Welcome to The Best ESO Power Leveling & Grinding Guide, whether you’re a new or returning player or even a veteran of the Elder Scrolls Online, you’re probably wondering what’s the fastest and most efficient power leveling method.
How do you take a character from level 1 to 50 in two hours? And what’s the best way to crank through champion points and get caught up? You’ll find the answers to these questions in The Best ESO Power Leveling & Grinding Guide!
Last updated for Necrom Chapter on June 7th, 2023.
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Rules for ESO Power Leveling & Grinding
I’ve spent what seems like an entirety grinding in ESO and I actually enjoy it. Killing mobs over and over to collect experience, materials, and gold while chatting with friends and guildmates in Discord can be almost relaxing and a lot of fun. But I know not everyone enjoys this process, and just wants to get their character to level 50 – so here are my 10 general rules for grinding.
- ESO leveling is based on nothing more than experience points. Whether you’re grinding levels 1-50 or 1-3600 champion points, EXP is all that matters.
- You can grind at the exact same location, whether that be instanced based or open world/overland.
- You can stack multiple XP modifiers on top of each other to really boost XP gains.
- You need to prepare with gear and a build that optimizes AoE damage, speed, and survivability .
- I prefer stamina builds using dual wield and using my magicka pool to heal. With medium armor you’ll gain speed and massive AoE which is what we want -the orc stamina sorcerer is my all-time favorite build for grinding champion points.
- Make sure to unlock your skill lines on new characters prior to setting out. The most important of these is Fighters Guild, as well as the Undaunted as progression on these lines will not be retroactively granted to you.
- Join a new player or trader guild. This allows you to travel to players in needed zones for best grind spots and possible partners when you have a new character which doesn’t have all the wayshrines unlocked.
- Partner with one other player – and stay in a group of two because beyond this you’ll lower your XP.
- Alternatively, you can bring a companion along if you struggle with content or just want to level them.
- Make sure you have consumables that aid in recovery and healing. The crown store potions and crown store drinks that you get as daily logins can be used at level 1 and are extremely helpful while leveling.
With those basics in mind, let’s move on to talking about a few things more in-depth!
If you want to get max level ASAP you’ll need to stack as many XP modifiers as possible. All of these stack on top of each other and really add up in the end, so try to take advantage of all of them in you can!
- 9% for each armor and 4% or 8% weapon piece of training gear at purple/epic quality
- 10% ESO plus membership
- 10% for being in a group with another player, companions don’t count
- One (and only one) XP modifier potion or scroll. Depending on the scroll these will add either 50%, 100%, or 150%. Also make sure to slot the champion point perk Rationer in the Green Craft tree to extend this timer, along with unlocking the Provisioning passive Connoisseur on your character.
- 100% for double XP events. Some, like the Witches Festival and the New Life Festival require you to activate a drink or a buff every two hours so make sure that stays active! Keep refreshing and check your buffs on the character tab.
And a final additional bonus which requires a partner and some extra trouble, is the 10% XP boost for marriage to another player. Doing so requires a Ring of Mara, which both players must equip one of and complete a ritual. Consider this bonus mostly non-essential, but it is another small amount to add if you’re trying to squeeze every last percentage point out of leveling.
We’re about to get to the actual grind spots soon, but there is one more very important thing you should take care of before you rush off. Applying the correct gear will give you another strong boost in your leveling efforts.
- Heartland Conqueror is a 7 trait craftable in Blackwood, double the weapon trait, which includes training, usually 3 body pieces and weapons.
- Plaguebreak is a PvP set can be obtained doing PvP activates or through guild traders even on low level characters. Essentially you infect an enemy and if you kill them while infected they explode doing insane amounts of damage and eventually cascading and killing every single mob.
- The medium armor set Rush of Agony found in Dread Cellar Dungeon or the light armor Dark Convergence is a PvP set obtained through Rewards of the Worthy containers or very cheap on traders. Both of these sets pull or suck in mobs – for one you need a gap closer like two handed Stampede and the other another a ground based AoE like Razor Caltrops. Combine either 5pc with another friend running Plaguebreak and you’ll nuke massive amounts of mobs in seconds.
- Withered Hand is an overland set found in Alik’r Desert and is great because it gives back magicka and health when killing mobs
- Vampire’s Kiss is a 5 trait craftable which gives back health when killing mobs over time. A good set to consider using if you struggle with survival.
