The complete guide to ESO for noobs (WIP)

Before you start

Purchasing the game

There are six servers, XBOX, PS4, and PC, on NA and EU. Purchasing the game for one platform lets you play on both NA and EU servers on that platform. There is no way to play on the same account on multiple platforms. All of the platforms are extremely active. You will be able to find friends to play with on all of them. XBOX and PS4 communities have stronger PvP, but the raiding scene is weaker due to stability issues and lack of addons. PC has stronger end-game PvE and the economy is easier to manage. Addons are a massive boost  to playability and the game is typically more stable. You can’t transfer characters or progress to other platforms, so once you’ve decided you’re stuck with it.

If you choose to play on PC avoid steam – it frequently makes the game unplayable. Not that the non-steam version is perfect, steam just adds even more problems.

Creating your Character

In general, make whatever seems good at the time. You have eight character slots. You aren’t stuck with just one. And literally any class/race combo can complete all of the content in the game as any role with enough practice. You just might not get leaderboard scores.

Your first day in Tamriel

Watch the cinematics. Enjoy the dialogue. Pay attention – there are a lot of tips for how to play the game in dialogue and in books, especially in the starting zones!

If you own Morrowind, which if you’re reading this guide you probably do, you start  in Vvardenfell. Once you complete the tutorial you are free to take whatever path you want. You can continue in Vvardenfell and save Vivec, or you can explore the rest of Tamriel, picking up the base game quests or pursuing the DLC.

My personal suggestion is to play the game in the order originally intended by the developers. Here’s how to do that.

In your explorations you’ll find a lot of things to do that don’t have any particular quest associated with them. This content is listed here. Delves are trivial; the rest may need to be saved for when you are stronger.

I suggest doing some exploration and questing at least until level 10, although it doesn’t matter where you do it  – go wherever you like.

Once you’re a bit comfortable

Remember these tips for successful combat:

  • Block when there are yellow lines (right click)
  • Bash when there are red lines (right and then left click)
  • Break free when stunned (left and then right click)
  • Roll dodge out of aoe or snares (double tap a direction key)
  • Use self-healing when available (resto staves are great for this)
  • Use a damaging weapon whenever possible (dual wield or destro staff) in overland

You may want to start crafting. Information on crafting can be found here. Next to the crafting stations in the beginning cities are books and NPCs that explain how crafting works as well. Basically you’ll just want to research and deconstruct items for now. You may also craft items for your own use, but crafting items does not level crafting efficiently.

Here are several game activities and their pros and cons when it comes to leveling.

Sections to come:




Level Milestones and what to do with your life

What is Endgame anyways?

Making Gold



Trial and Dungeon Guides











How to level

  • Questing
    • Pros
      • Lore
      • Rewards gold and items
      • Pretty good experience
      • Interesting, get to see different things and fight more powerful creatures
      • Rewards skillpoints
      • Unlocks achievements which grant dyes, furnishing items, etc.
    • Cons
      • Slower than other methods in terms of pure levels
      • Gets boring after the fifth time through the same quests
  • Dolmen farm
    • Pros
      • lots of jewelry
      • completely mindless
      • very high experience gain per time spent
      • requires no skill or particular build
    • Cons
      • No other gear, no skill points, minimal achievements
      • completely mindless
      • boring as fuck and soul sucking
  • Grinding
    • Pros
      • Very high experience gain per time spent, higher than dolmens
      • Less mindless than dolmens
      • Can be done in locations that drop valuable items
    • Cons
      • Still pretty mindless
      • Requires a good grinding path
      • Easy for other players to interfere
      • Requires a fairly strong aoe build to be effective
  • Group dungeons
    • Pros
      • The first random normal per day gives a ton of exp
      • Potentially quite good gear
      • Fun
      • Involves other players
    • Cons
      • Dungeons after the first per day don’t give much exp
      • Can get pretty repetitive
      • Involves other players
      • Depending on your luck could be very hard

Provisioning Guide

Eating food is absolutely essential in ESO. It gives a massive boost to max stats which can’t be obtained any other way.

Making your own food isn’t that necessary as it’s easy obtain on guild stores or from guildies, but making your own can save you a lot of gold and net you a nice profit for very little effort as well.

