So I found the following question, and the top answer here seems to confirm that there is no location specific damage in Skyrim (so no benefit to headshots for instance):

Is there locational damage in Skyrim?

Unfortunately the answers in that question did not address how armour affects the damage calculation. The top answer that did some location-specific damage testing, but did not appear to do any armour-based testing.

My follow-on question is whether armour protection is location specific or cumulative. For example, say I have armour on my chest, feet and hands at 50 points each, but I'm wearing no helmet - does my head benefit from 150 armour, or zero armour?

To put it another way: If I wanted to play a character who doesn't wear a helmet, does that put me at a major disadvantage (because any headshots would effectively be against an unarmoured target) or a minor disadvantage (because my cumulative armour total is slightly less)?

  • Possible duplicate of Is there locational damage in Skyrim? Jan 10, 2018 at 12:00
  • How would it? You apparently read the question and answer you linked, it says that the game doesn't care where you actually hit. Jan 10, 2018 at 12:05
  • The answer says that the game doesn't give any damage boost for hitting specific locations, but it doesn't address how armour factors into that at all.
    – delinear
    Jan 10, 2018 at 12:10
  • It seems this would be answerable by repeating the test in the linked question, first firing at the head of an NPC with no armour versus firing at the head of an NPC with body, leg and arm armour to see if there is a difference (unfortunately I'm playing on Switch so don't have access to the console commands).
    – delinear
    Jan 10, 2018 at 12:15
  • 1
    @Schism I think you're almost certainly correct, I'm just interested in whether someone can confirm either way.
    – delinear
    Jan 10, 2018 at 15:49

2 Answers 2


Skyrim's armor rating is simply flat damage reduction. It also has no location damage. There are no such things as "head shots".

On top of the listed armor rating, each armor piece (head, hands, chest, leg, shield) has a hidden armor value of 25.

Damage reduction also has a cap of 80% reduction, at around 500-600 armor rating. Anything over 667 guarantees maximum damage reduction.

More details at the UESP website


Armor is not location specific, If damage taken is not location specific why would armor need to be location specific?

Also when you are in your inventory at the bottom of the screen, to the left of your total carry weight, you will see your cumulative "Armor Rating"

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