Skyrim heavy armor

Skyrim heavy armor DEFAULT

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Wiki Guide


These are the Perks available in the Heavy Armorperks tree.

Perk Level Description
Juggernaut (Rank ) -- Increases armor rating for Heavy Armor by 20%. (+20% per additional rank)
Fists of Steel 30 Unarmed attacks with Heavy Armor gauntlets do their armor rating in extra damage.
Cushioned 50 Half damage from falling if wearing all Heavy Armor: head, chest, hands, feet.
Conditioning 70 Heavy Armor weighs nothing and doesn't slow you down when worn.
Well Fitted 30 25% Armor bonus if wearing all Heavy Armor: head, chest, hands, feet.
Tower of Strength 50 50% less stagger when wearing only Heavy Armor.
Matching Set 70 Additional 25% Armor bonus if wearing a matched set of Heavy Armor.
Reflect Blows 10% chance to reflect melee damage back to the enemy while wearing all Heavy Armor: head, chest, hands, feet.

See Heavy Armor for items affected by this skill.

Notes on Perks and Heavy Armor in General

  • The Conditioning perk is very attractive but requires two prereqiusites that are very nearly useless.  Consider carefully whether it is worth a three perk investment.  However, given the vertical nature of many of the more difficult to reach areas, and that a full set of Heavy Armor reduces falling damage by 50% with the Cushioned perk, Heavy Armor perks can make exploring difficult, rocky terrain slightly less tedious.
  • The right side of the Heavy Armor tree is excellent.  Matching  Set is most powerful in tandem with Smithing and Enchantingskills for creation of custom armor.
  • There does not seem to be any explicit penalty for spellcasting in heavy armor.  However, armored mages do miss out on the magicka regen and spell cost reduction provided by robes.  At higher levels, the Enchantingskill can be used to place these effects on armor.  In addition, a three-perk commitment to the Restoration tree increases Magicka Regen by 50%.  This perk requires a higher level and perk commitment, but also negates the inferior defense of most robes.
  • There is an explicit penalty for sneaking in heavy armor, as the weight of worn armor contributes to noise while sneaking.  The Conditioning perk may therefore be most effective for stealth builds.
  • The armor cap in Skyrim occurs at an Armor Rating of (80% damage reduction).  With sufficiently high Smithing, most heavy armors and many light armor types can reach this cap.  At high levels, the choice of armor thus becomes about aesthetics and the preference between Tower of Strength (50% less stagger) and Reflect Blows (10% damage reflected) versus Wind Walker (50% faster stamina regen) and Deft Movement (10% chance to avoid damage).
  • The firt perk of the heavy armor havew five rank example you can have armor rating whyout perk in heavy armor, is you use the very firt perk of heavy armor it will incresead 20 of you armor rating in heavy armor so was before now is whyout changin of armor just with the same. Is You reach the last level of the perk it will double(% plus armor rating in heavy armor.)

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Bethesda Game Studios' blockbuster open-world RPG puts players on the precipice of determining the future of Skyrim as the Empire waits for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons.
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The Incredible MCU That Time Forgot

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been around long enough now that it's easy to take for granted. But it's not the first time a shared universe of Marvel Comics characters showed up on screen. No, the FIRST MCU was in the '80s. Spinning out of the smash hit The Incredible Hulk, Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno took their small screen superhero act to the next level. This is the Inside Story of the original shared Marvel world, The Incredible MCU That Time Forgot. The mini-doc features the Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno, along with Eric Allan Kramer who played Thor, the original Daredevil Rex Smith, Elizabeth Gracen whose spy Jasmin was for all intents and purposes Black Widow, and writer Gerald Di Pego, who scripted two of the three films. The cast and crew talk about the original series, coming back with The Return of the Incredible Hulk, and riding that success through The Trial of The Incredible Hulk before wrapping up the trilogy with The Death of The Incredible Hulk. While the modern Avengers have grown from

Skyrim best armor ranked - highest defense Heavy Armor, Light Armor, Shields and their locations

Essential for just about any playthrough, it's well worth keeping track of the best Light Armor, Heavy Armor, and Shields in Skyrim.

Generally, your armor of choice will be dependent on your playstyle. Classes which require a decent ability to sneak past enemies, and swiftly escape oncoming attackers will benefit from Light Armor. Those who expect to be getting up close and personal, taking plenty of hits but caring less for the stealthy approach will prefer Heavy Armor.

Shields, meanwhile, work as an option for those who prefer Light Armor's benefits, but still want to fight in open melee combat, and thus help to boost the defensive stats of Light Armor wearers, whilst being a tad superfluous for those already wearing a Heavy set.

Before we dive into the specifics of the best sets and individual pieces of kit, there are a couple points to bear in mind:

  • If you're looking to craft or enchant your armor, be sure to check out our detailed guide to power-levelling Smithing and Enchanting skills to hit that level cap and craft the best gear in the game as quickly as possible.
  • Whilst still an important factor for affecting movement speed, weight is generally less crucial for armor as it is for weaponry, particularly with the weight-removing Perks for the Light and Heavy armor skill trees unlocked. Generally, our rankings are based on the defenses provided, with weight a secondary factor.
  • We've ordered the below by full set stats, rather than individual stats, with items that don't belong to a specific set being included in a separate list. Occasionally one item of a set might rank higher than another for defense, but we're only considering items from a set as part of that overall group.
  • Unique sets are marked with an asterisk *, whereby we'll note where to find them. All other sets can be acquired through the standard measures of crafting or random loot in the wild.
  • When the "Upgraded With" colum contains "N/A" for the required perk, this means that you must boost your Smithing Skill over with potions of Fortify Smithing in order to improve the item beyond Flawless quality. If no upgrade material is noted however, (e.g. for the Masque of Clavicus Vile) then the item cannot be improved at all, regardless of Smithing skill boosts and Perks.

The best Heavy Armor sets in Skyrim ranked

Heavy Armor is your go-to for duel-wielding berserkers, two-handed tanks, and even battlemages who prefer to avoid the Alteration school's Stoneflesh and Ironflesh spells.

Below, we've ranked the best Heavy Armor sets in Skyrim, taking into account not only total defenses but also the sets' weight and their various enchantments and effects.

  • Defense and weight values given below are without the shield, as with Heavy Armor you'll rarely be using a shield too.
  • Ebony Armor below is listed with the alternative unique Cuirass, Ebony Mail. The Ebony Mail is acquired from the Daedric quest Boethiah's Calling, by looting the body of the Champion of Boethiah. Note that only this part of the standard Ebony Armor set carries the enchantments noted below.
Armor SetTotal DefenseWeightUpgrade withEffectEnchantable
Daedric Armor96Ebony Ingot, Daedric SmithingNoneYes
Stalhrim Armor59Stalhrim, Ebony Smithing25% stronger Resist Frost enchantmentsYes
Dragonplate Armor64Dragon Bone, Dragon ArmorNoneYes
Ebony Armor*9662Ebony Ingot, Ebony Smithing5 Poison damage per second to nearby enemies, Muffle - Ebony Mail part onlyYes, excluding Ebony Mail
Falmer Heavy Armor9655Chaurus Chitin, Advanced ArmorsNoneYes

The best Light Armor sets in Skyrim ranked

As we've mentioned, Light Armor functions best for sword 'n' shield players, archers, and stealthy players. That being said, the addition of Deathbrand Armor in the Dragonborn DLC has introduced the 'Deathbrand' playstyle for Light Armor wearers, meaning duel-wielding is finally a very valid option without requiring Heavy Armor for protection.

  • Deathbrand Armor is arguably the best armor in the game - certainly if you don't have max-level Smithing and Enchanting skills. It can be found one piece at a time as part of the "Deathbrand" Dragonborn quest.
  • Guild Masters Armor is granted when you become the head of the Thieves Guild, during the quest "Under New Management".
  • Nightingale Armor is acquired during the Thieves Guild quest "Trinity Restored".
Armor SetTotal DefenseWeightUpgrade withEffectEnchantable
Deathbrand Armor*13Stalhrim, Ebony Smithing+ Armor when full set worn; +15 Stamina (cuirass) and +10 Carrying Capacity (boots) for each Deathbrand item worn; Waterbreathing (Helmet); +10% damage from one-handed attacks for each Deathbrand item worn when dueal-wielding (gauntlets)No
Ancient Shrouded Armor72Leather, N/A+25 Armor when full set worn; Immune to Poison (cuirass); Muffle (boots); +35% Bow damage (cowl); 2x Sneak attack damage from one-handed weapons (gloves)No
Dragonscale Armor82 ( with shield)20 (26 with shield)Dragon Sclaes, Dragon ArmorNoneYes
Guild Master's Armor*7617Leather, N/A+50 Carrying capacity (cuirass); +35% Pickpocket success (boots); +35% Lockpicking (gloves); 20% better prices (hood)No
Nightingale Armor*6918Void Salts, N/A+25 Armor when full set worn; +20 Stamina, +15% Resist Frost (cuirass); Muffle (boots); 15% Lockpicking, +15% One-handed damage (gloves); % Illusion spell cost (hood)No

