Disclaimer: The information in this article are presented in a much more confident manner than is appropriate for the methods used and results arrived at within the contents of this article. Do not use this to support any point you may make, it does not hold up to the modern understanding of build and armor-optimization that has developed over the years.
An Armor Comparison and Best Armor analysis for Dark Souls and Dark Souls Remastered is provided on this page. Please note that the designation of Light, Medium, and Heavy for a set of armor is not an official game designation. This classification was created by the Dark Souls community based upon how the Endurance stat functions.
As a character increases his endurance, his stamina and equip burden concurrently increase. Equip burden has no limit - it continues to increase as a character continues to put levels into endurance up to the maximum endurance level, which is 99. Stamina, however, caps when a character reaches 40 endurance.
Because of this, many players (especially using a character who is going through the game for the first time) agree that dedicating more souls to increase endurance beyond 40 is a waste due to the fact that you aren't gaining any additional stamina for each level you gain in endurance, and are only increasing your equip burden.
Following this line of thinking, there are 3 stages of movement speed through which a character can pass as the weight of his equipment increases. If a character is under 25% of his maximum equip burden, he moves very fast (walking, running, and rolling). If a character is between 25% and 50%, he moves slightly slower. If a character is above 50%, he moves significantly slower.
If a character has 40 endurance, this gives him 80 maximum equip burden. This means that the 25% and 50% limitations on movement speed correspond to a total weight of 20 and 40, respectively.
This is where the community designations of light, medium, and heavy armor come in. Not considering weapons, a set of armor is considered "light" if its total weight is 20 or less. A set is "medium" if its total weight is between 20 and 40. A set is "heavy" if its total weight is over 40. In general, a character wearing light armor will move very quickly, a character wearing heavy armor will move very slowly, and a character wearing medium armor will move at a speed that falls between these two extremes.
A player's style of play is heavily influenced by how fast that character can move. So, the first decision to make is how fast you want to be able to move. Do you want to be a very fast, agile character who focuses on evasion? Do you want to be a slow, plodding, unkillable juggernaut who takes every shot with a smile? Or do you want to be somewhere in the middle and more balanced between these two extremes? The answer to this question will determine which armor sets you will want to use, as some will make your character move very slowly, while others will not protect your character from incoming damage very well despite how fast you can move while wearing them.
What is the best armor in Dark Souls?
With all of these things considered, many players wonder what the "best" armor is for their chosen style of play (fast or slow). The short answer to this question is that there is no" best" armor. There is only better armor, but whether or not a piece of armor is better than another is dependent upon the enemies you will be facing. Attacks in Dark Souls can damage a character in may different ways - physically, through lightning damage, through fire damage, etc. Each piece of armor has varying levels of defense for these different types, and so the "best" piece of armor for a given situation will be the piece that gives the highest amount of protection against the most common damage types that you will be facing. For instance, in the Undead Burg, the vast majority of damage that you will face is physical with a very small amount of fire damage. Because of this, armor with a very low physical defense rating and a very high magic defense rating is probably bad armor to wear through this area of the game.
However, if the only armor that is light enough to keep your character under your chosen level of equip burden has low physical defense and high magic defense, then you may still choose to wear that armor over a set with better defense because that set with better defenses also has higher weight. The general rule is that heavier armor gives better defenses than lighter armor. Unfortunately, this general rule breaks down when considering armors that are very close in weight value.
As an example, consider three different stating armor sets - Wanderer Set, Bandit Set, and Thief Set.
- Wanderer and Thief weigh exactly the same. Poise and Curse resistances are identical (at zero). Thief has higher Bleed and Poison resistances, higher physical defense, and higher magic defense. Wanderer, however, has higher fire and lightning defense. In this case, since both armor sets weigh the same, equip burden is not a factor - if you can afford to wear one, you can afford to wear the other. However, if you will be facing a lot of fire attacks, for instance, Thief is "worse" than Wanderer.
- Wanderer and Bandit have almost identical physical defense, but Wanderer is better in every other category, having higher magic, fire, and lightning defense and higher Bleed and Poison resistances. However, Wanderer weighs 1.2 more than Bandit. So, if you want to move fast and that extra 1.2 will put you over your equip burden limit, you may wish to choose Bandit instead of Wanderer because you value movement speed over numerical defense.
- Finally, consider Thief and Bandit. Thief has higher defenses and resistances in every single category, but weighs 1.2 more than Bandit. If you only have access to these two armor sets and you can spare the extra 1.2 on your equip burden, then there is no reason to choose Bandit over Thief. Thief is directly better, not considering weight.
