[Top 11] Skyrim Best Armor Sets (How To Get, And What Each Set Is Good For)

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Sharp and pointy armor, like the end of my sword!

Skyrim is a land filled with beasts and creatures who are all aiming to get a piece of you. It’s important to know how to protect yourself against everything when you are out adventuring. Heavy armor is for absorbing a lot of damage while light armor benefits the quiet and sneaky. Whether you prefer light armor or heavy armor, they both serve the same purpose - to protect you. 

Some of us are going for an aesthetic look while some of us are just putting on whichever has the best stats. While some are better than others, they might just need a bit more effort on your end to get it. This list will take these things into consideration: armor rating, weight, enchantments, and efforts to get it. We will be considering shields in the ratings this time around.   


11. Guild Master's Armor Set 

The Guild Master's Armor Set has all the enchantments to be the best thief and pickpocket in the whole of Skyrim. This is an upgraded version of the armor that you got when you first joined the Thieves Guild. 

However, it’s called the Guild Master's Armor Set for a reason. You must return the Thieves Guild to its former glory beforehand. After regaining influence in all the cities in Skyrim, you will be made a Guild Master and you can get this armor officially from Tonilia. Remember, you can’t pickpocket it from her, or else you can’t improve it.  

Why Guild Master's Armor Set is great:

  • All your efforts for the Thieves guild won’t be in vain
  • Great for thief/pickpocket builds

Guild Master's Armor Set  details: https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Guild_Master%27s_Armor_Set

How To Get the Guild Master's Armor Set :

Return the Thieves Guild to its former glory by finishing the Thieves Guild questline and inish all city influence quest “Under New Management” for Delvin and Vex.


10. Nightingale Armor 

When you are induced into being a Nightingale in the Thieves Guild questline, you will be given this armor to wear in order to complete a ritual for the Daedric Prince Nocturnal. The Nightingales have long been considered a myth to keep the faction a secret. It is what gave the Thieves guild their luck before Mercer Frey offended Nocturnal.

The Nightingales are known for their stealth and non-confrontational style of staying in the shadows. This armor set has sneaky skills for you to slip in and out of a situation easily. The Illusion discount will also benefit Illusionists who prefer to avoid conflicts or buy more time for themselves in sticky situations. Wearing the full Nightingale armor will also reward you with +25 armor. Get this after level 32 for the best enchantment stats.  

Why Nightingale Armor is great:

  • Sleek and beautiful armor design that fits the style of the Nightingales
  • Great for stealthy illusionists in mid-game 

Nightingale Armor details: https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Nightingale_Armor

How To Get the Nightingale Armor:

  • Start the Thieves Guild questline and continue until you meet Karliah
  • Follow Karliah and meet her at the standing stone
  • Enter Nightingale hall and get initiated into the Nightingales


9. Ancient Shrouded Armor

After officially being welcomed into the Dark Brotherhood, you’ll be given a set of Shrouded Armor. Now, this is an upgraded version of the Shrouded Armor. It is worn by an ancient Dark Brotherhood assassin who has perished in a . Wearing the entire set will grant you a +25 armor rating, making it one of the best light armor sets for early to mid-game. 

The style of the assassin is stealthy and quick sneak attacks so it is relatively easy for players to reach this part of the Dark Brotherhood questline without having high armor ratings. With this armor, you can do double the sneak attack damage as well as enjoy +35% bow damage. All these paired with quieting effects on your boots, make you the perfect assassin. 

Why Ancient Shrouded Armor is great

  • Armor gives off mysterious and deadly vibes
  • Armor rating is one of the best for low-level players

Ancient Shrouded Armor details: https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Ancient_Shrouded_Armor

How To Get the Ancient Shrouded Armor:


8. Glass Armor

The Glass Armor is a valuable set of armor that can be found randomly starting mid-game, from at least level 26 onwards. It is one of the best armor sets you can forge yourself, loot from the Thalmor or buy from merchants. It is definitely more accessible than unique armor sets and it gives you the freedom to enchant it however you want. 

Whenever you come across someone wearing any glass armor, feel free to loot it for gold. Always take the glass helmet, boots, and gauntlets as they are worth quite a bit of gold even though they are light. The Glass Armor will last you a while at least until you can start forging Dragonscale Armor. 

Why Glass Armor is great

  • Can be forged or bought with coin mid-game
  • A blank slate for enchantments and later, double enchantments

Glass Armor details: https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Glass_Armor_(Skyrim)

How To Get the Glass Armor if you want to loot it:


7. Dragonscale Armor 

Dragonscale Armor is the superior forgeable armor in Skyrim. It can only be found random or forged after acquiring the Dragon Armor perk in Smithing or reaching level 50. Even though it is the best armor around, it is still relatively heavy when compared to Glass Armor so be sure to invest your skill points properly in the Light Armor tree to reduce it.

One of the pros of this armor is that the materials to forge it are actually quite common, that is apart from the dragonscales. You can accumulate dragon scales quite early on if you follow the main questline. Whenever you fight a dragon, you’ll get some dragon scales and bones.

