- This article is about the equipment. For the attribute, see Armor (attribute).
|Asura armor overview|
|Charr armor overview|
|Human armor overview|
|Norn armor overview|
|Sylvari armor overview|
Armor is equipment that is worn to provide defense against direct damage in combat, to provide attribute bonuses, and to change a character's appearance. Armor provides no protection against conditions. Armor is divided into three armor classes, which correspond to the three profession types; scholars (elementalists, mesmers, and necromancers) wear light armor, adventurers (engineers, rangers, and thieves) wear medium armor, and soldiers (guardians and warriors) wear heavy armor.
 Armor slots
Each armor slot corresponds to an armor type. The six primary armor slots are headgear, shoulders, chest, gloves, leggings, and boots. There are two other equipment slots that are also considered armor slots, aquatic helm and back item. The aquatic helm replaces headgear when the player enters underwater mode. Armor type has two nomenclatures in-game, one for the item tooltip on armor and one for the subcategory on the Trading Post.
|Slot||Equipment Slot||Trading Post|
|Aquatic Headgear||Head Armor||Aquatic Helm|
 Defense rating
- Primary article: Attribute
Attributes are based on the the armor class, armor type, level, and rarity of the armor. Each piece of armor has a major attribute and, starting from level 25, one minor attribute or, starting from level 60, two minor attributes. These attributes are grouped in specific combinations and the armor is given a prefix that corresponds to this combination. The attribute bonuses for level 80 armor are provided in the table below:
|Major||Minor||Crit Damage||Major||Minor||Crit Damage||Major||Minor||Crit Damage||Major||Minor||Crit Damage||Major||Minor||Crit Damage||Major||Minor||Crit Damage|
 Upgrade slot
Every piece of armor comes with an upgrade slot where an upgrade component can be placed. Upgrade components provide attribute bonuses and other effects. The upgrade components that can be placed in armor are runes and universal upgrades. Only one upgrade component can be in an upgrade slot, and applying a new upgrade component will destroy the previous upgrade component. When armor is salvaged, players have a chance to obtain the upgrade component instead of destroying it, depending on the quality of the salvage kit.
- Primary article: Rune
Runes are a type of upgrade component specific to armor. There are three versions of most runes; minor, major, and superior. The version of the rune determines the number of tiers and the effects given by the rune. Runes have a unique mechanic of having effect tiers, where the effects provided by a rune are based on the number of that rune equipped on pieces of armor. For example, placing a Superior Rune of the Water in a piece of armor will give the first tier effect indicated on the rune. Placing Superior Runes of the Water in six pieces of armor will give all six tier effects.
 Universal upgrade
- Primary article: Universal upgrade
Universal upgrades can be placed in all equipment. Universal upgrades only provide attribute bonuses which in most cases are less powerful than the bonuses provided by runes.
- Starting equipment
- Dropped by foes as loot.
- Purchased from an armorsmith.
- Purchased from a cultural armorsmith.
- Purchased from a karma merchant.
- Purchased from an Armor Trader or Armor Master for Badges of Honor.
- Purchased from a dungeon merchant for dungeon currencies.
- Crafting armor as an armorsmith, leatherworker, or tailor
- As a PvP reward from a glory vendor.
- As a reward for completing certain steps of your personal story.
The apprearance of an armor piece is commonly referred to as a skin. Usually, armor comes in themed sets where the skin of each piece (gloves, boots, chest, legs, head) was designed to go together with the other pieces of that set, but there are also standalone pieces. A player is not required to equip the full skin set of an armor, but can mix and match as they see fit.
The appearance of a piece of armor can be changed by transmutation or skin items. Transmutation transfers the skin, attributes, and/or the upgrade component of one piece of armor to another by the use of a Transmutation Stone or Transmutation Crystal. Doing so will give the item the "Transmuted" property, displayed in the tooltip. Transmutation stones can be acquired from the Gem Store, Black Lion Chests, or map completion. Skin items are single-use consumable items players can apply to a specific armor type.
- Primary article: Dye
Each armor piece can have up to four dye channels that affect different portions of the armor. Newly equipped armor will automatically acquire the dye scheme of your current armor, or as far as possible, notwithstanding differences in the number of dye channels. To change the color of your equipped armor, open the Equipment tab of the Hero panel, and select the eyedropper icon above the armor.
Whenever a player character is defeated, a random piece of armor is damaged. This is indicated by a yellow shield over the item icon. Back items are included as armor for this mechanic, as are aquatic helms during underwater combat. The damaged status has no effect on armor. Once all equipped armor are damaged, pieces of armor will begin breaking when the player is defeated. This is indicated by a broken red shield over the item icon and the armor piece being no longer visible on the character. Broken armor does not provide any defense or bonuses, but upgrade components continue to provide their normal effects. Being defeated from falling damage will not damage armor. Damaged and broken armor can be repaired at an NPC that provides repair services, indicated by a broken shield icon.
 Concept art
 See also
- Item nomenclature
- Town clothing
- List of armor sets
- List of Level 80 Exotic Armor
- Equipment acquisition by stats