New Player Help and Starter Guide for The Elder Scrolls Online. This page teaches you the basics and gets you acquainted with some useful wiki links. Make sure to read the article Getting Started with ESO.

Some initial tips from Saperedy regarding Builds

  • Alliance - any you prefer in terms of sympathy. There are implications for PvP and you will be permanently bound to the one you chose, on that character.
  • Race - any you like and want to play - you can buy "any race any faction" to chose freely. See the racial bonuses to plan your build
  • Classes - Chose any you like, you can play with any weapon and almost any role.
  • Armor - at least 3 different types of it (to level them and choose later)
  • Weapons - any with 'training' trait (to level them and choose later)
  • Skills - at least 1 from each class skill-lines, rotate as leveled (to level them and choose later)


Overall Guide


Designing your character

First of all, take some time to design your character well. You will typically spend several hundred hours in the game with that character, so pick a class and a race that appeals to you, and make sure you are happy with how your avatar looks. You will be seeing a lot of it, and many other people will see a lot of it as well.
The racial traits are neither terribly strong nor important in ESO, but your class matters a lot. Different classes offer different play styles. While ESO is a game that is less constraining than many others in terms of what you can do with your stats and abilities as you level up, it is unwise to pick a class or a race with traits that you do not plan on using. Pick an option that seems to offer a play style that you are happy with, at least for the start of the game. ESO offers a lot of skill points over the course of leveling up to "veteran" rank (level 50), and over time, you may find yourself leveling up to shift to an alternative play style, perhaps even abandoning your original style to experience the game differently, but that takes time. You may even want to start several characters of different races and different classes and level them up a bit to see how they feel. The game allows you to keep a few characters active for each account and switch easily between them, so feel free to use that feature to see what you like best.
The game designers put considerable effort into making all races and classes reasonably equal in terms of usefulness, power and balance, so don't listen too closely to advice from others regarding what is the "best" option. What matters is what you like, and how you wish to play the game.

  • See Factions to determine your starting zone.
  • See Classes and Races to understand how your character's abilities. Races have special properties that make them more suited to specific tasks, such as High Elves are adept to Magicka and better mages.


Starting out

As with all the other Elder Scrolls games, the game world of ESO is huge, with lots of areas to explore and lots of things to do. When starting out, the sheer size of the game world might seem daunting, but the tutorial areas are there to get you up to speed. Until rather late in the beta testing, the starting areas ( Bleakrock Isle, Khenartis's Roost and Stros M'Kai/ Betnikh) were a sort of tutorial where you needed to "earn your badge" to continue on to the other areas. This was criticized as being too constraining, seeing how previous Elder Scrolls games have had the design principle "go anywhere you want, do anything you like". Now, the starting experience is less constrained, with less holding hands from the game when you start out, and you start your adventure on the mainland with full access to a larger region. However, not all of that region is recommended for a low level character. We recommend that you actually take the boat from the dock and visit the "starter" areas early on. They provide reasonably rewarding quest content that is appropriate for low level characters, and they also contain some back story for your return to Tamriel from Coldharbour. If you skip these areas, you will do just fine in and near the first city, but when you get further into the mainland you will probably find yourself under-leveled for the quests there. If nothing else, you should consider going to these places for the soul shards. They can provide you with up to 2 valuable extra skill points.


Do what you like

When you play the game, remember that it is not a traditional MMO game, nor is it a traditional Elder Scrolls game. It is a mix of both, where things have been changed around quite a bit to create a game that hopefully appeals to Elder Scrolls fans as well as players of other MMO games. If the mix does not appeal to you, the game does allow you to play almost exclusively solo if you want to, and it also allows you to spend all your time playing PvP once you reach level 10 and are allowed to enter a campaign in Cyrodiil. If you like, you can even spend all your time hanging out in the docks of the starting area and role-play a sad lowlife drunk asking people for small change without ever leveling up. Don't feel obliged to play the game in any specific way. Try things out and spend time on the kind of content that appeals to you.


Take your time

Keep in mind that the leveling is not designed to be a grinding race to veteran rank. It is intended to be an enjoyable journey in itself, an adventure that takes your character through a rich world with lots of things to see and do along the way. Keep a lookout for quests that are appropriately leveled for your current skill, and if you pick up a quest that seems too hard, step back, take some time to find other quests to level up some more, and get back to the quest when you are better prepared. For many tough fights, you can also team up with others to make them easier.
Take your time. Don't rush it. This is a game that is meant for playing, not for winning. True, veteran rank has some perks, but you will get there. Remember to enjoy your ride.

Create your own gear

Train some crafting skill lines early on. Blacksmithing in particular is very useful, along with woodworking and clothing, to make your own gear and weapons. Stop to pick up the relevant crafting materials you find while exploring the world, and create your own gear and weapons as soon as you can. The gear and weapons you can get from stores is hideously expensive, and the items you find and the items you receive as rewards for quests are not always very useful.

Read the instructions

ESO is a game that requires you to read at least some written instructions to learn how to play it. Don't ask in the public chat for help with things that are properly explained in full in the help system. Press F1 to access the help. Also, don't ask people in the chat to explain complex procedures like crafting to you. Crafting is explained thoroughly in the help, and in handbooks which have been conveniently placed near all crafting stations. If you don't understand what you are supposed to do in a quest, read the journal (J), and read the hints in the quest description. And last but not least, learn to use the map. Press M to see it. The map contains lots of useful information. Hover over the symbols to see more details. When you hover over locations in cities, you will even see a list of the crafting stations and traders. Learn to recognize the traders by their icons in this list on the map. It will save you a lot of time running around blindly looking for that single trader in town that sells soul gems or extra bag space.
If you really need help, by all means, ask a polite question. There are lots of friendly people in the chat. However, if you ask questions for which the answers are written out clearly in the quest description or in the help, you will only end up on ignore lists.

Don't try to sell common loot

There is no auction house in ESO. The game has been designed such that there is no real need to buy stuff, except for some commodities like soul gems and minerals for making weapons and gear of different racial styles. The loot you find in your quests will be reasonably plentiful and common, and most people will find more or less the same stuff as you do. If you find a weapon or a piece of armor you don't need, sell it to an NPC vendor, dismantle it for raw materials or research it for its traits, or simply destroy it to make room in your inventory, but don't try to sell it to others. It is true that NPC vendors charge exorbitant prices for most items, but that doesn't mean you can make hundreds of gold on a common staff by selling it to another player. Instead, consider how easy it is to craft a decent level-appropriate weapon or set of armor: you need to collect some easy to find raw material while out exploring the world, and then spend less than a minute at a crafting station.
However, having said that, some things are at least semi-rare in the game, like the skill books for learning racial motifs for weapons and armor, and some recipes. Such items may be of some value to others and fetch at least decent price if you don't care to keep them, or if you happen to find duplicates. Use your common sense, and don't offer just any surplus loot you find for sale. Don't spam the zone chat with "WTS: [some very common item of undisclosed level], whisper me for offer". This is another thing that will only get you onto other people's ignore lists.


Video Guides

    • Anonymous

      10 Jun 2017 06:19  

      Very nicely done. Having just joined ESO when Morrowind was released I feel like I have some guidance on how to play the game and get the most fun out out of it. Thanks for your time.

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