I prefer light gear because with very few perks you have very little weight and you are still at the armor cap. But now that I'm planning out a new character I'm wondering how many light armour perks I need.

What I have found so far about getting the best smithing is this:

  • Obviously you need 100 smithing and the create/improve dragon perk.
  • You can get a 15 smithing skill bonus from the quest Unfathomable Depths (huge!)
  • By making Improve Alchemy enchants and Improve Enchanting potions a few times you can create +28% smithing bonus on gear (is this the max?). By putting that on gloves, ring and necklace you can get 3*28 = +84% smithing. By using the bug that you can stack a Falmer Helmet and a Circlet you can add 2*28 = +54% to that for a total bonus of 54+84 = 138%.
  • By making the best Fortify Smithing potion (uses Falmer Helmet stack with Circlet bug) you can get another 147%.

According to the formula found here this would give an effective smithing value of:

Effective smithing = ROUND(((100 + 15)/0.86) - 16) * 2 * 2.38 * 2.47 ~= 1387

Is this the best obtainable? What would the armour value of the created set of Dragonscale have?

Most importantly, would it be possible to reach the armor cap without utilizing the perk "Custom Fit"? This would open the possibility of using a Falmer Helmet + Circlet opening up two more enchants.

Note: I don't want to use is the fortify health bug giving you insane smithing bonuses.

  • So it sounds like what you're really asking is, "How can I reach the armor cap in light armor"? Commented Apr 9, 2012 at 23:23
  • @RavenDreamer: Correct, with the added bonuses "with the least possible perks" and "without Custom fit allowing the use of Falmer Helmet".
    – orlp
    Commented Apr 9, 2012 at 23:25

2 Answers 2


The armor cap is at a mere 567 displayed rating (667 total = 567 displayed + 100 hidden rating. You get 100 hidden rating for wearing armor on head, hands, feet and chest).

If you are serious about spending the minimum perks for light armor capping, you shouldn't use dragon and you shouldn't use enchanting/alchemy. You should do this.

You can reach 610 armor rating with 9 perks and minor un-perked assistence from alchemy or enchanting. 567 is the armor cap.

  • You get 100 hidden rating for wearing armor on head, hands, feet and chest Does the Falmer Helmet count as armor to this? Also, your alternative won't work for me since I need daedric weapons improvement anyway.
    – orlp
    Commented Apr 10, 2012 at 13:24
  • I have no way to confirm if the buggy helmet gives hidden armor rating while glitching. My recommendation is to compensate for the potentially missing 20 armor rating by going for 587 displayed rating. Also, if you're going to dump all those perks into blacksmithing, you're not trying to minimize perks - so just spend where you like.
    – Amy B
    Commented Apr 10, 2012 at 14:34
  • I am minimizing perks, but I'm willing to spend the blacksmith perks for the best daedric weaponry.
    – orlp
    Commented Apr 10, 2012 at 14:45
  • Hidden armor rating is 25 points per piece, not 40 for main armor and 20 for everything else.
    – Jtenorj3
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 18:46

You can find here an article that shows different armor types vs different skill/perk allocations in order to obtain what you want. To sum up, you can make any type of armor reach the armor cap with a few perks in the right location. Not only is reaching the armor cap obtainable, it is actually fairly easy to do so often requiring a fairly low perk investment allowing you to play any style of character you want. The exception to this is robes as they do not start with armor to begin with. With enchanting however I love my sword wielding spell caster in her suit of dragon armor that reduces my spell costs by 75%. (I did not even use the enchant/alchemy loop to get the 29%, the 25% worked just fine for me)

Hope this information helps. Also note none of this is using the Restoration Loop you mentioned ;)

NOTE: That thread is likely trumped by now (maybe they finally got to the shield calculations) as it would often be within a month and that one dates back from December. It does however contain enough pertinent information to make it still relative to what you are seeking.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .