| ||For an overview of combat armor variants in all games, as well as background information, see combat armor.|
First created in 2051, the military-grade combat armor was designed to protect key sections of the human body from ballistic trauma with hard armored plates made from complex polymers and ceramics, with a flexible body suit interwoven with thermal-dissipative membranes and bulletproof material. The earliest models of the combat armor were manufactured as specific plates mounted on combat webbing, although as the technology improved, body-enclosing suits of armor were created and entered active combat duty, though in limited quantities. The armor came with a matte-finish olive drab coloring by default, making it suitable for woodland and/or urban camouflage. Prior to the Great War, combat armor was nearly exclusively the property of military forces and special police units. Currently-available historical documentation shows users only in the North American continent, but allied nations were likely to possess identical or similar systems. Combat armor was the de facto armor of the United States military, issued to all combat soldiers not in the powered armor units. Additionally, at least one Canadian partisan was caught on camera wearing a suit of combat armor.
Civilian ownership of combat armor was highly restricted. A special permit was required from the Bureau of Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco, Firearms and Lasers for private ownership of the combat armor (though it was marketed to US citizens without mentioning this fact).
The Ranger battle armor is a variant of combat armor. The matching Ranger battle helmet is used only by the group's engineer Donovan. Each suit has a serial number (41-90MPW) painted on the back, along with a US Army star.
Ranger battle armor is the strongest non-powered armor available in the game, and for players who value Agility over Strength, the Ranger armor is preferable to power armor as it grants nearly identical Damage Resistance (1-6 points lower in most cases, 11 points lower than the unique T-51b power armor and the Enclave Hellfire armor) without sacrificing Agility and movement speed or increasing the chance of detection while sneaking (the weight of equipped armor affects stealth; some forms of power armor also carry an explicit -1 or -2 penalty to Agility, which lowers Sneak). Further, unlike Power Armor, Combat Armor requires no special training to use.
The +5 AP boost, +1 Luck, and +10 Small Guns make this armor particularly useful for lower-level Small Gun characters. It remains useful for anyone up to level 30, thanks to the good DR, modest weight, and ease of repair.
- Combat armor
- Rivet City security uniform
- Talon combat armor
- Tenpenny security uniform
- Lag-Bolt's combat armor Broken Steel
- Winterized combat armor Operation: Anchorage (add-on)
- Winterized medic armor Mothership Zeta (add-on)
- Combat helmet
- Rivet City security helmet
- Talon combat helmet
- Winterized combat helmet Operation: Anchorage (add-on)
- Winterized medic helmet Mothership Zeta (add-on)
The armor can be acquired during the quest Reilly's Rangers by looting the Rangers' corpses in the Statesman Hotel or as a reward from Reilly upon completion of the quest. The armor can also be obtained by reverse-pickpocketing the Rangers at the Ranger compound. The helmet can only be obtained from Donovan, either by looting it from his corpse or reverse pickpocketing.
- If all three rangers die in the Statesman Hotel, the player cannot receive the battle armor as the reward or participate in the unmarked side quest Geomapping with Reilly.
- There is an unused texture for the Ranger battle helmet within the game's files.