The best Shields in Skyrim

Shields are an entirely optional choice, and only suited to one-handed combatants, particularly those with Light Armor sets, or high-difficulty playthroughs. A couple points to note:

  • Spellbreaker is acquired by completing the Daedric quest "The Only Cure".
  • Auriel's Shield is acquired by killing the Falmer Warmonger inside the Forgotten Vale Forest location within the Forgotten Vale, in the Dawnguard questline.
  • The Shield of Solitude is acquired by completing the quest "The Wolf Queen Awakened"
  • The Shield of Ysgramor is acquired from the final chest in Ysgramor's Tomb, as part of the Companions quest "Glory of the Dead".
  • The Dawnguard Rune Shield is acquired from the radient Dawnguard quest "Lost Relic".
  • The Aetherial Shield is acquired from crafting it at the Aetherium Forge as part of the quest "Lost to the Ages"
ShieldArmor TypeDefenseWeightEffect
Spellbreaker*3812Dwarven Metal Ingot, N/AWards, protecting you from 50 Magic damage whilst blocking
Auriel's Shield*3214Refined Moonstone, Elven SmithingStores the energy of blocked attacks, releases the energy when power bashing
Shield of Solitude*3212N/A+30% Magic resist, +35% damage blocked
Shield of Ysgramor*3012N/A+20% Magic resist, +20 Health
Dawnguard Rune Shield*276Steel Ingot, Advanced Armors+10 Bash damage vs Vampires, blocking for a period of time creates a sun shield, causing 10 damage to nearby enemies
Aetherial Shield*2612Dwarven Metal Ingot, N/ABashing enemies causes thm to become ethereal for 15 seconds, and thus unable to attack or be attacked
Skyrim: What's new in the Special Edition and gameplay guides

Want more help with Skyrim? Find out how to join every guild and faction, how to earn Gold fast, learning about XP and levelling to , max Crafting skills, max Warrior skills, max Thief skills and max Mage skills, how to get married, where to buy a house, how to start Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn DLC expansions. If you're on PC, we have a list of console commands and cheats, and you can learn about the remastered version and how to install mods with our Skyrim guide. Finally, with Switch owners, we have Skyrim amiibo support explained to help unlock special Zelda-themed items.

The best individual armor pieces in Skyrim

Funnily enough, because we've included the Ebony Mail in our Ebony Armor Set, all of the best unique, individual armor pieces are headwear of one kind or another, functioning in the same way as helmets. A couple points to bear in mind:

  • All of the Dragon Piest Masks below (everything except the Masque of Clavicus Vile and the Helm of Yngol) are available from looting the Dragon Priests of the same name as the mask in question.
  • The Masque of Clavicus Vile is acquired through the Daedric Quest "A Daedra's Best Friend", but only if you refrain from killing Barbas.
  • The Helm of Yngol is acquired from Yngol's skeleton in Yngol Barrow after defeating Yngol's Shade. It's significant due to the Frost Resistance spell, which is one of the only ones available on headgear in the game.
NamePieceArmor TypeDefenseWeightUpgrade withEffect
Konahrik*MaskHeavy247Gold Ingot, Daedric SmithingRandomly summons a Dragon Priest; chance to knock back enemies, heal you and nearby allies, and grant a fire cloak when on low health
Hevnoraak*MaskHeavy239Iron Ingot, Daedric SmithingImmune to disease and poison
Otar*MaskHeavy239Refined Malachite, Daedric Smithing30% Resist Fire, Frost, and Shock
Masque of Clavicus Vile*MaskHeavy237N/A20% better prices, +10 Speech, +5% Magicka regen
Nakriin*MaskHeavy239Ebony Ingont, Daedric Smithing+50 Magicka, Destruction and Restoration spells cost 20% less
Rahgot*MaskHeavy239Orichalcum Ingont, Daedric SmithingFortify Stamina 70 points
Vokun*MaskHeavy239Steel Ingot, Daedric SmithingConjuration, Illusion and Alteration spells cost 20% less
Helm of Yngol*HelmetHeavy218Steel Ingot, Advanced Smithing30% Frost Resistance
Krosis*MaskLight215Iron Ingot, Daedric SmithingLockpicking, Alchemy and Archery 20% better
Volsung*MaskLight215Corundum Ingot, Daedric SmithingPrices 20% better +20 Carry Capacity, Waterbreathing
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Skyrim:Heavy Armor

