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Like with any RPG, Tales of Symphonia requires you to outfit all your party members with gear. Such gear includes weapons, accessories, and of course, armor.
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But there are tons of options in the game, and equally as many numbers attached to each option. So how do you decide which armor to equip your team with, especially in the endgame?
As our resident expert on this old JRPG, I’m here to help you find the best armor in Tales of Symphonia. I’ll also explain briefly where you can find it, so you don’t miss out on it.
How to Get New Armor
Is this your first time playing the game? (Given that it’s been out for almost 20 years, that’s certainly surprising, but I guess there’s a first time for everything!) It can get a teensy bit overwhelming learning the ropes, especially when it comes to equipment.
However, I feel like ToS does a pretty good job easing you into all aspects of the game, including equipping new items. Nonetheless, let’s cover quickly how you find new armor.
There are basically four ways you can get armor:
Buying it in a storeFinding it in a chest in a dungeonUpgrading old armor with crafting materials at the upgrade shopsItem drops after beating particular monsters
I usually do a combination of the first two options. I very rarely upgrade armor because you find enough good armor in shops and in dungeons. There’s never really a need to bother with upgrades.
You could honestly probably get away with just taking the armor and weapons you find in chests, if you’re being a bit of a cheapskate with your gald.
Tales of Symphonia: Best Armor for the Whole Party (and Where You Can Get It)
Now let’s get to the part about armor. I’ve divided it by person, so I’ll discuss the best armor possible for each individual character.
I’m also going to divide the armor into the slots it can be equipped in. I’ll have head, body, shield (when applicable), and hands.
For me, the best armor means the highest defensive stats and resistances. The armor on this list meets that description.
I think one of the better helmets for Lloyd is the Star Helm. It has a defensive stat of 26 with +2 defense against fire. You can buy it at the shop in Ozette or find it in a chest at the Tower of Salvation.
You can also use the Golden Helm for a nice defensive stat of 30, but it has no resistance to any elements.
Lloyd’s best armor is Mumbane, which has a defense stat of 70 with +2 resistance to dark, earth, ice, and lightning. You can get it as an item drop after fighting Garr Kelvin in the coliseum in Meltokio.
The Hyper Gauntlets are easily your best bet here. They have a defense of 21, increase Lloyd’s accuracy by 10, and also raise his attack speed. You can get them by fighting Abyssion, who you find near the front of Flanoir after you get one of the Devil’s Arms.
It’s kind of complicated to get the gauntlets, though, because in order to fight Abyssion, you need to acquire all the Devil’s Arms. In some ways, it’s worth it because they’re the best weapons in the game, but they’re scattered all across Sylvarant and Tethe’alla, so it takes time to gather them.
Colette can wear a circlet or a ribbon. The best ribbon you can get for her is the Magical Ribbon, which has a defense of 28 and can be found in a chest in Derris-Kharlan.
Her best circlet is the Elemental Circlet, with a defense of 25. It has additional +2 resistance to fire, earth, wind, and water. You can get it by fighting Seles Wilder in Meltokio’s coliseum.
Both Colette and Presea wear body armor called guards. I honestly don’t know how it’s different from regular armor, but it is what it is.
Colette’s best guard is the Elemental Guard. It has a defense of 66, with +2 resistance to fire, earth, wind, and water. You can pick it up from a chest in Vinheim.
Colette’s hand armor is gloves. For the most part, they all have silly names, like Bridal Gloves or Lovely Mittens.
Her best gloves are the Katz Mittens. They have a defense of 11 and can be purchased at the Katz Village.
Kratos, like Lloyd, wears helmets. You can review Lloyd’s section for the best helmet for him. Depending on your choices in Flanoir towards the end of the game, you might not even have Kratos in your party, anyway.
If you’re concerned about getting him back in your party, you can read my guide about getting Kratos back.
Kratos’s best body armor is undoubtedly the Golden Armor.
The Golden Armor has an impressive defense of 70, with +2 resistance to fire, light, water, and fire. The problem is, you have to go through a complex series of events to get it. First, at the beginning of the game, give the Spiritua Statue to Koton on Hakonesia Peak. Next, rebuild Luin and go to the dock to do Aifread’s quest. Then, at the end of the game, enter Vinheim on Derris-Kharlan and return to Koton on Hakonesia Peak again to buy the armor…
Again, however, you might not even have Kratos in your party to equip it to. (Although you can equip it to Zelos if you do end up getting it.)
See Lloyd’s gauntlet section for the best gauntlets Kratos can wear. They both wear the same gauntlets.
For Kratos, the strongest shield would be the Star Shield. Its defense is 35, and it has a nice +2 resistance to darkness and fire. Pull it out of a chest in the Tower of Salvation later in the game.
Frankly, though, I’ve always hated the look of the Star Shield because, if I remember correctly, it looks like a big, goofy yellow star and it’s hard to take seriously.
