ESO Character Creation Guide

Welcome to our Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) Character Creation Guide. ESO does a great job letting your character progress with total freedom.  However, as you advance in the story and in levels, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place for when your reach end-game (or max level) content.  The purpose of this guide is to make sure that you enjoy the content while leveling, yet have an optimal experience at end game based on your original character choices.

Table of Contents


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Before we get started, one must understand what we can and can’t change currently in the game.  After all, we may play our characters hundreds of hours, so we better make sure our original choices help not hinder our experience. Right now, one can change skill points, armor, weapons and archetype, though we cannot currently change racial choice, class, name, and appearance. Make sure you have that Nord beard just the right tint before you hit create, there’s no turning back.

Also of note is your Alliance or faction.  Unless you per-ordered the game, the faction or Alliance you choose determines which race you can play.  Meaning, it’s important to thoughtfully plan out your end-goal and choose a faction that suits it.  If you want to be a fire breathing Dunmer DK, pick Ebonheart Pact (EP).  I personally play Aldmeri Dominion as my guilds choose that faction.  The great thing about ESO, you can play all the stories so you won’t miss out on content.

Questions to Ask Yourself

Before you set out to create your Indomitable Juggernaut Tank “Deltia,” it’s a good idea to ask yourself these questions.

  • What’s my preferred play style?

Up close and personal? Damage sponge? Stealthy?

  • What types of content do I enjoy?

Player vs. Environment?    Player vs. Player?   Solo or grouped?

  • What type of attributes will I focus on?

o   Maybe play a weapon damage focus Nightblade,  or a ranged Sorcerer casting spells from a distance.

  • How will I spend my skill points?

Is this my main character that I want to do top notch content?    Do I intend to do crafting?

You may also want to test out each character to say level 10 our so.  Get a feel for the style, animations, and skills before deciding it’s the best fit.  I know being knew to the game, you don’t have all the information in hand or maybe this is your first Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG), it’s okay these thing take time.  Let me explain the holy trinity in most games, damage based class or DPS, defensive based based class or tank, and a support type class or healer.

Character Archetype

eso 2014-05-24 21-54-59-56Damage [Damage Per Second (DPS)] – Basic damage deal focused solely on destroying enemies. This is the most common played class which surprisingly can vary wildly in proficiently and skill. There’s many ways to play DPS, ranged, melee, stealth, etc. I personally like to focus on one area and become great at it, say a 2 Handed Nord focused on AoE or area damage.

Another simple concept to talk about, yet master, is the art of doing damage.  One, “DPS job is to do the most damage possible without taking damage.”  Sounds simple, but it’s not.  Doing damage as a melee has new challenges due to your range.  Even damage at range can be a struggle because you’ll need to close the gap.  Two, “You can’t heal a boss to death.” At some point in battle, EVERYONE is going to need to provide damage.  So while this might be your primary role, everyone will be joining in at some point.  If you want a preview of a full on DPS build, check out Blade Runner.

eso 2014-05-24 22-21-27-07Healer – The first of the uncommon archetype is a healer. Your main goal is to keep people alive, generally through healing. Great healers not only do this but rely on utility to keep people alive. Say a Dragon Knight who uses roots and snares to slow targets while keeps everyone’s health up with heals over time or HoTs.

ESO allows for anyone to be a healer which I love.  And this game emphasizes that all players need to fulfill different roles at some point in time.  Just because you’re a healer, doesn’t mean your solely responsible for health.  Tanks need to move out of dangerous areas, DPS need to keep their distance, and everyone does their jobs.  Moreover, great healers prevent damage not just react to it.  Use buff, potions, speed as weapons in your quest to keep everyone alive.  I have a role guide created for those looking at improving their healing.  Read more

eso 2014-05-24 22-25-18-29Tank – What I consider the hardest and least played class, tanks or character that want to be hit. The tank’s job is to take damage, mitigate it as much as possible, and control the battlefield. This is my preferred role and is one of the hardest to master (still working on it). You’ll be using taunts to get enemies attention.  This makes targets attack you thus taking pressure off your team.

One interesting mechanic in ESO is the lack of a area or AoE taunt.  I personally enjoy this because it makes the role much harder.  You’ll need to pick out the priority target, like the one that will do the most damage instead of every target.  Moreover, you’ll need to watch for teammates who are in trouble using speed, roots, stuns, and snares to protect them.  And a great tank can always heal them selves for awhile in case their healer goes down.  Here’s a great tank build if you’re ready to get started.  Read more on T3

ESO allows you to build something truly unique, yet functional. Either way, have a plan for what you want to do.


eso 2014-05-24 22-07-33-39Dragonknight (DK) – A class focused on fire, crowd control, and utility. My personal main, Deltia, is a DK and I love it. Primarily used for tank/dps though can heal.

+  Massive AoE fire damage

+ Hard to kill

+ Great stamina regeneration

– Lacks range with class abilities

– No gap closer within class abilities

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Nightblade (NB) – The only true stealth class with massive burst. Either melee or ranged, NBs excel at DPS.

