Conan Exiles has some of the most creative and fun-to-wear armor of any game in the survival genre. Your character will eventually look expensive and deadly, and all in the style that fits you best. While no one is really sure of the finer points of the cultures that make up the world of Conan, one thing is for certain: they look cool going about their day-to-day. As an Exile, you’ll have access to most of their wardrobe and more.
The only thing stopping you from looking exactly how you want will be your priority of stats, stamina usage, and mobility. However, I would argue gameplay should always come second to how you look. You may disagree with me here, but lucky for us both, with the new illusion system, you can make any piece of armor look however you like anyway. In any case, Conan Exiles armor will surely contribute to your overall success in the Exiled Lands. In fact, it’s most of the picture.
TL:DR: Arm Up
Armor can be found or, more often, crafted in Conan Exiles at your armorer’s bench. Armor blocks incoming physical damage, and the higher the quality of the pieces you have equipped, the more it will block. However, armor weighs a significant amount, and heavier armor reduces mobility. As with other mechanics in the game, there is a give-and-take to armor.
There are three types of armor in Conan Exiles: light, medium, and heavy. They go in ascending order when it comes to weight, armor, and stamina usage and descending order when it comes to mobility. In fact, in heavy armor, your character will no longer be able even to dodge completely.
Making better armor is slightly more complicated than just finding better recipes and better ingredients. You’ll also have the opportunity to improve your armor by building superior crafting stations and capturing armorer thralls. Dedication to becoming a legendary armorer will yield lighter, more efficient, and more durable versions of the same recipe.
My Experience with Armor in the Exiled Lands
Conan Exiles has always been a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. Do I support their decision to include slavery in a game that could have easily been made with a consensual follower system? Of course not; I really don’t know what they were thinking here. Do I still enjoy the game and take my fair share of thralls? Yes, definitely. It was a tone-deaf decision, but not as offensive as I originally thought it would be.
The same is true for the armor in Conan Exiles. The different cuts on men’s armor and women’s armor used to infuriate me, but the longer I played the game, the more I realized the difference wasn’t quite as unfair as my first impression. In fact, some sets I craft regularly look even more salacious on my male counterparts.
Of course, I have experience with crafting, wearing, and looting armor in Conan Exiles, but my biggest takeaway from years of dealing with armor in the game is that I hope they continue to try to be fair with how they gender their sets. As usual, they are the thinnest hair away from pissing me off.
Armor: The Basics
Armor can be one of two things in Conan Exiles. Someone can either be using the word to refer to the actual pieces that your character wears, or they could use it to refer to the stat these pieces grant you. Armor pieces, or the clothing that you can find or craft and then equip, grant different amounts of armor depending on their quality.
They can also grant other benefits, such as heat reduction, cold reduction, and attribute points. In fact, armor will be a major source of attribute points in your late-game adventures, and you may even sacrifice some of the armor stat for a set with more of your preferred attribute.
Your First Set
Crafting your first armor set is one of the most important steps in the early game. However, I don’t want you to think I mean the first set of armor available to you in the game. Before you skip over everything here and rush back to make the fiber set, I’m actually going to advise you to skip it. There are very few instances where the fiber set is little more than a waste of time.
Instead, craft a weapon and practice dodging and kiting enemies. Kiting is the practice of moving away from your opponent, staying just out of their reach, and only attacking when you know, they can’t return the favor. You’ll need this practice either way and if you have these skills now, there’s no reason you can’t take down the animals required to make a light set of armor.
You will need a skinning knife to collect the required hide to craft your armor. The best beginner animal to farm for hide is the crocodile, and this animal also happens to be very slow and easy to maneuver around.
The next step to crafting your first set of armor is getting a tannery in place. The tannery turns hide into leather. It is fueled by bark and makes tar as a by-product. Tar will be important to you later, so just leave it in the tannery’s inventory for now. To farm bark, craft yourself a pick and use it on any normal tree.
After you have the hide and bark, put them in the tannery and press the crafting button. You can make the tannery more efficient by adding a thrall to its thrall equipment slot. Thralls make the tannery craft faster, and the better the thrall, the faster your tannery will craft. The highest-tier thralls even add a couple of new convenient recipes to your tannery.
Now that you have a nice stack of leather, you’ll need to carry it over to an armorer’s bench. It will only take level 10 to learn the armorer feat, which will teach you how to craft the armorer’s bench and a light set of armor. Most sets of armor made on the bench need a component called padding, which is made out of leather at the bench.
You’ll have to do a little bit of backward math here to determine how much leather you’ll actually need for each piece of armor. Add what you’ll need for the padding to what you’ll need in the piece to get a total count of the leather you’ll end up using for that piece.
