I created a set of Dragon Scale armor with 100 smithing and improved them to legendary, they had an armor rating of 584(502 without the shield). Here are the individual ratings for each piece of gear (with 5/5 light armor skill bonus[100%], 25% all light armor bonus, and 25% matched set bonus).

Armor - 232 Boots - 84 Gauntlets - 84 Helmet - 103 Shield - 83

This adds up to 586 (or 503 without the shield) and yet the armor rating I get is 502 without the shield, and 584 with the shield.

I took another set of dragon scale armor and made and improved them while wearing +100% bonus gear to smithing. I got gear with much higher ratings as follows ..

Armor - 300 Boots - 119 Gauntlets - 119 Helmet - 138 Shield - 102

And I still get the same armor ratings, 502 without shield and 584 with shield.

Has this worked properly for anyone else? Could it be a bug? Is this intended? Any information would be helpful =] I'd really like max armor resistance without the shield on.


UPDATE - I took my original set of dragonscale gear back to the workbench wearing my +100% smithing gear and was able to "upgrade" that set to legendary with the new armor ratings and that set worked just fine, must have just been a buggy set of dragonscale gear. Selling it to a vendor and rocking my 674 armor rating without a shield =D

Thanks for the help/ideas guys!

  • Check some basic things. Make sure you have no diseases and you are not over-encumbered. What race are you (kahjiit?)
    – Amy B
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 15:26
  • Wood Elf, no affects ... I can literally wear one piece of gear, mouse over the other and see the +armor rating in green, equip it, and the armor rating doesn't change.
    – rjorgenson
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 16:03
  • Make a new piece of dragonscale, don't upgrade it, equip it with three of the old ones. Do you still see the same numbers? Or: enchant one of the good pieces of dragonscale. Make sure to rename it. Then equip it. Do you still see the same numbers?
    – Amy B
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 17:27
  • One set is enchanted and one is not. The un-enchanted set is the one with higher armor ratings, and it was just made.
    – rjorgenson
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 20:23

5 Answers 5


There shouldn't be an armour cap for items, but there is a cap on the amount of damage you can mitigate (80%) this comes at 567 displayed armour rating.

With that said, even if you go over it should still display what your actual rating is, just won't mitigate more than 80% of the incoming damage.

My guess is a bug or you're doing something wrong.


  • @JoachimSauer Fixed.
    – Mr Smooth
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 12:29
  • What could I be doing wrong? The armor says what it's rating is, all I'm doing is wearing it.
    – rjorgenson
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 16:09
  • @rjorgenson I'm really not sure, it's most likely a bug, but I just said "or you're doing something wrong" in case there's something you've overlooked, which I don't think is actually the case.
    – Mr Smooth
    Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 3:18
  • Well damn =/ I was hoping I was doing something wrong lol. Can anyone out there recreate this bug? I'll try again once I have more scales saved up and do a full reboot/relaunch before I try.
    – rjorgenson
    Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 3:55

This adds up to 586 (or 503 without the shield) and yet the armor rating I get is 502 without the shield, and 584 with the shield.

Armor rating of each piece is rounded when displayed in the UI. The unrounded armor ratings are summed to make the total (which is then rounded for display).

Here's some possible numbers:

Armor - 231.7 Boots - 83.7 Gauntlets - 83.7 Helmet - 102.7 Shield - 82.6

  • Shieldless - 501.8 rounds to 502
  • With shield - 584.4 rounds to 584
  • 1
    I had the same initial thought, but rounding doesn't explain the second set of armor in question.
    – Arkive
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 15:52
  • @Arkive agreed, if the first one is a rounding issue(very possible) it does not explain the second set of equipment.
    – rjorgenson
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 16:05
  • I was going to say this in my answer, because that's what I thought too, but yeah, the second set of numbers is unexplainable to me.
    – Mr Smooth
    Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 3:16

I'm really guessing it's a bug because I'm experiencing the same thing on my Xbox version. I went and did the quest with the Blades and collected the blade armor. Unequipped, it adds up 50 more than what it actually gives me when equipped. So the AR ends up dropping. I've tried to investigate this further, and all the answers I've received is "it's a bug".

A suspicion I have personally, is the armor inevitably adjusts to your level. Let's say, the armor itself has it's own level unequipped, but immediately changes depending on your stats. That would make sense in regards to the instant adjustment the armor makes. I have no immediate way to test this theory so no promises. It just makes sense in my head.

  • I thought of that as well, I tested it again after I gained a level(51 -> 52) and the armor rating was still the same. I plan on testing it more once I get more levels. It would make sense that there was an armor cap per level.
    – rjorgenson
    Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 7:27

The Dragonscale set can go much higher than 502 armor; I just made myself one with 873 armor + 104 shield armor (and I know it can go even higher).

  • Armor: 432
  • Boots: 141
  • Gauntlets: 141
  • Helmet: 159
  • Shield: 104
  • Total: 977

I made it with +100% Smithing enchants (boots, gloves, ring, and necklace, each with +25% Smithing enchantment) and a +82% Smithing potion (total 182% Smithing boost).


The Majesty Dragonscale Armor (Legendary) Armor 654 The Majesty Dragonscale Helmet (Legendary) Armor 309 The Majesty Dragonscale Gauntlets (Legendary) Armor 285 The Majesty Dragonscale Boots (Legendary) Armor 285

Made this with smithing potion 130%, set of armor, ring, amulet and gloves that add a total off 116. smithing skill 100, total of 346%

  • What is your gear to make a 130% smithing potion? Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 10:48
  • @DavidHoang most likely falmer helmet, circlet, gloves, necklace, ring Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 18:33

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