Looking for an additional level of depth and a new set of meaningful decisions?

The W.E.A.R. system is an optional feature that makes your gear choices matter. When enabled, different gear now provide different levels of Exposure Protection, affecting your exposure rate.

Turning it on: You can turn W.E.A.R. on in Survival Settings -> Immersion -> W.E.A.R., or if you're a SkyUI 4.1+ user, go to the Gameplay page. You can also just select the Hardcore preset, and it comes with W.E.A.R. already enabled.

The W.E.A.R. system governs hand, feet, body, and head equipment.
When you equip a piece of equipment, you will be told the level of Exposure Protection provided by it.


Armor and Clothing
The amount of Exposure Protection from your equipment is broken up into 3 categories:


 
Hide Armor

 
Steel Armor (alternate)
 
Fur Armor
 Limited
  
  This equipment is only suitable for the warmest Holds in Skyrim. Usually has very large areas of exposed skin.
Standard
  
  Most equipment falls into this category. This equipment can help you last many times longer in the cold than Limited protection gear, but still has room for improvement.

All armors from mods, unless explicitly supported (e.g. Immersive Armors) fall into this category. See "Changing Exposure Protection", below.


Full

  This equipment provides the best exposure protection and ensures the longest survival time. Only three sets of gear from the base game provide this level of protection.


"What is the real difference between Limited, Standard, and Full? Is Full really that much better than Limited?
By how much?" Refer to the chart below. With W.E.A.R. turned on, the Exposure Protection limit is now 275, but you're going to have to pay attention to your gear choices in order to get it.



Exposure Protection Values by Gear Type

 Gear Type
Limited
StandardFull W.E.A.R. System Off (All Armor)
 Helms and Hats
15
35
50
50
 Body Armor and Clothing
75
125
175
 125
 Gauntlets and Gloves
5
12
25
 25
 Boots and Shoes
5
13
25
 25
Total Exposure Protection
100
185
275
 225




Changing Exposure Protection
The amount of Exposure Protection a piece of equipment provides can be changed by using Survival Skills, and selecting Inspect Equipment. From there, you will be prompted to equip the gear that you wish to inspect. You can then select its new Exposure Protection value. You can even inspect armor from mods! Note that you can only inspect equipment worn on the hands, feet, head, and body. Cloaks cannot be inspected, nor can any other kind of gear. (See What do you mean, Daedric isn't Full protection?, below)



Cloaks
When W.E.A.R. is enabled, the amount of Exposure Resistance and rain protection given by a cloak depends on
its material.


 
Burlap Cloak

 
Linen Cloak
 
Hide Cloak
 
Fur Cloak
Burlap
Better than nothing.
Linen
All-weather, balanced.
Hide
Excellent against rain.
Fur
Excellent against cold.


Attributes by Cloak Type

Attribute
Burlap
LinenHideFur
 W.E.A.R. System Off (All Cloaks)
 Exposure Resistance
5%
10%
7%
15%
10%
 Keeps you dry ______ longer in rain.
50%
75%
150%
50%
50%
 Take _____ longer to dry off.
50%
25%
0%
100%
0%




Equipment Table

This list is not intended to be exhaustive and is provided for general reference.


Skyrim (Base Game)

Skyrim Cover
Equipment
Category
Protection 
Fur Armor (Body alternate 1)
Light
Limited
Fur Armor (Body alternate 2)
Light
Limited
Fur Armor (Body alternate 3)
LightStandard
Fur Armor
LightFull
Hide Armor
LightLimited
Studded Armor
LightLimited
Leather Armor
LightStandard
Elven Armor
LightStandard
Scaled Armor
LightStandard
Glass Armor
LightStandard
Dragonscale Armor
LightStandard
Clothing (mage's robes, etc)
LightStandard
Prisoner's Clothes (Roughspun Tunic, etc)
LightLimited
Iron Armor
Heavy
Limited
Banded Iron Armor
HeavyLimited
Steel Armor
HeavyStandard
Dwarven Armor
HeavyStandard
Steel Plate Armor
HeavyStandard
Orcish Armor
HeavyFull
Ebony Armor
HeavyStandard
Dragonplate Armor
HeavyStandard
Daedric Armor
HeavyStandard
Blades Armor Heavy Standard 
Thieves Guild ArmorLight Standard 
Wolf ArmorHeavy Full
Shrouded Armor Light Standard 
Ancient Nord ArmorHeavy Standard 
Forsworn ArmorLightLimited 
Imperial ArmorHeavyStandard 
Imperial Light Armor LightStandard
Imperial Studded Armor LightStandard 
 Nightingale Armor *Light Standard  

* Nightingale Armor also provides a hide cloak bonus.


Dawnguard Official Plug-in

Dawnguard Cover
Equipment
Category
Protection  
Falmer Armor
HeavyLimited
Ancient Falmer Armor
Light 
Standard
Falmer Heavy / Hardened Armor
LightStandard
Dawnguard Armor
Light/HeavyStandard
Vampire Armor / Clothing *
LightStandard

* Vampire Royal Armor also provides a hide cloak bonus.









