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Armor is a new class of items in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Armor serves a variety of purposes, primarily defensive, allowing Link to take more damage. Certain pieces of Armor such as the Warm Doublet can also protect Link from the elements similar to the Goron Tunic from Ocarina of Time.

Armorless

Breath of the Wild Armor Armorless Link (No Armor Equipped)

Link without any Armor equipped from Breath of the Wild

For the first time in a Zelda game, Link can choose to unequipped his armor completely. When all armor is unequipped, Link will appear bare chested and bare footed, wearing equipment straps and only a pair of boxer shorts of apparently Sheikah design. Once acquired Link will also wear the Sheikah Slate on his belt regardless as to whether he's wearing armor or not when not using it or its Runes.

When Link first awakens from the Slumber of Restoration, he is armorless though an Old Shirt and Well-Worn Trousers can be found in chests located in the hall beyond the chamber where Link slept in medical stasis.

However Link's defense suffers as a result forcing him to rely on "Tough" food dishes, Tough Elixirs, or Daruk's Protection. Additionally certain characters like the Old Man, Paya, Purah, and Hestu will react to Link if he speaks to them without body armor (as he can wear head and leg armor yet still trigger these reactions). Paya will become flustered and covers her eyes telling him not to walk around so underdressed though this is due her shyness making uncomfortable being around a half-naked Link whom she is infatuated with. The Old Man will inform him of the benefits of wearing armor and the drawbacks of not doing so, but lets Link do as he pleases. The Old Man will also point out Link can swim faster while armorless which is the only benefit though later in the game it is rendered moot by armor that increases his swimming speed. Purah will take the opportunity to examine his old battle scars and notes his injuries from a century prior have mostly healed, though should Link remove his body armor near her she will say "Fascinating..." via a minor text bubble. Hestu has not problem with Link not wearing clothes as Koroks do not wear clothing and even encourages this behavior.

However their are times when Link finds himself without armor such as when he first awakens from the Slumber of Restoration during "Follow the Sheikah Slate", "Stranded on Eventide", and "EX Trial of the Sword" though he can acquire armor during all of them. Additionally he may need to remove armor during certain quests to fulfill specific task or conditions such as standing on the Mijah Rokee Shrine's dias platform armorless on a Blood Moon night during "Under a Red Moon" and to show Robbie his battle scars to prove his identity during "Robbie's Research".

List of armor

Head Armor

Body Armor

Leg Armor

Armor sets

There is some armor that give effect bonuses for wearing those in the same set. Most need to get enhanced by the Great Fairies twice to access them. However DLC armor sets have their set bonus by default as they cannot be upgraded. Armor Sets obtained by Amiibo Rune must be upgraded twice. Some armor sets lack set bonuses entirely.

