Dark Souls 3: 13 Best Armor Sets

Dark Souls 3: 13 Best Armor Sets

Dark Souls 3, the final entry in FromSoftware’s critically-acclaimed Dark Souls franchise, takes all of the elements that worked so well in prior Soulsbourne titles and expands upon them to create a medieval fantasy masterpiece. The game features dozens of new enemies, weapons, consumables, and armor sets. Though tweaks to Dark Souls 3’s character leveling mechanics have rendered armor less critical than in prior series entries, it doesn’t hurt to look awesome while scrounging for souls through the Kingdom of Lothric.

Whether a beginner at hacking and slashing through hordes of demons or a series veteran looking to optimize a character build, don’t miss these ten awesome sets of armor.

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Updated on July 11th, 2022 by Tanner Fox: From Software’s latest effort, the GOTY-contending Elden Ring, has drawn a totally new audience to the once-niche Dark Souls series. Plenty of new players are just now experiencing this storied series for the first time, and, while it bears definite similarities to Elden Ring, Dark Souls 3 is unique in a few ways.

Crucially, newcomers won’t be accustomed to the series lore, and many of the obfuscated questlines will be hard to keep track of. Given that many of Dark Souls 3’s best armor sets are locked behind those questlines, it may be prudent for new players to read up in advance on the items and sets they’d like to track down.

Gundyr’s Set

Several armor sets in Dark Souls 3 reference earlier games in the series, but Gundyr’s Set is one of the few that references the game that began it all, Demon’s Souls.

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The Ashen One encounters this armor on the game’s first boss, Champion Gundyr, after which it can be purchased at Firelink Shrine. This set’s strength is in its high defense and poise stats. When worn while wielding hyper armor weapons, the armor makes it much more difficult for the Ashen One to be staggered, making it invaluable when faced with an onslaught of relentless enemies.

Catarina Set

Catarina as seen in Dark Souls 3

An iconic set of armor from the Dark Souls franchise, the Catarina Set appears in every game in the series. With its distinct onion-shaped helmet, the armor worn by the Knights of Catarina provides immense boosts to strength a poise while being weak to Curse and Strike damage.

This standout set can be purchased from Patches in the Cathedral of the Deep or found in Yohrm’s boss arena after finishing Siegward of Catarina’s sidequests. For the most ruthless players willing to endure a grueling fight, the armor set is also dropped by the knight upon his death.

Leonhard’s Set

A screenshot of the Dark Souls 3 NPC Ringfinger Leonhard.

Leonhard can first be encountered early on at the High Wall of Lothric, and following his quest to completion will result in the player invading his world shortly after the boss fight against Aldrich, Devourer of Gods. Besting him grants players access to Leonhard’s set, which is commonly considered to be one of the best armor sets in Dark Souls 3—from a fashion standpoint, at least.

Some fans believe that Leonhard shares a connection to From Software’s 2015 title Bloodborne, and his set certainly fits the needs of a swift and stealthy Yharnam hunter.

Xanthous Set

Xanthous Set as seen in Dark Souls 3

While mage builds arguably gain the least from armor in Dark Souls 3, the Xanthous Set stands apart with excellent defense and elemental resistance for the magically inclined. This armor was worn by scholars of lost sorceries, and variations on it have been included in each Dark Souls game.

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Its cloth components render the garb highly susceptible to fire, but, combine the armor with the spell-boosting Crown of Dusk, and the Xanthous Set can’t be beaten. After giving the Shrine Maiden the Xanthous Ashes, the armor can be purchased from her for twenty-four thousand souls.

Undead Legion Armor

A player wearing the Undead Legion armor from Dark Souls 3.

A fan-favorite Dark Souls 3 boss encounter, The Abysswatchers share quite a bit in common with the original Dark Souls’ Abysswalker Artorias. Sworn to fight the abyss wherever it spreads, they’re now cursed to kill each other after they’ve become corrupted by it.

Besting them will make their armor accessible via the Shrine Maiden at Firelink, and, while it’s not suited for all builds, it’s undeniably cool. Still, offering non-negligible protection for a relatively low total weight, the Undead Legion Armor could be a perfect set for Dark Souls 3 players putting together dex builds.

Dragonscale Set

Dark Souls 3- Nameless King

This armor with a distinctive headdress belongs to the Nameless King, widely considered the hardest boss in Dark Souls 3. Though nameless, it is speculated from in-game lore that the king who wears this armor is the son of Gwyn, Lord of Cinder.

Once felled, players can purchase the boss’s armor at Firelink Shrine. Composed, as its name suggests, of dragon scales, the Dragonscale Set offers exceptional defense against fire. Though the Nameless King wields lightning during his encounter with the Ashen One, this armor is notably weakest against lightning damage, the bane of dragons.

