Skyrim is staggeringly beautiful, even compared to contemporary games an entire decade later. It has an immensely expansive storyline and countless different play styles that can give you an incredible experience. But the thing that has undoubtedly kept Skyrim in its lofty position for all these years is its modding community. On Nexus alone, the downloads for Skyrim‘s best armor mods are currently sitting at a healthy 1.8 billion.
I have no doubt that those of my generation (and general level of nerdiness) will recall the endlessly entertaining “Skyrim Mods Weekly” series on youtube, exploring the endlessly growing Skyrim mod community. Whether you’re an OG or new to the game, I’m sure all of us can appreciate the artistic prowess involved in the production of a great Skyrim mod. So today, we here at High Ground Gaming figured it’d be fun to walk through an especially artistic topic: the Skyrim best armor mods.
20 Best Skyrim Armor Mods
Counting down from 20, let’s check out the Skyrim best armor mods around!
20. Medusa Drakul Armors
Author: Zerofrost Satyr | File Size: 99.0MB | Download: View on Nexus
In the spirit of respecting the old masters here, I’d like to kick off our list with armor from the early days of Skyrim modding. Despite being made in the bygone glory days of 2013 (anyone else remember “What does the fox say?”… it was fine), the detail in this mod’s textures is on par with much of what could be gleaned from contemporary designers. The masks in this armor set are particularly striking, somehow managing to cleanly walk the tightrope between fantasy and steampunk in a way that somehow seems to take the best from both.
19. Evil Mastermind Armor
Author: Zerofrost Satyr | File Size: 30.8MB | Download: View on Nexus
Ok, so I may be harping on the masks a little bit too much here, but I just can’t ignore the intricacy of these designs. Especially with this one.
What you have here is essentially the perfect assassin armor mod. It takes the sleek mystique of the nightingale armor and pads it out to look both cooler and more practical with its various steel reinforcements. Then, apparently just to show off, the creator went ahead and did a full retexturing, creating entrancingly intricate patterns all over the armor, and topping it all off with a mask that genuinely makes one feel like a medieval version of Corvo Attano.
18. Dreamburrow’s Regal Huntsman Armor
Author: Dreamburrow | File Size: 120.1MB | Download: View on Nexus
The similarities between this armor and the previous is a bit fortuitous. At first glance it’s almost the lighter mirror image of the Evil Mastermind armor, though don’t let that restrict your imagination.
What you have here is really a jack-of-all-trades of armor. Combining elements of the Dragonborn cultist robes, dragonscale armor, and other robes, all wrapped up with a healthy retexture, this is an armor set for any playstyle. Wanna defeat Alduin and save the world in a vanilla way? Wanna become the most powerful warrior in all of Skyrim and strike fear in the hearts of others? Wanna murder a bunch of orphans in Riften? (please don’t though)
No matter the way you move your character, this armor will never not work.
17. Aetherium Armor and Weapons Compilation
Author: Lautasentenni | File Size: 70.4MB | Download: View on Nexus
Ok, so this mod just makes me irrationally happy. The Dwemer were an industrial society in the ancient past of the Elder Scrolls, and with all the machinery in their ancient ruins I was always a bit disappointed that their equipment was just ok.
This mod is exactly what the game was missing. One of the only lore-friendly high-tech equipment mods I’ve ever seen, it introduces everything from a magicka-powered Iron Man suit to a Dwarven railgun, all with seamless integration and dazzling designs. I mean with Elder Scrolls’ appropriate power armor, I can’t help but calling this the best heavy armor mod in Skyrim.
16. Immersive Armors
Author: Hothtrooper44 | File Size: 944.1MB | Download: View on Nexus
This is really one of those mods I would just recommend installing regardless of whether or not you actually engage with it at any point. Really, it’s the essence of why modding has such a powerful impact on a game after its release.
With enough entirely new armor designs to furnish a whole other game, and design quality to rival that of any AAA game studio had I not known that it’s a mod I am certain I could be convinced that this was a legitimate DLC. Even if you never use any of these armors, the aesthetic boon that this will provide to your game will be worth the download, guaranteed.
15. Armor of Intrigue
Author: Patobek | File Size: 94.1MB | Download: View on Nexus
Armor of Intrigue is really the perfect name for this mod. It’s one of those outfits that looks undeniably awesome but utterly defies categorization. It has hints of the assassin, the mage, the warrior, the lone wandering adventurer, and countless other characters. It has enough chainmail and padding to look credibly protective but is still subtle enough that wearing it won’t make you feel like a juggernaut walking through the markets of Whiterun. Simply an exceedingly well-rounded set of armor, and as always has the detail of a true work of art.
