Gloves are a key part of any outfit.
They are a great way to get more defence points, and even though they might not protect you as much as other parts of your armour, you need them to make a strong set of armour.
Some of the gauntlets you can find in Skyrim do very useful things that could be very important in a fight.
Because of this, the best gauntlets in Skyrim are not always the ones that offer the most protection.
But to save you some time, I’ve put together my top choices here. I hope you find the right gloves for your character.
- 21. Vampire Gloves
- 20. Wolf Gauntlets
- 19. Blades Gauntlets
- 18. Tumblerbane Gloves
- 17. Forgemaster’s Fingers
- 16. Cicero’s Gloves
- 15. Shrouded Gloves
- 14. Ancient Shrouded Gloves
- 13. Ahzidal’s Gauntlets of Warding
- 12. Deathbrand Gauntlets
- 11. Arm Bandages
- 10. Falmer Heavy Gauntlets
- 9. Nordic Carved Gauntlets
- 8. Gloves of the Pugilist
- 7. Linwe’s Gloves
- 6. Stalhrim Gauntlets
- 5. Ironhand Gauntlets
- 4. Dragonplate Gauntlets
- 3. Gauntlets of the Old Gods
- 2. Nightingale Gloves
- 1. Ancient Falmer Gauntlets
21. Vampire Gloves
During the Dawnguard quests “Hide and Seek” or “A Jarl’s Justice,” Gunmar or Isran sends the Dragonborn to kill a vampire masquerading as a Visiting Advisor.
The full vampire robes set can be acquired from the advisor. Gunmar’s targets may also include Traveling Pilgrim, Traveling Merchant, or Traveling Bard, who may be wearing the gloves. Initially, the vampire will not be hostile. The vampire must be killed to obtain the gloves.
Unlike Isran, Gunmar’s advisor target cannot be reported to the Jarl or made to follow the Dragonborn to a secluded location like the other disguised vampires. They must be killed with risk of a bounty.
A pair can be looted from Fangtusk in the Creation Club Fishing quest “Tusked Terror.”
20. Wolf Gauntlets
The extremely rare Wolf Gauntlets give you a base armor level of 12 with a weight of just 4 points, making them one of the best gauntlets in the game when it comes to defense.
Eorlund Gray-Mane will sell them to you once you join The Companions. But they can also be found by looting Kodlak Whitemane.
Even though this item cannot be crafted you can upgrade them at a workbench.
19. Blades Gauntlets
The Blades Gauntlets are the pieces of handwear worn by the Blades. As such, they’re part of the Blades set of armor in Skyrim.
They can be found in the Sky Haven Temple or looted from any new member of the Blades that wears them.
They offer a base armor of 13 with a base weight of 8 so they’re totally a solid option paired with heavy armor.
18. Tumblerbane Gloves
There’s a quest for the Dark Brotherhood called The Cure for Madness which allows you to access the Dawnstar Sanctuary.
Inside you’ll find the Tumblerbane Gloves. This piece of outer wear is a variation of the regular shrouded gloves that you can find in the game, but they’re enchanted with a special spell that allows you to lockpick 20% more successfully. A nice skill if you’re into thievery and such.
The Tumblerbane Gloves are one of the best gloves for thieves in Skyrim, apart from a few other variations that managed to rank higher in this list. But still worth nabbing these as early as you can.
17. Forgemaster’s Fingers
The Forgemaster’s Fingers are a quest item that can be gained by completing a quest of the same name.
This special pair of gloves allows anyone to improve items with 12% more efficiency, making them ideal pieces of wear to be used by crafters and smiths alike.
According to legend, the Forgemaster’s Fingers where once worn by an Orc who came to be one of the best blacksmiths in the history of Tamriel. Now that’s a history to live up to.
The Forgemaster’s Fingers allow a Dragonborn to upgrade items past their maximum level of improvement, making them the best companion that a smith can have while also providing a solid 11 points of armor.
