On this page of our guide you can find comprehensive starting tips for The Elder Scrolls Online. Our TESO beginner's guide addresses a number of important topics related to basic gameplay mechanics and provides some unique solutions to many issues at the beginning of the game. By reading our advice it will be much easier for you to start a new game and spend the first few hours in Tamriel without stressful or troublesome situations.
- Review all decisions made in the character creator - it is hard to modify them later
- You need to manage your inventory skillfully so that it doesn't fill up quickly
- Add as many active skills as you can to the quick skill bar
- Use scrolls to collect more XP
- It is worth undertaking as many quests as possible
- Try to log into the game at least once a day
- You don't have to find other players to play together at all costs
- Try to join at least one player guild
- It's always good to have some Soul Gems in stock
- Always monitor hero's health bar
- Repair your equipment on a regular basis
- In TESO you can easily have issues with the law
- You don't have to stay in the region where the prologue ended
- Reach and explore Wayshines in order to unlock free fast Ravel options
- Start using your mount after you advance to level 10
- Invest in an ESO Plus subscription if you plan to spend more time with the game
- Complete the Room to Spare quest to easily acquire first home
Review all decisions made in the character creator - it is hard to modify them later
When creating a new character, you have to make a number of important decisions considering your hero. We advise you to read the descriptions of selected items carefully and to think about all the choices regarding the character's choice and role. After the character creation wizard gets closed you will not be able to make any changes that easily. Here's the main list of restrictions:
- The game does not allow to change the character's class. If your chosen class doesn't satisfy you, then you have to create a new character.
- You have to pay in Crowns to change the appearance, name or race of a character. In the Crown Store, you must visit the Upgrades tab and purchase the appropriate token (each token is a single-use item).
- You have to pay for the redistribution of skill points and attributes with coins. To do this, you must visit one of the Shrines - they are located in major cities. The more skill points or attribute points you need to re-allocate, the more you will have to pay.
For more information, check another section of our guide - character creation wizard and best character for a novice player.
You need to manage your inventory skillfully so that it doesn't fill up quickly
The character inventory in TESO has a limited capacity by default - it is only has 60 slots and it is very easy to reach this limit even though identical disposable items are grouped into single slots. You can deal with this overloaded inventory (overloaded status) in different ways:
- Sell unnecessary items.
- Disassemble unnecessary items - You can do this at public crafting stations.
- Destroy unnecessary items - This should be the last option, because you will gain nothing from such an operation.
- Put unnecessary items away - You can visit a bank or store items in a chest in one of your homes.
- Increase inventory capacity - This can be done by using the Bag Space Upgrade bags - each of those adds 10 inventory slots. You will receive your first bag for free after you have advanced to level 12. You can buy other bags from the Bag Merchant.
- Pay the ESO Plus subscription - It adds a Craft Bag with unlimited capacity for crafting ingredients. In addition, the capacity of bank deposits is increased.
For more detailed instructions, check the separate page of our guide - Inventory - how to expand it?.
Add as many active skills as you can to the quick skill bar
In TESO, you should put your active skills on the quick selection bar. Try to keep as much abilities on the skill bar as possible. You will be able to use them during combat. Also, by using these abilities you will be able to develop related skill categories. Once you have reached maximum limit of your active skill, then you can switch to other abilities to develop them further.
Luckily, you don't have to behave in a similar way in case of passive skills. They are active all the time and don't need to be placed in any slots to trigger bonuses to your character statistics.
Use scrolls to collect more XP
TESO places great emphasis on leveling up your character. This makes you hero not only stronger, but also makes him or her possible to advance to every next level (up to level 50) with some kind of gift - these can be unique treasures, such as the first mount (reward for advancement to level 10) or a piece of high quality armor.
Experience Scroll is very helpful in gaining more levels - each one allows you to earn 50% to 150% more xp for performing various tasks or completing typical activities. Each used scroll remains active for 1-2 hours - always try to use this opportunity to collect as many experience points as possible. Scrolls can be obtained in several different ways, among others, from daily rewards or in the loot found in the game world. Alternatively, you can also buy them at the Crown Store.
If you need more tips related to the topic of earning more XP points, then please refer to the XP - how to level up faster? section of our guide.
It is worth undertaking as many quests as possible
The chances of taking on new quests appear almost everywhere. Quest commissioners are marked by the game with special icons over their heads. You can also deal with larger storylines of particular regions of the world or participate in small tasks available from the notes found on bulletin boards.