Provisioning recipes come in categories. There are three recipes in each category at each level.

  • Green recipes give a boost to one stat (health, mag, stam, or health regen, magicka regen, and stamina regen).
  • Blue recipes give an every so slightly smaller boost to two stats (health and magicka, health and stamina, or stamina and magicka). These are what most people eat.
  • Purple recipes give a smaller boost to all three stats. Tanks and some healer builds run these.
  • Special recipes are called delicacies. Most of these scale to all levels. The important ones are Dubious Camoran Throne (health/stam/stam regen), Witchmother’s Potent Brew (health/mag/mag regen), Clockwork Citrus Filet (health/mag/mag regen/health regen) and Artaeum Takeaway Broth (health/stam/stam regen/health regen). The first two drop from events, Clockwork Citrus Filet is from a CWC quest, and the last from fishing in Summerset.
  • EXP pots – psijic ambrosia, aetherial ambrosia, and mythical aetherial ambrosia.

Leveling Provisioning

Find a green recipe of the highest level you can craft. You can buy them from Chefs, Brewers, or guild stores.

Learn it.

Craft like 200 of the thing until you get to the next rank of provisioning.

Spend the skill point.

Rinse, wash, repeat.

Vendor all the shitty food. No one wants it.

You’ll probably end up crafting around 1500 food, or about 15k gold worth (of which you’ll get half back from vendoring) and spend a few k on recipes unless you find some decent deals.

Making Gold

This guide is far and away the most comprehensive way to make gold from provisioning. However if you just want to sell the certain valuable foods and ignore the rest that works really well too. Dubious Camoran Throne and Psijic Ambrosia are a decent profit over mats.


By leveling Alchemy you can make potions that are not only stronger than dropped or crown store potions, but have unique combinations of traits that you couldn’t otherwise obtain.

In addition the effects last longer. If you have maxxed Medicinal Use passive, you can have 100% uptime on major buffs from potions (such as sorcery, prophecy, savagery, and brutality), which is a massive dps increase. If you do not have this passive, the potion effects will wear off before you can take another one, resulting in a dps loss. Even in shorter-term buffs such as immovability or protection, the duration is substantial and definitely worth speccing into for any kind of competitive activity, be it trials progression or pvp.

There are two types of Alchemy ingredients.

  • Solvents
    • These come in potion or poison
    • Solvent determines the level of the resulting potion.
  • Ingredients
    • These may be drops from monsters, or herbs or mushrooms you find harvesting.
    • Each ingredient has unique effects that must be discovered.

Leveling Alchemy

The most efficient way to level alchemy is to learn all of the traits first, since this exp is not capped by level. Then you simply spam the highest level potions you can craft until you get to max level.

The best guide for combining traits to discover all of them with the fewest number of combinations (fewest mats used for most exp) is in the learning tab here. I strongly recommend following this guide! Make sure to put a point in at level 10 and use higher level solvents so that you continue getting the maximum experience.

Even if you don’t have enough of each material to do all of the combinations right away, do as many as you can before spamming potions.

Always always always put skill points in as soon as you can so you can use higher level solvents which give more exp.

Crafting potions and poisons gives the same exp. Poison solvents tend to be cheaper and easier to farm so I use those. Two and Three mat potions give the same exp so always make 2 mats once you’ve learned the combinations.

The best (aka cheapest) mat combinations to use (no one wants to buy low level potions so don’t bother making useful ones, you’ll outlevel them yourself before you use them too!). Prices are approximate and depend on the economy.

Fleshfly Larva + Imp Stool (53)

Spider Egg + Blue Entoloma (54g)

Blue Entoloma + White Cap (57g)

Fleshfly Larva + Stinkhorn (60)

Nirnroot + Spider Egg (61)

Blue Entoloma + Nirnroot (63)

Blue Entoloma + Mountain Flower (64g)

Imp Stool + Nirnroot (68)

Spider Egg + Wormwood (70g)

Fleshfly Larva + Scrib Jelly (70)

Dragonthorn + Mountain Flower (73)

Imp Stool + Mountain Flower (73)

Dragonthorn + Wormwood (77)

Nirnroot + Stinkhorn (78)

Imp Stool + Stinkhorn (79)

I estimate it takes around 25k gold to level alchemy in this manner.

