Best armor in skyrim

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15 Best Heavy Armor Sets in Skyrim

Heavy armor sets all seem to be tailor-made for players who don’t mind moving a bit slower in exchange for a massive defensive bonus.

So it’s fair to say heavy armor tends to be a warrior’s best friend. Especially for anyone who prefers prefer two-handed weapons. And some sets of heavy armor can be accompanied by shields for a major boost!

Tamriel has some of the most beautiful sets of armor in the world, just as we saw in TES IV: Oblivion.

The designs in Skyrim don’t fall short and, in my opinion, are even better than the ones in TES’ previous installment.

But choosing the best heavy armor is no easy task so I’ve made this list of the best heavy armor sets in the game. Hopefully this can help you get a better idea of the stats, features, locations, and ultimately find whichever armor will suit you best.

Ancient Nord Armor

Ancient Nord Armor in Skyrim

Worn by Nords in ancient times, the Ancient Nord Armor is a heavy set that serves as a variant of the basic iron armor.

The helmet is quite recognizable as it seems to appear in most of Skyrim’s promotional material. However the set is rather uncommon since it cannot be crafted using any materials available in the game.

You can find it being worn by Dragon Cultists during the quest “Siege on the Dragon Cult”, but it may also be found in a few other locations.

The easiest way to get your hands on the entire set is by killing the ghost that spawns after PM in the Kjenstag Ruins.

With a base defense of just over 60 points, this set is quite sturdy and great for the early stages of the game.


Steel Armor

Steel Armor heavy skyrim

Steel armor is one of the most common types of heavy sets and it works very well.

It can be found worn by most bandits and warriors and it may be seen in two forms: the first type comes with shoulder guards, and the other type doesn’t include the pads in the cuirass.

Both sets have the same defensive stats of 96 so it really comes down to what look you’re going for. But for sure this is worth chasing if you want an early protective heavy set that just works.


Dwarven Armor

Dwarven Armor in Skyrim

This legendary set of armor used to be worn by Dwarves, back when they weren’t extinct in Skyrim.

Nowadays the set presents a beautiful design that evokes a feeling of ancient times, as its bronze color accompanied by a mechanical-like shape makes this quite a unique sight.

It can be crafted or bought from blacksmiths as well as found in many locations during the early stages of the game. Probably more of a middle-of-the-road type of armor but still very good.


Falmer Hardened Armor

Falmer Hardened Armor in Skyrim

Falmer Hardened Armor is a weaker version of the Falmer Heavy Armor, but it offers a good level of protection for players who can’t afford to get the Heavy version of the set.

It’s just as effective as Dwarven armor, but it does have a much lighter weight factor.

If you want to get your hands on this set you’ll need to kill Falmer warmongers and loot their corpses to obtain all the pieces.

Higher ranked Falmer might also carry hardened armor, although they often tend to be wearing the Heavy version of the set instead.


Dawnguard Heavy Armor

Dawnguard Heavy Armor in Skyrim

The Dawnguard Heavy Armor set is the preferred armor of choice for Dawnguard members.

You can kill any of these warriors in order to obtain the armor for yourself. However, players who prefer to take a more peaceful approach might also purchase the armor from Gunmar.

It only weighs 78 points and offers total protection of , making it one of the most solid sets in the game. But again it’s definitely a heavy choice.

This armor’s design is quite simplistic yet aesthetically pleasing. It dresses up any warrior with an elegant tone and helps keep the skin protected from slashes or blunt hits from your foe’s weapons.


Steel Plate Armor

Steel Plate Armor in Skyrim

This Steel Plate set of armor resembles those traditional knight armor sets that you often see in Hollywood movies.

The set itself offers a solid level of protection of 87, and the whole set only weighs a total of 59 points making it one of the lightest sets of heavy armor in the game(a bit of a contradiction here, I know).

You can find and craft this set pretty early in the game, with enchanted variants of the set spawning once you reach level 19 and up.

Rigel Strong-Arm has a full set of Steel Plate Armor which may be looted from him if you visit his location in Pinewatch.


9. Blades Armor

Blades Armor Skyrim photo

The Blades: legendary dragon slayers who later become part of the Septim’s Guard.

These elegant knights dress up in an armor that resembles lighter models, but their armor offers a much larger level of protection capable of stopping even the strongest dragon flames.

With a base defense value of and a weight of 87, the Blades Armor set is a very good choice for defense at almost any level. And this is an easy one to get at the Sky Haven Temple.


8. Orcish Armor

Orcish Armor demo in Skyrim

Orcish Armor offers a level of protection of with a weight of just 71 for the entire set. So basically not too heavy, but definitely a great protective choice.

This set starts spawning at level 20 and you may find enchanted parts of this armor as early as level

It can also be bought from various smiths or looted from the corpses of fallen enemies. But beware – if you plan to buy it, the entire set will cost a hefty sum of septims!


7. Chitin Heavy Armor

Chitin Heavy Armor Skyrim

There are two variations of Chitin Armor that were added to Skyrim with the Dragonborn DLC: a light variant which provides decent coverage from most attacks, and a heavy variant capable of stopping the mightiest of foes.

This armor can be crafted with chitin and it offers a similar level of protection as the Steel Plate Armor with even less weight than its steel counterpart.

In general this is worth looking into, but you’ll probably eventually find some armor that suits your specific needs. Chitin might be best for an all-around protective layer.


6. Ebony Armor

Ebony Armor Skyrim photo

The Ebony armor can be found enchanted starting at level 33 but its regular version can also be found on various foes once you reach level

The set resembles the armor of Sauron, and offers a protection rating of with a weight of just

Note you can also create this armor yourself but you’ll need to reach at least level 80 Smithing first.


5. Falmer Heavy Armor

Falmer Heavy Armor Skyrim

With a base protection rating of 96, the fearsome Falmer Heavy Armor is a magnificent set that can be upgraded with Chitin too.

It was added to the game with the Dawnguard DLC alongside other types of chitin wears.

It has quite a unique design which makes it appealing to many players even though it doesn’t have the highest of defense ratings. You can also buy this pretty easily if you save up enough money. The most costly piece will be the armor itself at a total of 1, septims.


4. Nordic Carved Armor

Nordic Carved Armor Skyrim

Nordic Carver Armor is another very appealing set that many players have fallen in love with. It’s also an exclusive from the Dragonborn DLC.

This set includes a shield which makes it ideal for players with a one-handed playstyle.

It can be found from level 25 and up and it offers pretty much everything you’d want: boots, gauntlets, a helmet, a shield, and the armor itself.


3. Stalhrim Armor

Stalhrim Armor Skyrim

The Stalhrim armor set is only unlocked after you run the quest “A New Source of Stalhrim”, which requires the Dragonborn DLC to unlock.

The entire set is very visually appealing with horns that resemble those of the Ancient Nord Armor and a brilliantly designed cuirass.

Worth noting that the defensive rating is not too shabby either.

It offers a total protection rating of with a weight of just 59 which makes this set ideal for players who want to wear a heavy set without having to compromise too much inventory space.


2. Daedric Armor

Daedric Armor Skyrim

So Daedric Armor has always been a fan favorite across The Elder Scrolls franchise, and the Skyrim series is no exception to this.

One look at the Daedric armor set and you’ll notice it has an eerie, evil look to it. It’s the kind of look that strikes fear into the hearts of your foes.

It is the strongest set of armor in base-game Skyrim and one that many players choose to wear even after installing some of the game’s DLCs.

This armor can be crafted using Daedra hearts and pieces of Ebony armor, as well as black soul gems and centurion dynamo cores.

You may also obtain pieces of this armor by slaying Dremora and looting their corpses but it’ll take a while to complete the set.


1. Dragonplate Armor

Dragonplate Armor Skyrim heavyarmor

Dragonplate armor might not be the most aesthetically pleasing set in the game, but it’s the one that offers the most protection out of the lot.

With a protection of points for all pieces, Dragonplate armor can withstand attacks from pretty much anything.

It can be crafted and upgraded using dragon bones, but to do that you’ll need a level smithing. So yeah it may be more worthwhile to look into loot locations if you aren’t big into making it yourself.

This set represents the hours of work spent by a Dragonborn slaying beasts all across Skyrim. Wearing this is definitely a sign of prestige amongst the common folk.