- Order’s Wrath set is a craftable found in Blackwood which offers some of the most damage and healing to be found in any craftable set.
Craftable sets are really effective for leveling brand new characters and alts because the Training trait can be applied to all pieces and weapons. This means that the armor skill lines and weapon skill lines will level quite quickly as well.
The overland and other sets attained through gameplay are best used if and when you wish to grind champion points.
Harder to Obtain Sets
Two other incredible, but harder to get sets include the light armor False God’s Devotion from Sunspire and the medium armor Vicious Serpent from Craglorn trials like Hel Ra. These give you back either magicka or stamina along with Major Expedition for keeping your resources up and your speed high.
Here’s a picture of my stam sorc loadout. Consider using Plaguebreak on the front bar instead of Pillar of Nirn for more burst. I stack as much speed as possible with either Major/Minor Expedition, Swift jewelry and Wild Hunt mythic with an orc and I’m almost at speed cap with huge AoE damage and nearly limitless sustain. Plus, with a stamina sorcerer you get the Critical Surge ability which heals you for every critical hit. This really helps with survivability and cuts down on the need for other healing skills or gear traits. If you wish to see the specifics of this class and build more in-depth check out my Stamina Sorcerer Solo Build.
Daily XP Boost
One last thing worth saying before getting to the grind locations is that it’s important to complete your two main dailies for massive XP rewards.
- The first is to run a ‘Random Daily Normal’ dungeon. For Normal dungeons try to get a low-level character in group with you, this will prevent super long DLC dungeons and allow for much easier completions.
- The second is to join a PvP instanced based Battleground. You’ll want to play objectives (try not to treat everything as a Deathmatch) in order to get second or first place in order to get the relevant XP.
Completing both of these will give your character a massive chunk of XP per completion each day and should be unlocked as early as level 10.
Easiest Solo or Group (Base Game)
Here’s a list of my favorite, easiest, base game, no DLC required grind spots. Keep in mind, monsters do not scale to level so even at level 10, most of them are pretty easy. The downside to these are that people can interrupt these spots since it’s open world and can be a bummer when your favorite spot is packed. The optimal group composition for all of these spots is two players, no more.
Greenshade – Verrant Morass
The stars on these maps represent the places you pull all the packs of mobs to and nuke with ultimates or AoE generally. This is one of the most popular and helpful grinds in the game. You have a very close wayshrine next to zombies, which will also level Fighters Guild. Move in a circular rotation to pull enemies, then stack and whack them down. Keep in mind that this grind spot can become terrible during busy parts of the day and I typically don’t come here then.
Greenshade – Shadows Crawl
My go-to spot provides a little less experience, but is nearly always free and it’s in the southwest corner by Shadows Crawl. The downside of this grind is you make a horizontal path and double back, so you’ll need speed and often times range to kill the archer mobs. A helpful skill is some type of pull like the Fighters Guild Silver Leash which is a decent grinding spammable plus it pulls those annoying range casters/archers in. You’ll also need to break free a few times when stunned. This isn’t the best spot for grinding overall, but it’s a great backup when Verrant Morass is packed.
Alik’r Desert – Zombie Beach
The most popular spot in Alikri is the beach front, which is full of zombies and like other grinds can be done in a circular loop. Run your character down and back around, nuking down mobs, rinse and repeat. This isn’t a complex rotation but watch out for the massive red circles and constant stuns from zombies.
Alik’r Desert – Hidden Grind
A secondary spot is in the back northeastern area near a bridge called Motalion Necropolis. This is much less populated and can be easy pickings when other spots are busy. You make sort of a loop clear back on double bridges, then come back and drop off to the lower level and clear the zombies at the base, working your way back up to where you came from. You’ll need to double back some here, but the packs are super dense with high respawn timers and not nearly as camped as others.
Coldharbour – Cliffs of Failure
Coldharbour is one of the best places to grind and most players know this by now. There are ton of places in the zone, but the Cliffs of Failure requires you to enter a portal in order to access the area northeast on the map. Rotate this area in a small circle for super easy kills as the NPCs are mostly fighting each other. This is one of the easiest and a great alternative for folks who struggle with combat.
Imperial City Sewers – Daggerfall Zone
This requires a bit more attention and effort, but now the Imperial City is base game anyone can grind effectively in the sewers. In addition, this spot can gain you Tel Var currency as you loop thru the area and defeat enemies. Keep in mind, this is a PvEvP zone and you could be ganked and killed by another player, but the upside is you can make an enormous sum of gold selling items which can be bought only with the Tel Var currency.
