Tunics play a special role in the Zelda series. Every outfit Link has is iconic, and fans are clambering for more games that let you dress Link up. Breath of the Wild scratched that itch with a rake with several new, iconic, and sincerely useful armor sets.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom continues this trend by returning with most of the previous game's wardrobe, and more. These armor sets should be on your priority list. Some of them will drastically improve your quality of life, and others will become instant-equips once you see a situation for them arise.
Updated on May 30, 2023, by Devlin Powers: Most armor sets have a bonus ability once every piece has been upgraded twice at the Great Fairy. You will have to unlock two Great Fairies to achieve this, and not all armor sets have this bonus, but the ones that do are pretty special.
10 Soldier's Armor
The Soldier's Armor makes a return, but unlike the previous game, you don't just buy the strongest armor in the game anymore. Instead, you will have to explore underneath Hyrule Castle for each piece. For easier access, an entrance to the cave system opens in Lookout Landing after defeating a dungeon.
The Soldier's Armor set isn't definitively the strongest in game, but it does have the highest defense in return for not having a special ability. Also, the set is incredibly easy to upgrade compared to other sets. Call it "ol' reliable."
9 Zora Armor
Swimming has seen a drastic overhaul in Tears of the Kingdom, in that it actually works now. Swimming used to be a death sentence, and many players thought after getting the first piece of Zora Armor that maybe it must get easier with full swim gear. What a cruel prank.
Thankfully, now swimming with base Link uses less stamina, and the smallest current doesn't sweep you away anymore. Couple this with the Zora Armor, and you can start to see water as less of a threat to your existence, because it reduces stamina drain even further, with dashing getting the same treatment once upgraded twice. You still get it in Zora's domain, but it's an easy trip.
8 Snowquill Armor
The Snowquill Armor is our favorite cold weather armor again, and you'll need it. It's as easy to obtain as ever, just needing you to pop down to the clothing store in Rito Village. It is pretty expensive though, so make sure to get the snow pants in the tutorial area, so you only need to buy one or two pieces instead.
This armor will make exploring the skies and snowy regions of the map possible without taking damage. You will also become immune to freezing once upgraded. Not having to waste cold-resistant ingredients, which can be used to upgrade armor, for food is also a massive improvement.
7 Stealth Suit
There are several armor sets that increase your stealth ability in this game, but the rest are either difficult to find, difficult to upgrade, or both. The Stealth Suit from Kakariko however, is easy to find, easy to upgrade, but it's a little expensive. You will only need one or two pieces though to accomplish just about anything stealth can accomplish, and the night speed bonus at level two isn't too shabby either.
Early-game enemies can easily one-shot you, so being able to take out an enemy or two before an encounter is a gift. You can even sneak up on some mini-bosses to steal a chunk of health before their encounter animation finishes. And finally, you can just ignore enemies if you really want.
6 Miners Suit
The depths are a rough and unforgiving place. Especially when you're first getting your bearings. Walking off ledges is surprisingly easy when the darkness removes all depth perception. This makes carrying a light incredibly useful. Alternatively, you could become the light.
The Miners Suit will emit a small light around you that gets bigger with every piece equipped. Additionally, once upgraded, you'll have the light step ability, which periodically leaves a bright light behind as you walk. This can reduce brightbloom seed consumption, and help you keep track of where you've been in pitch darkness. You have to explore the depths a little to find the armor, but even one piece is enough to change your life underground. If you find the central mining facility, a mine rail will lead you to the pants at a midway depot. This may be the easiest one to find.
5 Climbing Gear
The Climbing Gear was one of the best sets in the original game, and it easily makes its place in the sequel as well. One piece will make your mountain climbing easier, but all three will have you laughing down the tallest cliff faces. The level two upgrade will also reduce stamina use when jumping upwards, meaning you could invest in a bigger stamina meter, and you'll really feel this suit's sleeveless power.
The only thing keeping this suit from being top-tier is rain. Like always, rain will ruin your plans without warning and leave this armor basically useless, and because of its middling defense, it's also situational, meaning you'll be swapping in and out of this outfit often.
4 Froggy Suit
The Climbing Gear has one fault, and it's rectified entirely by the Froggy Suit. This delightful little outfit will let you cling to wet surfaces better with the slip resistant buff. It doesn't negate slipping entirely, but you'll rarely slip with the full set equipped. However, upgrading the armor set will make you slip-proof, so don't lose hope.
To get it, you'll need to do the entire Hyrule Gazette quest chain with Penn. You will get the armor incrementally, with the last quest rewarding you with the final piece. Then, hop and stick your way up whatever surface you want. Even ice walls.
3 Glide Suit
With the improved tower system in Tears of the Kingdom, flying becomes a big part of the game. Your initial stamina meter and glider won't get you far, but with the Glide Suit, you can start to really put miles behind your nose dives.
The set increases your midair steering capabilities while diving, and with all three pieces, and plenty of stamina, you can get to almost anywhere in Hyrule with one jump from a tower. You won't even need the paraglider once upgraded either. Just bounce off of your powerful ankles with the impact-resistant buff. It's truly a shame having to replace some pieces with cold-resistant gear in snowy regions.
2 Barbarian Set
The Barbarian Set was arguably the best set in the original game for how easy it was to obtain, and how strong it made link with the attack buff and defense stat. It's unfortunately not as easy to find in Tears of the Kingdom, with it being hidden away in caves, but it's still just as strong.
Getting a single piece of this armor early can make enemy encounters so much easier. Early-game weapons really are terrible, and the game isn't shy about throwing blue and black-level enemies at you in the first hour of leaving the tutorial. Do yourself a favor and look up how to get this armor if you're routinely getting massacred by enemies. As a bonus, the upgraded set will provide you with reduced stamina cost for charge attacks; a buff that all upgradable attack-up armors have.
1 Phantom Armor
The Phantom Armor is the Soldier's Set and Barbarian Set in one. It was originally DLC for Breath of the Wild, so you could think of it as mess-around-and-have-fun armor, but now it's just here, in the base game, where you can set out and get it as soon as possible if you want.
Sadly, the Phantom Armor can't be upgraded, but it still provides an unreasonable 28 defense when fully collected. This is a blessing in disguise too, as you won't be wasting upgrade materials when you use this, and you can focus that attention on your situational sets, like hot and cold weather. Even still, this armor can carry you through the first half of the game, and in the second half, your health bar can pick up the rest of the bill. If you only wanted one armor set, it could easily be this one.