Wearing a huge set of hulking heavy armor is a sure-fire way of assuring your dominance in combat, enemy hits will deal significantly less damage. Of course, this comes at the drawback of a lower movement speed and huge inventory weights but that’s justified for how much armor you get. As you advance through the game, you’ll upgrade your armor sets over time, relevant to your level. Keeping an eye on your armor level is important, enemies get stronger regardless of whether or not you keep your armor set topped up.
Make sure you progress your items as fast as your level, this list will tell you all you need to know about the best heavy armor in Skyrim!
List does not include shields
10. Dwarven Armor
Wow, this armor looks incredible. It’s a shame too, you will be able to make use of Dwarven heavy armor but the low level its available at makes the time spent using it quite low. A total weight of 75 will certainly be an issue, particularly in early levels when you don’t have the perks to reduce heavy armor weight.
Set Armor: 78
How to obtain: Found in shops and as loot after reaching level 12. Or reach a Smithing level of 30 and have the relevant Smithing perk.
9. Dawnguard Heavy Armor
I was tempted to put this entry much higher, specifically for the helmet. Of course, this list is all about what the armor offers in terms of gameplay so I resisted the urge. As you can likely tell, Dawnguard armor has the same armor rating as the previous entry, only it has a slightly smaller weight at 68 for the set, excluding the shield.
How to obtain: Gunmar will give you a set without the helmet upon first speaking to him. You can buy the helmet from Gunmar or find pieces around Fort Dawnguard. Can also be looted from dead Dawnguard members.
8. Steel Plate Armor
Sporting the armor rating of heavy armor with a weight rating similar to that of light armor is the Steel Plate armor set. Taking up just 59 of your inventory space, this armor set is well worth obtaining and using once you meet its level requirements for finding it.
How to obtain: Found in shops and as loot after reaching level 18. Or reach a Smithing level of 50 and have the relevant Smithing perk.
7. Blades Armor
The Blades return in Skyrim after playing a huge role in the previous game Oblivion. While their role has decayed somewhat in the latest installment, Blades armor is still a fantastic set to use, especially due to how fast you can obtain it.
Please be aware that the Blades breastplate only is the 4th highest armor breastplate in the game. The boots, gauntlets & helmet are considerably lower compared to other sets.
How to obtain: Located in a chest in the Sky Haven Temple.
6. Orcish Armor
With a weight of of just 57, you’d think Orcish armor would take up a lot more of your inventory capacity. Fortunately, Skyrim offers this mid-game armor set as an easily obtainable, yet highly usable piece of kit to help you survive on your travels.
How to obtain: Found in shops and as loot after reaching level 20. Or reach a Smithing level of 50 and have the relevant Smithing perk.
5. Ebony Armor
You can’t fault this armor set’s creators for the aesthetics, Ebony armor looks intimidating and badass. Not only does it have a cool appearance, it backs up such awesomeness with great stats across the board. High armor ratings are matched by a fairly low weight of 62!
How to obtain: Found in shops and as loot after reaching level 32. Or reach a Smithing level of 80 and have the relevant Smithing perk. Very rarely, you can find a piece from as low as level 12.
4. Falmer Heavy Armor
I genuinely wouldn’t blame you for using Ebony armor over this entry, purely out of cosmetic preferences. Falmer heavy armor looks pretty bizarre, with the same amount of armor as Ebony. On one hand, it does have a slightly lower weight rating of 55 but it also comes with no heavy Falmer shield as it doesn’t exist in the game. It’s completely up to you which you choose!
How to obtain: Loot from Falmer Warmongers and occasionally Falmer Shadowmasters.
3. Ebony Mail
Kinda cheating a bit here, Ebony Mail is a unique breastplate in Skyrim that doesn’t have a full “set”. It’s worth an inclusion on the list though, you should absolutely acquire this breastplate if you can. Not only does it have a higher armor rating than its normal Ebony variant, it also has a much lower weight. Ebony Mail also comes with a nice enchantment, muffling your movement and dealing a small amount of poison damage per second to nearby enemies!
How to obtain: Found as loot after defeating the Champion of Boethiah, introduced during the Boethiah’s Calling quest.
2. Dragonplate Armor
Don’t bother trying to find a set of Dragonplate armor as loot, merchants will rarely sell them either and if they do, it’ll be for a way too hefty price. Instead, save up those dragon bones until you can spec into Smithing. Even though dragon bones are among the most heavy items in the game, Dragonplate armor set only only weighs in at 64!
How to obtain: Found in shops and as loot after reaching level 40, albeit extremely rarely. Or reach a Smithing level of 100 and have the relevant Smithing perk.
1. Daedric Armor
Oddly enough, Dragonbone themed weapons are always better than Daedric but on the armor front, Daedric armor just skips ahead to the number 1 spot. As well as appearing like the most godly being in the Skyrim universe, you’ll also be near unkillable thanks to Daedric armor’s obscenely high armor rating. A huge 81 inventory space required is a slight downside but by the time you’ve achieved this armor set, it won’t be a problem!
How to obtain: Found in shops and as loot after reaching level 48. Or reach a Smithing level of 90 and have the relevant Smithing perk.
Monday 8th of June 2020
I have no idea on how Wolf Armor wasn’t put on this list.
