ESO Beginner Guide 2022: Everything You Need To Know Before Playing, in this Guide we’re going to go through all the necessary information you need as a new or returning player in the world of Tamriel. From the MMORPG’s business model and how the subscription works to the different races, classes, and skills you can choose for your characters. We’ll also be providing some tips to help make your experience better if it’s your first time to hop into ESO. If you’ve been searching for a comprehensive ESO Ultimate Beginner Guide in 2022, then this article/video is for you! Note that if you need help with where to go or what to do first, you’ll want to check out our Game Progress Guide which will help you with just that.
ESO Beginner Guide 2022: Everything You Need To Know
Elder Scrolls Online is a huge game so much so that learning the gameplay mechanics from scratch can certainly be overwhelming, especially for new players. At the moment, ESO has 5 Expansions or Chapters, which always provide access to other regions in Tamriel as well as significant content that changes the way you play the game. Let’s start with ESO’s business model and what you’ll be getting when you purchase the Standard Edition as opposed to the Blackwood Version.
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ESO Business Model
The Elder Scrolls Online Standard Edition costs USD 19.99, which features the base game and the first Morrowind Expansion where you’ll gain access to Vvardenfell, Battlegrounds PvP, and the Warden Class.
On the other hand, the Blackwood Edition costs USD 59.99, and it provides you with permanent access to the newest Blackwood Chapter, base game, and the rest of the expansions released in previous years. This includes Morrowind, Summerset, Elsweyr, and Greymoor. Choosing between these two one-time purchases depends on your familiarity with the Elder Scrolls universe, that is, if you’ve played Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim in the past and what your budget might be like.
If you’re entirely new, then the Standard Edition would be better for you to experience what Tamriel has to offer. But should you prefer to jump right into the game to play through more content, both old and new, then I highly suggest picking up the Blackwood Edition as it’s hard to find better value for your money.
After making your purchase, you can start playing ESO without any subscription. However, there is ESO Plus, which is an optional monthly subscription that grants significant quality of life perks and access to all DLCs of the game as long as your subscription is active. The editions we’ve discussed a moment ago don’t come with DLCs, just the expansions. DLCs are instead purchased using Crowns or ESO’s premium currency, via the Crown Store. Furthermore, you can buy Houses, Furnishings, Mounts, and Outfits here as well. To receive more Crowns, you’ll have to spend real-world money, and you’ll receive some every month via ESO Plus if you have it.
ESO Plus costs USD 14.99 per month. In addition to all DLCs, you get double bank space for your account, and gold and experience bonuses. If you don’t plan on playing almost everyday, then ESO Plus won’t be beneficial for you. However, if you have the luxury of time, then the monthly subscription will definitely be worth it.
One of the biggest advantages of ESO Plus is the unlimited storage for crafting materials or the Craft Bag. Since you’ll often be Questing, it’s easy to accumulate a lot of stuff. Having infinite storage for all your crafting materials makes life simpler since you won’t run into the trouble of constantly managing your inventory space by switching between alternate characters which can be tedious and frustrating. Of all the players I know who have ESO Plus, most subscribe for this one aspect alone.
ESO Beginner Guide Character Creation
Part of Character Creation is choosing the Alliance, Race, and Class of your new character. ESO features 3 Alliances, each consisting of different races. By default, you’re restricted to the races of your chosen Alliance, so if for example, you want to become a member of the Daggerfall Covenant, you’re only able to pick Breton, Orc, or Redguard. This predicament can be circumvented by purchasing the Any Race, Any Alliance Upgrade from the Crown Store for 2,000 Crowns. In total, there are 10 Races in ESO where the last one, known as Imperial, can belong to any faction. You’ll have to spend 2,100 Crowns for it should you wish to play it, however.
Choosing an Alliance doesn’t have any impact in PvE, meaning, you can still do quests, join Guilds, and engage in Dungeons together even if you belong to another Faction. However, if you’re interested in PvP and you want to play with friends, then you ought to coordinate to pick the same Alliance, otherwise, you’ll end up fighting against each other out in Cyrodiil as this IS divided by faction.
