ESO Skill Leveling Guide

Wondering how to level skills in Elder Scrolls Online (ESO)?  After leveling nearly all skill lines to max, I figured this would be a good time to share how I’ve done this and maybe save some people time.  Let’s get started with our ESO Skill Leveling Guide!

Video coming soon

Table of Contents

Skill Basics

eso 2014-09-17 13-58-47-83When I started playing ESO, I was very confused on how skill lines leveled.  I had individual skills which could be used, then a morph and a skill line.  This didn’t make a whole lot of sense and I couldn’t determine if skills and or skill lines were connected or not.  This guilds is going to help go through each line talking about how they level, what I did to max them out (or close) and some tips on doing such.  First let’s define some key terms:

Skills: Active abilities that you can place on your bar.  Generally these gain experience over time.  At rank four, one can pick between two morphs.  After you morph the skill, you’ll still be able to rank it up to four which you’ll receive maximum benefit.

Morph: An upgrade to an existing active skill that changes the original skill.  This does not add additional leveling speed to a given skill line but benefits the skill generally.

Passives: A inactive skill that gives you character a certain benefit in or out of combat.  These cannot be placed on your bar nor leveled.

Skill Line: An overall group or cluster of skills that ranks up by performing certain task.  Some are as easy as gaining experience and more complex as dungeon specific achievements.

Class Skill Lines

Class Leveling Class Skills 2The first and most common are class skill lines.  These are generally the most easy or least complicated to level.  In order to advance, simply put one or more class skills on your bar and earn XP.  This can be done by killing mobs, questing, etc.

TIP: After leveling about 100 alts (joking), I found an easy way to accelerate this process for specific skill lines.  Say I wanted to level Ardent Flame but my current build doesn’t use any of these skills.  You can quest as normal only to place ALL of the skills on  your bar before you turn in the quest You’ll get a multiplier or additional experience for each ability on your bar thus breezing through a specific skill line.  The same can be done with most other skill lines.

Weapon Skill Lines Weapon levelingWeapon Skill

For all weapon skill lines, the same thing applies as above.  As long as you have one or more abilities on your bar, you’ll get credit.

TIP: During  leveling, I usually buy all the abilities in a specific skill line say Destruction Staff.  The reason being, I can level the skill line much faster by placing all the abilities on my bar.  Once I reach near end-game or max the skill lines I need out, I always respec.  This gives me a lot more skill points to use on important passives rather than useless abilities while leveling.


Armor Skill Lines

Once again, Armor skill lines work in similar fashion.   Armor levelingNot only does wearing the armor give you experience, but having a skill on your bar will also level this skill line.  Essentially you Med 2could have zero medium armor on, yet still get experience by having the armor ability Evasion on your bar.

TIP: Want to get this done event faster?  You can craft gear (weapons and armor) that have an added experience bonus to them.  Each piece giving you a percentage for leveling that set.  I made a purple set of light/medium/heavy for my characters.  Just like class skill lines, I’d swap on all this gear before a quest turn in and bang, my heavy armor would be at 50 in no time.

Soul Magic

This is probably to easiest of the group.   Soul Magic 1Soul magic

All you’ll need to do is complete the main story to unlock this.  I’d had the main story completed by level 47 on one of my characters.

TIP: The passives on Soul Magic still seem to be broken.  Specifically the Soul Shatter explosion upon death.  You might want to save some skill points until this is fixed.  Additionally, the Soul Lock passive is great for unconsciously filling soul gems.  I’d say this a must passive prior to end-game.


Werewolf and Vampire

I’ve done a pretty detailed guide on each of these so I won’t be covering them again.  Please check them out for very in depth leveling tips.

Werewolf guide CLICK HERE

Vampire Guide CLICK HERE

Fighters Guild

Guilds LevelingFighters Guild 2This is one of the more difficult skill lines to level.  You’ll increase your rank by kill Daedra but that usually isn’t enough to max the skill after reach Veteran Rank 1.  Another strange part of this skill line is you can’t increase it by placing skills on your bar.  You’ll only get this increased by killing Daedra, nothing skill related.

TIP: While leveling, try to complete all the Dark Anchors in each zone before progressing.  I’d even get a group of buddies together and explore Cyrodiil’s Anchors.  If you do all of them, you’ll be close to Fighters Guild 10.  If you haven’t reached it, go to Coldharbour in the City of the Lost Public Dungeon.  This can net you around 1,000 points an hour just farming the mobs in an orbit.  Not thrilling content, put the Fighters Guild ultimate, Flawless Dawnbreaker is one of the best in the game.

