Grid Armor

Class: Fixer
Faction: All Factions
Level: All Levels
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Most of the fixers in game and on the forum are good, generous, helpful individuals who share what they know and what they have willingly, but to help them, and maybe give them a break, this guide was created by Saerra a number of years ago. It is an effort to condense info on the much sought-after, slightly mysterious Grid Armor into one location.

This guide will include decades of still feasible info, as comprehensively as possible, covering the standard GA questions that are frequently asked about Fixer Grid Armors. References for other informative sites are also provided for convenience.

Hopefully, this guide will reflect the incredible wealth of information out there from the research of past postings on the forums, other GA guides on the web (i.e. not personal experience), and personal experience from Fixers.

1. What is it?

Grid Armor (GA) is a fixer-only, temporary nano that becomes an armor which can be worn to increase a fixer's AC (a little), some evades (a little) and increase the overall defense modifier (A LOT).


It is created by casting the rare "Grid Armor MKx" nanos (where x = 1, 2, 3, or 4; MK1 is the lowest level nano, MK4 is the highest).

The AC and evade bonuses are not extraordinary, what makes GA really work well is the very high defense modifier (numbers provided below). The increase in your defense modifier allows you to "dodge" most attacks (the mobs completely miss you, thus doing no damage). You CAN be hit, it is just much less likely.

GA is classified as a "social armor". This restricts what things can be worn with GA (see section 6 on how to discover what you can wear with it.). These restrictions mean that while wearing GA, you will have -significantly- less AC than you would wearing regular armor.

In the end, your defense modifiers and evades will make you very hard to hit, but when you ARE hit, you will have less AC to absorb the damage (thus may take more damage than your well-armored counterparts).

Note: For more information on attacks and the effects of your defense rating, please see our guide which helps to explain everything you ever wanted to know about how attacks in AO work: Combat Guide.

To see the info and descriptions for GA, check here:

What you really want to know though is what, in terms of specific numbers does each Grid Armor do. This information is in the table below:

Grid ArmorMk IMk IIMk IIIMk IV
Melee/ma AC26575012502000
Imp/Proj AC26575012502000
Energy AC26575012502000
Chemical AC26575012502000
Radiation AC26575012502000
Cold AC26575012502000
Poison AC26575012502000
Fire AC26575012502000
Max health5075100150
Evade close100120136150
Duck explosives100120136150
Dodge ranged100120136150
Nano resist50100150200
Defense modifier850125016002000
NCU memory255075100
Melee damage modifier471220
Projectile damage modifier471220
Energy damage modifier471220
Chemical damage modifier471220
Radiation damage modifier471220
Cold damage modifier471220
Poison damage modifier471220
Fire damage modifier471220

2. Where/How do you get it?

Aside from being fabulously lucky and having a friend hand you the disk, there are a few ways to acquire GA. Two of the easiest are either find it yourself, or buy it from someone.

2a. Finding the disk

GA is considered one of the rarest items in AO. So, if you are determined to find it yourself, you must be prepared for a long, arduous search. The good news is that it seems to be dropping much more frequently since patch (14.8). People are reporting finding GA as loot in solo missions (previously unheard of) off of skeletons, boxes, chests and even normal, dead mobs, and it's being offered more frequently (and more cheaply) on the shopping forums as well.

There have been many rumors, arguments, and discussions on how to find GA in the fixer forums. Searching these out and reading some might uncover long-forgotten important hints that could help you. At the least, you'll familiarize yourself with all the ways people have tried to find GA in the past, and avoid repeating this age-old question (and risking much ire and flames hideously heaped upon you before you can finish saying "where do i... ")

I will try to summarize a bit of what's been discussed previously here, with links to threads of interest.

