A common question from the new player, particularly one that has 500 crowns (which every player gets when they make their account).
The answer is most likely “Nothing”.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s available in the crown store and why it’s not useful to you.
Most players go straight to the “Upgrades” section. Here can be found the adventurer pack, Imperial upgrade, and inventory, riding space, and skill lines tokens. The adventurer pack is only worth it if you want to PvP as a certain race in a different faction than that race can normally play. For PvE players, or if you are flexible in faction, it is worthless. Imperial edition is only worth it if you want to play an imperial race. Both are fairly expensive.
The inventory, riding skill, and skill lines tokens are a complete waste of gold especially for a new player. All of these things can easily be obtained in game. To expand your inventory space find a bag merchant in any major city (For example, you can find one in Vivec, Daggerfall, Vukhel Guard, and Davon’s Watch). The first few upgrades are incredibly cheap and it is only when you get to around 150 slots that they start to get expensive, at which point most non-hoarders don’t need more space. Riding skill can be upgrade every 20 hours on each character for 250 gold. While there’s a timelimit, which the crown store can skip, it costs ~$1 full price. For a 250 gold value. Next!
Vampire and Werewolf are the biggest scam. Just go to The Rift, Reaper’s March, or Bangkorai and ask. You will quickly find a player willing to bless you with these curses completely for free. Or if you join a guild there will be players there who can help you.
The “Crafting” Section is also a scam. The motifs that are being sold for 5000 crowns can be purchased in game for much less. For example mercenary can be had for around 10,000 gold; glass is more expensive around 150k, which is still not worth 5000 crowns. People literally give away the non-imperial racial styles for free.
Ok how about Utility?
Here you find consumables. All of these consumables have equivalents that are easily acquired in game. Soul gems? I literally vendor those. Food? I give it away for free. DO NOT BUY THESE. Same thing with respec – you can respec for 50 gold per point in Elden Root, Mournhold, and Wayrest. That means ZOS is trying to get you to pay 700 crowns for something that, for a new player, only costs like 3k gold.
Experience scrolls are somewhat expensive to get in game, but a new player should not get experience scrolls… the early parts of the game go by too fast anyways. Enjoy it!
Somewhere in here you can buy more character slots and the DLC. Each DLC goes on sale once per year on its anniversary. If you aren’t a subscriber it may be worth getting them then. You start with eight character slots (which is a lot) and can buy more for 1000 crowns each. If you’re an altaholic, these may be helpful.
Everything else? It’s all cosmetic. The mounts are not any faster than the one you can buy for 10k in game. The non-combat pets and costumes only look pretty. Houses have no in game function other than being fun to decorate and a convenient place to travel to. Most houses can also be acquired for gold.
So what should you do with your crowns?
If you don’t have a mount, it may be worth getting one. The sooner you get a mount the sooner you can start riding training.
You should probably grab the DLC you want if you are not an ESO+ subscriber.
Other than that you should spend your crowns on whatever you want. None of it has any in-game usefulness, so just pick what looks pretty. (or if getting your mount to max speed faster is what matters to you, do that!) However don’t expect us to tell you which house is the best or which costume is the prettiest – it is entirely up to you. The best one is the one you like.