Dark Souls 3 Best Armor: Top 10 Armors Ranked

I have played more than 100+ hours in Dark Souls 3 and these are the Top 10 Ranked Armors in my opinion!

Dark Souls 3 Best Armor
About The Author
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Ehtishaam is a hard-core Dark Souls 3 fan, having spent 100+ hours in the game. You can trust his information related to the armors in Dark Souls 3!

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. Do not worry, as I will help you through the best choices of armor.

Key Takeaways

  • Armor selection is crucial for success, with many options available for players.
  • Considering their stats and resistances, this guide ranks the top 10 Dark Souls 3 armor sets.
  • While players can mix and match armor pieces, the guide focuses on complete sets and ranks them for ease of reference.
  • The Iron Dragonslayer set in the Ringed City DLC is hailed as the best-looking armor in the game, ideal for quality and strength builds, offering high poise and defense.

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 some options are better than others. 

Comparison Of My Best Armor Picks

Here is a comparison table of my best Armor in Dark Souls 3 . Each stat can be sorted to view the highest and lowest values, which has been done for your convenience:

No.NamePhysical ResistanceStrikeSlashThrustMagicFireLightningDarkBleedPoisonFrostCursePoise
1Catarina Set40.530.941.139.225.827.832.628.71841411418543.8
2Xanthous Set18.616.617.917.926.012.325.125.697130114959.6
3Gundyr’s Set3227.136.730.725.526.425.325.519814414414453.3
4Dragonscale Set25.021.823.619.919.225.114.119.21241111127824.7
5Exile Set32.331.331.229.326.930.626.528.222617114311444.5
6Leonhard’s Set19.921.819.420.425.326.820.617.29312814212812.1
7Wolf Knight Set23.720.523.816.022.826.811.420.411276838316.1
8Alva Armor Set25.820.625.824.719.023.619.022.114588935523.9
9Undead Legion Set Iron22.122.312.819.327.127.928.322.510113016110910.6
10Dragonslayer Set3525.836.738.322.125.830.729.31881251386444.4

Comparison Table. 

Catarina Set

Best Armor for Strength Build.
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
Poise43.8
Icon Durability-
Icon weight40.7

Catarina Set Stats Table. 

Why Did I Choose the Catarina Set?

The Catarina Set may not be aesthetically appealing, but its stats and attributes can be quite impressive as compared to other armors in Dark Souls 3. 

The Catarina Set, a series staple, offers effective stats despite its appearance. Ideal for strength-based characters, it bolsters poise but is weak against Curse and Strike damage.

You can obtain it from Patches in the Cathedral of the Deep or, for a more soul-saving option, complete Siegward of Catarina’s questline, finding his armor in Yhorm the Giant’s boss room, adding depth to the lore. Completing Siegward’s questline is enjoyable and emotionally resonant.

  • Its stats are quite impressive.
  • Can be easily obtained within the game.
  • Offers high resistance to physical damage.

  • Weak against Curse and Strike damage.

Xanthous Set

Best Armor for Poison Resistance.
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
Poise9.6
Icon Durability-
Icon weight17.5

Why Did I Choose Xanthous Set?

The Xanthous Set combines several defense capabilities, and it can hold its own if you equip it during battle. It can also do well against spells.

For Dark Souls 3 mages, this set is a popular choice due to its excellent balance of defense and elemental resistance. Be cautious, though, as it lacks physical attack protection.

To obtain this set, deliver the Xanthous Ashes to the Shrine Handmaid. You can find the ashes in Irithyll Dungeon, usually during your exploration.

  • Provides effective elemental resistance.
  • Has impressive poison and frost resistance.
  • Can be reinforced with Twinkling Titanite.

  • Lacks physical attack protection.

Gundyr’s Set

Best Armor for Overall Defense.
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
Poise53.3
Icon Durability-
Icon weight40.0

Iudex Gundyr Stats Table.

Why Did I Choose Gundyr’s Set?

Gundyr’s Set provides effective defense against multiple types of attacks, including bleed, poison, frost, and curse.

The Iudex Gundyr set earns its place in my armor list. After defeating this introductory boss and unlocking Firelink Shrine, players can purchase this armor. It provides solid defense and remarkable poise, preventing frequent stagger from enemy attacks.