Making Gold

Weapon Power Spell Power Tripot
Blessed Thistle 200 Lady’s Smock 150 Columbine 220
Dragonthorn 46 Corn Flower 215 Bugloss 85
Wormwood 45 Water Hyacinth 90 Mountain Flower 40
Lorkhan’s Tears 17 Lorkhan’s Tears 17 Lorkhan’s Tears 17
Sum 308 472 362
Price/pot 77 118 90.5
Sale Price 90 140 122
Profit 16.88% 18.64% 34.81%

As you can see tripot is the best thing to make for profit right now. As an advantage it also sold much, much faster for me. Remember tax is 7% so if you’re buying things at MM price and reselling at MM price your profit is going to be really tiny! Farm your own mats or buy them at a low price for profit. As with other professions if you want gold fast selling mats will always be faster and sell more consistently.



Enchanting Guide

Enchants have two properties

  • Type
    • Jewelry vs weapon vs armor
    • additive vs subtractive
  • Quality
    • Quality of a crafted enchant cannot be changed.
  • Level

You make an enchant by combining a square rune, a triangular rune, and a round rune. The square runes come in two types, additive and subtractive, for every level range. Square runes of every level can be purchased from the vendor, which may be cheaper than buying on guild stores (except for max level runes, those are cheaper on guild stores). Triangular controls type such as frost damage, max magicka, etc. Round runes control the quality, white, gold, etc.


Leveling enchanting is a massive pain. The first thing you should do is try to combine together runes you haven’t used before. This will teach you what the rune does and give a massive amount of exp. As you level up and put more skillpoints in you can keep learning new runes so continue doing this as you level.

Other than that you’ll have to deconstruct items. If you try to level enchanting only with runes that have dropped for you (white, sometimes blue or green from quests) it will take months. The most efficient thing to do is to buy runes from other players. With the inspiration in the CP tree and ESO plus it takes roughly 171 cp150 purple glyphs to go from 1-50 enchanting. This takes 5-10 minutes to do and costs about 30k gold if you buy the runes or pay someone to craft them for you. TinyDog’s Crafting Calculator can tell you exactly how many runes you need and which quality will be the cheapest to commission based on current market prices. However I don’t think it takes into account the exp cap so it may be inaccurate at low levels.

Like other crafting, the exp you get from deconstruction is capped. So for example at level 5 you won’t get more than ~6000 exp from deconstructing any item no matter how good it is. At level 6 you’ll get a bit more. For this reason you may want to deconstruct cheaper, low level items at low level crafting and save the high level items for when you are level 30+.

More information on the caps and how much exp you can expect from each item is here:

Making Gold

Unlike gear crafting it is possible, albeit somewhat difficult, to make gold by creating glyphs and selling them. Purple and Gold cp160 (truly superb) glyphs sell for substantially more than the mats it takes to create them. Since it’s pretty easy to predict what people will buy and unlike gear you don’t have to worry about style, you can sell them pretty easily. However, they do sell a lot slower than the mats. And because you can only sell one at a time rather than in stacks, your throughput is limited. You can expect to make about 800-1000 gold per gold glyph over what you would have made just selling the Kuta, but you can sell 200 kuta in a day or two and it would take potentially months to sell 200 glyphs, even if you price low. For this reason I craft glyphs from time to time to fill up empty spaces on my guild stores, but I do not go out of my way to craft glyphs for sale.







Jewelry Crafting Guide

First of all, you must have Summerset to do Jewelry Crafting!

