Raising this skill improves the effectiveness of the light armors worn, and effects of the armor, such as carry weight and stamina regeneration. The Light Armor skill is raised incurring damage while light armor is equipped, paying a trainer to train the Dragonborn, or by reading skill books.
Initially Light armor provides less protection than Heavy Armor, however, due to the maximum in-game armor cap, it will eventually provide just as much protection as Heavy armor. It also weighs less, slows the wearer less, and allows for much quieter sneaking. It comes in several varieties, providing different aesthetics, armor ratings and weights.
Leveling up armor skills is relatively simple: take physical damage in combat while wearing armor pieces of that type. To level up the Light Armor skill most efficiently, wear a full set of Light Armor (head, hands, feet, chest). The rate of skill gain is based on the total amount of damage incoming before armor is applied. Thus, taking multiple attacks from a skeever or wolf levels Light Armor at a significantly slower rate than blows from giants or mammoths would. Being the victim of power attacks likewise grants more experience than a standard attack. Conversely increasing armor rating does not decrease the rate at which the skill advances.
For those who are Guildmaster of the Thieves Guild, wearing the Amulet of Articulation when taking hits will increase the Light Armor skill, as the amulet counts as Light Armor. The Diadem of the Savant also increases the Light Armor skill when worn in battle.
One can rapidly level up the skill simply by finding an enemy (or group of enemies) which uses physical attacks and allowing them to attack without attacking back. Mudcrabs are useful in this regard, as they have low health yet can do enough damage, especially the larger varieties. Restoration magic and healing potions can be used to restore any damage taken (thus one can also level up the Restoration skill simultaneously). If you have a shield of the appropriate Armor type, one can also upgrade the block skill as well during this process. Taking on larger groups and/or more powerful enemies will level the skill(s) faster, but one has to balance their ability to restore their own health against the amount of damage they will be taking.
To level up the skill in complete safety, especially at low levels, one can find a brawl opponent willing to brawl repeatedly without charging a wager - usually during a quest such as the "Hired Muscle" quest often dispensed near the beginning of the Companions questline or the "Taking Care of Business" quest for the Thieves Guild.
The following books provide a permanent one-time increase to the Dragonborn's Light Armor skill. See each book's page for a list of possible locations.
- Ice and Chitin
- Jornibret's Last Dance
- Rislav the Righteous
- The Rear Guard
- The Refugees
- Oghma Infinium – choosing the Path of Shadow increases all Thief skills, including Light Armor, by five.
The following quests increase or help to increase the Light Armor skill:
- Defeat the bandit leader for Annekke in Darkwater Crossing.
- Retrieve Shahvee's Amulet of Zenithar in Windhelm Argonian Assemblage. Also increases Lockpicking.
- Retrieve Finn's Lute for Inge Six Fingers at the Bards College in Solitude. Completing this objective also increases the Alchemy, Sneak, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, and Speech skills.
- Scouts-Many-Marshes (Adept): Windhelm
- Grelka (Expert): The market in Riften
- Nazir (Master): Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary or Dawnstar Sanctuary
The following are the confirmed light armors that will benefit from this skill:
- Chitin Armor DR – shield, helmet, gauntlets, boots, and cuirass.
- Hide Armor – shield, helmet, gauntlets, boots, and cuirass.
- Leather Armor – helmet, gauntlets, boots, and cuirass.
- Studded Armor – cuirass.
- Elven Armor – shield, helmet, gauntlets, boots, and cuirass.
- Scaled Armor – helmet, gauntlets, boots, and cuirass.
- Glass Armor – shield, helmet, gauntlets, boots, and cuirass.
- Stalhrim Armor DR – shield, helmet, gauntlets, boots, and cuirass.
- Dragonscale Armor – shield, helmet, gauntlets, boots, and cuirass.
- Imperial Light Armor – shield, helmet, bracers, boots, and cuirass.
These armors are acquired as part of a quest line or looted throughout the world. They may or may not be unique.
- Ancient Falmer Armor DG – Boots, Gauntlets, Chestpiece.
- Ancient Shrouded Armor – Head, Chestpiece, Boots, Gloves.
- Blackguard's Armor DR – Head, Chestpiece, Boots, Gauntlets.
- Dawnguard Armor DG – Head, Boots, Gauntlets and Chestpiece.
- Deathbrand Armor DR – Head, Gauntlets, Chestpiece, Boots.
- Diadem of the Savant – Head.
- Forsworn Armor – Head, Gauntlets, Boots, Chestpiece.
