Best Armors in Dwarf Fortress Ranked

Dwarf Fortress artwork
Image via Bay 12 Games

It goes without saying that good (or even any) armor can save your dwarf from almost certain death.

While there are numerous categories that can be used for ranking different armor pieces in this game, we have compiled a ranked list of the best armor in Dwarf Fortress based on the material it’s made of.

5. Cloth Armor

Even though it may be counterintuitive, cloth or regular clothing still can count as armor in Dwarf Fortress. But don’t expect miracles here. Clothing provides next to no protection against attacks. While it can protect your dwarf against minor attacks (for example, by ravens), in actual combat, it is quite useless.

Still, your dwarves will need to wear clothes, or else they get unhappy thoughts. You can get clothing made from cloth or leather at a Leather works or a Clothier’s shop but go for clothes made of silk if possible, as it provides some more protection.

4. Leather Armor

Leather armor is real armor, crafted for protection, first and foremost. It can work quite well against attacks coming from smaller animals, but it won’t do much in military combat or against large beasts. Still, it is better than nothing.

This armor type is generally used by hunters or before you develop your metal industry.

3. Bone Armor

The effectiveness of bone armor and leather armor is on pretty much the same level, but bone leather may give you just a little bit more protection. Again, don’t expect too much—a dwarf with bone armor will easily perish when facing an enemy all clad in metal.

You can get bone armor at a Craftsdwarf’s workshop, but armor pieces that can be made of bone include only gauntlets, leggings, greaves, and helms.

2. Shell Armor

Another armor type that can be crafted at a Craftsdwarf’s workshop is shell armor, but just like bone or leather armor, you won’t get much protection from this material either. You can get helms, greaves, gauntlets, and leggings made out of shells, but this armor is worth considering only if you still don’t have access to creating metal pieces.

1. Metal Armor

The real player when it comes to defense, metal armor is the option you should get as soon as possible if you plan on doing any serious combat. Still, you should be aware that the effectiveness of your metal armor depends on the type of metal used.

Copper is the weakest option, while iron or bronze armors provide a significant upgrade. The best armor options would be pieces made of steel or adamantine. When it comes to metal armor, you can choose between chain pieces and plate pieces or combine them for a full suit. Metal armor can slow your dwarf down, but this can be improved by investing in the Armor User skill.

Let us know what your preferred armor combination is in the comments and, while you’re here, check out our list of the best weapons in Dwarf Fortress or learn how to build and use hospitals (in case your armor fails you).

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Best Armors in Dwarf Fortress Ranked


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