Races in Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) determine your character's allegiance and starting area. Depending on your choice, you will select a Faction for your character and set forth within a specific zone. You will be able to explore and complete quests across all factions regardless of your initial choice, but your PvP allegiance will never change. Your race will also determine bonuses your character will have access to through out the game. They are unique to each Race and some cater more to certain playstyles than others, so choose carefully as this can't be undone without paying extra.

 

Should I worry about Race and Racial Bonuses?

While Race is not the most important component of your Build in ESO, their Passives do have an impact, particularly in more challenging content or PvP. Many players start out not knowing what commitment level they will have to the game, and often times they become much more “hardcore” than they originally intended. For this reason, it does make some sense to spend time researching what Race to play, even if you don’t anticipate playing in any serious capacity. While you can change your Race later if you really want to, it will cost you money, and a bit of investigation could save you nearly 30 USD.

It is also important to know that Races are locked into Factions in ESO. Each Faction has 3 races, and Imperials are also available as a special buy that allows you to join any of the Alliances. The alliance you belong to has only one effect in modern ESO: locks you into that faction’s group in PvP (in Cyrodiil). This is not a big issue for most newcomers, but you should check out the Factions page to familiarize yourself with what they stand for, just so you know the company you’ll keep!. You may also unlock “Any Race, Any Alliance” for 1500 crowns in the crown store – but be mindful you cannot change faction after character creation!

How do I pick a race in ESO?

There are two parts to selecting your character’s race. On one side, there’s Roleplay purposes – maybe you want to roleplay an unusual Khajiit raised by High Elves who has discovered an aptitude for Magic. Maybe you want to roleplay a fierce Dunmer Warrior, or maybe you are trying to make your character match your own looks, and discover High Elves don’t have dark hair so you have to pick a Wood Elf or human instead.

  • If you are picking your race for roleplay, you can still try to optimize it by selecting a Class that matches its strengths, so in that case you’ll want to look at our Classes article and our many, many builds.

The second part of race selection is optimization for the best possible build. If this is the route you’re taking, it starts by thinking “What is my playstyle?”. Do you want to use a bow or a greatsword? Then you’ll be focusing your points into Stamina. Are you looking to manipulate the elements and command minions? Then you’re looking at magicka and spell buffs. Do you want to be an unbreakable wall of indisputable power? Then you’ll be looking for Health and Stamina boosts.

  • When selecting a race for optimization, first decide a Weapon focus for your playstyle. Read the Weapon Skills to get an idea of what you’ll do. The second step is to look at the available Classes and select one that will match the role you want to play with that weapon. Once you know your role and if you’re magicka or stamina based (or health), you can look at the races and optimize for any of the roles available in game

Races of Elder Scrolls Online

 

ESOwiki_daggerfallcovenant_crest.png

Daggerfall Covenant



ESOwiki_breton_portrait.png

Breton

Starting Area: Stros M’kai
Racial Bonus: Breton Racial Skills
Suggested Classes: Sorcerer or Templar
Strength: Magicka Builds





ESOwiki_redguard_portrait.png

Redguard

Starting Area: Stros M’kai
Racial Bonus: Redguard Racial Skills
Suggested Classes: Dragonknight or Nightblade
Strength: Stamina Builds





ESOwiki_orc_portrait.png

Orsimer (Orc)

Starting Area: Stros M’kai
Racial Bonus: Orsimer (Orc) Racial Skills
Suggested Classes: Templar or Dragonknight
Strength: Tanking
ESOwiki_ebonheartpact_crest.png

Ebonheart Pact



ESOwiki_nord_portrait.png

Nord

Starting Area: Bleakrock Isle
Racial Bonus: Nord Racial Skills
Suggested Classes: Templar or Dragonknight
Strength: Tanking





ESOwiki_argonian_portrait.png

Argonian

Starting Area: Bleakrock Isle
Racial Bonus: Argonian Racial Skills
Suggested Classes: Templar or Nightblade
Strength: Healing and Potion Consumption





ESOwiki_dunmer_portrait.png

Dunmer (Dark Elf)

Starting Area: Bleakrock Isle
Racial Bonus: Dunmer (Dark Elf) Racial Skills
Suggested Classes: Sorcerer or Dragonknight
Strength: Flame Damage
ESOwiki_aldmeridominion_crest.png

Aldmeri Dominion



ESOwiki_khajiit_portrait.png

Khajiit

Starting Area: Khenarthi's Roost
Racial Bonus: Khajiit Racial Skills
Suggested Classes: Nightblade or Dragonknight
Strength: Stamina and Stealth




ESOwiki_bosmer_portrait.png

Bosmer (Wood Elf)

Starting Area: Khenarthi's Roost
Racial Bonus: Bosmer (Wood Elf) Racial Skills
Suggested Classes: Nightblade or Dragonknight
Strength: Stamina and Stealth




ESOwiki_altmer_portrait.png

Altmer (High Elf)

Starting Area: Khenarthi's Roost
Racial Bonus: Altmer (High Elf) Racial Skills
Suggested Classes: Sorcerer or Templar
Strength: Magicka Builds

 

 

Independent Races
 



Imperial

Faction: Any
Starting Area: Khenarthi's Roost, Bleakrock Isle or Stros M'kai
Racial Bonus: Imperial Racial Skills
Suggested Classes: Dragonknight or Templar
Strength: Tanking



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