- Fur Armor – Head, Gauntlets, Boots, Chestpiece (various styles).
- Gloves of the Pugilist – Gloves.
- Guild Master's Armor Set – Head, Chestpiece, Boots, Gloves.
- Hold Guard Armor – Head, Chestpiece, Shield.
- Imperial Studded Armor – Chestpiece.
- Krosis – Mask.
- Linwe's Armor – Head, Gauntlets, Boots, Chestpiece.
- Miraak – Mask.
- Morag Tong Armor DR – Head, Chestpiece, Boots, Gauntlets.
- Morokei – Mask.
- Nightingale Armor – Head, Gauntlets, Boots, Chestpiece.
- Penitus Oculatus Armor – Head, Gauntlets, Boots, Chestpiece.
- Savior's Hide – Chestpiece.
- Scaled Horn Armor – Chestpiece.
- Shrouded Armor – Head, Chestpiece, Gauntlets, Boots.
- Skaal Armor DR – Head, Coat, Boots, Gloves.
- Stormcloak Armor – Head, Chestpiece.
- Stormcloak Officer Armor – Head, Chestpiece, Gauntlets, and Boots.
- Thieves Guild Armor – Head, Gauntlets, Boots, Chestpiece.
- Torturer's Hood – Head (only available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition).
- Tumblerbane Gloves – Gauntlets.
- Vampire Armor DG – Boots, Gauntlets and Chestpiece.
- Volsung – Mask.
- Wooden Mask – Mask.
- Worn Shrouded Armor – Head, Chestpiece, Gauntlets, Boots.
Hold Guard Armor
|Falkreath Guard's Armor||23||6||75||Leather||None||0002151E|
|Hjaalmarch Guard's Armor||00021520|
|Markarth Guard's Armor||00021508|
|Pale Guard's Armor||00021525|
|Riften Guard's Armor||00021507|
|Solitude Guard's Armor||000C7F5B|
|Whiterun Guard's Armor||0002150D|
|Winterhold Guard's Armor||00021522|
Hold Guard Helmets
|Falkreath Guard's Helmet||11||2||35||Iron Ingot||None||00021619|
|Hjaalmarch Guard's Helmet||0002161B|
|Markarth Guard's Helmet||00021613|
|Pale Guard's Helmet||0002161F|
|Riften Guard's Helmet||00021622|
|Solitude Guard's Helmet||000C7F5C|
|Whiterun Guard's Helmet||00021615|
|Winterhold Guard's Helmet||0002161D|
|Chitin Shield DR||24.5||8||215||Chitin Plate||Elven Smithing||026235|
|Dawnguard Rune Shield DG||27||6||450||Steel Ingot||Advanced Armors||011baf|
|Dragonscale Shield||29||6||750||Dragon Scales||Dragon Armor||00013941|
|Elven Shield||21||4||115||Refined Moonstone||Elven Smithing||0001391E|
|Glass Shield||27||6||450||Refined Malachite||Glass Smithing||0001393C|
|Herebane's Fortress||21||4||817||Refined Moonstone||Elven Smithing||000F9649|
|Imperial Light Shield||19||4||40||Leather||Steel Smithing||00013AB2|
|Reflecting Shield DG||68||6||455||00488a|
|Stalhrim Shield DR||29.5||10||600||Stalhrim||Ebony Smithing||026237|
The following are the perks that become available to select as the skill is leveled up.
|Agile Defender (5)||Light Armor 0/20/40/60/80||Increase armor rating for Light Armor by 20% (+20% per additional rank)|
|Custom Fit||Light Armor 30, Agile Defender||25% armor bonus if wearing all Light Armor: head, chest, hands, feet|
|Unhindered||Light Armor 50, Custom Fit||Light Armor weighs nothing and doesn't slow you down when worn|
|Wind Walker||Light Armor 60, Unhindered||Stamina regenerates 50% faster in all Light Armor: head, chest, hands, feet|
|Matching Set||Light Armor 70, Custom Fit||Additional 25% Armor bonus if wearing a matched set of Light Armor.|
|Deft Movement||Light Armor 100, Wind Walker, Matching Set||10% chance of avoiding all damage from a melee attack while wearing all Light Armor: head, chest, hands, feet|
|Skills in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim|
|The Mage||Alteration • Conjuration • Destruction • Enchanting • Illusion • Restoration|
|The Thief||Alchemy • Light Armor • Lockpicking • Pickpocket • Sneak • Speech|
|The Warrior||Archery • Block • Heavy Armor • One-Handed • Smithing • Two-Handed|