In the context of some video games, sometimes body armor just provides a bonus to the owner's maximum HitPoints. Rather than add any kind of specific protection to certain attacks, a character wearing body armor will just gradually have it chipped away whenever they are hit, in the same manner as their usual hit points. If enough damage is sustained, the extra body armor may [[BreakableWeapons simply vanish]].

It is [[InformedEquipment not usually visible on a character]], and acquiring it puts the object to use instantaneously, so the player character is never seen discarding it. This trope is, obviously, not particularly realistic. Ironically, it became popular with many "realistic" shooters because putting on body armor seemed a more plausible way of improving a character's hit points than having them [[HealThyself grab a first aid kit]] and immediately gain the benefits from using one in the middle of a firefight. Generally [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality necessary for the sake of game mechanics]], although this is less true today than it was ten years ago.

A variation of this which generally is considered to make more sense is Full-body DeflectorShields As Hit Points. After all, energy which specifically covers your entire person and uses energy to protect should be able to help protect you from anything as long as its [[TimTaylorTechnology energy supply is sufficient]], right?

Possibly a bit of TruthInTelevision or videogames rather. Interceptor body armor for the most part stops bullets outright but breaks down after soaking up one or two hits, making it effectively a free-bullet-to-the-chest-before-you-die card.

Compare CallAHitPointASmeerp, ClothingDamage. Contrast DestructibleArmor, where the amount of armor is a direct indication of the user's remaining HP. Using this system rather than making armour a separate stat {{Armor Piercing Attack}}s can circumvent may help avert ArmorIsUseless.

!!Video Game examples:


[[folder: Collectible Card Game]]

* In ''VideoGame/{{Hearthstone}}'', armor functions as a second life bar. All damage dealt to your hero is first dealt to your armor total before your actual health. Unlike health, armor doesn't have a cap, meaning you can have hundreds of armor protecting your standard 30 hit points. Most classes don't have access to many armor cards however, limiting it mostly to a signature mechanic of the Warrior and a side mechanic for Druids.

[[folder: First Person Shooter ]]

