I've seen two questions about followers and armor and the conclusion was:

  • They will refuse different kind of armor than the one they're trained for (eg. heavy vs light armor)
  • They will not equip weaker armor in favor of stronger armor

I've given Ebony Armor (78 armor; Heavy Armor type) to Lydia, enchanted with health regeneration and flat HP bonus. She still refuses to wear it. I've stolen her Steel Armor (56 armor; Heavy Armor type), but not only that she didn't equip the Ebony Armor - she also has respawned the Steel armor again.

Is there any way to get her to wear the Ebony Armor save cheats?

  • 1
    How did you obtain the armor?
    – Ben
    Feb 6, 2017 at 5:20
  • 1
    @Ben I don't remember but it's not stolen item. Feb 6, 2017 at 7:17
  • Is Lydia your follower? I've never had an issue with her refusing to wear better heavy armor while following me.
    – DCShannon
    Feb 7, 2017 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


You don't specify whether Lydia is your active follower or just hanging out at "home" (in Dragonsreach, Breezehome, or Sky Haven Temple). Your mention of her re-spawning made me question whether she is your active follower. Depending on that detail, this is either an Answer or just a very long, formatted Comment.

You may want to modify your understanding of NPC armor choice a bit.

  1. When not actively following you, NPCs will wear their default apparel.

    1a. Membership in the Blades changes an NPC's default apparel to be Blades Armor & gear.

  2. When actively following you, an NPC may replace their default gear with items in their inventory which give them the greatest numerical armor value.

    2a. Numerical armor value is the item's base armor value plus any bonuses the NPC gains from skill levels and perks. As such, an NPC may use an armor piece for which they're not trained if it is much better than any available alternatives for which they are trained. This is easiest to see when an NPC's has armor skills but their default apparel is simple clothing. i.e Ogol or Cosnach

    2b. Outdoors in the sunlight, Serana may prefer her default hood over something numerically superior. Go figure.

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