As another consideration, upgraded armor is, understandably, usually better than non-upgraded armor. Further, some armor sets can only be upgraded with rare materials like Twinkling Titanite.
So, what is the best strategy for choosing which armor you will wear?
For the most part, a character should follow these steps:
- Decide how fast you want to move.
- Calculate the total weight of all of your most commonly equipped weapons/shields/catalysts/talismans/etc.
- Wear the heaviest armor that, when combined with the weight of your weapons, still allows you to be within the equip burden range that you chose in step 1.
Following these steps will allow you to choose armor that gives you the most defense you can have while still allowing you to maintain your chosen play style (fast or slow). Of course, as you spend souls to increase your endurance stat, your equip burden will go up and expand your options for armor within your play style.
What about upgrades?
If you are trying to decide on which armor sets you should spend resources to upgrade, the idea is that you don't want to spend valuable resources upgrading a set of armor and then increase your endurance stat so that you can now wear heavier armor, making your lighter, upgraded armor obsolete. The good news is that, for the most part, upgraded armor is almost always better than non-upgraded armor if the two sets being compared are very close in weight. This means that, generally, spending resources to upgrade a set of armor will make that set the best armor that you possess, unless you decide to make a huge jump in weight. For instance, if you have been wearing a set of partially upgraded armor that weighs 10 and decide to switch to non-upgraded armor that weighs 35, the heavier armor will probably be better, even non-upgraded, than your lighter armor. So, as long as you decide to continue to operate within your same equip burden, you don't have to worry about wasting resources upgrading your armor.
Note on Heavy Armor
All of the heaviest armor sets (those weighing 40 or more) either cannot be upgraded or are only upgraded with Twinkling Titanite. As you are already wearing the heaviest armor in the game, some armors are directly better than others. Consult the following table to determine the best armor for various defenses:
|Defense Attribute||Highest Non-Upgraded||Higher if Upgraded?|
|Physical||Smough's Set||Giant Armor Set|
|Fire||Smough's Set||Black Iron Set|
|Poison||Iron Golem Set||Black Iron Set*|
*The Painting Guardian Set+5 has MUCH higher poison resist (260.4) than either the Black Iron Set+5 (80) or the Iron Golem Set (77) and higher magic resist (181.4) than Havel's Set (142); however, as its other stats are much lower, it is not recommended for players expecting to be able to take a hit. Also, if combining sets, note that the painting guardian set is unusual in that the leg armor is the best part (except in MagDef: that's the chest).
~The Paladin Set +5 has a curse resist of 186.7, whereas Havel's Set only has 57. It is also very good in several other categories, and therefore useful to any character fighting where he/she can be cursed.
Following this chart, Smough's Set is the most versatile non-upgraded armor set in the game, having the highest physical, fire, lightning, and bleed defenses. The Giant Armor Set has higher physical and fire defenses when fully upgraded, but still has a lower lightning and bleed resistance. Havel's Set, among all heavy armor sets, has the highest magic, poise, and curse resistance, and has the distinction of having the highest poise out of every set of armor in the entire game. Most heavy armors have zero or very low curse resistance, and probably should not be worn when fighting enemies with curse abilities.
Overall Superior Armor
Looking at aggregated stats for each set
- Clearly not all armor sets are ideal for every situation however, for those looking for an overall best balanced set, here are our top findings (below).
