Why and how to start PvP?
Welcome to ESO PvP Beginner Guide 2023! Do you wonder why they all do it? Do you love PVP but just don’t know how to start PvP in ESO? I present the comprehensive ESO PvP Beginner Guide, where you’ll learn all you need to know to start PVP now. What are the benefits of PVP, the rewards, collectables, and gear? Also, how PVP skills can be useful also in PvE.
Firstly, to start Pvp in ESO your character needs to be at least level 10. you’ll receive in the game mailbox an email called “Invitation to Cyrodill”. in ESO you can PvP only in specific instances. First is the Cyrodill, an open zone with epic keep fights, fights over scrolls with powerful buffs, and hundreds of players fighting over the map domination. Next, we have the Imperial City, where the damage from daedric war is expansive. The Powerful Daedric monsters patrol the city streets and sewers, while you the player need to not only fight them but also with other players over the control of the city districts. There is also a secret boss hidden deep into the city sewers but more on that later.
In all of those zones, you can collect unique PvP rewards and currencies. Each of the PvP modes offers interesting single-player quest lines and daily quests with rewards.
The Battlegrounds are short matches between three teams, four players each, and multiple objectives that players need to follow to win the match. Classic domination with flags, chaos ball, steal the relic and much more. this pvp mode can be also very profitable and offer many achievements, furniture, outfit page styles and much more collectibles.
Lastly, we have duels. Duels are a mini-game that players can play with a fellow player, and check who is a better paper or simply test gear and learn together. You can duel in almost every location in ESO.
Whatever you choose to start with you need to understand the difference between CP and no-CP campaigns, AP, Tel-Var currency and PVP ranks. Welcome to the ESO PvP Beginner Guide!
ESO alliance ranks and Alliance Points (AP)
Alliance Points (AP)
ESO PvP has its levelling system linked to the PVP currency called Alliance Points (AP). Let me explain. By doing PVP activities, completing quests in PVP zones, and killing players you earn Alliance Points (AP). Alliance points help you advance your PvP rank and most importantly two alliance skill lines (how to unlock alliance skill lines HERE). As you can see in the gif below my character is level 12 alliance rank – “Covenant Corporal Grade 2”.
Alliance Points (AP) are a form of “PvP experience” but also the in-game currency. We use AP to buy gear, collectibles and supplies. Just like gold, AP can be stored in the bank, and available to withdraw for all of your characters and use! All of your characters can collect AP to buy items like gear, siege equipment, crafting materials and even special motifs. However, each character has its own Alliance war level, and you need to earn AP separately on each one of them to advance their PvP rank and alliance skill lines.
Alliance Points (AP) are one of two PvP currencies, second is the Tel Var stones, and more on that later.
What’s the difference between CP and no-CP? Types of campaigns
Which campaign you should choose is related to how levelling system in ESO operates (click HERE for a comprehensive beginner and levelling guide and builds). Also what gear are you wearing and what other PvP alliance characters do you have? Let’s look at all campaigns and which one you should choose.
Campaigns are timed 7 days or 30 days. When the campaign ends, all players that took part in it will receive the “end of campaign rewards” which are based on how much AP they earned during this limited time and their “End of Campaign Reward Tier”. A new campaign starts when the previous one ends. In the gif below you can see the Cyrodiil campaign menu and how to enter any of the campaigns.
Before you’ll hit level 50, ESO offers below-50 campaigns in all three modes: Cyrodiil and Imperial City, that’s why you need only level 10 to start PvP in ESO. The choice here is easy. However ESO will allow your low-level character to enter the above 50 campings, but it doesn’t work the other way around. As a character above 50, you can’t enter the below-50 Campaigns.
No-CP vs CP campaigns
After you’ll hit level 50 you start to collect so-called Champion Points (CP), and now you have access to all campaigns (the champion points guide HERE). Cyrodiil and Imperial City campaigns can be CP-enabled, which means all of your CP buffs will be applied to your character in that campaign. In non-CP campaigns, CP benefits are disabled and not applied to your character. It doesn’t mean the no-CP campaign is bad or worst. In fact, some players prefer it over CP campaigns. However, you need to remember that if your CP level is low you will have fewer CP buffs and thus you’ll have difficulties fighting against players with higher CP levels. Regardless of your CP level, you can enter all campaigns, just keep it all in mind.
You should choose the no-CP campaign if you aren’t at least level 800 CP. You’ll lack the passive buffs and survivability that the CP offers and you will have a hard time keeping up with the rest of the players. Sometimes the non-cp campaign is also a good choice if you want for example avoid gankers who are much less strong there.
In the CP campaigns, combat is much faster, because you can kill huge groups and earn AP faster. In the No-Cp the combat is slower, but you can’t blow up massive groups, as a result, zerg groups and the largest population dominates. No-CP campaigns are technically new player friendly because they limit the item sets and allow only the use of static boosts to character’s statistics. Moreover, without proc sets (more in next section) which increase the time to kill, so players have more time to react.
Non proc sets campaign
The second campaign factor depends on the “item sets with process effects” (proc sets). The “proc sets” are an armor group that performs an action for you when certain conditions are met. An example: whenever you complete a heavy attack, the armour set heals you for a specified amount. We have various campaigns with both options. On “no proc sets campaigns” the effect will simply never happen and your proc armor may be ineffective, so make sure you are wearing the correct gear for the correct campaign. (PvP builds with proc, and no-proc gear sets HERE) You can always check the campaign rules in the alliance menu before you enter.
As mentioned before proc gear sets make combat faster, which gives you less time to react, however, in the proc-sets campaign all the item sets are allowed so you don’t need to worry about your gear. All the PvP builds on the website have no-proc/no-cp camping gear options, click HERE.
Before you enter any of the campaigns it’s good to decide which one will you play the most often, and make it a “home campaign”. If you did this right, the home icon will appear next to chosen campaign. You can have only one home campaign, however, this setting resets every month and can be changed at any time. We do this to earn campaign points, progress on the campaign leaderboard and receive tier rewards at the end of the campaign. And you can do this only on your home campaign. If you enter as a guest you’ll still receive AP, and can help your faction win but your character will not advance in “campaign tier rewards”.