You can both craft more advanced armorer’s benches or add thralls to them to improve their functions. More advanced armorer’s benches add speed and reduce resources needed to craft at them. Adding a thrall will benefit the armor itself, making it weigh less, adding durability, and improving its stats overall.
Once you start unlocking recipes at the armorer’s bench, it may seem like a clear path to the top. The heavier the armor, the more expensive it is and the higher the armor stat it provides. What is not very clear from looking at your recipe list is the difference in how your character will move with heavier armor.
Despite the clear benefit of higher armor, heavy armor is not the solution for everyone. Similarly, if you put me in a light set of armor, I would die very prematurely in a tough fight.
Light armor is for the most mobile of us all. A character in light armor uses the least amount of stamina to operate and is able to dodge the farthest. They also recover from their dodges more quickly. This armor weighs the least, but if you do become encumbered, it will affect you the most in light armor.
Medium armor is the jack of all trades. It can take a hit but is still pretty decent for mobile players. A character in medium armor will use average stamina to operate and have a standard dodge. They will also recover from this dodge at a normal speed. The armor weighs more than light, but is not so severe if you do happen to become encumbered.
Heavy armor is for those that would prefer to take some damage as opposed to dodge it. It’s great for players that attack slowly with heavy weapons or prefer using shields. A character in heavy armor will use the most stamina of any player to operate normally.
Instead of a dodge, players using heavy armor have more of a side-step move that covers far less distance. Heavy armor weighs the most and will often fill a large number of your encumbrance points. However, becoming encumbered affects a character in heavy armor the least.
Armor and Your Build
As a general rule, if the main attribute for your build is agility, you should consider light or medium armor. If it’s strength, you should consider medium or heavy armor. There are a couple of corresponding reasons why this just makes sense.
The first very simple reason is that strength adds slightly to your encumbrance limit. This means heavier armor will take up less of your ability to carry home treasures.
The second is that strength-based weapons are slower and leave your character open more often for a counterattack. This means there is a sharper need for armor with a higher armor rating, which is medium or heavy armor. If your weapon uses agility as its power attribute, it is quick enough to complement the mobile play style required to wear light armor but can also work well with medium armor.
There are exceptions to this rule, but it’s a good guide for the beginning of your journey.
How Armor Actually Works: Diminishing Returns
What do you mean? It’s just “more armor = better,” right? Kind of, but there are some intricacies to how effective your armor stat is based on how much you have.
Armor blocks damage in Conan Exiles. To understand the numbers more easily, this can be distilled into a percentage of damage blocked. For instance, it only takes 500 armor to decrease damage coming in by 50%. Our human brains would then like to make a relationship between the armor points and the percentage. Are every 100 points of armor worth 10% of damage reduction?
Yes, up until 50%, and then armor follows the rule of diminishing returns. The specific formula is Armor/(Armor+500) = Damage Reduction. This means your armor will be dividing into itself when calculating its damage reduction. More simply, the more armor stat you have, the less it will block per point.
To visualize it more clearly, I’ll give you a few examples. A character with 750 armor will have 60% of incoming damage blocked. It will take a whopping 2000 armor to block 80% of incoming damage. To block 90% of incoming damage, you will need to have 4500 armor points. However, if you’d like to be a superhero among exiles and block 99% of incoming damage, you would need nearly 50,000 armor points.
Why is Diminishing Returns in Armor Important to Me?
It’s important when choosing between different armor pieces or entire sets of armor. If you are operating in below 500 points of armor, a couple of hundred points is a massive difference between choices. Even when your total armor stat is under 2000, the difference between armor in each piece could significantly affect your gameplay.
However, at some point, differences in armor between pieces will not matter very much at all. Don’t neglect a piece with great stats for a piece with a couple of hundred points of armor that will only serve to block 1% of incoming damage because your total armor stat is already very high.
Advanced Armor Construction
As your character reaches the end of their leveling progression, the only thing left to improve will be your equipment. As tools don’t add any stat bonuses to your character, and weapons add relatively little, armor will be your main source of character stat improvement in the late-game.
Armor will also make up the majority of your attribute bonuses in the late game of Conan Exiles. Not only does armor provide traditional attributes like strength or grit, but armor can also be a great source of cold resistance and heat resistance. You can find armor with these attribute bonuses, or you can dedicate yourself to learning how to craft them.
Investing some time into learning to craft advanced armor is a worthy endeavor.
Armorer’s Bench Upgrades
Your first armorer’s bench upgrade could be as far as you ever take it. The improved armorer’s bench will add 40 new slots to its inventory. It will also reduce your crafting speed by 50% and the number of resources necessary to craft by 25%.
You’ll have a choice to make if you decide to upgrade any further than that. Would you like a fast armorer’s bench or one that takes far fewer resources to craft items at?
The campaign armorer’s bench crafts items 200% faster than a standard bench but has no bonus for ingredient reduction.