Heavy Armor is the skill governing your ability to move and fight in heavy armor. Each skill point increases your armor rating from heavy armor by % (% for NPCs). The Heavy Armor skill tree has a total of 8 perks, requiring a total of 12 perk points to fill.

In-game description: Those trained to use Heavy Armor make more efficient use of Iron, Steel, Dwarven, Orcish, Ebony, and Daedric armors.

Additional types of heavy armor that are forgeable: ancient Nord armor, bonemold armorDB, chitin heavy armorDB, dragonplate, Imperial armor, Nordic carved armorDB, and stalhrim armorDB. There are also a few types of generic, unforgeable heavy armor: Dawnguard heavy armorDG, Blades armor, Falmer armor, and wolf armor.

Skill Perks[edit]

Heavy Armor Perk Tree
Juggernaut (5 ranks): 0/20/40/60/80 Heavy Armor. Increases armor rating for Heavy Armor by 20/40/60/80/%.


Fists of Steel: 30 Heavy Armor. Unarmed attacks with Heavy Armor gauntlets do their armor rating in extra damage.

Fists of Steel

Cushioned: 50 Heavy Armor. Half damage from falling if wearing all Heavy Armor: head, chest, hands, feet.


Conditioning: 70 Heavy Armor. Heavy Armor weighs nothing and doesn't slow you down when worn.


Well Fitted: 30 Heavy Armor. 25% Armor bonus if wearing all Heavy Armor: head, chest, hands, feet.

Well Fitted

Tower of Strength: 50 Heavy Armor. 50% less stagger when wearing only Heavy Armor.

Tower of Strength

Matching Set: 70 Heavy Armor. Additional 25% Armor bonus if wearing a matched set of Heavy Armor.

Matching Set

Reflect Blows: Heavy Armor. 10% chance to reflect melee damage back to the enemy while wearing all Heavy Armor: head, chest, hands, feet.

Reflect Blows

Heavy Armor Perk Tree

PerkRankDescriptionIDSkill Req.Perk Req.
Juggernaut1Increases armor rating for Heavy Armor by 20%.[1]bcd2a
2Increases armor rating for Heavy Armor by 40%.[1]e20 Heavy Armor
3Increases armor rating for Heavy Armor by 60%.[1]40 Heavy Armor
4Increases armor rating for Heavy Armor by 80%.[1]60 Heavy Armor
5Increases armor rating for Heavy Armor by %.[1]80 Heavy Armor
Fists of SteelUnarmed attacks with Heavy Armor gauntlets do their armor rating in extra damage.f6e30 Heavy ArmorJuggernaut
CushionedHalf damage from falling if wearing all Heavy Armor: head, chest, hands, feet.[2]bcd2b50 Heavy ArmorFists of Steel
ConditioningHeavy Armor weighs nothing and doesn't slow you down when worn.[1]f6d70 Heavy ArmorCushioned
Well Fitted25% Armor bonus if wearing all Heavy Armor: head, chest, hands, feet.[2]f6f30 Heavy ArmorJuggernaut
Tower of Strength50% less stagger when wearing only Heavy Armor.[2]f6c50 Heavy ArmorWell Fitted
Matching SetAdditional 25% Armor bonus if wearing a matched set[3] of Heavy Armor.70 Heavy ArmorTower of Strength
Reflect Blows10% chance to reflect melee damage back to the enemy while wearing all Heavy Armor: head, chest, hands, feet.[2]f33 Heavy ArmorMatching Set
  1. ^ abcdefDoes not affect shields.
  2. ^ abcd"All/Only Heavy Armor" does not necessarily need to be a matching set. For example, some pieces might be Dwarven and others might be Orcish. In addition, the shield can be Light without removing the effect.
  3. ^A Set is Matched if the four pieces of worn armor (armor, helmet, gloves, boots) share the same material. Shields of all types match all armor.