The main motivation to perform quests is the ability to gain large amounts of xp. Also, by starting new quests you can earn various valuable rewards and improve your reputation with guilds available in particular lands. However, remember to keep up to date with all quests received. At any given point in time, your hero can have up to 25 of quests in the journal. After reaching this limit you won't be able to start any more quests.
Try to log into the game at least once a day
The Elder Scrolls Online rewards you for logging in to the game every day - there are Daily Rewards that reset every 24 hours. If possible, turn on the game and log in to the servers at least once a day so that you don't miss any reward. When the game starts, go to the options menu and select the Notifications tab. There is a link to open the daily rewards window.
The Daily Rewards are very diverse - they can be disposable items (strong potions, bonus XP scrolls etc.), furniture, pets or gold (even 10000 Septims). The big advantage of the daily rewards is that you don't have to use them at all costs for further trips. If you don't need a particular reward at all, you can sell it and make yourself more rich.
You don't have to find other players to play together at all costs
Despite being an online game, TESO doesn't force you to travel the vast world in a group with real players. You can complete most quests and activities on your own. Because there is a level scaling in the game, you don't have to be afraid of huge problems associated with completing some quests or defeating monsters encountered during normal exploration.
Joining other players is still the optimal choice - the dungeons will become much easier to complete, and due to the variety of roles within the team, players are able to complement each other and help each other if, for example, a companion needs to be cured or resurrected. In The Elder Scrolls Online there is also a PvP feature - you can fight against other players in the arenas, but it's best to decide on such a step only after you've learned enough about the basics of the game and equipped your character with better weapons and skills.
If you are looking for more information about the single player gameplay, please check the Solo gameplay - do I have to play with friends? section in our guide.
Try to join at least one player guild
In TESO, you can join one of the existing player guilds or create your own guild. If you are a novice player, the first option is definitely a better idea. Many guilds are very friendly to people who are beginning their journey with the game - you can count on help to advance to higher levels of experience and perhaps also on better equipment which can help you make progress in the game much faster.
Joining the guild also makes it easier to plan larger trips with other players. You can form groups with other guild members instead of being forced to interact with random players.
The topic of the guild has been discussed in more detail in the Players Guild - How to join? section.
It's always good to have some Soul Gems in stock
In TESO, you can acquire empty soul gems and fill them with the souls of defeated opponents. You can obtain an empty soul gem in various ways - find it somewhere in the game world, get it from daily rewards, or obtain it for completing a quest. Initially, it has no use, because you must use the active Soul Trap skill to capture the soul of a severely weakened opponent.
Filled Soul Gems are used to resurrect a hero immediately after his death. You don't have to go back to last Wayshrine and repeat the journey to the spot where you were originally killed. It is always worthwhile to have at least one ready-to-use gem in stock.
Also check the Death - what are the consequences? section of our guide. You will learn more how to use the soul gem properly.
Always monitor hero's health bar
Even though the experience levels of your opponents are adjusted to your current character level - in TESO you can still die quite easily. This can happen if, for example, you run into a monster with powerful abilities or are surrounded by a group of enemies. Keep an eye on the character's red health bar at the bottom of the screen and react quickly when it's low.
It's good to have healing spells or potions ready, which can be added to the drop-down menu of disposable items. One of these items or spells can be set as active and use it with a single push of a button or a key. If you think that healing won't help much, then maybe it's worth to run away.
Note that the hero's health can regenerate between battles. However, this is only possible if you are not attacked by anyone at a particular moment.
Repair your equipment on a regular basis
Elements of the hero's equipment in TESO easily loose their durability as a result of receiving injuries from opponents and as a penalty when the controlled character dies. The simplest way to repair the equipment is to pay for the service available at the NPC (an armorer, for example). The cost of repair depends on the degree of damage and the level of rarity of the equipment. At the initial levels of experience, these will be rather low values.
Another good way to fix equipment is to use the Repair Kit. You can find them in the game world, buy them from merchants, earn them from daily rewards, or receive them while advancing to to higher experience levels. When planning to use a repair kit, always select rarer items from your inventory. Also, try not to waste repair kits on slightly damaged equipment - every repair kit is lost after it is used.
In TESO you can easily have issues with the law
In The Elder Scrolls Online NPCs don't serve as a background for events which involve activities of real players. Committing crimes in the game world can be noticed by NPCs and punished. That doesn't mean you have to completely avoid breaking the law. However, if you want to take the path of the "villain", you have to do it carefully, that is, don't get caught while doing some forbidden activity.
If you want to steal an item, break into a container, pickpocket someone, then you should carry out these activities while remaining hidden. In the case of pickpocketing, additionally observe the percentage chance of success - strive to make it as high as possible (that is, 50% or more). Try to avoid attacking defenseless NPCs, as such actions are treated as serious crimes.