The garrison armorer’s bench crafts items at the same speed as a standard bench but requires 50% fewer resources to craft them.
You can learn the recipe for both of these best-in-game benches at level 56 with the grandmaster armorer feat.
While there is absolutely no reason not to employ a low-tier thrall at your armorer’s bench, it will take considerable effort to station a high-tier one there. The benefit matches the challenge.
As you move up in the tiers, thrall workers contribute many aspects to the construction of a piece of armor. From tier one through four, these bonuses increase as the tier goes up.
They add damage dealt, which is the same as adding strength, agility, follower damage, or concussive damage to a piece. They add both stamina and health to pieces. Thralls also decrease the weight and increase the durability of a piece produced at their station. Lastly, they even increase the armor’s armor contribution, with a bonus based on whether it is light, medium, or heavy.
Tier 4 Armorer Thralls: Specializations
When you’re lucky and skilled enough to capture a T4 or named armorer thrall, you’ll want to pull up their character sheet to find out what their specialization is. There are three types of T4 named armorer thrall: the shieldwright, the scoutwright, and the temperwright.
You won’t be able to tell which you’ve got from a distance, so if you’re on the hunt for a particular specialization, you’ll need just to take any armorer you see until you get the one you need. One is not necessarily better than the other, but their bonuses suit different purposes.
To make armor that has the highest armor rating, you should be on the hunt for a shieldwright. To make the lightest armor possible, you should be looking for a scoutwright. To make the most durable armor possible, you should be looking for a temperwright. You can see how their names help players remember their functions.
For those that came to this article only concerned with what their armor looks like, I praise you for following the righteous path, and I have some excellent news. Conan Exiles now has a trans-mog system, so you will no longer need to sacrifice function for form. I’m still proud of you for your long-term commitment and patience.
Similar to their base-building mechanics, Funcom really focused most on the cosmetic details of armor, and anyone that wants to argue that point with me can just go look at the majority of the content of their paid DLC packs. It was a shame that for so many years, players had to make a choice between looking the way they wanted to and playing the way they wanted to. With the new illusion system, they will no longer have to.
In order to “illusion” one of your items to look like another, you will need to have invested in learning the basics of sorcery. You’ll need to have built a thaumaturgy table and crafted an arcane wand to perform the illusion. You may also only illusion items to look like items you already know how to craft.
Is It All Fluff? Illusion As an Advantage
There is a reason the trans-mog system is called an illusion and requires significant effort to learn. In a game like Conan Exiles, changing the look of your armor can be an insidious advantage over your opponents. Similar to covering the battlefield with a layer of fog (which is also learned in the sorcery tree), illusions are not an obvious attack but rather a subtle advantage.
The most obvious way to take advantage of changing the appearance of your armor is the least fun one. You can easily honeypot other players by making your end-game armor look like a beginner’s set. They will come in to murder you for some easy resources and realize their mistake way to late.
It can be difficult chasing down players when you look like you should be the boss at the end of the dungeon. The illusion gives you the opportunity to trick other players into approaching you first, and who doesn’t love cutting down someone that had every intention of taking advantage of a new player?
There are less drastic measures for using illusion to your advantage. It can be as simple as camouflaging yourself better with your environment or as complex as mimicking another player or playstyle.
Best Armor in Conan Exiles (By Type Of Course)
This is a highly subjective category because not every player wants the same things out of their end-game sets. However, you truly can’t go wrong with these sets, so acquiring them is not a bad goal to set.
You should remember that many of these can be made in other types besides the one I have recommended. If you like their stats but would rather run them in light, medium or heavy, it’s possible they can be crafted in those types.
Best Light Armor
Khari Raider armor is my pick for the best light armor. It adds a whopping 15% damage to agility-based weapons. The set also includes +45% to your carrying capacity, and with all the mobility bonuses of light armor, you’ll be able to dodge and jump all over the place.
To put together the recipes for the Khari Raider set, you will need to feed Stygian Raider epic armor into the delving bench. Stygian Raider epic armor can result in recipes from one of three sets at the delving bench, so don’t give up hope if you learn Khari Soldier or Kari Overseer recipes instead.
Crafting the best Khari Raider armor available will require a T4 named armorer thrall. It only makes sense to craft it at an improved armorer’s bench or better.
Best Medium Armor
Silent Legion Medium is my pick for the best medium armor. The set adds 40 health, ten stamina, 30% carrying capacity, 6% damage to strength-based weapons, and 6% damage to agility-based weapons. If you are running a strength-based weapon, this won’t be the right set for you, but if you are running an agility-based weapon, you’ll be tough as nails.
You’ll need to run the Black Keep to learn the recipes for Silent Legion armor. The recipes can be found in the Kinscourge’s room.
