The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has a lot to offer players, with a multitude of NPCs, magic, weaponry, and of course, armors. Along with standard armor sets, lootable off in-game enemies or craftable in Skyrim’s extensive smithing system, the game also offers legendary gear and Daedric artifacts that offer unique and special abilities. The RPG also has an extensive modding community that has kept Skyrim alive for nearly a decade.
These unique pieces of armor range from the cosmetic to the enchanted and both have their place. Ultimately, some of this unique gear is just going to be better than others, and players should know what they are and where to find them, in order to get the most out of Skyrim’s legendary loot.
Updated July 22, 2021 by Erik Petrovich: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a landmark game, not only for gaming at large, but also for Bethesda's series. Aside from everything else the game has going for it, it's also the most customizable Elder Scrolls title – even without mods. The game houses dozens and dozens of unique armor sets that can only be found either by visiting specific locations or completing required tasks and quests. The Jester's Outfit is one of the silliest unique armors in Skyrim, while Ahzidal's Armor grants a powerful enchant alongside one of the more elegant armor designs in the game.
12 Jester's Outfit
- Set pieces boost Speech (bartering), One-Handed, and Sneak
- Found in Dawnstar Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary
The Jester's Outfit is a clothing set that boost the player's bartering, one-handed, and sneak skills. It looks almost exactly like the outfit worn by Cicero, the Keeper of the Night Mother's Coffin, and can likewise be found during the Dark Brotherhood questline.
After interacting with Cicero for the first time, he can be found in a few locations throughout the game. In the Dawnstar Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary, look for this lightly enchanted unique outfit near the entrance.
11 Ahzidal's Armor
- Full set boosts player Enchanting by 10 points
- Found in Kolbjorn Barrow in Solstheim
Ahzidal's armor comes in two varieties, male and female, both of which enhance the player's enchanting skill. The male set is much like the Iron Armor set, featuring ram horn adornments, while the female set uses deer antlers and no frontal plating.
It's a very well-designed set that blends in seamlessly with just about every environment in the game. Look for the heavy Ahzidal's Armor set in Kolbjorn Barrow, where each piece is spread throughout the dungeon. Players are naturally guided to this location in the quest "Unearthed."
10 The Armor of the Old Gods
- Set pieces boost Destruction, Sneak, Bow, and Magicka
- Found in the "No One Escapes Cidhna Mine" questline
Obtained after completing the quest “No One Escapes Cidhna Mine,” the armor of the old gods is an interesting Forsworn-themed light armor set with some powerful enchantments. The set is perfect for casters and archers who like to attack from a distance, as it decreases the cost of destruction spells, improves sneaking, bolsters bow damage, and increases Magicka by 30 points.
Additionally, the armor has some interesting implications about the Forsworn and their adherence to “the old gods” who just might happen to be the Daedra.
9 The Blackguard Armor
- Set pieces boost Lockpicking and Pickpocketing significantly
- Found after assisting Glover Mallory in Solstheim
After helping Glover Mallory in Ravenrock on the island of Solstheim, players will gain access to his secret stash and the Blackguard armor. Glover is Delvin's brother, and so this set acts as an upgraded version of the Thieves Guild set.
To gain access to the armor, players will need to get the Bonemold Armor formula from Esmond’s corpse in the Castle Karstaag Caverns. The Blackguard armor provides a forty percent bonus to both lockpicking and pickpocketing, perfect for enterprising young thieves.
8 Falmer Armor
- No enchantments innately imbued in Falmer armor, though it is enchantable
- Mostly looted off of Falmer, chest armor only found in Mzinchaleft
The Falmer are one of Skyrim’s greatest mysteries, and their armor is no different. While the Dawnguard DLC added the Falmer Hardened and Falmer Heavy Armor, which can be looted off of Falmer enemies, a true Falmer chest piece is only obtainable in one place, Mzinchaleft Depths.
The armor is equivalent to that of Dwarven armor with significantly less carry weight. Additionally, the set is enchantable, meaning players can put whatever magic they want on this unique set of chitin.
7 Auriel’s Shield
- Enchanted to release Thuum-like push after blocking 15 hits
- Found in the Forgotten Vale in the Dawnguard DLC
With an armor rating equal to that of the Ebony variety, this sleek legendary shield is nothing to scoff at. But what really makes this armor so special is its unique enchantment that acts as its own unrelenting force shout when power bashing. The shield can be found in the Forgotten Vale during the Dawnguard storyline and is looted off of a Falmer enemy.