Picking the best race for your character also provides abilities that synergize depending on the role or Build you wish to create. For instance, Nords receive boosts in the experience they gain when using Two-Handed Skills as well as increased max Stamina and Health. Due to their resilience, this race is best suited for those who want to play as a tank or Stamina-based DPS. Choose carefully, because though you can switch to a different race via the Race Change Token in the Crown Store, this is costly.
After selecting your character’s faction and race, you’ll be able to choose their class. In ESO, there are a total of 6 classes, which can fulfill any role like the tank, healer, and Stamina or Magicka Damage Dealer. Note that the Necromancer Class, which is part of the Elsweyr Expansion, can now also be accessed by buying it in the Crown Store. Let’s go through these classes one by one.
The Dragonknight has the blood of a dragon and is therefore skillful in the ancient practices of burning foes to the ground. They have 3 skill lines, namely the Ardent Flame, Draconic Power, and Earthen Heart. Ardent Flame comprises DPS abilities to deal massive Fire and Poison Damage; Draconic Power provides better survivability; and Earthen Heart grants buffs, damage mitigation, and crowd control.
The Dragonknight is the ideal class for you if you want to become a tank due to their resilience and Skills that protect the party. Because of their versatility coupled with the Restoration Staff Skill Line, they’re also able to heal allies quite well.
Nightblades are stealthy assassins who utilize agility and luck to their advantage in order to deal massive damage, especially in PvP. They have the Assassination, Shadow, and Siphoning Skill Lines. Assassination incapacitates enemies to weaken them sufficiently and to deal great damage while granting Nightblades better mobility.
Shadow focuses on crowd control by summoning spirits and shadows, as well as escape tactics. Meanwhile, Siphoning allows Nightblades to drain enemies of their Health, which they can then give to their allies, making them decent healers.
The Sorcerer excels in conjuring spells and wielding dark magic to destroy their foes from a distance. They have the Storm Calling, Dark Magic, and Daedric Summoning Skill Lines. Storm Calling makes use of lighting to inflict deadly shock damage from any distance whereas Dark Magic allows Sorcerers to support their allies in addition to immobilizing targets.
With Daedric Summoning, they’re able to summon the Daedra to protect the party while assaulting those who wish to harm them. This class specializes in DPS but they can also effectively heal allies thanks to the Restoration Staff Skill Tree.
The Templar is the classic Paladin that calls upon the light to defend its allies from harm. This class features the Aedric Spear, Dawn’s Wrath, and Restoring Light Skill Lines. With Aedric Spear, Templars are able to utilize magic damage to their advantage while improving the defenses of everyone in the party.
Dawn’s Wrath focuses on dealing Damage over Time thanks to their light prowess while Restoring Light, in addition to the Restoration Staff Skill Tree, provides sufficient healing, making the Templar the best healer in ESO. Although this class is not ideal for tanking, it can still fulfill that role should the need arise. DPS-wise, the Templar is well-suited in inflicting massive damage.
The Warden is a highly versatile class due to their abilities to manipulate nature however they want. They have the Winter’s Embrace, Green Balance, and Animal Companions Skill Lines. Winter’s Embrace allows them to wield frost spells to boost their defenses while Green Balance provides them with healing abilities. Meanwhile, Animal Companions lets Wardens summon animals to aid them in Combat. Due to their capabilities, they’re excellent DPS, healers, and tanks.
Necromancers are masters of the dark arts so much so that they’re able to summon corpses and execute bone and flesh spells to empower themselves. The Grave Lord, Bone Tyrant, and Living Death are skill lines available to this class. Grave Lord allows Necromancers to utilize elemental magic to strengthen the undead in order to overwhelm their enemies, making them amazing damage dealers.
Bone Tyrant grants crowd control abilities for improved defenses and survivability. And Living Death draws power from both the living and the dead to heal allies.
Leveling Progression: Questing, Skill Points, and Gear
You’ll be able to level up your characters by completing quests, slaying enemies, participating in dungeons, and doing PvP. Note that you can take up to 25 quests at any given time. You’ll then acquire Attribute Points to enhance Magicka, Health, and Stamina as well as Skill Points to improve Skill Line Abilities.
