Skyrim Armor Cap Guide: Types And Armor Locations

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released first on November 11, 2011, and currently, it is available to play on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch consoles, and PC. The game redefined the open-world RPG genre by giving players unparalleled freedom to do and be anything in the game. Most of the time, players complete certain quests to get unique armor and weapons, which further require leveling up to achieve maximum damage resistance. However, not everything is easier said than done in Skyrim. There is a lot of myth and false knowledge circulating on the web regarding the Skyrim armor cap. That is why we have curated the guide to clear few confusions.

Skyrim is a massive game involving a multitude of things you can do in the game. For example, you can use Transmute spell to make extra gold in the game or venture into the unknown to find mystical Bound Bow. Moreover, if you are looking for a challenge, you can always go and fight Dragon Priests to get unique masks or go through the pain of farming Quarried Stone.

Returning to the subject of armor cap, many players associate the higher armor rating with damage reduction. While that may be true to a certain degree, the overall functionality of the armor cap is far from that logic. Since we are on the subject of armor and trying to guide players to reach maximum damage mitigation, it is only befitting to enlist armor types and locations you can find in Skyrim.

Armor Types and Locations

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim features many armor types that range from light, heavy to unique ones. Since we are on the topic of the Skyrim armor cap in the game, it seems befitting to give players a short description of various armor types and their locations. Most armors require you to complete a quest or a series of them. However, just for the headstart, we have mentioned how or where to find all The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim armors.

Light Armor

Skyrim Armor Cap
How to Get Light Armor – Skyrim
Name of Armor How/Where to Find
Elven ArmorPlayers can find a complete armor set of Elven Armor in loot at Northwatch Keep, Thalmor Embassy during the “Diplomatic Immunity” quest. It can also be found inside random loot chests.
Forsworn ArmorPlayers can obtain it easily by looting the corpse of Forsworn enemies. It can also be obtained by following “Forsworn Conspiracy” quest.
Fur ArmorThe armor pieces can be obtained by killing and looting Bandits and Hold Guards. Mzinchaleft ruins also contain the complete armor set.
Glass ArmorPlayers can get armor pieces by looting Thalmor enemies. During the “Missing in Action” quest, you can easily find many glass armor-wearing Thalmor enemies.
Dragonscale ArmorWhenever a player is around level 50 in Skyrim, Dragonscale armor pieces start to appear rarely in random loot chests. If you want to reach Skyrim armor cap
Hide ArmorBandits wear Hide armor, so looting set pieces will get you the armor. Arvel the Swift, wears the complete armor set except for the shield.
Imperial Light ArmorImperial soldiers wear the armor. So looting their corpses will give set pieces. In the “Unbound” quest, you can loot the dead soldiers in Helgen for armor set pieces.
Leather ArmorBlacksmiths and General Goods Merchants sell armor set pieces. Bandits also wear leather armor at times. You may also come across chests and containers keeping leather armor or its pieces.
Penitus Oculatus ArmorThe armor set pieces can be obtained easily by looting Penitus Oculatus soldiers during the “Civil War” questline.
Scaled ArmorBandits with level 20 or higher often wear scaled armor. Looting their corpses will yield set pieces. Killing Fultheim the Fearless is an easy method to obtain complete armor early on in the game.
Shrouded ArmorIf you join the Dark Brotherhood, Astrid gives you the armor whenever you reach the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary. Another way to obtain the armor is by looting the armor from dead enemies of the Dark Brotherhood.
Stormcloak ArmorIt can be obtained by looting from dead Stormcloak soldiers. Mostly, low-level enemies wear this armor, so finding them should not be a problem.
Stormcloak Officer ArmorThe quickest way to obtain the complete set is to complete “The Battle for Fort Snowhawk” quest. Ulfric Stormcloak rewards you the full Stormcloak Officer armor after completing the said quest.
Chitin ArmorYou can find the armor set pieces at the island of Solstheim. Glover Mallory also sells set pieces located at Raven Rock.
Dawnguard ArmorA few set pieces of the armor can be found at Fort Dawnguard. Gunmar sells the complete Dawnguard armor. He also gives away the armor for free if you complete “A New Order” quest.
Morag Tong ArmorComplete Morag Tong armor set can be found in the sleeping quarters of Ashfallow Citadel.
Skaal ArmorThe only way to obtain Skaal armor is to visit Skaal Village and loot it from members of the village. It is because no merchant sells the armor, neither it drops from loot chests.
Stalhrim Light ArmorIn Skaal Village, Baldor Iron-Shaper sells the armor set pieces. Glover Mallory from Raven Rock also sells few set pieces. A few boss types also wear this armor, so looting their corpse may give you Stalhrim light armor.