* ''{{VideoGame/Doom}}'' was the TropeCodifier for first-person shooters. Body armor came in 2 varieties, with blue armor having higher durability and absorbing a higher percentage of damage (one-half of all damage), compared to green armor (which only absorbed one-third). There were also "armor bonus" items that could repair your current armor (and bring it above 100% in the case of green armor), while picking up a some armor bonuses while unarmored [[FridgeLogic gave you a few points worth of green armor.]]
* Many ''Franchise/JamesBond'' FPS games, ''VideoGame/GoldenEye1997'' plays it very straight by having body armor effectively serve as a second health bar-- good thing, since there's no way to recover damage to your basic HP meter. However ''VideoGame/{{Nightfire}}'' plays with this to a degree: Your armor only protects you from bullets. Long falls still injure you directly regardless of armor.
* ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'' uses "realistic" personal shields.
** In ''Perfect Dark Zero'', body armor will mitigate the effect of being shot, although it will still undergo CriticalExistenceFailure and stop working, and is useless against melee. This actually makes sense, as kevlar vests in real life are designed to absorb bullet impact, and do nothing against a knife or club.
* The second ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon FEAR]]'' game plays this straight, after the first game averted it with an entire system for determining each weapon's armor-piercing capabilities.
* Played with in the early ''VideoGame/RainbowSix'' video games. Without heavy armor, the player character can go down in as little as [[OneHitPointWonder one bullet]], so body armor more or less took over for hit points. The ''Vegas'' sub-series more or less used this too despite the shift to RegeneratingHealth, as wearing heavier armor would allow you to take a bit more damage before dying, at the cost of slower movement and less stamina for sprinting in ''Vegas 2''. ''[[VideoGame/RainbowSixSiege Siege]]'' goes for a more standard aversion with separate health and armor counters, the latter of which absorbs damage from the former, and which can't be replenished mid-round.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'', using the recharging DeflectorShields version of this. By ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'' they more or less combined the shields [[RegeneratingHealth with health]], though games that don't have you play as a SPARTAN (''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'') or are set before the original game (''VideoGame/HaloReach'') go back to the old mechanics.
* ''VideoGame/HalfLife'', and the infamous HEV suit. Power in the HEV suit works like actual armor. Minor things will just chip away the power, but bullets will still take off HP.
* Played straight in ''[[VideoGame/UnrealTournament2004 Unreal Tournament 2003]]'', which completely abstracts armour as a floaty yellow shield icon when not equipped, and otherwise as a number that will go down instead of your health when you're hit. The Shield Gun's namesake SecondaryFire has a variation, where damage up to 100 points will be completely negated by the shield (anything above that, like a fully-charged [=BioRifle=] shot, will damage you as normal), except for falling damage which is only slightly cushioned (how this even works is best not discussed).
** ''Unreal'', ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament'' and ''VideoGame/UnrealTournamentIII'' zig-zag this depending on the armor type. For the latter two in particular, different armor gives different amounts of damage absorption - thigh pads and ''III''[='=]s helmet protect from 50% damage (and, in the latter case, making you immune to a single [[BoomHeadshot headshot]]). Armor vests absorb 75% of damage taken. The shield belt, however, will absorb ''all'' damage taken until it's knocked out (and sits on top of the regular armor in the original ''Unreal'').
** ''[=UT2004=]'' has the same abstraction of armor as ''2003'', but nevertheless plays this in an interestingly-different manner, closer to the other games. Although the HUD only has a single armor counter, the regular shield and super shield pickups stack separately (hence it's impossible to, for instance, get above 50 shields just by picking up regular shield packs) and apply different amounts of protection. The super shield absorbs damage first, taking away 75% damage dealt to you, then once it's gone the regular shield kicks in for 50% damage reduction until it's done too. If you have both, you get 100% damage absorption as long as the combined total is above 100 points - conversely, when the super shield is depleted, a glitch causes any damage over that to [[ArmorPiercingAttack apply directly to your health]] rather than being absorbed less-efficiently by the regular shield.
** ''VideoGame/UnrealIITheAwakening'' has an interesting aversion, where the level of your shields affected their effectiveness. At full shields they'd absorb 100% of any damage you took, but below 90% or so you started taking partial damage to your health with the shields only absorbing a percentage of total damage, which got lower and lower as your shields dropped (i.e. at 50% shield strength your shields would absorb less than half of the damage of a hit). It's not uncommon, assuming you grab no health or armor pickups over the course of a level, to die with with your shields still at 33% or more.
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' has the "Deflector Shields As Hit Points" variation, some of which also increase max health as well (though others ''decrease'' it to make up for higher shield strength). There are some differences between health points and shield points besides shield regenerating, like different [[ElementalPowers elemental]] multipliers (shock is better against shields, corrode and incendiary are better against flesh).
* Armor in ''VideoGame/{{Dystopia}}'' has a certain hit point value and takes damage in place of some of your health, but it works differently. It takes double-damage from explosive weapons and half-damage from everything else. It also cannot be regenerated like health.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRenegade'' also used it, though the tutorial interestingly tries to claim otherwise when the demonstration on taking damage has both your health and armor take damage from a single shot (which doesn't happen at all in the regular game). Even vehicles have both types of hitpoints, but the armor is taken off first. This makes some sense for the Mammoth Tank since it ties in with their self-repair (which only affects normal health, allowing it to recover to 50% just like in the original game).
* ''VideoGame/ReturnToCastleWolfenstein'' does this with armored enemies, with pieces of their armor falling off as you shoot at them, including the final boss.
* First-Person melee game ''VideoGame/PiratesVikingsAndKnights'' has both a Health bar and an Armor bar, which varies depending on what class you've chosen, with the [[KnightInShiningArmor Heavy Knight]] having the most, and the shirtless {{Berserker}} having the least. The Armor mitigates a percentage of damage taken, and can be replenished by finding Armor pickups scattered across the map.
* ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' has armor as a type of health, represented by yellow pips on the health bar. Damage taken is reduced by up to 5 points per hit as long as there's at least one point of armor. Bastion, Winston, D.Va and Reinhardt spawn with armor, and Torbjörn can create armor packs to give his allies armor.
* In the AsymmetricMultiplayer game ''VideoGame/{{Evolve}}'', the monster has two bars of hit points, one of which is armour, the other of which is its actual health. They are differentiated in that health does not replenish once lost and can only be increased whenever the monster "evolves", while armour can be regained through eating/regenerates by itself over time and does not get boosted when the monster evolves.
* ''VideoGame/PAYDAY2'' plays this straight. Even standing in a cloud of tear gas will damage your armor before it starts eating into your health. Hell, armor will even absorb damage from a one-story fall (used to be a specific skill, now a regular part of gameplay as of the skill rebalance), though if you fall ''too'' far you do get incapacitated and need to be helped up. On top of that, with the exception of taking a bullet from a Sniper, any damage over that which causes your armor to break will be completely negated.

[[folder: Miscellaneous Games ]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/{{Glider}} Glider PRO]]'', aluminum foil lets your glider take a certain undisplayed number of hits from moving things and bumping the sides of obstacles. If you never get it or once you lose it, you're a OneHitPointWonder.

[[folder: Platform Games ]]
* ''[[VideoGame/GargoylesQuest Demon's Crest]]'' gives Firebrand the Legendary Gargoyle morph, which effectively doubles his life gauge. In a more traditional example, the "Armor" talisman halves damage he takes. These two effects stack when used together.
* This is how armors work in ''VideoGame/LegendOfKay''. You even get an extra LifeMeter (for the armor) next to your normal one.
* In ''VideoGame/Jak3Wastelander'' and ''VideoGame/JakAndDaxterTheLostFrontier'', you start with eight hit points, or "half a circle". Each armor upgrade gives you two extra points, filling up the "circle".
* In ''VideoGame/{{ESWAT}}'' (arcade version), you lose pieces of your PoweredArmor when you take a hit.
* In ''VideoGame/GhostsNGoblins'' and its sequels, Arthur's ''only'' means of protection is the suit of armor he's wearing. Take one hit and he's reduced to his undies. Take another, well you lose the only armor keeping ''him'' together, and [[StrippedToTheBone he's a pile of bones]].
* Similar to ''VideoGame/GhostsNGoblins'', fellow Capcom game ''VideoGame/BlackTiger'' also has a hero who will die on the next hit once his armor breaks and he's left with just a loincloth. Luckily you get a new suit of armor after finishing a level and you can also buy new suits of armor.

[[folder: Real Time Strategy ]]

* In ''Videogame/{{Starcraft}}'', the Protoss have the "Deflector Shields" version.
* In ''VideoGame/RiseOfLegends'' the Cuotl have the deflector shield version, explained by the SufficientlyAdvancedTechnology of AncientAstronauts.
* Armor upgrades in ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'' increase hit points rather than damage resistance. This is because the game engine relies on armor type to determine damage taken.
* In ''VideoGame/StarCraftII'', the Vanidium Plating upgrade adds +5% HP per armor upgrade. This also affects vehicles and spaceships, as well as soldiers. Marines also get a [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe Combat Shield]] upgrade that grants +10 HP.
* In ''Videogame/StarRuler'' there are several types of armor, all of which behave as a specialized health bar that has some sort of benefit over your ships natural hull integrity, such as regeneration for nanomachine armor, a resistance to small projectiles/energy weapons on ablative armor, a resistance to (relatively) larger projectiles and explosives on reactive armor, and a lot of hitpoints and a low cost to more advanced armors on solid metal plates. Only two weapons can bypass armor reliably to hit enemy shits subsystems and hulls. Also, one can throw on as much armor as they would like, with no concern as to running out of room, as armor only increases the weight of a ship.
** This game also follows the regenerating deflector shields as health variant, with a minor twist. Shields have a hardness attribute, this goes down as the shields take hits, and when this hardness goes low enough, the ships shields can simply be bypassed without totally stripping them. This makes nano armor invariably popular (while forgoing shields entirely, or using nano armor in combination with fast regenerating shields) as it is much harder to bypass than shields.
* ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' features the Cloth Armor and Chain Vest items which avert this trope and reduce damage from physical attacks. However, the Warmog's Armor and the now-defunct Leviathan are breastplates that give a huge chunk of hitpoints.

[[folder: Roguelikes]]
* In ''VideoGame/DarkestDungeon'', upgrading the armor of heroes mainly adds to their hit points.

