Finding Elden Ring armor sets can be a challenge - with many locked behind lengthy questlines and dungeons.
However, provided you know where to look, it's possible to find multiple armor sets without much playtime or facing any bosses - perfect if you have yet to significantly level up.
There will be some death-defying trips into dungeons, high level areas or completing short quests, but if you want to find the best early armor to give you a fast defensive boost, the following will be of use.
Our list of the best Elden Ring armor sets you can find from easy early locations:
To help you navigate, we recommend you find all early game Map Fragments first.
How to get the Royal Remains armor set
Finding the Royal Remains set involves a short quest that should take around 15 minutes to complete. Stats-wise, depending on your starting class the Royal Remains set might not be a huge step up (for our Vagabond at least) but it has two attractive qualities; its appearance with the skull-like helm, and a buff which slowly replenishes HP.
You'll want to visit the Village of the Albinaurics, which is found in the south of the Liurnia of the Lakes region. If you have not completed Castle Stormveil yet, then you can skip the dungeon and access the lakes early by going to the bridge running south to north next to the castle, and where it ends, leap onto the rocks to the left and follow the path that winds up the cliff to the north:
The Village of the Albinaurics is tucked away underneath the cliffs, so travel along the lake shore from the south-east until you come to a dark cavern with a bridge above.
From here, head up the path on the left until you reach the village's Site of Grace.
Go east from the Site of Grace and up the hill. There will be an enemy ahead and a shack on the left. Take the enemy down - if you don't, it can and will chase you to the NPC we're about to talk to - then continue going with the cliff on your right.
There will be a pot along the right wall. Strike it once to reveal an NPC who will give you the Haligtree Secret Medallion (Right). If the NPC dies - either from your own attacks, or an enemy - the item will drop here.
Now warp to the Roundtable Hold. (If you haven't unlocked this, then visit the Site of Grace just before the Margit fight and rest.) With the Medallion in your possession, you will be invaded by Ensha of the Royal Remains here, approaching from the left.
We found spell casting here with the small amount of room to fight in difficult, and instead focused on waiting for an easy-to-detect magic-based punch to get an opening - and you'll be warped to the 'original' Roundtable Hold once the battle is over.
Now go through the left-most passage from where you begin, and approach the doorway, which will now be open.
To the right of the door will be the Royal Remains set - featuring a Helm, Armor, Gauntlets and Greaves.
How to get the Sage armor set
If you are a magic user, then it's well worth picking up the Sage armor set - consisting of the Sage Hood, Sage Robe and Sage Trousers - whcih gives you a significant boost to magic and elemental defence, better immunities and a lighter equipment load.
You can find the Sage armor set inside Stillwater Cave in the south of the Liurnia of the Lakes region. If you have not completed Stormveil Castle yet, then you can skip the dungeon and access the lakes early by going to the bridge running south to north next to the castle, and where it ends, leap onto the rocks to the left and follow the path that winds up the cliff to the north:
Starting at the Liurnia Lake Shore Site of Grace, head south-east along the water. At the end of the lake, squeeze past the rock where the jellyfish area, and you'll come to the Stillwater Cave entrance.
Equip a torch and head into the dungeon. You'll want to keep the wall to your right until you come a mage at the end of the cliff, and another pair across a short gap just opposite.
Leap across the gap, past the two mages, and down the passage.
You'll emerge in a cavern with a poison lake and a corpse directly ahead. This is where you'll find the armor set.
Note doing so will see multiple winged beasts descend on you, so though it's possible to quickly get the armor, die and resume back at the dungeon, if you want to survive, try and take them out first.
If you were interested in the other items in the room, there is a Serpent Arrow and a Golden Run (5).
How to get the Carian Knight armor set
The Carion Knight armor set is found inside the second major dungeon, Raya Lucaria Academy.
The good news is this is armour is accessible without having to face any bosses; you can reach Liurnia of the Lakes without having to complete Castle Stormveil (see the following video for how to do this) and then you must locate the Glintstone Key and use it to enter the Academy.
The route from the starting Site of Grace in Raya Lucaria Academy can be seen in the following video, or in text and images below:
From the second Site of Grace named Church of the Cuckoo - located in a corridor to the left of where you first enter the Academy proper - you'll come to a graveyard area.
Follow the path here and cross the bridge, and take the path up the hill until you see the following building on your right:
Walk behind it to find a cliff, and if you look down, you'll see a grave on the edge, with an item and several enemies in front.
Interacting with the item will give you the full Carian Knight set - a Helm, Armour, Gauntlets and Greaves.
Alternately, you can reach this point by following the critical path, and at the bridge with the moving platforms on the right, you can drop down and walk along the cliff edge.
Once you have settled on a starting class and starting Keepsake item, you should first work out how to level up, how to respec and use Ashes of War. Need some direction from there? Our Elden Ring walkthrough and Elden Ring boss order can help with where to go next, but we also recommend hunting down Golden Seeds, Sacred Tears, Crystal Tears, Talismans and some of our best weapon and best armor choices. If you are approaching the end game, we can help with the Volcano Manor quest and Rykard, Haligtree Secret Medallion locations, solving the Ordina, Liturgical Town puzzle, the Millicent quest, Commander Niall, Morgott, Godskin Duo, Maliketh and Malenia.
How to get the Cleanrot armor set
If you want a significant stat boost over your starting class equipment, then the Cleanrot armor set is the way to go. Unlike the other methods above, the Cleanrot armor is farmed piece-by-piece from killing Cleanrot Knights, so requires more time and effort than most.
That said, between our recommended farming point fairly easily with the right steps, and that the armour is strong and comes with good immunity properties, we've decided it's well worth adding to this list.
To find the Cleanrot armor you need to defeat Cleanrot knights. They can be found in multiple locations - including as a boss in the Stillwater Cave, the location of the Sage armor set mentioned earlier in this page - but you can find multiple spawns quickly in the Swamp of Aeonia.
You can reach this location from the start of the game quickly by going west to the Agheel Lake and finding a chest underground which will teleport you to the Caelid region. You can see where this is, and how to escape the cave you are warped to and where to find the Swamp of Aeonia Site of Grace, in the following video:
From the Swamp of Aeonia Site of Grace, you'll find several Cleanrot Knight spawns closeby. Our recommendation is to head south to the giant tree stump, and once 'inside', go right to find one just round the corner.
What makes this one particularly useful is the branches can help block the magic attacks from the knight, if positioned correctly, allowing you to keep a distance and use a staff to whittle down their health. You can also stand on the banks easier here to avoid Scarlot Rot damage from the swamp itself.
Once defeated, there is no guarantee they will drop any Cleanrot armor, so now warp back to the Site of Grace and repeat until you earn each piece. Once you get the encounter down, you can take down the knight in a minute or so. It's not the best rune farming method, but compared to most early game enemies it's decent - so view that as a secondary benefit.
How long it takes to get the armor depends on luck, but even one drop gave us a respectable stat boost - and the more you get, the more you can withstand the Scarlet Rot damage from the area with the armour's immunity to speed things up.
Best of luck finding the armour you need!