Heavy Armor

Skyrim Armor Cap
How to Get Heavy Armor – Skyrim
Name of ArmorHow/Where to Find
Ancient Nord ArmorWhile playing the “Siege on the Dragon Cult” quest, armor set pieces can be loot from dragon cultist enemies.
Blades ArmorIf the player marries Aela the Huntress, all armor pieces can be purchased from her by trading high-end armor.
Daedric ArmorAfter reaching level 50 or above, the complete armor may drop from a boss loot chest. Dremora Merchant also sells the enchanted and un-enchanted variations of the armor. Statistically, most players equip this armor to reach the Skyrim armor cap.
Dragonplate ArmorAfter reaching level 39 or above, players can find Dragonplate armor set pieces rarely from containers and loot chests.
Dwarven ArmorGeneral Goods merchants and Blacksmiths sell the set pieces. The armor pieces can also drop from random loot chests after crossing level 15.
Ebony ArmorOnce you reach level 33 or above, Ebony armor pieces will start dropping from random chests. You can also purchase them from Blacksmiths and General Goods Merchants.
Falmer ArmorIf you visit Mzinchaleft Depths, Dwemer Ruin, the complete armor pieces can be found behind Dwemer’s gate on a table.
Imperial ArmorIt can be obtained easily after looting Imperial soldiers during the “Unbound” quest. The complete armor set can also be acquired in the New Gnisis Cornerclub tavern located at Windhelm.
Iron ArmorUsually, Blacksmiths and General Good Merchants sell the set pieces very early in the game. Sometimes Bandits also wear the armor, so loot them whenever you see it. You can also get the set pieces as a loot drop from chests.
Orcish ArmorAfter reaching level 25 or above, players can encounter the enchanted and un-enchanted variants of Orcish armor from random loot chests or can be bought from General Goods Merchants or Blacksmiths. Killing Chief Yamarz during the “Cursed Tribe” quest will easily reward players will full armor.
Steel ArmorThe armor set pieces can be bought very early in the game from Blacksmiths and General Goods Merchants. Bandit chiefs also wear them, so loot their dead bodies to get set pieces.
Steel Plate ArmorAfter reaching level 20 or above, the armor set pieces will drop from random loot chests. Bandit chiefs wear the full armor, so looting their corpse may get you complete armor.
Wolf ArmorPlayers can obtain the Wolf armor after completing “Proving Honor” quest. Once you finish the quest, Eorlund Gray-Mane, a Nord Blacksmith, will sell the complete set to you.
Bonemold ArmorThe Island of Solstheim is the place players should venture while looking for Bonemold armor. Glover Mallory, Breton blacksmith, sells the complete set in Raven Rock. Enemies from the Reavers faction also wear the armor, so loot them whenever you see them rocking the complete set.
Chitin Heavy ArmorWhile playing “Served Cold” quest, Vendil Severin wears the complete Chitin heavy armor. If you loot his corpse, you can get the full set.
Dawnguard Heavy ArmorPlayers can find a couple of Dawnguard heavy armor set pieces scattered around the Fort Dawnguard. You can also buy the full set from Gunmar.
Falmer Heavy ArmorFalmer Shadowmasters and Falmer Warmongers wear the complete set. So, looting their dead bodies will give armor pieces.
Falmer Hardened ArmorFalmer Shadowmasters, warmongers, Skulkers, and Gloomlurkers can be seen wearing the full armor set. Looting them will yield the set pieces.
Nordic Carved ArmorAfter reaching level 27 or above, players will encounter enchanted and un-enchanted versions of Nordic Carved armor from random loot chests.
Stalhrim ArmorPlayers will find Stalhrim armor from loot chests in Solstheim after reaching level 35 or above. Baldor Iron-Shaper of Skaal Village sells the armor pieces. Glover Mallory of Raven Rock also sells it.

