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This article is about the type of apparel. For the magic effect, see Armor (effect). For the spells, see Armor (spells).


Armor is a type of apparel that is worn on the body to reduce damage from attacks. Armor comes in two varieties, corresponding to the two different skills governing armor usage: Heavy Armor and Light Armor. In addition, there are shields which provide an additional passive increase to armor rating (active blocking is governed by the Block skill).

Armor comes in several pieces which can be equipped independently of each other, these pieces are:

  • Armor: covers your legs, chest and shoulders
  • Boots: covers your feet and ankles
  • Gauntlets: covers your hands up to your elbow
  • Helmet: covers your head
  • Shield: protect and block attacks

In addition to standard pieces of armor, two necklaces in the game provide an armor bonus: the Locket of Saint JiubDG, and the Amulet of Articulation.

[edit] Armor Materials

Armor appears in several different materials and styles, which determine the quality of the armor. Higher quality armor provides better protection (but is generally heavier). Which quality armor you will find is generally determined based on your character's level.

The following table describes the base level at which an armor type begins to show up randomly for the player. Lower level armor will also randomly appear, but so will higher level armors in certain situations: potentially up to at least 12 levels "early". Enchanted versions of each armor type will begin to appear one level later; see Generic Magic Apparel for more information. See Leveled Lists for details on how these lists are used to determine the probabilities of individual items appearing. Although Dragonscale, Dragonplate, and Daedric armors can all be found in random loot, once your level is high enough, the chances of finding any of these armor types is 20 times less than finding other armor types.

Most armor from the list below can be created at Forges, by using the Smithing skill. The ability to make armor is not dependent upon your character's level, but is instead dependent upon which Smithing perks you have unlocked. All standard armor can also be tempered at Workbenches, if you have the necessary auxiliary item. Tempering is twice as effective if you have unlocked the perk necessary to forge that armor. Tempering an enchanted version of the armor (whether custom-enchanted, or generic) is similar to tempering the base version--it requires the same auxiliary item, and is twice as effective if you have unlocked the forging perk--but also requires the Arcane Blacksmith perk to be unlocked.

Jewelry, (specifically, amulets/necklaces and rings), can be created at any blacksmith's forge from ingots and jewels, but these are not counted as protective armor (the two exceptions to this are noted in the section above); similarly, circlets/crowns--like common clothing--are not attributed with any armor/protection value. (Note: The Aetherial Crown, which is a unique, quest-related, crafted item (added by the Dawnguard DLC), unlike other jewelry items, is eligible for improvement by ordinary smithing, but still only ever bears an armor rating of 0.)

The Skyforge allows you to create Ancient Nord armor, a type of heavy armor, if you finish the Companions questline. Also, it may be found from level 1 in a few locations.

Additionally, there are several other wearable armor sets/pieces that are made available as loot/specialty gear or as unique/quest items; generally, these can all be improved by smithing and possibly fortified with enchantments (if not enchanted already), though they cannot be forged as player-created items. (See also: Magic Items and Artifacts)

The Dragonborn add-on adds craftable Bonemold (heavy), Chitin (light/heavy), Nordic Carved (heavy), and Stalhrim (light/heavy) armors.

The Dawnguard add-on adds Dawnguard armors (light/heavy) and Vampire armors (light), which may be worn/improved but cannot be forged by the player.

Level Light Armor Perk to Forge Item for Tempering
1 Fur Cannot be forged Leather
Hide No perk required Leather
Studded No perk required Iron Ingot
8 Leather No perk required Leather
11 ChitinDB Elven Smithing Chitin Plate
12 Elven Elven Smithing Refined Moonstone
19 Scaled Advanced Armors Corundum Ingot
27 Elven Gilded Elven Smithing Quicksilver Ingot
35 StalhrimDB Ebony Smithing Stalhrim
36 Glass Glass Smithing Refined Malachite
46 Dragonscale Dragon Armor Dragon Scales
Level Heavy Armor Perk to Forge Item for Tempering
1 Iron No perk required Iron Ingot
Banded Iron No perk required Corundum Ingot
BonemoldDB Steel Smithing Netch Leather
6 Steel Steel Smithing Steel Ingot
12 Dwarven Dwarven Smithing Dwarven Metal Ingot
18 Steel Plate Advanced Armors Corundum Ingot
NordicDB Advanced Armors Quicksilver Ingot
25 Orcish Orcish Smithing Orichalcum Ingot
32 Ebony Ebony Smithing Ebony Ingot
40 Dragonplate Dragon Armor Dragon Scales or Dragon Bone
48 Daedric Daedric Smithing Ebony Ingot

