ESO Beginners Guide: Starting Your Journey in Tamriel…
At, ESO FAQs, we have put together this guide to help introduce you to the basics: character creation, how to level up, ESO classes, what the story is about, and more!
This game takes place 1000 years before The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and you are able to play any of the ten races available. There are two conflicts going on in the story simultaneously: the balance of the world and the complete power over Tamriel.
We know your fingers are burning to start playing immediately, but our personal recommendation is to read our ESO guide to know better all the ESO classes the game has to offer; also, you will want to be prepared to face your opponents and to level up fast.
Time is gold, and we appreciate your enthusiasm for this MMPORG, so we will narrow it down to the important information. No long incomprehensible instructions or boring paragraphs about ESO builds, just what you need to start playing.
So without further introduction, grab your sword and let’s get this hunt started!
ESO Classes, Alliances, Races and Character Creation
First things first! What kind of character would you like to be online?
There are 10 different races in The Elder Scrolls; each character is completely customizable; you can take your time choosing your style, and we strongly recommend you to do so because you can’t change it afterward (but you can add some accessories).
Each race has unique looks and passive skills, they have their own background story and even though you will be playing the same game, we assure you is not the same playing as an Orc than as an Argonian.
There are also three different ESO alliances, basically they are the clans where different races collide. The alliance you choose determines where you start to play and who you fight against in the Alliance War (it’s one of the versus player game modes).
The ESO classes are five: Templar, Dragon Knight, Sorcerer, Warden and Nightblade.
This is how everything is divided:
It is basically a peace and support treaty between the peoples of northwest Tamriel; their goal is to establish peace and order in the city and they claim to be spiritual heirs of the Second Empire.
Among the Daggerfall Covenant you will find Orcs (under the rule of King Kurog of Orsinium), Bretons (at the service of King Emeric of High Rock), and Redguards (ruled by Kind Fahara0jad).
This Alliance is mostly for players that identify with honor, respect, and chivalry.
Their abilities are focused on stamina and health, so if you choose to be an Orc, make sure to maximize these aspects on character selection. They hold on a lot of damage, but they are a bit slow at the beginning.
Also passive characters but focused on magicka. They are the human descendants of the Aldmeri-Nedic Manmer, they do not have much strength, but they do have a lot of magic resistance. Great healers, if you ask us.
Great strikers! They focus on stamina and stamina recovery, great for melee attacks and one of the strongest races. A bit faster than Orcs, but definitely not as strong at the beginning.
Celestial creatures? Magical beans? Call them what you want, it’s an alliance formed by the High Elves of Alinor after the fallen of the Imperial City.
Along with the Wood Elves and the Khajut, formed a plea that combines their forces to prevent younger races of Tamriel from doing any more harm to the world. The Aldmeri Dominion races are strong hunters, and you will notice it easily since they use bows and one of them has a feline body structure.
Also known as High Elves, they are racial passives that have increased skills like Frost, Shock and Flame. They are strong damage dealers and outstanding passives, basically the kind of support you want in a team.
Or Bosmers, have increased stamina recovery, disease resistance and increased poison! Which, essentially, makes them strong opponents with a passive game style. Really good for ganks, if you ask us.
Fearful kittens! Have an amazing radius detection and critical attacks. They gain extra weapon damage and are great for pickpocketing. Also, they count with nice armour and lots of stamina.
An alliance born between Skyrim, Morrowind and Black Marsh. Is politically fragile, yet powerful in military terms. While you play the story you will notice that there are tensions between the races of the Ebonheart Pact, but they stand together against Molag Bal and enemy alliances.
Human-like, they are amazing tanks for PvE and PvP. Have maximized health and health recovery, along with increased stamina and damage reduction. They are not easy to stun and count with immunity to the chilled status effect.
Also known as Dark Elves, are characters focused on magicka and fire based damage. Since they like to play with fire, they resist it pretty good, and just like the Nords, they are not easy to stun or shock.
They look like giant lizards with human bodies. Focused on healing and tanking, the Argonians work with poison to attack and are one of the most resourceful races of ESO.
The last ESO race does not belong to an alliance, they look like Nords and have great melee damage. Often used as stamina based fighters and tanks.
To summarize everything: if you want to be a tank, your best choice is an Argonian or an Imperial. If you wish to be a Healer, stick with the High Elves; if you like to play with magicka, the Dark Elfs are the right ones for you, and if you want to blast everyone with lots of stamina, choose a Redguard or the Khajits.
How to Play Elder Scrolls Online?
One of the coolest aspects of this game is that you can literally play how you want it. If you are completely new, you can play alone for a while to level up and get to know the game by your own, but if you are a team gamer, you can join a Guild and play with anyone in the world against alliances, other guilds, bosses, and more.
This ESO guide is made for beginners, so our advice is to take your time exploring Tamriel. That way you will enjoy the stunning graphics of the game and get used to the game controls. Our recommendation is to check the game settings and adjust them to your preference.
While you level up, you can earn Leveling Rewards; you gain accessories, skills, and other goodies that will help you to increase experience and enjoy the game faster. For example, as lvl 5 or lower you will complain about walking so slow, but when you are level 10, you can get a horse and travel faster.
At level 15 you can carry two weapons at the same time, something you will love it because not all enemies are defeated equally.
As we mentioned before, depending on the race and the alliance you choose, your game starts in a particular zone of Tamriel.
For everyone, in the beginning, the game starts at the Starter Village, is a tutorial space where you learn the basics of the gameplay.
After that tutorial mode, you go to your Start Town:
- The Daggerfall Covenants start at Daggerfall in the Glenumbra Zone
- The Aldmeri Dominion begin at Vulkhel Guard in the Auridon Zone
- The Ebonheart Pact start at Davon’s Watch in the Stonefalls Zone
Always talk to the NPCs to gain some XP and learn more about the quest you are diving into. Some can even give you free stuff!
Also, take your time exploring the map. Check the towns and fight monsters as they appear. You can collect and equip many rewards, but the ones that are not useful, you can sell them and get some gold for future purchases. You can also check out my guide on the best places to farm gold in ESO.
Whether you are a mmeber of the Fighter’s Guild, Mage’s Guild or Undaunted, there’s a quest for you. It’s essential that you complete them because they activate unique and necessary skills for your ESO class.
As many other MMPORGs, to obtain the best skills, you need the basic skills first. You get them levelling up your character through campaigns, quests, or just wandering around fighting others.
One of the greatest things about ESO is that you have dozens of skill sets; so you can play with one for a particular character and then reset the whole game for a great price every time you reach the Major City.
The game also has a Skill Advisor, like the voice of wisdom showing you recommendations depending on the build you select. Once you are a pro, you can turn it off.
But while you get used to the game, you should pay attention to the signs of the Skill Advisor. Please try to level up as many skills as possible, so when you get tired of playing as one, you can change it quickly to a new one.
While you are playing, you will need to increase the effectiveness of the abilities earned, that means that you can have a fantastic sword or bow, but their fundamental skills are low or basics, so you have to level them.
Skill levels rise when you slot them on your skill bar; when you carry them around, that’s the skill that will gain experience from your battles.
If you have one power that belongs to a particular skill-line, that means the other abilities in that skill-line will slowly level up too. It’s an automatic process.
The more you play, the more skills you will earn. It will be a little confusing at the beginning, because ESO offers hundreds of possibilities to choose from, but don’t worry about that right now. Just focus on picking one skill-line and let the automatic skill levelling do the magic.
Once you have played with enough skill-lines, you will find the one you’re most comfortable with depending on the quest or battle you’re facing.
When playing The Elder Scroll, and of course, depending on the race you choose at the beginning, you will have different types of attacks available.
We would like to explain to you how this work, so you can level up fast instead of pushing all the keys at the same time and pray for one of them to be the right one.
There are light and heavy attacks, they deal a lot of damage and are used by tanks, healers and damage characters.
Instead of using light attacks continually, you can combine them with your abilities to deal more damage. The ideal combo is one light attack, then one skill, and you repeat it until you win.
You can block enemy attacks too to defend your character. Blocking does not avoid getting harm, but it reduces a fracture of the damage received. Just remember that blocking continually drains your stamina faster than attacking, so block only when you need to.
An interesting trick is Bashing; the game will show you a charge bar on top of the enemy that means he is charging an ability, so you can bash it and interrupt it, a plus is that they may get stunned!
Bashing is terrific to avoid receiving damage but is a move that you have to make quickly. Otherwise, the one stunned will be your character.
If you can’t bash an attack, you can dodge roll it. It will move your character to a close location and help you diminish the damage received; sometimes you can escape from it entirely.
However, you can’t dodge roll all the time, only when specific abilities hit you and in particular areas. You will learn all this from experience in the game; there isn’t a 100% accurate guide for that.
This how the ESO attacks are divided:
- Basic attacks: light, heavy, and bash
- Stamina attacks: physical, poison and disease damage
- Magicka attacks: magic, frost, fire, and shock damage
- Special attacks: oblivion and bleed
Weapons, Inventory and Food
The Elder Scrolls offers us a great crafting system, depending on the crafting skill-line you choose, each profession levels up and crafts differently.
The easiest ones are Blacksmithing, Clothing and Woodworking, all you have to do is deconstruct gear. While Enchanting, Alchemy, Provisioning and Jewelry crafting takes a little extra effort.
To craft you must find an Alchemy Station, you will need a solvent and reagents to create a potion. Then your alchemy level goes up. To craft weapons, you go to a Blacksmithing station and so on with the other options.
The materials to do the crating are found in the field; you can buy them or earn them as rewards for your battles.
The higher your crafting level is, the higher the chances of succeeding in crafting are. In this video you can see a more detailed explanation of the crafting process:
As for the gear, when you are starting isn’t that important because you won’t have all the necessary materials for particularly great equipment.
You can craft dozens of ESO sets, but you won’t start doing this until you are level 50 or so. Meanwhile, wear whatever protection you can find.
Remember is not just about the looks, but about what the gears can do to protect you from damage.
But when you are old enough in the game, you can start the hunt for the Monster Sets. Incredibly looking garments with specialised skills that you can craft after doing some quests.
Now, to increase your character’s stats you must get buff-food and different drinks, they increase max resources and recovery respectively. You use them during combat, and you can combine them to hold on more during combat, attack faster, stronger, or merely to recover more quickly.
About the inventory, there’s where you store all the items you pick up during the game. When you start playing you only get 60 slots, but when you level up, you can upgrade it up to 200. You do not need to carry around 200 items, with 90 slots is just fine.
And of course, if you have a horse to carry you and your items, you need to feed him every day. Otherwise, he gets pissed off, and you do not want to travel with an angry horse, trust us.
As for the ESO bank, there’s where you deposit your gold and treasures; the good thing is that you can transfer the belongings of one character to another through the bank account.
What About Champion Points (CP)?
You get them when your champ gets to level 50, and they are earned through game experience (read my guide on the best places to grind XP in ESO); they primarily increase your strength and speed.
When you first reach level 50, you will win Champion Points like crazy, but it will get harder with time. You can spend them on any ESO character you have, keep in mind that the maximum amount of CP you can use is 561.
You can use them on Enlightenment, a catch-up mechanic that allows less active gamers to catch-up with the game even after not been on for a while.
Or you can spend them in Constellations; each one contains passive bonuses for your character.
Now that we have talked about all the basic stuff you need to know before playing The Elder Scrolls Online, we have gathered a series of tips from our own experience to make you the first play hours even better.
- First of all, ESO is not a race to level up. Seriously, we know you want to have a dragon helmet and a terrific armour while slaying everyone around you with just two hits, but ESO is more about taking your time to explore the field and the many possibilities of gameplay.
- Do not try to skip dialogues or pass away from NPCs; they have valuable information about the game and missions, but more importantly, they sometimes give you free stuff that will save you money.
- If you see a shiny or glowing thing in the game, then reach for it. They are out there to help you level up, is not a decoration. Sometimes they even contain free skills, especially books! Do not pass by the books around you, read them!
- Just because a piece of garment you are holding looks cool, does not mean it’s the armour your character needs. For example, Magicka characters work better with light armour, while tanks need heavy equipment.
- Yes, we know that upgrading your inventory is annoying and boring but if you don’t do it then you will eventually find a rare item that you will not be able to pickup because your inventory is full. So upgrade it as soon as you can.
- It’s never too early to learn how to craft. You won’t be making superb items the first times, but the more you practice, the better, besides you gain experience and skills, so It’s worth the try.
- If you crafted something that you haven’t used for a while, you could deconstruct it to make something else.
- Make some friends! ESO is way better when played in groups, so join a guild or at least add some friends you stumble upon the game to exchange knowledge and to have better play time. Top secret: you gain more experience when you level up with a friend.
- ESO is a beautiful looking game on both console and PC. To get the most of the gorgeous visuals you should consider upgrading your monitor. You can check out my guide to the best console gaming monitors.
Now, my friend, you are ready. Thank you for reading this far, and we hope that you have learned a few things with our ESO guide that will help you in this journey.
So go out there, Tamriel is waiting.