Unique Armor

Skyrim Armor Cap
How to Get Unique Armor – Skyrim
Name of ArmorHow/Where to Find
Deathbrand ArmorOnly the ancient chests contain all the Deathbrand armor set pieces. Players can easily found all chests during the “Deathbrand” quest. Statistically, most players go for this unique armor to achieve the Skyrim armor cap.
Armor of the Old GodsMadanach, The King in Rags, gives the full armor set if you complete “No One Escapes Cidhna Mine” quest.
Guild Master’s Armor SetTonilia awards the full armor set after you finish “Under New Management” quest.
Linwe’s Armor SetPlayers can pickpocket or kill and loot the complete armor set from Linwe during “Summerset Shadows” quest.
Nightingale ArmorKarliah, a Dunmer thief, gives you the complete Nightingale armor set before commencing the ritual in “Trinity Restored” quest.
Thieves Guild ArmorTonilia awards the complete armor set at the very start of the “Loud and Clear” quest.
Worn Shrouded ArmorAfter joining the Brotherhood faction, players can find the full armor set in Dawnstar Sanctuary.
Ancient Falmer ArmorTo obtain the full set, players need to kill Arch-Curate Vyrthur during the “Touching the Sky” quest. There is no other way to get the complete armor set in Skyrim.
Ahzidal’s ArmorPlayers can obtain Ahzidal’s armor while in the process of completing “Unearthed” quest.
Blackguard’s ArmorAfter completing the quest “Paid in Full”, players can obtain the complete armor set by entering into the basement of Glover Mallory’s house.
Ancient Shrouded ArmorTo acquire the armor, players must complete the “Locate the Assassin of Old” quest.

Things You Should Know About Armor Cap in Skyrim

Let us get down to brass tacks of understanding the Skyrim armor cap now that you know about all armor types and how to get them. Each armor upgrade increases the overall rating of the armor that you equip in the game. It allows you to take much less physical damage so that you can have a higher survivability rate. However, the damage reduction scaling goes as high as 80% in Skyrim. What does this mean? It means that you cannot achieve an armor rating above the mentioned value. The developers capped the armor at 80%, balancing the game by not allowing a 100% damage reduction.

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Furthermore, there is no mandatory requirement to equip a select armor type to achieve an 80% damage reduction. Yes, you can hit the armor cap by equipping any item type you want – the choice is yours. However, there are three variations or conditions that can give you an 80% damage reduction value. These key scenarios are related to how you equip armor sets and pieces to achieve the highest value possible. Please note that wearing armor pieces and equipping the shield does lower the armor rating. Also, do not take the lower number rating as a sign of holding a weaker armor.

First, if you wear four armor pieces and equip a shield, it should give you 542 armor, allowing you to achieve the armor cap. Second, you can get an 80% damage reduction or 667 armor rating value by not wearing any armor piece at all. One way to do this is to work on pushing Smithing, Enchanting, and Alchemy to its highest possible limits. This method is quite unconventional, so we suggest not going down this road. The last method is to not equip a shield and wear four armor pieces. This will give you a 567 armor rating cap with 80% damage mitigation.

While understanding Skyrim armor cap logic, the important subject is to focus on the golden number: 80% damage reduction. The overall armor rating number, while wearing set pieces and shield, is just there for the sake of display. Reaching this armor rating number when the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was first released in 2011 was such a big deal. However, after a series of re-releases and extra content, we have found on Reddit that some players even have a 900 armor rating. This is why we repeatedly focus on the 80% damage reduction and not the overall armor rating that you see. There is an overwhelming amount of things that happen in Skyrim. So, if you think we missed something, let us know about it in the comments section below.

That is pretty much everything you should know about Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim armor cap. We suppose our guide offers a big help when it comes to finding different types of armors sets and clears the confusion as well regarding the armor cap. If you think we missed something, let us know about it in the comments section below.

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Irfan Ansari


With four years of Video Game Journalism and Tremendous love for Gaming, Irfan loves chatting and writing everything about video games.
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