Choosing the proper armor to wear in Skyrim can heavily impact your playstyle in the game. The type of armor sets in this game is pretty straightforward and includes Light and Heavy armor sets. Both of these armor sets have pros and cons, but we will entail the best ones in both categories.
Skyrim features approximately 38 different armor sets, and we have listed the 24 best ones in the game, which include 12 each for light and heavy armor sets.
- Author’s Note: You can trust and rely on my expertise since I’ve gone through Skyrim for well over 55 hours.
Best Light Armor Sets
Stats for Light armor sets in Skyrim:
|Armor Sets||Protection||Encumbrance||Upgrade Material|
|Dragonscale Armor Set||111.0||26.0||Dragon Scales|
|Chitin Armor Set||85.0||16.0||Chitin Plate|
|Glass Armor Set||103.0||19.0||Refined Malachite|
|Stalhrim Light Armor Set||108.0||23.0||Stalhrim|
|Nightingale Armor Set||69.0||18.0||Void Salts|
|Guild Master’s Armor Set||76.0||31.0||Leather|
|Blackguard’s Armor Set||72.0||13.0||Leather|
|Ancient Shrouded Armor Set||72.0||7.5||Leather|
|Elven Light Armor Set||79.0||11.0||Refined Moonstone|
|Imperial Light Armor Set||65.0||15.0||Leather|
|Leather Armor Set||52.0||12.0||Leather|
|Hide Armor Set||55.0||13.0||Leather|
|Daedric Armor Set||144.0||96.0||Ebony Ingot|
|Stalhrim Heavy Armor Set||102.0||59.0||Stalhrim|
|Dragonplate Armor Set||136.0||79.0||Dragon Bone|
|Ebony Armor Set||128.0||76.0||Ebony Ingot|
|Orcish Armor Set||120.0||71.0||Orichalcum Ingot|
|Nordic Carved Armor Set||119.5||66.0||Quicksilver Ingot|
|Falmer Hardened Armor Set||78.0||65.0||Chaurus Chitin|
|Ahzidal’s Armor Set||87.0||59.0||Steel Ingot|
|Steel Plate Armor Set||87.0||59.0||Corundum Ingot|
|Bonemold Armor Set||94.0||57.0||Bone Meal|
|Dwarven Armor Set||104.0||87.0||Dwarven Metal Ingot|
|Steel Armor Set||96.0||64.0||Steel Ingot|
Dragonscale Armor Set
The Dragonscale Armor Set is the optimal light armor in the game, attainable at Level 50 through random loot drops. However, crafting is only possible after reaching Level 100 in Smithing. To enhance efficiency, it’s advisable to craft the armor rather than relying on loot, even with the Dragon Armor Perk active.
Crafting requires iron ingots, leather strips, and dragon scales. This set offers superior defense compared to other light armor and allows for effective stealth.
Chitin Armor Set
The Chitin Armor Set is another great choice, but it can only be accessed if you own the Dragonborn DLC, as it is not available in the base game. As for the location of this armor, it can be found on the Island of Solstheim as random loot. However, you can also craft the Chitin Armor Set.
In order to craft the armor, make sure that your Smithing Level is at least 30 and that you have the Elven Smithing Perk. Once those requirements are met, you can craft the armor using iron Ingot, chitin Plate, and Netch Leather.
Glass Armor Set
The Glass Armor Set, attainable early in the game, offers high defense and stealth with lower stamina consumption, unlike the Dragonscale Armor Set. Purchase it from blacksmiths or find it as random loot around Level 36.
To craft the armor, ensure you a Smithing Level of 70 and the Glass Smithing Perk. Use refined moonstone, refined Malachite, leather, and leather strips. However, acquiring it through loot or purchase is more practical, offering defense comparable to the Dragonscale Armor Set.
Stalhrim Light Armor Set
Just like the Chitin Armor Set, you need to own the Dragonborn DLC in order to obtain the Stalhrim Light Armor Set. At Level 35, the Stalhrim Light Armor Set can be purchased from NPCs on the Island of Solstheim. It will also drop as random loot at that level additionally.
Crafting this armor requires a Smithing Level of 80, and you should have the Ebony Smithing Perk. In addition to that, you should have also completed the A New Source Of Stalhrim quest that can be started in the Skaal Village. Stalhrim, leather strips, steel ingots, and quicksilver ingots are the materials that are required to craft this armor set.
Nightingale Armor Set
The Nightingale Armor Set is probably the most fashionable light armor set in the game and can easily get you through the mid-game. However, you’ll have to complete a quest in order to obtain the armor set. All of the pieces of the armor are obtained in the ‘Trinity Restored’ quest, which is a part of the Thieves Guild storyline.
Guild Master’s Armor Set
|Guild Master’s Armor||38||10|
|Guild Master’s Boots||11||2|
|Guild Master’s Gauntlets||11||2|
|Guild Master’s Helmet||16||3|
The Guild Master’s Armor Set is a much stronger version of the Nightingale Armor Set; however, less fashionable. It is also obtained by progressing through the Thieves Guild storyline. You additionally need to return the guild to its former glory in the game in order to obtain the armor set.