Mages Guild

Mages GuildMages Guild 2

Yet another interesting skill line the Mages Guild.  You’ll only be able to level this through collection of Lorebooks.  These are the oddly colored blue/purple books you’ll find throughout the world.

TIP: For those of us that don’t want to find these the natural way, I recommend the addon “Undiscovered.”  It will show you on your world map every single skyshard, lorebook and area containing content.  I consider this a must have addon though can take some exploration out of the game.




UndauntedUndaunted 2

By far the hardest to level is the Undaunted skill line.  I was able to max this out but it’s difficult.  Yes only through achievements can you do this.  There are many to be had and what I recommend doing is completing all of the group, public, and vet dungeons.  That’s a lot of content but doing that alone still won’t get you to max.  You’ll even need to do speed runs, give Undaunted members drinks, and a kill count achievement if you want to hit rank five.  But trust me, getting Necrotic Orb is well worth it.

TIP: Some of the hardest achievements are the speed vet dungeon runs.  While kind of cheesy, you can reach the final boss with four players.  Have one player level the group that needs the achievement and invite them back.  This will reset the timer and give you credit if you finish.  I did not do this to earn my achievements, but the mechanic is out there for those wishing to take advantage.

Assault Support and Emperor

Alliance WarSupport 2

The Alliance war skill lines are also some of the hardest to level and mine are still not max.  And I haven’t even started on the Emperor yet (though I will soon 🙂  There’s really only one way to level this and that’s through earning AP or Alliance Points.  Complete quest, take over keeps and kill enemy players.  This will all add up towards your rating and slowly progress the skill.

TIP: My only tip is play PvP a lot if you want to level this.  I’m still not quiet the expert in PvP but will update if I find more useful information.



RacialRaceAnd the Racial leveling is probably the easiest.  Just reach level 50 to unlock all of your passive skills.  Make sure you take them as some are incredibly powerful even while leveling.

TIP: If you’re looking to reach end-game or VR content ASAP, the fastest way to do so is grinding.  I don’t have the exact locations, but generally each zones public dungeons provide tons of mobs with good XP.  Get a buddy and zerg through killing countless mobs if you just must reach end-game.  On my main character Deltia, I’ve done literally every quest in the game.  I recommend taking it slow first play through than maybe speeding it up second time around.


This leveling process with require a whole series of guides.   We’ll be introducing a new author soon, Nines, who has tons of guide writing experience and will head our Crafting Corner section.  Stay tuned for more information on that.


So, was this helpful?  Any tips you’d like to share with the community?  Thanks for reading as always and I’ll be making a video guide to go along with this soon.


  1. Sean on September 17, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Fan. Tastic! WOW Thank you very much for sharing these tips. I’m not one to rush to end-game, but quickly levelling skill lines will make my exploration and enjoyment of the game that much better 🙂

  2. Drew Money on September 17, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    The tip you gave at the end of Class Skill Lines is a great way to make use of that second bar while you’re still leveling. I think this is a great read for beginners or VR vets. Thanks for sharing Deltia! For the Queen! And occasionally, those other guys too. :p

  3. Asteldian on September 18, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Great guide! Just one thing to add on weapon skill line incase some don’t realise – like armor, just by having a weapon equiped you can gain xp for it, so early on when you do not have spare points, just having it on for quest hand ins can help move it along

    • Deltia on September 18, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      Great point thanks for adding that.

  4. Doug Johnson on September 18, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Thanks for the great guide! I have a couple questions that were a bit unclear:

    Individual skills (blue bar) – you said that “Generally these gain experience over time.”, but how exactly do they gain experience? Is it from use, being slotted when xp is gained, or other?

    Regarding the two skill bars and skill line advancing (yellow bar) – do you get experience in the skill lines only for those skills on the visible bar or do you get skill line experience for skills on the hidden bar as well?

    • Deltia on September 19, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      Doug, individual skills level by getting XP while you have them slotted. So yes, quest, kills, turn ins, it all adds up. And your second question, it’s only for the visible skills meaning the bar you’re on while you get the XP. Some people use bar 2 just for an XP bar or a turn in thing. Does that help?

