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Elden Ring best armor: Sets, locations, and more

Elden Ring
Elden Ring (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

While Elden Ring's flashy weapons and spells tend to get the most attention from players looking to trick out their characters with powerful builds, having a quality set of armor is important too. Aside from making you look cool, a lot of in-game armor also provide your character with several benefits.

With that said, it can be difficult to know which armors in Elden Ring are strong and which ones are mediocre or don't offer any notable advantages. That's why in this guide, we're going to go over eight useful Elden Ring armor sets that you shouldn't miss, as well as what makes them so good and the locations where you can find them in the Lands Between.

Elden Ring armor: What to look for

Source: Bandai Namco (Image credit: Source: Bandai Namco)

When selecting armor to wear in Elden Ring, you'll generally want to pick pieces or sets that offer a great balance between protection and weight. You want your armor to reduce damage and give you as much poise (the stat that determines how much you resist being interrupted while attacking) as possible, but it's also important to avoid armor that's so heavy that it renders your dodge rolls slow and ineffective. This occurs when you have a Heavy Load. Thankfully, you can view the weight of your load in Elden Ring's inventory menu, along with the weight, poise, and damage resistances of each piece of armor you've acquired during your journey.

Something important to highlight is that in Elden Ring, armor doesn't offer a flat damage resistance. Instead, each piece of armor offers individual resistances to different types of damage. These include various physical damage types such as strike, slash, and pierce, as well as elemental and magical damage types like magic, fire, lightning, and holy. If you're about to go up against opponents using a particular type of damage, wearing armor that's particularly resistant to that damage will be majorly beneficial. Note that nearly all of the armors we've chosen for this list are well-rounded and offer effective protection from most damage types.

Finally, you should also check the item descriptions of armor pieces you obtain to see if they provide additional bonuses. Many armor pieces in Elden Ring provide small buffs to your character's core stats, enhance particular types of magic, or even make it harder for enemies to detect your presence. In some situations, it may be worth it to wear armor that provides these bonuses even if they offer worse protection compared to armor pieces in a similar weight class.

Elden Ring best light armor: Black Knife Set

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Elden Ring Black Knife Set

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Black Knife Set Location

The best light armor set in Elden Ring is the Black Knife Set. Aside from offering solid protection and being easy for any character to equip due to its low weight, it also allows its wearer to move around in complete silence. This prevents enemies from hearing you if you're behind them, even if you're sprinting or rolling, so you don't need to crouch. This makes sneaking up to your foes for backstabs easier and faster to do.

You can find the Black Knife Set under an archway in Ordina, Liturgical Town in the Consecrated Snowfield region. In order to reach this area, you'll need to find the Malenia, Blade of Miquella secret boss.

Elden Ring best medium armor: Raging Wolf Set

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Elden Ring

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Elden Ring

If you're looking for a good medium armor set that provides strong protection while still being light enough for most builds, the Raging Wolf Set will be perfect. It's one of the lightest medium armor sets in the entire game, yet it offers excellent damage resistance. This means that all but the lowest Equip Load builds will be able to equip it without having to worry about having a heavy load that hinders your ability to dodge.

You can eventually pick up the Raging Wolf Set after killing Vargram the Raging Wolf in a large structure on the west side of Leyndell, Royal Capital, but you need to progress the questline at Volcano Manor first.

Elden Ring best heavy armor: Lionel's Set

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Elden Ring Lionel's Set

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Lionel's Set Location

There are several different heavy armor sets in Elden Ring, but the best one for most players will be the Lionel's Set. While it does look a little goofy, it nevertheless offers the best overall balance between weight, damage reduction, and poise. This is an excellent armor set for Strength builds, though it's also an excellent choice for Dexterity builds with high Endurance.

You can find Lionel's Set in a small bedroom just west of the Lower Capital Church Site of Grace in Leyndell, Royal Capital.

Elden Ring best poise armor: Bull-Goat Set

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Bull Goat Set

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Bull Goat Set Location

If you're a Strength user that wants the maximum possible poise, look no further than the Bull-Goat Set. When wearing all four pieces, your character will have a staggeringly high, ridiculous poise stat of 100. Paired with a large weapon like a greatsword or a greathammer, this armor will ensure that nothing short of special boss attacks will stop you from committing your melee swings. The armor also offers superb protection, though it's important to note that it weighs a ton. You'll need a lot of Endurance if you want to equip this armor and fight effectively.