To make the highest-quality version, you’ll need a T4 named armorer thrall stationed at your armorer’s bench. Use an improved armorer’s bench or higher to save yourself on time and ingredients.
Best Heavy Armor
My choice for the best heavy armor is the Voidforged Dragonhide heavy set. I like to get right to the point with 6% of added damage to strength-based weapons and increase a heavy armor wearer’s mobility with a +10 to their stamina pool. The added 80 health never hurt anyone.
You’ll need to venture into the Sinkhole to learn this set. The tome is close to the undead dragon, on a platform opposite the beast.
Craft Voidforged Dragonhide armor with a T4 armorer thrall for even better bonuses on your pieces. The mats for these pieces are expensive, and you should consider an upgraded armorer’s bench to craft the set at.
Armor and Your Combat Thrall
Now that you know how to dress yourself, you might be wondering what the best armor is to put on your thrall. There are two modes of thinking here, you can either make up for the important stat that your thrall did not level well, or you can add more to the stat you have already prioritized.
For example, if you’ve prioritized strength while leveling your thrall, then you may consider a set with vitality or a set with more strength to add even more damage to their build. Strength and vitality are really the only two stats that matter when it comes to leveling and equipping your thrall.
Any way you decide to go with your attribute build is fine, but most players agree there’s no reason not to equip your combat thrall with heavy armor. One of heavy armor’s major downsides is its weight, but thralls have no encumbrance limit. This means that they can enjoy all of the armor benefits of heavy without worrying about its primary drawback.
Dress For the Job You Want
While your choice of weapon may be the number one contributor to playstyle in Conan Exiles, armor is a very close second. Armor types affect your mobility and are directly linked to your survivability. While your character build is important, you won’t be able to accomplish much until you’ve acquired a decent set of armor. The damage reduction it provides will be necessary for you to access much of the game’s content.
In addition to damage reduction, armor will be your number one contributor to stats outside of your attribute tree. As you only have 60 attribute points to work with, you can see how points added from armor will eventually become a significant part of your build. On top of that, the armor you wear will set you apart even more than that eye color you spent hours picking in the character creator. Your friends will envy a nice set, and your enemies will fear one!
FAQ – Conan Exiles Armor
Question: What is the best armor in Conan Exiles?
Answer: This depends on your build, priorities, and which DLC you’ve purchased. For the vanilla game, I would go with any of the Silent Legion armor. You can craft it in light, medium, or heavy, depending on your needs. The sets each have different perks but come with added health, stamina, carrying capacity, and damage for strength-based weapons. You will have to run the Black Keep and defeat the Kinscourge to learn the Silent Legion recipes. You’ll find them in the room of the Kinscourge himself.
Question: Does armor matter in Conan Exiles?
Answer: Yes, armor matters quite a bit in Conan Exiles. It matters more than a completely skilled-based game, but far less than a strictly RPG game. Armor provides damage reduction but, more importantly, adds stats to your character’s overall build. Armor will become your main source of stats after your attribute tree is completely leveled. There is a huge difference in combat viability between identical characters with differing quality of armor, even more so than weapons or other equipment.
Question: How do you get armor in Conan Exiles?
Answer: Armor is predominantly crafted in Conan Exiles. You can find armor in chests or drops, but even high-level mobs won’t be holding the equivalent to what you can craft. The better question would involve where to find recipes for armor in Conan Exiles. Many can be learned through your feat tree, but some of the better recipes must be hunted out in the world and in its dungeons. If you want the best armor in the game, you’ll be battling some of its mightiest bosses just to learn the recipe.
Question: What does armor do in Conan Exiles?
Answer: Armor’s primary function in Conan Exiles is damage reduction. At 500 points of armor your character will receive 50% less damage from their enemies. Some damage does avoid armor, but for the most part, armor will be the equipment most responsible for keeping you alive. Advanced armor also comes with warmth and cold resistance to help traverse hostile terrain and added bonuses like stamina, health, or weapon damage. Armor will be your primary source of attribute bonuses at max-level.
Question: Is there a way to change my armor’s appearance in Conan Exiles?
Answer: If all you need is a change of color, consider constructing a dyer’s table to dye your armor. The nice thing about dye in Conan Exiles is that you can choose different portions of each piece of armor to either dye different colors or leave their natural color. This means there are thousands of combinations for each piece of armor and no two players will look alike. If you want to change how your armor looks completely, consider investing in sorcery and casting an illusion on your armor. In this way, you can make any armor look like any other piece of armor that your already know how to craft.
Question: What does an improved armorer’s bench do in Conan Exiles?
Answer: An improved armorer’s bench will cut down the time needed to make a piece of armor and also the resources required for that piece. Compared to the standard bench, you will craft armor 50% fast and use 25% fewer resources. The improved armorer’s bench also has 60 inventory slots, while the standard only has 20.