From Software’s games all have a tendency to grow in popularity even several years after their initial release. So it is possible that if you are reading this article that you are one of many gamers who are just now getting around to playing 2015’s excellent masterpiece Bloodborne.
A game that is this difficult can raise many questions about what the best way to play it is, such as “What is the best type of weapon for me to focus on using?” or “What are the weaknesses of particularly hard enemies or tough bosses?”
One question that is often asked though is “What is the best overall armor in Bloodborne?” Although there are many fan favorites and many sets that stand out above their peers, I am not really sure if that honor can go to any one set of hunter’s garb in particular.
Here’s what I will do for you though, same as my Dark Souls Remastered armor article, I will give you what I have found in my experience to be the best armor sets to use for various situations and builds and you can try them out for yourself to find your own “best armor”. (And for those of you who really care to know I will also tell you what my favorite is as well.)
A lot of times the best thing to do in regards to armor is to mix and match various pieces of different sets until you find a combination that works for you. Bloodborne does not feature the standard “equipment load” for the first time in a From Software game, giving the player much more freedom to experiment to their heart’s content. Bare this in mind as you look through this list of great armors I have put together.
To the hunt!
Ashen Hunter Set
The fire fades, Ashen One…
Many of the armors that are available in the game can be purchased from the messengers located in the bath outside the workshop in the Hunter’s Dream. This particular set can be bought from them, but only after the player has defeated the hunter known as Djura in Old Yharnam. (Which is not necessarily an easy task.)
This set’s strengths are extremely high resistance to Frenzy, which comes in handy a lot near the late game, and the second highest amount of Beasthood. (Beasthood is a stat that allows for higher accumulation of bonus damage when attacking one enemy without letting up.) Only the Brador Set has a higher Beasthood level, but that set has almost no other real strengths to speak of.
This set also has enough Physical and Blood resistance to get you by in those regards, but don’t expect much of any Arcane, Bolt, or Fire defense. Needless to say this can be a great armor to hang onto for particular situations, like say the Nightmare of Mensis, but overall it is not one you should wear through an entire playthrough.
Black Church Set
Can I get a hallelujah?…
This set can be found on a dead body located in the alley with many NPCs to talk to behind doors near the Hunter Chief Emblem gate. Be sure to take your time going through this area as there are many foes waiting to ambush you at various points.
This set can be seen as a kind of “catch-all” when it comes to elemental damage types. It is very high in all the four major elements of Arcane, Blood, Bolt, and Fire.
It definitely does not excel in physical damage however so it what it really all adds up to is a great set to switch pieces in and out for defense against elemental foes.
On a side note, if you wear this set when speaking to Adella the Nun in the Hypogean Gaol, she will give you some extra dialogue relating to the game’s lore as well as the option to send her to Iosefka’s Clinic or Cathedral Ward. (As long as you have spoken to the correct NPCs in each location.)
Time to put the pedal to the metal…
This set may be one of the most difficult to acquire in the entire game because it requires visiting a secret area of Bloodborne and then paying tons of Blood Echoes to get it. You must first join the Vileblood Covenant in Cainhurst Castle after which you will receive the Cainhurst Badge.
This item will allow the messengers to sell you the Cainhurst set when you give it to them. The set costs a staggering 113,000 Blood Echoes to obtain, so be sure you need it before you pull the trigger.
This set has the highest overall Physical defense of any other set and also defends extremely well against Blood attacks. However, it is very weak to both elemental style attacks and blunt weapons.
These facts make it a great armor set for PVP (Player Vs Player) because traditionally blunt weapons are fairly absent in invasion situations and elemental damage builds are often at a disadvantage due to lower health pools. This set is also very useful against hunter style bosses and enemies that focus on fast, Physical damage attacks without using elements.
Because I tend to play Bloodborne with reckless abandon, I spend a lot of my time right up in boss’s and regular enemy’s grills. As such, the Cainhurst Set is by far my favorite armor in all of Bloodborne, for its stylish look and for its unparalleled Physical defense.
It is a hard one to get but my goodness is it worth it, especially for NG+ and beyond.
Charred Hunter Set
We are cooking with gas now...
The Charred Hunter Set can be a difficult one to get to, even if you know exactly where it is. After making your way through Old Yharnam and past the turret-wielding Djura you will find yourself in a large room full of enemies and a giant dead beast strung up from the ceiling. It is in the rafters of this room that you will find the Charred Hunter Set.
Simply go back toward where you first entered this building and you should see a missing piece of railing that will allow you to get out onto the catwalks. From there you must carefully make your way across the room and perform a fairly tricky jump to reach it.
This might seem like a lot of trouble but I can assure you that this set is worth having in your inventory. The Charred Hunter Set had a crazy high level of defense against Fire and decent enough Physical resistance as well. Do yourself a big favor and put this thing on before facing off against Laurence the First Vicar or any other fiery foes you might come across.
On a side note, this set also features pretty high Frenzy defense, but not really enough to justify using it over the Ashen Hunter Set.
Onward and upward…
Every time I load up Bloodborne I am reminded of the awesome amount of originality and creativeness that just emanates from this game and the armor and clothing designs are no different. The Choir Set is a perfect example of that off-putting and creepy, yet curious and intriguing style that is the art of Bloodborne.
In the lore of Bloodborne, many of the various institution’s leaders had differing opinions about how to go about achieving ascendancy into the “Great One” status they all craved. They did mostly agree on one statement being an important one: They must gain insight, The Choir was an institution that believed that if they were to live without seeing they could attain this insight, hence the eye coverings of the Choir Set.
At least they didn’t do what the School of Mensis did and put literal eyes inside their own skulls… that’s the wrong kind of insight.
Anyhow, this set is considered to be a good one because it is decent all the way around, excluding Frenzy resistance. To get it simply climb the ladder to Upper Cathedral Ward after defeating Rom the Vacuous Spider and you should find it there without much trouble.
Sometimes I feel that the developers are teasing us with these armor placements because the best set to use against Rom the Vacuous Spider by far and away is the Choir Set. You know, the boss you just had to beat in order to get it. Oh well, at least he will be a bit easier to defeat in NG+.
Time flies when you’re having fun…
So I am not going to lie to you, even though the Crowfeather Set is decent in regards to what it protects you from, I mostly have this one here because it looks and feels so good to have on. Many Soulsborne veterans refer to the idea of wearing a full set or a combination of armors just for fun as “Fashion Souls” and this one is put to great use there.
That isn’t the only purpose it serves though as it can also be a little unsettling for players you might invade to see a saw-wielding bird-man running toward them with the intent to kill. Many PVP players will wear this set for the awesomeness of it and for the extra challenge.
As far as the stats of the set goes, it is high against Physical and Blood attacks, but low against most other types. Interestingly, the head piece has a higher amount of Frenzy resistance than the Ashen Hunters so it may be worth it to switch it out for that in specific cases.
To get the Crowfeather Set simply buy it from the bath messengers after completing Eileen the Crow’s fairly long and complex string of quests or if you are a heartless monster you can just kill her and be done with it.
Try not to lose your head…
This is another “Fashion Souls” set to be sure, but the Executioner Set offers a bit more in the way of protection than the aforementioned Crowfeather Set. It offers high protection against both Arcane and Bolt damage and has enough Physical defense to make it worth keeping on for longer periods of time.
To find everything but the headpiece simply travel to Cainhurst Castle and you will find it on a corpse inside. The headpiece, known as the Gold Ardeo, is a bit trickier to obtain. You must find an NPC named Alfred early on in the game and complete his quests until you can give him the Cainhurst Castle Summons located in the throne room of Cainhurst Castle.
If you give it to him, he will complete the mission he has been sent to do and kill Annalise, Queen of the Vilebloods, basically ruining your chance to get the Cainhurst Set if you don’t already have it, so you might want to wait.
After he finishes his task he will give you the Gold Ardeo but just like always if you don’t want to go to all that trouble you can just kill him for it.
My dad is better than your dad…
Usually in a From Software game the armors that you come across as you play gradually get better in overall dependability as well as in areas of specialty. In the case of Bloodborne however, one of the best overall armors of Bloodborne comes just a few hours into the game. That armor is none other than Gascoigne’s Set.
It has good resistances and defenses in all categories and really doesn’t have any weaknesses other than not being strong enough for late game foes. It also showcases the highest Poison resistance in the entire game by far, which is a real lifesaver against that roadblock of a boss, the Blood Starved Beast.
To get this set simply kill Father Gascoigne, which is much easier said than done, especially on the first go around. After he has fallen to your Saw Blade, or whatever you have equipped (you poor, poor, Threaded Cane users), you can go and buy this set from the bath messengers as well.
People are dying to get in there…
Lastly let us take a look at, in my opinion, by far the strangest looking set in entire game. To me it definitely gives off a Crimson Set vibe from the original Dark Souls, but with its own freakishly horrific, Bloodborne take.
It is also similar not just in appearance to the Crimson Set, but also in functionality as it serves as an all-around great defense against Arcane attacks as well as other elements with very low Physical resistance. I have often wondered how purposeful the mimicked look and function of this set was supposed to be.
Such is also the case of the sudden and unusual appearance of the knockoff “Moonlight Greatsword” in the DLC.
You can find the Graveguard Set in the Forbidden Woods off the beaten path and past a tough jump on the left hand edge of the largest area. On the off-chance that you are as afraid of snakes (and/ or snake-men and bundles of snakes) as I am then you will probably spend a lot of time running for your life instead of exploring. Don’t let that keep you from finding this great set though, as it is one you want to have.
Bloodborne is a game that requires a great amount of knowledge in regards to its systems, stats, and mechanics in order to have am easier time and the topic of its armors is no different. Pay attention to everything as you play through these games, even what you believe can’t possibly be important. You never know what secrets you might uncover or what information you might learn from having an inquisitive mind.
Bloodborne is a masterpiece in almost every way and in my opinion is the most cohesive and complete experience that From Software has ever made. Its level and creature design, combat system, music, and lore all command your attention and leave you wishing that it had never ended. I cannot speak enough about the quality and effort that every ounce of this brilliant game is dripping with.
If you own a Playstation 4 and aren’t afraid of a more challenging game than what is usually offered in today’s gaming world, then Bloodborne isn’t just a suggested title, it is an essential one. You will not regret the time it takes to be proficient in the art of hunting the horrors and beasts of this nightmarish experience!
I hope that you have enjoyed this small amount of “insight ” into the structure and layout of Bloodborne’s armor system as well as my picks for the best armors to choose from in the game. It is my hope that this article has helped you in some way to make your travels through Yharnam and beyond a bit more pleasant and rewarding experience.