Dragonplate Cuirasses and Shields are tempered using Dragon Bone; all other Dragonplate armor is improved using Dragon Scales.
All Daedric armor (except the boots, which are bugged) can also be made at the Atronach Forge, in which case the Daedric Smithing perk is not needed, but instead the Sigil Stone must be obtained. Tempering armor created at the Atronach Forge is still augmented by the Daedric Smithing perk.

[edit] Armor Rating

Armor Ratios

For all of the armor listed on this site, the provided armor ratings are the base armor ratings. The actual protection your character will receive from the armor is dependent upon your skill in that armor type and any relevant perks that you have unlocked. The rating can also be improved by using smithing to change the armor's quality to "Fine", "Superior", "Exquisite", "Flawless", "Epic", or "Legendary".

The armor rating only reduces physical damage, not magical damage. Each point of armor rating reduces damage by 0.12%.

Approximate formulas:

  • Armor rating = (base armor rating + item quality) × (1 + 0.4§ × (skill + skill effect)/100) × (1 + unison perk + Matching Set) × (1 + armor perk)
  • Shield rating = (base shield rating + item quality) × (1 + 0.4 × (skill + skill effect)/100) × (1 + unison perk + Matching Set)
  • Displayed armor rating = armor rating + shield rating + armor effects
  • Hidden armor rating = 25 per piece worn
  • Damage reduction percentage = (displayed armor rating + hidden armor rating) × 0.12

Custom Fit for light armor or Well Fitted for heavy armor
Agile Defender for light armor or Juggernaut for heavy armor
§ [verification needed — see talk page]

Clothing and robes do not benefit from the hidden armor rating bonus.

For NPCs the skill coefficient is 1.5 instead of 0.4.

Note the difference between skill effects (e.g. Fortify Light/Heavy Armor equipment, Ancient Knowledge) and armor effects (e.g. Oakflesh, The Lord Stone).

Your durability against physical attacks (i.e. the amount of raw damage you can sustain) is proportional to 100/(100 − damage reduction percentage). This results in hyperbolic growth in your physical durability, up to the cap of 80% damage reduction giving a ×5 multiplier to your physical durability. Thus, the more armor rating you have, the more each additional point of armor rating is worth. The graph displayed shows the multiplier to your physical durability relative to no armor based on the displayed armor rating, assuming you are wearing all four pieces of armor (+100 hidden armor rating) and have no other effects.

[edit] Armor Cap

Physical damage reduction is capped at 80%. This occurs at 567 displayed armor rating when wearing all four pieces of armor, 667 when not wearing any pieces of armor, or 542 if wearing 4 pieces of armor and a shield. If you have 100 armor skill (Light or Heavy) and all relevant armor perks, this requires a tempered armor rating of about 135. You can increase your tempered armor rating by 1 roughly every 2 points of Smithing with the appropriate perk, or every 4 without. Therefore, at 100 Smithing you will need 85 base armor with the appropriate perk, which is not achievable without a shield with Light Armor (though Dragonscale comes close at 82 for the set) and requires at least a Steel Plate set for Heavy Armor. With Fortify Smithing enchanted apparel and Fortify Smithing potions you can boost Smithing even further, which can potentially allow any material for which a Smithing perk exists to reach the cap. At the extreme end, you will need about 126 Smithing to make Steel Armor hit the cap, and about 154 Smithing for an Elven set. Unfortunately, Fur, Hide, Studded, Leather, and Iron armor are not affected by any Smithing perks and so cannot be improved as much.

With the aid of enchanting (fortify smithing) and pre-made enchanting and smithing potions, and of course the appropriate armor perks, you can reach the armor cap with any style or type of armor in the game, even hide and iron armor. All without even using a shield.