Each crime assigned to your character increases the Heat bar and the amount of the Bounty. If you are stopped or arrested by a guard, you can pay a fine (and give away items from the theft) or run away and flee. But don't try to attack the guards because they can't be killed. Alternatively, you can stay away from larger concentrations of people or NPCs until the chase is over.
The whole system of the in-game law and associated mechanics have been thoroughly discussed in another section of our guide - Justice system - crimes and penalty system.
You don't have to stay in the region where the prologue ended
The prologue quest in TESO may vary depending on the version of the game, although regardless of the type of task played, once completed, you will be moved to one of the main regions of Tamriel. For example, if you have a standard version of the game from 2020, you will find yourself on the island of Vvanderfell after completing the first quest.
A very valuable piece of information is that you don't have to stay in the first region of the world - you can freely travel around the game world. That means you can visit lands which are accessible in your version of the game (you can unlock other lands or regions by buying DLC or by paying for the ESO Plus subscription). If for some reason you don't like a particular region of the world, you can go to another land at any time. None of the major regions also require a high-level character to play - the level of the challenge and all activities will automatically adapt to your character's current level. The major exception to this rule are group challenges in the form of public dungeons, but you can easily ignore them if you prefer to freely explore the in-game world and complete some quests.
Reach and explore Wayshines in order to unlock free fast Ravel options
The Elder Scrolls Online has a fast travel feature, but it is only free after you meet certain conditions - you have to reach one of the discovered Wayshrines and interact with it. TESO also allows you to use fast travel from anywhere in the game world, but in this case you have to pay a fee. It's not worth wasting your money, because you'll be able to get to the Wayshines faster once you obtain your first mount.
It is worth noting that using Wayshrines is not the only way to use fast travel in Tamriel. You can also use ships and Silt Striders. However, these are not as convenient methods due to the limited choice of destinations. Despite that, they can still help you reach completely new regions where you have not yet discovered any Wayshrines.
For more information please check the Fast Travel - How does it work? section in our guide.
Start using your mount after you advance to level 10
By default, you cannot use a mount from the beginning of the game. The exception is when you have acquired a mount with particular DLC add-on or purchased it from The Crown Store.
The game will give you your first horse for free after promotion to level 10 and it is worth to start using it right away. The main advantage of a mount is that it reduces travel time. You can also visit the stables and buy riding lessons - they allow you to increase the speed and stamina of the mount and increase the inventory (1 lesson paid = 1 additional inventory slot). Unfortunately, the game does not allow you to attack enemies while being mounted. What's more, enemy attacks can drop you off your mount and knock you down - it's worth to dismount the horse "voluntarily" beforehand.
The topic of unlocking and using a mount has been comprehensively described on another page of our guide - Own horse - how to get it?.
Invest in an ESO Plus subscription if you plan to spend more time with the game
The Elder Scrolls Online does not require a purchased ESO Plus subscription to play the game, but it can make gameplay significantly easier. If you play occasionally, less obligingly and don't spend a lot of time playing, you will be able to get promoted and enjoy the game without paying a subscription.
If you plan on returning to the game regularly and developing a strong character, a paid subscription will be very helpful. ESO Plus guarantees access to all large DLCs, so you can explore any land or region. The subscription can significantly help you in making progress - you can use the Craft Bag for crafting materials (it has unlimited capacity), earn xp more quickly, store more items in the bank, or receive monthly crowns to buy things from the store.
The advantages of having a paid subscription have been listed in the ESO Plus Subscription section of our guide.
Complete the Room to Spare quest to easily acquire first home
In TESO, the hero can have numerous houses and living quarters, almost all of them require payment - you can buy houses for gold (Septims) or for Crowns, that is, by paying with a special currency obtained with real money.
Before you decide to buy any house, it's worth picking up a living room at one of the inns in the game world for free. Get interested in the Room to Spare side quest, which can be started in Alinor (Summerset region), Daggerfall (Glenumbra region), Ebonheart (Stonefalls region), Rimmen (Eslweyr region), Vivec City (Vvanderfell region) or Vulkhel Guard (Auridon region). As part of this quest, you have to meet with Felande Demarie, who will give you the keys to the spare room in the inn. Despite the fact that the room is being rented, it will be treated as the hero's property - you can buy furniture and furnish the room or place crates and containers in it to store items. The game also allows you to teleport (fast travel) to each of your homes for free.
You can find more information about buying and managing a house on another page of our guide - Own house - how to buy it?.