Unlike in Oblivion, you *can* stack skills over 100 with a combination of enchanting and alchemy.

You can easily wind up with something like this:

**There's not enough recursion** within the enchanting / alchemy skills to increase arbitrarily high, but you can definitely get some pretty nuts items regardless.

Ran some console commands in the name of Science!

First, I leveled light armor to see the effect that skill has on armor rating.

Imperial Armor chest

- 25 armor at 15 skill.
- 33 armor at 100 skill.

Well, that's underwhelming. The rest of the numbers in this post are with 100 light armor skill.

Then I maxed smithing and started crafting.

- 74 - 4 piece leather - no perks
- 119 - upgraded with 100 smithing
- 238 - agile defender 5/5 (cleanly doubled the value)
- 357 - custom fit, matching set (and another 50% on top)

So much for unperk-able leather. How about elven?

- 297 - 5 piece elven armor, agile defender 5/5, custom fit, matching set
- 528 - upgraded with 100 smithing, elven smithing perk
- 610 - upgraded with 130 smithing by using Ring of Smithing (+15) and Necklace of Smithing (+15), elven smithing perk
- 537 - same, but shield-less

Elven armor is the lightest armor I'm aware of. 4 piece is 7 units of weight. 5 piece is 11 units of weight. With this low weight, you can easily skip armor weight reducing perks.

Then I headed off to the enchanting station for one last test. I enchanted with fortify armorer and saw no change to armor rating after the enchant. I recommend skipping the *arcane blacksmith* perk if you are planning to wear only your own crafted armor. Just upgrade before enchanting. (Ignore what the enchanting table tells you about armor rating, it's wrong.)

That's 2 smithing perks, and 7 light armor perks. With 100 skill in light armor and smithing, you'll be level 26 and easily able to afford these perks.

Can you skip the 2 smithing perks? Possibly. You'll need to compensate by raising smithing skill (much) higher, but if you're already choosing enchanting perks and/or alchemy perks for other reasons...

TLDR:
You can reach 610 armor rating with 9 perks and minor un-perked assistence from alchemy or enchanting. 567 is the armor cap.

## Best Answer

I gave a detailed explanation of the formula in this answer.

where

`skill multiplier`

is "approximately"See below, but here's a rundown:

25% on 4 items29% on 3 items + Archmage's Robes(recommended)33% on 3 itemsThere are three main ways to use the 33%/Necromage build: maxing out schools, spreading the benefits evenly or using the Archmage's Robes. Again, I'd recommend the Archmage's Robes. Note that you can invest an additional 2 perk points in any of the above to get Extra Effect (via Corpus Enchanter). The magicka cost becomes as follows:

* All of these assume you remain a vampire, in which case any Fortify School bonus will be increased by 25%.To further increase the above effects, you can utilize the Falmer Helmet + Circlet exploit.

## 25% on 4 items

Since perks are more dear than skill points, let's assume you have 100 skill and an Enchanter's Elixir (alchemy produces weak potions even at 100 skill unless you invest some perk points):

We can plug in some values to get to 25% net magnitude:

Once we have one rank in Enchanter, we can get Insightful Enchanter, which is the best single perk for Fortify School enchantments and provides a 25% bonus (plus you should probably go this route to get to Extra Effect). Therefore, we only need to solve for the number of ranks in Enchanter:

Therefore, at minimum we need

4 ranks in Enchanter.## 29% on 3 items + Archmage's Robes

Another possible build uses the Archmage's Robes, which already provide 15% Fortify to

allschools of magic. I prefer this because a) it's more attainable than Necromage, b) being a vampire really isn't that fun, and c) it doesn't require the Falmer Helmet exploit and d) you also get +50 magicka and +100% magicka regen. You just need the maxed alchemy/enchanting loop:The requisites:

## 33% on 3 items

It goes without saying that we'll need all of the above and then some. Then we need to solve for what amount of bonus

xwe need to apply to our Enchanting skill to get to 34%:So you need at least a

56%boost to Enchanting. The solution to this is becoming a vampire with the Necromage perk. Necromage boosts the effect of everything you do to an undead by 25%. If you're undead, that includes you. So all of your own enchantments and potions are also 25% stronger. The alchemy/enchanting loop can then net you a +46% Fortify Enchanting potion. This requires: