Dark Souls 3 Best Armor: Top 10 Armors Ranked

We rank the absolute Best Armor In Dark Souls 3, based on a lot of factors, including, Looks, Dexterity, and stats!

Dark Souls 3 Best Armor

FromSoftware’s final entry in the Souls series allows players to equip various armor and take on enemies. Having the perfect armor will assist you greatly in your fight against various foes; especially bosses. There are tons of options for you to choose from. This guide will rank the 10 Dark Souls 3 best Armor sets.

Key Takeaways

  • Dark Souls 3 focuses on the armor’s strengths and weaknesses. The armor sets are ranked according to their effectiveness, with the Catarina Set at number 10, and the Iron Dragonslayer Set at number 1.
  • The Catarina Set is an effective armor with great stats and boosts poise but is weak against curse and strike damage.
  • The Xanthous Set is ideal for mage users, as it offers a great balance between defense and resistance to elemental damage but is weak against physical attacks.
  • Gundyr’s Set is obtained by defeating Iudex Gundyr, the first boss, and is effective with good defense and amazing poise.
  • The Dragonscale Set is worn by the Nameless King and offers great defense against fire but is weak against lightning-based damage.
  • The Exile Set offers excellent physical protection and has a high poise but is quite heavy and offers low elemental protection.
  • Leonhard’s Set offers decent defense and resistances with a high bleed resistance but has a low poise and offers low physical defense.
  • Wolf Knight Set is effective against abyssal enemies and offers good physical defense but is weak against fire damage.
  • Alva Armor Set offers good defense and mobility but is weak against strike damage.
  • The Undead Legion Set offers good mobility and defense against bleed and poison but is weak against lightning damage.
  • The Iron Dragonslayer Set is considered the best armor in Dark Souls 3, with excellent defense against fire, high poise, and high durability. However, it is weak against lightning-based damage.

While you can mix and match various armor sets, this guide will take a look at the complete set and rank them. At the end of the day, the armor depends on the player’s choice but there are some options that are better than others. With that said, let’s take a look at the Top Armor in Dark Souls 3.

Best Armor in Dark Souls 3

Out of the many armors in Dark Souls 3, we picked and ranked the top 10 for you to try during your playthrough. All of these armors provide various stats and resistances. You can even combine parts of different armors to get the stats that you are looking for. We will be going over the top 10 armor; highlighting their strengths as well as weaknesses.

Some of these armors require tons of souls so we suggest that you properly farm souls and then purchase the armor sets. With that said, let’s get started with our number 10 Dark Souls 3 armor on the list.

Catarina Set

Best Armor in Dark Souls 3
Ashen One wearing the Catarina Set
Physical Resistance40.5
Strike Defense30.9
Slash Defense41.1
Thrust Defense39.2
Magic Defense25.8
Fire Defense27.8
Lightning Defense32.6
Dark Defense28.7
Bleed Resistance184
Poison Resistance141
Frost Resistance141
Curse Resistance85
Icon Durability-
Icon weight40.7

The Catarina Set has become a tradition in the Dark Souls games as it has appeared in every single title. This armor is quite effective but most players choose to ignore it due to its physical appearance. While I agree that the appearance is nothing to write home about but the usefulness of this armor outweighs the cons. Strength-based characters will love this armor as it offers immense stats and boosts our poise as well. However, the armor is quite weak to Curse and Strike damage.

There are two ways of getting this armor in Dark Souls 3. First of all, you can get it from Patches in the Cathedral of the Deep. However, if you want to save your souls or do not have enough, there is another way to get it. Once you complete the questline of Siegward of Catarina, you will find his armor in the boss room of Yhorm the Giant. This implies that Siegward has finally done what he was set out to do – fulfill his friend’s wish to put him down in case he turns evil. I highly suggest that you complete the Siegward questline in Dark Souls 3 as it is fun, emotional, and offers great lore.

Xanthous Set

Dark Souls 3 Xanthous Set Armor
Xanthous is ideal for mage users
Physical Resistance18.6
Strike Defense16.6
Slash Defense17.9
Thrust Defense17.9
Magic Defense26.0
Fire Defense12.3
Lightning Defense25.1
Dark Defense25.6
Bleed Resistance97
Poison Resistance130
Frost Resistance114
Curse Resistance95
Icon Durability-
Icon weight17.5

If you have seen Dark Souls 3 videos on Youtube, you will notice that almost every mage user equips this set. That is because this armor is great for mages. It provides a superb balance between defense and resistance to elemental damage. However, keep in mind that if enemies get too close, they will shred you as this set isn’t good against physical attacks.

This set is purchasable after you hand over the Xanthous Ashes to the Shrine Handmaid. To find the ashes, you must go to the Irithyll Dungeon and loot it off of a corpse in a room filled with jailers. Chances are that you will automatically collect this item when you are exploring the Dungeon so don’t worry too much about it.

