Hades 2: How to get armor and the best armor builds

Arachne and Hephaestus in Hades 2

Hades 2 features plenty of new tools to play with, and fans have only scratched the surface of the new armor mechanic.

The armor mechanic in Hades 2 is an extra way for Melinoe to enhance her survivability. In contrast to health, armor is a separate “health” bar that goes on top of the regular health bar. While it won’t bring a 1-HP Melinoe to full health, it’s effectively extra health.

Armor also differs from health in two very important ways. Unlike health, armor has no hard cap. That means players can gain as much armor as they can hoard in a single playthrough. A player can have 200 armor and 10 health, which opens up some interesting playstyles. 

chronos phase two hades 2 boss fight

Secondly, when armor breaks, excess damage will not apply to Melinoe’s health bar. Even if Chronos himself hits Melinoe with a 700-damage attack, as long as she has a single point of armor left, the armor will break and nullify any damage past that cap. From Arachne’s silken weaves to the mighty steel of Hephaestus, here’s everything players need to know about armor in Hades 2.

How do I get armor in Hades 2?

Players can obtain armor from Charon, random encounters, boons, and keepsakes.

Armor is acquired for the first time after encountering Arachne in Erebus. She will provide Melinoe with three options of varying armor gain and effects. Arachne’s armor effects can last longer if the player finds a way to obtain more armor later. 

On the surface, Icarus can sometimes offer armor boons, though not as consistently as Arachne. Charon sometimes offers +20 armor for 40 gold as well. Finally, Hephaestus’ Heavy Metal and Trusty Shield also give Melinoe armor, albeit in different ways.

Heavy Metal gives Melinoe an instant +75 armor, and foes can no longer knock her away. Trusty Shield requires Melinoe to “Prime” (automatically reduce the useable Magick amount for that Location) 30 Magick to gain +10 armor until the next area. 

Finally, Arachne’s Keepsake, Silken Sash, gives the player an instant +20 armor. Additionally, as long as Melinoe has armor, she gains +2 armor whenever they enter a new location. With so many ways to gain armor, some players wonder how to optimize this exciting new resource.

What are the best armor builds in Hades 2?

Hephaestus’ Trusty Shield boon, Adamant Shard keepsake, and Arachne’s Silken Sash keepsake are core to any armor-focused build.

Relying on random encounters like Charon, Icarus, and Arachne is not reliable for armor gain. Silken Sash guarantees armor and armor gain for as long as Melinoe holds onto it. Hephaestus’ Adamant Shard also helps players fish for Trusty Shield early on and Rarify it for even more armor gain per new Location. 


Remember to unlock the Kindred Keepsakes Incantation to switch Keepsakes between areas.  The goal is to start with Adamant Shard first to fish for Trusty Shield, then switch to Silken Sash to maintain the armor. In the final stretch to Chronos, risky players can opt to stop gaining armor and save it all the way to Chronos, in favor of a different keepsake. 

For some unorthodox damage builds, a player could purposefully get themselves down to 30% health, activating the Strength Arcana before obtaining armor. This Arcana gives a +30% damage dealt and -30% damage taken buff while under 30% maximum health.

Daredevil players can avoid Max Life hearts altogether to have a permanent +40% Critical Hit chance with White Antler equipped and rely on the Armor gained from Trusty Shield for survivability.

Overall, armor is a powerful mechanic, and with the right boons and keepsakes, players can enable some impressive builds. 

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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