The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Heavy Armor Guide

Armor List, Damage Reduction & Skill Perks

Heavy armor types in Skyrim: Steel, Orcish, Dragonplate and Daedric
Heavy Armor Types of Skyrim: Steel, Orcish, Dragonplate and Daedric Armor

Skyrim's Heavy Armor skill reduces physical damage your Dragonborn takes while wearing gear of the this kind. This guide will teach you what Heavy Armor skill does for your character, training the skill, and provide a list of all crafted heavy armor types to help you compare their price, defense, and weight.

Damage Reduction
Heavy Armor increases your armor rating while wearing heavy armors. Armor reduces the physical damage you take - such as that from melee attackers and arrows. It does not reduce magical damage (dragon breath and magic spells) - that is where resistances come into play. Each level you gain will raise your armor rating for each piece of Heavy Armor you wear; perks further boost this bonus, making it important to know which type of armor you want your character to use.

Training Heavy Armor
Every time you take physical damage, your character will get a bit of experience in Heavy Armor. It's best to pick a type between heavy and light and stick to your choice, to maximize your armor rating later in the game without wasting Perks. The easily accessible Expert Heavy Armor trainer is Gharol in Dushnikh Yal, an Orc Stronghold southeast of Markarth. Farkas is the Master trainer, though you will have to join the Companions to find him inside Jorrvaskr in Whiterun.

Heavy Armor Benefits
The only thing that Heavy Armor has over Light Armor is the higher starting armor; Light is better in every way. Heavy armor weighs more, slows you down, and requires more time invested to eliminate these drawbacks. Later in the game, Heavy Armor can shine, though both Light and Heavy Armor users can reach the armor cap - Heavies just don't have to work as hard or invest as many perk points.

Heavy Armor List

The following Armors are listed by type, in the order of weakest to strongest. Steel armor is the first type of armor that can reach the armor cap by doing smithing upgrades with a high Smithing skill.

Skyrim Heavy Armor List
Armor Type
Ancient Nord*2528125154601052510425---
Steel Plate4038625196300149125146125---
Dragon Plate46402125228105017842517842534151050
Daedric Armor***4950320023151600181062518662536151600

* - requires completion of the Companions Guild Quest line.
** - Two Banded Iron pieces are smithed with Corundum ore.
*** - Daedric Armor is listed last as it has a higher total bonus than Dragon Plate. Smithing requires Daedra Hearts.

Skyrim Heavy Armor Perks

Skyrim Heavy Armor Perks

Juggernaut (5 Ranks, +20-100% armor rating for Heavy Armor)
(level 0/20/40/60/80 Heavy Armor Skill required)
Juggernaut raises your armor rating passively, and will help you easily reach the Armor cap along with the Well Fitted and Matching Set Perks from this tree. Steel Armor can reach the cap with high Smithing, so you may not need 5 points here if you'll get other Perks and invest points into Smithing as well. Otherwise, take 5 points in this to maximize your armor in the late game.

Fists of Steel
(level 30 Heavy Armor Skill required)
Turns bracers into weapons, allowing them to use their armor rating as a damage rating. This can do great damage, though the reach will certainly be found lacking.

(level 50 Heavy Armor Skill required)
When wearing Heavy Armor in the head, hands, chest, and feet slots, your Dragonborn takes half damage from falls.

(level 70 Heavy Armor Skill required)
Makes Heavy Armor weightless and removes the momement penalty, though this does not help with Sneaking - you'll need the Silence Perk for that.

Well Fitted
(level 30 Heavy Armor Skill required)
+25% armor bonus if you are wearing Heavy Armor in the hands, chest, hands, and feet gear slots.

Tower of Strength
(level 50 Heavy Armor Skill required)
50% less stagger when wearing all Heavy Armor.

Matching Set
(level 70 Heavy Armor Skill required)
Gives +25% armor bonus if your four Heavy Armor pieces are all of the same type (Steel, Daedric, Orcish, Dragonplate etc.)

Reflect Blows
(level 100 Heavy Armor Skill required)
Gives a 10% chance to reflect melee damage back to the enemy while wearing all Heavy Armor in the head, chest, hands, and feet gear slots. This can be an amusing Perk for sure, should an enemy occasionally finish himself off by striking your Dragonborn..

Comments (2)

Logan porter says...
This is SOO helpful. Thank you for making this just for me!!

-Logan USA
Cheers Logan, glad you like the site. I loved playing Skyrim so covering it came naturally to me. I wanted to learn how everything worked, and shared a lot of my findings in these Guides.
4th December 2013 12:43pm
Mr. Guava says...
this site helped but what level can you smith the heavy armor at and what come after steel plate. thanks. :)
There is no level requirement to make the first Heavy armor. You can see Smithing level requirements next to each section. Steel Plate is about equal to Orcish, and the next gain in defense comes from Ebony Armor.
9th May 2014 9:08pm
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