In the picture below you can see I set “GRAY HOST” as my main campaign, now I can see campaign duration, points of the whole factions and my tier rewards progress bar, marked in the picture. By playing in the Grey Host campaign I’ll finally reach level one “End of Campaign Reward Tier” and as a result, I’ll receive by mail gold, lots of transmutes and gear. I’ll discuss Cyrodiil rewards and collectibles in detail later in the guide.
Alliance locked campaign
This is usually the main campaign with cp and proc sets enabled. This campaign will be locked to your character alliance and only available to other characters from the same faction. Example: If you enter this campaign as e.g Altmeri dominion character the game will ask you to make a decision: “Do you want this campaign to be bound to Aldmeri Dominion only?” If you refuse you’ll be removed from it. If you agree this campaign will be available only for your Aldmeri Dominion characters until the campaign end. Every time a new campaign starts you can select the new faction you want to fight for.
During the camping duration objective of any alliance is to capture as many keeps cities, scrolls or keeps as possible and hold them for as long as possible. At each score evaluation factions receive points based on how many locations they control. The faction with the most points will win the campaign and receive bonus “end of campaign rewards”.
How to enter the Cyrodiil?
First, pick your campaign carefully. As was mentioned before your campaign should be chosen based on your level, champion points and what gear sets you are using. Campaigns have a player limit so next to its name you can see what is the current population of any faction. If you see the padlock icon for any faction, this means there is the max number of players and you will be most likely placed in the queue.
To enter Cyrodiil press the default key “L” to open the Alliance menu or chose the “tower” icon tab in the character menu. Choose the campaign tab and pick your campaign in the list. Double click on the campaign name or press “E”. Cyrodill campaigns have their player limits, so sometimes you may be placed in the queue. Simply wait for a window to pop up asking if you are ready. Confirm and join your faction in the Cyrodiil!
You can enter Cyrodiil as a solo player or with a group. If you are in a group of players game will ask you if you want to join Cyrodiil solo or with the group. Choose the group option and all of you will receive the Cyrodiil invite at the same time. If there is not enough space for all your group members the game will wait till all of you can join at the same time. So group queue sometimes may take longer than solo.
How to find a group in Cyrodiil?
Cyrodiil doesn’t have a “group finder” as dungeons or battlegrounds have. However every day many beginner players or new players enter the Cyrodiil, and will look for others to play with. You can simply ask in-zone chat if any group is available and open for new players to join or type LFG(Looking For Group – acronym). Also, look for in-zone chat messages that ask to type a “keyword” to join the group. That happens often on PC because PC players have access to addons, which if the group leader has, the addon will automatically send group invites for every player that types a keyword in zone chat.
You can also join the Guild, many of which either organise PvP raids or are dedicated to PvP only and have nearly always a PvP group of players playing in the Cyrodiil or Imperial City. Make sure you join the guild that fights on your character alliance side.
How to PvP in Cyrodiil?
Cyrodiil is a zone in the centre of Tamriel, with wide plains and many cities, outposts, bridges and castles called the keeps. Players from three factions fight for domination over the map and the Emperor’s throne. The three factions are Aldmeri Dominion (yellow), Daggerfall Covenant (blue) and Ebonheart Pact (red). Green highlighted keeps on the map below are locations available for my character to teleport using Transitus Network. All Transitus shrines are connected with lines on the map. Keeps with the yellow star around the icon are under attack. The goal of every alliance is to control as many keeps, outposts, scrolls, resources or cities as possible to get Campaign Points. The score evaluation is every hour.
Day and night, you can find groups or single players sieging the keeps, flipping flags, and fighting over lumbermills or cities. It’s a never-ending war waiting for you! For more details, the list of keeps and Cyrodiil history click HERE.
Keeps are big castles with walls. Each has three resources outside of the keep walls: Lumbermill (gives the doors of your keep more strength), Mine(gives all of the walls of your keep more strength to take more hits) and Farm(gives the NPC guards of your keep more Health). To capture the resource, you simply need to kill the guards protecting the enemy alliance flag and then wait until the flag flips. If the enemy controls all of your faction resources you won’t be able to teleport using Transitus Network to the keep and from the keep. Teleport is also impossible if the keep or outpost is under attack (flagged at 50% wall or gate health).
Outposts are smaller forts without walls and resources. Outposts are much easier to capture compared to keeps as they only have one wall to break through and one flag to capture inside.
To capture the keep or outpost you need at least a small (advised 6+) group of players to break their walls or gates using siege equipment. Similar to the resources, inside the keep, you’ll find two enemy flags. Kill not only enemy players but also the keep guards and flip both flags to capture the keep or outpost. When the siege ends, and the castle is no longer under attack, you and your group will need to repair the damaged walls to prevent enemy players from easy access inside. Now the enemy will need to siege the keep to capture it.
Cities there are a lot of cities and villages in Cyrodiil but only three major ones that add to the campaign score and can be taken by any of three factions. Cities are not protected by walls, and to gain control you simply need to flip all the flags guarded by NPC. You can also find multiple daily quests in all of Cyrodiil’s cities, that grant you the reward boxes with armor sets and supplies.
Scrolls are artefacts granting your faction great defensive or offensive buffs. Scrolls can be picked up by any player and carried, but while carrying the scroll it’s impossible to mount or use any transportation skills, other than skills that increase your speed. Capturing enemies’ scrolls gives even better buffs, and for that reason it is extremely important to gain a big amount of campaign points. Each faction owns two scrolls and keeps them in scroll temples. The scroll temples are behind the faction gates and only the faction players can go through. To open the enemy gate you need to capture the two nearest keeps. However, don’t expect, that taking the scroll from the temple is easy. You’ll most likely encounter enemy resistance and hostile NPCs. After grabbing the scroll, you’ll be chased to wherever you decide to secure the scroll, which usually is far from enemys’ territories.
Gaining control over any of them will give you Alliance Points (AP) and campaign points and a bonus to your whole faction. If you want a boost to your AP during capturing the keep or its resources, spend two points on the Continuous Attack passive from Alliance War – the Assault skill tree. Also, make sure you have at least one point in it for a 30% faster mount speed.