[[folder: Role Playing Games ]]
* In ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve2'', armor modifies your maximum HP and allows you to carry more usable items into battle.
* In the computer game ''VideoGame/{{Autoduel}}'', your vehicle's driver has 3 Hit Points at full health. Body armor can also be bought (or replaced, if damaged) at truck stops, which grants another 3 hit points. Driver health isn't affected until all 3 hit points from body armor are gone. (If 6 HP sounds puny, keep in mind that the damage scale is designed around armed, (usually) heavily armored ''vehicles'' shooting the crap out of each other.)
** This is carried over from the original TabletopRPG ''TabletopGame/CarWars''. Body armour would give 3 extra damage points (improved versions, 6). As a side note on damage scale, what seems to be an ordinary M60-size machine gun does a base 1d6 damage.
*** As a humorous side-note, in the TabletopRPG, you fall unconscious after taking 2 damage points and die after 3. A .44 magnum revolver inflicts 2 damage points. Therefore, ''if you take the rules literally'', as long as you're not wearing armor, you cannot commit suicide with a .44 magnum, even if you put the barrel in your mouth and pull the trigger.
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' deflector shields roughly fit this (armour is the standard D20-style where it makes you harder to hit); there's a maximum damage quantity they can take, although they also have a time limit and a maximum they can absorb from any one attack.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' plays the trope straight, with a third layer devoted to biotic barriers or shields. Most boss-type units in ''Mass Effect 2'' have at least armor or shields. On [[HarderThanHard Insanity]] difficulty, all enemies have armor or shields, and boss-type units have shields/biotic barriers, armor and finally health. Especially tough boss-type units have biotic barriers, shields, armor and health. However, huge or purely mechanical enemies ''only'' have armor, not health. Once their armor is depleted, it's assumed the last shot hit something vital and killed/destroyed them.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', armor is implemented as an alternate form of health for enemies (either armor or health, never both). Armor reduces damage per shot by a set amount, and while some powers are more effective against armor than health, armored enemies are immune to certain abilities even if their shield/barrier is depleted.
* In ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'', the Barrier chips act like this. Each Barrier has a set amount of health, so if you have a 200 Barrier, 20 attacks with 10 damage will break it, but so will the attack with 200 damage. The only way to restore it is it get another barrier. The subversion lies in the sister set, the "Aura" chips. They can only be destroyed by an attack that is equal to or more powerful than their HP.
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' uses the trope and justifies it in universe. The body armor actively uses energy to deflect weapon fire. Once it runs out of power, it no longer provides any protection. The armor slowly depletes just by wearing it, getting hit makes it deplete faster.
* The Mobile Phone game ''VideoGame/BattlelootAdventure'' has armor increase your max HP instead of your defense stat.
* In ''VideoGame/RuneScape'', this trope was completely averted before the Evolution of Combat update. Before the update, there was no way to raise a players hitpoints above the maximum, and armour only served to reduce the probability of taking damage at all. A player wearing strong armour would be more likely to 'dodge' attacks and take no damage from them, but weren't more durable against attacks that would always hit.
* ''VideoGame/AlphaProtocol'' has armor that grants endurance, which is like health that regenerates.
* ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'': After 100 Armor Points are lost, you lose 1 of your LifePoints.
* ''VideoGame/CubeColossus'': Your LifeMeter is called ''Shields''.

[[folder: Stealth Based Game ]]

* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'' also does this. Each armor upgrade adds another segment to your health bar, but does absolutely nothing to improve your resistance to damage.


[[folder: Third Person Shooter ]]

* Your character's Flak Jacket in ''VideoGame/SyphonFilter''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Oni}}'' uses the DeflectorShields version with the Forcefield item absorbing attacks from guns.
* ''Franchise/JamesBond'', yet again.
** In ''VideoGame/EverythingOrNothing'', it's implied that one hit will kill you, and your HP meter is the effectiveness of your armor.
** In ''VideoGame/DoubleOhSevenFromRussiaWithLove'', it's played straight in that the armor is a second health bar.


[[folder: Turn Based Strategy ]]

* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' has no defense stat. Instead, armor just increases HP. Since an increase of 5 HP per level is considered extremely high, it's vital to make sure you have quality armor.
* The first ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion'' game had just generic hitpoints and shields, determined by ship size/armor tech and shield tech, respectively. The sequel changed the hitpoints into separate armor, hull integrity and system status levels, making ship design strategy more complex and interesting.
* In ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars'' all armor techs add to the health of your ships, but they also dramatically increase the chance of physical weapons simply ricocheting off the hull with no damage. Weapons in the 'Polarized Plasmatics' tree are dangerous because they negate that bonus.
* In ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'', armour adds hit points to your troopers, which if lost do not contribute to recovery time after-battle. Advanced suits can have other benefits, like faster movement, flight, and reducing the enemy's chance to hit. ''VideoGame/{{XCOM 2}}'' introduces an armor ''stat'' that reduces damage taken, which is important for some enemies (it can reduced damage by as much as 5), but few of your armors provide any. Health added from armor also doesn't reduce recovery time like it did in the first game.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' series, some armors and accessories will give you extra hit points in addition to boosting your other stat ratings.
* The hybrid turn-based strategy/real-time tactics/roleplaying game, ''VideoGame/KingArthurTheRolePlayingWargame'' adds this specifically to the hero/commander units, including your Knights of The Round Table. When they get armour, they only get a bonus to hit points (though usually a huge amount). However the armour stat (which heroes lack) for normal units, provides damage reduction. This is done, to make non-elite normal units a somewhat viable threat to heroes.


[[folder: Wide Open Sandbox ]]

* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'': All of the Playstation 2-era games use this trope the same way; body armor hit points are indistinguishable from regular hit points insomuch as game mechanics are concerned, but in ''Grand Theft Auto IV'', only being shot or caught in an explosion will take off armor; damage taken from falling, getting run over, getting punched in the face and so on bypasses it. ''San Andreas'' and ''Liberty City Stories'' also bypassed armor damage from drowning and falling.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}'', adding armor to the animal increases the hitpoints, though the increases don't stack.
* In ''VideoGame/EveOnline'', spaceships have hitpoints split into three types: Shields, Armor and Structure which take damage in that order. Ships can equip modules to extend the hitpoints of all three.
* In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'', armor adds to your health bar. However, over time armor gets damaged and when "broken" you can't regain the health it provides until you get repairs done.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}''. Alex has two defensive powers, a shield and armour. The shield on his arm absorbs hit points until it breaks, whereas the full-bodied armour simply reduces the damage done to him while slowing him down.
* In the classic computer game ''Auto Duel'', your character has 3 hit points and can buy body armor at any truck stop, which provides another 3 hit points. Unlike your body, though, the armor can't be fixed once it's shot up, so once it's sustained the full 3 points of damage, you'll need to [[BreakableWeapons buy new armor]]. (Oh, and if you're thinking that 3 hit points is a puny number, keep in mind that the game is designed around the concept of ''vehicles'' blowing the crap out of each other.)


!!Other examples:

* In the ''Literature/LoneWolf'' series of game novels by Joe Dever, any piece of armor you found would add to your endurance points. Largely because combat skill and endurance points were the only stats you actually had.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Ablative armor in ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' acts almost exactly like normal hitpoints (the exceptions being against attacks with armor penetration modifiers).
* ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'s'' Mega-Damage system basically ''replaces'' your normal SDC/Hit Points with the armor's MDC, given that even light Mega-Damage to a normal human will usually [[ChunkySalsaRule kill them outright]].
* ''TabletopGame/PalladiumFantasyRolePlayingGame'': Armor has an Armor Rating and an SDC count. Any strike roll that goes over the A.R. does damage directly to the character, anything under the A.R. damages the armor itself.
* ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' armor is universally like this; it literally adds extra hit point boxes to a given unit's location 'outside' the internal structure proper, which are usually not actually any tougher but have to be eliminated before any actual structure damage can be inflicted.
* ''TabletopGame/TunnelsAndTrolls'', having been made in [[TheSeventies 1975]], is the TropeMaker; armor, when donned, provides a boost in Hit Points that, once gone, is gone for good. [[AvertedTrope Averted]] with shields, though, which shave a chunk off the damage of any connecting attack as long as they are equipped.
* In ''TabletopGame/HcSvntDracones'' armor has hit points that have to be reduced to zero before you take damage. Unless the enemy takes a single shot to hit something not covered by armor or is using Armor-Piercing ammo, which deals ammo damage to both the armor and the wearer.


* This is a standard mechanic in Russian style LARP games. They tend to be combat heavy and feature a lot of unsafe medieval weapon action, and need very simplistic and easily trackable mechanic of combat. So the standard rule is "No armor = 1-2 hp[[note]] and stay the hell out of melee unless you want your skull to be cracked. Yes, Russian [=LARPing=] is that serious[[/note]], light armor = 3 hp, medium armor = 4 hp, heavy armor = 5 hp". Said armor is usually a quite historically faithful reproduction of medieval body armor.
* We get a film example in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier''. Nick Fury's CoolCar can somehow measure the integrity of its bulletproof windows as a percentage.
* Commonly used in various version of ''Franchise/StarTrek'', in which the Enemy of the Week(Klingons, Romulans, Borg) start hammering away at the Enterprise, and as each blast rattles the ship a crew member would say "Shields holding at X percent". Usually after a few hits, the Chief Engineer will announce, "Captain, the shields can't take much more of this!"
* Shardplate in ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'' cracks as it takes damage, with individual pieces shattering if subjected to a lot of punishment. Luckily, it also regrows if provided with {{Mana}}. This is made explicit in duels, which are usually fought until a specific number of pieces have shattered.