A. Kill plants, lots and lots of plants.
I'm sure I read this somewhere, however, searching for "plants" on the forums gives lots of non-relevant returns that deal with "implants". From memory, in the old days, players wandering through the countryside of Rubi-Ka could see fixers, strangely obsessed with hunting and massacring plant life of all sorts. This is because, as previously stated, the fixer nano only drops in ID form. Nano IDs are considered tradeskill items, and plants drop tradeskill items! Thus, the logic followed, you had a much better chance of getting a GA ID off of a plant then off a random wandering mob that wouldn't likely drop any tradeskill items at all, let only the coveted disk. As always, your best bet is plants near in range to the range of the disk you are after. I can't recall seeing this discussed at all recently, so I'm under the impression that newer, more improved methods of GA-searching have made this rather obsolete (see below).

B. Some Possible Locations:

Summon Grid Armor Mk 1:
Shades (Greater Tir County)
Shades (Pleasant Meadows)
Shades (Andromeda)
Shades (NW Wailing Wastes)
Mort - 1900x700
(Mort 1900x700)
Clondyke - 1370x600
(1370x600 Clondyke)
Claw Camp
Pleasant Meadows - 400x800
(Pleasant Meadows 400x800)

Summon Grid Armor Mk 2:
Claw Camp
Pleasant Meadows - 400x800
(Pleasant Meadows 400x800)
Shades (NW Wailing Wastes)

Note: A previously thought good place to go for Nano Crystal (Summon Grid Armor Mk I) (QL 60) and Nano Crystal (Summon Grid Armor Mk II) (QL 93) has often been noted as the Claw Camp in Pleasant Meadows. ( NTs look for their rare ID, Nullity Sphere there, as well). If you are desperate it might be worth popping over and taking a look, but from reading the threads in this board, it sounds like it's easier to find GA in missions, especially now that it drops in solo missions as regular old loot.

Nano Crystal (Summon Grid Armor Mk I) (QL 60) and Nano Crystal (Summon Grid Armor Mk II) (QL 93) have confirmed drops in Foreman's (Biomre) off of the corpses of random mobs (bloaters, floaters, security guards, bodyguards, etc. They can sometimes also be found when opening Personal Safe that drop off of the security officers within the facilities.

Summon Grid Armor Mk3:
Bileswarms (The Longest Road North, in the Dead Forest)

Summon Grid Armor Mk 4:
Bileswarms (The Longest Road North, in the Dead Forest)

C. Kill bosses!

Aside from plants, bosses (both indoor and outdoor) were for some time recommended as an effective way to find GA disks. Outdoor bosses have been confirmed as dropping it (rarely), but indoor bosses were often particularly recommended. The tactic (as outlined in the referenced threads that follow) suggests that pulling a team mission WITH A FULL TEAM, blitzing to the boss, then killing the boss yielded a decent chance of getting the ID, eventually (potentially more reliably then killing random plants, although it's still a rare disk and difficult to find in any circumstances).
Note: This may no longer be a viable option as this info was from 2003, much has changed. But try it and let us know!

D. Get lucky!

Fixers have reported finding GA in solo/team missions off of the corpses of regular, non-boss mobs and in boxes, on skeletons, etc. So it's entirely possible that you will get lucky in the course of your usual AO fun and stumble blindly upon a GA disc. Probably not incredibly likely, but certainly possible.

E. What affects my chances of finding it?

There are many, many rumors about this. In the end, I think it comes down to dumb luck.

If you're curious though, here's a few things that have been claimed. I don't think there's anyway to PROVE any of this (since FunCom sure isn't going to tell us) but, take what you think will work for you and good luck with it!

- Full Team: This is really a question of numbers and effectiveness in your search strategy. If you are killing boss mobs to find GA, the boss will have MORE loot the MORE people are in your team. Thus, you would seem to increase your chances of finding GA by having a full team (because the boss will have as much loot as possible, and each piece of loot has some percent chance of being GA).
Note: This may no longer be a viable option as this info was from 2003, much has changed. But try it and let us know!