During the camping duration objective of any alliance is to capture as many keeps cities, scrolls or outposts as possible and hold them for as long as possible. At each score evaluation factions receive points based on how many locations they control. The faction with the most points will win the campaign and receive bonus “end of campaign rewards”.
How to travel in Cyrodiil? Transitus Network
You’ll start in one of 6 gates (2 per faction). It’s like a mini town with quest boards, merchants, banks, supplies and siege equipment for you to buy. Also, one wayshrine and one Transitus shrine.
Cyrodiil is a large instanced zone that allows players to long-distance travels thanks to Transitus Network. It’s similar to wayshrains, but in Cyrodiil you can only travel from one Transinus shrine to another. Each gate, outpost village and keep has one Transitus shrine. So if you find yourself in the middle of nowhere you need to first go to the nearest keep or outpost controlled by your faction, and locate transmits shrine inside.
Transitus shrines have a characteristic blue flame. Also, you probably noticed on the Cyrodiil map different colour lines connecting keeps, cities and outposts. To travel from one keep to another, the keeps need to be connected with such lines in your alliance colour. Keep in mind that you cannot travel to a location that is under attack or a keep that has all three resources under enemy control.
You can travel from anywhere on the map only by using recall stones. To buy them locate a siege merchant, who is common and found in every location controlled by your faction. To travel using recall stones simply put it on your quickslot-menu and activate it whenever you are ready, then pick one of the available locations on the map.
How to leave Cyrodiil?
To leave Cyrodiil, first use transmits network or recall stones to come back to one of the starting location gates, then locate a wayshrine that will take you back to any of Tamriel’s PvE zones. However, to travel you must visit and use the wayshrain as shown in the picture below because you can’t teleport to waysrines in PvP zones the same way you can do it in PvE zones.
How to unlock Alliance War skills?
First, you need to finish the “Introduction to Cyrodiil” quest. It’s short and doesn’t require any PvP activities. It is very important to complete it as fast as possible because it’ll provide you with 3 skill points, and unlocks your Alliance War skill lines: Support and Assault. Skills like Barrier, Resolving Vigor or Caltrops are necessary for PvE and PvP. You can unlock them only by PvP activities, and the “Introduction to Cyrodiil” quest will automatically after completing it gives your character level 3 in both Alliance war skill lines including the Resorving Vigor ability!
After you hit level 10 and receive an “Invitation to Cyrodiil” mail go to any campaign (how to enter Cytodiil HERE) and look for NPC with the main quest marker above the head. They will be in one of Cyrodiil’s starting points, depending on your alliance: Northern High Rock Gate(Daggerfall Covenant), Southern Morrowind Gate(Ebonhart Pact), and Western Elsweyr Gate (Altmeri Dominion).
The NPC will offer you basic training and an explanation regarding the war in Cyrodiil. Accept the quest and now you can skip it or follow it. Important: do not skip it! If you choose to talk to the General and skip the training you won’t receive skill points and Alliance experience! In the picture below I show my conversation with the quest giver on the Daggerfall Covenant side.
The Benefits & rewards
Various NPC will explain to you some of Cyrodiil’s basics. You’ll learn how to fast travel, receive siege training and important knowledge about scrolls. After you complete the quest, you’ll be rewarded with 3 extra skill points and level 3 in the Alliance War skill lines. While doing the quest don’t forget to grab a Lorebook inside the Scroll Temple, also next to it look for the skyshard. In the picture below, I marked the lorebook and the skyshard locations for all three Factions.
Now you should have access to the Resolving Vigor skill. To level Alliance War Skill Trees and unlock other worthwhile skills like Barrier or Caltrops you need to earn Alliance points (AP) by doing PvP activities.
Alliance Ranks & Emperor
Each new alliance rank will reward you with a new alliance war title, a skill point and an achievement that unlocks unique collectibles such as furniture, dyes and titles. PvP ranks have certain thresholds, all the PvP ranks HERE
The Emperor/Empress rank is one of the most difficult and most prestigious achievements in the game but isn’t earned as regular war ranks. If one faction captures all six keeps that surround the Imperial City then, the player at the top of the campaign’s leaderboard from that faction will become the Emperor or Empress. The required keeps are marked on the map below. You can check your leaderboard position, in the alliance war tab and choose “Emperorship”. It requires a lot of time and skill sometimes luck to become Emperor/Empress of Cyrodiil.
The Emperor/Empress receives a special skill line with unique and powerful passives, also the whole faction receives a unique bonus. The player continues to be Emperor/Empress as long as their faction holds at least one “emperorship keep” (keeps marked on the map). If the faction loses all “emperorship keeps” the Emperor/Empress will be dethroned and become “former Emperor/Empress” – the title available from now to all of their characters. Other rewards and collectibles for becoming an emperor are the Emperor regalia (costume), the Throne of Cyrodiil(furniture) and the Ruby Throne Red (armor dye).
Why should I go to Cyrodiil? ESO Cyrodiil quests, rewards and Cyrodiil collectibles
In Cyrodiil you can find three types of quests. PvE story quests, PvE daily quests, and PvP repeatable quests. Completing any of those quests will grant you AP and multiple rewards including gold, supplies and gear, and sometimes collectibles.
PvP repeatable quests, the Mission Boards
Cyrodiil offers repeatable quests the Bounty Missions from the Bounty Mission Board:
- Capture the Keep,
- Capture the resource
- Capture the scroll
- Scouting Missions
- Kill Enemy Players
I’d advise you to always take those quests return them as soon as you complete them and take the new ones. Those quests should be available to you in starting PvP area, the alliance gates. Look for repeatable (blue) quest marks in your faction’s main Cyrodiil gates(starting area) above the bounty boards. Completing them will grant you Alliance Points (AP), and multiple gear items, crafting materials or supplies. If you can’t see the quests, it means you hadn’t completed the introduction to Cyrodiil quest, it that case click HERE!
PvP repeatable quests, Arena Gladiator’s Proofs and Conquests Boards
By completing the repeatable quests from the Conquest Board in Cyrodiil, once a day per account you can acquire an Arena Gladiator’s Proof to exchange them for special collectibles like costumes, styles, pets, hats etc.(details and images in the table below) Arena Gladiator’s Proof’s drop has a 20-hour cooldown so make sure you open the next bounty reward boxes, called the Gladiator’s Rucksacks, after this time to receive the Proofs.
