From QWiki

Armor is an item that can be collected by walking over it (with some exceptions noted below), and which respawns 20 seconds after pickup. For the important armor on a map, such as RA, it can be strategic to pick it up every 20 seconds, thereby denying it to the opponent.

There are three types of Armor:

Armor types, absorption rates & pickup thresholds
Armor type Item armor green.png Item armor yellow.png Item armor red.png
Damage Absorption 30% 60% 80%
Armor amount 100 150 200
Prevent GA Pickup threshold 100 50 38
Prevent YA Pickup threshold Never 150 113
Prevent RA Pickup threshold Never Never 200

When you collect an armor, you receive the "armor amount" listed above, regardless of what armor you had previously. In other words, armor is not cumulative, you will replace your existing armor rather than adding to it.

The type and value are important in the damage calculation (see below).

Armor Pickup

Your ability to pickup a "lower" armor depends on the amount and type of armor you currently have. The thresholds in the table above illustrate the minimum amount of armor that will prevent you from picking up a replacement armor. For example, if you have 50 or more YA, you cannot collect a GA; If you have 113 or more RA, you cannot collect a YA, etc.

Gameplay consideration: You might notice players deliberately damaging themselves in order to reduce their current armor below these thresholds, thus enabling them to collect a new armor. In some cases this may reduce their overall 'stack' (see Combined Damage Points below) but it may still be desirable for them to deny the opportunity for an enemy to collect the armor. For example, a player with red armor might damage themself with rocket splash in order to collect a yellow armor, thus preventing an opponent from obtaining it for another 20 seconds

Combined Damage Points

Armor can be thought of as a component of the combined damage system, the other component being health points. Imagine you have Red Armor and 100 health, e.g. 200/100, or a total of 300 combined damage points.

Note: Players will always die when their health is reduced to zero or below, irrespective of how much armor they have. So the "Combined Damage Points" mentioned above may not always be fully realised in cases where health reaches zero before armor is exhausted.

Absorption of Damage

Each armor has a different Absorption rate as follows:

  • GA: 3/10 of damage goes to armor
  • YA: 3/5
  • RA: 4/5

When you receive damage, in the above scenario where the player has 200RA, the armor will absorb 80% of the damage and the remaining 20% is deducted from Health. So for example a direct rocket hit causing 110 damage will reduce armor by 110*.8 = 88 points, and health by 110*.2 = 22 points. So in this scenario you will now have 200-88 = 112 RA and 100-22 = 78 Health.

Note: When a player has the Pentagram_of_Protection they do not receive damage to health, but will still receive damage to armor as normal. For this reason you may observe players shooting enemy players with Pent in order to reduce the amount of armor they will have when pent expires.

Gameplay consideration: Because GA has a relatively low absorption rate (i.e. a higher proportion of damage goes to health compared to other armors), to get the full benefit of the 100 green armor the player will need to collect additional health/megahealths to avoid dying before the armor is exhausted. The same can also be true of YA and RA when a player has low health. Due to the differing absorption rates between armor types, this may result in scenarios where a player with low health will avoid collecting a weaker armor even when their current armor value is relatively low (to minimise the proportion of damage they will receive to health) until such time as they have regained health.

QuakeWorld terminology
Game stuff
Quad | Ring/Eyes | Pent
GA | YA | RA | Mega
Axe | SG/Boomstick | SSG | NG | SNG | GL | RL | LG/Shaft
Binds | Bunnyhop | CFG | Demo | Duel | FFA | Frag | Rocket Jump | GLRJ | rpickup | pickup
Cam | Flood | +forward | BG | CS | GG | HPW | LPB | MGT | MST | Kenya | Rapecloset | TB3 | Stomp | BO3 | BO5 | Div1 delay | kpickup