Sheena shares head equipment with Colette (as well as Raine and Presea). You can use the same circlets and ribbons as Colette would use for Sheena.
Sheena and Raine both wear robes for their armor. Don’t ask me how that’s supposed to protect you, it just does.
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Anyway, the best robe for Sheena defensively is Kannazuki, which has a defense of 60 and +2 resistance to wind. Unfortunately, there’s a whole string of events you have to go through to get it.
First, fight Kuchinawa (and win, of course). Next, go to Chief Igaguri and wake him up. Last, talk to him in Mizuho and you’ll get the Kannazuki robe.
If you want to skip all that trouble, you can get the Shaman Dress from a chest in the Tower of Salvation. It has a defense of 54 with +2 resistance to light and dark.
Sheena wears gloves, just like Colette. Thus, the gloves that are best for Colette can also be worn by Sheena.
Raine, like all the other women in the party, can wear ribbons or circlets. Refer to Colette’s head equipment to see Raine’s best head armor.
The interesting thing about Raine is that, although she shares some of her robes with Sheena, she does have quite a few that only she can wear. This is true for her best robe, which is the Spirit Robe.
It has a defense of 60 and….wait for it…+2 resistance to every single element. How do you get it? By defeating Maxwell, a summon spirit you can find in the floating city of Exire.
Raine wears mittens and gloves, as well. You can refer to Colette’s hand equipment to see what you can equip Raine with.
I can’t really imagine Genis in a helmet, nor can I imagine him a ribbon or circlet. So what does he get? Hats.
Frankly, Lloyd, Kratos, Zelos, and Regal can all wear the hats. But because Lloyd, Kratos, and Zelos can each get better helmets than hats, it makes more sense to stick with helmets for them.
Genis’s best hat is Aifread’s Hat, which has a defensive stat of 21 and gives a nice boost to his intelligence. To get it, just finish Aifread’s quest and then go back to Izoold to talk to the poor rejected Max.
Just like with his head equipment, Genis is in a weird spot when it comes to armor. He’s too small to wear a full suit of armor, but he’s not exactly going to wear a dress, either.
He uses cloaks, some of which he shares with Regal and some of which are specifically for him. His best cloak is the Star Cloak, which has a defense of 60 and +2 resistance against fire. You can get it by beating Farah Oersted in the Meltokio coliseum.
For his arms, Genis can wear bracelets. The best defensive boost comes from the Shield Ring, which has a defense of 14 and can be found in a chest in the Torent Forest by Heimdall or in Vinheim.
I might suggest springing for the Star Bracelet, though, because its defense is only one less and it provides a slight resistance to fire. You can find that in a chest at the Tower of Salvation.
Zelos can wear either hats or helmets. Like I mentioned earlier, though, I wouldn’t recommend sticking a hat on his head because helmets usually provide a better defensive boost. Refer to Lloyd’s helmet section, then, for an example of the best helmet Zelos can wear.
You can equip Zelos in sturdy armor. The best in the game for him is the Golden Armor, which he shares with Kratos. Check out Kratos’s armor section above for information on how to get it and what its stats are like.
Both Kratos and Zelos carry shields. Because of this, I would also recommend the Star Shield for Zelos if you choose him over Kratos.
I’m not sure what kind of logic went into the decision, but Regal doesn’t use helmets. He uses hats, just like Genis. For that reason, I’d recommend Aifread’s Hat for him, as well.
Regal also shares cloaks with Genis. From a literal standpoint, I’m not sure how that would work, since Regal is a fully grown man and Genis is a pre-teen boy.
His best cloak, the Mortality Cloak, makes more sense. Only he can wear it and benefit from its defense of 60. Snag it from a chest in Vinheim.
Regal also wears bracelets, just like Genis again. For that reason, you can equip him with the Shield Ring, as well.
Presea wears ribbons and circlets, as all the other ladies in the party do. If she’s in your party at the end of the game, feel free to equip the Elemental Circlet to her, too.
Presea’s best guard is the Prism Guard. It has a defense of 66, and +2 resistance to every element except darkness. It’s actually weak to non-elemental darkness, though. You can grab it from a chest in Vinheim, Mithos’s castle.
I almost think gauntlets would be more fitting for Presea than gloves like the Katz Mittens, but nope. She equips mittens and gloves, so the Katz Mittens will be the best for her, too.
Whew! This turned out a bit more exhaustive than I expected, but there it is: a list of the best armor to put in various slots for all the party members in Tales of Symphonia. You’ll notice there’s quite a bit of overlap with characters sharing armor types.
With some, you can buy multiple sets of armor to split among characters. However, there are a few that you can only get from a chest or as a drop after a fight. Unfortunately, you may need to make some tough choices about who you want to have the best equipment in those cases.