      • Doug Johnson on September 19, 2014 at 3:44 pm

        Yes, thank you, very much!

  5. Doug Johnson on September 18, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    One more thing. Regarding the recommendation for “Undiscovered”, I was unaware that it showed Lorebooks or Skyshards directly. For me, all it does is show a red X where undiscovered locations are.

    For Skyshards I use the Skyshards addon and for Lorebooks use the Lorebooks addon.

    Also, great tip about daedra being the only thing for leveling FG skill line.

  6. miklk4eso on October 16, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Thanks. Useful infos. Greatly appreciated.

  7. Soobley on January 7, 2015 at 2:47 am

    Does anyone know if there is a difference between having only just got Rank IV on a morphed ability, and being maxed rank IV on that same ability? I’m leveling up a whole bunch of skills by swapping out for quest rewards and am wondering if I need to fully max out an ability to get the full benefit or if I can level it, morph it then level it just to the point where it hits IV instead of max IV

    • Deltia on January 7, 2015 at 4:50 am

      I think after you morph it hitting max on four, you can only go to four than get the max benefit.

  8. Arielle on April 2, 2015 at 3:51 am

    This is my first MMO, ever, and I really appreciate the time that you take to make these instructional guides and videos. They have really helped me to L2P! Thank you, Deltia!

  9. Theziner on June 29, 2015 at 1:26 am

    Great guide! I was grinding and grinding and not getting my 2hw up to rally. Didn’t realize it was so simple. Less then than a day and I unlocked it. Thanks!

  10. f0kuz on July 7, 2015 at 4:45 am

    so lets say you have your bar 1 with all of your most used abilities and bar 2 with the abilities you want to level up. when you turn in the quest you still have bar 1 active, will the bar2 abliities still get upgraded? or do you need to have bar 2 active when you turn in the quest?

  11. […] leveling guide here: Full leveling guide here: […]

  12. Murdog4 on November 24, 2015 at 12:19 am

    HELP! (Fighters Guild)
    Deltia, first let me say I love all your youtube videos. They rock!!!! Second, I am having NO luck getting my fighters guild skill line to 10! I am a Vet-4 and have completed all the fighters guild quest lines. I have also cleared all the anchors with my faction. I am currently lvl 9 and the skill bar is completely full. I have killed more daedra than I know what do to with. I feel like I am glitched or something. Am I missing anything?????

    • Deltia on November 24, 2015 at 11:49 pm

      You need to grind or kill repeatedly undead like in Coldhabour.

  13. […] leveling guide here: Full leveling guide here: […]

  14. Joe Kappil on January 25, 2016 at 7:26 am

    Hi Deltia!
    Questions on leveling.
    1.Which option levels Duel Wield weapons skill faster be faster?
    Option one: having two daggers equipped.
    Option two: having two daggers equipped and Twin Slash ability loaded in ability bar?
    2. What is advantage of fighting with different weapons early on other than leveling up on those items? Why not just use the one or two weapons (ie two handed sword or bow) and ignore using restoration staff?

    • Deltia on January 25, 2016 at 10:32 am

      1) option two
      2) Passives and active skills that give you buffs such as Major Brutality.

  15. Joe Kappil on January 25, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Why not just concentrate on using one or two weapons (ie short ranged weapon and long ranged weapon) and ignore using other weapons (such as staffs….., )?

    • Pillough on January 31, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      There are passive abilities that you can spend skill points in. E. G you have dw swords and a bow. At the same time you love the passive ability in staffs so you level that ip to get the passives only. Still use your sword/bow combo but passives in every wpn type.

  16. Liam on February 16, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Great advice, and it’s left me with only one question:

    If I have my secondary skill bar empty, am I putting myself at a disadvantage?

    Or, to put it another way: Does XP spread over both of the skill bars? or only the one that’s active at the time?

    • Deltia on February 16, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      Xp only spreads to the bar you’re using while you acquire XP.

  17. Triig on April 2, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Very helpful thanks. Is there any updates on leveling newer skill lines like Thieves Guild?

  18. Terry McAbee on April 20, 2016 at 12:54 am

    Can you help me pick out the best character and racial passives plus help me with the skills/weapons/armor/passives

  19. Olak Master on August 15, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    I am beginer in the MMO gaming but thanks to you i accualy enjoy it.I just want to say thanks a lot Deltia keep on rocking!!

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