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Marco Ibarra

Born in the first half of the 90s, video games have been a part of my life ever since I was introduced to Age of Empires I by my dad. I'm a Mass Communications graduate with a specialization in Marketing, as well as a hardcore gamer. My aim is to bring you quality content so you can get the best out of your games and take your experience to the next level!


Skyrim: The 7 Best And Worst Armor Sets

It's been years since Bethesda introduced players to the world of Skyrim. In that time, we've seen multiple remasters, ports, as well as the culmination of work from a tremendous and extremely talented mod community that has turned Skyrim from a typical open-world RPG to a gameplay sandbox unlike any other.

RELATED: 15 Strongest Unique Swords In Skyrim, Ranked

Today, we're focusing solely on the armor sets in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Some of this game's armor sets are notorious for their appearance alone, while other armor sets have unique enchantments that aren't available elsewhere. While most of Skyrim's armor sets are viable on higher difficulties, some sets are far above the rest. Conversely, some armor sets offer next to nothing in terms of aesthetics or numerical stats to warrant wearing. Let's go over the seven best and worst armor sets you can find in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Updated April 18th, by Charles Burgar: Ranking armor sets in a game like Skyrim is difficult. Most armor sets look incredible and offer solid stats when Smithing or Enchanting are used. We've overhauled this list entirely, replacing certain entries and adding stat breakdowns at the start of each entry. Armor sets are valued on their usefulness and aesthetic (explained in more detail below). 

How We're Ranking This List

There's much more to an armor set than its default armor rating. This list takes the following into account with each entry:

  • Armor Rating (without a shield)
  • Acquisition method
  • Enchantments (if any)
  • Tempering
  • Aesthetics

Overall, we're looking at the net benefits of using that particular armor set over something else, although the visual design of the armor has been taken into account. The "best" armor sets have a combination of excellent stats and a great aesthetic. The "worst" armor sets contain subpar stats compared to their competitors, or they're not worth the effort required to obtain them.

You can use whichever armor sets you want in Skyrim on any difficulty (especially if you use Smithing and Enchanting), but the best armor sets can do so much more easily than the worst entries.

Note: Skyrim has a hard armor cap of , if you're using a shield. Due to Smithing and Enchanting exploits, you can easily make any armor set in Skyrim reach this cap. We are not taking this into consideration for this list. If you want to use any armor set and reach this cap, read this guide.

One more note: armor sets are being ranked, not individual pieces. The Archmage Robes, Dragon Priest Masks, and other single-piece items are excluded from this list. Creation Club armor sets are also omitted. With that out of the way, let's get to ranking which armor sets are the best and worst.

14 Best: Dragonscale Armor

Dragonscale Armor Stats

  • Armor Class: Light
  • Armor Rating: 82
  • Weight: 20
  • Value: 2,
  • Enchantable? Yes
  • Tempering? Yes
  • Obtained: Crafting ( Smithing required); extremely rare world drop

The Dragonscale Armor is one of the most cost-effective light armor sets in the game, crafted from the bones and scales of dead dragons that litter Skyrim's landscape. The main reason why it's not higher on the list is its reliance on Smithing and Enchanting. Creating this armor set requires a Smithing skill of and the Dragon Armor perk. Since it comes with no enchantments, you'll need to invest in the Enchanting skill to make it a truly top-tier armor set. It is possible to find this armor as early as level 24, but its drop chance is so low that players can go multiple playthroughs without seeing a single piece of this set.

Dragonscale Armor also gets bonus points for being one of the cooler looking sets in Skyrim. It comes in with an armor stat of 82 without a shield, giving it the highest armor rating out of any light armor set in Skyrim. That number boosts up to a respectable with the inclusion of a shield. Dragonscale Armor provides a lot of protection and intimidation, but its low drop chance and Smithing requirement make it tough to obtain in the early to mid-game.

13 Worst: Imperial Armor

Imperial Armor Stats

  • Armor Class: Heavy
  • Armor Rating: 60
  • Weight: 52
  • Value: 
  • Enchantable? Yes
  • Tempering? Yes
  • Obtained: Worn by Imperial soldiers

Imperial Armor isn't necessarily terrible, although it isn't terribly useful outside of the first few hours of a playthrough. Bethesda did a great job designing the armor sets in such a way that most of them do serve a specific purpose. In this case, the Imperial Armor set is the first armor set many Skyrim players will find in their playthrough.

It carries the same defensive statistics as Iron Armor but carries the advantage of being obtained much earlier. If you follow Ralof during the opening Helgen sequence, you can obtain this set by killing an Imperial captain on the main path. Imperial Armor also has the bonus of giving the player choices in terms of variety. There are three different helmets for this armor set, and each carries slightly different statistical variations. The Imperial Armor set is by no means atrocious: it just falls behind when higher-tier armor sets become available.

12 Best: Miraak's Robes

Miraak's Armor Set Stats

  • Armor Class: Light (Robes are considered Clothing; mask can drop as Heavy)
  • Armor Rating: 45
  • Weight: 
  • Value: 1,
  • Enchantable? No
  • Tempering? No
  • Obtained: Complete Solstheim's main quest


  • Miraak (Mask): Increases your Magicka by points.
  • Miraak's Robes: 15% spell absorption. Chance on hit to spawn a tentacle explosion.
  • Miraak's Gloves: 5% spell absorption (requires Miraak's Robes).
  • Miraak's Boots: 5% spell absorption (requires Miraak's Robes).

Miraak's armor set is unique in that its comprised of different armor types. The robes are considered clothing, the boots and gloves are light, and the helmet can drop as a light or heavy piece—determined by your proficiency in either tree. Its armor rating might be quite low and can't be further improved by tempering, but the enchantments on this armor set make it absurdly strong.

RELATED: Skyrim: 10 Hidden Details About Miraak That You Probably Missed

Obtaining 25% spell absorption from an armor set is incredibly powerful, giving all spells and Shouts a 25% not to damage you whatsoever, granting you Magicka equal to the spell's cost. This can be further enhanced by obtaining the Atronach Stone and the Alteration tree's Atronach perk. With all three effects combined, you become completely immune to enemy spells and dragon Shouts. Not even enchantments can provide that level of power!

The tentacle explosion from Miraak's Robes is quite potent, dealing poison damage to any nearby enemies whenever you're hit. Even if your spell absorption is %, being hit by a spell or Shout can activate this perk, providing a sizable damage increase for aggressive mages. You do give up reduced Magicka cost on your spells, but becoming immune to every spell in Skyrim is more than worth the tradeoff.

11 Worst: Iron Armor

Iron Armor Stats

  • Armor Class: Heavy
  • Armor Rating: 60
  • Weight: 46
  • Value: 
  • Enchantable? Yes
  • Tempering? Yes
  • Obtained: Bandits and world loot

Iron Armor is a set that doesn't really do much of anything. Its armor rating of 60 is about average, and the banded version of the armor doesn't offer much of an upgrade—sitting at an armor rating of

A huge and glaring problem with the Iron Armor set is that it doesn't benefit from Smithing perks, meaning it can't surpass Flawless tempering quality unless your Smithing skill exceeds Some will argue that its accessibility in the early game makes it decent. However, Steel Armor and Imperial Armor can be obtained just as early, both sets providing either better armor or weight values. Iron Armor becomes obsolete too quickly to warrant use unless you love the look of it. In that case, fortify your Smithing and turn this armor into the damage-absorbing beast it deserves to be.

10 Best: Deathbrand Armor

Deathbrand Armor Stats

  • Armor Class: Light
  • Armor Rating:  (+ when the full set is worn)
  • Weight: 13
  • Value: 11,
  • Enchantable? No
  • Tempering? No
  • Obtained: Complete the "Deathbrand" quest


  • Deathbrand Helm: You can breathe underwater indefinitely.
  • Deathbrand Armor: +15 stamina per Deathbrand item equipped.
  • Deathbrand Gauntlets: 10% increased one-handed damage while dual-wielding per Deathbrand item equipped.
  • Deathbrand Boots: +10 carrying capacity per Deathbrand item equipped.
  • Deathbrand Set: + Armor

The Deathbrand Armor set provides powerful enchantments and an exceptionally high armor rating of  Wearing it as a full set provides you with tons of cool buffs, including increased carrying capacity and water-breathing.