- When you least Expect it: Many fixers also subscribe to the belief that the best way to find GA is to NOT look. That is, some fixers have found that after a near-exhaustive search, it was the moment that they gave up, forgot about GA, and decided to accept their lot as a GA-less fixer and move on with their life that they mysteriously stumbled upon it. Sometimes by having a friend give it to them, sometimes by getting lucky in a mission.

2b. Buying the disk

- How much should I pay?

Market values are continually changing due to factors such as the number of disks for sale, the number of people wanting to buy the disks, the funds available to those people who want it, and the perceived usefullness of GA. I don't think anyone can tell you how much you SHOULD pay, and even if they could, I don't think it MATTERS.

In the end, it all depends on what the people who want it when it's offered are willing to pay for it.

3. Usage: Levels, Effectiveness, IP Allocation

3a. What is the lowest level it's possible to get GA on

It depends. Obviously your race, how much money you have for twinking, whether you are in a guild with towers that provide GA-friendly benefits will all affect when you can twink into GA.

There are rumors of people who have twinked into GA1 as early as level 12-15, however, you will be Over Equipped (OE) at this level (usually when your buffs run out, which if you use a wrangle to get it on, is in about 2 or 3 minutes!). OE rules affect the defense modifier on GA as well, so if you go OE, expect your spiffy defense modifier from the GA to go down, which means you'll start being hit more often.

The lowest level of equipping GA will now have the added variable of whether the player has any perk adding expansions. Perks add to skills which will allow higher quality level implants to be worn as well as adding to valuable nano skills.

3b. How long is GAx good for?

- Wearable GA last roughly 6 hours before it needs a re-buff.

It is stated that Grid Armor is a 6 hour nano in it's description. And it is. However, once it's buffed on it does NOT show the minutes or seconds until it is below a true 1 hour wearability. (Immediately after buffing it on, it may have 5 hours and 59 minutes and 59 secs left but it will only state 5 hours.). This has caused some confusion as to the actual length of the Grid Armor nano's length of use.

Note: A little trick which some players use that *may* be helpful. We'll let you decide!

Although FC has introduced a feature that shows how long temporary items, have left before they disappear, as listed above, that can sometimes be confusing. Here is a helpful tip to give GA using fixers a little visual warning when their GA is about to evaporate is to cast two separate Grid Armors. One for social, and the other to actually use.

Here's how it works:

Make sure your preferences are set to enable social clothes. Put social clothes in various locations on your social panel. Now cast a GA1 and put it in social back slot. Wait a couple of minutes and cast a second GA 1-4 and put it in your actual back slot. Now during a fight when the first GA disappears, your social clothes will appear, thus informing you that you have a few minutes before your actual GA will disappear, leaving you virtually defenseless.

Should you wear past a certain level?

It appears that most people feel they outgrow their GA1 somewhere in the 60-90 range depending on many factors. As for any level and Grid Armor, it is a debteable issue, but ultimately comes down to whether you can and have a high GA to wear, whether the GA is still helpful as you level (GA1 would be less help than some of the regular armors out there to a 199+ Fixer), and how much effort you are wiling to put into getting a higher level GA on, and keep it out of OE.

Seek out the more experienced fixer in game to ask questions of, or take a chance and ask in the Out of Character channels (Clan OOC/OT OOC).

3c. Is it worth spending the IP to get on?

This seems to be a personal choice, related to playstyle, what level GA you're talking about, what level you are, and your general resources. If you look at the requirements for GA, you will quickly see that to raise your nanoskills (specifically matter creation, which most non-GA fixers do not raise at all) high enough to wear GA, you will be restricting the IP you can put into other useful things (weapon skills, other nanolines, etc).

You need to decide for yourself if that's a tradeoff you want to make. Whether it's worth it, and what, besides spending IP, you can do to increase those skills are things you can learn as you go. (e.g. mochams, wrangles, towers, ...)

4. Creating the nano from the disc

Grid Armor can only be found as an Instruction Disc (listed below), and that must then be made into a nano. To learn more about how to actually make nanos, check out our Nano Crystal Creation Guide.

