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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Heavy Armor

By
Scott Peers

This page details an overview of the Heavy Armor skill in Skyrim, including recommended perks, leveling tips, and where to find Heavy Armor trainers.

Heavy Armor, Skyrim.

Heavy Armor Overview

Heavy Armor determines the armor rating of Heavy Armor you wear. Various perks in the tree will further increase your armor rating, increase unarmed damage, decrease fall damage, eliminate movement penalties, and reflect damage back on the attacker.

Heavy Armor is… well, heavier than light armor, but it also tends to have a higher Armor Rating. Your Armor Rating mitigates physical damage you take, up to a maximum of 80% reduction with an Armor Rating of 567… more or less. The higher your Heavy Armor skill is, the higher your Armor Rating for all suits of Heavy Armor, meaning you’ll need to look to perks to decide the matter.

Recommended Perks

Suggested Perks Ranks
Juggernaut 1+
Fists of Steel 1
Cushioned 1
Conditioning 1

Two things to keep in mind; unless you’re marrying the Steed Stone, you will want to reach the Conditioning perk, which means getting at least one rank of Juggernaut, Fists of Steel and Cushioned, which are really kind of a waste. Second, keep the magic number 567 in mind. It’s the maximum effective value of Armor Rating. If you haven’t reached this amount after getting to Conditioning while wearing the armor of your choice (upgraded with Alchemy and Smithing, of course), you’ll need to either pick up the Lord Stone for another 50 points, or put some more ranks into Juggernaut.

In all honesty, the Heavy Armor skill tree is not as impressive as the Light Armor tree. If only Daedric Armor didn’t look so appealing… Well Fitted, Tower of Strength and Matching Set just aren’t all that great and Reflect Blows in wholly unimpressive. Most enemies will not be doing nearly enough damage to make this worthwhile, and certainly not compared to what you’ll be doing to them. If you want to wear Heavy Armor anyway, just get Conditioning and whatever ranks of Juggernaut you need to hit the magic number of 567 Armor Rating.

Leveling Tips

Getting hit levels up your armor skills, the bigger the damage, the more experience you gain. Armor skills are another set of skills you should save for after leveling up the crafting skills… aside from incidental levels you’ll gain from doing other things, of course.

In the case of the armor skills, they’re ideally leveled at the same time you start leveling up Restoration. A fine approach is to create armor that eliminates the Magicka cost of Restoration spells, find a helpful Mammoth, provoke it, then find a nice corner to prevent you from getting knocked around too far. While the Mammoth attacks you, double cast double-cast Healing and let the Mammoth knock you around. You’ll ultimately end up getting hit a lot, and fairly hard (adjust the difficulty sliders to keep your Health recovery positive), but you’ll level armor skills quickly. Get a helpful rubber band to hold down your buttons (or weigh down whatever keyboard buttons you use to cast spells) and wait a bit.

Heavy Armor Trainer Locations

Trainer Skill Level Location
Gharol Expert (Lv. 51 - 75) Dushnikh Yal (Orc stronghold south-east of Markarth)
Farkas Master (Lv. 76 - 90) Whiterun, Jorrvaskr

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Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Bethesda Softworks
  • Platforms
    PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, XB 360, XB One
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    31 May 2012
  • Last Updated
    19 October 2021
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Greg Wright

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Skyrim is the homeland of the Nords, a fierce and proud warrior people who are used to the bitter cold and mountanous terrain that mark the lands of Skyrim. Wracked by civil war, and threatened by the return of the legendary dragons, Skyrim faces its darkest hour. You must make sense of this maelstrom, explore the frozen tundra and bring hope to the people. The future of Skyrim, even the Empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons. You are that Dragonborn.

Version 1.2

  • Introduction to the Races.
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  • Dragonborn DLC covered in full.
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  • Character Creation guide.

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