ESO Character Creation has several different factors to consider. Beyond the usual choices of what gender you’d like to play or how tall you want to make your character there is also the choice of alliance, race, and class. In the following guide, I’m going to break down what each means, and the limitations or potentials strengths you can gain by making certain choices, depending on what your goal is at end game.
In the Elder Scrolls Online there are three major factions at play, all warring with each other in an attempt to capture the Ruby Throne in the White Gold Tower and thus wrest control of Tamriel from the others. Each alliance has its powerbase in three major zone strongholds:
- Aldmeri Dominion – Summerset Isles, Valenwood, and Elsweyr
- Daggerfall Covenant – Hammerfell, High Rock, and Orsinium
- Ebonheart Pact – Skyrim, Morrowind, and Black Marsh
These zones also correlate to the races who are allied with each other.
- Aldmeri Dominion – Altmer (High Elves), Bosmer (Wood Elves), and Khajiit
- Daggerfall Covenant – Breton, Redguard, and Orc
- Ebonheart Pact – Nords, Dunmer (Dark Elves), and Argonians
The Alliance choice is an important one in game. Each Alliance has its own unique storyline (however, once you play through the storyline once, the game allows you to experience the other factions on the same character if you would like to do so).
Most importantly, the Alliance you choose will lock your character into that particular PvP faction. In Cyrodiil especially, the zone where the Alliance War plays out in real time, you will only be able to play with others from your own faction.
These faction lines do NOT impact PvE gameplay, however. In 12 person trials, 4 player dungeons, and all overworld PvE content, you can freely group with players regardless of Alliance choice.
If you have purchased the ‘Any Race, Any Alliance’ upgrade to the game, in the character creation screen you will be able to do just that. You may choose to play a Khajiit in the Daggerfall Covenant or a Nord in the Aldmeri Dominion. If you have not, however, then the race choices will be locked into the alliances listed above.
If you create a character and later come to regret the Alliance you chose, the game does provide the opportunity to change factions – but this requires the purchase of an Alliance Change Token from the Crown Store. And the ‘crowns’ currency itself generally costs real money.
There are 10 races to choose from in ESO, and each offer their own benefits and strengths through the passive traits in their skill lines. A quick summary of these are:
- Altmer (High Elf) – great for magicka builds, lacking in stamina buffs
- Argonian – love that extra fast swimming! But seriously, great healing and tank buffs
- Bosmer (Wood Elf) – some stamina and speed buffs
- Breton – fantastic for magicka builds due to sustain buffs, but lacking in damage
- Dunmer (Dark Elf) – a great all-around race that provides max stats and damage buffs
- Imperial – no damage buffs, but provide great resource pool and ability cost reduction
- Khajiit – fantastic choice for a damage dealer due to increased critical hit chance
- Nord – nice resistances, along with stamina and health buffs
- Orc – speed, damage, and max stats make them powerful builds, but lacks sustain
- Redguard – top tier for stamina sustain, but no damage buffs
How important is your race choice? That depends on your playstyle and end game goals. Do you want to play with the big boys at end game? The top-tier 1% who are doing all the Veteran Hard Mode content? Then yes, your race choice will absolutely matter.
But for regular players? Most of whom might try out some of the base game Veteran Dungeons, but aren’t looking to repeatedly bash their heads against the wall trying to earn the trifecta achievements of the newest/hardest Veteran Trial? Choose whatever race you want to play. But if you get to end game and really want to make a change, there are Race Change tokens available for purchase in the Crown Store.
For a much more in-depth look at race choices in ESO, check out my guide HERE.
There are six classes in ESO. All six have their own unique class skill lines and abilities.
- Dragonknight – a strong class, DKs really shine as tanks
- Nightblade – a class based on stealth. Lots of burst damage, but can be squishy
- Sorcerer – their strong summons abilities generate pets which can fight for and heal you
- Templar – strong healers, and in general a good beginner class
- Warden – another strong healer class with great group buffs and mobility
- Necromancer – powerful class, but rotations can be difficult to master
For some great beginner builds for all classes, check out my guides HERE. If you take a look at this page you will see that in ESO builds are generally classified as ‘Magicka’ or ‘Stamina’. This mainly refers to where you will put most of your earned ‘Attribute Points’ as you level (more on that in just a bit). Don’t stress out too much about this right now – if you choose a Magicka class build and decide later that you would really rather try a Stamina build later on, the game has built in mechanisms (available for in game gold) where you can switch.
If you’re looking for a one-bar PvE builds click HERE, one-bar PvP builds HERE or one-bar Werewolves builds HERE. Also, consider watching me on TWITCH where you can ask me questions about my current builds.