Usefulness of Reflect Blows[edit]

While the description of Reflect Blows seems potent, it does not entirely work as described. Indeed, opponents who have the perk (such as the Ebony Warrior) can one-hit-kill you in certain circumstances if the perk triggers, the damage is calculated a little differently for players.

The perk will not reduce damage taken. When it triggers, a melee attacker will take some of the damage dealt to you, but you will also take that damage. If your character that has reached the armor cap of (which grants an 80% damage reduction) it means in the damage reflected back at attacker is also reduced by that same 80%. The damage reflected back is also affected by the Block skill, which caps at an 85% damage reduction. The usefulness of the perk becomes questionable as the most damage you can mitigate with heavy armor and block is 97%, meaning you will reflect only 3% of the damage an enemy does to you. On Master difficulty the perk becomes almost worthless because while you take double damage, the damage you reflect is also subject to the half damage you deal.

Comparison to Light Armor[edit]


  • By default, heavy armor is more protective than light armor - at least, until the armor cap is reached. However, the higher base stats of heavy armor makes it easier to achieve higher armor ratings early in the game. Due to the way Armor Rating functions, each additional point of armor is more valuable than the last, making even small differences more potent than they might otherwise appear.
  • Heavy Armor incentivizes players to take damage, thereby leveling their Heavy Armor skill up faster. A player will reach high levels of Heavy Armor significantly faster than they would with equivalent Light Armor, where dodging is more encouraged, which does not reward XP.
  • The Fists of Steel perk provides an extra source of damage for unarmed combat, which is unique to heavy armor. This can be combined with the Fortify Unarmed enchantment and any racial bonuses to provide a viable alternative to weapons and magic. This is particularly useful in situations where a player's weapon may be Disarmed.
  • Heavy armor has perks for significantly reducing falling damage.
  • The Tower of Strength perk renders players heavily resistant to stagger effects, most notably Unrelenting Force. This substantially reduces the frequency of the player being ragdolled and needing to climb to their feet, mitigating what can be a significant vulnerability even for otherwise powerful characters.
  • The Reflect Blows perk essentially grants every set of heavy armor a 10% chance to punish a melee attacker. Though the usefulness of this perk is questionable, as long as the player does not mind taking a lot of hits in melee, the bonus damage helps.


  • Heavy armor weighs more than light armor, which causes the player to move more slowly and takes up more of their available carry weight. For most players, this disadvantage can be negated with the Conditioning perk or the Steed Stone effect.
    • Due to the extra weight of heavy armor, stamina is consumed at a greater rate while sprinting in heavy armor without the Conditioning perk or the Steed Stone effect.
    • Due to the heavy nature of heavy armor, specializing in heavy armor is a bad choice to players who prefer to be agile and/or wish to most conveniently carry multiple sets of armor/clothing with a variety of enchantment combinations.
  • Once armor cap is reached, light armor and heavy armor become equal, as they all provide the same 80% physical damage reduction.
  • Heavy armor is not stealth friendly. Wearing heavy armor creates more noise while moving, which makes it harder to sneak. This can be negated with the Muffle enchantment or spell as well as the Silence perk in the Sneak tree.
  • Heavy armor does not boost stamina regeneration, whereas the Wind Walker perk turns every set of light armor into an extra source of stamina regeneration, making light armor a great help whenever stamina is needed for attacking, blocking, and/or sprinting.
  • Heavy armor does not (have a perk to) completely negate incoming damage, whereas the Deft Movement perk allows every set of light armor to randomly completely negate the damage from 10% of melee attacks. Since no armor can provide more than 80% physical damage reduction, the Deft Movement perk makes light armor more protective than heavy armor against melee attacks once the 80% cap is reached. Unlike the Reflect Blows perk, Deft Movement is always useful, especially for surviving on Master/Legendary difficulty.

Skill Increases[edit]

Character Creation[edit]

The following races have an initial skill bonus to Heavy Armor:


Note: Trainers that double as followers can train you for "free". They will still charge you, but you can get the gold you spent back by checking their inventory.

This exploit is no longer possible as of version of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.

