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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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Note: There is a Special Edition version here!

Why You Need True Armor

In vanilla Skyrim there are different armor types and a multitude of armor sets, yet all of them fit somewhere into the spectrum of warm butter to cold butter. They all function the same, no differences, no diversity, no strengths and weaknesses to any of them. The armor system is shallow and boring. This also reflects on vanilla combat, which is pathetic at best. And while there are many combat mods around, none of them sufficiently address the role of armor in the equation.

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.


  • Armors finally feel and play differently
    Every armor type gets individual and weapon or magic specific protections. Further worn armor will noticeably impact your speed and regeneration.
  • Fair
    Almost all of True Armors effects work on both, the player and those in combat with him or her equally. Light armors make up for their lack of protections with substantially higher speed and regeneration values.
  • Creature protections
    True Armor now lets you assign its armor protections to creatures aswell for a better allround experience.
  • Passive Block mechanic
    Let your shield work for you, even when you are not actively blocking.
  • Sound Effect Overlay
    When your sword glances off their breastplate and your mace crushes their skull beneath, you will be able to tell, just by listening.
  • Dynamic Health Limiter
    No more unrealistic and immersion breaking damage sponge enemies. Bring their health down to reasonable levels as you pass by.
  • Fully customizable
    Tweak hundreds of settings to realize your vision of how armor should work, or simply load one of the included presets and jump straight into the action.
  • Works with all armors, even customs
    Read here how they get sorted into the 15 armor categories: Classification of Armors.
  • Compatible with practically everything
    For a few more details refer to the Compatibility section.

How It Works

Armor Protections

Armor protection comes in two layers, called "Deflect" and "Pierce". They can be set for each armor category, for each damage type.
Deflect is analogous to a glancing hit, small dent, superficial cut, or magic dispersing before making it through.
Pierce is analogous to a shallow weapon penetration, significant dent, or magic that made it barely through.

When you get attacked your protection is calculated like this:
  • The game randomly chooses which area is getting hit, weighted according to the Hit Priorities in the MCM menu.
  • The game rolls whether the attack gets deflected, pierces or ignores the armor of that area completely.
    This roll is weighted according to the deflect and pierce chances of the relevant armor in the MCM menu.
  • Depending on the result the damage will either be reduced by the deflect protection, the pierce protection, or not at all.

Armor Attributes

Each piece of armor that you wear will contribute to your attributes.
Depending on where you wear it the contribution may be smaller or bigger, according to the Attribute Contributions in the MCM menu.
So the chest piece will likely be more important than the helmet for example, for protection and attributes alike.

Passive Block Mechanic

Pretty simple: You only need to have a shield equipped and use it passively.
Just hold it in the direction of an enemy attack and with a bit of luck you will get a significant damage reduction.
Obviously this does not stack with active blocks and won't work in that case. But it does stack with everything else.

Spell Protections

The armor spells of the alteration tree can offer additional protections.
These are independent of the regular armor protections and reduce damage by a certain percentage based on your alteration skill level.
Due to the level scaling these protections are especially helpful for dedicated mages.

Sound Effect Overlay

Starting with version 2.3.4, True Armor can give players audible feedback on the effectiveness of their strikes and those of enemies.
This eliminates the need to closely watch the health bar at all times to judge your protections and those of the enemy.
Currently only the physical damage sources are supported and the volume can be freely adjusted by preference.

Note that as the name suggests this feature is merely an overlay. It does not and can not eliminate the default sounds of your game.
Note also that the playback of those sounds can lag behind if you are experiencing script lag (even if it is just a momentary spike).
This nontheless generally works fairly well.

Dynamic Health Limiter

The health limiter enforces an effective health limit for NPCs by adjusting their resistances (works fine with buffs / debuffs).
In its simplest form the limit is calculated just by base health and health per level , as set in the MCM menu.
The endurance factor however can greatly enhance the limiters usefulness as it takes the estimated toughness of an actor into account.
This factor involves some mathematical magic and is dynamically computed based on size, mass, stamina and magicka of the NPC.
After the limit was set for the actor, it is then enforced with the specified strength or influence.

Example (ignoring the more complicated endurance factor here):
MCM settings: Base Health = 80, Health per Level = 8, Limiter Strength = 75%
Bandit NPC with 600 health at level 10 will have a calculated limit of -> 80 + ((10 - 1) * 8) = 152
That Limit will be enforced with 75% strength, so the Bandit will have -> (0.25 * 600) + (0.75 * 152) = 264 effective health

Setup Recommendations & Advice

  • I highly recommend to use a balancing mod to increase the damage you deal and take. True Armor, if used as intended, will increase the tankyness of most enemies and yourself, in some cases very substantially. I think combat is already way too slow as is, so get yourself Simply Balanced or SkyTweak and bring the damage values up.
  • I also recommend to rebalance the weapon types for the best experience. Daggers should deal only slightly less damage than swords, swords should deal the most base damage of all weapons as they are the most specialized and have hard counters, then axes and afterwards maces, which should have the lowest base damage in exchange for being pretty effective against almost everything. This gives the weapons a very distinct risk-reward structure and makes them all more viable.
  • If you like the True Armor configuration you are currently using, but feel like some armors are over- or underperforming, or you think the attributes are not pronounced enough etc. use the Baseline Adjustments page! Here you can quickly tweak these things without changing the details.
  • If you want to create your own True Armor configuration don't be too shy with pumping out higher protection numbers. 40% protection is almost nothing for example, it wouldn't even let you survive twice as long as without any protection at all. Remember that one percent of protection is worth much more at 90% than it is at 50%.
  • For channeled magic the deflect and pierce chances are rolled just once and then apply for the whole duration. This is an unavoidable limitation and for that reason I recommend to set magic up as straight multipliers instead of chance based ones.

Strictly required:



True Armor is compatible with almost every other mod. However minor, reversible, soft incompatibilities can happen:
  • Weapons swinging way too slow or fast. Happens when using mods that don't take others into account properly.
  • Mods overwriting the game settings (speed penalty, stamina penalty, armor rating efficiency). Only one mod can control those at a time.
  • Mods that somehow depend on the attributes of actors and have not taken other mods into account may be thrown off by True Armor.

Usually modded armors can only be fully supported when they use the recognized, "official", Skyrim keywords. Immersive Armors is the only exception with built-in support despite not adhering to those, because it is so popular and I happen to use it myself.

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.

When Updating from a previous version:

  • Save your settings if you are using customs
  • Disable all True Armor options on the General Settings page, or load the default blank state
  • Wait a minute so that True Armor can clean up
  • Save game, exit game, install new version (overwrite old version)
  • Resume game, load your settings, done

When uninstalling:

Please do not remove True Armor from your game while it is active!
While that will not break your game, it will leave lingering scripts behind and will cause any attribute changes at the time of removal to become permanent. Instead follow the updating routine (and ideally create a seperate save), then when exiting the game, just remove the files.