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Introduced in Monster Hunter 2 Armor Spheres are unique pieces of material that improve the effectiveness of armor worn by hunters worldwide. Though often difficult to find, they are a heavily sought after item as improving the armor a hunter currently has can be much more effective than trying to get an entirely new set of armor, particularly when abilities are involved. When choosing an armor set to use, it is generally recommended to pick by abilities (such as the Tigrex set's ever-popular quick eating or the Dark Akantor's reckless abandon) that suit the hunting style of the hunter in question, and then improving the armor to increase its defense. This way, the hunter still has his/her favourite abilities whilst keeping up with other sets in terms of protection. This is where armor spheres come in.
Armor can be upgraded by talking to the Blacksmith. Select Armorcraft, and then Improve Armor rather than create. You can then choose which specific piece of equipment you'd like to improve. For each Armor Sphere you use and an ever-rising maintenaince cost, you can improve a piece of armor by 2 defense per 'level' around 10-12 times on average but, depending on the armor, it may be more or less.
Armor Sphere Levels
Like Monster Bones, which increase in size and then quality, Armor Spheres follow a very similar quality path. As a general rule, lower level armor sets require more common armor spheres, whereas the rarer armor sets begin to touch on the rarer ones. An Armor Stone is a special type of sphere because it can used to create other Armor Spheres through combination.
Combining Armor Spheres
In Monster Hunter Freedom 2, Armor Sphere, Armor Sphere+ and Hard Armor Sphere could be combined using items you could regularly find on quests and an Armor Stone, but the incredibly elusive Heavy Armor Sphere could only be gained through the High Rank quests, either through mining, carving or rewards. As of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite and all following games, all Armor Spheres can be created through combining, but require equally rare materials. Thankfully, all Armor Sphere combinations have a 100% success rate.
The materials needed to create each armor sphere are listed below but may differ from game to game.
ITEM NAME ITEM 1 ITEM 2 SUCCESS RATE ITEMS GAINED
ARMOR SPHERE MACHALITE ORE ARMOR STONE 95% 1
ARMOR SPHERE ARMOR STONE KILLER BEETLE 95% 1
ARMOR SPHERE+ DRAGONITE ORE ARMOR STONE 95% 1
ARMOR SPHERE+ ARMOR STONE RARE SCARAB 95% 1
ADV ARMOR SPHERE CARBALITE ORE ARMOR STONE 95% 1
ADV ARMOR SPHERE FIRESTONE ARMOR STONE 95% 1
HRD ARMOR SPHERE GRACIUM ARMOR STONE 95% 1
HRD ARMOR SPHERE ARMOR STONE KING SCARAB 95% 1
HVY ARMOR SPHERE ELTALITE ORE ARMOR STONE 95% 1
HVY ARMOR SPHERE ARMOR STONE EMPEROR HOPPER 95% 1
TRU ARMOR SPHERE MELDSPARE ORE ARMOR STONE 95% 1
TRU ARMOR SPHERE ARMOR STONE FLUTTERFLY 95% 1