|For an overview of combat armor variants throughout the Fallout series, see combat armor.|
NCR Ranger combat armor
Another advanced design fielded in limited quantities before the Great War, riot gear was a specialized model of combat armor used by the United States Marine Corps, Army units in the American West, and select law enforcement agencies, such as the Los Angeles Police Department.
The most characteristic element of this model is the helmet. A rounded shell protects the head from incoming gunfire, while the lamps on the right side of the helmet (including infrared and visible light projectors) provide illumination. The armored mask designed to be worn with the helmet is necessary to use the IR lamp, due to the low-light optics integrated into the lenses. The mask also incorporates a locking mechanism to properly join it together with the helmet shell, ear covers with membranes that do not inhibit hearing while maintaining its protective qualities, and air filters. Some upgraded models also include communications gear and upgraded filtering apparatus.
The torso assembly is a flexible vest of rigid impact plates, worn with adjustable straps on the sides and shoulders. One of its most notable additions is a prominent throat protector mounted on the vest, used by military operators to display tactical numbers or the owner's identifying information, such as the name, rank, and blood group, allowing for easy casualty management. Later models of riot gears may include heavier protection, including armored plating on shoulders and forearms. Military coats designed for use with the armor will also typically include some form of bullet-resistant reinforcement.
The distinctive Ranger armor has been termed the Black Armor after the riot gear, and is traditionally worn with the Desert Rangers' brown duster, modified to incorporate the NCR Rangers' insignia on the left flap, and a set of durable jeans. The style draws on the legacy of the Desert Ranger combat armor, itself inspired by the pre-War riot gears, and was adopted as a standard uniform of the NCR Ranger Veterans after the Ranger Unification Treaty of 2271. It is often referred to as the Black Armor and is considered to be one of the most valuable and awe-inspiring items in the entire Republic.
This iconic set of Veteran Ranger armor provides the most protection of any armor at the New California Republic's disposal, although the black armor is also the heaviest. It provides a Damage threshold of 20 in exchange for a hefty 30 pounds. This medium armor is also an NCR disguise, allowing those with less than optimal reputation with the Republic to freely wander Republic facilities. It will cause the Brotherhood to go hostile, however, regardless of any truces with the NCR (the game never alters the disguise coding). As with other NCR armor, Veronica will remark on it, if present, stating that the Brotherhood has flaws, but she doesn't like the Courier fighting them.
The combat armor is also significantly more durable than any other NCR apparel. The drawback is that the armor is extremely expensive to repair with vendors (to the tune of 15 000 caps to repair major damage), making Jury Rigging mandatory for avoiding bankruptcy.
Finally, the armor is used as the game's iconic element, visible on its cover and the All Roads graphic novel.
- NCR Ranger combat armor: Iconic armor of the veteran Rangers.
- Desert Ranger combat armor: Desert Rangers' ensemble.
- Riot gear: Standard riot gear issued to soldiers in Hopeville and Ashton.
- Advanced riot gear: Advanced riot gear used by an NCR riot control officer in the Divide.
- Elite riot gear: Unique armor belonging to an NCR officer in the Divide.
|NCR Ranger combat armor||20||30||600||7500||NCR Disguise|
|Desert Ranger combat armor||22||30||600||8000||-|
|Riot gear||20||30||500||7994||+5 Guns|
|Advanced riot gear||21||25||600||8494||+10 Explosives|
|Elite riot gear||22||23||750||12500||+10 Guns|
+5 Critical chance
- NCR Ranger safehouse: Inside, together with NCR salvaged power armor, NCR Ranger patrol armor, a hunting revolver, assault carbine, and trail carbine. The key is received from Colonel James Hsu at Camp McCarran with a high positive reputation.
- Long 15: Found on dead Rangers, if the player nukes the Long 15.
- Found on NCR Ranger veterans who appear once the player returns from the Fort after meeting Caesar. They spawn at various NCR areas across the Mojave, including Ranger stations, Camp Golf, Camp Forlorn Hope etc. They will also spawn if the player draws the ire of the NCR and Ranger kill teams are sent after them.
Behind the scenes
Wes Burt (for Massive Black) developed the design. I shared your concerns, so there were a few things I requested to keep it from turning into Jin-Roh Part 53. First, I asked that he wear jeans and boots. I also requested that he should typically have a revolver or lever-action rifle with a bandoleer for bullets. Last, I asked for his jacket to be dark brown, not completely black. I wanted to pull some of the color elements toward warmer "cowboy" tones instead of strict neutrals.
Wes is a really fantastic artist and I think he did a great job.”— J.E. Sawyer on the armor's design
- The armor's design was inspired by Tycho's description in Fallout. The helmet and mask combo take inspiration from Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade and the symbol on the left breast of the body armor is inspired by the logo for the BPRD from the Hellboy series.
- The armor is covered in distinctive markings, including a  tactical marking on the left side, a throat protector with the number 08, and NCR insignia on the duster flaps. High resolution renders such as the ones used on the cover and in promotional materials, show H3RM35 on the antennae, potentially a reference to Hermes, an armor development project from the canceled game Van Buren.
- There are several differences between the high resolution promotional model and the one in the released game. The game model is simplified and streamlined (lacking the wrist pouches and the air supply hose on the mask), most likely to conserve memory, and has a long, rigid coat (as the cloth physics in the Gamebryo engine were too primitive to make it render properly). The helmet also lacks the aforementioned Hermes signage, instead having a variety of markings: L(2) above the facemask lock, and numerous markings on the communications and illumination module: The T Power logo, W3, HV57, TH22-A, and what appears to be a serial number: 24-201-WN.
NCR Ranger Veteran wielding a .357 Magnum revolver.
NCR Ranger Veteran holding an anti-materiel rifle.
- The coding of the armor causes several clipping issues. The helmet does not replace the head, meaning hair and even body parts can be visible protruding from the back, while rifles will holster at a varying distance from the body, as pistol-grip and rifle-grip rifles holster differently. The former holster to armor, while the latter to the character's body, resulting in visual glitches. Switching to other armors may temporarily resolve the bug.
- Desert Ranger combat armor was used by a Marine in China.
- Riot gear availability in Lonesome Road.
- Fallout: New Vegas loading screen hints - "The distinctive black ranger combat armor consists of the Desert Rangers' traditional trench coat worn with Pre-War riot armor. Ranger patrol armor is hand-manufactured in the NCR."
- Massive Black concept art.
- The Courier: "What do the new rangers mean for NCR?"
Hanlon: "The Baja rangers can do more advance night scouting and sharpshooting to assist the troopers. Ranger combat helmets are old Pre-War gear. They have built in low-light optics. Makes a big difference."
- As seen in the Fallout: New Vegas intro.
- Appearance of NCR Ranger combat armor, Desert Ranger combat armor, and riot gears.
- Riot gear textures.
- Desert Ranger combat armor
- Fallout: New Vegas loading screen hints: "The distinctive black ranger combat armor consists of the Desert Rangers' traditional trench coat worn with Pre-War riot armor. Ranger patrol armor is hand-manufactured in the NCR."
- NCR trooper: "If I live to earn the Black Armor, I can die happy."
- Q&A session with Josh Sawyer during a live charity stream. (reference begins at 8:29:40)