Arguably the most unique part of the Deathbrand Armor is its enchantments. As you equip additional pieces of the armor set, the enchantments on certain items become much stronger. With a full armor set, you can expect +60 Stamina, +40 carrying capacity, 40% increased one-handed damage while dual-wielding, and the ability to breathe underwater.

The armor itself has an interesting design as well. It's a frosty blue hue that seems to be built based on a Nordic set. If you're looking for the Daedric Armor equivalent for light armor, you've found the right set.

9 Worst: Stormcloak Armor

Stormcloak Armor Stats

  • Armor Class: Light
  • Armor Rating: 43
  • Weight: 14
  • Value: 32
  • Enchantable? Yes
  • Tempering? Yes
  • Obtained: Worn by Stormcloak soldiers

For clarity, this is the default Stormcloak Armor that most soldiers use, not the Stormcloak Officer variant that's much better.

There isn't much going for this set besides its great aesthetic design. The set has an armor rating on par with Studded armor, lacks a shield, doesn't benefit from Smithing perks, and becomes obsolete once players start finding Leather Armor not even a few hours into their playthrough. The Stormcloak Armor set suffers from being an early game item that doesn't really progress beyond its beginnings. Unless you love representing the Stormcloaks or how it looks, there's virtually no reason to use this armor set.

8 Best: Ancient Shrouded Armor

Ancient Shrouded Armor Stats

  • Armor Class: Light
  • Armor Rating: 72
  • Weight: 
  • Value: 2,
  • Enchantable? No
  • Tempering? Yes
  • Obtained: Complete the "Locate the Assassin of Old" quest


  • Ancient Shrouded Cowl: Bows deal 35% increased damage.
  • Ancient Shrouded Armor: % Poison Resistance.
  • Ancient Shrouded Gloves: Sneak attacks with one-handed weapons deal double damage.
  • Ancient Shrouded Boots: Your footsteps are muffled.
  • Ancient Shrouded Set: +25 Armor

The Ancient Shrouded Armor set is unquestionably one of the best armor sets in Skyrim. It has an incredibly high armor rating of 72, weighs next to nothing, and has a great set of enchantments that any back-stabbing assassin would love. The sleek red and black design ensures that each assassination is stylish.

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As the Miraak set is best for mage characters, the Ancient Shrouded set is tuned towards stealthy characters that strike from the shadows. The increase to sneak damage makes this an excellent armor set to pair with stealth builds. Best of all, this armor set doesn't have any level scaling, meaning you can complete this mission at level one and obtain an endgame armor set. If you're playing a stealth build, few armor sets will serve you better than this.

7 Worst: Fur And Skaal Armor

Fur Armor Stats

  • Armor Class: Light
  • Armor Rating:  (based on armor variants)
  • Weight: 
  • Value: 
  • Enchantable? Yes
  • Tempering? Yes
  • Obtained: Bandits and world loot

Skaal Armor Stats

  • Armor Class: Light
  • Armor Rating: 46
  • Weight:
  • Value: 
  • Enchantable? Yes
  • Tempering? No
  • Obtained: Skaal villagers and Solstheim loot

We're including both the Fur and Skaal armor sets due to their identical stats. Both armor sets don't provide a lot of protection and don't scale well with Smithing. These issues are somewhat excusable due to how common Fur is, but this issue is inexcusable for Skaal Armor since it can't be tempered. Those interested in fashion will likely appreciate Fur's different armor variants and Skaal's winter-themed appearance, but the stats on both sets are so terrible that it's tough to recommend using them over other options.

6 Best: Nightingale Armor

Nightingale Armor Stats

  • Armor Class: Light
  • Armor Rating: 69
  • Weight: 18
  • Value: 3,, (scales with level)
  • Enchantable? No
  • Tempering? Yes
  • Obtained: Complete the "Trinity Restored" quest


  • Nightingale Hood: Illusion spells cost % less to cast.
  • Nightingale Armor: + Stamina. Increases Frost Resistance by %.
  • Nightingale Gloves: Lockpicking is % easier. One-handed weapons deal % increased damage.
  • Nightingale Boots: Your footsteps are muffled.
  • Nightingale Set: +25 Armor

On looks alone, the Nightingale Armor set is arguably the coolest looking light armor set in Skyrim. The cloaked face, cape attachment, and Nightingale engravings on the armor make it nothing short of a jaw-dropping armor set.

In terms of functionality, the Nightingale set offers some useful enchantments for stealth characters, tuned more towards thievery than assassinations. Similar to Daedric items, the Nightingale Armor set is stronger based on the level you obtained it. At level 32 and beyond, the armor set will have the most value and strongest enchantment values. It's tied to an absurdly long questline and might not compete with min-maxed Dragonscale Armor, yet the overall aesthetic and backstory with this set are so inspiring that it's hard not to love the Nightingale set.

5 Worst: Hide Armor

Hide Armor Stats

  • Armor Class: Light
  • Armor Rating: 40
  • Weight: 9
  • Value: 95
  • Enchantable? Yes
  • Tempering? Yes
  • Obtained: Bandits and world loot

The Hide Armor set is the worst light armor set in the game. It has the worst armor rating out of all light armor, doesn't benefit from Smithing perks, and is surprisingly uncommon when compared to Fur and Iron Armor. It's not even the best early game craftable set of armor. The Leather Armor set beats out multiple armor sets in the early game and can be crafted with ease. From an objective standpoint, this would be considered the worst armor set in the game if a couple of other sets didn't fall through so hard in regards to expectations and implementation.

4 Best: Ahzidal's Armor

Ahzidal's Armor Stats

  • Armor Class: Heavy
  • Armor Rating: 87
  • Weight: 59
  • Value: 6,
  • Enchantable? No
  • Tempering? Yes
  • Obtained: Found during the "Unearthed" quest


  • Ahzidal's Helm of Vision: Conjuration and Rune spells cost 25% more, but can be cast at a greater range.
  • Ahzidal's Armor of Retribution: Enemies who hit you have a small chance of being paralyzed.
  • Ahzidal's Gauntlets of Warding: Your Wards are 25% less effective, but absorb 50% Magicka cost from enemy spells (similar to spell absorption).
  • Ahzidal's Boots of Waterwalking: You can walk on water indefinitely. If four Ahzidal artifacts are equipped, +10 Enchanting.
  • Ahzidal's Ring of Arcana: Gain the Ignite and Freeze spells.
  • Ahzidal's Ring of Necromancy: Reanimated creatures you summon detonate when hit, dealing 50 points of Frost damage to nearby foes. The reanimated creature dies in the process.

Ahzidal's Armor set isn't necessarily eye-catching in its design, but it certainly packs a punch. The armor rating of this set is rather poor for heavy armor, but the enchantments on Ahzidal's Armor are incredibly powerful. Those that have invested in Smithing can easily fortify this armor set to the armor cap, negating one of the few negatives Ahzidal's has. If that wasn't enough, two jewelry pieces are also part of this set, which more than makes up for the lack of a shield.

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The effects gifted by this set are as follows: enemies who melee attack you have a chance to be paralyzed, water-walking, allow you to cast spells ignite and freeze, and if a creature you summon were to die in combat, it combusts while delivering Frost damage. This set does a lot beyond just protecting the player from massive heaps of damage and can be acquired fairly easily. If you play a spellsword or any melee build, give this armor set a try.

3 Worst: Ancient Nord Armor

Ancient Nord Armor Stats

  • Armor Class: Heavy
  • Armor Rating: 60
  • Weight: 41
  • Value: 
  • Enchantable? Yes
  • Tempering? Yes
  • Obtained: Craftable at the Skyforge upon completing the Companions' main questline

In terms of rare usable armor sets, it's hard to beat the Ancient Nord Armor set. It can only be crafted at the Skyforge after you finish the Companions' main quest. That's already a tall order, but this set also requires the Daedric Smithing perk from the Smithing tree.

What do you get for all of that work? You get an armor set with the same armor rating as Iron Armor and weighs five units less. There's no special perk, enchantment, or any unique aspect to this armor set beside its absurd unlock requirement. It only takes an Iron Ingot to temper, but anyone with Daedric Smithing unlocked is most likely capable of crafting an armor set better than this. It's no contest; this is the worst heavy armor set in Skyrim.