Free Skill Boosts[edit]

Skill Books[edit]

Gaining Skill XP[edit]

  • Armor skill increases are based on the raw attack rating (plus any power attack bonuses) of an enemy strike.
  • Methods that improve armor rating, such as Smithing, skill enchantments, spells, potions or shouts, have no adverse effect on the XP gained. For example, a character with an armor rating of will receive the same XP as a character with an armor rating of for the same enemy strike.
  • The number of heavy armor items simultaneously worn by the player does increase XP gained. For example, receiving damage while wearing four pieces of heavy armor will result in more XP than wearing three pieces.
  • Regenerate Health potions and enchantments can help with staying alive while training, potentially allowing you to leave the game unattended. This can also be accomplished with natural health regeneration during brawling sessions with NPCs or when fighting very weak enemies like skeevers, though skill gains will be very slow.


  • Once your Heavy Armor skill is level 30 or higher, guards will begin to say, "Best offense is a good defense, am I right?"
  • Heavy Armor is the only skill that can directly modify unarmed attacks by way of the Fists of Steel perk. The perk modifies the damage done by unarmed attacks by the worn gauntlets' base armor rating, unmodified by perks, enchantments, or skill levels. This means Daedric gauntlets only add 18 damage to your unarmed attacks no matter what. The Khajiit Claws racial ability should be on par with the Orcish gauntlets (15 base armor rating). The Claws ability stacks with this perk (so Claws + % base armor rating of gauntlets + base damage = damage). Making use of the Fortify Unarmed Damage enchantment will further raise the damage done with fists.
  • Note that when leveling up Heavy Armor, you have to take damage from an outside source—Equilibrium, for example, will not level up the skill. The amount of damage a blow would cause will dictate the amount of experience you gain, not the number of hits you take. One way of leveling up Heavy Armor is by fighting giants. From a starting level of 15, by training against a giant you can reach a level of over 50 within 5 minutes of getting bludgeoned, provided you don't die. A healing spell would be most helpful while training. Note that at early levels, the giant's ground shatter attack with its club is often fatal, unless you have a lot of health to spare.


  • With the Conditioning perk, when you carry more weight than you could without the perk, and you save a game, upon loading from inside the game, you will be over-encumbered (as if you didn't have the perk) until you open your inventory. This typically occurs only after an event, such as your death, removing all of your active effects. If you die and then quickload, you may become affected by this bug until you relaunch the game. The same behavior can be observed with the Steed Stone effect which is identical to Conditioning and the Light Armor perk Unhindered.
    • If this happens, entering your inventory will let the game readjust your carry weight to its proper value.
  • With the Conditioning perk active, you can stack the same type of Heavy Armor that is currently equipped without adding to your Carry Weight. For instance, if you have an Iron Helm equipped and have another Iron Helm in your inventory, they will stack onto each other as if they are both equipped, but you will not gain additional Armor Rating or enchantment bonuses after the first equipped helm. Armor of the same type that you have enchanted will also stack but enchanted armor that you find or buy will not stack. The type of enchantment does not need to be the same in order for the armor to stack.
  • Ebony armor is unaffected by the Heavy Armor perk Matching Set.
  • When wearing an ebony helmet in third person, you may notice that your character's shadow does not have a head.
  • Dawnguard heavy gauntletsDG do not benefit from the Fists of Steel perk like other heavy gauntlets.
  • Armor types introduced in Dragonborn incorrectly get only a 20% bonus from Matching Set instead of the expected 25%.
  • Golden and Madness heavy gauntletsCC do not benefit from the Fists of Steel perk like other heavy gauntlets.

Skyrim Heavy Armor Guide

Armor List, Damage Reduction & Skill Perks

Heavy armor types in Skyrim: Steel, Orcish, Dragonplate and Daedric
Heavy Armor Types of Skyrim: Steel, Orcish, Dragonplate and Daedric Armor

Skyrim's Heavy Armor skill reduces physical damage your Dragonborn takes while wearing gear of the this kind. This guide will teach you what Heavy Armor skill does for your character, training the skill, and provide a list of all crafted heavy armor types to help you compare their price, defense, and weight.

Damage Reduction
Heavy Armor increases your armor rating while wearing heavy armors. Armor reduces the physical damage you take - such as that from melee attackers and arrows. It does not reduce magical damage (dragon breath and magic spells) - that is where resistances come into play. Each level you gain will raise your armor rating for each piece of Heavy Armor you wear; perks further boost this bonus, making it important to know which type of armor you want your character to use.