Blackguard’s Armor Set
With a full Blackguard Armor Set, players get a base armor of 72, along with boosted player stats. The armor alone increases carrying capacity by 50.
Equipping boots and gloves boosts Pickpocketing and Lockpicking by 40 percent each. The Hood provides a 25% increase in prices. Obtain the set through the “Paid in Full” quest, a straightforward mission where players retrieve a stolen formula from Glover Mallory. After completion, Glover grants access to his basement, containing the full set and other valuable items for the taking.
Ancient Shrouded Armor Set
|Ancient Shrouded Armor||33||5|
|Ancient Shrouded Boots||12||0.5|
|Ancient Shrouded Gauntlets||12||1|
|Ancient Shrouded Helmet||15||1|
What we have next is an armor set with many useful buffs. These included a 100 percent resistance to poison alongside bows dealing 35 percent extra damage. It is practically a stealth armor that even muffles the player’s walking, making it an amazing choice for Archers.
In addition, the player can upgrade the armor on a workbench using leather pieces. However, keep in mind that the upgrading will halt once you reach “flawless” quality. To go beyond it, you will, of course, need to have a Smithing skill of over 100. To get yourself the armor, conveniently go and meet up with Olava in Whiterun. It can be picked from an assassin’s corpse in Hag’s End during the quest, “Locate the Assassins of Old.”
Elven Light Armor Set
The Elven Light Armor Set is one of the best early-game light armor sets that you can use in the game. It can be easily obtained during the first few hours of Skyrim. The armor set also drops as random loot at Level 1, which is why it is very easy to obtain.
It is recommended to craft the armor once you reach Level 30 in Smithing. After reaching level 30 in smithing and having obtained the Elven Smithing Perk, you can craft the Elven Light Armor Set using iron ingots, leather strips, quicksilver ingots, and refined moonstones.
Imperial Light Armor Set
The Imperial Light Armor Set is another great choice for the early game, but it can only be accessed if you have a specific smithing perk unlocked. In order to craft the armor, all you need to do is have the Steel Smithing Perk unlocked in Skyrim. Other than that, the Imperial Light Armor Set can also be obtained from the dead bodies of Imperial Legion Soldiers during the Civil War quest.
Leather Armor Set
Leather Armor Set is another top-tier armor set for the early game. The Leather Armor Set can be purchased from blacksmiths as well, and it can be obtained through random loot at the beginning of the game.
If you want to craft the armor, then make sure that you have leather strips and leather. You don’t need to have a specific smithing skill level or smithing perk in order to craft this armor set. That is why it is very easy to get your hands on it in the game.
Hide Armor Set
Hide Armor is similar to Leather Armor in being the most common light armor set to obtain at the beginning of the game. It is a great choice for your early-game battles until you can get your hands on better light armor sets. The Hide Armor Set can either be bought from blacksmiths and merchants or crafted using leather and leather strips. No smithing skill level or perk is required in order to craft this armor set. Lastly, you will also find Hide Armor as loot on most corpses early in the game.
Best Heavy Armor Sets
Heavy Armor is going to make the player a tank at the cost of stamina and stealth. Your movement speed will also be affected by wearing heavy armor in the game. However, if you want the best defense in the game, then this armor is for you.
Daedric Armor Set
Daedric Armor is one of the strongest heavy armor; plus, the armor itself looks really good and adds to fashion in the game. It drops as random loot in chests only if you’re above Level 49 in Skyrim. However, the Daedric Armor Set can also be bought from a Dremora Merchant in the game.
In order to craft the armor set, you’ll need to make sure that your Smithing Level is 90 and that you have the Daedric Smithing perk. Lastly, you’ll need Dadrea hearts, ebony ingots, and leather strips to craft the Daedric Armor Set.
Stalhrim Heavy Armor Set
This is the heavy armor counterpart of the Stalhrim Light Armor Set and can only be accessed if you have the Dragonborn DLC installed. It is another great heavy armor set and is available to purchase once you are at Level 35 in the game. You can purchase it from various NPCs on the Island of Solstheim, and it can additionally be found as random loot there.
Similar to its Light Armor Set counterpart, you’ll need a Smithing Level of 80 in addition to the Ebony Smithing Perk so that you can craft the Stalhrim Armor Set. Even the materials required to craft the armor are the same and include Stalhrim, leather strips, steel ingots, and quicksilver ingots. Also, make sure that you have completed the A New Source Of Stalhrim quest in Skaal Village to get the ability to craft this armor.
Dragonplate Armor Set
The Dragonplate Armor Set is pretty close to the Daedric Armor Set in providing one of the best defenses in the game. However, it has a lower weight than the Daedric Armor Set, which can have a significant impact on your overall build. Finding the Dragonplate Armor Set in random loot is tough, but you can get it as random loot at as low as Level 40.