16. Cicero’s Gloves
Cicero’s Gloves are the piece of handwear that Cicero wears(go figure, right?)
The Jester, who is the keeper of the Night Mother’s grave, can be killed during the quest “The Cure for Madness”.
Should you decide to end the Jester’s life then Cicero’s Gloves might be looted from his body alongside every other piece of clothing that he’s wearing. I don’t want to imagine what he’d look like after you’re done with him.
The gloves provide you with double damage when sneak attacking with a one-handed weapon, which makes them an ideal companion for every assassin that wishes to kill their targets quickly and efficiently.
15. Shrouded Gloves
The Shrouded Gloves are part of a basic set of armor that an assassin should be wearing in Skyrim.
They allow you to do double damage to enemies as long as they’re attacking them from the back.
These suckers can be found at various points throughout the Dark Brotherhood storyline and you’ll benefit tremendously from using them with their assassin-friendly perk.
You may also kill other assassins should you wish to loot their bodies and collect their gloves.
Most members of the Dark Brotherhood are wearing the Shrouded Gloves(hint hint). But you must be sneaking and undetected in order to activate their x2 damage effect.
14. Ancient Shrouded Gloves
The Ancient Shrouded Gloves have the same effect as the regular variation of this piece of handwear.
However these gloves provide 4 points of armor in addition to the basic 8 points that the original pair offers.
That makes the Ancient Shrouded Gloves the best assassin gauntlets in the game, and one that every player should be looking to get if they wish to kill with stealth and efficiency.
The gloves can be found inside Hag’s End during the quest Locate the Assassin of Old given by Olava the Feeble.
13. Ahzidal’s Gauntlets of Warding
The Ahzidal’s Gauntlets of Warding are incredibly efficient at repelling magic attacks.
In fact, these are the best gauntlets for magic protection in the game apart from any others that you can craft and enchant on your own.
The gauntlets have a -25% effectiveness in most scenarios but they do give the chance for a Dragonborn to absorb up to 50% of the damage from a magic spell. So pros & cons.
They need to be upgraded in the Arcane Blacksmith given that they are enchanted. They can be grabbed in Kolbjorn Barrow as they’re sitting on top of a pedestal during the “Unearthed” quest.
12. Deathbrand Gauntlets
So the Deathbrand Gauntlets aren’t just good at providing a ton of defense points(the base armor of these gloves is 11.5). But they also have a weight of just 2 points, so yeah pretty light!
And if you keep them equipped you get a 10% damage boost of each Deathbrand item that you’re wearing.
If you happen to have the whole set you’ll get a massive damage boost that will see your weapons cut through flesh with ease.
These gloves can be obtained during the “Deahtbrand” quest which gives you a treasure map that must be followed to obtain these gloves.
You also get a total armor boost of 100 points if they happen to complete the whole set of armor.
11. Arm Bandages
These peculiar arm bandages are being included in this list mainly because of how uncommon they are, and how most people tend to exclude them because of their nature.
In truth there’s no way you can obtain the arm bandages unless you use console commands.
They’re a very rare item which plays no particular purpose, but their rarity earns them at least an honorary spot in this post. Plus I guess they look kinda cool, right?
10. Falmer Heavy Gauntlets
Moving into the last half of this list we have the Falmer Heavy gauntlets. They can be found worn by the Falmer in the Dawnguard DLC.
Warmongers and Shadowmasters are the most common wearers of Falmer heavy armor, so killing them will give you the best chance of obtaining these gloves.
They have a very efficient base armor of 16 and a weight of just 6 points.
Given the nature of Falmer wear you can use chitin to upgrade these in any blacksmith’s forge.
9. Nordic Carved Gauntlets
Nordic Carved gauntlets are pretty sleek and super useful. They come with a base armor of 15 and a weight of only 6 points.
They start appearing from level 25 and up if you own the Dragonborn DLC. And they show up from level 26+ with enchantments on them.