Depending on your alliance Conquest Boards are in the Eastern Elsweyr Gate(Altmeri Dominion), Northern Morrowind (Ebonhart Pact) Gate and Southern Highrock Gate (Daggerfall Covenant) that offer additional daily quests with unique rewards:
- Capture three keeps
- Capture nine resources
- Kill 40 enemy players
- Capture all 3 towns
When you have the required amount of Arena Gladiator’s Proofs you can buy a special envelope(upgrade) from War Researcher Merchant (found at any alliance gate – starting location) and combine all the items into collectibles (Cyrodill merchants guide HERE):
|Collectible||Required Arena Gladiator’s Proofs||Required Upgrade (from war researcher merchant)|
|Arena Gladiator Costume (image click)||50||Arena Gladiator’s Exultation – 10 000 Alliance Points|
|Elinhir Arena Lion Pet (image click)||40||Arena Gladiator’s Mockery – 10 000 Alliance Points|
|Random Knight of the Circle Weapon Outfit Style page (image click)||40||Arena Gladiator’s Mockery – 10 000 Alliance Points|
|Arena Gladiator Emote||30||Arena Gladiator’s Mockery – 10 000 Alliance Points|
|Random Knight of the Circle Armor Outfit Style page (image click)||20||Arena Gladiator’s Mockery – 10 000 Alliance Points|
|Arena Gladiator Helm (image click)||20||Arena Gladiator’s Mockery – 10 000 Alliance Points|
|Reach-Mage Ceremonial Skullcap||20||Reach-Mage’s Ferocity – 1000 Alliance Points|
PvE daily and story quests
You can find PvE Story quests all over the Cyrodiil zone. Cyrodill also offers the engaging PvE main questline and side quests, as well as delves, and dolmens to complete. Killing a delve boss grants a 20% buff for 1 hour, to your AP earned! In the Cyrodiil zone, you can also collect the Mundus stones, shyshards and lorebooks.
PvE Daily quests are available in small and big cities in the Cyrodiil zone: Bruma, Cheydinhal, Chorrol, Cropsford, Vlastarus and the Weynon Priory.
Rewards of the worthy
You will also receive by mail Rewards for the Worthy coffer for every 20 000 AP earned, either in Cyrodiil or Battlegrounds. The first one of the day, the Reward of the worthy will contain from 4-10 transmute stones and a random PvP gear set item (rewards of the worthy stets). Every next reward box will have only one item set.
End of campaign tier rewards
After the camping ends each participant will receive Tier rewards. Rewards are based on the number of AP earned by a player during the campaign and their alliance score. So no worries participants from losing alliances also receive a lesser reward. All are shown in the table bellow
In addition, if you place high enough on the leaderboards, you will receive the following rewards.
|Leaderboard Position||7-Day Campaigns||30-Day Campaigns|
|Top 2% on Leaderboard in Alliance||3000 gold + 1 Legendary item + 20 Transmute stones||15000 gold + 5 Legendary items + 20 Transmute stones|
|Top 3-10% Leaderboard in Alliance||1500 gold + 1 Epic item + 20 Transmute stones||7500 gold + 5 Epic items + 20 Transmute stones|
As you can see it’s very beneficial to reach at least tier one campaign reward to receive a good amount of gold and 10 – 50 transmute stones. Moreover, you can do it on every character as a result you’ll receive a big amount of transmute crystals and gold at the end of the campaign. If you play the same campaign 2nd+ time in a row (needs to be set as a home campaign) you can also receive a mail with the ‘Campaign loyalty reward”
ESO Siege Merchants, Golden vendor, Elite gear vendor and War Researcher.
AP is a currency that can be spent in the Cyrodiil vendors. You can buy with it various resources, motifs and gear sets. One of the most profitable strategies that PvP players use to earn extra gold with AP is buying from Siege Merchants Alliance Spell Draught and Alliance Battle Draught and then selling them in guild store to other players. They also buy elite gear sets boxes from Elite gear vendors to then sell the currently most used sets for gold. However, elite gearboxes contain one random item set, so it’s not guaranteed what item set you’ll receive from the box. Some of the most important AP vendors are shown in the pictures below. All of them you can find in the alliances’ main gates.
The siege merchants sell food, potions and siege equipment. Remember to buy some supplies, before you join the fight in Cyrodiil. I can recommend meatbag catapults, regular ballista, stone trebuchet, forward camp and keep recall stone. Also some repair kits for walls and doors.
War researcher sells all kind of things. Collectibles, motifs, traits, style materials and much more. Check his stock maybe you’ll find something for yourself!
Elite gear vendor
Elite gear vendor sells various boxes with random gear piece. It is not guaranteed which set exactly you’ll get. To check what gear sets can be found in the box, hover over it, and check the description.
ESO Golden Vendor, Adhazabi Aba-daro
You can find Golden Vendor, Adhazabi Aba-daro in any Alliance base (main starting gates). She is available only during the weekends and each time she sells random items from a selection of gold jewellery gear sets and monster helmets. She changes her stock every week and arrives at the same time as Luxury Furnisher (00:00 UTC and 07:00 pm EST). All items from her can be bought with gold or with Alliance Points, regardless if you have DLC that the item was realised in or not. So it’s a good idea to check her stock every week, and not miss out on any powerful item sets that your characters may need. We also have detailed information on our website when golden Vendor is online (click HERE).
How to farm Alliance Points (AP) and quickly level Alliance War skill trees?
Firstly, to boost your Alliance Points (AP) gain, use a special consumable called the Colovian War Torte. The ESO Colovian War Torte increases the AP and Alliance War Skill Line experience gain by 50% from all sources for 30 minutes. The timer pauses when you are offline, and continues when you return. This bonus is compatible with other foods or drinks.
The Recipe for Colovian War Torte can be found only in the Cyrodiil zone. The small book with a green glow around replaces the classic materials node and is very rare. Once you pick it up it becomes an item the “Recipe: Colovian War Torte”. You can also buy the Colovian War Torte recipe and/or the Colovian War Torte food from other players in guild traders.