Dragonborn Official Plug-in

Dragonborn Cover
Equipment
Category
Protection 
Chitin Armor
Light
Standard
Stalhrim Light Armor
Light
Full
Deathbrand Armor
LightFull
Skaal Clothing
LightFull
Morag Tong Armor
LightStandard
Blackguard's Armor
LightStandard
Chitin Armor
Heavy
Standard
Bonemold Armor
HeavyStandard
Nordic Carved Armor
Heavy
Full
Stalhrim Armor
Heavy
Full



Immersive Armors
Equipment
Category
Protection  
Akaviri Samurai Armor
 Heavy
Standard
Ancient Nord Barbarian ArmorLight/HeavyLimited
Apotheous ArmorLightStandard
Barbarian ArmorLightLimited
Dragonhide RobesLight/HeavyStandard
Dwarven Mage ArmorLightStandard
Einherjar ArmorLight/HeavyFull
Falkreath ArmorHeavyStandard
 Hedge Knight ArmorHeavy Standard 
Heroic Imperial ArmorHeavy
Standard
 Heroic Stormcloak Armor*Heavy Full 
 Hunter ArmorLight Standard 
 Mercenary ArmorLight Standard 
 Paladin Armor*Heavy Standard 
 Ranger ArmorLight Limited 
 Redguard Knight Armor*Light/HeavyStandard 
 Seadog ArmorLight Standard 
 Spellbinder ArmorHeavyStandard 
 Vagabond Armor*Light Full 
 Vanguard ArmorHeavy Standard
 Viking Chainmail ArmorLight/HeavyStandard 
 Warchief ArmorLight/Heavy Full 
 Witchplate ArmorHeavy Standard 
 Fur Hoods (All)LightFull 
 Armored Fur Hoods (All)Light/Heavy Full 

Cloaks
Material
Seadog CapeLinen
Paladin Armor*Linen
Redguard Knight Armor*Linen
Heroic Stormcloak Armor*Fur
 Vagabond Armor*Fur

These body armors have a cloak built in. If you are wearing these armors, you will be given the appropriate cloak bonus automatically. If you are wearing a stand-alone (separate) cloak, the stand-alone cloak takes precedence and you will receive its bonus instead; the effect does not stack.


Other Mods

Equipment
Category
Protection  
Winter is Coming: Fur Hoods (72)
Light/Heavy 
Full
Wet and Cold: Hoods (3)
Light 
Full
Fur Hoods HD: Hoods (18)LightFull

Cloaks
Material
Winter is ComingFur (63)
Cloaks of Skyrim
Burlap(41), Linen(45), Hide(29)
Arise - Chapter 1 - The Black SacramentLinen (4)
 Lustmord Vampire ArmorLinen (1)


What do you mean, Daedric isn't Full protection?


No doubt there is something in the above list that you don't agree with. "Why did you set things that way?" you might ask.

Here are some of the reasons behind the default W.E.A.R. protection values:

  • I want to promote interesting decisions in gameplay. If I gave Daedric and Dragonbone "full" protection, that's not very interesting because they're already the best armors in the game for other reasons.
  • I followed what I felt "looked" warm or "looked" revealing.
  • I listened to what other people told me they would expect.
  • I favored armors that look more rugged, rough, natural, and padded, since that is more fitting with Frostfall's gameplay aesthetic. Cyrodiilic armors such as Steel Plate don't exactly scream "I have a warm woolen soft kit underneath suitable for winter conditions!"
  • I felt that the armor progression should somewhat follow the exposure protection curve, insomuch that the beginning of the game should be more difficult than later in the game.

Because of those reasons, the first sets of armor you're liable to find and equip, Iron and Hide (and if you want to get technical, the prisoner's clothing), are "Limited" in protection. Most of the rest of the Heavy armors are at least Standard, because to make them any less given their visual appearance would make me a modding criminal. More of the Light armors are considered Limited than the Heavy because it made visual sense to me. However, Fur armor (through Frostfall) is available almost as soon as you start playing the game, so you can get that very early on. Heavy Armor specialists have to wait until Orcish to get their Full set (unless you use Immersive Armors, but even then, I don't think Einherjar, Warchief, and Heroic Stormcloak come cheap). So, I think it equals out.

All this to say... no, I'm not off my rocker, and yes, I've put a lot of thought into it. There's just not an empirically "right" way of doing this, so I just had to go with whatever I felt was best fitting the aesthetic design of the armor as well as the gameplay implications.

Thankfully, if you don't agree with my decisions, that's what Inspect Equipment is for. Use it!



A portion of the images on this page are licensed under the Creative Commons by-sa license. It uses material from the UESP article Skyrim: Armor. Used with the permission granted on this page.