Marauders usually have these on, but they may also be crafted with a smithing skill of 50 by combining steel, quicksilver, ebony, and leather strips.
These gauntlets are pieces of heavy armor – be wary of this if you want to wear the entire set, as it doesn’t offer lightweight protection.
8. Gloves of the Pugilist
The Gloves of the Pugilist offer a weak base armor of just 5 points. With an also low weight of just 2 points.
So then what puts them so far up in this list, you might wonder?
They’re an ideal item to be worn by players who love hand-to-hand combat. They boost unarmed damage by a total of 10%, making them one of the few items in the game that offer such an effect if you want to go weaponless.
Gian The Fist owns these gloves, and you can find him in the Ratway just under Riften. Killing him will allow you to loot the gloves from his corpse like a good little thief.
7. Linwe’s Gloves
The mighty Linwe’s Gloves just weigh 2 points, but they offer 11 points of protection while also giving you a total of 15% boost to one-handed attacks.
Linwe, the owner of these majestic pieces, is found dead during the Summerset Shadows quest given to you while completing the Thieves’ Guild questline.
Even though the gloves can’t be crafted, you can upgrade them on an Arcane Workbench if you happen to have any spare leather on you.
6. Stalhrim Gauntlets
The solid Stalhrim Gauntlets offer 17 points of protection with a weight cost of just 7.
The items spawn in various locations across Solstheim once you reach level 35, so it may take a little bit to get there.
But this pair of beautiful handwear may also be found in some shops across the region after you meet the level requirements.
In general these are just a piece of heavy armor that look great and come with some great stats.
5. Ironhand Gauntlets
The Ironhand Gauntlets are exactly the item that every two-handed warrior needs to have in their inventory.
The gloves provide a 15% boost to two-handed weapon damage, as well as an additional 12 points of armor with a weight of just 4 points.
You can get these items by killing Hajvarr Iron-Hand in a cave located in White River Watch.
4. Dragonplate Gauntlets
Dragonplate gauntlets will start spawning across Skyrim once you reach level 40, and enchanted versions of these gloves might also be found when you pass level 41.
These can also be found as random loot in chests as well as loot dropped by the most powerful dragons in the game.
You may craft these gauntlets and every other piece of the Dragonplate set once you hit level 100 in Smithing. So yeah, better be practicing quite a bit!
3. Gauntlets of the Old Gods
We’re getting down to the wire here with my #3 pick: the mighty Gauntlets of the Old Gods.
These are the best piece of handwear that an archer can get in Skyrim.
They provide an additional 20% damage to every attack executed with a bow. They cannot be disenchanted nor crafted and may only be obtained by completing the quest No One Escapes Cidhna Mine.
They weight a mere 0.5 points and protect you with a 7 defense boost, making them a solid complement any archer’s outfit.
Their design isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing but it’s quite unique on its own. Points for creativity, right?
2. Nightingale Gloves
Nightingale Gloves are an assassin’s best friend. Actually, same goes for thieves too.
These bad boys offer a massive boost in lockpicking and in one-handed weapon damage.
The boost goes from 15% to 25% depending on your level, with the boost of 25% being maxed out at level 32.
They offer a solid base armor of 10 which is massive for light gloves that only have a weight of 2 points.
These gloves are given away by Karliah during the quest “Trinity Restored”. But make a note: you must activate the Armor Stone if you want to receive the entire Nightingale armor set.
1. Ancient Falmer Gauntlets
The Ancient Falmer Gauntlets are, in my opinion, the most powerful gloves in the game. They’re sitting at #1 for good reason.
They offer 20 points of protection and a weight of just 2 measly points.
These gloves are worn by the almighty Arch-Curate Vyrthur and they may only be obtained by looting his corpse after completing the “Touching the Sky” quest.
One look at these things and you can tell their design is pretty unique. And there’s no way to craft them, either.
It is possible, however, to upgrade this magnificent item with Refined Moonstone to make them even more valuable.