Jewelry that you wear has six properties:

  • Type
    • ring vs neck
  • Level
    • Gear will always drop at your level
    • You craft gear at a particular level by using the correct material (pewter vs copper) and more of the material for higher level (i.e. 3 pewter = level 1 ring; 4 jute = level 4 ring).
    • To use higher level materials you have to increase your crafting rank with skill points.
  • Trait
    • You learn to craft gear in different traits by researching traits.
    • Crafting in traits requires trait stones, which come from refining raw materials.
    • You can only change traits of existing items through transmutation.
  • Set
    • Some sets are crafted, some are dropped. You cannot change the set. You cannot craft dropped sets, and crafted sets will not drop.
    • To craft a set you must know traits. For example if you want to craft a Necklace of the Hist Bark you must know four traits on necklace. Knowing four traits on rings doesn’t help you.
    • You have to be at the correct station to craft sets. For example if you want to craft Hist Bark you have to be at the Hist Bark Crafting station in Rivenspire, Shadowfen, Greenshade, or someone’s house.
  • Quality
    • Quality is upgraded with improvement materials, often called tempers.
    • You can upgrade the quality of any item if you have enough tempers.
  • Enchantment
    • If you upgrade the quality of a dropped item, the enchantment quality also goes up.
    • Enchantments can be added or changed by re-enchanting the gear.
    • If you change the enchant on the piece of gear, or if the item is crafted, the enchant quality will not be improved when you improve the gear.
    • Enchant quality can be different than item quality i.e. you get the full value of a gold enchant even on a purple piece of gear.

Focusing on the gearcrafting skills allows you to craft gear of any type that has any of these properties.


When you are leveling gearcrafting you should do a few things.

Focus on research

Your top priority should be to research traits you do not know so that you can craft sets and gear in any trait. Try to research useful traits first such as arcane, infused, and bloodthirsty, but if you don’t have items in useful traits it doesn’t really matter what you craft.

You should get enough items you can use for research from normal adventuring. If you cannot find an item with the trait you need for research check guild stores, or ask in your own guild, zone chat, or an active ESO discord. Arcane, Robust, and Healthy items should be fairly cheap – you can research items even if you can’t deconstruct them. However the new traits are pretty difficult to get and since jewelry crafting is so new, they will cost 25-40k for research items.

The way research works is that the first item in any slot takes 6 hours, the next 12, etc. So to research arcane rings takes 6 hours. If you want to then research protective rings, it will take 12. If you want to research a protective necklace instead, it will still only take 6.

The last two traits on an item can take 30 days or more! So plan ahead and don’t leave the traits you really want to know for last.

There are several ways to improve research times:

  • Passives improve research times and cap research at 30 days.
  • You can buy scrolls from other players that take one day off your research timers. These scrolls cost around 9k gold and can be used once every 20 hours.
  • ESO+ reduces research times by 10%.

It takes a few weeks to learn 6 traits on every item. 6 traits is all you need for the most common gear sets, however keep working towards 9 traits over time as some valuable gear sets do require 9 traits!


You should deconstruct every item you don’t want to wear, sell, or research. This is the most efficient way to level crafting and gives you a fair amount of mats to boot.

You can buy items to deconstruct but this shouldn’t be necessary. Normal adventuring should give you plenty of items to keep your crafting on par with your character level. I found that less than a week’s worth of questing and dungeons granted enough max level gear to level a character to 50 in each skill.

Higher level gear gives more exp, as does higher quality gear. There is also a special trait called “intricate” that increases the exp and mats granted from deconstruction.

The exp you get from deconstruction is capped. So for example at level 5 you won’t get more than ~6000 exp from deconstructing any item no matter how good it is. At level 6 you’ll get a bit more. For this reason you may want to deconstruct cheaper, low level items at low level crafting and save the high level items for when you are level 30+.

More information on the caps and how much exp you can expect from each item is here:

If you want to level crafting fast you can purchase intricate items from other players. These typically go for about 5000 gold and are commonly found on guild stores. You would need around 380-400 items to level this way and this would cost around 2 million gold.





The complete guide to crafting

For ease of finding information, I’ve split crafting into types. Follow the links below to find more!


In ESO it is possible to do all professions. Even if you do not spec into any of the professions you can still gather all material types. Professions primarily gain gold through doing daily writ quests which give valuable rewards. You can also craft items to sell to other players but the profit margin over selling the mats is very small, and crafted items sell much more slowly than raw materials.

If something has a skill requirement such as a motif you want to learn or a material you want to collect you have to actually spend the skill points to increase your crafting rank. Leveling the skill line is useless if you don’t spend any skill points!

