ESO Beginner’s Guide: Getting Started in The Elder Scrolls Online

Despite its vast amount of content, The Elder Scrolls Online is surprisingly easy to dive into. If you’re a fan of Skyrim, you’ll find many familiar elements in this MMORPG, making the learning curve smoother. However, don’t mistake its newcomer-friendly nature for simplicity. The Elder Scrolls Online offers a unique combat system, intricate crafting mechanics, a wide range of PvP and PvE options, and hundreds of quests to tackle. To help you make the most of your initial months with the game, here are some beginner tips and tricks that will set you on the right path.

Pick the Perfect Class

The Elder Scrolls Online combat
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Your first task is creating a character, and luckily, all available classes are viable options for beginners. Additionally, every class can use any weapon, so you don’t have to worry about being restricted to specific playstyles. Take some time to carefully consider each class and their unique abilities. The classes in ESO include Necromancers, Wardens, Dragonknights, Sorcerers, Nightblades, and Templars. Once you’ve chosen a class, you’re free to level up all the skills in the game. Want to be a Sorcerer wielding a Greatsword? Go ahead and start slaying your enemies. The freedom to shape your character to your liking is one of the game’s highlights. You can also use the Skill Advisor system, which suggests skills based on your preferred playstyle.

Master ESO’s Combat System

The Elder Scrolls Online melee combat
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Combat in The Elder Scrolls Online will feel familiar to Skyrim players, but it introduces a few significant twists. One of these is called Weaving, where you perform a Light Attack after using a skill to increase your DPS. Mixing up your attack pattern can greatly enhance your gameplay. Other important combat elements to grasp include Light and Heavy attacks, skills with special abilities, dodging to avoid incoming attacks, blocking to reduce damage, and bashing to interrupt abilities. Take your time to master these skills before taking on more challenging content. If you need further guidance, you can refer to the official Combat Guide from ZeniMax Online Studios.

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Complete the Main Quests

One of your first objectives should be to complete the main story. Not only will this reward you with valuable experience, but it will also introduce you to the key locations and characters in the world of Tamriel. The main questline in ESO is engaging and definitely worth your time.

Join the Fighters and Mages Guild

When you want a break from saving the world, head to a local town and join both the Mages and Fighters Guild. Regardless of your chosen class, joining these guilds is a welcome diversion from the main questline. They also provide a significant source of experience in the early game and open up new skill lines for you to explore.

Dive into Dungeons

The Elder Scrolls Online group of players
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With the basics of combat and questing under your belt, you’re ready for your first taste of cooperative action. The Elder Scrolls Online offers a Group Finder that pairs you with three other adventurers to tackle challenging Dungeons. These instanced zones are filled with numerous enemies and a final boss for you to conquer. Completing the first Random Dungeon of the day grants bonus experience, so it’s well worth your time. Additionally, if you have an Experience Scroll, activate it before entering the Dungeon to see your level skyrocket after completion. Aside from Dungeons, you’ll encounter various PvE opportunities throughout Tamriel, such as Dark Anchors, World Bosses, Trials, and Arenas. Feel free to explore these activities at your own pace, as they offer valuable experience and rewards.

Try Battlegrounds

No MMORPG is complete without PvP, and The Elder Scrolls Online offers a rich multiplayer experience. Battlegrounds are small-scale conflicts where three teams of four players compete in different match types, including Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, and Territory Control. Like Dungeons, Battlegrounds provide bonus XP for your first match of the day. Pair up with friends or use the Group Finder to ensure you can always find a match.

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Unlock Continuous Attack for Swifter Movement

Elder Scrolls Online player fighting with a Companion
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One universal skill in The Elder Scrolls Online is Continuous Assault, which benefits all characters. This passive skill grants Major Gallop, increasing your Mount Speed by a significant 30%. To unlock Major Gallop, you must first access the Assault line by participating in a Cyrodiil campaign through the Menu screen. Complete the basic training exercises to unlock the Assault Skill Line and spend a Skill Point to learn Continuous Attack. This skill is not only valuable in end-game PvP but also provides a noticeable speed boost during quests and exploration. Apart from this skill, feel free to customize your character’s build according to your preferences.

Begin Your Crafting Journey

While you’ve likely spent most of your time engaging in combat, there’s more to The Elder Scrolls Online than meets the eye. Crafting is an essential part of the ESO experience, allowing you to create jewelry, heavy armor, weapons, and more. The basics of crafting are straightforward: gather materials from the wild or break down unwanted gear for components, then forge these into new items. The game provides a helpful tutorial to guide you through the process. Many players enjoy spending their time crafting and completing writs instead of focusing solely on combat. Take a few hours to explore the world of crafting and all it has to offer.

Upgrade your Mount Daily

ESO Companion traveling with the main character
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The Elder Scrolls Online takes a unique approach to mount upgrades. Rather than buying faster or stronger mounts, you can upgrade all your mounts simultaneously. Every 20 hours, you can visit a stable to increase one of three stats: Speed, Stamina, or Carrying Capacity. Leveling up these stats enhances your mount’s performance. It’s recommended that you upgrade one stat every day since you can only perform a single upgrade every 20 hours. It will take some time, but eventually, all three stats will be fully upgraded. Remember that mounts from the Crown Store, which uses premium currency, don’t confer any in-game benefits beyond cosmetic appearances. These mounts are on par with your other mounts in terms of Speed, Stamina, and Carrying Capacity.

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Champion Points and Beyond

Bastian Hallix standing on a port near Leyawiin
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Hitting the maximum level of 50 is just the beginning of your journey in The Elder Scrolls Online. Beyond that, you’ll earn Champion Points (CP) to level up various passive abilities through the Constellations menu, similar to Skyrim’s system. CP allows you to further improve your Stamina, Health, and Magicka, adding specialization to your build. Champion Points are just one facet of the game’s end-game content. Once you reach this level, other Alliance stories will open up, and you can participate in challenging content like Veteran Dungeons and Veteran Battlegrounds. Additionally, there are various PvP and PvE activities such as Cyrodiil, Trials, Dark Anchors, and Arenas. Joining a Guild will give you access to the most difficult PvE and PvP challenges. If you prefer a more relaxed approach, you can acquire and customize homes across Tamriel or focus on crafting and selling your creations to other players.

Explore Tamriel at Your Own Pace

The Elder Scrolls Online offers an extensive world to explore. With thousands of hours’ worth of content, there’s something for everyone. Take your time, pursue quests and activities that catch your interest, and gradually progress toward level 50. This beginner’s guide only scratches the surface of what the game has to offer, but it should give you a valuable starting point. Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination.

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