2 Best: Daedric Armor

Daedric Armor Stats

  • Armor Class: Heavy
  • Armor Rating: 
  • Weight: 81
  • Value: 6,
  • Enchantable? Yes
  • Tempering? Yes
  • Obtained: Crafting (90 Smithing required); extremely rare world drop
  • Hidden Perk: Intimidation checks are 10% easier

Does this need an explanation? It's Daedric Armor. This is the most iconic armor set in Skyrim, arguably in the entire Elder Scrolls franchise. The dark black metal and glowing red accents make this one of the most intimidating armor sets in the game. Bethesda must have thought so as well because this armor set also makes your intimidation checks 10% easier.

Aesthetics aside, this is the best heavy armor set in the game in terms of armor values. With some tempering and heavy armor perks, it's quite easy to hit Skyrim's armor cap with a Daedric set. It can also be enchanted, allowing crafty players to create a truly overpowered set of armor. Daedric Armor looks incredible, makes you much more durable, and has a rarity to match its power. It's unlikely you'll find a set of Daedric Armor while playing Skyrim, so the best means of obtaining this armor set is through Smithing. If you can get past that, this iconic armor set is nothing short of incredible.

1 Worst: Worn Shrouded Armor

Worn Shrouded Armor Stats

  • Armor Class: Light
  • Armor Rating: 35
  • Weight: 12
  • Value: 
  • Enchantable? Yes
  • Tempering? No
  • Obtained: Found in the Dawnstar Sanctuary

The Worn Shrouded Armor set is the worst armor you can find in Skyrim. It has an armor rating of 35 that can't be increased through tempering. Thankfully, none of the pieces are enchanted, so you can remedy this somewhat by using defensive enchantments. Still, is it worth investing resources into an armor set that has no unique qualities? For most, that answer is a clear no. Stealthy characters that love the Dark Brotherhood's aesthetic are better off with the Ancient Shrouded Armor set. It might be easy to obtain, but that doesn't redeem this awful armor set in the slightest.

Next: Skyrim Whiterun Guide: Merchants, Loot, Quests, & More


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10 Amidianborn Book Of Silence

• Legendary Edition version | Special Edition version

There are many retexture mods for Skyrim's vanilla armor sets, but this mod is one of the most comprehensive and attractive. It reskins most of the armor and weapons in the game from scratch, offering much richer detail, more variance, and greater fidelity.

In addition, the mod page allows gamers to choose between the complete package or individual modules that affect armors, creatures, Dragonborn DLC content, unique items, or weapons on an individual mix and match basis. It serves as an excellent baseline mod for gamers to build on.

9 Immersive Armors

• Legendary Edition version | Special Edition version

For years, Immersive Armors has served as one of the backbone armor mods for Skyrim, and for good reason. It injects a ton of brand new armors into the game which can be crafted, or found in world, and there's something in here that caters to everyone's individual tastes.

The armors themselves are creative and unique, and the MCM menu allows gamers to adjust the parameters of how the mod operates. They can customize which armors are distributed in world, which can be crafted, and even which ones can be broken down in smelters. There are a lot of great tips for first-time Skyrim players, but adding mods like these to a load order is an often overlooked one.

8 NordWarUA's Race Armor Expansion

• Special Edition version only

By default, Orcish armors aren't particularly interesting, varied, or attractive, but this mod aims to change all that. It also adds new Elven armors into the game that look sharp, detailed, and ready for battle. Together, this mod offers a bit of an armor overhaul for two of Skyrim's most popular races.

This is good news for gamers who like to play as either Orc or Elf or those who simply enjoy wearing diverse armor sets. They boast an authentic and lore-friendly look that breathes a lot of life into the Orc aesthetic while adding a bit more glamor and glitz for the Elven races.

7 Armor And Clothing Extension

• Legendary Edition version | Special Edition version

Originally known as Clothing and Clutter Fixes back in the Oldrim days, this mod has since been ported to Special Edition, as well. Both mods offer the same basic idea - a switch-up of the game's armors and clothing, as worn by the various NPC characters in the game.

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While this doesn't affect the player, it does bring a fresh dose of variety to Skyrim, as the NPCs will no longer wear the same type of armor or clothing. It takes into account each character's rank and position in the game and assigns them a particular armor or clothing set, which goes a long way to creating a more interesting Skyrim.

6 Bosmer Armor Pack

• Legendary Edition version | Special Edition version

This mod adds five new Bosmer armor sets into the game, with a combined total of 29 individual pieces, and 6 new weapons thrown in just for the sake. While not the largest armor add-on mod, it is a welcome addition that looks cool, fits the aesthetic of Skyrim quite well, and allows gamers to stand out from the crowd.

Both male and female characters are supported, not to mention Skyrim's mysterious Argonians and the Khajit, for an all-purpose armor pack that can appeal to any player. The Bosmer Wild Hunt and Reinforced Armor sets are particularly cool, with individual features that can't be found in any other armor mod pack.

5 Legendary Armors - DeserterX Collection

• Legendary Edition version | Special Edition version

DeserterX has been cranking out armor and clothing mods for female characters for quite some time, and although they aren't the most lore-friendly of the bunch, they are perfect for gamers who prefer to play as a female Dragonborn. Many of the armors were designed with style in mind, over substance, but some are truly wicked-looking, and fit right in.

The Riverwood Trader houses a number of crafting manuals necessary to create the various armors in the game, making it a one-stop-shop that can be revisited when the player sees fit. In total, there are 16 individual armor sets available for crafting, which add a new level of visual flair to the Dragonborn character.

4 Dragonbone Barbarian Armors

• Legendary Edition version | Special Edition version

Dragonbone armor is some of the toughest in Skyrim, but it's even better when it looks the part. Thankfully, this mod exists for the purpose of creating more diversity within Dragonbone armor sets, while at the same time offering a modular approach to how they can be worn.

The Special Edition version of the mod offers male and female armors, while the Legendary edition is purely for the ladies. Some are designed to be characteristic of a Barbarian lifestyle and their skimpy approach to clothing, while others offer more pieces and padding to create a complete and structured set.

3 Realistic Armor

• Legendary Edition version | Special Edition version

Those looking for a more realistic and gritty approach to the Skyrim experience should consider installing this mod, which overhauls the game's armor sets into something that looks straight out of medieval times. This is a better option for those who want a bleak fantasy fiction experience, as opposed to high fantasy.

It also adds a few new armor sets to the game to round things out, which is a nice touch. While this may not be everyone's cup of tea, history buffs, in particular, might enjoy the refreshing change from the magical, to something much more realistic and historical.

2 Chakrasse Armor Pack 1 (CSSE)

• Special Edition version only

Mod author ChakraSSE has crafted a ton of interesting, and particularly outrageous armors for Skyrim, and he's amassed many of them into a standalone pack. This mod contains 13 armor sets for Skyrim which are built on the game's vanilla assets, while at the same time looking like an original creation.

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The armors in question may not be to everyone's tastes, but there should be options in there for every kind of gamer. Each armor seems focused on looking as cool and wicked as possible, which is not a bad thing for gamers who want to look like a truly intimidating Dragonborn.

1 Legendary Alpha Shields

• Legendary Edition version | Special Edition version

Armor wouldn't be complete without some nifty shields to complete the ensemble, and this mod pack goes the extra mile. It tosses in 30 completely new shields with their own distinct looks and models, textured beautifully to compensate a variety of armor types.

The Steel Smithing perk is required to craft these shields, and although that might seem a bit simple and straightforward, the shields themselves are definitely worth adding into the game, perhaps as a baseline mod. They also make great decorative items.

NEXT: Skyrim's 10 Best Environmental Add-On Mods To Date


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Skyrim Remastered Best DAEDRIC Weapons \u0026 Armor ALL Enchanted At LEVEL ONE! (Special Edition Build)

Skyrim armor: The best armor in Skyrim to craft and wear

There are plenty of different options when it comes to Skyrim armor, as you can find protective items everywhere while you plunder your way through the mysterious mausoleums and dwarven dungeons of Skyrim. As well as finding useful trinkets and treasures, you also have the option of crafting and enchanting Skyrim armor, opening up more options to increase your endurance. However, if you want to kit yourself out in the best Skyrim armor then you're going to need to put in some work, so read on and we'll explain all.

