[Top 6] Project Zomboid Best Armor (And How to Get Them)

Dress to kill and not be killed.

Given how the first thing you’d worry about in a zombie apocalypse is being bitten, you’d want to have something that can negate the chances of you being bit apart from the usual need for weapons alongside you. This is especially true with Project Zomboid, with its role-playing survival nature, simulating a real-life possible chance of you turning into a zombie if you were to be grabbed by the undead. There is a way you can survive a nibble from these creatures, and that is through the use of clothing, which in this game, serves as armor against them.

While making this list as a list of clothing would be a better title, the game happens to have actual armor in the vanilla game, which also helps you with fending off a hoard and even other players (assuming you have PvP enabled and the other player have guns). With that being said, the luck-based nature of these items can get you some things faster than others, so which are good items to grab and wear? We’ll find that out in this list.

Before we get started, it should be pointed out that there are different ideas about what can be considered armor in this game, and for this one, we’ll define armor as either set of clothing, wearables, and accessories as well as individual items that a player can use without a matching set.

For this list, the list is made at the time of the games’ latest version (ver. 41.78 Steam) and is based on my experience in a friend-hosted multiplayer server, and the items listed are from the vanilla version of the game, meaning no mod items are included. Armor items are also stackable as long as they aren’t the same thing (i.e, 2 types of vests), allowing you to wear as many as you can as long as it doesn’t hinder your character. This list is also in no particular order.


6. T-Shirts and Pants

Why are T-Shirts and Pants Great?

This is what you’ll have at the start of the game using the character selection screen, and quite frankly it barely does something, but more on that statement later. For the most part, it’s just enough to keep you from getting sick from the elements, but for the most part, if a zombie gets you, you’re likely close to having the ‘Bitten’ stat, which is game over for your character. Even if it is “better than nothing”, we should still consider it for a few things listed below

  • Plentiful resource – Clothes are everywhere in the world, waiting to be looted
  • Craftable into Sheets and Rags – You can stock up on many of these as makeshift bandages or escape ropes for escaping tall buildings

When it comes to protection, for the most part, you’ll be leaning towards ‘Laceration’ and ‘Bleeding’ stats making it dangerously close to the point of no return, and so you’d want to load up on top of the items as soon as possible. It’s also important to know that no variant of these can help you go for the Denim variety, but that is both negligible and a separate group, so think of this as a simple, extra layer of protection, because in an apocalypse, anything is better than nothing.

T-Shirt and Pants Stats:


  • Bite Defense: 0
  • Scratch Defense: 0
  • Item Weight: 0.1


  • Bite Defense: 0
  • Scratch Defense: 0
  • Item Weight: 1.0

How to Get T-Shirt and Pants:

  • Character creation screen
  • Find in clothing stores
  • Loot other zombies’ inventory


5. Denim Clothing

Why is the Motorcycle Helmet Great?

One of the best clothing pieces to buff up your armor/protection is Denim clothing. While this is closely comparable to Leather pieces, this doesn’t make your character feel as sweaty, while still being good for other uses like the following.

  • Reinforces current clothes – Allows you to be safer by adding a layer to prevent bites
  • Stronger bandaging power – Improved damage negation from bleeding effects

Denim is naturally dense making for some good padding while also being super important for patchwork, both for the clothes and your body should you get hurt. The denim may be rare to get in quantity but if you have old ones ready to throw out, turn them into bandages if you want extra time on curbing your bleeding. The amount of time you buy isn’t that much but it can mean the difference between life and death, which is the whole premise of this game, so do get a good quality one whenever possible.

Denim Clothing Stats:

Denim Shirt

  • Bite Defense: 7
  • Scratch Defense: 15
  • Item Weight: 1.0

Denim Jeans

  • Bite Defense: 10
  • Scratch Defense: 20
  • Item Weight: 1.0

How to Get T-Shirt and Pants:

  • Kill zombies that have construction gear
  • Find in clothing stores
  • Raid houses and check dressers


4. Shoes

Why are Shoes Great?

This is one of the more important items to pick up early as they are usually worn by zombies that you kill. They aren’t huge gains but it adds up over time, making it a nice little add-on up until you get lucky with getting some boots. Once equipped you’ll have a bit more defense to the foot, should the zombie bite randomizes the attack on your feet. What isn’t random is the benefits listed below.

  • Helps negate broken glass – Eliminates the chance of getting cut by stepping on it
  • Weighted stomps – Increases damage to a downed zombie by stomping

On that positive, having better shoes has the added benefit of increasing your stomp damage once you push a zombie to fall, allowing you to spend less time being open to another possible attack. While this item is good, you’ll very quickly change it over once you get to certain parts of the map, or more likely the aforementioned luck bringing you boots. Given the random nature of the loot, you’ll never know if you’ll use this long term, but it’s gonna serve you until it breaks off… or is bitten out of usability rather.

