Protecting yourself in Skyrim is vital, and this is why several skills in the game are either oriented toward improving your healing or toward absorbing the damage that various monsters and aggressive NPCs can deal you. Light armor & heavy armor are skills that you really can’t get away from, even if you’re playing magic oriented character, you will at one point in time have to wear at least some armored items. Due to these skills being so common, they are extremely slow to level since most characters wear armor all the time. Due to that, we decided to bring you some effective shortcuts for level light armor & heavy armor more efficiently.
The more damage you take, the more experience you gain in armor-related skills
The way leveling light armor and heavy armor works is identical. Each time you take damage, that damage gets converted to experience points. The higher your enemy hits you, the more experience you gain.
Your armor rating does not affect how much experience you will gain from a specific hit. For example, wearing a heavy armor set with the highest armor rating in the game will receive the same amount of experience as a heavy armor set with the lowest rating. However, if you have access to higher-end heavy armor while training, I recommend using it since every bit helps.
When it comes to differences between leveling heavy or light armor, players tend to level up heavy armor faster because it incentivizes them to receive damage. In contrast, light armor encourages you to dodge blows and move rapidly while you’re able to. These differences, however, do not exist if you’re trying to level up skills artificially, as it’s in your best interest to receive damage even if you’re wearing light armor.
Wear a full set of heavy or light armor while you’re trying to level skills
If you’re on a path to level up light or heavy armor at the same time, it’s a bad idea to mix both sets of armor.
Wearing three pieces of armor for the same type will reward you with less experience than if you’re wearing four pieces of the same armor type. This is not affected by the strength with which your enemy punches you.
The same goes for light armor. The more pieces of light armor you’re wearing, the more experience you will gain. Wearing clothes will likewise decrease your overall experience. If you are, by any chance, forced to wear a mixed set of armor while leveling, you should know that you will not gain experience in both skills.
Only one armor skill will be awarded points, depending on how many pieces you’re wearing. If you’re wearing three pieces of heavy armor and one piece of light armor, obviously, the points will go to heavy armor. If you wear an equal amount of armored items, the skill will be chosen at random to receive the experience points.
To level slowly but safely, go for the low-level enemies
The easiest approach to level up both light and heavy armor is to locate a low-level enemy and attack it without killing it. Maintain the aggro, and just let it throw punches at you.
Mudcrabs and skeevers are a good choice for this tactic if you’re at the point in the game where you are able to tank their damage for a long time without using up healing resources.
It’s even better if you’re at the end of the game and you’re health is leveled enough that the pace at which it’s restored is slightly higher than the speed at which mud crabs and skeevers can damage you.
Skeevers will not report you to the guards, and attacking them won’t incur any type of bounty. If you are lover-level, you still need to utilize potions or spells to keep yourself from dying.
Once again, this is typically a slower way to level light and heavy armor, but it’s efficient if you’re strong enough that you can leave your character unattended for hours on end while the character slowly accumulates experience.
Training with giants will level your armor skills fast, but it’s dangerous
The quickest way to level up light and heavy armor is to locate a giant camp with two giants and let them beat you to shreds. You need to have at least 300 health for this to actually be efficient, so you don’t instantly die as soon as you attempt to tank some damage. You will need to stock up on potions since Giants are able to pack a punch significantly more painful than mud crabs and skeevers.
In any case, you will level up skills fast, especially if you’re starting from zero.
You boost your skills somewhat quickly with free skill boosts
Free skill boosts are not something that you can usually rely on when it comes to leveling efficiently, but if you’re a high enough level and leveling armor has become a drag due to the high ceiling of achieving a level-up, they are useful. Still, most of the “free” skills boosts aren’t really free, and you still need to do something to get them, usually a quest.
You can get free heavy armor skill boosts from:
- Brunwulf Free-Winter – as a part of a radiant quest that involves clearing a bandit hideout.
- Giraud Gemane – as a part of the ‘Rjorn’s Drum’ Quest at Bard’s College.
- Wulf Wild-Blood- involves traveling to Solstheim. You get +1 to Heavy Armor if you manage to solve the ‘Filial Bonds’ Quest. It’s buggy as hell and most of the time remains uncompleted.
- Oghma Infinium – you can receive +5 heavy armor if you choose the Path of Might while reading Oghma Infinium, but you will only receive the book after you complete the ‘Discerning the Transmundane’ quest, which is quite lengthy.
You can get free light armor skill boosts from:
- Shahvee – involves clearing up a random dungeon to retrieve Shahvee’s amulet of Zenithar.
- Annekke Crag-Jumper – also involves solving a radiant quest that involves defeating a Bandit Leader within a random dungeon.
- Inge Six Fingers – You can get a +1 light armor boost after you solve ‘Finn’s Lute’ quest at Bard’s College.
- Oghma Infinium- only if you choose the path of Shadow.
Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!