Which Skyrim armor sets are the best?

It’s well-known that the best armor in Skyrim, in terms of base armor rating, is Dragon armor. There are two types of Dragon armor - Dragonplate and Dragonscale - which correspond to the two kinds of armor in the game: Heavy and Light. Dragon armor has the highest defense value, but other worthwhile armor sets are Daedric, Ebony, and Glass, all of which you’ll be able to craft yourself once your Smithing is sufficiently levelled up. 

To be honest, I always wear Daedric armor because I think it looks the coolest, plus its values are so close to the Dragon sets that the difference is almost negligible. Once you start to experiment with the most valuable sets in the game, choosing your armor becomes more a matter of preference than anything else. 

Choosing the best Skyrim armor for your playstyle

However, before deciding what the best Skyrim armor is for you, you’ll need to commit to a playstyle. Are you an assassin-type, silently scouring the dimly-lit oubliettes buried far beneath dubious embassies? Or are you the kind of person to leap headfirst into the fray, wielding a walloping warhammer with wicked wisdom? If you tend to lean towards the former, you’ll want light armor, which will make your sneaking more effective and your stamina more manageable. However, if you see yourself as the latter, you’ll want to charge into battle wearing the most elephantine hunks of metal you can find. 

The one outlier in this situation is mages. Although combat with swords, axes, warhammers, maces, shields, daggers, and bows is well-suited to standard armor, magic is a different kettle of fish. If you want to run a Battlemage set, perhaps wielding a sword in one hand and ferocious firebolts in the other, you can enchant it for buffs to Magicka regeneration and spell costs. However, a lot of mages simply wear robes, which aren’t the most protective clothing in the world, but have some incredible enchantment potential. In fact, the Archmage’s Robes, which you’re awarded after completing the College of Winterhold storyline, are kitted out with fantastic enchantments. Even on the hardest difficulty, wearing these with the right ensemble of buffed bling can make even the most vulnerable mages devastatingly powerful.

Despite how valuable these particular robes are, armor gained from completing quests isn’t always inherently good. As a rule of thumb, most of the pre-enchanted armor pieces you find are strong, but far from the best. This is because of a perk called “Arcane Blacksmith,“ which you can unlock once your Smithing reaches level With Arcane Blacksmith, you can upgrade magical weapons and armor at a grindstone and workbench, respectively. As a result, you can drastically improve your armor rating while simultaneously retaining the fortifications afforded to you by your enchantments. 

How to craft the best Skyrim armor

Smithing is quite an easy perk to level up, so reaching level 60 won’t take long at all. If you craft daggers in Whiterun and enchant them at the Enchanting Table in Dragonsreach, you can sell them for more than you spent on the materials, which enables you to turn a profit while effectively grinding Smithing and Enchanting. Once your enchanting hits level , you can actually place two enchantments on any piece of armor and weaponry you want, provided it’s currently disenchanted. If you’ve spent skill points getting enchanting perks, such as the ones that increase the buffs you’re placing on your weapons, you can reap massive benefits from wearing a full suit of enchanted armor. Perhaps you’ll have an extra points of carry weight, or maybe your Magicka will regenerate 50% faster. Either way, two weapons and a full set of armor, as well as a ring and a necklace, gives you access to a whopping 16 enchantments. If you used Greater, Grand, or Black Soul gems and have your Enchanting skill tree maxed out, even an Iron helmet could be worth more than a Daedric breastplate.

So in order to get the best armor in Skyrim, you need to craft it yourself. First you need to check what materials you’ll need; for example, an Iron dagger only requires an iron ingot and some leather strips, whereas you’ll need three dragon scales, two dragon bones, and three pairs of leather strips to craft a Dragonplate breastplate.

For ingots, you’ll need to buy them or smelt ore in a Smelter. These are scattered all across Skyrim, but perhaps the most accessible one is outside Warmaiden’s in Whiterun. Once you’ve got ingots, you can buy leather strips from any blacksmith, as well as fletchers, general stores, and random merchants. For most armor sets, leather strips and ingots are all you’ll need, but for the late-game variants, you’ll often have to jump through some extra hoops to net yourself a full set. For Daedric armor, you’ll need Daedra hearts, which you can buy from an alchemist or get after defeating a Daedra, whereas for Dragon armor you’ll need to take down several colossal dragons.

Enchanting your Skyrim armor

Once you’ve smithed yourself a set you’re happy with, taking it to an enchanting table and applying a plethora of buffs to it can really turn it into something special. Because you’ll have chosen your set based on your own playstyle, you can apply buffs that correspond to that. Maybe you want to benefit from increased Stamina, or perhaps you want to make yourself resistant to fire and frost. Either way, once you’ve enchanted your set, you’ll essentially have a customized build that’s even better than the likes of Nightingale Armor and Thieves’ Guild Armor - and that’s before you upgrade it at the workbench! Thanks to the aforementioned Arcane Enchanter, you can upgrade all of your armor until its labeled “Exquisite,” at which point it will have its highest possible defense rating. 

So if you want the best armor, smith it yourself and work your magic on it. Afterwards, head back to the forge and reinforce it at the workbench. By the time you’re finished, you’ll be walking around Skyrim like the Dragonborn should be - kitted out in magical armor crafted with demon hearts and dragon scales.

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Skyrim: The 18 Best Heavy Armor Sets, Ranked

For every character, there's a perfect set of armor in The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. If a player chooses to go down the tankier route and make a close-combat, heavy-damage Dragonborn, chances are they'll most likely invest perks in the heavy armor skill tree. Heavy armor is great for two-handed fighters who like to stay close up and personal and dish out a ton of damage while being able to sustain a lot as well.

There are a few great heavy armor sets for such character builds. Wearing a full set is also a great bonus, provided the player has unlocked the perks within the heavy armor skill tree that grants powerful boosts when wearing only heavy armor. Here are the best Heavy Armor sets in Skyrim players can invest in.

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Updated on September 11th, by Anastasia Maillot: The Elder Scrolls franchise seemed to be in limbo until Bethesda announced it would be once again re-releasing Skyrim to celebrate its 10th-year anniversary. Although this news hasn't been received with applause, it's still likely the new update will pull fans back into the game.

Heavy armor remains one of the staple character build choices in Skyrim. However, with so many options to choose from, it can be tough to figure out which sets are the ultimate best heavy armor sets in Skyrim. Much is dependent on the player's level, which will determine which sets are available in loot or for purchase. Note: all armor ratings are marked without a shield.

18 Ancient Nord Armor

  • Armor Rating: 60
  • How To Get: Forelhost, Nordic Ruins, Aela The Huntress after marriage

Despite being the worst heavy armor set in Skyrim, the Ancient Nord Armor set is actually quite rare to find and complete. While most draugr will wear pieces of the set, most of them don't actually drop the armor as loot. Luckily, the armor is there more for its appearances than its utility.

One of the key ways of getting this armor set is to find it at Forelhost or purchase it from Aela The Huntress. Random pieces of it may be found all across Skyrim, typically in Nordic Ruins. It will look nice on an armor stand but provides the worst collective armor rating. Despite being a bad set, it has a high crafting requirement. It can only be made at the Skyforge with the Daedric Smithing perk.

17 Iron Armor (Regular And Banded)

  • Armor Rating: 60 (regular), 63 (banded)
  • How To Get: Commonly found in random loot, merchants, as well as Shroudhearth Barrow, Riverwood, and Helgen

Iron armor is really just a copy of Ancient Nordic armor, but it's much more common and has its own distinct look. The regular type in particular is very easy to find early in the game, with some pieces available in Helgen as soon as the game starts.

There's also a banded version of iron armor, which is a bit better in terms of armor rating but still clearly a beginner's armor set in Skyrim. All in all, it's a set that the Dragonborn will likely wear when the game begins but will soon graduate out of. The bonus is that iron armor can be crafted without any Smithing perks or levels.

16 Imperial Armor (Regular, Officer's Helmet, And Closed Helmet)

  • Armor Rating: 60 (regular), 62 (officer's helmet), 63 (closed helmet)
  • How To Get: Helgen and when joining the Imperial Legion

Imperial armor is another variant of iron armor. It has the same base armor rating of 60 but has a unique appearance to it. It also comes in three different types, depending on the kind of helmet the Dragonborn chooses to go for. The closed helmet type is the best variant, as it provides the most armor.

