Is Mage Armor Perk Worth It in Skyrim?

Should you use Mage Armor Perk or go with the regular armor in Skyrim while playing as a mage?

Mage Armor is a perk associated with the Alteration School of Magic in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This perk is mainly described as an alternative to actual armor, meaning it grants players a temporary boost of armor rating, given no actual armor is worn. This is understandable, considering Mages do not prefer to suit up for a hand-to-hand combat. Let’s discuss whether or not this perk is suitable for Mage builds in Skyrim.

Mage Armor Spells

The Mage Armor perk has 5 spells that fall under it, and each of these spells has a different level of armor rating they grant along with their duration. The spells are written below from weakest to strongest:

  • Oakflesh (Improves armor rating by 40 points for 60 seconds)
  • Stoneflesh (Improves armor rating by 60 points for 60 seconds)
  • Ironflesh (Improves armor rating by 80 points for 60 seconds)
  • Ebonyflesh (Improves armor rating by 100 points for 60 seconds)
  • Dragonhide (Caster is unaffected by 80% of all physical damage)

Combining other perks along with Mage Armor can increase the durability and decrease the cost of the spells. The “Alteration Dual Casting” perk will double the time duration of the spell casted and “Stability” increases the time duration of spells by 50%. The ”Master Alteration” perk decreases spell cost. You can even combine other perks to your advantage, along with the mage Armor perk.

Is it better to have the Mage Armor Instead of a Regular Armor?

From all the points we have discussed so far for Mage Armor, it is evident that this perk does a fine job when it comes to protection against physical damage in Skyrim. If a player uses the Ebonyflesh spell with all 3 points of Mage Armor unlocked, then the player is casting a 300 armor rating, which is very high. The one and probably the worst downside about this perk is the time duration of the spells. Such a spell can wear off when fighting a boss or a big group of enemies, whereas regular armor will keep its ground until taken off. Armor sets may offer less armor rating, but they also offer consistency.

If your playstyle revolves around role-playing as a Mage throughout the game, then you want to go with the Mage Armor perk. Use the additional perks mentioned above to aid your ‘caped’ crusade. Even if you want to play as a mage and not go by the book of roleplaying, it would be beneficial to keep an armor set in the inventory in case it is needed. Grab a high-damage dealing weapon, learn some devastating spells, and wear your robe. Playing without armor is an experience in itself. Do remember to use spells and enchantments to your advantage.

Another factor that comes into consideration is your ‘Presence of mind’ in the game. Playing without armor will result in you having to be aware that you need to cast the spell every time before going into battle and you will also need a certain amount of Magicka every time to even cast the spell altogether. Compared to Regular Armor, all you have to worry about is whether or not your armor set is the toughest or the coolest one in Skyrim.

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Ali is a passionate RPG gamer. He believes that western RPGs still have a lot to learn from JRPGs. He is editor-in-chief at but that doesn't stop him from writing about his favorite video ...