Best Equipment to Use and Why - Kenshi

Kenshi Best Equipment Guide

This page is something I put together after a lot of internet research about what the best armor is in Kenshi. In Kenshi you have 3 main armor types, Light, Medium and Heavy. Each of these 3 categories also have about a dozen different sets of armor all of which offers you different levels of coverage and protection against types of damage.

Depending on how you plan to play your character and what weapons you're using determines which of the 3 types of armor you'll want to use. Sometimes it's worth it to mix and match Light and Medium or Heavy and Medium armor depending on your situation and which pieces they are. I've created a short list below of all 3 types of armor and what situations they're best used in.

Light Armor: This armor often comes with bonuses to combat stats as well as protection to Duststorms, Acid or other environmental affects. Usually Light armor is used on characters who are Martial Artists and Crossbowmen.

Medium Armor: Medium Armor offers more protection than light armor but doesn't come with the same bonuses to combat stats. I typically use Medium Armor on characters who engage in melee combat but aren't designed to be tanks.

Heavy Armor: As the name suggests this is the heaviest armor of them all and typically Heavy Armor comes with some combat penalties for wearing it. You'll want to use Heavy Armor on your tanks; since they're Taunting enemies to attack them they'll constantly be taking damage and need the most protection.

Another good use for Heavy Armor is using it on characters to help level up their combat skills. The penalties that come on Heavy Armor make it easier to raise your combat skills. Characters using Dexterity based weapons like Katanas (or anything that deals Cutting damage) will want to avoid using Heavy Armor since it typically comes with high penalties to Dexterity.

If you are looking for the best location in all of Kenshi to get [Masterwork] and [Specialist] quality armor then you should definitely hit up the Armor King. He is a Skeletal merchant who is found in the small zone of Wend which is just south of the Floodlands zone in the northern portion of the map. For more information about the Armor King and his location follow the link provided.

Armour King in Kenshi
The Armour King Merchant in Wend

Below you'll find my list of what the best armor in Kenshi is depending on what sort of class you aim to gear. I've tried to include a variety of classes that way everyone is covered.

 

Best all round armor set:

Crab Helmet: It has the highest coverage and protection of any Heavy Armor helmet. Getting your hands on a Crab Helmet can be a bit tedious though, for more information on where to find the recipes check out my Crab Armor Recipes Guide.

Crab Armour: The chest armor with the most protection and coverage in Kenshi is Crab Armour. Much like with the helmet the only way you're reliably going to be able to get this armor is to purchase or steal the recipes from Crab Town. For more information on where to find the recipes check out my Crab Armor Recipes Guide.

Leather Turtleneck: Out of all undergarments in the game this one offers you the most protection. Dark Leather Shirt is an alternative that offers you some bonuses to stats but less protection; ultimately it's your call which one you choose.

Samurai Legplates: This armor offers you 100% protection of both of your legs which is a big deal since it allows you to use something like Wooden Sandals for your feet. While these leggings do have some heavy penalties that's ok for higher level characters since your stats will be so high you'll offset most of the penalties.

Wooden Sandals: Why you may ask are Wooden Sandals here and not some boot armor... Because there is no "feet" limb! Most leg armor, like the Samurai Legplates, gives you 100% protection on your legs already which means you'd not benefit from the protection on your boots anyway. Wooden Sandals offer you a lot of nice benefits

 

Best Tank Set:

Crab Armour: The chest armor with the most protection and coverage in Kenshi is Crab Armour. Much like with the helmet the only way you're reliably going to be able to get this armor is to purchase or steal the recipes from Crab Town. For more information on where to find the recipes check out my Crab Armor Recipes Guide.

Samurai Boots: If you want a pair of tanky boots then there is nothing better than Samurai Boots. They offer great protection but have some negative penalties like all Heavy Armor.

Samurai Legplates: This armor offers you 100% protection of both of your legs which is a big deal since it allows you to use something like Wooden Sandals for your feet. While these leggings do have some heavy penalties that's ok for higher level characters since your stats will be so high you'll offset most of the penalties.

Crab Helmet: It has the highest coverage and protection of any Heavy Armor helmet. Getting your hands on a Crab Helmet can be a bit tedious though, for more information on where to find the recipes check out my Crab Armor Recipes Guide.

Blackened Chainmail: Blackened Chainmail is the best Medium Armor undergarment that you can get with the most protection and coverage. It is medium armor so it will come with some drawbacks but it offers you the absolute best protection.

