Combat in Elder Scrolls Online


Skill Bar Notes

  • All classes have six slots available on two hotbars.  (Sorcerers who use the Overload ultimte will have three hotbars). Instead of cooldown, stamina or magicka will be used to control frequency, and they are meant to be intertwined with auto attacks to ensure effective rotations.
  • Five of the six slots are available to be filled from the class skill pool. The sixth however (ultimate) is reserved for when the player has enough "finesse".
    • Finesse is accumulated in combat by reacting to the situation: interrupting a spell, blocking a power attack, or performing combos with your group. It will also increase your magic find rewards and experience gain.


Weapon Attacks

Use the left mouse button to perform attacks with your equipped weapon. Mouse combat has 3 functions:

  • Click to perform a light attack.
  • Hold the left mouse button to begin charging a heavy attack.
  • Holding both left and right mouse buttons will interrupt the enemy.

Heavy attack damage scales depending on how quickly they are released. A heavy attack becomes full charged in approximately 2¼ seconds. Most weapons will automatically release a fully charged heavy attack. Fully charged heavy attacks with bows need to be manually released.

Players sometimes refer to heavy attacks that are manually released before they are fully charged as medium attacks. The game only uses the terms light, heavy and fully charged heavy attacks.

Active Abilities

Active abilities are those used to perform actions in combat. They must be player activated and are mapped to the number keys 1 through 5. You can shortcut these skills by accessing the Skills menu (K) and dragging and dropping any active ability icon onto the bar. The letter R will be used for Ultimate Skills.

  • At level 15, you gain the ability to have two different weapon sets equipped. Each weapon set has an ability shortcut bar, so your second weapon set can have its own set of 6 abilities. To set your secondary abilities, swap your weapon set by pressing “`” and slot abilities as outlined above.
    • Mid-combat weapon swapping is possible at the cost of stamina and magicka, from level 15 onwards. It will allow players to have mid-combat weapon-tied skill swapping as well. When out of combat, you may chose to change your class and ultimate abilities at your leisure.
  • All abilities have an activation cost, generally in magicka or stamina. If you have enough resources, you can press the corresponding key to execute that ability.
  • Ultimate abilities are executed by pressing the “R” key. When you use your ultimate, you'll notice that its icon becomes darker. To use it again, fill the icon up by engaging in combat.
  • Some abilities can be toggled on and off by pressing their related hotkey. Ability tooltips help you recognize toggled abilities.
  • Area of Effect abilities now deal full damage to all targets hit, instead of having a damage penalty after hitting 7 or more targets. Secondary effects from those Area of Effect abilities (snares, stuns, etc.) are still capped at 6 targets.


Blocking & Counterattacks

Holding the right mouse button will block regardless of whether you have a shield, and reduce damage from enemy attacks. Blocking consumes stamina, and shields have the best damage reduction.

  • If you block an enemy's strong attack (enemy has yellow aura as executing), you'll be able to break their defenses and open them up for a devastating counterattack using a strong attack of your own.


Interrupting Enemies

When enemies glow red, it means that the attack they are using (or are about to use) can be interrupted. To interrupt the attack, press the left and right mouse button at the same time. Interrupting consumes stamina.


  • Press the “Ctrl” button to enter stealth mode. This decreases the chance that enemies will detect you, and some abilities can only be used while in stealth.
  • In this mode, your targeting reticule becomes an eye. If the eye begins to open, you're in danger of being detected and may need to move. If it opens all the way, you've been spotted.
  • Moving while in stealth, consumes stamina, but this can be mitigated by some set bonuses.


Dodging and Breaking Free of Crowd Control

  • To dodge enemy attacks, double-tap the movement keys in the direction you'd like to dodge. If you time it right, you'll avoid damage from the attack. Dodging costs stamina.
  • Some enemy attacks may hold you in place. To break this effect, you can press both mouse buttons at once. This also costs stamina.



  • Synergies are group combos possible when playing as a team, and they trigger secondary effects that can be activated by pressing “X” when prompted.
  • Synergy abilities: Special group coordination skills that unleash stronger attacks. They are cross-class and give players the opportunity to make their attacks unstoppable
  • Enemy synergy: Creatures will work together and create and execute the same deadly combos as the player, and are being coded to be smart enough to seek out strength in numbers. Some factions will have their own special combined attacks.
  • Dragon Bones DLC removed Synergies from the global cooldown, and they can now be activated while using other abilities.



  • When you defeat enemies, they often leave behind loot. To collect the loot from nearby defeated enemies, approach the corpses and press “E.” You automatically collect loot from several corpses—no need to interact with each one.



  • Avoid Death by using Quick Potions Slots (Q) allow for the consumption of health and other potions that share a 20-30 second cooldown. Foods and other such regeneration and boost items are also available.
  • If your health is reduced to zero, you've died, and your equipped items will suffer durability loss. If you have a full soul gem of the appropriate level in your inventory, you have the option to revive at the location where you fell. If you don't, you can return to the nearest Wayshrine.
  • To fill soul gems, you'll need Soul Trap, an ability gained through the Soul Magic skill line.
  • If you come across a dead player, you can use a full soul gem to revive them.



  1. Information on this page based on official ESO forums:

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    • Anonymous

      5 skills slot is suck, one more button to press and the abilties bar switch to slow. Why 5x2 ? Because console does not have enough button to use huh ?

      • Anonymous

        if you are in a group and youre kill an enemie together...will the XP go to both of the players or just 1, and if it go's to both, will you get full XP or is it split in 2?

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