Set Head Body Legs Effect Set Bonus
Ancient Ancient Helm Ancient Cuirass Ancient Greaves Guardian Resist Ancient Proficiency
Barbarian Barbarian Helm Barbarian Armor Barbarian Leg Wraps Attack Up Charge Ark: Stamina Up
Climbing Climber's Bandanna Climbing Gear Climbing Boots Climb Speed Up Climbing Jump Stamina Up
Dark Dark Hood Dark Tunic Dark Trousers None Night Speed Up
Desert Voe Desert Voe Headband Desert Voe Spaulder Desert Voe Trousers Heat Resistance Shock Resistance
Fierce Deity Fierce Deity Mask Fierce Deity Armor Fierce Deity Boots Attack Up Charge Ark: Stamina Up
Flamebreaker Flamebreaker Helm Flamebreaker Armor Flamebreaker Boots Flame Guard Fireproof
Gerudo Gerudo Veil Gerudo Top Gerudo Sirwal None Heat-Resistant; Hylian "Vai" Disguise
Hero Cap of the Hero Tunic of the Hero Trousers of the Hero None Master Sword Beam Up
Hylian Hylian Hood Hylian Tunic Hylian Trousers None
Phantom Phantom Helmet Phantom Armor Phantom Greaves Attack Up
Phantom Ganon Phantom Ganon Skull Phantom Ganon Armor Phantom Ganon Greaves Stealth Up Disguise; Bone Atk Up
Radiant Radiant Mask Radiant Shirt Radiant Tights Stal Lure Disguise; Bone Atk Up
Rex's costume Salvager Headwear Salvager Vest Salvager Trousers None Swim Dash Stamina Up
Royal Guard Royal Guard Cap Royal Guard Uniform Royal Guard Boots None Charge Atk. Stamina Up
Rubber Rubber Helm Rubber Armor Rubber Tights Shock Resistance Unshockable
Sky Cap of the Sky Tunic of the Sky Trousers of the Sky None Master Sword Beam Up
Snowquill Snowquill Headdress Snowquill Tunic Snowquill Trousers Cold Resistance Unfreezable
Soldier's Soldier's Helm Soldier's Armor Soldier's Greaves None
Stealth Stealth Mask Stealth Chest Guard Stealth Tights Stealth Up Night Speed Up
Time Cap of Time Tunic of Time Trousers of Time None Master Sword Beam Up
Tingle's Outfit Tingle's Hood Tingle's Shirt Tingle's Tights None Night Speed Up
Twilight Cap of Twilight Tunic of Twilight Trousers of Twilight None Master Sword Beam Up
Wild Cap of the Wild Tunic of the Wild Trousers of the Wild None Master Sword Beam Up
Wind Cap of the Wind Tunic of the Wind Trousers of the Wind None Master Sword Beam Up
Zora Zora Helm Zora Armor Zora Greaves Swim Speed Up Swim Dash Stamina Up

Disguises

Monsters

Some armor sets or head armor allow Link to disguise himself causing certain enemies to not attack him depending on the armor or set in question. These include the monster masks sold by Kilton which cause specific archtypes the masks represent to not attack Link unless other unaffected archtypes are around, Link attacks them, or the enemy (except Fire-Breath Lizalfos) accidental lights themselves on fire. However Lynels are only temporarily effected and will eventually see through Link's disguise. The Level 2 or higher "Radiant" and "Phantom Ganon" armor sets effect all "Stal" enemy archtypes save for Stalnox in the same manner while Stalhorse are simply undead domesticated Horses who are not hostile towards Link without a rider. Majora's Mask functions as an all in one version of the masks sold by Kilton, as it affects Bokoblin, Moblin, Lizalfos, and Lynel archtypes. Cursed enemies spawned by Malice are not effected by any disguise. These disguises allow Link to avoid conflict with the enemies they effect and even walk into enemy camps to acquire equipment or materials unopposed, though they will follow Link around out of curiosity. It also allows Link to prepare ambushes. However he must beware of unaffected enemy archtypes and cannot use Campfires or Cook with enemies around regardless.

Hylian Vai

During "Forbidden City Entry", Link learns from Vilia that "Voe" (men) can enter Gerudo Town by disguising themselves as a "Vai" (woman) by wearing the "Gerudo" armor set which is actually Gerudo women's clothing. Thanks to his androgynous appearance Link is able to pass as a Hylian Vai allowing him to enter Gerudo Town to meet the chieftain Makeela Riju, though he must wear it at all times while in town or will be captured and kicked out by the guards. It can only be safely removed within the Gerudo Secret Club and in the town's high oasis which are out of the guards sight. Though most are fooled some realize Link's true gender though all keep quiet about it. Riju and Buliara are fooled at first though once they learn he is the Hylian Champion, both deduce his true gender though Riju makes an exception due to him being Urbosa's comrade-in-arms and Zelda's personal knight provided he maintain his vai disguise out of respect for Gerudo law. It is implied in Urbosa's Diary, that a century prior Urbosa had Link use the same trick when Zelda took advantage of Gerudo Town law forbidding Voe to get away from Link's protection detail as he was assigned as her royal guard. However Zelda managed to leave town before Link gained entry and was later found working on Vah Naboris by Urbosa whom informed Link of her location. However Link lost his memory of the trick though fortunately he relearned it from Vilia, a dark skinned male Hylian merchant whom disguises himself as a Gerudo female to visit Gerudo Town. The disguise is also required for the side quests "The Eighth Heroine" and "The Forgotten Sword", along with any quests received in or require Link to enter Gerudo Town. The Sirwal can be replaced with either the Sand Boots or Snow Boots and the disguise will be maintained. The Gerudo Veil can be replaced by the Thunder Helm.