Moreover, if you are planning on farming AP in Cyrodiil, first locate and enter any of the delves in Cyrodiil and kill the boss there. As a result, you’ll receive a lasting one-hour, 20% boost to your CP gain. Both buffs from killing the boss and eating Colovian War Torte stack, so you can have a 70% experience bonus to alliance points AP in total.
The map below represents all Cyrodiil Delve locations with the white torch icon. However, for your AP boost, you can go to the delves that are the closest to your alliance’s main gate and avoid enemy players.
Useful Information and tricks for Cyrodiil
- Battle spirit – This passive you’ll have automatically applied to your character when entering Battlegrounds, Imperial City or Cyrodiil. It adds 3 000 health and reduces healing and damage.
- In Cyrodiil, you can respawn at any Transitus shrine that belongs to your faction even if not connected to Transitus Network
- Players can resurrect players from their faction in Cyrodiil
- Use the surroundings that Cyrodiil offers, to survive or kill players. For example, hide behind the objects, use speed or stealth, knock players from the edges or stun them! If they don’t see you they can’t hit you!
- Teamwork is essential to win!
How to start PvP in Battlegrounds?
The Battlegrounds are short matches (max 15 min) between three teams, four players each, and multiple objectives that players need to follow to win the match. This PvP mode has a leaderboard with the best players and also can be very profitable. By playing Battlegrounds matches you collect many gear sets, achievements, furniture, outfit page styles and much more.
In the ESO Battlegrounds guide for Beginners, you’ll learn all the basics about battlegrounds. Also, we included an in-depth explanation of battlegrounds objectives, with strategies and tips for new or levelling characters. Later in the guide, we added available quests and collectibles and the best way to farm alliance points (AP) in the Battlegrounds
The Battlegrounds Quests
When you hit level 10 and receive an invitation to Cyrodiil mail, you can start the first battleground quest. The starter quest “For Glory” introduces you to Battlegrounds simply by participating in any battleground.
To find the “For glory” quest the easiest is to travel to Vivec city (map click) in the Vvanderfel zone. On the city map as shown in the picture below, look for the sword and shield icon called Gladiator’s Quarters. Go to the location and find the board with the “For Glory” quest, that leads you to Battlemaster Rivyn. After you complete your first Battleground match now you always can pick more repeatable battleground quests from him.
This is the easiest location to find and part of the base game. However, Gladiator’s Quarters and Battlegrounds quests are in every big city of every zone in the game. In Gladiator’s Quarters, you can also find the Battlegrounds achievement furnishers Vendors and supply Merchant.
Repeatable battlegrounds quests:
After you complete your first match you’ll be able to pick up one of the repeatable quests from the Battlemaster Rivyn. Each completion of a quest grants the Alliance Points (AP).
- Let the Games Begin – Participate in five Battlegrounds matches
- To the Victor – Win three Battlegrounds matches
- Test of Mettle – Earn at least 1000 points in a single Battleground match
Daily random battleground match
Similarly to the daily normal dungeon, can once a day reward you with a large amount of experience, alliance points (AP), transmute stones, style pages, and unique set pieces. It’s an extremely valuable activity. Especially if you are still levelling your character whether you are below level 50 or would like to earn more Champion Points (CP).
You can join battleground matches when you hit level 10. The game offers battlegrounds under level 50 and over level 50. This setting is automatically applied, based on your level. You can queue solo or with a 2-4 player group. However, if you are solo, always pick in the top expandable window the “Solo random Battleground” option. All battlegrounds are cp-disabled. So you can rely only on your skill, gear, abilities and passives.
Only two teams that earn the most points in the match will complete the daily random battleground and receive daily bonus rewards and experience. Also, everyone will obtain one transmute stone and winners will obtain an extra 4 transmute stones.
How to enter Battlegrounds?
Press the default key “P” to open the Group Menu or chose the “people” icon tab in the character menu. Choose the battlegrounds from the list. Pick if you want to queue solo or with a group and press “E” Simply wait for a window to pop up asking if you are ready. Confirm and join the Battleground fight!
In battlegrounds, your group role setting (healer, DPS or tank), and an alliance doesn’t matter. You are placed randomly in a group with any player from any alliance, or you can queue as a group of 2 – 4 players. You’ll be placed in one of three teams on a small instance map (list of maps)
The match objective is also picked randomly:
Find and kill enemy players. The team with the most kills wins the game. Multiple kills grant you additional points. Remember that everyone in battlegrounds should have some kind of healing ability equipped, but having one player with a build dedicated to healing in PvP (builds HERE) is very beneficial. You earn points for killing players, assisting in killing, and healing the group.
- Chaos ball – In the centre of the map the game spawns a chaos ball. The objective is to grab the ball and hold to it as long as possible. However, every second, the ball increasingly damages its carrier. The enemy players will try to kill the carrier and grab the chaos ball themselves. Useful in this game mode are “tanky” builds (builds HERE) that can survive a lot of damage and ideally heal themselves for a big amount. Also, Healers that can provide a lot of utility to the group will help the carrier sustain and survive the pressure from the chaos ball and enemy players. You can also help mitigate some of the damage on the ball carrier by standing in the Ball AoE damage area (red circle by default). This way you will also take damage but your teammate that carries the ball will automatically receive less damage. While carrying the ball you are unable to use any special movement skills such as Streak (Sorcerer) or Shadow Cloak (Nightbalde). In this objective battleground, you earn points by carrying the ball or by healing the carrier.
- Capture the relic – On the map each team has its own relic on a shrine just next to the respawn point. The objective is to capture enemies’ relics and bring them to your own relic shrine. Don’t let the other teams steal your Relic! Picking up the relic from the enemies’ shrine has a short animation, that can be interrupted with bash or bashing abilities. While carrying the relic you are unable to use any special movement skills such as Streak (Sorcerer) or Shadow Cloak (Nightbalde). If your relic is stolen, you can kill the enemy that carries it before they rich their shrine. Pick your relic up and return it back to your shrine. In this objective battleground, you earn points for stealing the enemy relics and bringing them to your shrine, returning your own relic or healing the relic carrier. In the picture below you can see a player with enemys’ relic bringing it to his team relic (skull) and the shrine.
- Domination – The flags are spread on the map. The goal here is to stand next to the flag until it flips and hold as many flags as possible, for as long as possible. Teams will fight with each other over the flag sides. If next to the flag is one player from each team, the flag will stay neutral because you need numerical superiority to capture it. In this game, are a couple of strategies that players use. You can travel as a team, capture the flag and move to the next or spread and capture multiple flags at once. The second method seems more practical but it’s much harder to survive and kill other players. Being in stealth will not advance the progress of capturing the flag. In this objective battleground, you earn points by capturing the flags and holding them for as long as possible.
- Krazy king – Similar to domination, the goal here is to capture the flags. However, in this match, flags will disappear, reset and spawn in different locations. Only 1-4 flags will be available at the same time. Teams need to constantly move around a map, and capture or fight over the flags before flags disappear and reset again. Being in stealth will not advance the progress of capturing the flag. In this objective battleground, you earn points by capturing the flags and holding them until it resets and moves to a different location.
In Battleground matches, teamwork is extremely important, as well as off-healing. You can also enter the battleground as PvP Healer, and focus on your group’s survival while your other teammates will try to reach the match objective. Battlegrounds are a PvP activity so is advancing your war rank and rewarding you with AP.
Every battleground match will reward you with Alliance Points (AP) and a mailed battleground reward box with a random piece of the set gear item. A number of points and rewards received are based on your personal score and the place your team will complete the battleground match.
- First Place – 12000+ AP + an extra champion reward through the mail.
- Second Place – 10000+ AP
- Third Place – 7250+ AP
If you queue with a daily random battleground quest you’ll obtain one transmute stone. Winners will obtain an extra 4 transmute stones.
Often battleground matches are part of daily or weekly ESO Endeavours.
After each battleground match you have a chance to receive one style page from styles unique to Battlegrounds: Fire Drake (image click), Storm Lord (image click), Battleground Runner (image click) or Pit Daemon (image click).
Fire Drake Style
What is ESO MMR (Match Making Rating)
ESO Match making Rating (MMR) is a hidden score of every character that defines “skill tier” and what tier opponents you will encounter in a battleground match. We don’t have any information from ZOS on how it exactly performs in ESO, however, we have some theories.
In theory, MMR has a couple of tiers but looks like sometimes it’s ignored and you can be placed with players from a higher tier. MMR is distinctive for each character and not the account. So it isn’t guaranteed that you will be always placed with the same “skill tier” players. Furthermore, looks like MMR is based on objective games score. So your points at the end of the match have a higher impact on the MMR than kills, assists, healing or deaths (exception is deathmatch). MMR is not defined for each type of game mode, instead is shared across all of them. Meaning if you are good at deathmatch games but not with flag games you will be placed based on your overall MMR score not your MMR in the specific game mode. The battleground’s leaderboard represents overall scores, so illustrates how much you play.
Useful Information and tricks
- Battle spirit – It’s the passive that is automatically applied to all players in Battlegrounds, Imperial City and Cyrodiil. Adds 3 000 health and reduces healing and damage.
- In Battlegrounds, you respawn at your team’s starting point with, 20 seconds cooldown. So if you die after 15s from your last respawn you need to wait for only 5s more, before you can respawn again.
- Players can resurrect their teammates
- Use the surroundings that many battlegrounds maps offer to survive or kill players. Hide behind the objects, use speed or stealth, knock players from the edges or stun them! Remember when they don’t see you they can’t hit you!
- Teamwork is essential to win!
Imperial City Guide
The Imperial City is a high-risk, high-reward PvP instanced zone. It is located in the centre of Cyrodiil and accessible from the Cyrodiil zone or by a separate queue in the Alliance menu tab, similar to Cyrodii. Furthermore, IC has just like Cyrodiil different types of campaigns. More about types of PvP campaigns (HERE).
In the ESO Imperial City Guide for Beginners, you’ll learn all the basics about this unique PvP zone, including bosses, collectables, vendors and items that can be bought with Tel Var stones, only. We added information for beginners, the best ways to farm Tel Var stones and other useful tips and tricks.
Tel Var Stones
The most important and biggest reason to go to IC is the Tel Var Stones. This unique currency that you can collect by completing quests, opening chests, killing NPCs, killing bosses and killing other players! However, this is the only item that other players can take from you! Every time you die the game retrieves half of your tel var stones and splits them between the players that took part in your defeat. Additionally killing other players is the most profitable way to earn tel var stones. In the picture below is how much Tel Var I carry currently on my character and Tel Var multiplayer. This window is always visible in the lower right corner of your screen.
When you collect Tel Var you get multiplayer that helps you earn more, so the more you get the more you earn, but also the risk is much higher, because as I mentioned, on every death you lose half of your Tel Var. The table below represents Tel Var multiplayer:
|Tel Var carried||The Multiplayer|
|100 – 1 000||1x|
|1 000 – 10 000||2x|
|10 000 – 100 000||3x|
|100 000 +||4x|
However, you can store your Tel Var Stones in the Bank just like any other currency in ESO, so it’s wise to come back to your alliance base or travel through the campaign menu to the Cyrodiil and store your precious Tel Var!
Sometimes Tel Var stones are also part of the daily log-in rewards.
In short with Tel Var stones you can buy from Imperial City merchants various materials, costumes, motives and gear sets. Some of those items can be sold to other players and are extremely expensive in guild trades, though more on that later.
How to enter IC?
Firstly Press the default key “L” to open the Alliance Menu or chose the “tower” icon tab in the character menu. Secondly, choose the campaign tab and pick your campaign in the list, then double click on the campaign name or press “E”. You can find a detailed campaign guide and which one to choose HERE.
Imperial City campaigns have their plater limits, so sometimes you may be placed in the queue, so wait for a window to pop up asking if you are ready. Confirm and join your faction in the Imperial City!
Depending on your alliance you’ll start in one of three alliance bases located in Imperial City sewers, which is the only safe PvE area. However, inside the bases, players can find there almost everything they may need including crafting tables, banks and various vendors. The map below represents the Altmeri Dominion base as an example. The Bases’ layouts may vary from each other, but all have the same services and tools inside.
How to leave and navigate around Imperial City
Imperial City doesn’t have any fast travel systems or shrines. However, there are some shortcuts, and a couple of tips I can give you to help you navigate easier.