This is another extremely early game heavy armor set in Skyrim. It won't serve the player well past a few levels, but it can be a nice starting armor for just about any character build that relies heavily on heavy armor. To craft it, the Steel Smithing perk is required, as well as level 20 of Smithing.

15 Wolf Armor

  • Armor Rating Without Shield: 72
  • HowTo Get: Eorlund Gray-Mane's shop (must join Companions first)

The Wolf Armor is a surprisingly cool set that can be seen on many of the members of the Companions upon joining them. Not many players may have noticed, but this armor set can also be bought from Eorlund Gray-Mane after they've completed the Proving Honor quest in the Companions faction.

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Although this heavy armor set looks nice, it's not that strong in the long run and soon becomes obsolete in comparison to Dwarven armor for instance. That being said, it provides a nice base armor of 72 when a full set of it is worn.

14 Steel Armor

Tied with the Wolf Armor, steel armor is a bit easier to find while adventuring in Skyrim. Most random loot and merchants will have steel armor, so players won't be having a hard time at all to find at least a few pieces of it here and there. It's a decent early game choice as well, upgrading from iron armor.

To craft steel armor, level 20 of Smithing is required, as is the Steel Smithing perk.

13 Bonemold Armor

  • Armor Rating: 73
  • How To Get: Requires Dragonborn DLC, can be purchased from Glover Mallory at Raven Rock

The Bonemold Armor is another set introduced first in the Dragonborn DLC. Upon entering Raven Rock in particular, the player will spot it on local Redoran guards. Like the Chitin Heavy Armor, it's sold by Glover Mallory and worn occasionally by Reavers.

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With the right level of Smithing, which in this case is only 15, the player can craft their own set with bone meal, Netch leather, and iron ingots. A full set has a fairly good armor rating of 73 and is still lackluster compared to many of the base game heavy armor sets found later in Skyrim.

12 Dwarven Armor

  • Armor Rating: 78
  • How To Get: Commonly found in random loot, especially in Dwemer ruins like Nchuand-Zel

One of the more common heavy armor sets to find in Dwemer ruins, this one is also fairly easy to craft. The player will need to be level 30 in Smithing, with the Dwarven perk unlocked. The difficulty with crafting this armor set is that it requires Dwarven metal ingots, which need to be smelted from Dwarven metal scraps.

It's a nice mid-game heavy armor set in Skyrim to have but quickly outlives its effectiveness. Nchuand-Zel is one of the best locations to find a full set in if the player urgently requires one

11 Dawnguard Heavy Armor

  • Armor Rating: 78
  • How To Get: Requires the Dawnguard DLC, received when joining the Dawnguard faction

The Dawnguard DLC also introduced a brand new armor set: the Dawnguard Heavy armor. If the player joins the vampire hunter faction, they'll be able to receive this armor upon joining. To get the helmet, however, it needs to be bought from Gunmar.

Much like other faction-related armor sets, this heavy armor can't be crafted from scratch. That being said, it can be upgraded using steel ingots.

10 Falmer Hardened Armor

  • Armor Rating: 78
  • How To Get: Commonly found in Dawnguard DLC, on high-level Falmers

Found in the Dawnguard DLC, this Falmer Hardened Armor is a weaker variant of the Falmer Heavy Armor. It looks entirely the same as its stronger version but has a significantly lower base armor rating. The armor can be often looted off of high-level Falmer enemies like Warmongers and Shadowmasters.

The pieces can't be crafted, but they can be upgraded with Chaurus chitin. The base armor rating for a full set is 78 points, which makes this heavy armor set kind of weak since it ranks so much lower than sets that are much easier to find all around Skyrim and earlier on in the game.

9 Chitin Heavy Armor

  • Armor Rating: 87
  • How To Get: Requires Dragonborn DLC, reliably acquired after killing Vendil Severin during the quest Served Cold

Players who have the Dragonborn DLC will have access to this very unique and cool Chitin Heavy Armor set, which is inspired by the Morag Tong light armor variant. It's a surprisingly lightweight set as well, making it a good heavy armor set in Skyrim.

The Chitin Heavy Armor set provides an armor rating of 87 when a full set is worn. It can be found all around Solstheim as loot, but Glover Mallory will also sell it over at Raven Rock. Reavers are the best target to loot a full set. With high enough Smithing, the player can also craft their own set with Netch leather, chitin plate, and corundum ingots.

8 Blades Armor

  • Armor Rating: 88
  • How To Get: Sky Haven Temple, inside the armory

Related of course to the Blades faction, which is joined during the main questline, the armor of the faction can't be crafted. That being said, finding it isn't very difficult, and there's one set location the player can expect to discover it. It can also be upgraded, eventually.

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When entering Sky Haven temple, the Blades heavy armor set is inside the armory room and can be looted from the chest. Steel ingots can be used to upgrade it, and with a shield, the armor rating is bumped significantly to

7 Orcish Armor

  • Armor Rating: 90
  • How To Get: Commonly found in loot, can be bought from merchants, found at Largashbur

Another great base game heavy armor set in Skyrim, Orcish armor will begin to appear randomly in chests after the player has reached roughly 26 levels. Fairly common at shops and orc camps as well, it's easy to find but also it's possible to craft a set.

To actually craft it, the player's Smithing needs to be at least level 50 and they'll need the Orcish Smithing perk. With a shield, the armor rating is bumped up to

6 Nordic Carved Armor

  • Armor Rating: 93
  • How To Get: Requires the Dragonborn DLC, found as random loot in dungeons and worn by reavers and bandit leaders

Another armor set introduced in the Dragonborn DLC is the Nordic Carved armor set, which finally gave players a decent Nordic heavy armor set in Skyrim. It's pretty easy to find pieces of it in a variety of dungeons as loot.

Or, if the player wants to, they can also craft one at level 50 of Smithing if they have the Advanced Armors perk unlocked. With a shield included, the armor rating of the set is

5 Ebony Armor

  • Armor Rating: 96
  • How To Get: Random loot and merchants past a certain level, as well as the Ebony Warrior

One of the coolest-looking sets in the game, ebony armor is something that will begin to spawn naturally in loot around level It can also be, though one needs to have a Smithing of 80 and the ebony Smithing perk unlocked.

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The full set with a shield will give the player an incredible armor rating of , making this great heavy armor in Skyrim worth the grind. If players can afford to wait, they can collect a full set from the Ebony Warrior after defeating him.

4 Falmer Heavy

  • Armor Rating: 96
  • How To Get: Requires the Dawnguard DLC, looted from high-level Falmer enemies

The better Falmer heavy armor, this set only appears on the most vicious of Falmer enemies. Warmongers and Shadowmasters have the highest chance of dropping pieces of this armor once the Dawnguard DLC is installed.

This armor can't be crafted, just like its weaker version, but it's possible to upgrade with chaurus chitin. Overall, it's a great heavy armor set in Skyrim, making it worth the grind.

3 Dragonplate Armor

  • Armor Rating:
  • How To Get: Rarely in random loot, best to craft self

After killing all those dragons and getting their bones, it's only natural they're good for something, right? Well, the Dragonplate armor is actually among the top best heavy armor sets in Skyrim and is usually easier to craft at Smithing with the Dragon Armor perk, as finding it is extremely unlikely — though possible after level

For the full set, the player will need both Dragon Bones and Dragon Scales. With a shield, the set's rating comes to about It's the first set that bumps the full set rating above points and is the third-best heavy armor set in Skyrim.

2 Stalhrim Armor

  • Armor Rating:
  • How To Get: Requires the Dragonborn DLC, can be bought from Glover Mallory or Halbarn Iron-Fur

Players who have the Dragonborn DLC installed can get their hands on the Stalhrim heavy armor set, which can be crafted using the new Stalhrim material introduced within the DLC. The recipe calls for Stalhrim, leather strips, steel ingots, and quicksilver ingots. However, it does require level 80 Smithing and the Ebony Smithing perk.

