Helmets in Escape from Tarkov are a touchy subject for tierlist enthusiasts. The items tend to be difficult to place in terms of power simply because ranking their individual effects (or uselessness) alongside debuffs and a solid definition of what counts as ‘good’ is a fairly subjective endeavor.
That said, there’s not much room for arguing over what helmets are actually good and which ones are trash. Today, we’re talking about the former. Here’s a list of the top 10 helmets in Escape from Tarkov, Roubles not included.
10. Crye Precision Airframe Tan
The airframe is widely regarded as a helmet that can justify its price point for players who want to optimize their odds in Tarkov. As a tier 4 helmet, it can stop the initial round from pistol rounds, slugs, shells, and some softer rifle ammunition.
In addition to this, the Airframe features a high deflection chance and the unique ability to add two separate face covering modifications before heading out. The sheer luck involved in getting capped three times in the head and suffering no damage thanks to face coverings and ricochets shouldn’t be expected, but is absolutely something that’s possible thanks to the mods on the Airframe. To top it off, this helmet features a nice 40 durability and 0% change to movement speed.
9. Ops-Core Fast MT SUPER HIGH CUT Helmet
The Fast MT is a high durability, decently stated helmet with various modifications that make it a worthwhile option, but suffers from the high cost of $1200 / 140K RUB as its downside. It features top / nape coverage with a high ricochet chance, along with a 0% reduction in ergonomics and a 7% / 1% reduction to turn speed and movement speed respectively.
As solid as this helmet turns out to be, it should really only be taken up by experienced players who have confidence in their ability to turn a consistent profit with it.
8. Diamond Age Bastion Helmet
The ultimate tank machine. The Diamond Age Bastion is similar to the Fast MT by default, but features a modification for extra armor that’s extremely expensive, but mainly what makes this helmet so incredible.
The modification takes this class 4 armored helmet to a class 6, which makes it the tankiest helmet in the game, capable of stopping / ricocheting multiple rounds from the vast majority of ammunition types in the game.
You can purchase it from the market for ~ 55K RUB, which turns into ~155K RUB with the armor modification.
7. Team Wendy EXFIL Ballistic Helmet
Yet another helmet similar to the Fast MT by design, the Team Wendy EXFIL Ballistic Helmet is a slightly cheaper variant that suffices as the newbies’ safe haven. If you don’t want to worry about modifications or cost, but still want a reliable helmet, you can skip out on the Fast MT and focus on trading in RUB (if peacekeeper LL4) or 10 dog tags (if peacekeeper LL3).
This helmet has a slight durability advantage over the Fast MT, with a face shield modification option that features a high ricochet chance.
6. Galvion Caiman Ballistic Helmet
The Caiman Ballistic Helmet is another class 4 armor piece that boasts a large 50 durability and a visor modification that reduces blinding effects by 15%.
This, in addition to the -2% movespeed effect and -8% turn speed means that this helmet is largely used by a few niche players who have specific purposes for it in mind. In a general sense, this helmet isn’t the greatest around, but it’s definitely not a generalist’s helmet to begin with.
5. BNTI LSHZ-2DTM Helmet
The 2DTM features a durability rating of 55, offers a face shield modification, and can boasts the high ricochet chance that class 4 helmets enjoy. This helmet does, unfortunately, come with the drawbacks of -3% movement speed, -15% turnspeed, and -10 to ergonomics.
These issues only seem worse thanks to the noise reduction penalty given to players, but compensates with an interesting bonus of actually offering more protection around the ears instead of the standard head and nape.
The 2DTM can be bought from Ragman (Loyalty Level 3).
4. Maska 1-SCH Helmet
For Tachanka lovers everywhere, the Maska proves useful (and difficult) to dawn. Make no mistake, this helmet is objectively a tanker’s delight, but is ultimately too linear in design for players who rely on positioning and flanking for their combat.
Thanks to its class 4 armor base and class 5 faceguard modification, this helmet can theoretically protect a player from most rounds in the game, especially when factoring in its high ricochet chance. To offset this, the helmet has some pretty hefty prices that need to be met.
Firstly, the helmet gives the player a huge audio penalty just for wearing it. Along with the 3% reduction to move speed and 6% reduction to turn speed, this audio penalty is enough to turn the majority of players who prefer situational awareness away immediately. To top it off, the helmet’s design (with the faceguard) limits the player’s peripherals to almost only directly in front of them.
In short, the 1-SCH is for people who want maximum protection and feel confident in knowing where the enemy is (directly in front of them).
3. Altyn Helmet
If the 1-SCH seemed like something you’d like, if only slightly upgraded, then look no further than the Altyn Helmet. This is the first helmet with a class 5 armor base on this list, and also features a faceguard modification that makes this piece one of the best PVP helmets in the game.
In fact, for a long while, the Altyn was actually considered THE best PVP helmet in the game thanks to its armor class and high ricochet chance preventing many rounds from landing home, even in close quarters combat, where lighter armor just doesn’t prove effective.
With the introduction of two new helmets, which we discuss below, the Altyn lost its place as the objective best helmet around. To this day, though, it’s still rocked by many players as one of the better options in the game.
2. Rys-T Helmet
The Rys-T is unapologetically a straight up better version of the Altyn. It was designed, as is described by the community, as an Altyn that is lightweight, and it shows.
Featuring all of the same ricochet chance, armor class, and even better durability as its heavier twin, the Rys-T also boasts lower stat penalties than the Atlyn, all which still featuring the same beloved faceguard that makes the Rys-T not only a great CQC helmet, but one that allows for much more mobility and speed than an Altyn.
Great stats, great upgrade, great helmet.
1. Vulkan-5 (LShZ-5) Heavy Helmet
The Vulkan-5 presents some extremely interesting design choices by the developers towards helmet balance. First things first: the protection.
The Vulkan-5 is a class 6 base armored helmet that weighs more than any other helmet in the game, but offers full head protection from nape, head, to ears. As a result, it also offers some heavy turn speed, movement speed, and egronomitry penalties, too. The turn speed, at 33%, is particularly harsh.
Unlike the aforementioned class 5 armored helmets, the Vulkan doesn’t actually come with a faceguard. It comes with a face visor, making it immediately worse when taking bullets to the face, despite a high ricochet chance, but all the better for utility in reducing blinding effects.
All of these helmets are going to offer something to someone. The real question is how each player plans on using them, and if they can reliably turn a profit for the required price of each piece of gear.
Ultimately, the helmets that aren’t quite as powerful (or protective) and the one’s higher on the list are going to be cheaper, effective against lighter ammunition (which low tiered players and NPC’s run), and will be easier to access.
The helmets that do make the latter half of the list, well, they may be objectively more powerful, but they certainly come at their own costs, both in terms of money and mobility / spatial awareness.
To each their own, and pray those bullets miss altogether.