4a. How to do it?

Okay! So, you've seen the Nanocrystal Creation Guide and you've realized an important thing.

You are a fixer, you are not a tradeskiller. How are you supposed to create this nano!?

In general, IP for fixers is tight throughout most of your life, and if you are trying to wear grid armor, IP becomes even scarcer. Trying to raise skills to make nanocrystals, just so you can go make your own GA disk is silly and will gimp you much!

So, what you want to do is hunt down a well-known, respected, trustworthy tradeskiller. You want to find someone trustworthy, because GA is rather valuable, and an untrustworthy soul might grab your disk and vanish to sell it for himself. (I don't know how often this actually happens, as most tradeskillers depend upon their reputation however, it never hurts to find someone with an excellent reputation to deal with your disk.)

4b. What should you bring?

Once you find yourself a tradeskiller willing to help, ask them if they need you to provide all the requireded parts to make it. Most Trade Skillers are friendly enough, and surely would tell you what they need if you send them a tell politely asking for help.

Note: Most Tradeskillers have all the parts needed, so you just have to hand over the Nano Instruction Disc, though you should always bring them a level appropriate Carbonrich Rock (the same or higher in level to the Nano Instruction Disc).

4c. Who can you trust?

Some fixers post their recommendations for trustworthy tradeskillers in the Official AO Forums.

In many cases, its safe to ask in the OOC channels in game.

4d. Costs and tipping?

This a personal thing between you and your tradeskiller. There was a time they wouldn't much help without being paid, but many now work for a tip, and some for a "thank you!". ASK BEFORE THEY OFFER TO MAKE THE NANO!

5. How to get the most out of my GA?

First, to be clear, Grid Armor has no effective (slim to none) defense against nukes on it's own.

With that said, to be most effective in your GA, people often recommend that you max and implant your evades. As Jobe clusters (character level 100+ only) become more plentiful, I imagine that advice will expand to include implanting your overall defense rating (IE "Add-All-Defense" Jobe cluster). If you are using one of the lower level GAs and find yourself being hit too often, you might try moving you agg-def bar closer to def, to make more use of your evades as well, although this will slow down your firing rate.

6. What can I wear with GA?

GA is classified as "social armor". Only certain items are able to work with social armor. Almost anything that says "Can Wear With Social Armor" works, with a few exceptions.

Note: Here's a tip to be able to search for GA compatible armors: knowing that those items contain a specific social tag you may find them by doing a google search over auno (or any database site you like) like this : GG search with tag

Please note you will find many perks, token boards, usual necks & SL zone protectors within the result. But among those you also may find e.g. Ljotur's parts, Corroded rings from Foreman's, Fly Catchers from Hollow Island, NCU Hacker interface or even Skinchips. Enjoy the best option for you :)

7. General Stuff

7a. OMG - Gird Armor in ShadowLands?

For many many years, Grid Armor could not be used in Shadowlands. As of the 18.7 patch, it is now perfectly possible to use in SL. However, it is a Rubi-Ka based effective nano and is less effective in Shadowland.

7b. What are the unintended side effects of GA?

Well, mostly you will stand out as an obvious fixer and will likely be targeted for fixer buffs.

And that is pretty much it!

Grid Armor has its gives and takes, but it can definitely be useful. Deciding to wear it is a personal choice. Either way, hopefully, this guide will help you.

Last updated on 06.16.2023 by Cariadast
Search info regarding items that can be worn with GA in note provided by Bitnykk
Images: Cariadast, AOU files, and WAusJackBauer
GA nano duration info provided by Medcure and Avue
New updated Table AC info, etc Saavick
[Edit: July 12, 2003. Xharfix pointed out that recent patches have made the number of minions in a room change a bit, as noted.
Original Introduction by Saerra
Information originally provided by Saerra at the Official AO Forums.
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