Shields, spells, and the Lord Stone can reduce the base armor required to hit the cap even further, but these require more management.

[edit] Notes

  • Clothes such as robes and other apparel do not count as armor, and as such do not benefit from the hidden armor rating bonus.
  • Custom Fit, Well Fitted, and Matching Set perks are applied to shields if the four pieces of worn armor (armor, helmet, gloves, boots) match appropriately. The shield does not have to be of the same set, or even the same type (light or heavy).
  • Shields do not benefit from either Agile Defender or Juggernaut, and do not advance the light or heavy armor skills when struck.
  • Armor rating/damage reduction does not affect the speed at which the skill is trained.
  • If you drop a piece of armor or clothing in front of an NPC, generally in a city or town[verification needed], they may run up to you and ask you if you are throwing it away.
  • Guards may comment on what kind of armor you're wearing, depending on what faction they belong to and what you're wearing at the time.

[edit] Light Armor

[edit] Armor

Name (ID) Weight Value Rating
SR-icon-armor-HideArmor.png Hide Armor
5 50 20
Fur Armor
6 50 23
SR-icon-armor-StuddedArmor.png Studded Armor
6 75 23
SR-icon-armor-LeatherArmor.png Leather Armor
6 125 26
SR-icon-armor-ElvenArmor.png Elven Armor
4 225 29
DB-icon-armor-Chitin Armor.png Chitin ArmorDB
4 240 30
SR-icon-armor-ScaledArmor.png Scaled Armor
6 350 32
SR-icon-armor-ScaledHornArmor.png Scaled Horn Armor
6 350 32
SR-icon-armor-ElvenArmor.png Elven Gilded Armor
4 550 35
SR-icon-armor-Glass Armor Male.pngSR-icon-armor-Glass Armor Female.png Glass Armor
7 900 38
DB-icon-armor-Stalhrim Light Armor.png Stalhrim Light ArmorDB
7 925 39
SR-icon-armor-DragonscaleArmor.png Dragonscale Armor
10 1500 41

Scaled Horn Armor cannot be tempered or forged, because it was completely left out of the appropriate list.

[edit] Boots

Name (ID) Weight Value Rating
SR-icon-armor-HideBoots.png Hide Boots
1 10 5
SR-icon-armor-FurBoots.png Fur Boots
2 5 5
SR-icon-armor-FurShoes.png Fur Shoes
2 4 6
SR-icon-armor-LeatherBoots.png Leather Boots
2 25 7
SR-icon-armor-ElvenBoots.png Elven Boots
1 45 8
DB-icon-armor-Chitin Boots.png Chitin BootsDB
1 50 8.5
SR-icon-armor-ScaledBoots.png Scaled Boots
2 70 9
SR-icon-armor-Glass Boots.png Glass Boots
2 190 11
DB-icon-armor-Stalhrim Light Boots.png Stalhrim Light BootsDB
2 215 11.5
SR-icon-armor-DragonscaleBoots.png Dragonscale Boots
3 300 12

Fur Boots and Fur Gauntlets count as Stormcloak/guard equipment, and therefore do not give the Matching Set bonus if worn with other fur equipment.

[edit] Gauntlets

Name (ID) Weight Value Rating
SR-icon-armor-HideBracers.png Hide Bracers
1 10 5
SR-icon-armor-FurGauntlets.png Fur Gauntlets
2 5 5
SR-icon-armor-FurBracers.png Fur Bracers
1 10 6
SR-icon-armor-LeatherBracers.png Leather Bracers
2 25 7
SR-icon-armor-ElvenGauntlets.png Elven Gauntlets
1 45 8
DB-icon-armor-Chitin Bracers.png Chitin BracersDB
2 50 8.5
SR-icon-armor-ScaledBracers.png Scaled Bracers
2 70 9
SR-icon-armor-Glass Gauntlets.png Glass Gauntlets
2 190 11
DB-icon-armor-Stalhrim Light Bracers.png Stalhrim Light BracersDB
2 215 11.5
SR-icon-armor-DragonscaleGauntlets.png Dragonscale Gauntlets
3 300 12