+ The best DPS in the game period

+ Sneaky

+ Great passive healing

– Squishy in comparison

– No burst self-heal

eso 2014-05-24 22-11-22-45Sorcerer (Sorc) – A high DPS class with great burst and range. It also can summon creatures making it a typical casting type DPS.

+ Massive self-heals

+ Great range

+ Good at any role

– Reliant on magicka

– No stamina regeneration

eso 2014-05-24 22-08-36-41Templar – A great all around class and the only one with a healing skill line. Probably the best healer in the game at the moment.

+ Hard to kill

+ Healing pro

+ Group support

– Lacks DPS at end-game

– Limited offensive range

Racial Bonuses

Largely overlooked are the racial bonuses of each species in ESO. Depending on what’s most important, look or functionality, make your choice well as you cannot change this. Below I’ve listed each choice and also a set of Archetypes I suggest.

Aldemri Dominion (AD) Faction Races

AHigh Elfltmer (High Elf)

  • Destruction Talent (1 rank) – Increases experience gain with the Destruction Staff skill line by 15%.
  • Spellcharge (3 ranks) – Increases magicka recovery while in combat by (3/6/9)%.
  • Gift of Magnus (3 ranks) – Increases maximum magicka by (4/7/10)%.
  • Elemental Talent (3 ranks) – Increases damage with Cold, Fire, or Shock effects by (2/4/6)%.

Bosmer (Wood Elf)wood elf

  • Archery Expertise (1 rank) – Increases experience gain with the bow skill line by 15%.
  • Vigor (3 ranks) – Increases stamina recovery while in combat by (3/6/9)%.
  • Resist Affliction (3 ranks) – Increases Poison and Disease resistance by (7/14/21). Increases maximum Stamina by (1/2/3)%.
  • Stealthy (3 ranks) – Improve stealth radius by (1/2/3) meters and damage done while stealthed by (3/6/9)%.


  • Medium Armor Expertise (1 rank) – Increases experience gain with the medium armor skill line by 15%.
  • Robust (3 ranks) – Increases health regeneration while in combat by (5/10/15)%.
  • Stealthy (3 ranks) – Improve Stealth radius by (1/2/3) meters and damage done while stealthed by (3/6/9)%.
  • Carnage (3 ranks) – Increases critical rating for melee attacks by (2/4/6)%

Daggerfall Covenant (DC) Faction Races



Light Armor Affinity (1 rank) – Increases experience gain with the Light Armor skill line by 15%.

  • Gift of Magnus (3 ranks) – Increases maximum magicka by (4/7/10)%.
  • Spell Resistance (3 ranks) – Increases Spell Resistance by (32/64/96).
  • Magicka Mastery (3 ranks) – Reduces the magicka cost of spells by (1/2/3)%.

Orsimer (Orc)Orc

  • Heavy Armor Expertise (1 rank) – Increases experience gain with the heavy armor skill line by 15%.
  • Brawny (3 ranks) – Increases maximum health and maximum stamina by (2/4/6)%.
  • Robust (3 ranks) – Increases Health regeneration while in combat by (5/10/15)%.
  • Swift (3 ranks) – Reduces sprint cost by (4/8/12)% and increases sprint speed by (3/6/9)%.


  • Shield Affinity (1 rank) – Increases experience gain with the One-Handed and Shield skill line by 15%.
  • Vigor (3 ranks) – Increases stamina recovery while in combat by (3/6/9)%.
  • Conditioning (3 ranks) – Increases maximum stamina by (4/7/10)%.
  • Adrenaline Rush (3 ranks) – Restores (1/2/3) Stamina to the player when damaging an enemy with a melee attack. This can occur no more than once every 3 seconds.

Ebonheart Pact (EP) Faction Races



  • Restoration Expertise (1 rank) – Increases experience gain with the Restoration Staff skill line by 15%.
  • Amphibious (3 ranks) – Increases swimming speed by 50% and the effectiveness of potions by (5/10/15)%.
  • Argonian Resistance (3 ranks) – Increases maximum health by (1/2/3)% and Poison and Disease resistance by (7/14/21).
  • Quick to Mend (3 ranks) – Increases healing received by (2/4/6)%.

Dunmer (Dark Elf)Dark Elf

  • Ambidexterity (1 rank) – Increases experience gain with the Dual Wield skill line by 15%.
  • Dynamic (3 ranks) – Increases maximum magicka and stamina by (2/4/6)%.
  • Resist Flame (3 ranks) – Increases Fire resistance by (10/20/30). Increases maximum Magicka by (1/2/3)%.
  • Flame Talent (3 ranks) – Increases Spell Power with fire effects by (1/2/3).


  • Two-Handed Weapon Expertise (1 rank) – Increases experience gain with the Two-Handed Weapon skill line by 15%.
  • Robust (3 ranks) – Increases health regeneration while in combat by (5/10/15)%.
  • Resist Frost (3 ranks) – Increases Cold resistance by (10/20/30). Increases maximum Health by (1/2/3)%.
  • Rugged (3 ranks) – Reduce incoming damage 2/4/6%.

