In Tamriel of The Elder Scrolls, fashion equals armor. And unfortunately, not everyone has the gold to buy expensive custom-made pieces. Moreover, not everyone has the guts to go to a mysterious dungeon just to retrieve an ancient relic. Unfortunately, without these two factors, adventuring armor in Skyrim would only leave subpar material, right? Interestingly, Skyrim seems to have its own set of formidable armor among its most common variants.
The best armor don't always come in the form of rare or exotic pieces. As with other Bethesda games such as Oblivion or Morrowind, players can find reliable armor almost anywhere. The best armor may hide amidst the most common types of armor they encounter in the game world. Maximizing this armor does need a bit of tinkering and consideration. Just what armor stands out in Skyrim without being legendary?
10 Dragonscale Armor
Interestingly, Dragonscale Armor boasts some of the best statistics when worn as a whole in the game. Essentially, Dragonscale Armor tops at 111 Armor with shield but only has 26 Weight. Unfortunately, it does come rarely among loot — except if players get the Dragon Armor Perk before hitting Level 50.
Thankfully, players can craft Dragonscale Armor with leather strips, iron ingots, and dragon scales. Players can boost the potency of the armor with Dragon Armor and dragon scales. Interestingly, players can acquire this armor, albeit rarely, as soon as they hit Level 24. Dragonscale Armor might have superior stats in terms of base armor in terms of Glass, but the latter still dominates in terms of lightness.
9 Daedric Armor
Unfortunately, the dark nature of Daedric Armor gives its pieces a horrific appearance — often with spikes and harsh red details. In terms of stats, Daedric Armor boasts 144 Armor with the shield and 96 Weight. Interestingly, players at Level 48 can start finding pieces of Daedric Armor in chests near bosses, within Legendary or Revered Dragons, or even via the Dremora Merchant.
Likewise, players with the Daedric Smithing Perk can craft their own Daedric Armor. Moreover, Conjurers can use the Atronach Forge at Level 90 to craft Daedric Armor, provided they have completed their Ritual Spell. Regardless of the means, players who plan on crafting Daedric Armor need a Daedra Heart — a rare commodity found as rare loot, or whenever adventurers have unfortunate encounters with Dremora themselves.
8 Stalhrim Light Armor
Explorers who take their time exploring Solstheim may come across one of the 19 only deposits of Stalhrim throughout Skyrim. In turn, players can use this frost-attuned mineral to create Stalhrim Armor. Interestingly, unlike other armor variants, Stalhrim Armor has a cold blue hint to it, as reflected by its crystalline armor. Players with the Ebony Smithing Perk can create Stalhrim Armor with Stalhrim, quicksilver ingots, steel ingots, and leather strips. When equipped, the light armor variant boasts 108 Armor with the shield with only 23 Weight.
Players can also acquire Stalhrim Armor pieces throughout Solstheim by the time they hit Level 35. Instead of crafting, players can buy this armor from vendors, find these in chests, or even worn by other bosses. Despite its rarity, Stalhrim Armor becomes relatively easier to find in Solstheim compared to its dragon variants.
7 Dragonplate Armor
Dragonslayers who fight the brutal battles against dragons can use their bones to forge Dragonplate Armor, which boasts the second-highest stats across armors in the game. It has 136 Armor with the shield, and has 79 Weight. Unlike other armors, Dragonplate has prominent triangular features courtesy of its bone components. In turn, it has this distinct raw look, unlike other heavy armors.
Players can craft Dragonplate Armor with leather strips, dragon scales, and dragon bones provided they have the Dragon Armor Perk. However, players at Level 40 can also find Dragonplate Armor as loot in containers and chests, albeit extremely rarely. Possessing the aforementioned Perk prior to Level 40 will also give them access to Dragonplate Armor as loot around Skyrim. Despite having a lower armor rating than Daedric Armor, Dragonplate Armor does prevail with its lighter weight.
