Elder Scrolls Online Strategy Guide

Now that The Elder Scrolls Online has released, no doubt you are looking for a great ESO guide to help you level faster, earn more gold, and max out your crafts. Look no further, as this Elder Scrolls Online guide contains all of that and more.

This page serves as an introduction to ESO and to the guides on this website. I have broken down the ESO strategy guides into three categories: Class Guides (including builds, leveling tips, skill trees and more), Weapons Guides (discussing each weapon type, its skills, and the best way for using ESO’s weapons), and General Guides (discussing other aspects of ESO like Skyshards, PvP, Crafting, and earning skill points).

By the way, if you are looking for a purely leveling-oriented guide, look no further than Zygor’s ESO Leveling guide. It is an add-on that serves as an in-game guide and will walk players step by step through every quest in the game. I strongly recommend it. You can get it by clicking here.

ESO Class Overview & Guides List

Full Guide: Elder Scrolls Online Classes Guide & Overview

Elder Scrolls Online has an unusual class system. In other MMORPGs, nearly all of a character’s abilities are unique to its class. In ESO, most classes have access to the same abilities with only a handful of abilities being unique to each class. Many active abilities are tied to the weapon equipped and any class can equip any style of weapon.

Rather than each class having its own set of abilities, in ESO the game’s four classes each contain just three unique skill trees. There are over a dozen other skill trees in the game (with more coming after launch) that all classes can access. Players can actually play as a class without using any of that class’s abilities and still be very effective.

The important thing to remember is that this open skill system allows players of any class to effectively fill any role in the game. A person playing the Sorcerer class may tire of casting spells and decide to tank. They can do this by putting on heavy armor, a sword and shield, and then picking up tanking skills from non-Sorcerer skill trees.

With that said, it is not as if the class skills and abilities are useless. Most builds will incorporate at least one or two of a class’s skills. Below, I will discuss a bit about each class’s abilities and provide links to full guides on each class.

Dragonknight

Full Article: Elder Scrolls Online Dragonknight Guide

The Dragonknight archetype is geared towards wearing heavy armor and using tanking or two-handed weapons. Dragonknight abilities tend to focus on improving defense, providing buffs, and dealing fire damage. The Dragonknight has some decent control abilities as well; the three trees are fairly balanced. Players will want to look to their weapons skill trees for their primary damage-dealing abilities.

Nightblade

Full Article: Elder Scrolls Online Nightblade Guide

The Nightblade archetype is geared towards physical melee or ranged DPS. Many of the Nightblade’s talents favor stealth, critical hit chance, and dealing burst damage. The Nightblade is a very popular class for PvP as a result. Its abilities often allow to do bonus damage out of stealth (all players have access to stealth in ESO) and make it harder for other players to detect the Nightblade.

Sorcerer

Full Article: Elder Scrolls Online Sorcerer Guide

The Sorcerer’s abilities fit the damage-dealing spellcaster archetype that is a staple in MMORPGs. This class’s abilities focus on dealing spell damage or providing other utility and buffs suited to casters. One aspect of the Sorcerer that is unique to this class is that it can be built to be a summoning class with pets.

Note that Sorcerer’s do not have a monopoly on being a casting damage-dealer. Another class Archetype could use Destruction Staff skills along with Light Armor and Mage’s Guild abilities and passives to create a casting-based class.

Templar

The Templar’s abilities fit the healing and support archetype typical of MMORPG style games. However, ESO’s open system for skills allows the Templar to be far more functional than the typical “healing class”. Players could easily wear heavy armor and a two-handed weapon and be a fully-functional DPS class. Players could alternatively wear light armor and maximize Magicka, swapping back and forth between a Restoration Staff and Destruction Staff to quickly jump between healing and damage-dealing.

ESO Weapons Guides

Many of your best active ability slots will be taken up by skills related to your equipped weapon. In fact, it is your weapon moreso than your class that determines your character’s playstyle. Any starting class can play as a ranged DPS if they have a Bow equipped as an example.

Here is a list of all the weapon skill trees in ESO and the type of skills associated with these weapons:

  • Two Handed: Two-handed weapons refers to two-handed axes, maces, and swords. Two-handed weapons offer moderate DPS along with heavy emphasis on stun and knockdown effects. All two-handed weapons of these types share the same skill tree, although passives and bonus effects vary slightly between axes, swords, and maces.
  • 1 Hand and Shield: As expected, the 1-hand and shield skill line focuses on tanking and defensive attacks. The “Puncture” ability, the most important tanking ability in the game, is found in this skill tree (rather than Dragonknight). Like with two-handed weapons, there are small differences between swords, maces, axes, and daggers but the core skills remain the same.
  • Dual Wield: By equipping two one-handed weapons, players get access to an entirely new set of skills with an emphasis on light, steady damage. Not surprisingly, this weapon choice lends itself to a rogue or thief-like playstyle from other games.
  • Bow: Players that don a bow will instantly gain access to a number of powerful ranged attacks. Bows are considered among the top DPS choice in the game right now for maximum damage (along with casters). Many classes use a Bow as an offslot weapon given its high damage and range. Note that since all classes get stealth, stealth-based bow builds are extremely popular in PvP.
  • Restoration Staff: As indicated in the name, players with a Restoration Staff equipped gain access to a number of healing skills. Any class can be an effective healer with a Restoration Staff equipped.
  • Destruction Staff: The Destruction Staff provides players with access to damage-dealing spell attacks. Along with the Bow, the Destruction Staff is considered to be one of the top DPS weapons in-game. Destruction Staffs come in Fire, Ice, and Shock varieties with minor differences in skills, much like the differences between two-handed swords, axes, and maces.

General Elder Scrolls Online Game Guides

Over time, I will be adding a number of guides, tutorials, and tips that are useful for all players regardless of class or weapon choice. Here are some of the most popular guides:

Elder Scrolls Online Crafting Guide: Overview & Profession List

How to Find Skyshards in ESO

How to Get More Skill Points in ESO

Elder Scrolls Online Races List and Guide

I will be adding more guides, so check back regularly for updates.

By the way, if you are looking for a great Elder Scrolls Online leveling guide, I strongly recommend Zygor’s ESO Guide. It is an in-game add on that you can install that guides you through all of the quests in-game. Check it out below: