Elder Scrolls Online tips for newbies

eso1For the first time ever I have been truly drawn into the world of an MMORPG, and this is due to none other than The Elder Scrolls Online. However as a relative noob in the world of an MMO, I have to admit that I was a little bit lost at the beginning of the game. I found myself having to look for information and tips on multiple sites. And rather than keep it all to myself, I decided why not share my insights of ESO that just may help you on the road to saving Tamriel.

Before we get too far into things…

Once you have completed the tutorial area in Coldharbour, you will be transported to the starting area for the faction that your character’s race is aligned with (unless you have the unlock that allows you to start in any faction regardless of race). One of the things you will find in your inventory is an object known as the sealed urn. You cannot sell it or destroy it, but instead you can open it for a few pieces of level 3 gear to help you in starting your journey. Finding a bow and a jacket in there when I finally opened it was cool and would have been awesome if I had not been level 26 before I realised this small fact. While I feel the urge to facepalm just thinking about it, my embarrassment means you wont miss the gear yourself.

Why buy stuff when you can make it yourself

A staple of the Elder Scrolls series is the ability to craft your own weapons, armour, food, potions and enchantments to help you in your questing. ESO is no different in this respect, except that the components for crafting are a little bit harder to come by. Unlike the previous games, you cannot buy the crafting components from vendors – instead you must harvest components you find on your travels. In the case of ore, clothing and wood, you need to find 10 ‘raw’ components that can then be refined to create weapons and armour.

These components can be easy to miss unless you are actively looking, so I recommend investing some of your skill points in the the perks that will allow the materials to light up in your screen. Higher levels of the perk increase the distance you can see them from but even having just the one skill point invested makes materials so much easier to spot as you wander Tamriel. Another way you can find materials is to deconstruct excess weapons and armour. This approach is not always guaranteed to produce components, but it can also provide gemstones and enhancing materials as well. What is convenient is that most of the gear you come across will be at the same level as you are currently. This allows you to gain the higher level components when you break them down, such as steel, ebony and dwarven ingots.


One of the things that I missed very early on and was kicking myself for was the ability to research traits that can be applied to crafted gear through the use of gemstones. The whole time I was playing I could not figure out how I could start some research to make my gear stronger. It was only when I was holding a weapon that was at a higher level that I realised that you need to find weapons and armour with these special traits and sacrifice them, for purely scientific purposes of course, to unlock the ability to build weapons with extra durability or increased stamina. One of the issues with the research is the time it takes for the research to be completed. When you research the first trait on a piece of gear it will take about 6 hours, the second about 12 hours, the third around 24, etc. You get the idea. The thing is that you have to do this for every piece of equipment, or at least the ones you want to use. When you research a trait on your light armour helmet that gives your helmet extra durability it can only be applied to new light armour helmets you create. If you want it for another piece of armour, say a chest piece, you will need to find a chest piece with the trait and once again sacrifice it. With 7 pieces of armour for each level and 9 traits each… well you do the math, it’s going to take a while.

Another thing to note is that when you start the game you can only craft gear in your native style, for example an Orc can only craft orcish weapons and armour when starting out. New styles can be unlocked through finding ‘Racial Motifs’ throughout the world. Be on the lookout for these things because they can turn up anywhere. I have found them from loot drops, in busted crates in dungeons and I even stole one from a bankers lock box. You never know where they will turn up so look everywhere. A lot of the time the crates and barrels will only have food ingredients but sometimes you find some really good stuff in them.

The best things in life are free

When it comes to the equipment you need, sometimes you just don’t want to spend the time wandering the lands of Tamriel just to find materials to craft with. So why not just steal it. In each area there is a major city that will have a fighters guild, blacksmiths, armourers, carpenters and others. If you have the patience you can make your way through the shops and among the stalls and pilfer to your hearts content. And once you’ve taken all you wish, deconstruct everything you’ve just stolen. Not only do you end up powering through the crafting levels, which then allows for unlocks to create higher level gear, but you also end up turning all of the stolen gear into ‘clean’ components which, while not worth much individually, can bring in some gold when you sell a huge stack.


Thieving can also bring in a tidy amount of gold as well if you play your cards right. Breaking into houses and looting their wardrobes, drawers and trunks can bring you a bunch of trinkets that can be sold for a minimum of 30 gold each. If you take the time to find some of these and sell them you can make some serious coin. It is also useful to know that in order to build your skill in ‘Legerdemain’ (subtitle: thieving), you have to do more than just steal things from people. You will only increase in skill when you pickpocket or sell to a fence in the outlaw centres. You can sell anything of value to the fence, but they will only buy stolen goods and the trinkets will bring in the biggest money.

Some other things to keep in mind

Enchanting is a pain in the butt. You have to find three different types of runes to combine into one enchanting glyph. Finding the runes themselves is not too hard, the problem lies in the fact that you don’t really know which type of rune you are going to find until you get close to it. Despite grabbing every rune I have ever found I have very little of the ‘Potency’ runes, so the amount I have been able to create has been limited. At this stage I just keep buying the runes I want to apply to my weapons and armour.

And finally, before I leave you to your questing, I have one final piece of advice. When adventuring through the realms of Tamriel you may come across some quests where the enemies are just a bit too tough for you. Now, you could go back to a lower level area and grind or you can wait for someone else to come along and have an ‘impromptu unofficial team-up’. I am only working from some experience with DC Universe Online here, but in that game when you entered an instance you were on your own to fight through it to the end. Not so in ESO, where you can have multiple guys running through the same area at the same time. So instead of struggling your way through the quest, you can choose instead to have a leisurely stroll with one or two random strangers and kick all kinds of ass.

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