A side note: This armor pays homage to Demon’s Souls, which received a PS5 remake, making it familiar to Souls veterans.

  • Prevents frequent stagger from enemy attacks.
  • Provides solid defense against attack.
  • Provides impressive resistance against Slash attacks.

  • Has sub-optimal attributes.

Dragonscale Set

Best Armor for Fire Defense.
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
Poise24.7
Icon Durability-
Icon weight23.7

Dragonscale Stats Table. 

Why Did I Choose Dragonscale Set?

The Dragonscale Set is your best bet if you want to resist fire damage while you try to beat your opponents.  The armor has several unique characteristics and capabilities that make it a formidable addition to your arsenal.

[/su_note]

The Dragonscale set, once belonging to the formidable Nameless King, considered Dark Souls 3’s toughest base game boss, comes with distinct characteristics. After defeating this optional boss, you can purchase his striking armor from the Firelink Shrine’s Handmaid.

In terms of lore, this armor carries deep significance, representing the first-born son of Gwyn, the Lord of Cinder.

It excels in fire defense due to its dragon-scale construction but falters against lightning-based damage, ironically matching the Nameless King’s primary attack method.

  • Provides excellent fire resistance.
  • Protects against spear throws, ax blows, and arrows.
  •  Has a good poise-to-weight ratio.

  • Weak against lightning attacks.

Exile Set

Best Armor for Bleed Resistance.
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
Poise44.5
Icon Durability-
Icon weight42.3

Why Did I Choose Exile Set?

Exile Set is your armor of choice if you like inflicting bleed damage upon your enemies while not getting any in return. Moreover, it provides a robust defense against various elements.

Despite its less appealing appearance, this set compensates with exceptional stats and effectiveness. It offers robust defense against all elements and is particularly effective against bleeding damage.

Obtaining this set early in the game is possible after defeating the Exile Watchdogs duo near Farron Keep. It’s an ideal choice for strength-focused characters due to its impressive elemental resistances and stats.

  • Offers exceptional stats and effectiveness.
  • Provides robust defense against all elements.
  • Can be obtained earlier in the game.

  • Less effective against lightning or magic attacks.

Leonhard’s Set

Best Armor for Dexterity Build.
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
Poise12.1
Icon Durability-
Icon weight16.6

Why Did I Choose Leonhard’s Set?

Leonhard’s Set is a solid armor that is perfect for the Dexterity build. It also enhances your use of Dexterity weapons and enhances your playstyle.

A personal favorite among the best armors is Leonhard’s, with a design reminiscent of Bloodborne’s attire. Acquiring it can be a bit lengthy via Leonhard’s questline or by dueling him at Firelink Shrine, though he’s a formidable opponent.

Regardless of your choice, you’ll obtain his mask and can later purchase the complete set for 10,500 souls from the Shrine Handmaid.

This set perfectly complements a dexterity build, enhancing the use of Dex weapons like katanas.

  • Perfect for Dexterity build.
  • Provides effective Curse, Frost, and Poison resistance.
  • Its design is similar to that of Bloodborne’s attire. 

  • Acquiring it can be quite lengthy.

Wolf Knight Set

Best Armor for High-Mobility Builds.
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
Poise16.1
Icon Durability-
Icon weight21.4

Why Did I Choose Wolf Knight Set?

The Wolf Knight Set may not be the strongest armor out there, but it has a wonderful weight-to-defense ratio and is your perfect companion for high-mobility builds.

Recognizable as the legendary Knight Artorias’s armor, the Wolf Knight Set in Dark Souls 3 boasts rich lore and an exceptional weight-to-defense ratio. Perfect for high-mobility builds, it offers reliable protection and a striking appearance.

To obtain it, progress through the game, defeat Oceiros, and enter the Untended Graves.

At the Firelink Shrine, you can purchase the set from the Handmaid for 46,000 souls, provided you’ve already defeated the Abyss Watchers.

  • Has a good weight-to-defense ratio.
  • Perfect for high-mobility builds.
  • Offers decent protection against physical, fire, and dark attacks.

