Unlike other game worlds, Bethesda's Tamriel contains a unique mix of wonder and danger. Players of Skyrim find themselves in constant danger as its captivating wildernesses often have various dangers in the form of bandits, wild creatures, and exotic beasts. These risks demand explorers to equip themselves with the best armor and weapons they can find. Adventurers who prevail do end up wearing some of the most powerful pieces of armor in the realm.

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Skyrim shares themes with Morrowind and Oblivion regarding the existence of extremely great armor pieces. Players who end up finding them — be it via quests or via adventuring — may end up boosting themselves with remarkable powers. However, where can players find the best armor pieces in Skyrim's snow-capped landscapes?

10 Aetherial Shield

Aetherial Shield - Skyrim Best Rare Armor

The Aetherial Shield looks like a simple Dwarven Shield. However, this shield inflicts Become Ethereal and Fear on every bashed target. In turn, enemies hit by the shield become Ethereal for 15 seconds — rendering them incapable of attacking or being attacked. They also run away from the player. Interestingly, this effect works on any enemy type, theoretically including powerful bosses.

Thankfully, crafting the Shield is also easy. Players obtain the Aetherial Shield during the "Lost to the Ages" quest by crafting it in the said Forge. They simply need refined Malachine, Dwarven Metal Ingot, and quest-acquired Aetherium Crest. Moreover, players can further upgrade the Shield via the Arcane Blacksmith Perk with a Dwarven Metal Ingot.


9 Ancient Helmet Of The Unburned

Ancient Helmet of the Unburned - Skyrim Best Rare Armor

Fire remains one of the most damaging elemental types in Skyrim. Thankfully, the Ancient Helmet of the Unburned can provide adequate resistance against this damage type. Essentially, this helm grants a 40-percent boost to Fire Resistance — perfect against vampires who cast spells. Despite how "normal" this effect might seem, players might remember that only jewelry, boots, and shields ordinarily offer elemental resistance.

Moreover, players can only obtain this armor during "The Staff of Magnus" quest. They can find this helm in a corner near a locked gate in the Labyrinthian Tribune. Additionally, players can further enhance the helm's potency with the Arcane Blacksmith Perk and an iron ingot. Moreover, the improvement receives a double boost if players have the Daedric Smithing Perk.

8 Ancient Shrouded Armor

Ancient Shrouded Armor - Skyrim Best Rare Armor

Members of the Dark Brotherhood admire the secret order's special Shrouded Armor. However, players can actually obtain a more powerful variant of Shrouded Armor known as the Ancient Shrouded Armor. This armor set has 72 Armor with the shield, and 7.5 Weight. Interestingly, acquiring the armor does have some steep requirements. For one, players need to accomplish the bonus requirement of the "Breaching Security" quest. This bonus unlocks the "Locate the Assassin of Old" quest from Olava the Feeble. Once accepted, players can find the armor in Hag's End, worn by a dead assassin in a secret room behind the throne.

However, players can bypass this requirement. They can go next to the wall with the secret door and activate the Ritual Stone ability. Afterward, players should sprint outside of Hag's End, where the Assassin of Old and its followers will surround the player. Once the Assassin of Old is dead, players can also loot it for the armor.

7 Blackguard's Armor

Blackguards Armor - Skyrim Best Rare Armor

Thieves need just the right kind of armor for their heists, and this armor generally needs a lot of pockets. Thanks to Blackguard's Armor, players can pair their best longsword with an appropriate sneaking attire with some bonus enchantments. Players can find this armor displayed in Glover Mallory's basement. If players complete "Paid in Full," Mallory will give the player the key to his basement and the freedom get all items they want. Likewise, Mallory will give the key if players join the Thieves Guild, talk to Mallory, and open the topic about the mark on his door.

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As a set, Blackguard's Armor has 72 Armor and 13 Weight. Interestingly, Blackguard's Armor has exactly the same enchantments as the Thieves Guild Armor and the Guild Master's Armor, with improvements on some parts. When worn as a whole, Blackguard's Armor provides bonuses to Lockpicking, Pickpocketing, and a boost to Carrying Capacity. Players also get 25-percent better prices.