[edit] Helmets

Name (ID) Weight Value Rating
SR-icon-armor-HideHelmet.png Hide Helmet
2 25 10
SR-icon-armor-FurHelmet.png Fur Helmet
1 23 11
SR-icon-armor-LeatherHelmet.png Leather Helmet
2 60 12
SR-icon-armor-ElvenHelmet.png Elven Helmet
1 110 13
DB-icon-armor-Chitin Helmet.png Chitin HelmetDB
1 125 13.5
SR-icon-armor-ScaledHelmet.png Scaled Helmet
2 175 14
SR-icon-armor-Glass Helmet.png Glass Helmet
2 450 16
DB-icon-armor-Stalhrim Light Helmet.png Stalhrim Light HelmetDB
2 465 16.5
SR-icon-armor-DragonscaleHelmet.png Dragonscale Helmet
4 750 17

[edit] Shields

Name (ID) Weight Value Rating
SR-icon-armor-HideShield.png Hide Shield
4 25 15
SR-icon-armor-ElvenShield.png Elven Shield
4 115 21
DB-icon-armor-Chitin Shield.png Chitin ShieldDB
8 215 24.5
SR-icon-armor-Glass Shield.png Glass Shield
6 450 27
SR-icon-armor-DragonscaleShield.png Dragonscale Shield
6 750 29
DB-icon-armor-Stalhrim Shield.png Stalhrim ShieldDB
10 600 29.5

[edit] Heavy Armor

[edit] Armor

Name (ID) Weight Value Rating
SR-icon-armor-IronArmor(m).pngSR-icon-armor-IronArmor(f).png Iron Armor
30 125 25
SR-icon-armor-BandedIronArmor(m).pngSR-icon-armor-BandedIronArmor(f).png Banded Iron Armor
35 200 28
Steel Armor
35 275 31
DB-icon-armor-Bonemold Armor.png Bonemold ArmorDB
34 290 32
DB-icon-armor-Bonemold Guard Armor.png Bonemold Guard ArmorDB
34 290 32
DB-icon-armor-Bonemold Pauldron Armor.png Bonemold Pauldron ArmorDB
36 290 33
SR-icon-armor-DwarvenArmor.png Dwarven Armor
45 400 34
DB-icon-armor-Bonemold Pauldron Armor.png Improved Bonemold ArmorDB
43 290 35
SR-icon-armor-SteelPlateArmor.png Steel Plate Armor
38 625 40
DB-icon-armor-Chitin Heavy Armor Male.png Chitin Heavy ArmorDB
35 650 40
SR-icon-armor-OrcishArmor.png Orcish Armor
35 1000 40
SR-icon-armor-EbonyArmor.png Ebony Armor
38 1500 43
DB-icon-armor-Nordic Carved Armor.png Nordic Carved ArmorDB
37 1600 43
SR-icon-armor-DragonplateArmor.png Dragonplate Armor
40 2125 46
DB-icon-armor-Stalhrim Heavy Armor.png Stalhrim Heavy ArmorDB
38 2200 46
SR-icon-armor-DaedricArmor.png Daedric Armor
50 3200 49

[edit] Boots

Name (ID) Weight Value Rating
SR-icon-armor-IronBoots.png Iron Boots
6 25 10
SR-icon-armor-SteelCuffedBoots.png Steel Cuffed Boots
8 55 12
SR-icon-armor-ImperialBoots.png Steel Shin Boots
8 55 12
DB-icon-armor-Bonemold Boots.png Bonemold BootsDB
7 60 12
DB-icon-armor-Bonemold Boots.png Improved Bonemold BootsDB
9 60 13
SR-icon-armor-DwarvenBoots.png Dwarven Boots
10 85 13
SR-icon-armor-SteelPlateBoots.png Steel Plate Boots
9 125 14
DB-icon-armor-Chitin Heavy Boots.png Chitin Heavy BootsDB
6 135 14
SR-icon-armor-OrcishBoots.png Orcish Boots
7 200 15
DB-icon-armor-Nordic Carved Boots.png Nordic Carved BootsDB
6 220 15
SR-icon-armor-EbonyBoots.png Ebony Boots
7 275 16
SR-icon-armor-DragonplateBoots.png Dragonplate Boots
8 425 17
DB-icon-armor-Stalhrim Heavy Boots.png Stalhrim Heavy BootsDB
7 450 17
SR-icon-armor-DaedricBoots.png Daedric Boots
10 625 18

