How to Choose Your Armor in ESO
This Elder Scrolls Online ESO armor guide covers the basics of the various armor types in the game, as well as the thought process behind choosing which armor would be best suited for your character.
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to choose your armor type based on your role:
- Light Armor – Healing (PvP and PvE), Magicka DPS (PvP and PvE)
- Medium Armor – Stamina DPS (PvP and PvE)
- Heavy Armor – Tanking (PvP and PvE), Magicka PvP, Stamina PvP
A lot of times players will ask, “Should I wear just one of these armor types or a combination?” I highly recommend wearing a combination to get benefit from Undaunted Mettle, a passive from the Undaunted Guild skill line that gives more max health, magicka and stamina based on the number of different gear weights worn. While you used to need to wear 5 pieces of your main armor type to get full benefit from the passives, that’s no longer the case! However, I still often like to do that, as it allows me to get maximum benefit out of my armor weight of choice while still being able to get the maximum benefit out of Undaunted Mettle. This is how I choose what to do with my armor weights:
- Does your build have high max stats or in need more max stats? Wear 5/1/1 (where 5 is your main armor weight)
- Need more HP as a stam/mag dps? 5/2/0 (where 2 is heavy)
- Using heavy in PvP as a mag DPS? I recommend going 3/3/1, offsetting all the negative costs and giving you a good split of damage and tankiness. For stamina, if you’re trying to use heavy armor, I’d recommend a 5/1/1 if you feel your sustain is acceptable, otherwise use 5/2/0 (where 2 is medium).
- Healer or Tank? I recommend trying 5/1/1, but you could also forego the medium piece and use your main armor type to buff up those passives if you don’t think the max stats are worth it.
- Going for pure damage or pure tankiness? 7/0/0. Your max stats will suffer a bit, but you’ll get the most benefit out of your main armor type.
- Some builds for PvP use different ratios of the armor weights to help maximize benefits and minimize drawbacks for PvP combat, but this is highly build dependent though. For a general rule of thumb, you can use the ratios I mention above and have success!
As of the Flames of Ambition patch, certain armor types now have drawbacks & bonuses when you wear them! These bonuses are based on the number of pieces of that weight worn, and they are as follows:
- Light Armor
- Reduces Magical damage taken by 1%
- Reduces the cost of roll dodge by 3%
- Reduces the movement speed penalty of sneak by 5%
- Reduces the cost of break free by 5%
- Reduces the cost of bash by 3%
- Increases damage taken from Martial attacks (aka physical/stamina attacks) by 1%
- Increases the cost of block by 3%
- Decreases bash damage by 1%
- Medium Armor
- Reduces the cost of sprint by 1%
- Reduces the cost of sneak by 5%
- Reduces the cost of block by 3%
- Reduces damage taken from area of effect attacks by 2% for 2 seconds after using Roll Dodge
- Increases movement speed by 2% while immune to crowd control
- Heavy Armor
- Reduces damage taken from Martial attacks by 1%
- Increases the amount of damage blocked by 1%
- Increases damage done with bash by 3%
- Reduces damage taken while immune to crowd control by 1%
- Increases damage taken from magical attacks by 1%
- Reduces movement speed bonus of sprint by 1%
- Increases roll dodge cost by 3%
- Increases size of detection area while sneaking by 10%