The shield is unique in that when blocking attacks it charges its effect and after blocking 15 hits, Auriel’s Shield is ready to release its own unrelenting force equal to the might of a full Fus Ro Dah.
6 The Helm of Yngol
- Helmet resists Frost Damage significantly
- Found in Yngol's Barrow after fighting Yngol himself
With an armor rating of 21, this is one of the most powerful helmets players can find in Skyrim. The Helm of Yngol can be picked up in the throne room of Yngol’s Barrow after fighting Yngol’s shade. It also resists frost damage for 30 percent which is pretty significant. Further, the helmet has a unique background as it belonged, of course, to Yngol.
Yngol was the son of Ysgramor who launched a campaign bringing humans into Skyrim and Tamriel long, long ago. Yngol, however, never joined his father's campaign as his ship was separated and he and his crew were slaughtered on the trip across the Sea of Ghosts. Overall, it sounds like a pretty bad way to go.
5 The Nightingale Armor
- Set boosts Stamina, Frost Defense, Sneak, Lockpicking, One-Handed, and Illusion
- Found in the Thieves Guild questline
The sneaky and sinister armor of the Nightingales is earned by following the Thieves Guild’s main questline. This light armor set offers some of the best stat boosts in Skyrim and looks cool and spooky to boot. This skin-tight stealth suit is perfect for any heist.
This armor should only be obtained after reaching level 32, however, as that is when the set’s enchantments reach their maximum potential. The set increases stamina, reduces incoming frost damage, muffles the user’s movement, raises the lockpicking and one-handed skills, and reduces the cost of casting illusion spells. All useful enchantments for any player planning to accomplish some thieving.
4 Targe of the Blooded
- Shield Bash deals 3 damage per second for 5 seconds (a total of 15 extra damage)
- Found on the corpse of Umala in Alftand
In the Dwemer ruin of Alftand, players will follow the story of a group of adventurers who were ambushed and slowly all killed by Falmer… well mostly. The Dragonborn will come across the last two survivors, Umala and Sulla fighting amongst themselves. Upon killing them both, players will find a special shield on Umala.
Although Targe of the Blooded doesn’t have any incredible stats to write home about, it does have a special enchantment, whereupon shield bash it deals 3 bleeding per second over 5 seconds. While on its own this may seem small, this damage passes through armor, blocking, or any other effect enemies may have active, resulting in massive amounts of damage for multiple bashes draining health at the same time, and is highly effective at sending enemies to Sovngarde.
3 Deathbrand Armor
- Set boosts Stamina, Carry Weight, Dual-Wield (One-Handed), and grants Water Breathing
- Found in the Deathbrand quest
The pirate Deathbrand left his magical armor set hidden all across Solstheim, and this is one buried treasure players should definitely try and uncover. The set is earned throughout the quest “Deathbrand.” Each piece of Deathbrand armor grants a powerful effect: water breathing from the helm, 60 points of stamina from the armor, 40 points of carrying weight from the boots, and 40 points of one-handed while dual-wielding with the gauntlets.
What makes the Deathbrand armor so powerful is its unique set bonus of 100 extra points of armor, making this light armor set better than most heavy armor sets in the game without any of the drawbacks.
2 Visage of Mzund
- Helmet boosts Stamina and grants the Breath of Nchuak ability, a damage-over-time spell
- Found on a table in Fahlbtharz
Found at the end of a long series of puzzle rooms in the Dwemer ruin of Fahlbtharz, this unique Dwarven Helm is tied for the highest base armor stat of any helmet in the game at 24 points.
The helmet is also enchanted to provide 60 points of stamina to the wearer and also grants the ability Breath of Nchuak, which is a powerful steam attack dealing damage over time. With great defensive capabilities and an offensive power to boot, this helmet is one of the best armor pieces in the game.
- Helmet has a chance to heal the player and cast Flame Cloak when struck at low health
- Found by combining every other Dragon Priest mask in the game at Labyrinthian
With equivalent base armor to the Visage of Mzund and a much harder acquisition quest, the Dragon Priest mask Konahrik is possibly the best helmet in all of Skyrim. In order to obtain this mask, players will need to defeat every dragon priest and bring their masks to the central location of the Bromjunaar Sanctuary in the ruins of Labyrinthian.
The mask has the potential to heal the wearer when taking damage with a grand healing spell and cast the flame cloak ability. This ability is itself very powerful and when paired with the mask's base armor, makes the Dragonborn nearly unkillable.
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