Skyrim: The Best Dragonbone Armor Mods (All Free)

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What could possibly be more bad-ass than fashioning weapons and armor from the bones of your enemies?

Just one thing: doing so from the bones of felled dragons.

The Dragonplate and Dragonscale armor sets are some of the most powerful and cool-looking in Skyrim, even considering all the DLC and Creation Club items included in the Anniversary Edition.

That said, there’s always room for improvement – and thanks to Skyrim’s surprisingly long-lived modding community, there are plenty of options to improve your dragon bone equipment.


10. Improved Dragonplate Armor

Improved Dragonplate Armor Skyrim mod

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The Dragonplate armor is one of the most “Dragonborn-ish” equipment sets you can get in vanilla Skyrim. Regrettably, it’s not the strongest.

That title would go to the Daedric armor, even though crafting armor from Dragon bones and scales is harder and requires Smithing Level 100 vs. the Level 90 needed to craft Daedric.

From my point of view, this doesn’t really make sense.

Dragonplate may be lighter than Daedric – but does that really justify such a big difference in crafting difficulty?

To make the Dragon smithing perk worthwhile, the Improved Dragonplate Armor mod bumps its armor rating considerably to make it better than Daedric.


9. Bony Footsteps for Dragonbone Boots

Bony Footsteps for Dragonbone Boots mod for Skyrim

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Improving an armor doesn’t have to be all stats and visuals.

I’ve always thought walking around with each armor set would make a remarkably different sound. Banging metal sheets against one another has to be different from leather sliding over leather, right?

This mod gives the boots from the Dragonplate armor set their own distinctive sound reminiscent of, well, bones clanking.

Think skeletons in Minecraft, but a little bit less cartoonish.


8. Reshaped Dragonbone Armor

Reshaped Dragonbone Armor Skyrim mod

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If you like wearing Dragon bones as armor but don’t love bulky-looking characters, the Reshaped Dragonbone Armor mod is for you.

This add-on modifies the Dragonplate armor in several subtle ways to make your character look more slender and mobile when wearing it. The rounded pauldrons and slightly wider chestpiece give it a better-looking shape overall.

One of my favorite changes is the addition of leather/scale covering for your character’s arms.

Why would you leave anything unnecessarily exposed in the cold tundra environment of Skyrim?


7. Dragonscale Berserker Armor

Dragonscale Berserker Armor mod for Skyrim

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Just as some people can’t stand bulky armor, others can’t get enough of it.

If your idea of good-looking armor is derived from Space Marines in Warhammer 40K, you’ll love the Dragonscale Berserker Armor.

This remodeled Dragonscale set features enlarged boots and gauntlets and many more spikes on the pauldrons that give it that “berserker” feel. In addition, the helmet has been closed off, providing more protection and making your Dragonborn look even more dangerous.

The set also includes a new two-handed sword based on the Dragonbone Greatsword, with a small dragon skull mounted on the handguard for extra bad-assery.


6. Oxidized Dragonbone Retexture

Oxidized Dragonbone Retexture Skyrim mod

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The dragon bones we get from dragons in Skyrim have a nice khaki color that’s fashionable and accurately mimics real bone.

That said, after wearing them for a long time, you’d expect them to change a bit in color.

One way to show this effect in-game is through the Oxidized Dragonbone Retexture, which colors all Dragonbone armor and weapons an earthy orange hue.

You’ll also find amethyst and “rocky moss” versions of some pieces for added variety.


5. Frankly HD Dragonbone & Dragonscale

Frankly HD Dragonbone & Dragonscale mod for Skyrim

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I know plenty of people who don’t want to mess with Bethesda’s original vision for Skyrim – they just want to bump the quality a little bit.

The Frankly HD Dragonbone & Dragonscale mod is the perfect way to bring these armor sets to the 2020s with some high-resolution textures, from 2K to 8K!

These textures were upscaled with neural network software, which allows for crisper and clearer details while preserving the original texture design.

The Jagged Crown is also included for those of you who prefer it over the actual helmets.

Make sure you also install Frankly HD Dragon Bones for maximum immersion.


4. Alduin’s Scale Armor

Alduin's Scale Armor Skyrim mod

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I always expected to get some sort of epic weapon or armor after defeating Alduin, and I was very disappointed when I got a lousy shout and not much more.

If I can make equipment out of normal dragon bone, why wouldn’t I do the same with Alduin’s remains?

Alduin’s Scale lets me live my dream with a new standalone armor set – or Dragonscale replacer, depending on your preference – based on the World Eater and crafted from his own scales.

This is a jet-black version of the Dragonscale armor, but the retexture is done with great skill, choosing just the right hues to keep it looking organic and appealing.


3. Imperial Dragonscale Armor

Imperial Dragonscale Armor mod for Skyrim

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One thing the Dragonbone armor sets don’t have is elegance.

In fact, they’re the opposite: they’re rustic and wild, fit for a Stormcloak revolutionary but not necessarily a sophisticated Imperial.

If your character cares more about looking their best than inspiring fear in the hearts of their enemies, the Imperial Dragonscale Armor will serve them well.

This set is a blend of imperial styles with materials sourced 100% in the Imperial province of Skyrim (deal with it, Ulfric fanboys). It’ll help you look civilized and official while also providing excellent protection.


2. Dragonbone Barbarian Armors

Dragonbone Barbarian Armors Skyrim mod

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The Dragonbone Barbarian Armors are some of the most popular in the Nexus for obvious reasons.

Somewhat skimpy armor sets are a big favorite among Skyrim modders – myself included – but the Dragonbne Barbarian set gives you complete control over how much skin you want to show.

This set is modular, including over 15 armor pieces you can equip and unequip at will to create different outfits. You can wear them all and look armed to the teeth or keep it in the single digits to look wild and barbaric – not to mention sexy.

If you’re the kind of gamer who likes their character to look like a Greek god or goddess, check out the UUNP Bodyslide + Physics version for females and the HIMBO version for males.


1. Dragonbone Ebonsteel Armor

Dragonbone Ebonsteel Armor mod for Skyrim

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My favorite take on the Dragonbone armor sets is one of the oldest.

Sometimes, you get it right on your first try.

The Dragonbone Ebonsteel Armor combines the bestial strength of dragon bones with hundreds of years of Nord steelworking expertise to create one of the most bad-ass armor sets ever made.

Creator Dreogan took the vanilla Dragonplate Armor and reinforced it with expertly-worked ebony steel for extra protection and a more badass style.

The biggest changes are noticeable in the numerous helmet options, with different horns and the option to cover your exposed face with ebony mail.

If this doesn’t send your enemies running in your opposite direction, they must be acolytes of Sheogorath – in other words, completely insane.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.