CS:GO – When to Buy Armor

In CS:GO, armor is a very important concept. The difference between having and not having armor is huge regarding the amount of damage you can take before getting killed. And that is why you generally see pro players buying a Kevlar Vest and a Helmet. But the problem is a bit more complicated than that. Know when to buy armor

When to Buy Armor

Armor Value in CS:GO

Body armor and head armor generally force the enemy to hit you once more to finish the job. In some cases, if they use a powerful weapon with high armor penetration or the ability to kill with 1 bullet in case of a headshot. It won’t matter if you have armor or not. You’ll still die just as quickly, so the armor is useless.

But in general, armor will benefit you a lot. This is particularly true against pistols and other weapons that are weak from long range. During pistol roundFs, having Kevlar is a very good idea. The helmet protects you against fatal single-bullet headshots. But you won’t be able to buy it unless you invest $1000 in the full package.

Armor disappears as you’re getting shot. However, rebuying armor is not worth it unless you’ve lost more than half of it.

The lowest armor penetration weapons in the game are the pistols. Against them, you will always want to be fully armored. The highest armor penetration weapons are many of the ones available to the Terrorists. Examples include the SG 553, the AK-47, and the Tec-9. When you play against such weapons, investing in armor may not be worth it.

Counter-Terrorists Armor

When running low on money as a Counter-Terrorist – one thing to remember is that the enemy team generally has weapons with high armor penetration. So if you can’t afford to buy armor and a defuse kit next round, it’s best to buy the defuse kit.

Counter-Terrorists usually prefer to opt for the maximum damage build and worry less about their defenses, while Terrorists always put armor first because they’ll get shot at from multiple directions and with weapons with lower armor penetration. 

In some cases, CT weapons deal very little damage if you’re properly armored. For instance, the damage dealt by the M4A4 if the bullets hit the chest and arm area is only 23. This means it will take 5 bullets to get killed by the most utilized assault rifle available to the CT side!

When Not to Buy Armor

If your team is doing an eco round and the odds of success are almost zero, damage reduction won’t matter because you’ll quickly find yourself alone against several enemy players.

There’s no point in investing in armor if it’s not useful. When you buy armor in CS:GO, you do it because you anticipate getting involved in duels. If you need to kill an enemy and he’s trying to kill you simultaneously, a fraction of a second can be the difference between a frag and a death.

If your opponent needs to hit you with 3 bullets and you can hit him with 1 or 2 to get the kill, you are more likely to win the duel. Of course, a lot depends on your reaction time and his, your ability to hit a headshot, and so on. At the fundamental level, the question is this: who will deal 100 damage first to his opponent?

You generally have only a few seconds from when your opponent spots you until you die. 

The time window is even smaller if you’re playing at a high level, such as Legendary Eagle Master or Global Elite. You might die in 0.5 seconds. But the principle remains the same: deal 100 damage to your opponent before he deals 100 damage to you. Armor usually adds 0.1s – 1s to your survivability if the opponent knows how to aim.

When to Buy Armor

You should buy armor whenever you can afford it and aren’t required to prioritize. If you don’t have enough money for all the equipment you need, prioritize your main weapon, grenades, and if you’re a Counter-Terrorist, the defuse kit. But other than that, armor is great against most weapons and can keep you alive just a bit longer.

A particular situation in which you should buy armor is the force-buy rounds. In eco rounds, this would be a waste of money. But during force-buy rounds, when you’re trying your best to win because you’ve spent all your money, it’s important to protect yourself as well as possible.

If you’re playing on the T side, always buy armor unless your entire team is doing an eco round. The most common weapons of the CT side have poor armor penetration and do not kill with a single headshot if you have a helmet. This means that you get the maximum value from the $1000 invested, which is true even if duels occur at close range.


If you’re an excellent Desert Eagle player with hundreds of hours of experience with this pistol, you may want to consider buying a Deagle in the pistol round instead of armor. 

This gun greatly damages and ignores armor almost completely. So you’re effectively increasing your offensive potential while nullifing the defensive potential of your opponents who will almost always invest in armor.

To generalize, always invest in your offensive potential if you know that you gain an advantage over the opponent by doing so. The only problem here is that firepower and defense are not the only variables. Positioning can also play a huge role. 

So when you’re on the T side, even though you could invest in an armor penetrating rifle and not buy armor if you can’t buy both, the truth is that you’ll usually need that armor to survive the initial CT shots when you assault a bomb location. 


In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, armor reduces damage, which is why players generally like to buy kevlar and a helmet. The first round is the most important, because armor is more useful against pistols. With the exception of a few situations, always buy armor if you want to increase your chance of winning duels.