ESO PvP Strategy

Strategy is what separates the Pick up Groups (Pugs or puggies) from the guys who go into Cyrodiil and make people cry.  And I’ve been waiting for this week ever since I started writing articles. This is why I PvP in the Elder Scrolls Online (ESO). Strategy combined with real world leadership comes into play and you’re not just mashing buttons anymore. You’re using distraction, coordination, surprise and other ploys to turn the map in your favor. The best part of it is that you’re not playing against a preset objective with fixed obstacles. You’re facing living breathing people who sometimes have the capacity to rival your strategy and even outsmart you. The trick is to not let them do that. The best defense against that is knowledge. This is a big topic so it might take a few weeks to get through. Hopefully, I’ll be able to impart some of that to you this week as we take on ESO PvP Strategy part I.

Looking at the Map

Nickel-AshThe first thing you need to do when leading a group or even when you’re running solo is to find out where the action is. There are a few simple ways to do this.

Look to see if there are any keeps flagged. A keep is flagged when it’s outer or inner walls are brought down to 50% strength. This will be signified by a yellow star around the keep. Generally, this can be a good sign that an attack is taking place, but it can also be a distraction. One single siege can bring a wall down to 50%. So, when leading a group you should always send a scout to a location to make sure an attack is real. Make sure this scout has a Forward Camp (FC) so if the threat is real, you can respond quickly.

AD PrideYou can also typically predict an attack by what an opposing alliance has just done. Let’s say that we’re playing as Aldmeri Dominion (AD) and we own both Ash and Nickel. Then let’s say that Daggerfall Covenant (DC) has just taken Nickel. We can safely assume that their next target will be Ash since they have just cut off the free transit from our home keeps to Ash. Also, by this logic, we can send an ambush group towards Nickel from Ash to try and catch them off guard and wipe as many as possible. Since Nickel is an outpost, you cannot respawn at it. If the DC group headed from Nickel is obliterated, then Nickel should theoretically be an easy assault because it’s probably empty of enemy troops. Additionally, it would take a long time for any DC to ride back to Nickel to place an FC.

Strategy is not only employed by groups though. There are also strategies specific to ganking (Sneak attacking the enemy whilst employing guerrilla tactics rather than on a larger scale). This is usually based on attacking players as they return to the main battle after they have died and respawned at a FC or Keep. When defending at a Keep assault it is pivotal that you find out where their FC is. You can do this by scouting out where the enemy is running/riding back into the battle from. It doesn’t take long to find out the path that the majority of the group is running and then you just have to time out your attacks. If you are by yourself, you have to be careful that you don’t overstep your abilities by taking on too many. You usually want to change your positions between each gank so that they will not be prepared for your attack. Having a position with a good view is key. This way you can see if there are any more players coming up behind your target that would aid them if you attack. Always remember that the longer you gank the more likely it is that they will try to actively catch you. The best gankers are like lightning, they hit hard, fast, and never in the same place twice.

This is this sort of thinking that puts you ahead of the curve in Cyrodiil. You have to be able to anticipate the moves of your enemy and then counter them. Being able to read the map and predict an enemy’s movements is a critical part of leading a group. This is something that is learned over time and with a lot of experience. Remember that not every Alliance always has the same style or approach to strategy. The Ebonheart Pact (EP) in your campaign could be a bunch of West Point graduates or they could be derps (EP is usually pretty derpy though). Each campaign has its own unique style to it. It’s up to you to learn this and integrate it into your strategy.

Oooooooooh man do I love talking about this stuff. If you have any questions I’d love to hear from you guys and gals. Got any good stories about strategy? Notice any flaws in my logic? Tired of hearing me talk about this? Go ahead and let your voice be heard in the comments below. Thanks for reading and I’ll continue this topic next week.


  1. Asteldian on October 27, 2014 at 11:51 am

    As part of a clueless 4 man team I look forward to all your upcoming posts on strategy! At the moment we blindly fumble around as we are not regular pvpers, so it will be great to use your knowledge to maximise our fun and effectiveness!