14) Dread Hunter and Huntress Armor Echo
Author: Echo 1162 | File Size: 13.7MB | Download: View on Nexus
I have to give this armor set credit simply for the sheer resourcefulness of its design. I typically try to avoid armor mods that are just a new combination of various vanilla armor models, but this one just… pulls it off.
Again, you have perfect balance. It’s not just clothing, it’s armor that looks like it can really take a punch, yet one can wear it without feeling like a bumbling tank. In another world, I’d honestly imagine this armor as a set of the “medium armor” that Skyrim never included. Alas, at least we can be thankful to the authors for one of the best female armor mods in Skyrim to our reality.
13. Stormlord Armor
Author: Christian Paskota | File Size: 14.6MB | Download: View on Nexus
As one of the best Special Edition armor mods out there, this bit of a niche piece. But I really feel like it adds an incredible amount to the game.
Frankly, I can’t be the only one who was a little disappointed with Ulfric Stormcloak’s outfit. The man is the leader of a warrior-culture rebellion and the self-proclaimed High King of Skyrim, and yet he merely wears a slightly furrier set of regal robes.
With this mod, you get Ulfric in a set of true Nord’s armor, a set worthy of Ysgramor with the attendant bear carvings and Stormcloak crests. Even when siding with the Empire, this armor set both make the final battle that much more epic, and provides a much more enticing prize for completing the civil war.
12. Thieves Guild Duelist Armor
Author: Echo 1162 | File Size: 10.2MB | Download: View on Nexus
This is a bit of a lighter entry than some of the others on this list, but I feel like it deserves a shoutout all the same.
I love the Thieves Guild questline as much as the next guy. It’s a totally different playstyle from much of the rest of the game, it has all the intrigue and dimly lit corridors of the best Steampunk mystery, and yet everybody is walking around in these very blatant “Hi I’m a thief!” outfits.
I like the Thieves Guild Armor design quite a bit, but it’s always struck me as a bit too much of a uniform for a bunch of career criminals. This armor fixes that perfectly, by simply making the damn thing a bit more casual. What kind of thief is going to walk into every heist with an impeccably buttoned-up outfit? The loose shirt and undone jacket just provide a fix to the armor that the game sorely needed.
11. Crimson Ranger Armor
Author: Patobek | File Size: 52.4MB | Download: View on Nexus
I love this armor because it provides a beautiful implementation of an aesthetic that Skyrim had severely under catered to: the disheveled drifter.
Much as it’s not a glamorous label for your character, I’m sure we can all understand a playthrough of this sort. A consummate wanderer, stealing when convenient, making deals with Daedric lords left-right, and center, and yet never fully wafting into the realm of true evil. Really, the epitome of chaotic neutral. This is just so well reflected in the armor; the ragged stitching, the patchwork exterior, the bandoliers, and poison-holding pockets.
10. Akaviri Samurai Armor
Author: Hothtrooper44 | File Size: 7.4MB | Download: View on Nexus
This is one of those mods that really just fulfill a need that the game utterly overlooked: we see that the Akaviri swords are katanas. The Japanese influence is blatant, so why can’t any of us take those swords and be a bonafide samurai?
That is essentially the role of this mod. It’s simple, it’s lore-friendly, it just adds in something that the game really should have already had in the first place. A rare and often under-appreciated post for a mod to occupy.
9. Daedric Mage Armor
Author: Natterforme | File Size: 7.9MB | Download: View on Nexus
In the same vein as number 10, this too is a type of armor that really would have been a welcome addition to the base game. This armor looks so natural in the Skyrim environment that I’m honestly a bit surprised it’s not part of the base game when I see it.
In the base game, there really are no great “dark sorcerer” outfits. Necromancer robes are essentially potato sacks painted black, and the dragon priest masks are cool and neutral enough that they could be incorporated into most builds. What you have here is the armor for a true evil mage; combining the darkness reserved for warriors in vanilla with the simple elegance of one of the countless mage’s robes in the game. Simply because it fills that gaping emptiness in Skyrim of the lack of evil sorcerer’s robes, this is really a must-have mage armor mod.
8. Vagabond Armor
Author: Hothtrooper44 | File Size: 28.9MB | Download: View on Nexus
Finally, Nightingale armor for the true mountain man.
In essence, that’s what this armor is. A set of sleek and ornate armor layered with furs and pelts to brave the vicious Skyrim winters. This combo works shockingly well. The nightingale armor is one of the most gorgeous armor sets in Skyrim, but frankly, there’s snow everywhere. You need to bundle up a little bit if the immersion is going to be in any way believable. Above all though, this armor set just feels so appropriate to Skyrim, combining the jack/jill of all trades adventurer look with the heavy warm clothing that acknowledges that Skyrim is horribly cold. I’d definitely consider it a contender for best light armor mod in Skyrim.
