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Mass Effect Legendary Edition: Best Armor Sets

In the Mass Effect trilogy, thousands of enemies are out to kill Commander Shepard. Offensive weaponry is, of course, necessary to prevent that from happening, but defense plays a vital role too. The player is going to need something reliable once the projectiles start flying.

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In Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, armor fulfills the primary role of defense. Commander Shepard deserves the best, so not just any old armor will do when the fate of the galaxy is at stake. Knowing which sets to keep may just keep Shepard alive long enough to defeat the Reapers. Be sure to don these valuable boons whenever they are found.

Updated January 5, 2022 by Mark Hospodar: The Mass Effect trilogy puts a lot of freedom in the hands of the player. Uniquely, the type of armor a player wears can speak volumes regarding how they want their Shepard to be perceived. Armor is more than just stats and bonuses; it’s about aesthetics too. In fact, a quick search on the Internet showcases tons of creative ways fans have customized their version of Commander Shepard. Nevertheless, deciding early on what kind of armor to wear is highly recommended, particularly on the higher difficulty settings. Choosing the best armor sets that complement a Mass Effect player’s playstyle is a great way to ensure top effectiveness on the battlefield. Players can’t go wrong with these examples, whether it’s their first time or their hundredth.

15 Inferno Armor


Inferno Armor From Mass Effect 2

Produced by the nefarious Cerberus organization, the Inferno Armor represents a highly advanced piece of equipment. Not only does it augment Shepard’s combat abilities, but the player’s persuasion skills as well. Here’s the full breakdown of the stats from the Mass Effect 2 version:

  • +10% Paragon/Renegade Bonus
  • +10% Power Damage
  • +10% Storm Speed

The bonus to one’s Power Damage makes this set particularly useful for builds that rely on more than just brute force, such as Sentinels and Engineers. In Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, players can research the Inferno Armor on the Normandy for 2,500 Palladium.

The Mass Effect 3 Inferno Armor

The Inferno Armor set is also available to players in Mass Effect 3. It’s still quite useful for those who prefer to use Powers in combat. This version, however, doesn’t contain the bonus to one’s Paragon/Renegade abilities. The armor can be purchased from the Kassa Fabrication terminal in the Presidium Commons for 50,000 credits. Its stats are listed as:

  • +30% Power Recharge Speed
  • +30% Power Damage

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14 Terminus Armor


Terminus Armor From Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Aesthetically, the Terminus Armor is perhaps one of the most intimidating pieces of kit Shepard can don in Mass Effect 2. It’s the quintessential assault armor, perfect for storming enemy positions quickly and annihilating them in short order. Its features include:

  • +10% Storm Speed
  • +10% Reserve Ammunition
  • +15% Shield Strength

The extra Shield Strength can come in handy to give Shepard that extra staying power in a fight. This version of the Terminus Armor can be purchased from Harrot’s Emporium on Omega for 12,000 credits. That price can be knocked down to 10,000 credits if players help resolve the issue between Harrot and Kenn as part of “Omega: Struggling Quarian.”

The Mass Effect 3 Terminus Armor

The Terminus Armor makes a return in Mass Effect 3. It largely fulfills the same functions, albeit with slightly different stats. To procure this version of the Terminus Armor, players must purchase it from the Batarian State Arms terminal in the Citadel Holding Area for 50,000 credits. Its features include:

  • +15% Melee Damage
  • +15% Ammo Capacity
  • +30% Shields

13 Ariake Technologies Armor


Shepard Wearing Ariake Technologies Armor In Mass Effect 3

In Mass Effect 3, the Ariake Technologies brand is one of the many customizable armor sets available to the player. Wearing the full set bestows some very powerful bonuses, especially for those with good aim. The full breakdown consists of:

  • +40% Melee Damage (with Kuwashii Visor)
  • +5% Weapon Damage
  • +10% Headshot Damage

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Obtaining the full set of Ariake Armor is fairly straightforward. The greaves can be acquired for free during “N7: Communication Hub.” The rest can simply be purchased from the various merchants in the Presidium Commons on the Citadel.


12 Hahne-Kedar Armor


Hahne-Kedar Armor From Mass Effect 3

Similar to the previous entry, the Hahne-Kedar Armor is also a customizable set featured in Mass Effect 3. This armor is a pure soldier’s dream. Instead of imparting small bonuses to different categories, the full set bestows a whopping +40% Weapon Damage.

The Hahne-Kedar cuirass can be found during “Tuchanka: Turian Platoon.” Furthermore, the greaves can be acquired in “Priority: Palaven.” Once again, the rest of the set can be purchased from the shopping terminals in the Presidium Commons.

