Items in Tyranny have one of five Quality ratings: Common, Fine, Superior, Exquisite, and Masterwork. As an item's quality rating improves, so do its effects. Weapons deal more damage, Armor becomes more protective, etc. Item quality can be improved with the Forge upgrade.
- Items of Common, Fine, and Superior Quality can be found on the bodies of enemies or in stores throughout Tyranny. Some locked chests will contain the occasional Exquisite item.
- The only way to obtain a Masterwork item is to improve it yourself (or be really high level).
- Damage increases by roughly 30% (minimum) and 25% (maximum) per quality level.
- Weapons with Accuracy or Armor Penetration bonuses receive an additional +2 Accuracy and +1 Armor Penetration per quality level.
- Parry and Dodge bonuses increase by +1 per quality level.
- Endurance bonuses increase every other quality level by +1 (except for iron shields).
- Recovery penalties are reduced by -0.1s every other quality level.
- Helmets receive +1 Accuracy per quality level.
- Gloves receive +1 Precision per quality level and +2 to Unarmed damage.
- Boots receive +1 (cloth), +2 (light leather), or +3 (heavy leather) to disengagement protection per quality level.
- All cloth items receive +1% Deflection per quality level.
- All leather items receive +1% Deflection every other quality level.
- All non-cloth body armor receives +1 Armor per quality level.
- All bronze and iron helmets receive +0.5 Armor per quality level.
- Items with increased protection against particular types of damage (eg. bronze armor vs. corroding damage) receive a +25 bonus to that protection.
- Recovery penalties for body armor are reduced by -0.1s when reaching Exquisite quality (body armor). Gloves, boots, and helmets receive a -0.1s reduction every other quality level.
- Barik is an exception, as his body armor receives that bonus at the same rate as other pieces of his armor.