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About this mod

Are you sick of swords cutting through Steel Plate like through butter? Every hit being predictable? Every type of armor feeling the same, regardless of material? No more!
Greatly increased combat depth and immersion; a sparkle of realism and balance for your fantasy game!

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Short Summary

This mod adds weapon specific strengths and weaknesses to all armors in Skyrim. Armor protections come in two "layers", called Deflect and Pierce protections and can be set independently for each armor set, for each weapon type. Additionally armors can have attributes which hinder or improve the wearers regenerative abilities and speed. All options are fully customizable and the mod should be compatible with almost everything.

Examples: A Steel Plate armor may offer lots of protection, especially against swords, but will fall flat against maces. It will also slow you down and hinder your regeneration. On the other hand swords will make short work of leather, but it cushions blunt strikes and protects against frost magic while offering good maneuverability and so on.


In vanilla Skyrim there are different armor types and a multitude of armor sets, yet all of them fit somewhere into the spectrum from warm butter to cold butter. Some offer more protection, some less, but ultimately they are all the same; an aesthetically glorified multiplier to your health pool. There are no differences, no diversity, no strengths and weaknesses to any of them. The armor system is shallow and boring. This is also reflects on vanilla combat, which is pathetic at best, especially when considering that it is a major cornerstone of the game.

There are many mods out there which attempt to remedy this, none of which address the problematic role of armor in the equation sufficiently. We have several dedicated combat and balancing mods, but all of them just add things on top of this flawed system instead of fixing it. It's like trying to improve a disgusting cake by adding icing on top in hope that no one notices. Sure it does make it better, but ideally the thing underneath should be replaced all together. The mod which comes closest to fixing these problems is probably Weapons and Armor Attributes which is a step in the right direction, but simply does not take the idea nearly far enough.

That is where True Armor comes in. This mod completely overhauls the way armor fundamentally works in Skyrim, up to the point where it can practically replace the vanilla armor system completely. You will be hard pressed to find any mod which offers a more immersive, realistic and in-depth experience regarding the mechanics of armor.


True Armor is fully customizable and offers a lot of settings so that many different setups and effects can be achieved. The majority of settings is dedicated to the new armor protection and attribute system. In True Armor there are 15 distinct groups of armor and every piece of armor will be classified to belong to one such group. For more information on the classification and supported armors see the article on Classification of Armors.

For each armor group there are protection values against each major weapon and magic type. For each type there is a deflect protection and chance as well as a pierce protection and chance. The game first rolls for the deflect chance and if it succeeded the damage will be reduced by the deflect protection. If it did not succeed it will roll for the pierce chance next and if that succeeds the damage will be reduced by the pierce protection. If both rolls failed the damage will transfer fully. For more information and the reasoning behind this system see the article on Deflect and Pierce Protections. Additionally each armor group has a set of attributes associated with it. These attributes are applied to characters that are wearing any piece of armor from the specific group. Armor pieces with a higher priority are proportionally more likely to be hit and contribute stronger to the armor attributes a character gets.

Due to the amount of armor groups and settings for each, it can be very time consuming to adjust them all. That's what the Baseline Adjustment page is for. If you are satisfied with how the armors relate to each other, but you want them all to offer a tad more protection, you can quickly adjust them across the board here. Similarly for the attributes.

Next to the core mechanics of True Armor it also comes with a few other features. First of all it can limit the effective health pool of NPCs to counter their sometimes ridiculous amounts of health. This works by reducing their resistances to achieve the desired effective health and works very well. Another feature is passive shield protection, which is a chance for you shield to reduce the damage taken even when you did not block actively, but the attack came from the direction of your shield. This can especially benefit lightly armored characters which do not resort to using armor.

How True Armor can improve your game:
  • Armors which offer real protection (not the "I am just a fancy multiplier" kind of protection)
  • You can actually rely on your armor protecting you if the circumstances are right
  • Actual tradeoffs and considerations when choosing weapons and armors
  • Armors will noticeably feel different
  • Carrying multiple weapons to deal with different enemies actually makes sense
  • Analyzing your enemies, positioning and combat strategy becomes much more rewarding
  • Brainless pummeling of enemies is getting punished
  • Fights become less predictable
  • Increased immersion & realism
  • Focus on efficient counterplays as opposed to character / weapon / armor level

Limitations of True Armor:
  • Not every set of armor is unique (too much to handle and maintain, there are already borderline too many right now)
  • It uses cloak scripts, no way around it. I believe the scripts to be fairly lightweight, but it may be an issue if you run many mods.
  • It may slow your game down due to many perks on the player (Noticed no problems running 80 mods on my 6 year old PC, but I figure it could happen)
  • No hitzones. Which piece of armor is getting hit is random, though you can assign priorities to the armor slots
  • No animations, sounds, ... the mod is all about numbers

Note that True Armor is a mod which is almost exclusively about protection. Therefore it will increase the tankyness of characters across the board. While you could technically use it with just the absolutely needed requirements, I would strongly advise against it. In my opinion it is pretty much mandatory to combine it with a balancing mod to raise the stakes again. This is even more important if you also want to use the Health Limiter as that would otherwise render dragons and giants even more of a joke if you do not have a mod to compensate for that. See "Requirements" for some recommendations.

There is a set of example settings included with the mod (you need FISS to make use of it though). Those are the settings I am playing with and which I would recommend. If you want to know more about the specific setup you can read the article Recommended Setup.


Strictly required:

  • FISS 1.21 + (For saving and loading settings, highly recommended!)
  • A balancing mod like Simply Balanced or SkyTweak (To counter the increased tankyness and / or add fine control for the Health Limiter)


- Note: There appears to be a rare incompatibility with certain follower related mods which causes followers to move much faster than they should. If you are using many follower mods I would advice you to create a backup safe and test if this affects you first. The issue is not game breaking, but annoying. If this happened to you, you may want to read about it in the bug section for how reset the speed. -

True Armor should be compatible with almost every other mod, although soft incompatibilities could happen. Especially mods which (dynamically) alter weapon speed could cause problems with weapons swinging too slow or fast. This is a problem because of a bug in the main game (weapon speed defaults to 0 instead of 1 as it should be). True Armor tries to circumvent this automatically, but it may not work with every mod there is. In that case you can tell True Armor manually what to do, or not use the weapon speed by setting it to 0 everywhere.

This mod also works with all mods which add armors to the game, so long as the vanilla (non-DLC) armor keywords are used. Despite Immersive Armors not doing this, support for it is built in since it is so popular and I am using it myself too. More on compatibility for armors added by mods in the article Classification of Armors.

Installation & Uninstallation

For installation I recommend ModOrganizer which is just a great tool. However you should have no trouble installing with NMM or manually if desired.

True Armor alters actor values on the fly when using armor attributes or the Health Limiter. Additionally it distributes scripts to NPCs which is necessary for it to function. When uninstalling it is therefore highly recommended to first restore the default settings or turn all options off, wait 10 seconds, save (ideally as a seperate save) and then uninstall. This gives True Armor time to reset everything to how it should be. When uninstalling mid playthrough True Armor can detect this (as copies of scripts will still be lingering around in the save) and will still attempt to reset everything. However for obvious reasons this is not entirely reliable and it is best avoided.