Training Heavy Armor
Every time you take physical damage, your character will get a bit of experience in Heavy Armor. It's best to pick a type between heavy and light and stick to your choice, to maximize your armor rating later in the game without wasting Perks. The easily accessible Expert Heavy Armor trainer is Gharol in Dushnikh Yal, an Orc Stronghold southeast of Markarth. Farkas is the Master trainer, though you will have to join the Companions to find him inside Jorrvaskr in Whiterun.

Heavy Armor Benefits
The only thing that Heavy Armor has over Light Armor is the higher starting armor; Light is better in every way. Heavy armor weighs more, slows you down, and requires more time invested to eliminate these drawbacks. Later in the game, Heavy Armor can shine, though both Light and Heavy Armor users can reach the armor cap - Heavies just don't have to work as hard or invest as many perk points.

Heavy Armor List

The following Armors are listed by type, in the order of weakest to strongest. Steel armor is the first type of armor that can reach the armor cap by doing smithing upgrades with a high Smithing skill.

Skyrim Heavy Armor List
Armor Type
Ancient Nord*2528154601052510425---
Steel Plate4038196149146---
Dragon Plate46402281781783415
Daedric Armor***4950231518101863615

* - requires completion of the Companions Guild Quest line.
** - Two Banded Iron pieces are smithed with Corundum ore.
*** - Daedric Armor is listed last as it has a higher total bonus than Dragon Plate. Smithing requires Daedra Hearts.

Skyrim Heavy Armor Perks

Skyrim Heavy Armor Perks

Juggernaut (5 Ranks, +% armor rating for Heavy Armor)
(level 0/20/40/60/80 Heavy Armor Skill required)
Juggernaut raises your armor rating passively, and will help you easily reach the Armor cap along with the Well Fitted and Matching Set Perks from this tree. Steel Armor can reach the cap with high Smithing, so you may not need 5 points here if you'll get other Perks and invest points into Smithing as well. Otherwise, take 5 points in this to maximize your armor in the late game.

Fists of Steel
(level 30 Heavy Armor Skill required)
Turns bracers into weapons, allowing them to use their armor rating as a damage rating. This can do great damage, though the reach will certainly be found lacking.

(level 50 Heavy Armor Skill required)
When wearing Heavy Armor in the head, hands, chest, and feet slots, your Dragonborn takes half damage from falls.

(level 70 Heavy Armor Skill required)
Makes Heavy Armor weightless and removes the momement penalty, though this does not help with Sneaking - you'll need the Silence Perk for that.

Well Fitted
(level 30 Heavy Armor Skill required)
+25% armor bonus if you are wearing Heavy Armor in the hands, chest, hands, and feet gear slots.

Tower of Strength
(level 50 Heavy Armor Skill required)
50% less stagger when wearing all Heavy Armor.

Matching Set
(level 70 Heavy Armor Skill required)
Gives +25% armor bonus if your four Heavy Armor pieces are all of the same type (Steel, Daedric, Orcish, Dragonplate etc.)

Reflect Blows
(level Heavy Armor Skill required)
Gives a 10% chance to reflect melee damage back to the enemy while wearing all Heavy Armor in the head, chest, hands, and feet gear slots. This can be an amusing Perk for sure, should an enemy occasionally finish himself off by striking your Dragonborn..

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Heavy armor skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Wiki Guide

Perk Level Description Juggernaut -- Increases armor rating for Heavy Armor by 20%. Fists of Steel 30 Unarmed attacks with Heavy Armor gauntlets do their armor rating in extra damage. Cushioned 50 Half damage from falling if wearing all Heavy Armor: head, chest, hands, feet. Conditioning 70 Heavy Armor weighs nothing and doesn't slow you down when worn. Well Fitted 30 25% Armor bonus if wearing all Heavy Armor: head, chest, hands, feet. Tower of Strength 50 50% less stagger when wearing only Heavy Armor. Matching Set 70 Additional 25% Armor bonus if wearing a matched set of Heavy Armor. Reflect Blows 10% chance to reflect melee damage back to the enemy while wearing all Heavy Armor: head, chest, hands, feet.
Top Ten Heavy Armor Sets of Skyrim [Update]

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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