- Ratings (points and ultimately a grade out of a total of 100) are determined by stats exclusively and not any other factor (aesthetics, style, etc)
- Points are affected positively by physical, magic, and elemental resistance along with bleed, poison, and curse resistance and finally poise
- Points are affected negatively principally by higher weight along with lower durability stats
Best Armor Overall
- Armor of the Sun +10* (as a full set)
- Royal Helm +10* (individual head gear)
- Paladin Armor +5 (torso protection)
- Wanderer Manchette +10 (arm protection)
- Elite Knight Leggings +10* - OR - Iron Leggings +10* (leg/foot protection)
Additional Superior Armor Overall (in descending order of quality)
Showing top ten or fewer sets, looking at best overall aggregated stats for each armor type
|Armor of the Sun +10*||350||9||84.7||84.7||84.7||83||50.8||50.8||46||16||32.2||22.4||14||489.4111||100|
|Cleric Armor +10||500||12.5||96.8||96.8||111.3||96.8||55.7||50.8||36.3||20||32.2||22.4||0||463.9611||95|
|Elite Knight Armor +10*||450||11.7||94.4||91.5||109.5||94.4||41.1||43.6||36.3||20||32.2||22.4||0||449.6211||92|
|Balder Armor +10*||450||10.9||89.5||87.7||109.2||86||36.3||43.6||36.3||16||28||22.4||0||437.3011||89|
|Armor of the Sun +9*||350||9||76||76||76||74.4||45.6||45.6||41.2||16||29.9||20.8||13||434.6111||89|
|Cleric Armor +9||500||12.5||86.8||86.8||99.8||86.8||49.9||45.6||32.6||20||29.9||20.8||0||403.8611||82|
|Armor of the Sun +8*||350||9||70.3||70.3||70.3||68.9||42.2||42.2||38.2||16||28.7||20||12.5||399.7111||82|
|Elite Knight Armor +9*||450||11.7||84.6||82.1||98.2||84.6||36.9||39.1||32.6||20||29.9||20.8||0||393.0211||80|
|Brass Armor +5||600||10.9||74.4||71.4||84.1||74.4||41.9||38.8||38.8||16||30.5||25.4||14||392.0011||80|
|Silver Knight Armor +5||600||12||80.6||75.8||92.7||79||40.3||44.9||52.7||19||30.5||15.2||2.5||390.3111||80|
|Royal Helm +10*||500||4.5||38.7||33.7||38.7||38.7||24.2||24.2||14.5||8||22.4||16.8||0||240.7611||100|
|Iron Helm +10*||350||4.5||33.9||33.9||33.9||33.2||24.2||24.2||21.8||8||16.8||11.2||2.8||224.7611||94|
|Royal Helm +9*||500||4.5||34.7||30.2||34.7||34.7||21.7||21.7||13||8||20.8||15.6||0||215.9611||90|
|Iron Helm +9*||350||4.5||30.4||30.4||30.4||29.8||21.7||21.7||19.5||8||15.6||10.4||2.6||201.3611||84|
|Royal Helm +8*||500||4.5||32.2||28||32.2||32.2||20.1||20.1||12.1||8||20||15||0||200.7611||84|
|Iron Helm +8*||350||4.5||28.1||28.1||28.1||27.6||20.1||20.1||18.1||8||15||10||2.5||186.5611||78|
|Royal Helm +7*||500||4.5||29.6||25.8||29.6||29.6||18.5||18.5||11.1||8||19.2||14.4||0||185.1611||77|
|Dark Mask +5||300||3.8||27.9||27.9||30.7||26.2||18.6||18.6||15.5||6||15.2||10.2||0||183.4711||76|
|Helm of Thorns +5||250||4.1||26.3||25||28.7||26.3||15.5||18.6||12.4||6||12.7||8.9||0||164.7011||69|
|Paladin Armor +5||500||12.9||91.4||86.9||105.2||91.4||48||57.3||29.4||20||43.2||30.5||72.4||510.4011||100|
|Armor of the Sun +10*||350||9||84.7||84.7||84.7||83||50.8||50.8||46||16||32.2||22.4||14||489.4111||96|
|Cleric Armor +10||500||12.5||96.8||96.8||111.3||96.8||55.7||50.8||36.3||20||32.2||22.4||0||463.9611||91|
|Catarina Armor +5*||400||11.7||88.4||87.5||101.6||88.4||48.1||57.4||29.5||21||43.2||30.5||0||459.8211||90|
|Elite Knight Armor +10*||450||11.7||94.4||91.5||109.5||94.4||41.1||43.6||36.3||20||32.2||22.4||0||449.6211||88|
|Armor of the Sun +9*||350||9||76||76||76||74.4||45.6||45.6||41.2||16||29.9||20.8||13||434.6111||85|
|Cleric Armor +9||500||12.5||86.8||86.8||99.8||86.8||49.9||45.6||32.6||20||29.9||20.8||0||403.8611||79|
|Armor of the Sun +8*||350||9||70.3||70.3||70.3||68.9||42.2||42.2||38.2||16||28.7||20||12.5||399.7111||78|
|Silver Knight Armor +5||600||12||80.6||75.8||92.7||79||40.3||44.9||52.7||19||30.5||15.2||2.5||390.3111||77|
|Cleric Armor +8||500||12.5||80.4||80.4||92.5||80.4||46.2||42.2||30.1||20||28.7||20||0||365.7611||72|
