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 and which include 12 each for light and heavy armor sets.
- Skyrim features a plethora of armor sets classified under two different categories; light and heavy armor.
- Light Armor Sets are useful for stealth gameplay and don’t consume a lot of stamina during combat.
- Heavy Armor Sets, on the other hand, help the player tank damage by dealing hits but consume more stamina.
- The Dragonscale, Slahrim Light, and Glass Armor Sets are the best light armor sets in the game, and you should grind for these if you’re going to stick with light armor additionally.
- Some light armor sets also give you resistance to poison, like the Ancient Shrouded Armor Set, while others buff your pickpocketing skills, like the Blackguard Armor Set.
- Some players like to keep a fashionable look and don’t care much about the stats of armor, and for them, the Nightingale Armor Set is probably the best choice.
- Elven Light and Imperial Light Armor Sets are some of the best choices for early-game light armor.
- Daedric, Dragonplate, and Stalhrim Heavy Armor Sets are the best Heavy Armor Sets in the game, and these should definitely be your late-game armor sets.
- If you want to depend on heavy armor sets for your early game, then you should definitely go for Steel, Bonemold, and Dwarven Armor Sets.
- There are different methods of obtaining different armor sets, and specific requirements need to be met before you can craft certain armor sets.
- There are certain smithing perks that you’ll need to unlock in Skyrim in order to craft your favorite armor sets additionally.
- Smithing Skill Level also plays an important role, as the higher it is, the better armor sets you will be able to craft in the game.
- Some armor sets can only be unlocked by doing specific side quests or by joining various guilds like the Thieves Guild in the game.
- It depends on your playstyle if you’re going to use either light or heavy armor, but we will entail the best armor sets for both playstyles.
Best Light Armor Sets
As we have already mentioned before, light armor sets are extremely useful for sneaking around your enemies. If you’re the type of player who does not run straight into battle but likes to strategize and take out his enemies one by one, then light armor is for you.
Light armor is not only great for stealth, but it also consumes minimum stamina during combat. However, light armor will not give you a good defense in head-to-head combat. You will be sacrificing your defense for stealth and stamina. Here are the best light armor sets in the game;
- Dragonscale Armor Set
- Chitin Armor Set
- Glass Armor Set
- Stalhrim Light Armor Set
- Nightingale Armor Set
- Guild Master’s Armor Set
- Blackguard’s Armor Set
- Ancient Shrouded Armor Set
- Elven Light Armor Set
- Imperial Light Armor Set
- Leather Armor Set
- Hide Armor Set
Dragonscale Armor Set
Dragonscale Armor Set is definitely the best light armor set that you can use in the game. However, it cannot be acquired early in the game, and you actually need to be at least Level 50 for a chance of the Dragonscale Armor pieces dropping from random loot. You still can’t craft the armor at level 50, and the only way for you to obtain it will be by opening up chests in the game.
The Dragonscale Armor Set drops below level 50 as well if you have the Dragon Armor Perk active. However, obtaining this armor through loot is not the most efficient method. Instead, it is recommended to craft the armor once you reach Level 100 in Smithing.
After reaching level 100 in smithing and having obtained the Dragon Armor Perk, you can craft the Dragonscale Armor Set using iron ingots, leather strips, and dragon scales. It is the best light armor set because it provides considerable defense to the player, which most other light armor sets don’t. In addition to that, you can still use the Dragonscale Armor Set to sneak around your enemies.
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. The good thing about the Chitin Armor is that it can be crafted at a lower smithing level. You can use this armor until you’re able to craft the Dragonscale Armor Set, as it provides all the benefits of a light armor set but cuts on the defense.
Glass Armor Set
Glass Armor Set is another top-tier armor set that can be obtained very early in the game, unlike the Dragonscale Armor Set. It provides a high defense as well as the stealth factor paired with less stamina consumption. The Glass Armor Set can be purchased from blacksmiths as well, and it can be obtained through random loot when you’re around Level 36.
If you want to craft the armor, then make sure that your Smithing Level is 70 and that you have the Glass Smithing Perk. Aside from that, refined moonstone, refined Malachite, leather, and leather strips are the materials that you need to craft the armor set. However, you will most likely obtain it through loot or can purchase it, which is more viable. It provides a defense that is very close to what the Dragonscale Armor Set provides and can be obtained easily.
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. However, if you own the DLC, then this is the second-best light armor set that you can use in the game. At Level 35, 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. If you are unable to obtain the Dragonscale Armor Set, then the Stalhrim Light Armor Set should be your next best choice.
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 of the game, which is a part of the Thieves Guild storyline.
Guild Master’s Armor Set
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
Another great choice for Light Armor is Blackguard Armor Set. With the full set equipped, players will have a base armor of 72. Multiple stats of the player will be boosted when they are wearing the entire set. Moreover, the armor, alone by itself, increases the carrying capacity by 50.
Wearing the boots and gloves increases your Pickpocketing and Lockpicking by 40 percent, respectively. Lastly, the Hood gives you a 25 percent increase in prices. To acquire the set, players will need to go through the quest called “Paid in Full.”
It is a fairly simple quest, as it tasks the player with retrieving a formula that was stolen from Glover Mallory. After completing the quest, Glover will hand the player the key to his basement and tells them that they can take anything they desire from there. The basement has the entire set and a bunch of other useful items that the player can incautiously take.
Ancient Shrouded Armor Set
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. Although, 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 get affected by wearing heavy armor in the game. However, if you want the best defense in the game, then this armor is for you. Heavy Armor will help you in taking on a group of enemies, something light armor isn’t good for. Here are the best heavy armor sets in the game;
- Daedric Armor Set
- Stalhrim Armor Set
- Dragonplate Armor Set
- Ebony Armor Set
- Orcish Armor Set
- Nordic Carved Armor Set
- Falmer Hardened Armor Set
- Ahzidal’s Armor Set
- Steel Plate Armor Set
- Bonemold Armor Set
- Dwarven Armor Set
- Steel Armor Set
Daedric Armor Set
Daedric Armor is one of the strongest heavy armor in the game and is even considered to be the best one according to Skyrim players from this Subreddit. Additionally, 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 grinded 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
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
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 Set is another easy-to-obtain heavy armor set that’ll get you through most of the early and mid-game. You can use it until you’re able to get your hands on more powerful heavy armor sets. It is easier to acquire the Steel Plate Armor Set at as low as Level 18 when it can either be purchased or grinded through random loot.
You’ll need a Smithing Level of 50 alongside the Advanced Armors Perk in order to craft the Steel Plate Armor Set. Lastly, leather strips, iron ingots, steel ingots, and corundum ingots are the materials that you’ll need for crafting here.
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 will serve you well in your early and mid-game as a strong heavy armor set. Finding the Dwarven Armor Set in random loot is easy, as you can get it as random loot at as low as Level 12. It can even be purchased from blacksmiths and merchants.
A Smithing Skill Level of 30 is required to craft this armor set alongside the Dwarven Smithing Perk. Additionally, you’ll need iron ingots, steel ingots, dwarven metal ingots, and leather strips in order to craft the Dwarven Armor Set.
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. Both the Light and Heavy armor sets have been explained in complete detail, and the best armor pieces in both categories have been mentioned. 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!
Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡
How could we improve this post? Please Help us. ✍