[edit] Gauntlets

Name (ID) Weight Value Rating
SR-icon-armor-IronGauntlets.png Iron Gauntlets
5 25 10
SR-icon-armor-ImperialBracers.png Steel Imperial Gauntlets
4 55 12
SR-icon-armor-SteelNordicGauntlets.png Steel Nordic Gauntlets
4 55 12
DB-icon-armor-Bonemold Gauntlets.png Bonemold GauntletsDB
3.5 60 12
DB-icon-armor-Bonemold Gauntlets.png Improved Bonemold GauntletsDB
7 60 13
SR-icon-armor-DwarvenGauntlets.png Dwarven Gauntlets
8 85 13
SR-icon-armor-SteelPlateGauntlets.png Steel Plate Gauntlets
6 125 14
DB-icon-armor-Chitin Heavy Gauntlets.png Chitin Heavy GauntletsDB
5 135 14
SR-icon-armor-OrcishGauntlets.png Orcish Gauntlets
7 200 15
DB-icon-armor-Nordic Carved Gauntlets.png Nordic Carved GauntletsDB
6 220 15
SR-icon-armor-EbonyGauntlets.png Ebony Gauntlets
7 275 16
SR-icon-armor-DragonplateGauntlets.png Dragonplate Gauntlets
8 425 17
DB-icon-armor-Stalhrim Heavy Gauntlets.png Stalhrim Heavy GauntletsDB
7 450 17
SR-icon-armor-DaedricGauntlets.png Daedric Gauntlets
6 625 18

[edit] Helmets

Name (ID) Weight Value Rating
SR-icon-armor-IronHelmet.png Iron Helmet
5 60 15
SR-icon-armor-SteelHelmet.png Steel Helmet
5 125 17
SR-icon-armor-SteelHornedHelmet.png Steel Horned Helmet
5 125 17
DB-icon-armor-Bonemold Helmet.png Bonemold HelmetDB
4.5 135 17
DB-icon-armor-Bonemold Helmet.png Improved Bonemold HelmetDB
11 135 18
SR-icon-armor-DwarvenHelmet.png Dwarven Helmet
12 200 18
DB-icon-armor-Chitin Heavy Helmet.png Chitin Heavy HelmetDB
5 135 19
SR-icon-armor-SteelPlateHelmet.png Steel Plate Helmet
6 300 19
SR-icon-armor-OrcishHelmet.png Orcish Helmet
8 500 20
DB-icon-armor-Nordic Carved Helmet.png Nordic Carved HelmetDB
7 550 20
SR-icon-armor-EbonyHelmet.png Ebony Helmet
10 750 21
SR-icon-armor-Shellbug Helmet.png Shellbug Helmet DG
6 600 22
SR-icon-armor-DragonplateHelmet.png Dragonplate Helmet
8 1050 22
DB-icon-armor-Stalhrim Heavy Helmet.png Stalhrim HelmetDB
7 1135 22
SR-icon-armor-DaedricHelmet.png Daedric Helmet
15 1600 23

[edit] Shields

Name (ID) Weight Value Rating
SR-icon-armor-IronShield.png Iron Shield
12 60 20
DB-icon-armor-Bonemold Shield.png Bonemold ShieldDB
8 95 21.5
SR-icon-armor-BandedIronShield.png Banded Iron Shield
12 100 22
SR-icon-armor-SteelShield.png Steel Shield
12 150 24
DB-icon-armor-Bonemold Shield.png Improved Bonemold ShieldDB
11 95 26
SR-icon-armor-DwarvenShield.png Dwarven Shield
12 225 26
DB-icon-armor-Nordic Shield.png Nordic ShieldDB
10 335 26.5
SR-icon-armor-OrcishShield.png Orcish Shield
14 500 30
SR-icon-armor-EbonyShield.png Ebony Shield
14 750 32
SR-icon-armor-DragonplateShield.png Dragonplate Shield
15 1050 34
SR-icon-armor-DaedricShield.png Daedric Shield
15 1600 36

[edit] Light Armor Images

[edit] Heavy Armor Images

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