My character is a melee type, and is currently using Light Armor.

Do the perks that light armor provides (extra stamina regen mainly) outweigh the perks and higher armor value that heavy armor provides?

  • Well there is supposedly also less noise from light armor, faster speed and light armor weighs less, therefore you can carry more items.
    – Holger
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 15:30
  • 1
    With a very few number of perks, there is no difference in terms of protection between heavy and light armor. The armor cap is 567. That can be reached, in elven armor, improved with 100 smithing, with 1 perk in Agile Defender and 1 point in Custom fit. forums.bethsoft.com/topic/…
    – Kexlox
    Commented Apr 10, 2013 at 15:21

3 Answers 3


From the looks of things the only differences between the two skill trees are,

  • Tower of Strength (Heavy) 50% less stagger vs Wind Walker (Light) 50% Stamina regen rate
  • Reflect Blows (Heavy) 10% chance reflect dmg vs Deft Movement (Light) 10% chance avoid dmg

I don't know if you reflect 100% of the damage, thus negating it, but I would assume so, otherwise the light armour would be much better in that respect.

Personally I've been stacking Stamina a little to get around this as I use heavy armour, but then again I can tank much more than my follower who is in Elvan armour. Don't forget that you can move quicker and quieter in lighter armour also. I think it's more about your playstyle. Also extra Stamina points increase your carry capacity.

  • is it that you can move more quickly? what about when you get the perk that makes armor weigh nothing? does this perk make it as though you were wearing no armor? I know that it already makes this happen for sneaking Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 15:37
  • I would recommend Heavy Armor for melee combat. It provides more defense and the perks are much more suitable to taking blows. By max level heavy armor, the negative side of heavy armor is basically gone. I used to be light armor and was sick of being 2 hit by random bandits at level 30...now I can tank giants :)
    – Domocus
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 15:42
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    At high levels, Heavy and Light Armor are going to offer identical protection - with appropriate perks and Smithing upgrades, you'll hit the armor cap in a full suit of Hide Armor, or, obviously, anything better than that. So you can feel free to choose based on the ancillary perks (Stagger vs. Stamina Regen, Avoidance vs. Reflection, Looks) Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 2:27

If you were going to wear light armor and use melee a lot, you should switch to heavy armor.

  • 1
    Could you elaborate on why? Just saying that one's better without any reasons to back it up doesn't help much. Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 18:07

Watch this video!!!!

  • 5
    Can you add to your answer the main points of that 17 minute video that you want to communicate? Not everyone wants to wade through a video that long, and this answer also risks becoming completely useless if that video disappears at some point.
    – Sterno
    Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 4:45
  • 1
    Great video, packed with information! For those who are too lazy:P light armor ultimately won(goes in depth why in the video).
    – user30585
    Commented Aug 8, 2012 at 11:02
  • Please don't leave link only answers. If you want to post a YouTube video (which is what it looks like), use the share link. Also, summarize the content of the link or video.
    – Jim Jones
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 4:13
  • While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes
    – Jim Jones
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 4:14

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