Pre-Order Only


Imperialeso 2014-05-24 22-08-36-41

  • Shield Affinity (1 rank) – Increases experience gain with the One-Handed and Shield skill line by 15%.
  • Tough (3 ranks) – Increases maximum health by (4/8/12)%.
  • Conditioning (3 ranks) – Increases maximum stamina by (4/7/10)%.
  • Red Diamond (3 ranks) – Melee attacks have a (2/4/6)% chance to restore X health.


Sample Builds


  1. Class Dragonknight | Race – Dark Elf
    1. A super star AoE fire breathing monster. If you want to do massive destruction, you can’t go wrong with this setup.
  2. Class – Sorcerer | Race – High Elf
    1. Another classic range nuke’m build focused on magic and staffs.
  3. Class – Nightblade | Race – Redguard
    1. A true melee monster, using the NB with Redguard passives in a dual wield build can allow you to spam stamina talents while draining health from target.


  1. Class Templar | Race – Altmer
    1. The standard cheesy healing build using the Templar and passive magicka regeneration. Though it might not be original, it’s effective.
  2. Class Sorcerer | Race Argonian
    1. The only race with a passive bonus to healing, Argonian Sorcs make great healers.
  3. Class Nightblade | Race Brenton
    1. With passive health leeching for healing yourself, while using staffs abilities on allies, this can be a great combination


  1. Class – Templar | Race – Orc
    1. Any class can tank, but this one can tank and heal while using a sword and shield. Add in passive health regeneration increase to your maximum to stamina and health and this combo makes a monster tank.
  2. Class – Nightblade | Race – Imperial
    1. A non-traditional tank build focused on health stealthing. Nightblade has great speed and health regeneration and add the Imperial natural passive for lots of health draining.
  3. Class – Dragonknight | Race – Nord
    1. My personal build, gives me some armor and max health so I can use more light armor allowing for a greater magicka regeneration.


Here’s my build for Deltia and what I thought about prior to rolling the character:

  • Q: Play-style?
  • A: Up in your face, tank, self-healing monster.


  • Q: Content?
  • A: PvE with endgame PvP in mind.


  • Q: Attributes?
  • A:Primarily focused on magicka for self-healing and max health for soaking up damage.


  • Q: Skill Points?
  • A: I will have blacksmithing so skill points will be at a premium.


Character Name: Deltia the Indomitable
Race: Altmer (High Elf)
Class: Templar
Gender: Male
Alliance: Aldmeri Dominion
Weapon 1: Sword and Shield – Mainly used for blocking
Weapon 2: Destruction Staff – My standard AoE DPS

Thanks for checking out our ESO Character Creation Guide.  Stay tuned for more ESO content to come.


10/9/2014 – Updated

5/25/2014 – Original



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  3. warchild75 on May 29, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Hi deltia. Firstly love your videos. Heres the deal. Apart from.neverwinter!!! I havent really played mmo’s and i am struggling with what character to make for the xbox one version. I have the imperial edition and like to get in to the battle and do damage but i do like to have the ability to self heal me and colleagues as well as using the occasional bit of magic. Any ideas on what i would be best suited to. Judging by your videos i would say imperial templar but i keep leaning towards nightblade. Im doing my own head in lol. Any ideas from you or anyone else in the comments section. Thanks.

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  5. Bel.Marduk on June 3, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Hi Deltia. Thanks so much for another great video and complete details on racial passives. My question concerns the choice of alliances when having 6-8 characters. I am a vr2 redguard Templar, happy with that, but thought it might be a good idea for my alts / mules to be created in different alliances so I can experience the different locations at an early level, as if I had of chosen the particular alliance over the others. However I hear we can later travel to the other alliance cities, so wondering from your experience whether it actually matters when starting out? Obviously choosing an alliance is important if you have friends and such already playing, but are there other factors to consider? Maybe when making group contacts they will all tend to play only the one alliance? I just don’t know what people are doing and hoped to get your thoughts on this. Many thanks in advance!

  6. Don Thomas on November 21, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    10/9/2014 – Updated 🙁 today is 11/21/2016 isn’t this Character Creation Guide overdue for a new update???? Just saying.

    • Deltia on November 27, 2016 at 2:10 am

      Yeah it needs overhaul.

  7. Outdated on January 21, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Not for anything lol but Jan 21st 2017 ..

  8. Nyissima on June 2, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Hello, I’m searching for help because i have some questions. I’m searching for something with magicka based, healing DPS. I whas thinking of using resto/destro staff for ranged. Main goal is healing and nuking down enemies in PVE. I like PvP but i don’t know what to use. Maybe Resto staff with bow? I want to heal and doing damage at the same time, but i’ve seen here that templar has an end-game DPS lack, so that’s why I’m afraid to pick templar for healing/dmg for PVE and PvP. Could someone give me some advice? I’m mainly noob but i have this kind of goal in my eyes but I’m struggling with the how-to-do-it part.

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