11 Phantom X


Nihlus Wearing Phantom X Armor In Mass Effect 1

In the original Mass Effect, the wide array of armor choices isn’t limited to Shepard alone. Fan-favorite Garrus Vakarian has a few options too when it comes to protection. One of the better armor sets is the X-tier Phantom, the very same piece of equipment Nihlus wears at the beginning of the game. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 44 – Damage Protection
  • 350 – Shields
  • 63 – Tech/Biotic Protection

Considering its light armor, these are largely respectable numbers. Garrus, unsurprisingly, will be able to stay in the fight longer with this kind of gear. To obtain this armor, players can purchase a Serrice Council armory license from Delan or Commander Rentola for 30,000 credits.

10 Predator X


Squadmates Wearing Predator Armor From Mass Effect 1

The first Mass Effect has no shortage of armor on offer. One of the best suits of armor a player can hope to acquire is the X-tier Predator set, which has the best tech/biotic protection stats in the game. Enemies will have a much tougher time disabling Commander Shepard during a battle if players wear this.

The Predator comes in light, medium, and heavy varieties:

  • The light version offers the best tech/biotic protection of 50 and damage resistance of 30.
  • The heavy variant bestows a tech/biotic protection of 34, while damage resistance is set at 58.
  • The medium version splits the difference, bestowing a value of 42 to both tech/biotic and damage protection.

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Players should purchase the Armax Armory license from Expat on the Citadel to acquire the Predator X.

9 Mercenary X – Heavy


Wrex Wearing Mercenary X Armor From Mass Effect 1

The X-tier Mercenary armor is perfect for Soldiers in the original Mass Effect, especially those who favor the heavy variety. It’s best utilized by tanks who enjoy wading into the thick of a battle. The Mercenary X possesses a respectable shield value of 390 for the heavy version. Players can, of course, augment this even further through the use of mods they can find in-game.

The Mercenary X’s biggest strength, however, lies in its damage protection value of 58. The biggest drawback to this armor is its tech/biotic protection, which stands at a paltry 10. Once again, the player may want to consider armor mods that make up for this deficiency. The player can either find this item as loot or purchase an Ariake Technologies license from the C-Sec Requisitions Officer on the Citadel.

8 Kestrel Armor


Shepard Wearing Kestrel Armor From Mass Effect 2

Commander Shepard has the ability to mix-and-match pieces of armor starting in Mass Effect 2. One of the best sets, assuming it’s complete, is the Kestrel Armor. The bonuses of this piece to Shepard’s combat capabilities allow the player to be even deadlier on the battlefield. Wearing the full set imparts these stats:

  • +30% Melee Damage
  • +5% Headshot Damage
  • +11% Weapon Damage
  • +25% Shield Strength
  • +5% Spare Heavy Weapon Ammo Capacity

RELATED: Mass Effect Legendary Edition: Best Heavy Weapons

Mixing pieces of the Kestrel Armor with other sets waters down these effects. As such, players should wear the full suit in its entirety. The Kestrel Armor is available to purchase on Illium from the Serrice Technology vendor. Players will need to complete the “Horizon” mission before the armor is offered for sale.

7 Cerberus Assault Armor


Shepard Wearing Cerberus Assault Armor From Mass Effect 2

Yet another Mass Effect 2 armor piece, this particular set makes Shepard deadlier as well as intimidating. The utility of this armor is to keep the wearer alive for as long as possible, hence its bulky nature. For shock troopers, the Cerberus Assault Armor is a handy item to keep in the equipment locker. Its stats are:

  • +10% Health
  • +10% Shield Strength
  • +10% Heavy Weapon Ammo Capacity

Commander Shepard can rest assured they will stay protected while decimating any assembled foes. Originally a DLC item, the Cerberus Assault Armor can be researched in the Legendary Edition for Mass Effect 2. Just access the Normandy’s Tech Lab, and research the armor for 5,000 Palladium.

6 Cerberus Nightmare Armor


Cerberus Nightmare Armor From Mass Effect 3

In Mass Effect 3, Commander Shepard needs every advantage possible to defeat the Reapers. One of the more impressive sets the player can acquire is the aptly named Cerberus Nightmare Armor. With both offensive and defensive attributes, this suit is useful for almost any playstyle. The armor’s stats include:

  • +20% Headshot Damage
  • +20% Weapon Damage
  • +20% Ammo Capacity
  • +10% Shields
  • +10% Shield Regeneration Speed

These numbers can make the player a veritable killing machine. However, obtaining the Cerberus Nightmare Armor is a bit of a hassle. In the Mass Effect 3: Citadel DLC, the player must achieve over 9,999 points in the Armax Arsenal Arena. With that done, they can claim the armor as a reward.