Skill Points, Max Level, and Champion Points
There are a lot of skills in ESO, including your class and racial skills, Weapon and Armor Skills, and crafting abilities, to name some so you’ll want to accumulate as many points as possible. To do this, you should also aim to engage in 4-man dungeons, complete zone story quests, and discover 3 Skyshards at a time.
In ESO, the max character level is 50, however, your progression doesn’t end there. Afterward, you’ll gain access to Champion Points 2.0 (CP), which allows you to further upgrade your character by investing in additional passives for higher-level content such as Trials or Raids. With the Blackwood Chapter, the CP cap has been increased from 810 to 3,600, spread out across 3 constellations.
These constellations have been redesigned to feature Craft, Warfare, and Fitness Trees. The Craft Tree focuses on utility whereas the Warfare Tree is geared towards improving your performance in combat. Lastly, the Fitness Tree enhances your survivability while improving your attributes.
Additionally, you’ll notice that certain perks have different colors. Passive Perks are yellow stars, which are immediately applied to your character once unlocked. Comparatively, Active Perks follow the color of their constellation. For example, Arcane Supremacy in the Warfare Tree raises your max Magicka. In order to activate it, you need to slot them in the Champion Bar, located at the top center of the screen, otherwise, the passive won’t take effect. There are also purple nodes that are sub-trees, providing you with more perks.
CP is account-based, meaning, every point you earn in one character is also applicable to the rest of your alternate characters regardless of their current level. The Champion Point system is much more confusing than it needs to be, but luckily you won’t have to worry about it right at the beginning of the game.
Equipment and Gear
In the beginning, your gear’s max level adjusts to your current level so if it’s 28, you’ll get Level 28 gear. As such, you shouldn’t get attached to your Equipment early on. Instead, you should deconstruct them to gain Inspiration to level up the crafting professions you wish to specialize in when you find better gear. When you reach Level 50 CP 160, you can begin hunting for Sets, which contain powerful bonuses for endgame builds.
ESO Beginner Guide Companions
A new Companion System has been added in the Blackwood Chapter where the goal isn’t to replace other players, but rather, to have someone who can aid you in combat. At the moment, you can recruit Mirri Elendis and Bastian Hallix by finishing their quests located in Blackwood, specifically at Doomvault Vulpinaz and Deepscorn Hollow, respectively. You’re able to summon Mirri or Bastian by going to the Collections Section, Allies, and then, Companions.
Since they also gain experience when you complete quests and engage in combat together, it’s highly recommended to immediately recruit them while in the early game. You can level them up, assign roles and skills, change Companion Equipment, and even alter their combat behavior as needed. Additionally, you’ll be able to get to know them better if you establish a good relationship with them.
You can bring your companion to Group Dungeons if you lack the total number of players needed. However, if another player joins midway, your companion will automatically be removed from that same instance.
Companions allow you to defeat many World Bosses on your own, that you might otherwise struggle with. Make sure to play around with different Weapons and Armor on your Companions as you get them, and see what makes the most sense for you. For instance, if you’re playing a healer, it might be a good idea to make your Companion a tank or DPS.
ESO Beginner Guide Crafting and Transmutation
Crafting is an essential part of your ESO experience because it lets you craft some of the best gear in the game. Crafting consists of 7 vocations:
Crafting includes gathering resources and materials by venturing out into the world. You can obtain them from nodes, Guild Traders, NPCs, crates, and dead animals. Once you have them, you should access any Crafting Station, which is located in every major city. For Blacksmithing, Clothing, Woodworking, and Jewelry Crafting, you’ll need to refine their corresponding raw materials first before you can craft any item. Conversely, for Provisioning, Alchemy, and Enchanting, you can immediately start crafting provided that you know their respective recipes and combinations.
In order to level up your chosen crafting professions and acquire treasure chests containing materials and rewards, you’ll have to craft or deconstruct items. Additionally, you can do daily Writs, which are special crafting assignments. To gain access to them, you need to get certified. For instance, if you wish to specialize in Blacksmithing, Clothing, and Woodworking, then you should first complete the certification quest given by Millenith at the Fighters Guild.
If you want to be proficient in Alchemy, Enchanting, and Provisioning, then consider paying Danel Telleno at the Mages Guild a visit. For Jewelry Crafting, you have to seek Felarian in Alinor, however, note that you’ll only unlock this if you own the Summerset Expansion.