In Imperial City we have two zones, upstairs is called the Imperial City Districts and downstairs, the Irrigation tunnels or sewers. Therefore to travel upstairs from your base locate the chamber with the ladders. Each ladder can take you to a specific district. Additionally, inside the Irrigation tunnels, outside of alliance bases, there are spread 6 ladders connected to 6 districts. Those ate the only shortcuts, everywhere else you need to go “on foot” and undoubtedly you will encounter other players. Regardless, to quickly come back to your alliance base you can use Sigil of Imperial Retreat. This item can be bought from Tel Var General Merchants for 10 000 AP in any faction IC base. Place the sigil in your quick slot menu to use it.
In this paragraph, I’m going to explain how to exit Imperial City. There are two ways to leave Imperial City PvP area. First is an “Exit door” in each alliance’s main chamber. So if you are upstairs in one of the districts, in the irrigation tunnels or somewhere far from your base you need to first find your way back to your alliance base. This solution sometimes is extremely dangerous for your precious Telvar stones.
The second way is to travel to Cyrodiil. Simply open the campaign menu and join any available Cyrodiil campaign. The less populated campaign you’ll choose, the faster your character can travel and leave Imperial City with your precious Tel Var where no one can take it from you. Additionally, this method works the other way around too. If you are in Cyrodiil and would like to travel to IC, you can do it at any moment, no matter where you are. Look at the gif below, it’s that simple and cheap!
Irrigation Tunnels (sewers)
From the start & exit chamber, which is the main base chamber you can go to the Irrigation tunnels. Inside you’ll find bosses and the secret boss in the middle! In the Irrigation tunnels, you’ll encounter many minor NPCs but also wandering bosses. You can recognise them by the flags they carry on the back and they give a big amount of Tel Var. However, those bosses are very hard to kill solo.
Additionally, keep an eye on special glowing scamps, the rarer called the Cunning Scamps and the common Trove Scamps, who randomly spawn in the sewers. They don’t attack, instead run from the players and alert all nearby NPCs to attack! If you kill them before they escape through the portal or despawn, you can retrieve from Cunning Scamps the considerate amount of Tel Var Stones and from the Trove Scamps random crafting materials, including Hakeijo runes and Soul Gems.
Imperial City Districts
If you choose to go upstairs to the Imperial City the best way is to use ladders to the specific city districts in your faction base chamber. Imperial City is divided into six districts, that can be captured by players for a 33% extra Tel Var boost in that district for their alliance.
Similarly to Cyrodiil’s resources, to capture the district you need to capture the flag guarded by NPCs and often other players.
The Patrolling Horrors
Additionally, in each district, you can encounter special word bosses called the Patrolling Horrors, and some of them drop unique monster helmets.
|Arboretum||Lady Malygda||1 item: Adds 1487 Offensive Penetration
2 items: When you deal direct damage to a target within 12 meters, create a 5-meter area that after 1 second, quickly moves forward and then returns, dealing 811 Shock damage to enemies and applying Minor Enervation for 5 seconds, causing the target to deal 10% less Critical Damage. This effect can occur once every 15 seconds and scales off the higher of your Weapon or Spell Damage.
|Arena||Glorgoloch the Destroyer||1 item: Adds 28-1206 Maximum Health
2 items: While in combat, each second you stand still grants you a stack of Flesh Fortress, up to 10 stacks. Each stack increases your Armor by 8-380 and your Critical Resistance by 0-38. Each second you move removes a stack of Flesh Fortress. Exiting combat removes all stacks of Flesh Fortress. Using charge and teleport abilities do not remove stacks of Flesh Fortress.
|Elven Gardens||The Screeching Matron||–|
|Elven Gardens||Zoal the Ever-Wakeful||1 item: Adds 1096 Maximum Stamina
2 items: When you Break Free, you release a wave of Watcher energy, causing enemies within 8 meters of you to become Feared for 3 seconds. You also gain 34 Weapon and Spell Damage for each enemy hit, up to 6 enemies, for 7 seconds.
|Memorial||Nunatak||1 item: Adds 1487 Armor
2 items: On dealing Frost Damage, create a 6-meter area under the target for 6 seconds, dealing 191 Frost damage to enemies every 1 second and applying a stacking 25% snare for 4 seconds. On gaining 4 stacks, the enemy is immobilized and gains Major Brittle for 4 seconds, causing the target to take 20% increased Critical Damage. This effect can occur once every 15 seconds and scales off the higher of your Weapon or Spell Damage.
|Nobles||Baron Thirsk||1 item: Adds 129 Stamina Recovery
1 item: Adds 129 Magicka Recovery
2 items: On dealing area direct damage, mark a target for 6 seconds. Every 2 seconds after, an Explosive Scamp is spawned nearby and detonates after 1 second, dealing 362 Magic damage to up to 6 enemies within 4 meters and applying Minor Timidity for 10 seconds, draining 1 Ultimate every 1.5 seconds. Each Explosive Scamp spawned deals 100% increased damage. This effect can occur once every 25 seconds and scales off the higher of your Weapon or Spell Damage.
|Temple||Immolator Charr||1 item: Adds 1487 Armor
2 items: Adds 1206 Maximum Health
2 items: When you take damage while below 50% Health, gain immunity to immobilization, snares, and crowd control effects for 10 seconds. This effect can occur once every 40 seconds.
In short, the Vaults require the keys that cost 60-150 Key Fragments. The fragments have a chance to drop from any NPC in the IC or have guaranteed drop from IC Patrolling Horrors, White Gold Tower dungeon bosses and Imperial City Prison dungeon bosses. Each Vault requires a different number of keys to open it and inside you can find various gear sets, Nibenese Court Wizard Style pages and Xivkyn Motif chapters. Details on each Vault and items HERE.
Furthermore, in all districts, you can also find skyshards, lorebooks and crafting sets areas.
IC Quests and rewards
IC has just like Cyrodiil different types of campaigns. More about types of PvP campaigns (HERE). However, in IC campaign never ends so doesn’t offer any extra campaign end rewards other than Rewards for the Worthy coffer for every 20 000 AP earned. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that Imperial City doesn’t have a leaderboard.