Gundyr’s Set

Dark Souls 3 Gundyr's Set Armor
Iudex Gundyr right before the Ashen One faces him in combat
Physical Resistance32
Strike Defense27.1
Slash Defense36.7
Thrust Defense30.7
Magic Defense25.5
Fire Defense26.4
Lightning Defense25.3
Dark Defense25.5
Bleed Resistance198
Poison Resistance144
Frost Resistance144
Curse Resistance144
Icon Durability-
Icon weight40.0

Joining the third in our Best Dark Souls 3 Armor list is the Iudex Gundyr – the first boss that every player faces in Dark Souls 3. He is an excellent introduction to the mechanics and gameplay of Dark Souls 3. The good thing is that players have the option to purchase his armor after defeating him and unlocking the Firelink Shrine. This set has a good amount of defense and has amazing poise. Getting this set early on is useful as you won’t get staggered by every other attack from the enemies.

On a side note, this armor might seem familiar to some Souls veterans. It is because this is a nod to the PS3 classic, Demon’s Souls which was recently remade for the PS5 as a launch title.

Dragonscale Set

Dark Souls 3 Dragonscale Set Armor
Nameless King cutscene before fighting him
Physical Resistance25.0
Strike Defense21.8
Slash Defense23.6
Thrust Defense19.9
Magic Defense19.2
Fire Defense25.1
Lightning Defense14.1
Dark Defense19.2
Bleed Resistance124
Poison Resistance111
Frost Resistance112
Curse Resistance78
Icon Durability-
Icon weight23.7

The Dragonscale set belongs to the one and only Nameless King – considered as the toughest boss in the base version of Dark Souls 3. If you have faced this optional boss, you will immediately note a couple of things. One, that he rides on a dragon; two, he wears awesome-looking armor. After successfully defeating this notoriously difficult boss, you will be able to purchase his armor from the Handmaid at the Firelink Shrine.

Lore wise, this armor is extremely important and pays homage to the original Dark Soul. This armor is worn by the first-born son of Gwyn, the Lord of Cinder. Plus, it offers a great defense against fire due to the fact that it is made out of dragon scales. However, the reason why it is at this spot is that it is extremely weak against lightning-based damage. It is kind of ironic because the Nameless King uses lightning as his primary attack.

Exile Set

Dark Souls 3 Exile Set
Exile Watchdog wearing the armor
Physical Resistance32.3
Strike Defense31.3
Slash Defense31.2
Thrust Defense29.3
Magic Defense26.9
Fire Defense30.6
Lightning Defense26.5
Dark Defense28.2
Bleed Resistance226
Poison Resistance171
Frost Resistance143
Curse Resistance114
Icon Durability-
Icon weight42.3

This set has a rather – sorry for a lack of a better word – ugly appearance that doesn’t look like something the Ashen One would wear. However, its stats and effectiveness more than makeup for its looks. As you can probably tell by looking at it, the armor provides excellent defense against all elements and is especially useful against bleeding damage.

Players will be able to get this set quite early on in the game right after defeating the Exile Watchdogs duo outside of the Farron Keep. If you are building a character that excels in strength – and do not mind its looks, this armor is ideal for you thanks to its elemental resistances and stats.

Leonhard’s Set

Dark Souls 3 Leonhard's Armor
Leonhard’s set on display
Physical Resistance19.9
Strike Defense21.8
Slash Defense19.4
Thrust Defense20.4
Magic Defense25.3
Fire Defense26.8
Lightning Defense20.6
Dark Defense17.2
Bleed Resistance93
Poison Resistance128
Frost Resistance142
Curse Resistance128
Icon Durability-
Icon weight16.6

Leonhard’s is my personal favourite best Dark Souls 3 armor. Wearing this armor set will remind you of Bloodborne as it is quite similar to the various outfits in that game. Acquiring this armor set can be quite a lengthy process if you follow Leonhard’s questline. However, you can duel him in combat when you first meet him at the Firelink Shrine. Keep in mind that you will need a lot of combat prowess to defeat Leonhard as he is quite difficult to kill.

Regardless of which method you choose, you will obtain his mask. Later on, you will be able to purchase the complete set for 10,500 souls from the Shrine Handmaid. This armor set is ideal if you are planning on running the dex build. It will complement the various dex weapons – like the katana – that you use.

Wolf Knight Set

Best Armor in Dark Souls 3
The Wolf Knight set in all its glory
Physical Resistance23.7
Strike Defense20.5
Slash Defense23.8
Thrust Defense16.0
Magic Defense22.8
Fire Defense26.8
Lightning Defense11.4
Dark Defense20.4
Bleed Resistance112
Poison Resistance76
Frost Resistance83
Curse Resistance83
Icon Durability-
Icon weight21.4

Fans of the Souls series will recognize this infamous armor as the one worn by the legendary Knight Artorias. Lore wise, this armor has the richest backstory but it doesn’t just stop there. If you are looking for the best Dark Souls 3 armor in terms of weight-to-defense ratio, there is none better than the Wolf Knight Set in Dark Souls 3.