Its by far the lightest set, the whole set weighing at 32 which less than just the Steel/Blades/Dwarven chest pieces on their own, while having the exact same armor rating as regular steel. I know theres the perk that makes that irrelevant, but thats later in the game. This set is lighter, just as good as steel armors and the whole set can be bought for 202 gold or less. Which, again, is very good for new characters as you don’t have much gold, weight capacity, and you can hold many more items while dungeon crawling to get even richer. You just have to do like 2 quests for the companions, and then you also get Skyforge steel weapons, 2 of which are free since Farkas drops his 2H sword and you get one free from Eorland when you return and those weapon are basically lighter Elvish melee weapons that all benefit from the easily accessible steel smithing perk. The equipment from the Companions questline on its own would be enough for me to get them ASAP, as well as turning into a Werewolf, but finishing the questline is also great since you can make Nord Hero weapons that are slightly lighter Skyforge melee weapons and the Nord Hero bow weighs as much as a hunting bow but almost as strong as a Dwarven bow. And all it takes is finishing the questline, getting useless ancient Nord weapons, buying/making/stealing a steel ingot and leather straps and making it at the Skyforge.
On top of looking cool and becoming a Werewolf in the process, while also getting trainers of every combat type outside of magic and being able to abuse their follower status and getting your money refunded after training, this armor probably has the best defense-weight ratio out of all of the armors while being good in its own right. The Dwarven and Heavy Falmer armors have no business being on this list. Regarding the Dwarven armor, the chest piece has more weight than protection before upgrading and the head/hand/feet armor are only slightly better than their wolf counterparts where the Dwarven Helmet alone weighs as much as the wolf gauntlets, boots AND helmet. Dwarven armor looks cool, but I have never tried using it as you can get Steel plate armor by getting Uthgerd the Unbroken as an ally then killing her by just having 100 gold, brawling and then bam- you double your money and get most of the best heavy armor sets and a steel weapon free just by making it to whiterun. Then you have Falmer Heavy Armor, which is more difficult to obtain than either Dwarven or the various Steel-based armors, as you have to risk fighting Chaurus’ with several Falmer attacking you and either loot from a high level enemy or stumble upon it, then using Chaurus chitin as the material for upgrading, already making it a hassle to obtain for just yourself, while you could easily have outfitted you and your companion for 404 gold max with the Wolf Armor early on. The pieces outside of the chest armor are fairly light with good armor, but 35 weight for just the chest piece. The heavy Falmer gear is good for making money but not something I would choose to adventure with. I don’t even use the Dragon equipment because its noticeably heavier by comparison, they're great for making and selling late-game as you can clear out a merchan'ts entire wallet even when you got the speech perks that make their total gold amount something like 3000 and with just a single Dragon weapon that makes harvesting dragons even more lucrative. The wolf armors/skyforge weapons and steel plate armors are so much easier to max out and make great vs. Dragon/Daedric/Ebony. Ebony makes sense, Daedric is kind of expected since its the best in terms of performance, but if we’re having weight/cost/accessibility as factors then the Wolf Armor deserves to be in the top 3. I love the aesthetic of the Blades Armor, the Steel Plate is a good pick, I respect the Daedric and Ebony equipment as gear for higher level players, but Dwarven, Falmer and Dragon are pretty bad once you consider those 3 other factors while being decent in terms of armor rating. of the 4 criteria, the Wolf Armor just beats them in 3/4 of those categories with smithing perks earlier on making them even better and without upgrading at a workbench/grindstone the wolf set if pretty comparable in armor rating. I’m all for doing things for the aesthetic, I like running Steel Nordic Gauntlets and either the steel Steel Cuffed/Shin boots in place of the wolf stuff, despite having the same armor rating and weighing more, because it looks better and the +8 weight isn’t that harsh. But low-tier chest pieces that weigh as much as an entire set of armor that has either the same armor rating or slightly less is a waste. That amount of additional weight on your character means you have to leave stuff behind in dungeons while you can carry more loot to sell with the superb Wolf Armor/Skyforge weapons, all of which are even cheaper to improve than Dwarven or Falmer equipment since steel ingots are like 3/5 the price of a Dwarven ingot while having their supply more available.
Also, Nordic Carved Armor is easier to obtain through looting than Falmer armor, has great armor ratings across the board, and you can actually make it once you get the advanced armors smithing perk, with Nordic Weapons thrown in as well that are easy to make and sell for a lot. Wolf Armor and Nordic Carved Armors need to replace Dwarven and Falmer on this list, one is cheaper/lighter/quickly made great, the other has better protection, can be made easily, and sells for a lot, making both of these choices of armor sets economically viable while sacrificing little to nothing in the way or armor rating. I've seen people running generic Steel armor at level 13, my brother especially but mainly because he likes it on his Orc over the Wolf stuff, and it absolutely baffles me since 2 quests is all you need to do in order to sell the Steel chest armor in order to afford a FULL set of armor that has the same ratings, then sell the other steel stuff to buy ingots and weapons in case you dont like 2H swords and the freebie from Eorland doesn't cover your needs. And you get to be a Werewolf with a lucrative questline by looting silver swords from the Silverhand that sell for an amount that is respectable and in high quantities.
Thursday 14th of May 2020
Yes maxed out steel plate is enough. Yes dragon and daedric are very heavy. Daedric is the best, so therefore better than steel plate, and if you level heavy armor class skills you will not be encumbered by any heavy armor worn, making daedric armor weightless.
Thursday 26th of September 2019
Maxed out steel is enough.
Saturday 20th of April 2019
I'd honestly stick with ebony mail + ebony gauntlet, helmet and boots over dragonplate or daedric. The daedric set is plainly too heavy to carry, and the rating difference between ebony and dragonplate doesn't truly matter once we upgrade both to above legendary. Plus, the ebony mail helps a lot with sneaking around. Of course, yes.. dragonplate gives us one more slot for yet another enchantment, but still.. ebony simply looks much cooler.
Wednesday 30th of January 2019
who uses Armour/armor for stats? its the aesthetic mate