NPC reactions

Some armor sets cause NPCs to become frightened or react defensively if Link wears it around them though will converse with him normally when spoken too, though the effect can be problematic in certain shops mainly those with purchasable items on display. These include the "Dark" set, "Phantom" set, "Phantom Ganon" set, and "Radiant" set (night time only). Humorously they will react the same way to the "Tingle" set presumably appalled by its design.

Armor Shops

While armor can be obtained from treasure chests, acquired from certain characters over the course of the story, or as rewards for completing Side Quests it can also be purchased from certain shops. Shops that specialize in selling Armor are called Armor Shops which are identified on the map by an Armor Shop icon. Some armor can only be obtained through shops. Some special shops sell a variety of items including armor such as the Fang and Bone, Cherry at the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab, and the Rare Armor Shop which primarily sells rare armor though replacement Hylian Shields can be purchased once the one acquired from Hyrule Castle's Lockup breaks. Robbie and Jerrin's son Granté runs the Rare Armor Shop and according to Jerrin her son is an armor researcher which explaination on how he was able to acquire rare armor. It is implied Granté was influenced by his father's development of the "Ancient" set which can be forged by Cherry though Jerrin wishes he would return home and take over her Shrine research. Other shops are known to craft armor such as Starlight Memories which crafts jewelry from gemstones. In Gerudo Town, it is illegal to sell "Voe" (men's) clothing though demand for it has resulted in a black market for it in the form of the Gerudo Secret Club. However the law only applies to Gerudo Town as Rhondson Armor Boutique in Tarrey Town sells the "Desert Voe" armor set openly due to the law only applying to businesses located in Gerudo Town. The Gerudo Secret Club can craft the Radiant Armor set using Luminous Stones as a special dye to make the armor set's skeleton markings glow at night. The Ancient Oven Cherry can craft the "Ancient" armor set pieces using Ancient Materials. While Enchanted in Kakariko Village sells the Sheikah "Stealth" armor set, the rain resistant garb and umbrella hats the Sheikah wear can only be sold to Sheikah as it is their traditional garb thus not even the Hylian Champion Link can acquire one as they are Sheikah exclusive. Zora's Domain once had an Armor Shop in the past but it was eventually forced to close as it was primarily for non-Zora as Zora wear little to no clothing. Since relations between the Zora and Hylians had become strained following the Great Calamity and access to Zora's Domain became difficult due to the increased monster presence the Armor Shop apparently received little business from Hylian and Gerudo visitors whom were its primary customers.

Dye Shop

In Hateno Village, there is a shop called the Kochi Dye Shop that practices the traditional art of Hateno dying which uses materials to create color dyes allowing armor to be dyed a specific color. Originally the shop acquired the materials to create its dyes though following the Great Calamity they switched to having their customers bring materials to create dyes in exchange for charging customers a lower service fee. Dying armor has no benefits and is purely cosmetic. Additionally the shop can also remove dye from armor using a special removal agent manufactured by the shop. However some armors are made of fabrics or materials that prevents dying and the shop will inform customers of this should they attempt to dye said armor. Fashion Passion is the only Armor Shop that sells pre-dyed armor as it sells a white dyed "Gerudo" armor set and even promotes the Kochi Dye Shop to its customers showing the Dye Shop is well known as far as Gerudo Town which is located far from Hateno Village in the desert on the other side of Hyrule.