|Wanderer Manchette +10||400||2.1||33.9||36.3||36.3||33.9||29||36.6||32.5||0||18.2||18.2||0||271.6011||100|
|Dark Gauntlets +5||300||5.8||41.8||41.8||46||39.3||27.9||27.9||23.2||9||22.9||15.2||0||262.4711||96|
|Iron Bracelet +10*||350||4.3||41.1||41.1||41.1||40.3||24.2||24.2||21.8||7||15.4||9.8||2.8||251.4211||92|
|Wanderer Manchette +9||400||2.1||30.4||32.5||32.5||30.4||26||32.6||28.2||0||16.9||16.9||0||243.1011||89|
|Black Leather Gloves +10||250||1.8||31.5||33.7||31.5||31.5||29||19.4||21.8||0||19.6||25.2||0||241.0711||89|
|Dark Gauntlets +4||300||5.8||37.5||37.5||41.3||35.3||25||25||20.9||9||21.2||14.2||0||234.3711||86|
|Black Leather Gloves +9||250||1.8||28.2||30.2||28.2||28.2||26||17.4||19.5||0||18.2||23.4||0||217.1711||80|
|Dark Gauntlets +3||300||5.8||34.8||34.8||38.3||32.7||23.2||23.2||19.3||9||20.5||13.7||0||216.9711||80|
|Hard Leather Gauntlets +9||250||3.5||28.2||29.9||28.2||28.2||26||15.2||28.2||0||18.2||15.6||0||206.5611||76|
|Leather Gloves +9||250||2.8||26||27.6||26||26||26||13||28.2||0||16.9||15.6||0||198.5711||73|
|Iron Leggings +10*||350||5.3||50.8||50.8||50.8||49.8||29||29||26.6||9||19.6||12.6||2.8||303.8211||100|
|Elite Knight Leggings +10*||450||6.9||55.7||54||64.6||55.7||26.6||26.6||21.8||12||19.6||12.6||0||302.7011||100|
|Balder Leggings +10*||450||6.4||53.2||52.2||65||51.1||24.2||29||21.8||9||16.8||12.6||0||295.0511||97|
|Knight Leggings +10||400||6.4||53.2||50.6||61.8||52.2||24.2||26.6||19.4||12||19.6||12.6||0||292.3511||96|
|Iron Leggings +9*||350||5.3||45.6||45.6||45.6||44.7||26||26||23.9||9||18.2||11.7||2.6||271.9211||90|
|Elite Knight Leggings +9*||450||6.9||49.9||48.4||57.9||49.9||23.9||23.9||19.5||12||18.2||11.7||0||268.8011||89|
|Silver Knight Leggings +5||600||6.5||43.4||40.8||49.9||42.5||23.3||24.8||29.5||11||17.8||8.9||1.3||252.0611||83|
|Iron Leggings +8*||350||5.3||42.2||42.2||42.2||41.4||24.1||24.1||22.1||9||17.5||11.2||2.5||251.5211||83|
|Brass Leggings +5||600||6.4||40.3||38.7||45.5||40.3||24.8||23.2||23.2||9||17.8||15.2||8.9||247.0511||82|
the best armor is the full set of blacksteel can be upgraded to +5 and have the biggest phisical resist
you state that the Thief set has higher stats in every stat over the Bandit set, but that isn't the case unless the wiki has wrong stats. Bandit has higher stats in every physical category over the thief set, and thief beats bandit in every other category.
Giant armour is the best
You can give me all of the stats and resistances and advantages or whatever but we all know that giant armor with mask of the child is the way to go
just put on giant's armor lol
can someone drop me the royal helm? i dont want to kill vamos if thats an option.
if so i play on xbox one and my gamertag is “l Blank Chan”
Fashughn, Ph. D.; An Exhaustive Methodological Approach to Unseen Variables in Pure Armor Sets
We would first like to thank the dedicated men and women of the community for the exhaustive testing of each piece of armor.
Previously studies measured the visible benefit of using certain types of armors against the opportunity cost of using any other particular armors. Considerable consideration was given for pure armor sets, defined here as armor sets with each piece sharing largely congruent properties to each other piece in the set. These were compared against meta-selected compound sets, defined here as sets in which each piece of armor is selected based on its superior properties to any other piece of gear occupying the same slot. However, technological limitations in the previous research left several unanswered questions.
The primary goal of the present research is to test for the presence of a hidden property of pure armor sets that may offer indirect boosts in player performance, allowing them to be comparably comparable to meta-selected compound sets in a grid of visual aid.