 

Crossbowmen Best Armor Set:

Assassin's Rags (Chest): This is a more damage oriented chestpiece. If you want to maximize your damage go with this.

Dustcoat (Chest): This is a more tank oriented chest piece. What's nice about this one too is it offers you a lot of protection against Acid and Burning meaning you can go into Acid rain zones without much of an issue. Good to use this on your runner character that runs through dangerous zones.

Straw Hat: Grants a massive perception bonus but provides you with no protection to your head. If you are like me and you don't micro manage your characters to prevent them from being hit you should go with Iron Hat instead.

Samurai Clothpants: These pants are pretty much the cloth version of Samurai Legplates; 100% coverage of both legs as well as 50% coverage of the stomach

Leather Turtleneck: Out of all the undergarments in this game, the Leather Turtleneck offers you the most coverage which is why it's typically used over everything else. The only reliable way for you to get [Masterwork] Leather Turtlenecks will be through crafting.

 

Martial Artist's Best Armor Set:

Fog Mask (Rare): Fog Mask is the best thing you can make for your Martial Artist but the recipe to create it is very rare and can only be found in 2 places.

Iron Hat: This is a Medium Armor that offers good protection and comes with no drawbacks. Ashland Hat is the possible alternative if you want to stick with Light Armor.

Martial Artist's Bindings (Undergarment): Martial Artist's Bindings give you bonuses to Martial Arts, Attack Damage and also offer some Fist protection... However they come with the obvious trade off of providing you absolutely no protection. It's your call if you'd like to use them, Martial Artist characters are very over powered in Kenshi once leveled up but it'll take you a lot of leveling to reach that point.

Dark Leather Shirt (Undergarment): This piece of armor has less coverage than the Leather Turtleneck but offers you a Stealth bonus and looks cooler.

Leather Turtleneck (Undergarment): If you want the best coverage for protection then you should go with this for your shirt.

Dustcoat (Chest): This is a more tank oriented chest piece. What's nice about this one too is it offers you a lot of protection against Acid and Burning meaning you can go into Acid rain zones without much of an issue. Good to use this on your runner character that runs through dangerous zones.

Wooden Sandals: The best pair of shoes you can get in all of Kenshi are the Wooden Sandals. Most of the leg armor in this game provides you with 100% coverage of both right and left legs which means you won't benefit from the extra protection that shoes give. For this reason the Wooden Sandals reign supreme.

Samurai Clothpants: When it comes to Light Armor nothing is going to offer you better coverage and protection than these pants. 100% coverage for both right and left legs allows you to use Wooden Sandals at all times; it also offers 50% coverage of your chest.

 

Melee DPS Armor Set:

Crab Helmet: It has the highest coverage and protection of any Heavy Armor helmet. Getting your hands on a Crab Helmet can be a bit tedious though, for more information on where to find the recipes check out my Crab Armor Recipes Guide.

Crab Armour: The chest armor with the most protection and coverage in Kenshi is Crab Armour. Much like with the helmet the only way you're reliably going to be able to get this armor is to purchase or steal the recipes from Crab Town. For more information on where to find the recipes check out my Crab Armor Recipes Guide.

Samurai Legplates: This armor offers you 100% protection of both of your legs which is a big deal since it allows you to use something like Wooden Sandals for your feet. While these leggings do have some heavy penalties that's ok for higher level characters since your stats will be so high you'll offset most of the penalties.

Wooden Sandals: The best pair of shoes you can get in all of Kenshi are the Wooden Sandals. Most of the leg armor in this game provides you with 100% coverage of both right and left legs which means you won't benefit from the extra protection that shoes give. For this reason the Wooden Sandals reign supreme.

Leather Turtleneck: Out of all the undergarments in this game, the Leather Turtleneck offers you the most coverage which is why it's typically used over everything else. The only reliable way for you to get [Masterwork] Leather Turtlenecks will be through crafting.

 

 

Best Light Armor Pieces: Wooden Sandals, Assassin's Rags, Dustcoat, Samurai Clothpants, Tagelmust, Fog Mask

Best Medium Armor Pieces: Plate Jacket, Black Plate Jacket, White Plate Jacket, Armoured Rag Skirt, Plated Longboots, Blackened Chainmail (Undergarment)

Best Heavy Armor Pieces: Samurai Legplates, Samurai Boots, Crab Armour, Crab Helmet