6 Glass Armor
Collectors of ancient artifacts will appreciate Glass Armor for its tight fit and green sheen, courtesy of the mineral Malachite. Interestingly, players with the Glass Smithing Perk can craft their own set of Glass Armor with Refined Moonstone and Refined Malachite, leather strips, and leather pieces. In turn, Glass Armor has better statistics compared to other light armor, such as the Dark Brotherhood's. Stats wise, Glass Armor boasts 103 Armor with the shield and 19 weight.
Players can also find unenchanted pieces of Glass Armor around the game world as early as they hit Level 36. Players can find enchanted variants of this armor as soon as they hit Level 37. Players can stumble upon these pieces in their adventures as early as Levels 26 to 31 - albeit rarely.
5 Ebony Armor
Smiths in possession of Ebony Ingots can opt to craft Ebony Armor instead of its darker Daedric cousin. Similar to Daedric Armor, Ebony Armor boasts an all-black look. Ebony Armor looks more stylish with its curves and overlapping plates. Stats-wise, Ebony Armor boasts 128 Armor with the shield and 76 Weight, making it the third-best heavy armor set after Daedric and Dragonplate Armor.
Players with Ebony Smithing Perk can craft Ebony Armor with Ebony Ingots and Leather Strips. However, players at Level 32 can start finding pieces of Ebony Armor throughout Skyrim. They can find the full set when they kill the Ebony Warrior, or find them as random loot.
4 Chitin Armor
Of all Skyrim's light armors, Chitin Armor perhaps looks the strangest. Crafted from the Chitin Plate of Ash Hoppers, Chitin Plate boasts a rather insectoid or crustacean appearance. However, it does boast decent armor and weight in terms of stats. After all, Chitin Armor has 85 Armor with the shield and 16 Weight, making it considerably light yet perfectly capable of defense.
Players need the Elven Smithing Perk to craft Chitin Armor, as well as netch leather, Chitin Plate, and iron ingot. Interestingly, players can also purchase Chitin Armor pieces from merchants, or find them as random loot throughout the game world.
3 Stalhrim Heavy Armor
Crafters with enough Stalhrim Ore can opt to create the heavier Stalhrim Heavy Armor, perfect for adventurers out to fight in the long term - especially against tough foes like werewolves. As with its Light variant, Stalhrim Heavy Armor needs the Ebony Smithing Perk to craft, alongside the same materials. However, stats-wise, Stalhrim heavy Armor has 102 Armor with the shield, and 59 Weight.
Despite the lack of armor, it does improve all frost-related enchantments by 25-percent. In turn, placing Resist Frost Enchantment in Stalrhim Armor pieces do get a 25-percent boost in efficiency.
2 Elven Armor
Elves make themselves known for their nimbleness and affinity with magic, something even their light armors possess. While Elven Light Armor has some of the worst armor ratings for light armor, its weight makes it perfect for those who want to conduct their adventures without the burden of weighted armor. In turn, Elven Light Armor boasts 79 Armor with the shield and only 7 Weight.
Thankfully, this disparity in numbers do make Elven Armor also one of the armor types that are easiest to acquire. Players can get this armor throughout Skyrim as early as Level 12. They only need the Elven Smithing Perk to craft the armor.
1 Orcish Armor
Crafters with access to the mineral Orichalcum can use it and special crafting techniques from the Orcs to create Orcish Armor. Despite the rather medium-level quality of the armor, it still boasts some of the highest ratings for heavy armor in the game — especially against agile vampires. Stats-wise, Orcish Armor has 120 Armor with shield and 71 weight. In turn, despite its heaviness, Orcish Armor remains quite reliable for players to use.
Orcish Armor isn't relatively rare compared to its other contemporaries. Players can find Orcish Armor as soon as they hit Level 20. In turn, local general goods merchants or blacksmiths can easily equip adventurers with this armor. The curves and the plates make Orcish Armor resemble a bit of Ebony Armor, albeit with a rust-colored hue and a preference for mail patterns.
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