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The DLC will also have players complete a quest related to Stalhrim before crafting any Stalhrim pieces even becomes an option. Alternatively, it can also be bought by Baldor Iron-Shaper, Glover Mallory, and sometimes Halbarn Iron-Fur. Not only does it look great, but it's also the second-best heavy armor set in Skyrim.

1 Daedric Armor

  • Armor Rating:
  • How To Get: Rare loot in boss chests, looted from Legendary and Revered Dragons and sold by Dremora Merchant

No doubt the coolest and best heavy armor set in Skyrim, the Daedric armor set is both a statement and a great choice. Even better, it requires a lower level of Smithing than Dragonplate armor, only 90, as well as the Daedric Smithing perk. While it can rarely be found in loot, it's possible to find it after level

The main challenge with crafting a full set comes with getting one of its key ingredients: Daedra Hearts. The full set with shield rates at a whopping , making it the sturdiest set in the game.

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim was released on November 11, , and is available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. As of November 11, , also available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.

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In the world of Skyrim, there are many factions the player can join. Some have no power or influence, but others, like the Stormcloaks, are strong.

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Anastasia Maillot ( Articles Published)

Tea lover and video game obsessed writing enthusiast with her very own Overwatch team, Anastasia writes about games that leave an impression on her and make her come back time and time again.

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Skyrim Armor Sets Ranked Worst To Best

Skyrim: 10 Best Armor Sets & How To Find Them

The swords, axes, and spells are what the novice player attends to, it takes patience and knowledge to obtain a good set of armor. Not only does it vastly reduce the damage taken in a battle, but Skyrim's best armors also come with an array of interesting perks that will carry players to victory.

RELATED: Skyrim: Weapons That Make The Game Way Too Easy

Most sets in the game are good for a while until eventually stumbling across an enemy that strikes straight through it. We all want armor that will protect us long-term, but a great design along the trim doesn't hurt either. The best sets also come with the hardest hunts and searches to obtain them and their powers. In the end, the effort is worth it for one of these magnificent battle suits. This article details where to find all of these best sets.

Updated August 4th, by Gabrielle Huston: Did the recent Skyrim picture contest make you wonder how to spruce up your look a little bit? You're not alone! Luckily, these armor sets provide protection and style in one neat package. This article has been updated for your convenience and now includes newer pictures and clear details about how to obtain each particular set. Start your search today.

10 Blades Armor

The order of the Blades specialty armor - if it's fit for a dragon slayer it'll work for you. The Blades set is the highest-rated faction armor in the game, giving you a unique steel look as well as comparable stats to carry you through the game.

Where To Find The Blades Armor

You can find this armor by joining the order of the Blades, this becoming the default armor. Make sure to take any wanted items off before you join or they'll be gone forever. If you don't want to join the order then there's a full set in the armory of Sky Haven Temple.

9 Ebony Armor

One of the strongest armors in the game, the Ebony set can protect against most regular blows and becomes a huge asset in drawn-out combat.

RELATED: Skyrim Races Ranked Worst To Best

Where To Find Ebony Armor

Unenchanted pieces of armor will start to pop up on your regular travels as soon as you hit The general goods store or blacksmiths is a good place to start.

If you'd like the more powerful, enchanted armor, the Ebony Warrior is a good place to start. He'll show up once you're level 80 and basically ask for a warrior's death, beat him in the Velothi Mountains, and win. Behind the town of Falkreath, Angi's camp has a full set at higher levels too.

8 Nightingale Armor

For some of the most aesthetically pleasing light armor in the game, the Nightingale set has the right amount of intricacy without sticking out like a sore thumb. There's also the added bonus of keeping its weight pretty low with a solid defense in case you run into any sticky situations. It will benefit the illusion specialist the most, giving a heavy discount to the spells. Made for stealthy combat it will be easy to sneak up on your enemy with its quietening perks.

Where To Find The Nightingale Armor

You receive the armor after joining the Nightingales in the ''Trinity Restored'' quest. You'll want to hold out until level 32 to get the maximum power.

7 Ancient Shrouded Armor

This set is a twist on the regular Dark Brotherhood gear; when you have the full set it is so much easier to fulfill your assassin fantasy. Poison resistance goes up along with your sneak damage. If you prefer attacking from long range then have no fear, bow damage also goes up 35 percent when wearing the set.

Where To Find The Ancient Shrouded Armor

If you want this set then you'll have to finish the Dark Brotherhood side quest. This can only be accomplished when you've assassinated the son of the emperor's security. Once the quest is accepted, visit the Hag's End and in the secret room, you will find the set.

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6 Falmer Heavy Armor

Lighter than the heaviest armors with all the same defensive stats, you are free to get into heavy sword fights without the fear of being weighed down. If there's a skilled blacksmith with the Advanced Armors perk it can easily become one of the strongest sets roaming the land.

Where To Find The Halmer Heavy Armor

Getting this incredible armor by loot isn't an easy task, having to clear the Mzinchaleft Depths before coming to the locked golden gate. If you have a knack for lockpicking it will come in handy as it's a master lock.

5 Dragonplate Armor

One of the notorious armor sets that dominate the world of Skyrim, the Dragonplate set is beloved for a reason. With a lighter weight, this armor has some of the best-weighted stats in the game.

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Where To Find Dragonplate Armor

For anyone looking to jump straight into it, level 40 is when the armor starts appearing in the regular world. Crafting is a possibility at a lower level but it will require a nose to the grindstone. A level smith is needed to create the armor and you'll also need quite a few fallen dragons under your belt.

4 Guild Master's Armor

Once you put the set on, it's time to go to work. Your carrying capacity is increased by 50 points as well as lockpicking becoming 35 percent easier. Not a bad combination when you have loot to horde. Even when deciding to be an honest customer, prices become 20 percent better.

Where To Find The Guild Master's Armor

Thieves are quite often looking for the fastest way to the prize. This armor takes a little more grit as you have to complete all the thieves guild quests and return it to its once-great state. Only then can you accept the quest ''Under New Management'' and become Guild Master.

3 Deathbrand Armor

This gorgeous armor isn't just pretty - it's also an incredibly effective shield. It will give you a boost in both stamina and carrying capacity. If you find yourself near water will find it all the more helpful as you get 60 seconds of Water Breathing ability.

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Where To Find Deathbrand Armor

Instead of getting the whole set in one, you will need to scour the coast in search of the legendary pirate king's armor. You'll have to accept the ''Deathbrand'' quest beforehand to make the chests appear and complete one of the best sets in Skyrim.

2 Ahzidals Armor

While this set isn't particularly impressive on paper, it comes with a unique set of abilities that are rarely found otherwise. The most useful enchantment means any enemy that attacks physically has a chance of being paralyzed. Another is you absorbing 50 percent of the magicka that's shot at you, who needs defense when you have all these perks?

Where To Find Ahzidals Armor

The only place to acquire the enchanted armor is in the quest ''Unearthed''. Once you have all the pieces you can unlock the fortify enchantment perk that makes the set even stronger.

1 Daedric Armor

The highest-rated armor in all of the lands, though it comes with a complicated price. It will come as no shock that your intimidation option becomes 10 percent more likely while adorning the armor.

Where To Find Daedric Armor

Daedric armor is only found in chests of boss fights after you pass level 49 (unless you slay a legendary dragon.) Finding unenchanted pieces in the wild is rare, even once you pass the level barrier. Killing Daedra is the only sure-fire way to find the hearts required to forge the armor, and still requires that players have a level 90 blacksmithing skill.

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15 Best Light Armor Sets in Skyrim

Light armor might not be as protective as its heavy counterpart, but it lets you move swiftly while still getting some defense boosts.

That’s why many Skyrim players prefer using sets of light armor. But it’s understandable that getting your hands on the right piece of light armor can be quite difficult.

Some sets of armor are better suited to assassins and thieves, while others seem like the perfect fit for warriors who don’t want to feel clunky &#; hunkered down.

Now I realize there’s no “best way” to decide what the best set is. So I’ve compiled my list of light armor sets for you to look through and decide for yourself. Enjoy!

Hide Armor

Hide Armor Skyrim Light Armorset

Hide Armor is probably the first type of light armor that you’ll come across.

Sets of hide armor can be found all across the region so just roaming around Skyrim will probably see you stumbling onto dozens people wearing it.

During the early game, many bandits and thieves use hide armor as their main protective wear. So killing them will be an easy way to get your hands on this basic armor set.