A group of 1 healthy individual was selected at random from a pool of 2 healthy individuals.
To isolate and measure this hidden variable, participant was instructed to try on every piece of armor while being continuously and mercilessly beaten to death by various workplace hazards. Afterward, participant completed a satisfaction survey indicating their degree of perceived performance during the bludgeoning.
Participant results were compared on a longitudinal basis against participant's many past selves. For this reason, we know that the only variable that could possibly be present in the study that could be conflated with the hypothesized hidden stat modifier is a time paradox, which has been confirmed be prior resarch to be impossible. (Einstein, 1972).
Working backwards from e=mc^2 derived over Elizabethean lore, a team of statisticians was able to extract statistically significant statistics on the statistics of pure armor sets versus the statistics of meta-selected compound armor sets. These statistics were then observed.
It was found that pure armor sets should be considered for considerable consideration.
On the debrief satisfaction survey for pure armor sets, participant marked a median score of 5, indicating "Very Dank", while also being the maximum achievable grade attainable by normal means. The mean average score for pure armor sets was marked as 4.9, indicating "Mostly Dank".
For meta-selected compound armor sets, Havel's pieces were ranked an average of 4.5, indicating, "Mostly Dank". However ratings quickly tapered off on all other individual pieces of armor, with the median score for all meta-selected compound armor sets receiving a rating of 3.5, indicating, "Gank Dank".
The present results indicate that there is, indeed, a hidden variable accounting for the widespread efficacy of pure armor sets. The results show a level of performance achieved from pure armor sets that is greater than the sum total of its parts, even after accounting for the naivete of our many past selves.
By transforming our data points from the satisfaction survey over an elemental grid with Lorentzian derivations, the present results also indicate an indication of statistically significant statistics that may indicatively show us a significant indication of the true values for pure armor sets after taking into considerable consideration the hidden, but significant, statistics that may not be indicated by more typical observation.
Our express findings are that retaining the bottom 3 pieces of a pure armor set while interchanging the headpiece offers the most objective protection of any combination of pieces in any given set. This combination was found to be worth:
- 95 Physical Defense
- 50 of each elemental defense
- 500 Poison Resistance
- 3 Pounds
- 2750 Curse Resistance.
The very close runner up was simply any pure armor set, with all stats being the same except for weight, coming in at 2 pounds.
The present study was plagued by one anomalous outlier. This outlier was excluded from the rest of the results, as any particular piece of Havel's set mixed with any other armor consistently outranked any other piece of armor, regardless of weight, region, player endurance or satisfaction.
In honor of our primary investigator, Dr. Fashughn, combined with the smallest worldly unit of statistics measurement, the Soul, we offer the name for these hidden statistics to be regarded as Fashughn-Souls.
Due to limitations in current technology, future studies may wish to improve the participant sample size from 1 to a much more improbable 0. A statistically analysis of this methodology should allow future researched to more precisely cancel out both future and past selves, allowing a more refined measurement of the one true variable.
Is there any knowledge on how the damage reduction works? like "this amount of armor points reduces the damage by that many damage points/ this much %"?
This is good but maybe add a thing we’re it says the best armor for a weapon and shield that total to 8 weight and best armor with fast roll at 50 endurance with Havel ring and the armor has the most defense in all kinds of defense except curse and poison and toxic but bleed.
Thankyou for this
If anyone is wondering if it's possible to have over 70 poise while still being able to quick roll (and using the dark wood grain ring if you prefer flips like I do) then I have the perfect armor combination. Helm - Porcelain Mask Torso - Empty Gauntlets - Havel's Gauntlets Leggings - Hollow Soldier Waistcloth Ring 1 - Dark Wood Grain Ring Ring 2 - Wolf Ring With all of these equipped, you have 78 poise, taking up 15.5 equip load, and at 40 endurance (with 80 total equip load) this leaves you with 4.5 left for weapons/shields. Obviously there's very few weapons you can fit with these last few points, but it is possible. If you need more equip load to carry a heavier weapon then put a few more levels into Endurance past 40, you won't get any more stamina but the poise is well worth it.
That article gave me as a newbie some good insight. Thank you.
this wiki section is garbage but nothing else and not even helpful though just tell us which is the best heavy armor ever thats all you need you dont need waste of any paragraph of letters
Is there a difference between Wearing the full set or just part of it? Like a complete set bonus?
is poise not a factor in this?
Giantdad is clearly the superior option to all of these. XD
what do i wear to beat the game