A Smithing Skill Level of 100 is required to craft this armor set alongside the Dragon Armor Perk. Additionally, you’ll need dragon bones, dragon scales, and leather strips in order to craft the Dragonplate Armor Set.
Ebony Armor Set
Ebony Armor Set will serve you well if you’re not able to get your hands on the Daedric or Dragonplate Armor Set in the game. It is easier to acquire the Ebony Armor Set at as low as Level 32 when it can either be purchased or farmed through random loot.
However, you’ll need a Smithing Level of 80 alongside the Ebony Smithing Perk in order to craft the Ebony Armor Set. Lastly, leather strips and ebony ingots are the only materials that you’ll need for crafting here.
Orcish Armor Set
Orcish Armor Set is a strong heavy armor set that can be obtained quite early in the game. Additionally, the armor has that fashion component as well. It drops as random loot in chests only if you’re above Level 20 in Skyrim. However, the Orcish Armor Set can also be bought from blacksmiths in the game.
In order to craft the armor set, you’ll need to make sure that your Smithing Level is 50 and that you have the Orcish Smithing perk. Lastly, you’ll need orichalcum ingots, iron ingots, and leather strips to craft the Daedric Armor Set.
Nordic Carved Armor Set
|Nordic Carved Armor||43||37|
|Nordic Carved Boots||15||6|
|Nordic Carved Gauntlets||15||6|
|Nordic Carved Helmet||20||7|
|Nordic Carved Shield||26.5||10|
If you want an armor set that is lighter than the Orcish Armor Set, then Nordic Armor should be your choice. However, you will be compromising a little on the defense side. Finding the Nordic Carved Armor Set in random loot is also easy, as you can get it at as low as Level 25.
A Smithing Skill Level of 50 is required to craft this armor set alongside the Advanced Armors perk. Additionally, you’ll need steel ingots, quicksilver ingots, ebony ingots, and leather strips in order to craft the Nordic Carved Armor Set.
Falmer Hardened Armor Set
|Falmer Hardened Armor||34||40|
|Falmer Hardened Boots||13||8|
|Falmer Hardened Gauntlets||13||7|
|Falmer Hardened Helmet||18||10|
The Falmer Hardened Armor set feels like a clone of the Falmer Heavy Armor set as far as appearances go. Obtaining it is fairly simple as it can be acquired fairly easily during the early mid-game. Just like all the other Falmer equipment, it also drops by defeating various Falmer enemies.
Your best bet is going after Falmer Warmongers, as they are the ones who commonly drop the set. Thanks to the “Advanced Armors” perk, the players can receive double improvements whenever they upgrade the set on a workbench by using Chaurus chitin.
Ahzidal’s Armor Set
Visually, Ahzidal’s armor set is similar to the Ancient Nord armor. Its stats, however, are totally different, and it can prove to be an excellent choice. Its overall armor protection is 87, and it weighs 59 points, which is fairly common for such armor sets.
Just like the Falmer Hardened Armor set, Ahzidal’s Armor benefits a lot from the “Advanced Armors” perk. Upgrading it is much more convenient as it only requires Steel Ingots. Overall, it is a very viable choice, even if its appearance is something you adore.
Steel Plate Armor Set
|Steel Plate Armor||40||38|
|Steel Plate Boots||14||9|
|Steel Plate Gauntlets||14||6|
|Steel Plate Helmet||19||6|
Obtain the Steel Plate Armor Set for effective early and mid-game protection. Acquire it as early as Level 18 through purchase or random loot. Craft it with a Smithing Level of 50 and the Advanced Armors Perk using leather strips, iron ingots, steel ingots, and corundum ingots. However, I would recommend switching to more powerful sets when you get the chance.
Bonemold Armor Set
Bonemold Armor Set is a strong and sturdy heavy armor set that can be easily crafted at a Smithing Skill Level of 15 while the Steel Smithing Perk is active in the game. You’ll need a bone meal, Netch leather, and iron ingots to craft the armor set additionally. Lastly, the Bonemold Armor Set can easily be obtained on the Island of Solstheim.
Dwarven Armor Set
The Dwarven Armor Set, a robust heavy armor, proves beneficial for early and mid-game stages. Obtainable as random loot from Level 12 onwards, it’s also purchasable from blacksmiths. Crafting requires a Smithing Skill Level of 30, the Dwarven Smithing Perk, and materials like iron ingots, steel ingots, dwarven metal ingots, and leather strips.
Steel Armor Set
Steel Armor Set is the perfect heavy armor set for your early game. You can obtain this armor set at Level 2, where it starts dropping as random loot or can be purchased from blacksmiths and merchants. You’ll need the Steel Smithing Perk to craft the Steel Armor Set. The materials required to craft the armor are leather strips, steel ingots, and iron ingots.
This concludes our guide on the Best Armor Sets in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. We entailed the best armor sets catering to both stealth and tank playstyles. We hope that the guide was helpful for you in choosing the best armor for your build in the game. Let us know what you think about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in the comments below!
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