  2. Wray on October 30, 2014 at 2:10 am

    Loved the lowbie pvp night and really appreciated your guidance as our lowbies tried to keep up. I personally loved getting attacked from behind while trying to repair a wall 🙂 Seriously, though, it is a lot of fun and (almost) felt like a real battle…except the respawn. Hope we are able to do this regularly.

  3. ESO PVP Defense Strategy on October 31, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    […] Forward Camp Placement—We’ve talked about this in a past article, but I just want to reiterate how massively important this is. Place your camp in the most advantageous location and make sure it’s always available for your defenders to respawn at. Leave a few people to guard it if it keeps getting burned. No Forward Camp means you lose the keep. It’s that simple. […]

  4. MakingLife on August 17, 2015 at 1:52 am

    At the PvP Campaign Thornblade on Ps4 Aldmeri Dominion is outnumbered, i really like this campaign. Is it possible for you to make this Campaign a bit more popular? Thank you. I hope Aldmeri Dominion will break down through the Ebonheart Pact defence when you will help us and bring you’re fans to Aldmeri Dominion Thornblade Ps4!

  5. randy on August 25, 2016 at 3:16 am

    man. thanks for everything. I have tried every build I could. Umbra NB, DK T3 tank, DK stam damage, Stam Sorc and Battery Healer. Matched everything you suggested. It is a shame I die in PvP one-on-one all the time. I can’t get past the first boss in vMaelstrom on any… accept Battery Healer, I got to Sehts Balcony, but die when final round bosses get to 40%.
    I can’t figure out why… but it has happened sooo much that I have given up… I loved this game for 1 1/2 years. I guess I just lacked the extra special gift of being better than average. I am happy that I got an escape from life… but I guess it is time to move on… I wanted to thank you… I wish it were different… but dying so much, does not help my confidence… I guess I put over 3000 hours into this… it became more than a game

  6. AskingPerson on November 1, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    the best ever strategy but i think i have something to say like for example
    Team Chemistry are the best points on game if your effort with some team mates are not the best you should learn how to work on the chemistry and flaws on the team but if you have expirience,and you do a decent solo gameplay how can i make it so that they can see what were missing and make the best playthrough on pvp,pve?

  7. Wahya Vdiyvlitv on January 1, 2017 at 1:29 am

    I’m really interested in pvp but my big problem is I don’t have friends that play this game so I usually end up playing solo. Is there anything I am capable of doing to help my alliance? I would love to be Emperor one day but without friends I realize that’s mostly a pipe dream. I should probably mention I’m on Xbox as well.

    • Deltia on January 2, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      Oh yeah, there’s been plenty of solo players to get emperor, but it’s not easy. Just keep learning and find a class that suits you, hang around friendly keeps until you get the hang of it.

      • Wahya Vdiyvlitv on January 3, 2017 at 8:45 pm

        Ok thanks Deltia, just knowing it’s possible and been done gives me some confidence. So hopefully it’ll be my name up there soon.

  8. Cj-Shade1 on July 12, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    I really hope this page gets updated since now you can revive and telephoto to and from outposts there are camps but no forward camps and now there is towns that can be conquered and a team could use that as a way to attack so yah things have definitely changed.

  9. Stevie on July 6, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Great observatons… I believe one thing is missing that would be a “game changer’ — No one talks in real time (e.g. Discord). In my brief experience there are not a lot of people on at any given time, and they are not focused on a single attack point, So, they attack multiple points, and people are rushing from place to place and are unable to focus combat power. Only in the very late hours, when there were about 20 or 30 of us in a single group that stuck together for an hour or two were we effective. Took five keeps (which of course were all gone when I woke up next morn kek). If there was for example, an EP Discord channel set up so we could all talk in real time about next objective AND where to keep reserves, defend, etc. there would be plenty of people. As a former military person this drives me nuts; people have made solo skills, but no leadership or comms.

    • Deltia on August 3, 2018 at 11:40 am

      Good points.

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