Shoes Stats:

  • Scratch Defense: 10
  • Bite Defense: 20
  • Item Weight: 1.0

How to Get Shoes:

  • House drawers and shelves
  • Other zombies inventory


3.  Motorcycle Helmets

Why is the Motorcycle Helmet Great?

Understand that this is one of those extra things you should actively try to find in the game as not only is it added protection, but a good way to cover your bases in terms of overall protection. Having said that, there isn’t much to explain what a helmet does as, like real life, it’s pretty self-explanatory but either way, we’ll still put some of its benefits below.

  • Head protection – Helps prevent damage from a zombie bite to the head
  • Decent insulation – Great to keep yourself warm when the game turns to the winter season

Is there really a need to complicate a helmet other than just raw numbers? It’s a simple and tested armor piece for a zombie or two, and having it is insurance that you’ll be safer from a bite. It is worth pointing out though that helmet aren’t as common so whenever you find one, get it immediately and stock up on a few if you have a server to play on.

Motorcycle Helmet Details:

  • Scratch Defense: 100
  • Bite Defense: 100
  • Item Weight: 1.0

How to Get T-Shirt and Pants:

  • Motorcycle zombies are your only guaranteed avenue of obtaining it


2. Firefighter Clothes

Why is Firefighter Clothes Great?

Another must-have item for protection, Firefighter Clothes are pretty important for your chances of survival as they not only give an extremely high resistance to bites and scratches but also have decent sets that you can take advantage of. It’s a simple set that increases your chances of survival and is most beneficial for the following reasons.

  • Straightforward accessibility - Finding one is as simple as finding a fire station to loot from.
  • Reliable protection – It’s one of the few sets that have a helmet as well, protecting you in the longer term.

While composed of a helmet, a jacket, and pants, you can also partner this up with boots/military boots to also give a decent enough boost to your character which you can use throughout the entire game as long as you take care of it. It is however important to note that firefighter clothes can’t be patched up so when it breaks, you can’t fix it again, making this a heavy, fragile, yet effective set to armor up on, though the same can be said for the next item on the list.

T-Shirt and Pants Stats:

Firefighter Clothes

  • Bite Defense: 70
  • Scratch Defense: 50
  • Item Weight: 4.0

Firefighter Pants

  • Bite Defense: 30
  • Scratch Defense: 20
  • Item Weight: 4.0

How to Get Firefighter Clothes:

  • House drawers and shelves
  • Other zombies inventory


1. Military Vests

Why is the Police/Military Vest Great?

Should there be any need for the most important piece of protection against a hoard, you’d likely lean towards the bulletproof vests. These have the highest protection chance when bit in the torso region making it a must-have if you’re going through densely populated areas such as Louisville, and you’ll need every bit of protection when doing that area. Should there be anything else that it excels at, it should be obvious, but we’ll list it still below.

  • Bullet Protection - Negates the damage taken when shot by a gun when PvP is enabled
  • Strong Bite resistance - Strong enough to survive one or maybe two bites without getting a status debuff

Having said all that, finding one should be the only tricky part, but not difficult as like all items of the game, it’s purely luck-based and you may have a chance to get it earlier than usual if done right. Again, this is a must-have item for your character to survive, and better to have a stock of these should your current one’s condition wears off as you won’t be able to patch it when broken beyond useability. Another thing to note is that a Police Bulletproof Vest, and the lesser Civilian Vest is another alternative to it should you be more in the city than exploring the map and military bases, but for the most part, military vests are still likely to be picked up so have at it to be able to survive.

Military Vest Stats:

  • Scratch Defense: 30
  • Bite Defense: 55
  • Bullet Defense: 100
  • Item Weight: 1.0

How to Get T-Shirt and Pants:

  • Find zombies with police/military uniforms and kill them
  • Check army surpluses or military bases



Given that the game has a ton of items, both useful and useless, not all of the clothing/armor pieces have discoverable info available to search as the game map is so long and far apart, some items can’t be easily attainable, not to mention the mods that you can put to make the game feel better for yourself. This game has so many choices and combinations you can do that a perfect combo isn’t always up and available and by looking at the stats and condition of the clothing and armor pieces you pick up, you can use your judgment for how safe you really are. Once you start understanding what is useable and what isn’t, you’ll be able to safely progress through the game without any issues… except for backing yourself in a corner, and if that happens, at least you can grab fresh stuff… but not before rage quitting first.


You may also be interested in:

More on this topic:

A once frustrated student gamer, turned PC builder to occasional game benchmarker, Bryl is here to share what he can to the broad ecosystem of the gaming world.
Gamer Since: 2004
Favorite Genre: Sports
Currently Playing: Valheim, League of Legends, GTFO
Top 3 Favorite Games:Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc:, League of Legends, Killing Floor

More Top Stories