  • Isn’t effective against magic, lightning, and strike damage.

Alva Armor Set

Best Armor for High Mobility and Dodging.
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
Poise23.9
Icon Durability-
Icon weight22.0

Why Did I Choose the Alva Armor Set?

The Alva Armor Set is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also has a wonderful poise-to-weight ratio, which makes it perfect for high-mobility builds and dodging. Moreover, it can be combined with other pieces of armor to enhance your overall attire. 

The Alva Armor Set, returning from Dark Souls 2, combines aesthetics and low weight, making it ideal for high mobility and dodging. It offers decent poise given its weight class and can be seamlessly combined with other armor pieces for a pleasing look.

To find this set, start from the Distant Manor bonfire in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley, head right, and descend towards Irithyll Dungeon. After an encounter with Alva near the stone bridge, defeat him and proceed to the dungeon.

Inside the room with large prison cells, you’ll find his armor set in the corner.

  • Provides effective Bleed resistance.
  • Has decent poise according to its weight class.
  • Can be combined with other pieces of armor.

  • Its physical defenses are slightly weaker than other armors in its weight class.

Undead Legion Set

Best Armor for Frost Resistance.
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
Poise10.6
Icon Durability-
Icon weight18.6

Why Did I Choose Undead Legion Set?

The Undead Legion Set provides a high Frost resistance and also does fairly well in protecting you against Bleed, Poison, and Curse attacks.

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 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.

  • Ideal for a Dexterity build.
  • Provides strong defense against various elements.
  • Looks quite well with various attires.

  • A bit on the pricey end.

Iron Dragonslayer Set

Best Armor for Strength and Quality Builds.
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
Poise44.4
Icon Durability450
Icon weight35.7

Iron Dragonslayer Stats Table.

Why Did I Choose Iron Dragonslayer Set?

The Iron Dragonslayer Set has pretty decent attributes and looks incredibly stunning when paired with various attires. It offers the perfect combination of poise and defense that you need for your Quality or Strength builds.

At the top of my list, I have the Iron Dragonslayer set, which becomes available in the Ringed City DLC. It’s renowned for its stunning appearance and is arguably the game’s best-looking armor.

Perfect for quality or strength builds, especially with straight swords or greatswords, this armor offers exceptional poise and defense. It’s a popular choice for those wanting to cosplay as Guts from Berserk’s Fantasia Arc.

What makes it exceptional is its blend of various armor elements, enhancing overall performance. To acquire it, defeat the Dragonslayer Armor in the swamp of the Ringed City.

  • Works well with Quality or Strength builds.
  • Has a stunning appearance with wonderful poise.
  • Perfectly paired with straight swords or greatswords.

  • Weak against Frost or Strike damage.

Why Others Were Not Chosen

Here are some other armors that didn’t make the cut for me:

  • Painting Guardian Set: Although easy to obtain, it doesn’t improve your survivability.
  • Mask of the Father: Once a popular piece of armor, it has become less impressive after its stats were changed.
  • Gold-Hemmed Black Set: Obtaining this armor gets you into a boss fight.
  • Crimson Set: Has pretty mediocre attributes.
  • Great Lord Set: Has no impressive bonuses that might help you in battle.
  • Hollow Thief Set: Doesn’t have respectable attributes, and is quite difficult to obtain.
  • Black Knight Set: Quite impressive, but made available later on in the game.
  • Lord’s Blade Set: It isn’t worth killing the NPC to obtain this armor.

My Recommendation

Personally, I am a fan of the Nameless King’s set but the other armors on here are also ones I would recommend not only because they are just very good fashion souls but also because they have good resistances and values to back them up.

I went through each armor while keeping usability and fashion in mind. Hence, these are the top 10 I would recommend. Any others would be less useful utility-wise.

As a Souls veteran, I only dress for fashion so if you want to use a build then I would recommend the Easterner’s Helm + Nameless King’s Chest + Desert Pyromancer Gloves (or any gloves that cover the entire arm) + Lorian’s Leggings. This is what I like to rock in each playthrough.

Dark Souls 3 Armor FAQ

What is the best armor?

After trying out countless armors, I concluded 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.

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