6 Deathbrand Armor

Deathbrand Armor - Skyrim Best Rare Armor

Adventurers who have been to Solstheim know that it's the only place in Skyrim with Stalhrim Ore. However, while the Stalhrim Armor Set does exist, the Deathbrand Armor serves as its more powerful variant. Interestingly, aside from its similarities in terms of appearance, Deathbrand Armor only boasts 78.5 Armor and 13 Weight. However, its set bonuses eventually make it much more potent than Daedric Armor, the highest-rated armor (and even common weapon) in the game.

Players can acquire the armor while doing the "Deathbrand" quest. Moreover, Stalhrim Ore and the Arcane Blacksmith Perk plus the Ebony Smithing Perk can double the improvements done when Deathbrand Armor is enchanted. In terms of bonuses, Deahtbrand Armor boosts Stamina, Carrying Capacity, Dual-Wielding attacks and One-Handed attacks with each piece worn. It also adds a whopping +100 Armor bonus if players wear the full set.

5 Diadem Of The Servant

Diadem of the Servant - Skyrim Best Rare Armor

Whereas fighters wear helms to protect their head in fights, mages and clerics often wear circlets and lighter headpieces to channel their magic. In Skyrim, the Diadem of the Savant serves as one of the best headpieces in the game. Alone, it only offers 7 Armor and 4 Weight. However, its greatest benefit lies in its enchantment, as it reduces 5-percent Magicka Cost for all spells.

Players can acquire the Diadem once they pass the Trial of Conjuration trial, inside the Dremora mage within Shalidor's Maze. Moreover, players can find this on a wood chopping block next to Froki's Shack, and it respawns in a few days.

4 Guild Master's Armor Set

Guild Masters Armor Set - Skyrim Best Rare Armor

Compared to Blackguard's Armor, the Guild Master's Armor (and in turn, the Thieves Guild Armor) boasts a more covered appearance. Whereas the Blackguard's has more pockets, the Guild Master's Armor boasts a stealthier appearance befitting a rogue. As a whole, the set offers 76 Armor and 17 Weight. Moreover, possessing a piece of leather can further boost the set's potency.

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Interestingly, it offers some unique perks when acquired. These include a boost in Carrying Capacity, Pickpocket success, Lockpicking success, and better prices.

3 Konahrik

Konahrik - Skyrim Best Rare Armor

Konahrik serves as the mask of one of the most powerful dragon priests in Skyrim. As with the other masks, Konahrik can only be obtained by defeating the dragon priest of the same name. However, in the case of Konahrik, players need to possess all the other previous masks, as well as entry into Bromjunaar Sanctuary below Labyrinthian.

Interestingly, the mask also has unique abilities like the others. Konahrik has Konahrik's Privilege, which contains two abilities. First, players who hit 15-percent Health will receive a 15-percent chance of the mask healing them via Grand Healing - perfect against strong werewolves. Moreover, if this effect procs, then the mask grants players with Flame Cloak for 10 seconds as well. Additionally, hitting the same health grants players with a 3-percent chance of healing as well as summoning a Spectral Dragon Priest Ally.

2 Spellbreaker

Spellbreaker - Skyrim Best Rare Armor

Spellbreaker returns from Oblivion as a unique shield with its own unique ability. Lore-wise, Spellbreaker serves as the Daedric artifact of Peryite, the Daedric Prince of Pestilence. As the name suggests, Spellbreaker can protect its wielders against potent forms of magic.

Technically-speaking, Spellbreaker gives players a Magicka shield of 50 points whenever they block. Players can obtain this item via "The Only Cure" Daedric quest. Interestingly, players can upgrade Spellbreaker via the Arcane Blacksmith perk and a Dwarven Metal Ingot. However, it doesn't benefit from other Smithing Perks.

1 Visage Of Mzund

Visage of Mzund - Skyrim Best Rare Armor

Players who see Visage of Mzund for the first time might think of it as an ordinary helm. However, at 24 Armor, it ties with Konahrik as the helm with the highest base armor. Moreover, it does have some interesting perks. For instance, the helm grants Fortify Stamina of 60 points.

Moreover, it bestows the Breath of Nchuak to players, a lesser power that enables players to blast steam off the mask for 15 damage per second. Players can acquire the Visage of Mzund on a table inside the Dwemer Ruin Fahlbtharz, just north of Solstheim.

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