This armor is great for a high mobility build and managing build load. Plus, it offers a solid defense that can save you from difficult situations. Apart from that, it is probably one of the coolest-looking armors in Dark Souls 3. To get this, however, you will have to progress quite a bit through the game.

Once you defeat Oceiros and enter the Untended Graves, make your way to the Firelink Shrine and purchase it from the Handmaid. The armor costs 46,000 souls and you must have defeated the Abyss Watchers beforehand to unlock it.

Alva Armor Set

Alva armor set Dark Souls  3
Showcasing the Alva armor set
Physical Resistance25.8
Strike Defense20.6
Slash Defense25.8
Thrust Defense24.7
Magic Defense19.0
Fire Defense23.6
Lightning Defense19.0
Dark Defense22.1
Bleed Resistance145
Poison Resistance88
Frost Resistance93
Curse Resistance55
Icon Durability-
Icon weight22.0

Much like the previous entry, the Alva armor set also makes its return in Dark Souls 3. Originally introduced in Dark Souls 2, this armor set not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also weighs quite less. This allows you to be highly mobile and dodge enemies without any issues. Plus, considering its weight class, the poise you receive is quite decent.

You can even use any part of this set with other armors and it will still look pleasing. Finding this set can be quite a hassle though. To find it, you must:

  • Distant Manor bonfire in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley
  • Take a right and head in that direction
  • Descend towards the Irithyll Dungeon
  • You will be invaded by Alva near the stone bridge
  • Kill him and advance to the dungeon
  • When you enter the room with the large prison cells, his armor set should be at the corner

Undead Legion Set

Undead Legion Set Dark Souls 3
The Abyss Watchers in their boss room
Physical Resistance22.1
Strike Defense22.3
Slash Defense12.8
Thrust Defense19.3
Magic Defense27.1
Fire Defense27.9
Lightning Defense28.3
Dark Defense22.5
Bleed Resistance101
Poison Resistance130
Frost Resistance161
Curse Resistance109
Icon Durability-
Icon weight18.6

If you’ve faced the Abyss Watchers, you will immediately recognize this armor. This is the armor that they wear when battling you. Players that are going for the dex build will want to definitely equip this set to get the most benefits. You can purchase this aesthetically pleasing armor from the Shrine Handmaid for 31,000 souls after defeating the Abyss Watchers. While it is on the pricey end, you will not regret getting this armor at all.

Iron Dragonslayer Set

best looking armor Dark Souls 3
Iron Dragonslayer set is the best looking armor
Physical Resistance35
Strike Defense25.8
Slash Defense36.7
Thrust Defense38.3
Magic Defense22.1
Fire Defense25.8
Lightning Defense30.7
Dark Defense29.3
Bleed Resistance188
Poison Resistance125
Frost Resistance138
Curse Resistance64
Icon Durability450
Icon weight35.7

Finally, our number one armor in Dark Souls 3, the Iron Dragonslayer set. You will probably recognize this armor from the base game since you have to fight it later on. Fortunately, the Ringed City DLC allows players to equip this set and get all the benefits from it. This is arguably the best-looking armor in Dark Souls 3.

If you are going for a quality build or a strength build while using straight swords or greatswords, this is the perfect armor for you. Plus, if you want to mod the game and play as Guts from Berserk, this armor is perfect if you want to cosplay as him from the Fantasia Arc. After equipping this armor, you will notice that you have unusually high poise and amazing defense against attacks as well.

The main reason why this armor is considered the best is that it takes elements of various armors and enhances them. To get this, you must defeat the dragonslayer armor in the swamp of the ringed city.


Those were the top 10 Dark Souls 3 Best Armor. While you might not agree with some of our picks, keep in mind that it mostly depends on the player’s preference. However, regardless of which armor you choose from this list, you will not be disappointed. We would love to hear your thoughts about which armor is your favorite and which do you think is the best.

Dark Souls 3 Armor FAQ

What is the best armor in Dark Souls 3?

After trying out countless armors, I came to the conclusion that the Iron Dragonslayer set is the best armor in Dark Souls 3. It is ideal for strength builds and has great poise. On top of that, you will look cool wearing it. This armor has an amazing defense as well that can save you from sticky situations.

Which armor is the best for a dex build?

The Undead Legion set is ideal when it comes to dex builds. It looks extremely cool as it is the armor that the Abyss Watchers wear. Plus, it offers high mobility and will boost the damage of your dex weapons as well. Other than that, it also has a decent defense that can save you from getting one shot by enemies.

Is the Gundyr set worth it?

Yes, the Gundyr’s set is a really good armor but I wouldn’t put it in the top 5. After defeating the first boss, you can purchase this set from the Firelink Shrine. This armor will provide tons of poise; making it harder for enemies to stagger you. However, that’s about it for the positives of this set. Other than being available early on and providing decent poise, it doesn’t offer much.

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