You can get the Bull-Goat Set by killing Great Horned Tragoth by invading him near the Ruin-Strewn Precipice Overlook Site of Grace to help the Patches NPC. Note that in order for Patches to appear in the Volcano Manor and ask you to kill Tragoth for him, you'll need to have progressed his questline in Limgrave and in Liurnia and will also have to complete one assassination contract for Lady Tanith in Volcano Manor.

Elden Ring best immunity armor: Mushroom Set

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Mushroom Set

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Mushroom Set Location

No, we're not joking — the Mushroom Set is genuinely one of the best armor sets you can find in Elden Ring. Unlike other sets that provide great protection or increase stats like Intelligence or Dexterity, the Mushroom Set massively boosts your resistance to Poison, Scarlet Rot, and Death (also known as blight). Wearing this set will make traversing Elden Ring's numerous poison swamps much easier since it will significantly slow the rate at which you get afflicted by the aforementioned status effects.

You'll find the Mushroom Set in the Seethewater Cave in central Mt. Gelmir, located in a large room filled with poisonous flower enemies.

Elden Ring best mage armor: Spellblade Set

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Spellblade Set

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Rogier's Location

There are several different armor sets in Elden Ring that provide sorcery mages with benefits like improved Intelligence or a slightly higher Mind stat for extra mana, but overall, we feel that the Spellblade Set is the best armor set for mages. Not only does the set provide decent protection considering its very light weight, but each piece of it also boosts the power of glintstone sorceries by 1%. A four percent buff doesn't sound like much, but that extra damage adds up over time, especially since glintstone sorceries are some of the best Elden Ring spells available.

To get the Spellblade Set, you'll need to progress the Sorcerer Rogier NPC questline until he dies (you can also simply kill him, if you want). Rogier can initially be found in the chapel in the northwest section of Stormveil Castle. He will then move to the Roundtable Hold hub area after you kill the Godrick the Grafted boss.

Elden Ring best Dex armor: White Reed Set

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White Reed Set

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White Reed Set Location

Dexterity setups are some of the best Elden Ring builds, and the best overall armor to use with them is the White Reed Set. The chestplate, gauntlets, and greaves all offer a great balance of protection and weight, and the set's Okina Mask helmet provides you with an extra three points of Dexterity. It also reduces your Focus slightly, but this isn't really a problem since Focus only determines your resistance to Sleep and Madness — two status effects you'll rarely encounter throughout your adventure.

You can find the chestplate, gauntlets, and greaves of the White Reed Set within the Spirit Caller's Cave found next to the giant lake in the Mountaintops of the Giants. The Okina Mask can be found after killing the Bloody Finger Okina invader in the southern portion of the Mountaintops of the Giants, just east of the Church of Repose.

Elden Ring best Faith armor: Haligtree Knight Set

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Haligtree Knight Set

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Haligtree Knight Set Location

While many of Elden Ring's best weapons work great with Faith builds, the same sadly cannot be said for the game's armor sets. Despite this, there is one armor set that we highly recommend using with Faith characters: the Haligtree Knight Set. The helmet increases your Faith stat by two points, while the set as a whole offers great damage resistance despite not being too heavy.

The armor set's chestplate, gauntlets, and greaves can be obtained by killing Haligtree Knights in the Elphael, Brace of the Haligtree area, while the helmet can be found at the top of a ladder adjacent to the Elphael Inner Wall Site of Grace.

Elden Ring best Arcane armor: Silver Tear Mask

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Elden Ring Silver Mask

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Elden Ring Silver Mask Location

The Silver Tear Mask is one of the best pieces of armor in the game for players using Arcane builds, as it raises your Arcane by a whopping eight points. This will make Bleed weapons proc the Bleed status effect much faster, and it will also increase the damage done by Arcane-based items like Occult weapons and Dragon Incantation spells. It only offers minimal protection, but the significant increase in your Arcane stat will be more than worth it in most situations.

You get the Silver Tear Mask by defeating the Mimic Tear boss in the southeastern portion of Nokron, Eternal City. Once the boss is killed, the mask will be added to your inventory automatically.

Elden Ring is finally here, and it's available for $60 on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and PC. It's one of the best Xbox games you can play right now if you're a fan of challenging RPGs, and we strongly recommend it.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.