So, you’ve dumped thirty to fifty hours into From Soft’s latest death fest. As a once timid Tarnished wet behind the ears afoot the precipice of the vast Lands Between, now you’ve slain that Tree Sentinal with ease, cut down groups of Trolls as if they were nothing, and triumphantly put down Margoth and claimed Stormveil Castle.
You’ve died many [many] times but are now adept and at one with your weapons of choice—the different slash types, guards, and counters that were bewildering at first have now been embedded within you forever.
And it’s good you’ve achieved these things; the world of Elden Ring is one you must quickly adapt to. But while your combat prowess—your ability to know when to strike and how to kill—is indeed a huge focal point, it’s not the only consideration so far as your survivability is concerned.
As I did, you’ve probably neglected to pay attention to what you’re wearing up until now. Your ability to play takes precedence for many, many hours into the game, but now that you’ve become comfortable with your playstyle, it’s important to consider the other elements.
As you progress into the later game, armor is going to become an important part of your experience, both in terms of your ability to protect yourself against the most dangerous enemies and in the increasing importance you’ll no doubt place on the aesthetics of your character.
As you become better, and while the game does indeed become harder, a player’s focus shifts away from the anxiety of death and onto showcasing their newfound brilliance to the world. There’s a ridiculously large array of different ways you can choose to dress, and so now that you’ve graduated from prey to predator, you can use this article to guide you in establishing your identity in the game.
Having spent many subsequent hours searching for the perfect armor, I’m here to bring you the greatest armor sets that I’ve discovered on my journey to become Elden Lord.
Bottom Line Up Front
If you’re in a rush and just want the key details, here’s what you should know about armor sets in a nutshell:
- Armour as a whole is categorized into individual pieces and can be mixed and matched to your liking.
- Despite this, there exist armor sets: groups of armor that comprise all component parts to make one complete outfit.
- Alongside offering very unique looks, armor sets will usually offer particularly high stats in one or more areas.
- Armor sets can be found within the Lands Between either from merchants, hidden around the world or as a reward for defeating an enemy.
I also recommend checking out the Frequently Asked Questions section at the bottom of this article—you never know, it might answer that burning question you’ve had about armor since starting the game!
Armor Sets: What You Need to Know
As is the case in nearly all modern RPGs, armor isn’t ordinarily considered as one unit. Fundamentally, you’ll have to individually equip legwear, upper body, gloves, and headgear as separate items as you find or purchase them around the world. Nonetheless, each of these individual pieces of armor belongs to a single set, and this is what we refer to when we say armor set. Completing and wearing an armor set means that you’ve collected individual pieces of a certain style to make one complete outfit.
There are currently a total of seventy-seven unique armor sets in the game, with more expected to be coming in the DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree. They can vary quite considerably from one another across several key parameters: there are fourteen stats you need to get used to, and they are grouped into two categories: damage negation and resistance. Let’s take a look:
Damage negation stats are pretty simple: the higher the number in these categories, the more your armor will absorb damage, thus negating its effects on your body. The first four Damage Negation stats encompass physical attacks with weapons and include Physical, VS strike, VS slash, and VS pierce.
The VS stats dictate how well your armor defends against these three physical attack types, while the physical stat denotes an overall damage negation from weapon-based attacks. Then you have Magic, Fire, Lightning, and Holy below this, which mirror the physical attacks. Just think of damage negation stats as the counterpart to your attack stats.
The resistance stats require a little more explanation, but they’re still straight-forward:
- Immunity: This stat dictates how much an armor set provides resistance to poisons and Scarlet Rot.
- Robustness: The higher your robustness stat, the better your chances are of mitigating the effects of frostbite and blood loss.
- Focus: Focus provides resistance to the effects of madness and sleep. You won’t come across these status effects often, however.
- Vitality: This stat relates to the status effect of Death, a relatively uncommon but nonetheless deadly status effect inflicted by some enemies.
- Poise: Poise dictates the likelihood of being staggered by an enemy, with higher values allowing the player to resist heavier attacks and not be knocked down.
There’s also the Weight stat, which doesn’t fit into either category. This dictates how heavy your movements will be when wearing a set of armor. Heavier sets are usually a trade-off between higher physical defenses and lower agility; you’ll notice your rolls are heavier when using these sets.
What to Consider when Choosing an Armor Set
There are several different builds in Elden Ring, which serve to group a collective set of skills that you use to win your battles. Which armor set you choose can be tailored to your build; if you’re going for a high-strength run, you’ll want to prioritize stats that offer high damage negation levels and high Poise, for example, enabling you to mitigate the risk of leaving yourself vulnerable when performing heavy attacks.
It’s worth noting, however, that armor will only provide a relatively small buff to a given build, and as such, many experienced players simply pick something that looks cool. You’ll often find that the aesthetics of an armor set align well with its functionality anyway, so this shouldn’t be too much of a consideration.