Dragonslayer Set

The Dragonslayer Set as seen in Dark Souls 3

Another set of armor that franchise fans will instantly recognize is the Dragonslayer Set, which originally appeared in Dark Souls. As imposing as it is powerful, this beautiful golden armor belonged to Dragonslayer Ornstein and features solid stats with the additional perk of lightning resistance.

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After slaying the Nameless King at Archdragon Peak, this armor set can be found at the far end of the courtyard that is revealed once the storm clouds lift.

Dancer’s Set

A player wearing the Dancer's set in Dark Souls 3.

Marking the beginning of the ascent toward Lothric and Lorian, the Dancer is one of the most captivating bosses in Dark Souls 3. With an inhumanly fluid moveset, conquering this foe is almost more of a test of rhythm and timing than it is of outright combat prowess.

The boss’ armor set can be purchased at Firelink Shrine after it is defeated, and, while many players will likely pass it up due to its meager damage negation stats, the set boasts one of the highest poise to weight ratios in the game. This means that it’s integral to any Dark Souls 3 dex build. It’s also commonly used by Intelligence-focused players.

Exile Set

The Exile Set as seen in Dark Souls 3

The Exile Set stands apart from other heavy armor in its balanced elemental resistance and strong defense against bleeding damage.

Though it definitely doesn’t make the list for Dark Souls 3’s most fashionable outfits, the Exile Set is a darkhorse choice for strength and vitality builds looking to tank their way through an onslaught of demons. It can be purchased in Firelink Shrine after defeating the two Exile Watchdogs guarding the entrance to Farron Keep.

Wolf Knight Set

A Dark Souls 3 player wearing the Wolf Knight armor set.

Fans of the Souls series will instantly recognize this iconic armor as that belonging to Knight Artorias, the central character of Dark Souls’ Artorias of the Abyss DLC. With an excellent weight-to-defense ratio, the Wolf Knight set is easily one of the best sets of armor in the game. Plus, it is among the most stylish outfits in the franchise, with sleek silver plating and a royal blue plume that billows in the player’s wake.

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This set of armor can be purchased at the Untended Graves for forty-six thousand souls. That may be a hefty price to pay, the set is well worth it.

Morne’s Set

Eygon of Carim sitting on a rock in Dark Souls 3

Worn by Eygon of Carim, this stylish, matte-black set of armor boasts exceptional elemental resistance at the expense of weakness to dark and poison damage. For this reason, Morne’s Set is not best suited for combat against skeletons or bosses like the Deacons of the Deep, but it offers excellent perks otherwise.

It can be obtained both by completing Eygon’s sidequest and by slaying Eygon in battle. That said, this set of armor is as strong as it looks, and the Knight of Carim puts up a tough fire. For true completionists, the matching Morne’s Great Hammer is also considered one of Dark Souls 3’s best weapons.

Havel’s Set

Dark Souls 3 Havel's Set.

Solid as a rock, Havel’s Set was, according to lore, “hewn from a giant boulder,” which makes it among the heaviest sets of armor in the game. What it lacks in speed, this rugged set of armor more than makes up for in defense, ranking it among the best builds in the Dark Souls series.

Its stone plating also offers the game’s highest fire resistance, making it an easy choice when going up against wyverns or fire-based bosses like the Old Demon King. This set of armor can be found high-up in Farron Keep guarded by a Stray Demon after felling the Havel Knight at Archdragon Peak.

Smough’s Set

A player wearing Smough's full armor set in Dark Souls 3.

This iconic armor recalls one of the most challenging bosses in the original Dark Souls game, that being Executioner Smough. Larger than life, this armor boasts the highest defense in Dark Souls 3 and the heaviest weight, making it almost useless for high-dex builds.

For players seeking to emphasize strength, defense, and vitality, however, Smough’s Set cannot be beaten, as it allows gamers to tank their way through enemies and bosses alike. After defeating Aldrich, Devourer of Gods, it can be purchased in Firelink Shrine for thirty-one thousand souls.

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About The Author

Jonathan Fitts
(47 Articles Published)

Jonathan Fitts is an award-winning narrative designer, musician, and creative producer. Since 2007, Jon has been been developing interactive narratives from immersive theatre to video games and everything in between. Most recently, he worked as the narrative lead for a boutique book publisher, where he was responsible for the development of numerous literary intellectual properties. His one-act play “White or the Muskox Play” won the Kennedy Center’s 2011 John Cauble Short Play Award and was published in the Applause Books anthology, “The Best American Short Plays 2011-2012.” Jon holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University and a BA in Theatre Arts from Appalachian State University.

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