6 Tips for Elder Scrolls Online Noobs in 2021

The Elder Scrolls is one of the best-selling video games series of all time. The last entry in the series, Skyrim, has sold over 20 million copies to date since 2011. In April 2014, the long-awaited online version, The Elder Scrolls Online, was launched. However, the game wasn’t received well due to a multitude of bugs and underwhelming gameplay. Yet the game wasn’t abandoned, and the developers poured their hearts and souls into it.

Today, ESO is one of the most exciting, vibrant, and richly detailed game worlds you are ever likely to play. The game is steeped in the Elder Scrolls’ famous lore, and the game engine is continually being improved. Additionally, regular DLC releases keep the game fresh and inviting. However, ESO can be difficult for new players thanks to its complex mechanics. Because of this, there are some common mistakes that newcomers often make.

Here is some advice on how to start the game well and avoid some of the most common mistakes in the world of Tamriel.

Note: Like most modern games, ESO is dependent on sufficient computer resources like RAM and CPU power. If you have issues with sluggish performance on Windows or macOS Monterey being slow, see this handy guide for performance tweaks.

Make Use of Gear Sets

For a better playing experience and to be of more use to a group, you need to increase your stats as much as possible. If you mix and match gear with no specific purpose, you will essentially waste the opportunity to max out your skills and stats. This is where gear sets come in handy. Gear sets are excellent for providing powerful bonuses otherwise impossible to achieve.

Some gear sets are challenging to find, and some are only attainable in a specific location or drop from a particular boss. For example, you can only find Monster sets by completing Undaunted dungeons, and others are DLC specific. However, you should take the time to find gear sets for their bonuses. Equipping each consecutive piece will provide a more significant bonus. 

Don’t Purchase Gear from Vendors

Elder Scrolls Online is somewhat different from single-player Elder Scrolls games such as Skyrim and Oblivion. While in those titles, you could purchase powerful weapons and armor from vendors, items from vendors in ESO are pretty useless. Additionally, they will drain your hard-earned gold, which is hard to come by in ESO initially. You will be better served by finding weapons in loot drops and mission rewards. However, you won’t find anything of real value until you reach Champion level.

But as useless as most vendor gear is, some unique vendors do sell powerful items. The Golden Vendor and the Luxury Vendor are two examples of vendors with excellent equipment. But things from these vendors are costly and require unique currencies in addition to gold. 

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Use Potions and Food

A staple of role-playing games, potions, and foods is an excellent way to boost your stats. These come in handy when playing group dungeons and can mean the difference between helping your group to victory or becoming a liability. Fortunately, food and potions are not expensive and are readily available. For example, Witchmother’s Potent Brew will increase Magicka reserves by 3,000 and only cost around 200 gold.

Blue-level foods are also an excellent way to boost your stats or resources. Again, CP150 recipes are the most potent, and anything below this may be useless or a waste of gold. For example, Mistral Banana-Bunny Hash is almost twice as powerful as Witchmother’s Potent Brew and will significantly increase your health as well as Magicka for around 30 gold each.

Don’t Try to be an All-Rounder

The RPG video game world of ESO is full of adventurers who want it all. You might want to be the strongest swordsman and the most powerful sorcerer. But this isn’t possible. The game’s mechanics simply don’t allow it, and a world full of Peggy Sue’s would be boring. Instead, you need to focus your efforts on one playstyle and put everything into it. For example, as a sorcerer, you should focus on building Magicka reserves, increasing spell damage, and spell critical. As a Templar, you should focus on stamina and health with weapon damage and critical.

However, this doesn’t mean you cannot create exciting and powerful builds. The inexplicable amount of variation in ESO allows you to create any type of build you can imagine. Depending on what you want to achieve in the game, you can adjust your character accordingly. Also, you can change stats and classes later on with gold and tokens.

Play the Main Quest First

ESO is brimming with fun things to do, adventures to seek, and secrets to discover. The world is open and vast and is made even larger with the many DLC zones that add never-before-seen lands such as Summerset Isle and fan favorites like Morrowind. As such, it is tempting to head straight for a specific questline. But this is a mistake since the world is designed around the main quest.

The main story is very well thought out and takes you to the faraway lands of Tamriel in addition to foreboding and dangerous Oblivion planes like Cold Harbor. Like most games, the main quest will also introduce you to many of the game’s mechanics and playstyles. These are designed to teach you all about the world of ESO, and it has been improved with updates. Additionally, you will receive a fair amount of gold, level up, and get rewarded with special items. 

Don’t Fast Travel Often

Elder Scrolls titles are known for their size, and ESO is vast. Taking DLC into account, the game world now stands at approximately 400km2 and would take around 1,600 hours to complete all quests. To put it into perspective, the map is the size of the Isle of Wight in the UK, and playtime is 66 days. Given the size of the map, it can take a long time to traverse the world, especially when you factor in random events and skirmishes. 

However, the game provides a means of fast travel via shrines. Shrines allow you to instantly travel between one discovered shrine and another for a nominal fee. However, the cost of fast travel rises if you use shrines often. This is because each use sets a cooldown timer, and the cost of fast travel will increase to 1,000 gold with usage in quick succession.

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Paul Bellow

LitRPG Author Paul Bellow

Paul Bellow is a LitRPG author, gamer, RPG game developer, and publisher of several online communities. In other words, an old school webmaster. He also developed and runs LitRPG Adventures, a set of advanced RPG generators powered by GPT-3 AI. Here at LitRPG Reads, he publishes articles about LitRPG books, tabletop RPG books, and all sorts of DND content that's free to use in your personal tabletop campaign - i.e. non-commercial use. Enjoy your stay and reach out on Twitter or Discord if you want to make contact.

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