When it comes to progressing efficiently in crafting, it’s important to invest the max number of skill points into 1-2 professions unless you’re aiming for the Grand Master Crafter title. Otherwise, you’re better off avoiding spreading yourself too thin especially since there are other Class and Racial Skills you’ll be allocating points into. As you reach higher levels and unlock more Skill Points you’ll be able to max all Professions on a single character, but it’s best to focus on one or two early on when you have fewer Skill Points.
Depending on the profession you choose, you’ll have several options to further improve the way you craft items. For instance, you need to prioritize Researching Traits everyday to make your crafted items much more powerful. They’re also required later on when you begin crafting special sets. Once you reach CP 160, you can then improve the quality of your gear using rare materials until you reach Legendary.
Additionally, you’ll be able to start Transmuting the sets you collect to change their respective traits by spending Transmutation Crystals. To obtain these crystals, you’ll have to complete daily dungeon Pledges per character.
ESO Beginner Guide: Dungeons and Trials
Dungeons and Trials are PvE content that you’ll often engage in to level up your character and do endgame content. In ESO, there are 5 types of dungeons based on their difficulty and player size requirements:
- Delves – Solo Dungeons
- Group Delves – Slightly harder Delves that are designed for groups comprised of 2-4 players.
- Public Dungeons – Requires a friend or two due to its difficulty since these contain a quest boss, group event boss, and mini-bosses. Public Dungeons can be accessed in each Zone.
- Group Dungeons – 4-man Dungeons, which are instanced and require you to complete certain mechanics to progress. Group Dungeons are accessed via the Dungeon Finder of the Group & Activity Finder Section. It’s highly recommended to complete a random dungeon once per day to gain a lot of XP.
- Trials – Raid equivalent in ESO. This endgame activity requires the participation of 12 players who specialize in different roles. Completing Trials once a week should grant you good rewards given how tough the encounters here are. Unlike Group Dungeons, however, there is no Trial Finder so you’ll need the involvement of your Guild. Alternatively, you can travel to Belkarth in Craglorn to join a group.
Group Dungeons and Trials both have Veteran Modes, which are much more challenging. They provide you with commendable and rarer quality gear so you’ll want to get into this at endgame at CP 160 or higher.
Mounts and Transportation
Due to ESO’s vast size, it’s best to start leveling up the mount skills of all your characters every 20 hours, otherwise, you’ll slowly traverse the world, which can be a pain later on. You can do this by visiting the Stablemaster in the zone you’re in and spending gold. These Riding Skills include Speed, Stamina, and Capacity. You only have to level these up once for a single character, even if you have multiple mounts, until reaching the max level of 60 per skill.
In terms of fast travel, the best option you have is to travel via Wayshrines, but this costs gold if you don’t teleport from one Wayshrine to another. This can become pricey as the expense increases every time you do it. To avoid doing so, you should use your mount to ride to the nearest available Wayshrine to get to your destination. Another option is to travel to your friend or Guildmate since it won’t cost you anything.
Inventory Space and Banks
Managing your inventory is one of the most challenging aspects of ESO due to how limited the space is. Because of this, you’ll want to create alternate characters who can hold some of your items and materials. If you have ESO Plus, you automatically gain access to the Craft Bag, allowing you to store an infinite amount of crafting materials. This comes in handy if you intend to master all professions. However, if you’ve opted not to pay a monthly subscription, you can do the following instead:
- Visit Pack Merchants – They offer permanent extra carrying capacity, however, it’ll cost you a lot of gold.
- Sell Unnecessary Items – Items under the Junk Tab should be sold since they won’t be used for anything else. You can also mark other items as Junk if you feel like you don’t need them anymore.
- Deconstruct Equipment – Make it a habit to deconstruct low-level equipment to level up your crafting profession and to gain extra materials. Items with the Magnifying Glass icon beside them should be researched while those with the Ornate or Gold Bag icon ought to be sold to Merchants.
In every major city, you’ll have access to banks, which let you store the rest of your items. These are account-bound so you can transfer equipment and materials from one character to another. To increase bank space, you ought to spend gold or Crowns.