Occasionally, you’ll find some pieces of armor as part of an armor set that boosts one stat while lowering another. This should be carefully considered: that helmet might increase your stamina significantly, but is it worth it at the expense of your health? Or is it worth it just to look cool? Choosing an armor set, just like most choices in Elden Ring, can be complicated, so try not to be one-track-minded.
You might currently be considering which armor set you’re going to rock for most of your playtime. As you learn about the different regions—the weather, terrain, and enemies found there—you’ll find that certain resistances or damage negation stats are more favorable.
Try to find an armor set that fits both your build and the situations and environments that you’ll most likely encounter. Using an armor set that has strong protection against Scarlet Rot probably won’t be much help to you in the early game when you’re exploring Limgrave, for example.
Here are the criteria I used to narrow down the selection of ten below:
- Must be an official set: While you may have seen some custom combinations on Reddit and Youtube, this list will be dealing with officially verified armor sets only. There are a lot of cool matches out there, but I want to make sure my choices are standardized and accessible.
- Will be balanced between stats and aesthetics: Choosing an armor set comes down to the desired stats and how it looks on your character, but none of the entries will be tailored wholly towards one or the other. Rather, each will take into account both aspects.
- Ordered in my preference: I’ve selected each of these armor sets having enjoyed using them personally — but I still have favorites even within this shortlist. As such, the list is ordered from favorite to least favorite, with number one being my top pick.
The Top Ten Armor Sets in the Elden Ring
Mushroom Armor Set
- Obtained by searching the Seethewater Cave at Mount Gelmir.
- Main Perk: Particularly high resistance against scarlet rot and poisons
This set has to be the weirdest set not just on this list but in the entire game. I don’t know what new sets the Shadow of the Erd Tree DLC has in store for us, but it’s going to have to really pull out the stops to top the uniqueness of the mushroom set — a piece that can really only loosely be described as armor in the traditional aesthetic sense.
As the name suggests, this set adorns your character head to toe with fungus, and it’s the number one set you should use when you require resistance against Scarlet Rot and poisons.
The beauty of this set is that its low weight of 12.1 pounds means that you can easily carry it around with you without it weighing you down. That way, on the occasion that you need it, you can quickly zip into it. To get it for yourself, head to the Seethewater Cave at Mount Gelmir. Gaining entry to the cave requires the use of two Stonesword Keys, and once inside, you can find the set not far away in a small cavern. You’ll know you’ve found the area when you encounter a giant poison flower.
Cleanrot Armor Set
- Obtained by: Slaying Cleanrot Knights
- Main Perk: Significantly high stats on all fronts for an early armor set and high Immunity.
As I discussed in the intro, many players neglect to focus on armor earlier on, but if you do happen to come across this article as a beginner, I have a great set for you to go looking for. It’s the perfect all-rounder, with significantly higher stats in all categories than any other set you’re likely to get your hands on in the early game. Interestingly, it also has one of the highest Immunity stats in the game at 150.
It does mean venturing into the Caelid Wilds, however — an area a beginner shouldn’t ordinarily attempt. This is where the Cleanrot Knights roam — loyal servants of Malenia. They’re a tough fight, and to obtain the armor, you’re going to need to fight a few of them.
Upon defeating a Cleanrot Knight, they will drop a single piece of the Cleanrot set, meaning that you’ll have to put down at least four of them [and that’s if you’re really lucky!] to get the set. A great place to go knight hunting is the Aeonia Swanps, right at the heart of Caelid.
Lusat’s Armor Set
- Obtained by: completing the Sorceress Sellen’s questline and returning to the location where you first met Master Lusat.
- Main Perk: Moderate buffs to three specific sorceries: Stars of Runi, Star Shower, and Glintstone Stars.
First and foremost, this crazy space-suit-looking armor set wins points alone for being one of the wackiest armor designs in the game; I was immediately drawn to how out of place it looked, appearing at first glance as some sort of fantasy sci-fi hybrid. It’s an exemplar of how creative the designers are in creating these sets and a testimony to why obtaining armor sets has become a huge hit with players.
Aside from its awesome look, though, the set does also have clear benefits for a character running a magic-focused build. When worn, Lusat’s Set increases the damage of the sorceries Stars of Ruin by 15% and Star Shower and Glintstone Stars by 10% [even though it also increases the FP cost of all sorceries by 15%, so it’s definitely a trade-off].
To get it, you must complete Sorceress Sellen’s questline. Once you have completed the quest, all you need to do to get the armor set is return to the Sellia Hideaway, where you’d ordinarily find Master Lusat, and Lusat’s set can be found on the ground where he used to stand.
Tree Sentinal Armor Set
- Obtained by: Solving the Chariot puzzle at Auriza Heroes grave
- Main Perk: Strong balance between all defensive attributes: very well rounded
For most players, myself included, The Tree Sentinal was a very quick reality check for how brutal the game was set to be going forward. You spot him immediately in the near distance when you step out into Limgrave for the first time, his pristine gold armor shimmering under the all-encompassing light of the Erd Tree.
You’ll be smacked down immediately if you try and take him on, and you’ll have to spend many hours in the game before you stand a chance. You might think that when you finally defeat him, you’ll get to try out that cool get-up yourself, but to the player’s dismay, it fades away into dust with him and his steed.
Thankfully, you can get your hands on the set later on. If the player goes to Auriza’s Heroes Grave in Altus Plateau, they can obtain the armor by destroying three chariots within the area. Doing so requires solving a puzzle I won’t spoil, but having done so, you’ll now have the helm, torso, gauntlets, and greaves in your inventory.
Aside from looking awesome [I’ve noticed that wearing this set really showcases how impressive and artistic the lighting effects are in Elden Ring], this set is great for most playstyles as it offers a balanced buff to all defensive stats in largely equal amounts.
Black Knife Armor Set
- Obtained by: searching under one of the small archways in Ordina.
- Main Perk: High efficiency when using stealth and high Robustness
If you were anything like me, you honed your stealth skills early on. There might not be a direct stat related to stealth, but it’s certainly a very valuable attribute to have: sneaking up on an enemy and performing a backstab nets you a huge amount of initial damage on your enemy and can be the difference between you willing and losing a fight.
The Black Knife Set is my number one choice for stealth encounters. It drastically lowers the noise you make when walking, ensuring that most enemies are totally oblivious to your presence until you’re an inch away. Alongside this main perk, the armor is particularly strong in the robustness stat.
To get your hands on it, you must travel to the snowy town of Ordina, a liturgical ghost town found far north of the Consecrated Snowfield. You’ll need to activate the Lift of Rot to gain entry to the path that takes you here, but once you reach the town, weave through to the right-hand side of the village until you get to three incrementally ascending archways. You will then find the armor set on the ground underneath the smallest of these arches.
Lionel’s Armor Set
- Obtained by: traveling to Lower Capital Church in Leyndell and exploring the small buildings
- Main Perk: Excellent Poise: this is the strongest suit of armor in the game.
So granted, this one looks pretty ridiculous; it’s not exactly what you picture when you think of a heroic and majestic warrior. Nevertheless, sometimes appearances give way to function. This is by far the best armor set if you need to stand steady against the strongest blows from the game’s toughest enemies. Surprisingly, the equip load isn’t as bad as you might expect at 50%, meaning that you’ll still be agile enough to swiftly deal a deadly blow to your undoubtedly less protected foes.
To acquire this set, you’ll need to travel to Lower Capital Church in Leyndell, Royal Capital. It can be collected in its entirety from one of the small buildings near the church. If you’re lucky, you may already have touched the site of grace at the church but have just missed the armor, making this a super easy find!
Radahn’s Lion Armor Set
- Obtained by: Slaying General Radahn and then purchasing the set from a seller at the Roundtable.
- Main Perk: High damage negation stats in all categories.
This list couldn’t be complete without Radahn’s Lion Set, the armor of the combattant who is considered the most dangerous warrior in the Lands Between: Starscourge Radahn. With its silver trimmings, shoulder cape, and red-mane helmet, this armor set looks fantastic; if you’re looking for a set that says “I’m the boss”, there are not many contenders.
The player will acquire Radahn’s armor after defeating him at Redmane Castle, but you won’t get it for free even after slaying this beast of a boss. Once you have won the fight, talk to the Finger Reader Enia at the Roundtable Hold, and you can buy each individual piece to complete the set.
The illustrious helmet, gauntlets, and greaves are eight thousand runes each, while the torso piece will set you back twelve thousand runes. The armor is heavy but agile enough, offering excellent all-around damage negation and balance for many different builds. It’s a superb choice for early to mid-game players.
Blaidd’s Armor Set
- Obtained by defeating Blaidd and searching the Three Sisters area of Caria Manor.
- Main Perk: A high Robustness score and well-balanced damage negation.
With the head of a wolf as a helmet and an ornate amalgamation of fur and metal on the body, this is definitely one of my favorite-looking sets in the game, and it’s no wonder that it’s become a fan favorite. This is the set worn by the half-wolf Blaidd, and unusually, you’ll have to head to two separate locations to get hold of the full set.
Getting all but the helmet is achieved by defeating Blaidd himself, which is part of the witch Ranni’s questline. Once slain, the player can take the torso, arm, and leg armor, but you’ll then have to travel to the Three Sisters area of Caria Manor and search inside the tower on the furthest extremity to the left. There, you’ll find the helmet.