With a protective base value of 55 for the whole set, it’s quite a solid option to get started in your adventures as it only weighs 13 points in total.


Fur Armor

Fur Armor light set Skyrim

Fur Armor differs from the hide set as it cannot be crafted, which means that you’ll have to find it by looting or killing.

It’s slightly stronger than its hide counterpart and it’s arguably far better looking. It seems to suit players who love an aggressive playstyle, so thieves might want to keep reading this list since I don’t think the fur set will work for them.

Now this fur set has four total variants since it can be found with sleeves and no torso clothing, and in a combination of ways with those attributes.

Keep in mind, however, that the stats of the set are always the same regardless of its aesthetic characteristics.

The only issue with this set is that it doesn’t have a helmet, so I’d recommend using a regular hide helmet during the early game.


Forsworn Armor

Forsworn Armor in Skyrim

You’ll notice that Forsworn armor feels like an aesthetic variation of the base-game leather armor.

It offers the same defensive points as well as the same weight, but it does look different and it can only be found by killing members of the Forsworn.

Slaying these people isn’t particularly difficult so you can get your hands on a set of Forsworn armor quite easily. Even during the early stages of the game. Just note it might be more for appearance’s sake than anything else.

Yet the headpiece of this set is what really makes it so darn cool.

The helmet is the skull of a dead animal and it should make any Dragonborn look quite fearsome. Which makes it perfect for warriors, or even taking the helmet and combining it with other sets of armor.


Morag Tong Armor

Morag Tong Armor Skyrim

The Morag Tong armor is just a variant of the Chitin armor used by the Morag Tong assassins. This can be found in the Dragonborn DLC and fits quite well on almost any play style.

The set isn’t particularly special as it resembles the Chitin set in almost every feature bar the defensive stats and weight.
However it’s a good option to wear after killing the assassins in the Ashfallow Citadel – especially if you’re unable to find a better set in the early game.


Dawnguard Armor

Dawnguard Armor in Skyrim

Now Dawnguard armor is one of the best wears for a mid-level warrior who likes to look slick in his outfit.

It offers a very solid defensive value of 61 with a weight of just 10 points, making it one of the lightest sets of armor in the game. Not to mention also one of the most protective considering how light it is.

By the name you can probably guess where to find this set. It’s worn by members of the Dawnguard in The Elder Scrolls: Dawnguard DLC.

The set itself can be looted from guards, but you may also directly purchase it from Gunmar at any time during the game.


Blackguard’s Armor

Blackguards Armor in Skyrim

This set is completely unique. It cannot be crafted nor can you obtain it with ease, but it offers a solid level of protection at 72 points defense with a weight of just

The armor itself looks exactly like Linwe’s Armor using the same in-game skin. But it can only be found if you happen to go to the basement of Glover Mallory.

And you can only do that after progressing far enough in the Solstheim story.

This armor’s appearance isn’t quite unique on its own, as it resembles the thieves’ armor worn by members of the Guild.

However the features and attributes of the boots, gloves, and hood are better than their lookalikes.


9. Nightingale Armor

Nightingale Armor in Skyrim

The powerful Nigthingale set of armor comes with a bunch of effects as well as a total defense value of almost 70 points, weighing 18 on its own. It’s certainly a bit heavier than others but it also offers some extra features.

This set of armor is traditionally worn by the Nightingale themselves who are followers of Nocturnal, the Daedric Prince.

You will receive a special set of Nightingale armor during the Thieves’ Guild questline and its powers depend on your level when they receive it.

It’s an ideal set for thieves and one of the best overall light armor sets in the game considering the defense to weight ratio.


8. Guild Master’s Armor

Guild Masters Armor in Skyrim

If you’re into the Thieves’ Guild then this next choice won’t surprise you much. The Guild Master’s Armor set is worn by the leader of the Thieves’ Guild and works pretty well.

It’s sturdy and also generally the best set of armor for thieves in Skyrim, as it increases your carrying capacity up 50 points, makes picking locks 35% easier, it gives a 35% boost for pickpocketing, and it also makes everything you but a whopping 20% cheaper.

There’s no other armor set in the game that comes close to being as good as the Guild Master’s Armor for thieves. As you can probably tell from all the features I listed!

However you need to complete the Under New Management quest before you can get your hands on this set.


7. Chitin Armor

Chitin Armor in Skyrim

A set of Chitin armor can be obtained only with the Dragonborn DLC.

It can be obtained in the region of Solstheim, or it can be obtained by killing Reavers or by visiting Glover Mallory’s house. So there’s a few places to get it but also not the easiest set to acquire.

However, you may also get your hands on this set of armor by getting it as random loot. So it’s worth looking around if you want some mid-level light armor.

It offers 85 points of protection with a weight of just 16!


6. Stalhrim Light Armor

Stalhrim Light Armor in Skyrim

The Stalhrim set can be obtained after completing the quest “A New Source of Stalhrim” in the Dragonborn DLC.

This also begins showing up at various locations around Solstheim (mainly as random drops) once you hit level

It can actually be found in light or heavy form, but its light form protects a total of points and it just weighs 13 points on its own. This is a pretty good trade-off to be honest so it’s one of my personal favorite choices.


5. Linwe’s Armor Set

Linwes Armor Set Skyrim

Linwe’s Armor can be obtained during the Summerset Shadows quest and it’s a great item for assassins and thieves.

Not only does it protect you from damage but it also increases your stamina as well as your sneaking skill, your one-handed attack damage, and your bow damage. Talk about some serious boosts!

For actual stats: this set comes with a defense boost of 69 points and weighs only 12 points.


4. Ancient Falmer Armor

Ancient Falmer Armor in Skyrim

The legendary Ancient Falmer Armor can be obtained by slaying the Arch-Curate Vythur during the quest “Touching the Sky”.

It shares the same characteristics as the game’s glass armor set, but it only weighs 13 points. The base defense damage of this set stands at 60 points so it’s also not the strongest to protect against.

But given its rarity, design, and fit for a variety of classes, I think this armor deserves a spot in this list.


3. Dragonscale Armor

Dragonscale Armor in Skyrim

Dragonscale Armor is the light version of the Dragonplate armor. Similar to its heavy counterpart, this set can be obtained only after you reach level

You’ll start finding parts of the set as random loot once you hit level 50, but again this will take a little while so you’ll have to be patient.

It defends for a grand total of points with a shield, and 82 points without one. It only weighs 10 points so it’s also a really lightweight option. But seriously, you’ll want to get that shield.

The Dragonscale armor set makes its way to this spot because it’s far easier to craft than glass, and it’s one of the best sets of light armor in the entire game.


2. Ancient Shrouded Armor

Ancient Shrouded Armor in Skyrim

The Ancient Shrouded Armor gives you a base defensive value of 72 points and it only weighs an incredible points. This might actually be the single lightest piece of armor in all of Skyrim!

It looks exactly like the regular shrouded armor set but it has a ton of effects directly enchanted on it. Have a look at the attributes for each piece if you want to see what they offer(hint: great for archers!)

But since these pieces come with attributes you’ll need an Arcane Blacksmith if you wish to upgrade the set.

It’s an incredible armor set for assassins and ranged attackers, as it increases your resistance to poison, increases the damage of your sneak and bow attacks, and it helps you move more silently throughout the night.


1. Deathbrand Armor

Deathbrand Armor, best light armor in Skyrim

Deathbrand Armor has a total value of almost 12, septims, making it the single most expensive set of light armor in the game. This is both good and bad for a few reasons.

You’ll need to complete the Deathbrand quest if you wish to obtain this legendary set of armor, which was worn by a pirate in the days of old.

It gives you a ton of boosts to stamina, carrying capacity, and damage, and it also allows you to breathe underwater. Need I say more?

Well yes actually, it also has some pretty nice stats too. This light armor set defends for points and only weighs a total of If you can get your hands on this then definitely do it. You’ll be thrilled to complete the set.

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Marco Ibarra

Born in the first half of the 90s, video games have been a part of my life ever since I was introduced to Age of Empires I by my dad. I'm a Mass Communications graduate with a specialization in Marketing, as well as a hardcore gamer. My aim is to bring you quality content so you can get the best out of your games and take your experience to the next level!


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