Guilds and Guild Traders
Like other MMORPGs, ESO has Player Guilds, which differ based on their purposes. They can focus on socializing with others, engage in PvE or PvP content or both, and concentrate mainly on trading. When you join a Guild, you unlock the Guild Bank and Guild Store in the bank. Guild Banks are for storing items to share with the rest of your guildmates whereas the Guild Store functions as an Auction House. Only members can put up items for sale and buy them unless your Guild has a Guild Trader.
With a Guild Trader, every item on sale will be available to the public. This is usually common in Trading Guilds. If you wish to search for these and other types of Guilds, you can do so by accessing the Guild Finder. Note that you can join up to a maximum of 5 Guilds simultaneously.
ESO Beginner Guide: NPC Guilds
Currently, ESO has 6 NPC Guilds on top of Player Guilds and these are the Fighters, Mages, Undaunted, Thieves, Dark Brotherhood, and Psijic Order. For the Thieves, Dark Brotherhood, and Psijic Order Guilds, you’ll need their respective DLCs or Expansions, and you’ll need to do some quests. Thieves Guild comes with the Thieves Guild DLC, Dark Brotherhood with the Dark Brotherhood DLC, and Psijic Order with the Summerset Expansion. Note that if you have ESO Plus you will have access to both of these DLCs and will retain their Skill Lines even if your ESO Plus lapses, should you unlock them first. You can also purchase these Skill Lines in the Crown Store, but that is not recommended.
By doing quests related to these NPC Guilds, you’ll gain access to corresponding skill lines, giving you alternate ways to enhance your characters. For instance, if you have a Stamina-based character, you’ll want to unlock the Fighters Guild in order to improve your Stamina regeneration while reducing its cost. Meanwhile, the Undaunted Guild is also useful since your max Health, Stamina, and Magicka will increase based on the type of Armor you equip.
When you reach Level 45, you’ll be able to gain access to Undaunted Pledges via the Undaunted Guild. These are repeatable daily quests where you’re tasked to complete specific dungeons to obtain Undaunted Keys. These keys can then be used to open chests, which contain special gear, at the Undaunted Guild.
Since gear scales with your character level, it’s best to unlock chests once you reach CP 160 to ensure that you obtain better quality equipment. For instance, you can get Special Monster Sets like Helms from bosses in Veteran Dungeons and Shoulder Pieces from the Undaunted Chests themselves. So hang onto your Keys unless you plan to do these often enough you have plenty of keys.
With the Greymoor Expansion comes the Antiquity System where you become an archaeologist in search of ancient relics. To begin your journey, you’ll have to go to the Antiquarian Circle, which is located at Solitude in Western Skyrim. Be sure to seek Verita Numida who will teach you skills and introduce you to the Antiquarian’s Eye Tool that is necessary to uncover lost artifacts.
The first step is to obtain a Lead by exploring zones or completing quests. More often than not, Leads are related to the Antiquities you’re trying to find. For example, if you’re searching for a Lead about Glenumbra’s history, then you ought to explore Glenumbra itself. But note that many have a 30-day timer so you have to get the Antiquity by then. Once you’ve acquired the Lead, you’ll be able to know more about the item you’re looking for, bringing us to step number 2, also known as Scrying. Scrying helps determine the place where you ought to excavate the relic, which is the third and final step.
From Antiquities, you’ll be able to obtain Outfits, Costumes, housing items, and more importantly, Mythic Items. Mythic Items are powerful pieces of gear that grant significant bonuses to your character. However, you can only equip one of them at a time. For example, with Ring of the Wild Hunt, your movement speed increases by a certain percentage when you’re in and out of combat which is excellent in PvP and if you are out questing or farming materials.
New Features: Endeavors, Curated Item Set Drops, and Armory System
Endeavors, Curated Item Set Drops, and the Armory System are newly added features in ESO. Endeavors are account-wide side tasks that provide you with Seals that are used to purchase Crown Crates from the Crown Store so you won’t have to spend real-world money, or to purchase cosmetics or mounts that can be found within Crown Crates.
You can complete 3 daily quests per day, and 1 weekly quest per week, which provide you with Seals of Endeavor. The Seals of Endeavor incentivizes you to complete a couple of specific tasks in exchange for rewards while you play the game.