As well as standing out aesthetically, the set is another great all-rounder, with a particularly good robustness score of 169. The armor can also be altered to have the cloak removed for a more slimline appearance.
Malenia’s Armor Set
- Obtained by beating Malenia in combat and buying the set from a seller at the Roundtable.
- Main Perk: Minimal equip load and high Robustness and Immunity
If you need a stylish and effective light armor set in the late game, look no further than the Queen of Rot’s getup. As is the case with most of these legendary sets, obtaining them requires you to beat the set’s rightful owner in combat, and in this case, you’ll need to slay Malenia, one of the toughest end-game bosses you will face [if you need help with that, be sure to check out our Malenia guide].
Once the battle is won, head back to the Roundtable and speak with Enia to buy the set. You’ll have to purchase each piece, and the entire set will net you a whopping 56,000 runes.
To look as cool as this, it’s all worth it, though. What’s more, Malenia’s set offers surprisingly high Robustness and Immunity stats for light armor, along with a minimal equip load of 20.5. Considering this is an expensive late game, you’ll also find it to be buffed with high general damage negation and resistance in all categories—the perfect choice for a quick and deadly combatant!
Crucible Axe Armor Set
- Obtained by: slaying Crucible Knight Ordovis at Auriza Hero’s Grave
- Main Perk: Large increases to damage negation stats
The Crucible Knight is a formidable field boss because of his impressive balance between a trifecta of agility, defense, and brute strength. Naturally, then, the armor they wear is of great benefit to the player and is something that is highly sought after upon the first encounter with this enemy. You’ll encounter Crucible Knigts all over the Lands Between, but to get the armor for yourself, you’ll need to fight an especially difficult Crucible called Ordovis.
Venture to Auriza and then to Hero’s Grave, which is located in the eastern section of the capital’s outskirts. Once there, you will make your way through a maze of deadly chariots until you enter a boss chamber and encounter Crucible Night Ordovis. Take him down, and the Crucible Axe armor set in its entirety will be yours to claim.
This set is my go-to for straight-strength builds, and my favorite armor of all aesthetically speaking. It offers huge advantages against all types of damage, be they physical or elemental, and by the time you’ve acquired the skill and tenacity necessary to defeat Ordovis, you’ll be a truly terrifying foe in this set!
As we know, there are a lot of different armor sets to choose from in Elden Ring — far too many to remember and also to include in a top ten list like this. The above details a snapshot of my favorites, but be sure to give the following sets a look too!
- Carian Knight armor: A solid medium-weight armor set with a good balance between physical and magical defense. You can find it at the Raya Lucaria Academy on a statue near the Church of the Cuckoo Site of Grace.
- Raging Wolf armor: A medium-weight set with particularly strong Robustness. Found following the assassination of Vargram the Raging Wold during the Volcano Manor questline.
- Twinned armor: Another medium-weight armor with high Vitality and Robustness. Obtained at the end of the D, Hunter of the Dead quest.
- Banished Knight armor: A great choice for those seeking heavy-weight armor: strong Immunity, Robustness, and Vitality. Find it by defeating a Banished Knight at Stormveil Castle, Castle Sol, Cathedral of Dragon Communion, or Crumbling Farum Azula.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Should I carry multiple sets at once?
Answer: To prevent becoming over-encumbered, I’d only prioritize carrying a second set if it has a specific use case, such as the mushroom set, which is light enough to not weigh down your inventory. Otherwise, just stick to one armor set at a time.
Question: Do we have any idea as to what new armor sets will be coming in the Shadow of the Erd Tree DLC?
Answer: Unfortunately, no. In fact, we don’t really know anything about the new DLC in general! All we have so far is a high-resolution piece of artwork that From Software posted on Twitter and the title. As I discussed in my Miquella guide, the DLC is likely to focus on the demi-god Miquella, but beyond this, no one really knows. We don’t actually know for sure that we’ll be getting any new armor sets, but we can probably assume we will.
Question: Should I prioritize stats or style?
Answer: This is one of the most common questions about armor sets that players have, and it predates Elden Ring to most previous From Software titles. There are a lot of different opinions on the matter, but my advice would be to consider both on a case-by-case basis.
As we’ve explored above, armor stats can certainly make a difference, but the skills and abilities you’ve learned are going to account for the vast majority of your success, as are your weapon stats. In this sense, an experienced player will be able to wear pretty much anything and get the job done.
I hope this guide on armor sets has been useful to you. In the beginning, make sure to try out lots of different sets and combinations until you find something you like. You can’t predict what will gel with your specific build and playstyle until you try it out! If you have any more specific questions about specific armor sets, I highly recommend asking a question on the Elden Ring subreddit.
Engaging with the community to discover other people’s experiences is an excellent way to discover your own sensibilities. Above all else, have fun!
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