Why Dragonscale Armor is great

  • Dragon scales can be accumulated early on as you progress in the main quest and exploration of Skyrim
  • A blank slate for enchantments and later, double enchantments

Dragonscale Armor details: https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Dragonscale_Armor

How To Get the Dragonscale Armor:


6. Ahzidal's Armor 

Ahzida’s Armor is a reward for finishing the quest “Unearthed” in the Dragonborn DLC. You will meet Ralis Sedarys at Kolbjorn Barrow in Solstheim. At the end of the quest, you’ll be able to obtain Ahzidal's Armor and Ahzidal's mask, as well as a dragon shout and Ralis as a follower if you choose to spare him. 

Ahzidal's heavy armor has magicka absorption as well as an increased range for Conjuration spells and Destruction runes. The coolest thing is that Ahzidal's boots have waterwalking abilities which is one of the unique enchantments that cannot be learned. Ahzidal also has two rings that you can equip:  Ahzidal's Ring of Arcana and Ahzidal's Ring of Necromancy. Both give you abilities to do frost damage in different ways. Equipping the full armor will give you a boost in enchanting skills. 

Why Ahzidal's Armor is great

  • Great for full mages who prefer frost spells
  • It is a full set of armor including rings with unique abilities that sets the armor apart

Ahzidal's Armor details: https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Ahzidal%27s_Armor


5. Ebony Armor 

Ebony Armor is a forgeable heavy armor that will start appearing around mid-game. It gives off more of a warrior’s look since it bears a much similar look to steel plate armor with “ears” on the helmet. 

There are two Daedric quests that will reward you with two artifacts that fit into the Ebony Armor to make it a full set. The Ebony mail from Boethiah will keep your steps quiet and give your enemies poison damage if they are near. The Masque of Clavicus Vile, a helmet from Clavicus Vile, can improve speech and increase magicka regeneration. 

There’s also a quest to fight the Ebony Warrior when you reach level 80 and have the Dragonborn DLC. He will be waiting for you in one of the main cities and when you walk into the city, he will approach you to ask for a final battle till death. 

Why Ebony armor is great

  • Ebony armor is much easier to forge than Daedric armor
  • Daedric artifacts can be used as part of the full set of Ebony armor
  • A blank slate for enchantments and later, double enchantments

Ebony Armor details: https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Ebony_Armor_(Skyrim)

How To Get the Ebony Armor:


4. Stalhrim Armor 

Stalhrim is a unique material that can only be found in Solstheim with the Dragonborn DLC. Known also as “enchanted ice”, Stalhrim was used in burial rituals and can only be mined using an Ancient Nordic Pickaxe. Later the Skaal people learned how to retain its frost properties while crafting it into armors and weapons. 

You can forge or buy both heavy armor and light armor versions of the Stalhrim armor in Solstheim. The heavy armor version has the same stats as the Dragonplate armor with heavier weight. The light armor version is slighter better than Glass armor at the same weight class. Stalhrim’s frost resistance properties can be stacked with other frost enhancements.

Why Stalhrim Armor is great:

  • Default frost properties that are much more potent 
  • Perfect for fighting in the frosty weather

Stalhrim Armor details: https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Stalhrim_Armor_(Skyrim)


3. Daedric Armor

Daedric Armor is arguably the best armor in Skyrim, though it is also the heaviest. The armor gives off a dark and sinister appearance given that it takes Daedra hearts to forge. It’s no surprise that you get an intimidation buff when you go into the city in full Daedra armor. Use it wisely!

You can also find Daedric armor loot when you slay a legendary dragon or win a boss fight after level 49. It is rare to find daedric pieces or daedra hearts lying around. This is without a doubt a late-game armor but it will be worth the wait. 

Why Daedric Armor is great

  • Best heavy armor with sharp edges to intimate, full armor will give +10% intimidation 
  • Great for two-handed builds who are aiming to take damage while being in a full offense

Daedric Armor details: https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Daedric_Armor_(Skyrim)

How To Get the Daedric Armor:


2. Dragonplate Armor

Dragonbones and dragonscales can be acquired early on in the game. Since you are bound to meet dragons on your way exploring, you will definitely be able to accumulate a substantial amount of bones and scales by the time you reach level 100 of your smithing skill to get the Dragon armor perk.

Dragonplate armor is by far the best heavy armor choice given its weight and armor stats. Daedric armor has the best stats but taking weight and raw material acquisition into mind, Dragonplate armor is superior. While Staldhrim armor has the same stats and weighs a little less than the Dragonplate armor, Staldhrim is still hard to come by when compared.

Why Dragonplate Armor is great

  • Dragon bones can be accumulated from early game onwards, easier to get compared to Daedric armor
  • Great for warrior and battle mage builds

Dragonplate Armor details: https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Dragonplate_Armor_(Skyrim_Set)

How To Get the Dragonplate Armor:


1. Deathbrand Armor

The legendary pirate king, Haknir Death-Brand is the original owner of the Deathbrand Armor. Before his death, his crew honored his final wish of burying separate pieces of his armor in four different locations on the coast of Solstheim. He is later buried in a burrow on the island. 

This Stalhrim light armor is a unique enchanted armor set from the Dragonborn DLC. When the full armor is equipped, your armor stat is increased by 100. That makes it higher than a Daedric armor before it is improved. Each enchantment on the Deathbrand pieces will also increase for each Deathbrand item you wear along with waterbreathing abilities. 

Why Deathbrand Armor is great

  • Great for dual-wielding adventure seekers who need to run, swim and space to carry things
  • It’s as good as dragonscale armor and it has great enchantments

Deathbrand Armor details: https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Deathbrand_Armor

How To Get the Deathbrand Armor:

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