Curated Item Set Drops & Set Collection
Another recent change is that when you deconstruct items that are part of an item set, you will be able to create a bound version of that item once again by using Transmutation Crystals. What this does is allows you to deconstruct Set Items you may not need, but then reproduce them again should you decide to change your build. This saves valuable storage space, and these collections are unlocked for all of your characters as well.
Item drops have also seen a major change that coincides with this. Now when you deconstruct items, which adds them to your Set Items, you are more likely to get drops of those you don’t have from the bosses you face. This doesn’t add items to these bosses’ loot pools, but instead shifts the drop pool towards items you have not added to your collection that that boss can drop. So for instance if the boss only drops shoulders and leg set items, it will still only drop these, but it is more likely to drop the ones you have not yet collected.
Last but not the least is the Armory System, which lets you switch between different builds with ease in order to save time. This includes your saved gear, attributes, skills, and CP. You’ll have to obtain the free Armory Station Furnishing Item from the Crown Store so you can add it to your home. By default, you have 2 build slots but you can purchase more via the same store. This is particularly useful for dungeons where you may need a role you are not currently speced for.
Similar to other MMORPGs, ESO features an Outfit System that allows you to make your character look more appealing even when you change gear sets. To do this, you’ll have to visit an Outfit Station, which is available in major cities. You’ll then be able to change your looks as well as the dyes of your Weapons and armor. Once done, you can pay by spending Outfit Tokens or gold. By default, you only have 1 Outfit Slot, but you’re able to buy more via the Crown Store.
To unlock the rest of the Dyes, you’ll need to complete Achievements associated with them by right-clicking on the respective color and viewing Achievements. For example, for the Faded Dwemer Scholar Red, you have to collect trophies from Dwemer constructs. Note that you won’t be able to dye Costumes and Hats unless you have an ESO Plus Subscription.
In ESO, you can own a House that differs in size and can either be furnished or unfurnished. When you complete the starting Housing Quest, you’ll be granted a small house. But you’ll also have the option of acquiring more via the Crown Store or the Collections Section. For instance, to obtain the Amaya Lake Lodge, you ought to first acquire the Savior of Morrowind Achievement prior to spending Crowns or gold.
You can decorate your houses with the furniture you find and craft. Owning a house lets you add Crafting and Armory Stations and Storage Chests in addition to having a pleasant place to stay in.
When it comes to PvP, you can choose from 3 modes, namely, Battlegrounds, Cyrodiil, and Imperial City. For Cyrodiil and Imperial City, you have the option to select specific PvP Campaigns where Champion Points will not be taken into account.
Battlegrounds is synonymous with your traditional PvP where you’ll engage in 4v4v4 modes such as Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. You can choose to play solo or with friends. CP is not applied here so this is a good starting point for those who wish to try out PvP for the first time.
If you want to participate in non-stop open-world PvP action, then I suggest signing up for Cyrodiil by clicking “L” or Alliance War. This contains large groups of players constantly attacking one another. The goal is to score more points than the other 2 factions, particularly, the Daggerfall Covenant, Aldmeri Dominion, or Ebonheart Pact.
You can accomplish this by capturing and defending Keeps and Resources, and completing certain quests in Cyrodiil, or even by being crowned Emperor, which doubles your HP, Stamina and Magicka until you are dethroned.
Imperial City is a smaller PvP mode compared to Cyrodiil mixed with PvE elements. You can access this by traveling to Cyrodiil. The objective here is to collect Tel Var Stones by defeating enemies or stealing these stones from other players when you kill them. The more Tel Var you gain, the higher your bonus modifier will become, increasing your yield further.
There’s also a bank to deposit your Tel Var so that when you die, you won’t lose them, but depositing your Stones resets your modifier to 0. This makes Imperial City exciting but incredibly risky. Tel Var Stones can be used in the Imperial City to purchase unique items and equipment.
Be sure to check out our ESO Progression Guide that is coming in just a couple of days if you are lost and don’t know what to do first ESO, and make sure you use our Elder Scrolls Online Wiki and drop by the Twitch Channel if you have questions about the game! What did you think of our ESO Ultimate Beginner Guide 2022? Will you be jumping in the game sometime soon? Let us know in the comments below!