Barbarian Armor: A D&D 5E Player Guide

Barbarians have long been known for their ability to take on whatever challenges are thrown their way, and that includes armor. In Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, barbarians have the unique ability to use both light and medium armor from the get-go. That’s right—no need to wait until higher levels to start wearing armor!

Barbarians are some of the toughest adventurers out there, so it makes sense that they’d want the best protection they could get. Here’s a look at some of the most popular armor choices aailable to barbarians in 5e:

Light Armor: Padded armor is one of the best choices for light armor, as it offers excellent protection witout sacrificing mobility or speed. Leather armor is another great option, as it provides a bit more protection than padded armor while also being relatively lightweight. Finally, studded leather offers good defense against slashing and piercing damage but can be somewhat restrictive in movement.

Medium Armor: Half Plate is one of the most commonly used medium armors among barbarians in 5e. It provides excellent protection from bludgeoning and slashing damage with minimal penalties to speed or mobility. For those looking for even more defense without sacrificing much mobility, there’s also scale mail and ring mail options available.

Heavy Armor: Barbarians can also equip heavy armors like breastplate or splint mail if they choose. These offer more robust protection than medium armors but come at the price of significantly reduced mobility and speed. While these armors do provide a lot of defense against damage, they lack the flexibility that lighter armors offer in combat situations—so it’s important to weigh your options carefully before committing to a full set of heavy armor!

Ultimately, what kind of armor you choose will depend on your playstyle and preferences. If you prefer to be able to move quickly and strike hard durig combat encounters, then light or medium armors are probably your best bet. If you want maximum protection from physical attacks no matter what, then heavy armors may be worth considering—just be aware that this comes at the cost of reduced mobility and agility on the battlefield!

Can Barbarians Wear Armor in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition?

Yes, barbarians can wear armor in 5e. Barbarians have proficiency in medium armor right out of the gate, and they can also wear light and heavy armor if they choose to spend their proficiency slots on them. The highest-end medium armor, half plate, is almost as effective as the Barbarian’s Unarmored Defense feature. Ultimately, the decision coms down to personal preference—some Barbarians may prefer more protection from armor than from their own body’s natural defenses.

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What Type of Armor is Best Suited for a Barbarian?

When choosing armor for a Barbarian, it is important to consider the character’s specific needs. Light armor offers greater mobility and agility, making it ideal for Barbarians who prefer to be in the fray of battle and use their speed to their advantage. On the other hand, medium armor provides more protection than light armor, making it a good choice for Barbarians who want to stay on the defensive or take on more powerful foes. Ultimately, what type of armor a Barbarian wears depends on their preferred playstyle and desired protection level.

The Lack of Armor Among Barbarians

Barbarians living in pre-industrial societies often lacked the resources to craft and procure armor, making it inaccessible and therefoe impractical to wear. In addition, armor was often heavy and restrictive, limiting a soldier’s mobility and agility in combat. As a result, many barbarians chose not to wear armor as it was seen as too much of a hindrance in battle. Instead they relied on lighter clothing that was more versatile and allowed them to move quickly and easily while fighting.

Do Barbarians Use Armor?

Yes, barbarians did wear armor. Although some tribes were known to fight without any protection, they generally favored a variety of shields and armor, including chainmail. Chainmail was particulrly popular among the more warlike barbarian groups, as it provided excellent protection against bladed weapons while still being relatively light and flexible. The most common type of chainmail was made from interlocking iron rings, which were connected together to form a mesh that could cover the entire body. Other types of armor included leather and hardened hide, both of which provided some degree of protection but not as much as chainmail.

The Inability to Rage While Wearing Heavy Armor

The inability to rage while wearing heavy armor is due to the limitation of movement. Heavy armor restricts your ability to move as quickly or as freely as you would in lighter armor, which is a key factor in entering a rage state. Without sufficient movement, it is difficult for a barbarian to enter the proper state of mind necessary for raging. Additionally, heavy armor also places considerable strain on your body, making it more difficult to sustain a rage over an extended period of time.

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Can Barbarians Wear Medium Armor?

Yes, barbarians are able to wear medium armor. Barbarians gain proficiency in medium armor when they reach level 3, whch allows them to benefit from the AC bonus provided by wearing it. Furthermore, barbarians can still rage while wearing armor that is not heavy and receive their barbarian class features while doing so.

The Most Powerful Barbarian Build

The strongest barbarian build depends on the type of playstyle you prefer and the goals you want to achieve. One of the most powerful options is the Path of the Totem Warrior, which allows for a wide range of customization depending on your choice of totem animal. This path grants abilities at 3rd, 6th, and 14th level that are powerful and versatile, such as natural armor, extra damage with certin weapon types, or improved mobility. Other options include Path of the Berserker and Path of the Storm Herald, both of which offer various bonuses to enhance your barbarian’s combat capabilities. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which path best suits your character’s needs.