Imperial City is not only about PvP. The zone has a very engaging main storyline and various repeatable daily quests as a result the IC offers a great PvE experience. Each quest will reward you with the AP, sometimes gear sets and Tel Var.
IC Main Story
When you enter Imperial City for the first time you may notice that only one quest is available to you. Just in the central chamber of your alliance base, where you start one of the generals should have a main quest marker above his head as shown in the picture below. Talk to him and follow the tasks to unlock all IC repeatable PvE-focused quests! If you lose the main quest or can’t find the next step always first check your base for markers, or at the city districts (use ladders in your alliance base, the easiest way to find quests).
IC Repeatable and Daily quests
You need to finish only a couple of steps of the main IC quest to have access to daily quests in IC. Each daily quest starts in one of the districts, so daily per character, you can do 6 quests in 6 districts. In your alliance base, go to the chamber with ladders that lead to all districts. Use any ladder and the quest giver will wait for you in the city above.
If you already were in Cyrodiil before you may have the main IC quest taken from Cyrodiil that directs you to the same NPC general. In the picture below you can see how this main IC quest looks like in Cyrodiil
Additionally, in your alliance base, you can find a mission board just like in Cyrodiil that will give you PvP repeatable quests:
- Kill 20 enemy Sorcerers
- Kill 20 enemy Nightblades
- Kill 20 enemy Dragon Knights
- Kill 20 enemy Necromancers
- Kill 20 enemy Templars
- Kill 20 enemy Wardens
- Kill 40 enemy Players
However, if you can’t find the PvP repeatable quests mission board, that means you haven’t completed the “Introduction to Cyrodiil” quest. Guide HERE.
IC Vendors and Collectibles
In each alliance, base players have access to special merchants that offer materials, collectible items and gear sets available only in Imperial City. I’ll discuss three of the most important merchants you should know about.
Tel Var General Merchant
Tel Var General Merchant sells all supplies that can be useful in Imperial City including Sigil of Imperial Retreat and soul gems. Additionally, with Tel Var stones you also can buy crafting materials, particularly the Hakeijo. The rune is used in PvP and PvE and is exclusively available for purchase from this merchant. The Hakejo costs 5 000 Tel Var and can be sold to other players. Unique to this merchant, he also sells Storage Chest (200 000 Tel Var) and Storage Coffers(100 000 Tel Var) for your house.
Other items available from the Tel Var General Merchant are polymorph runeboxes shown in the picture below. Each polymorph costs 250 000 Tel Var.
By completing the repeatable quests from the Mission Board in Imperial City, once a day per account you can acquire a Siege of Cyrodiil Merits to exchange for special costumes and emote. Siege of Cyrodiil Merits drop has a 20-hour cooldown so make sure you open the next bounty reward boxes, after this cooldown time to receive the next Merit.
Finally, when you have the required amount of Siege of Cyrodiil Merits you can buy a special envelope(upgrade) from Tel Var General Merchant (found at any alliance base – starting location) and combine all the items into collectibles:
|Collectible||Required Merits||Required Upgrade|
|Runebox: Rage of the Reach Emote||30||Siege of Cyrodiil Commendation – 1 000 Tel Var|
|Runebox: Timbercrow Wanderer Costume||50||Siege of Cyrodiil Distinction – 1 000 Tel Var|
|Runebox: Siegemaster’s Close Helm||20||Siege of Cyrodiil Recognition – 100 Tel Var|
|Runebox: Siegemaster’s Uniform||50||Siege of Cyrodiil Recommendation – 1 000 Tel Var|
The Tel Var General Merchant also sells bound on pick-up Style Pages: Dragonguard Berserker, and its armor-only. To acquire the outfit style pages you’ll need at least rank 20 alliance war and 325 000 Tel Var stones in total. These style pages cannot be sold to other players.
Tel Var Equipment Lockbox Merchant
Secondly, we have Tel Var Equipment Lockbox Merchant which sells random gear set items from boxes. As a result, it’s not guaranteed what item or trait you’ll get. However, some of the gear from boxes are worth a considerable amount of gold in guild traders, and are very good PvP and PvE sets!
Tel Var Jewelry Merchant
Lastly, we have Tel Var Jewelry Merchant which sells golden jewellery items from Imperial City gear sets.
The best method to farm Tel Var stones
Certainly, the best method to farm Tel Var Stones is to go to the Imperial City flip the flags in all districts (for 33% more Tel Var gain) and do a clockwise rotation killing bosses in every district. There are 12 bosses in total, in that case if you do it right and solo you can get from 5 000 to 8 000 Tel Var per boss. The boss’s respawn in the Imperial City takes 15 minutes, so perfect for constant runs around. In meantime, you can kill minor NPCs that will also give you a small amount of Tel Var. The best campaign to go is probably no-CP. The population there is smaller and gankers are not that strong, yet killing bosses takes much more time.
Finally, this is the preference but I think the best classes to farm Tel Var Stones in the Imperial City are Nightblades and Sorcerers, because of their escape capabilities. If something will go wrong they easily can run away from the danger and not lose any precious Tel Var.
Irrigation tunnels are another source of Tel Var. Similarly, you can join a less populated IC campaign and run in circles through the Irrigation tunnels killing all NPCs you can find. Occasionally you will encounter unique glowing scamps that will give you a considerable amount of Tel Var. This method is easier because don’t require killing bosses, however, is much less profitable.
Useful Information and tricks
- Battle spirit – This passive you’ll have automatically applied to your character when entering Battlegrounds, Imperial City or Cyrodiil. It adds 3 000 health and reduces healing and damage.
- Players can resurrect players from their faction in Imperial City
- Zoal the Ever-Wakeful is a monster helmet from one of the bosses in Elven Gardens that offers great protection against gankers
- Use the surroundings that Imperial City offers, to survive or kill players. For example, hide behind the objects, use speed or stealth, knock players from the edges or stun them! If they don’t see you they can’t hit you!
- Teamwork is essential to win!
- ESO PvP Tips, Tricks and Hints – written guide and YouTube video
- The Best PvP Ultimates in The Elder Scrolls Online – YouTube video
- The reasons you’re dying too much in ESO PvP – YouTube video
Thanks for Reading!