to absorb, then it absorbs whatever its value is (reducing it to zero) and the balance is subtracted from the health percentage. Had the player picked up only 3 armor bonuses (meaning his armor percentual to be only 3%), he would lose their value along with 6 points of health, and also an additional 6 points of health (losing 3% armor and 12% health, in total).

Doom game armors

  • The armor bonus (glowing helmet) increases armor by 1%, up to 200%.
  • The armor (green vest) sets armor to 100%, if it is less. It absorbs one-third of damage.
  • The megaarmor (blue vest) maxes out armor to 200%, if it is less. It absorbs one-half of damage.
  • The megasphere (gray sphere) acts like the megaarmor, in addition to maxing out health.

Heretic armors

  • The Silver Shield sets armor to 100%, if it is less. It absorbs one-half of damage.
  • The Enchanted Shield sets armor to 200%, if it is less. It absorbs three-quarters of damage.

Hexen armors

  • The Amulet of Warding Increases your characters armor class. The Mage receives the most armor from this and the Fighter receives the least.
  • The Falcon Shield increases your characters armor class. The Cleric benefits most from this armor.
  • The Mesh Armor increases your characters armor class. This armor is most useful to the Fighter and least useful for the Mage.
  • The Platinum Helm increases your characters armor class. This helm benefits the Fighter the most.
  • The Dragonskin Bracers, which is an artifact and not armor like the other four armor pickups, temporarily increases your character's armor class.

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