7. Grandmaster Ursine Armor
Author: Jrc0011 | File Size: 81.7MB | Download: View on Nexus
For this list, I tried to avoid armor sets ported from other games, but I’m just a sucker for the Witcher 3, and the effort that went into this design is just too clear to be overlooked.
The Witcher 3’s Witcher armor sets are some of the best-designed armor in gaming history. Every single one is deserving of respect, and seeing such a perfectly clean port of one of their best into Skyrim is just too good to pass up. I encourage all of you to just take a look at the images for this mod because they truly speak for themselves.
6. Einherjar Armor
Author: Omesean | File Size: 32.6MB | Download: View on Nexus
In a game of Viking and Norse aesthetics, this has to take the cake. A baseline steel plates, wrapped up in the warm furs of Skyrim, and finally adorned with a mini dragon skull as a pauldron (and a bottle of mead on the belt, like a true nord) really ties together the look of a grizzled dragonborn, world-weary and perpetually fighting just to make it to the next day. The RP opportunities are endless.
5. DCR – King Crusader Armor
Author: Angilla | File Size: 68.0MB | Download: View on Nexus
A pretty different look from much of the others, but still equally deserving of our attention. If I had to classify this armor into a genre, I’d put it somewhere between Dark Souls and the Witch-King from Lord of the Rings. But it’s definitely not a straight rip from either, rather it seems to be a wholly original mod that seamlessly fulfills the looks of both, while still fitting cleanly into Skyrim lore.
4. Duelist’s Longcoat
Author: Str8maverick | File Size: 19.5MB | Download: View on Nexus
The logic behind this choice is much the same as the Thieves Guild Duelist Armor; it’s simply a believable redo of the Thieves Guild Armor. That said, my additional love for this mod comes from two places: a really kick-ass coat, and much better versatility.
On the first point, to be really frank, I’m just a sucker for good coats, and this mod seamlessly incorporates one into Skyrim lore, looking no more out of place than the Thieves Guild Armor. Secondly, and more importantly, this outfit works for a much wider range of characters: thieves, rogues, assassins, mages, and even pirates could wear this coat and look right at home. That kind of versatility makes for a perfect armor set, basically, one where you can see both your current self and a version of yourself in the world of Skyrim. Personal bias definitely plays a role here, but I would call this the best male armor mod in Skyrim.
3. Dragon Priests Armor
Author: Backsteppo | File Size: 537KB | Download: View on Nexus
This is one of the older mods in Skyrim, but it fills a gaping vacancy in the vanilla game and remains among the Skyrim best armor mods around.
The dragon priest masks were probably some of the most versatile and powerful armor pieces in Skyrim, with incredibly powerful enchantments, high armor ratings, and gorgeous design. Naturally, it was always a shame that the rest of the armor of the priests was not obtainable. Here is where this mod plays its role, with a beautiful, lore-friendly implementation of the full armor set, available for both men and women. Really, this is one of those mods that provide content that the original game was blatantly lacking.
2. Garrett Thief Armor
Author: H34dup | File Size: 26.4MB | Download: View on Nexus
Ok so I know I’m harping really hard on the thief armors, but once again I find myself flabbergasted by a rogue’s armor mod.
The powerful point for this one is its modularity; instead of the rigidly set torso armor options given by all the base game armors, this outfit allows one to really set up the thief’s kit that works best for them.
Do you need extra bandoliers? Do you need some poisons on your belt? Do you just want a subtle outfit with a nice hood and solid protection? No matter what, this mod has got your back.
1. Lost Paladins of the Divines Wrath Armor
Author: Jerros | File Size: 86.8MB | Download: View on Nexus
Anyone who’s read my prior articles knows that I am a bit of a sucker for the paladin aesthetic. The Ancient Falmer Armor is my favorite armor set in all of Skyrim, I love Oblivion’s “Knights of the Nine” DLC, and basically anything else “divine knight” oriented in the Elder Scrolls universe.
This armor set puts all of those to shame. The level of detail put into every single decoration and texture is baffling, the combination of plate and chainmail is shockingly realistic, the modularity and sheen of the armor are dazzling, I could go on endlessly.
I won’t claim this is the best armor in all of Skyrim, but the beauty of this armor is endlessly striking to me, and frankly when it comes to armor mods, beyond simply respecting technical aptitude, what is ‘the best’ is mainly related to what you find appealing. All this being said, I hope my walkthrough of 20 of the best armor mods in Skyrim has provided for all of you some inspiration to seek out a new aesthetic on this timeless game.