The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom throws you into a vast, unforgiving world filled with dangers around every corner. The right equipment is essential in this game, and armor is one of the few items you can collect that will never break or be consumed. I’ve found the best armor sets in Tears of the Kingdom that you can get to make your life in Hyrule a bit easier right from the start. Before you seek any of these armor sets out, I highly recommend you progress far enough into the main quest to get the Paraglider.
The Glide Armor
The Glide Armor is one of the most valuable sets of armor to acquire early due to its skydiving mobility increase. Traversing the map becomes significantly easier as there are many ways to launch yourself into the air, such as using Skyview Towers or recalling fallen rocks from the sky. The aerial mobility is so effective that with the full set of armor, you can launch yourself from one Skyview Tower and nearly make it to the next with an unupgraded stamina wheel.
Also, if you upgrade the armor with the Great Fairies, the set bonus will make you immune to fall damage. The defensive rating for each piece of the armor is two, giving you a total of six defense. This is lower than some of the other armor sets, but the real value of this armor comes from its utility, not its combat ability.
Getting the armor centers around the massive vertical structures pictured above. These islands are home to the Dive Ceremonies that reward the armor upon completion.
How to get the Glide Shirt:
Complete the Dive Ceremony on Courage Island to receive the Glide Shirt. The best way to access the island is by launching yourself into the air with Lindor’s Brow Skyview Tower and gliding your way to the island with the paraglider. The island will be revealed on the Sky-map once you’ve used the tower and is close enough that you can reach the top of the structure with only your paraglider and base stamina wheel.
If you successfully make it to the top, you can complete your trial run of the ceremony and then talk to the Steward Construct at the bottom to begin the actual ceremony. If you don’t make it to the top or miss one of the rings during the trial, no worries, just speak to the Steward Construct and it will ask you to complete the trial run and teleport you back to the top. This is the easiest piece of the armor set to obtain and should be gotten first to aid in collecting the others.
How to get the Glide Tights:
The Dive Ceremony on Bravery Island will give you the Glide tights on completion. you can reveal the island on the map and make it accessible through the Thyphlo Ruins Skyview Tower. You will need to activate the tower first, by moving the floating platform blocking the top of the tower. Once activated, launch yourself and head toward Bravery Island.
Make sure to have your Glide Shirt equipped, if you have it, to cover as much distance as possible. This island is further from the tower than the last, so make sure to hop from island to island along your way. Speak to the Steward Construct located at the bottom of the island structure and complete the ceremony to earn your second piece of the armor set.
How to get the Glide Mask:
The final piece of the armor is the most difficult to obtain and therefore should be pursued last. To get the Glide Mask, you will need to make your way to the opposite end of the map and activate Mount Lanayru Skyview Tower to reveal and access Valor Island. The major challenge in getting this piece is how cold it is surrounding Mount Lanayru.
To deal with this, make sure to cook some dishes with Spicy Peppers beforehand and to equip the Archaic Warm Greaves so you’ll have two levels of cold resistance. If you missed the Archaic Warm Greaves on the Great Sky Island, they are very easy to go back and get by fast traveling to the Gutanbac Shrine and using ascend to reach a chest in the nearby hollow stump.
Once you have the multiple layers of cold resistance, make your way to the tower, launch yourself into the air, and glide to the islands between you and Valor Island. This ceremony is the furthest away from the nearby tower, but there are premade vehicles on the between islands that will help you reach your destination. Speak to the Steward Construct at the bottom like the islands before beginning the Dive Ceremony.
This ceremony is notably more difficult than the others as there are clouds obstructing vision and you will need to make tight maneuvers through narrow passages, making the other pieces of armor in the set very helpful for this trial. Complete the ceremony and you will receive the Glide Mask.
The Barbarian Armor
If you’re looking to add some extra oomph behind your sword swings, then the Barbarian armor is the set for you. Each piece of this armor increases your attack power with the full set giving you a total of 50% more damage. This armor also offers more protection than the Glide Armor as each piece gives you three defense, making it easily one of the most combat-effective armor sets.
How to get the Barbarian Armor:
Get your spelunking gear ready, because you’re going to be crawling through a bunch of caves to get this armor. The chest piece is located in Crenel Hills Cave, which is fairly close to Lookout Landing, making it the easiest to acquire first. The cave itself is straightforward but beware of the Stone Talus hiding in the cave. You can run past the Talus and smash the luminous stone in the back of the cave to access the chest containing the first piece in the armor set.
How to get the Barbarian Helm:
You can find the helm in the Robred Dropoff Cave. This cave feels confusing at first, but all you need to do is follow the paths the statues are facing towards. Doing so should eventually lead you to a Boss Bokoblin in a room with a destructible floor. Smash through the floor immediately or fight the enemies; it’s your choice. Once you’ve descended, you’ll find a room with platforms and more statues. Hop on the right platform with the three statues and use ascend to reach the chest containing the helm.
How to get the Barbarian Leg Wraps:
Finally, we have the leg wraps. These will be the most difficult to acquire, so I recommend going for these last. The wraps are found in the Walnot Mountain Cave, which is located in the freezing mountains of the East. Getting to the cave will be somewhat of a challenge in itself due to the low temperatures, but it’s plenty doable in the early game with some spicy dishes and the Archaic Warm Greaves mentioned previously.
Be sure to save before entering the cave as there will be some very powerful enemies, such as the Black Boss Bokoblin waiting to greet you. Like in the previous caves, combat is not required to get the armor. Run past the enemies and look for the Ice Like Like (the worm-like enemies that hang from the ceiling) that is toward the center and near the elevated path. Bait out an attack from it then jump past when it’s safe to reach the chest it’s guarding and acquire the final piece of the Barbarian Armor set.
The Climbing Gear Armor
Rounding out the list is the Climbing Gear Armor set. Each piece of this set significantly increases your climb speed while offering three defense, giving it equivalent defensive stats as the Barbarian armor. The increased climb speed is very convenient as you explore Hyrule and allows you to focus on upgrading your health over stamina as you won’t need as much stamina for difficult climbs. Climbing can also be an effective technique to disengage from enemies, such as Gloom Hands. This armor is a fantastic blend of early defense and utility.
How to get the Climbing Gear:
Like the Barbarian armor, the chest piece for this set is located fairly close to Lookout Landing and is the easiest to acquire. Head West to the North Hyrule Plain Cave. The enemies in the cave are low-level and shouldn’t pose too much of an issue, but if they give you trouble, you can always run past them. The chest that contains the armor is hidden behind a waterfall in the cave. While in the cave, look out for and collect any Sticky Lizards crawling on the ceiling or walls. They’ll come in handy soon.
How to get the Climbing Boots:
Head back East to the Upland Zorana Byroad Cave for the next piece in the set. If you come in through the entrance linked, you’ll want to stick to the right when the paths diverge. Cut or bomb your way through the plants blocking the path until you reach a room of ruins flooded with water. All you need to do is open the gate toward the back wall with Ultrahand to drain the water. The room you’re looking for is to the right of the gate and under a set of stairs. In there, you’ll find the chest containing the Climbing boots. Again, collect any Sticky Lizards you can as you complete the cave.
How to get the Climber’s Bandanna:
Like the other armor sets, the final piece of the Climbing Gear is the most difficult to acquire. The Bandanna is in the Ploymus Mountain Cave (the map misspells the cave’s name but the location is accurate). This cave is best to save for last since it requires you to climb several wet and slippery walls. Having the other two pieces of the armor set will greatly help in this cave.
In addition, you should cook some of the Sticky Lizards you’ve collected on your journey into Sticky Elixirs to make this cave go as smoothly as possible. If you find yourself struggling, you can try fusing a Bomb Flower to a shield and inputting a shield surf to perform a “bomb hop,” giving yourself some easy elevation. Make your way up and through the cave and you’ll find the chest with the Climber’s Bandanna.
Any of the armor sets mentioned will be greatly beneficial, especially in the early game where exploration and combat are practically everything. Pick whichever set suits your playstyle best and remind Hyrule why Link is its champion. Or collect them all like a true Hylian fashionista!
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is available now for the Nintendo Switch.
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