5 Geth Armor X


Wrex Wearing Geth Armor From Mass Effect 1

Commander Shepard isn’t the only one who can benefit from nifty armor. In the first Mass Effect, the player can equip their squad with the same diverse armor sets that Shepard can wear. For Wrex, some of the best heavy armor pieces come from the Geth. They include the Battlemaster, Berserker, and Rage suits. They all possess identical stats:

  • 75 – Damage Protection
  • 420 – Shields
  • 51 – Tech/Biotic Protection

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For an angry tank like Wrex, these stats are useful for keeping him healthy for the duration of the fight. The tech/biotic protection of these suits is the highest in the game for an NPC. With respectable shields and damage protection ratings, Wrex has the potential to become nearly unstoppable on the battlefield. Purchasing a Geth Armory license from Morlan on the Citadel is the easiest method to acquire these suits once the player has reached a fairly high level.

4 Collector Armor


Shepard Wearing Collector Armor From Mass Effect 2

Just because Commander Shepard has to fight the Collectors in Mass Effect 2 doesn’t mean he’s barred from wearing their armor. The Collector Armor imparts a variety of bonuses, mostly built around speed and vitality. The actual breakdown of these stats are:

  • +20% Health
  • +10% Health Regeneration Rate
  • +10% Storm Speed

The armor itself resembles chitin, giving it a durable quality. Unlike most other armor sets, the Collector Armor is purely defensive in nature, offering no additional offensive capabilities. In Mass Effect 2, the Illusive Man will email the player once the Collector Armor is ready for use. After that, it can be researched on the Normandy for 10,000 Palladium.

The Mass Effect 3 Collector Armor

It’s also worth mentioning that the Collector Armor makes a reappearance in Mass Effect 3. The affected attributes remain the same, but the values receive an upgrade. Storm Speed and Health Regeneration Rate get boosted to 20% just like the Health stat. Players can purchase it from Nos Astra Sporting Goods in the Presidium Commons for 50,000 credits.

3 Armax Arsenal Armor


Armax Arsenal Armor From Mass Effect 3

The Armax Arsenal Armor is a customizable set available in Mass Effect 3. Worn together, the full set grants potent offensive buffs to Commander Shepard. Additional ammo capacity is coupled with increased deadliness, which makes for a pretty advantageous pairing. The full breakdown of the complete set involves:

  • +20% Ammo Capacity
  • +20% Headshot Damage
  • +10% Weapon Damage

Although the components can be mixed and matched for lighter benefits, it’s best to wear the entire set. The individual pieces of the Armax Arsenal Armor can all be purchased from merchants on the Citadel. The Arm components, however, can actually be acquired during “N7: Cerberus Attack.”

2 Cerberus Shade Armor


Cerberus Shade Armor From Mass Effect 3

The Cerberus Shade Armor is another piece of awesome defensive kit the player can obtain in Mass Effect 3. Broadly, it’s quite similar to the previously mentioned Cerberus Nightmare Armor. In fact, the two sets are actually mutually exclusive. The stats of the Cerberus Shade Armor is as follows:

  • +20% Shields
  • +20% Shield Regeneration Speed
  • +10% Power Damage
  • +10% Weapon Damage
  • +10% Ammo Capacity
  • +10% Melee Damage

Once again, the Cerberus Shade Armor can only be found during the Mass Effect 3: Citadel DLC in the Armax Arsenal Arena. Players need to achieve over 9,999 points, at which stage they can either choose between the Cerberus Shade or Nightmare Armor sets. Unfortunately, Shepard can’t have both!

1 Colossus X


Mass Effect 1 Shepard Wearing The Colossus Armor

The X-tier Colossus Armor is one of the most valuable suits in the first Mass Effect. In terms of damage protection, Colossus Armor is unequaled even when it comes to the light variant.

  • The light version possesses 65 damage protection while also maintaining 38 tech/biotic protection and 375 shields.
  • The medium variety grants a very useful 71 damage protection, with 28 tech/biotic resistance and 405 shields.
  • The heavy version is a bruiser’s dream. It imparts an amazing 79 damage protection, the highest in the entire game! In addition, it also includes 450 shields and 18 tech/biotic protection.

Check out this helpful guide for how to acquire Colossus armor, and turn Shepard into a tank.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition is available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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