Creating an Overpowered Barbarian

Making an overpowered Barbarian requires careful consideration of character traits, equipment, and class abilities. Start by putting your highest stat as Strength and look for any Strength bonuses from races, feats, or oter aspects of character creation. Furthermore, consider taking feats like Power Attack or Reckless Attack; these will increase your damage output in combat.

For equipment, look for weapons with special abilities that can enhance your damage output further. Lastly, focus on taking Barbarian class abilities that can increase your damage output such as Rage and Frenzy. By combining thee elements you will create an overpowered Barbarian capable of dealing tremendous amounts of damage.

The Best Race for Barbarians

The best race for a barbarian character depends on the type of character you are looking to create. If you want a classic barbarian feel, then Half-Orcs and Mountain Dwarves are excellent choices, thanks to their natural strength and resilience. For a more durable barbarian, Goliaths and Yuan-Ti prvide formidable defenses. If you’re looking for high damage output, consider playing a variant human and taking the Great Weapon Master feat at first level.

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The Possibility of a Barbarian Raging Forever

No, a barbarian cannot rage forever. A barbarian’s Rage lasts for one minute, unless it is ended early due to conditions like becoming unconscious or not attacking a hostile creature or taking damage snce their last turn. The Barbarian’s Persistent Rage feature can extend the duration of their Rage to up to an hour, but even then it will eventually end.

Comparing Barbarian Armor and Ancient Armor

The short answer is that it depends on your preference. Barbarian Armor has lower defense, cannot use damage buffs, and gives a lower attack increase than Ancient Armor. However, Barbarian Armor can provide a bonus to better weapons such as Savage Lynel Weapons, which can provide up to 15 more damage than Ancient Weapons with Ancient Armor. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what kind of playstyle you prefer and what kind of weapon bonuses you want to take advantage of in your game.

The Most Famous Barbarian in History

The most famous barbarian in history is Attila the Hun, also known as “the Scourge of God”. He was the leader of a powerful nomadic tribe, the Huns, who lived in Central Asia during the fifth century CE. Attila and his warriors were feared throughout Europe for their violent raids and successful conquests of numerous territories. They were also renowned for their brutality toards their enemies, and many Roman historians wrote horror stories about them.

Attila’s legacy resonates thrugh time to this day – an example of a brutal and savage ruler whose ambition knew no bounds. He was even said to have been the inspiration for Ghengis Khan’s own conquests centuries later. Although he was eventually defeated by Roman forces in 453 CE, his name remains synonymous with power and ruthless domination.

Can Barbarians Wear Plate Armor?

No, barbarians cannot use plate armor. As a barbarian, you are only proficient in Light and Medium armors, and plate armor is neither of those. Plate armor is extremely heavy and clunky and requires specialized training in order to wear it properly. Because barbarians don’t have the necessary training or experience, attempting to wear plate armor wold actually give them penalties. To get the best protection, it’s best for a barbarian to stick with Light or Medium armors that they are more familiar with.

What Clothing Do Barbarians Wear?

Barbarians from the Grim Up North typically wear garments crafted from animal furs, hides and leathers. These rugged materials are designed to protect them from the harsh and often unforgiving climate of their homeland. Clothing often consists of simple tunics, breeches or trousers, cloaks, and boots made of leather or fur. The garments are often decorated with intricate embroidery or beading to denote rank or status within a tribe. In addition to these main pieces, barbarians may also wear jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets, and amulets made from bone, stone and metal. Fur-lined hoods and hats are also common garments amongst tribesmen as they provie additional warmth in cold climates. Clothing for special occasions may include more elaborate pieces such as ceremonial robes and headdresses covered in feathers and beads.

Can Barbarians Use Shields?

Yes, a barbarian can carry a shield. Barbarians are proficient in the use of shields, allowing them to gain an extra +2 bonus to their Armor Class when they wield one. A shield also allows a barbarian to use their bonus action to perform a shove attack if they are wielding a weapon with the versatile or two-handed properties. Lastly, while wielding a shield, barbarians still retain the ability to make attacks with their other weapons, such as polearms or spears.


In conclusion, it is clear that barbarians in 5e can benefit from the use of armor. While some may choose to forgo armor for reasons of accessibility or versatility, a barbarian can greatly enhance their defense with the use of medium armor such as half plate. This type of armor provides protection that is comparable to the unarmored defense feature, and can also provide bonuses in terms of mobility and damage resistance. Furthermore, many barbarians also possess shields and chainmail whih can provide additional defensive benefits. Ultimately, whether or not a barbarian chooses to wear armor depends on their own personal preference and situation.

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William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.