When you are farming materials the materials you get are 50% your level and 50% your crafting level. So if you are rank 2 jewelrycrafting on a max level character, you get 50% copper and 50% platinum. If you are rank 10 blacksmithing on a level 10 character, you get 50% rubedite and 50% iron.

There are more than enough skill points in the game to do all crafting types while maintaining 2-3 useful specs on one character. However you may end up spending a lot of time hunting skyshards to have enough especially early on.

If you decide to split crafting between characters be sure to focus on blacksmithing/clothier/woodworking on one character because motifs are character-specific and are important to getting master writs on that character.

All characters should level alchemy for the Medicinal Use passive even if you do not intend to craft with them.

Below is an overview of each profession. Follow the links for more detailed information and leveling guide.

This spreadsheet is handy for keeping track of crafting level, research and motifs, and other aspects of crafting. Check it out!

This spreadsheet is helpful for calculating material costs and total cost for commissions. Make a copy for your own use!


These crafting types all work pretty much the same so I’ve put them into the same article.

  • Level by deconstructing items found in the world or purchased from other players.
  • Research traits to craft more powerful items.
  • Learn motifs to craft items in unique appearances
  • 20 skill points needed per profession
  • Value is primarily in writs/master writs as well as being able to sell gear on commission.


  • Requires the Summerset expansion to use!
  • Level by deconstructing items found in the world or purchased from other players.
  • Research traits to craft more powerful items.
  • 14 skill points needed.
  • Value is primarily in being able to sell gear on commission.


  • Level by deconstructing items found in the world or purchased from other players.
  • Level by unlocking rune properties.
  • 18 skill points needed.
  • Value is primarily in being able to sell glyphs on guild stores/commission.


  • Level by unlocking ingredient properties and crafting potions
  • 14 skill points needed
  • Has one passive important for combat (Medicinal Use)
  • Value primarily in being able to craft potions for yourself.


  • Level by crafting food.
  • Requires learning recipes to craft food at higher levels or with different combinations of effects.
  • 23 skill points needed
  • Has one passive useful for non-crafters (Gourmand/Connoisseur)
  • Value primarily in writs and crafting food for yourself and sale.

Furniture Crafting

  • Learn patterns to craft particular furnishings
  • Most patterns require skill in multiple professions
  • Very small profit in selling crafted items vs. selling the materials, however can save you a lot of gold and time in decorating your own house.

Crafting Addons

Craftstore – Tracks research, motifs, recipes, etc. across all characters. Only thing you need, with this research assistant, master recipe list, improved rune and provisioning UIs, are all obsolete. Tutorial.

Multicraft – Lets you mass craft or mass refine.

Potion Maker – Improved alchemy UI

Lazy Writ Crafter – Makes doing daily writs super easy.

Lazy Set Crafter – Input any order you get, this will auto-craft it when you get to the right station and tell you the price, mat usage, etc.

Arch’s Enhanced Crafting – Hides stacks that cannot be refined and automatically selects the style material you have the most of.

WritWorthy – Tons of useful functions for master writs.


You certify for daily writs in Vivec, Vulkhel Guard, Davon’s Watch, or Daggerfall. Consumables are certified for in the mage’s guild and gear in the fighter’s guild. You must go to Alinor in Summerset to certify for jewelrycrafting. Look for the elf dressed in purple outside the crafting area.

Writs are daily quests. You can pick them up from boards in any city. Craft the things that are required (for provisioning and alchemy, you can craft a bunch of the necessary items ahead of time and store them in your bank). You can turn the quests in in any city.

Writs reward leveled gold (300-660) and a pouch. The pouch contains crafting-specific items such as valuable materials, surveys, recipes, and intricate items. The gold alone covers the cost of materials and then some for everything except ancestor silk writs; the additional items can be worth thousands of gold as well.

Surveys work like treasure maps. That is, if you have a survey in your inventory and go to the marked location, there will be a massive amount of valuable mats there. If you don’t have the survey in your inventory you’ll find nothing. Surveys provide around 120 of raw mats for some professions so they’re definitely worth doing! (This is around 3000-4000 gold value).