The general premise here is to rotate down in a clockwise rectangular way, pulling mobs as you go. Avoid the big wandering bosses here as they hit very hard, especially if in close quarters. If you’re wondering why I have 1 million Tel Var currency, this grind is a big contributor.
Craglorn – Spellscar
Spellscar in Lower Craglorn is a very open and popular zone with plentiful zombies and high respawn times. The only issues is that everyone knows about this spot and most likely it’ll be cramped. But check it out on off times for a really fast leveling spot that’s super easy to solo.
Ideally, like to take the spot nearest the wayshrine. You go on the right outside area pulling 1-3 packs, depending on if you’re solo or in a group. Center and dump ultimate and AoEs on you enemies. The main isses with this grind is that the mobs leash or run away pretty easy, so don’t expect massive pulls until you familiarize yourself with the area. Also there are more spots shown in this footage so explore the area but this is optimal XP assuming no one else is here.
These efficient based grind spots are two of my favorite in the game. Even better, they are instanced based, so you don’t have to worry about other players in the overland coming around and screwing up your grind!
Skyreach Catacombs in Upper Craglorn is mathematically not the best, but it has what is most important: instanced based so you can reset quickly and refresh the mobs without anyone having the chance to disrupt your grind. The gear sets which drop from the mobs and the chest are still valuable and useful while leveling. On top of all of that these mobs are zombies, so you will level your Fighters Guild skill line as well.
There are multiple ways to do this – some people split up making the pulls much more complex and a lot of the times they Silver Leash and return to spawn. My favorite and most consistent way is to grab all the mobs and pull them to three particular spots. Drop ultimates, kill them, then go to the center chest. One person grabs the chest, while another player grabs all the outlining mobs. Stack on the far wall and drop ultmates and nuke. Now loot the chest, go to the end and finish the last pull in the corner. When done with that, make sure to quickly exit via group and T key on PC. Once you leave, flip the instance from normal to vet, then back to normal and re-enter for another fresh wave of mobs.
Black Rose Prison
BRP Location in Murkmire
Black Rose Prison is a group arena In Murkmire, which requires either the purchase of the DLC or ESO+. This grind is mathmatically the best possible in the game. There are multiple ways to do it, but I’m going to show you the less complex way.
You’ll start by setting the difficulty to normal, please do normal! Next you port in, and you’ll clear stages of mobs until the boss. Once the boss spawns, you’ll leave the instance, reset by flipping difficult to vet, then back to normal, port back in and repeat over and over.
In order to make this go well, you’ll need a pull, like Silver Leash from the Fighters Guild. This will pull in the annoying ranged mobs while the melee come to you. There’s an addon called BRP Helper which also shows you the spawn locations of mobs. Specifically, the mage casters will stay stationary and you won’t be able to pull them. Thus, you’ll need to either stack mobs on top of the mage or run to the other end until the mage follows you until its centered – then run back and nuke.
This method is great XP but is not for the faint at heart. You’ll need huge AoE DPS, some skill at the game, plus decent gear to make it work. Also, this won’t level up your Fighters Guild either, which is needed on nearly every character at end game. I use this method with another skilled player when needing to morph and level ultimates and skill lines, or if you want to simply grind champion points. Consider earlier grinds until you get here, but if you have a buddy with the all the skill and gear, you’ll level very quickly.
I have a separate Crafting Writ Guide with much more in-depth explanations, but what you need to know is it’s one of the most lucrative and useful things to do with your time in ESO. In fact, you can level a character within a couple of hours by doing what are called Master Crafting Writs.
Essentially, you need to max out skill lines like Alchemy and Enchanting all the way to 50 on as many characters as possible. Then each day do crafting writs to get master writs, which can be used for huge experience gains with zero combat. You can also buy these master writs from traders if you wish to spend the gold. I’ve found easiest to do is alchemy, where the armor/woodworking etc take some time and effort along with expensive materials.
Fast Alchemy Leveling
Now on your alt character, you’ll need to max the skill line in order to craft it. Thankfully in Alchemy you can make some junk poisons and go from 1-50 in 30 seconds.
Take the level 10 alkest and combine two ingredients that interact and you have a ton of, this picture I had tons a lot of spider egg so I found some scrib jelly to combine it with. And if you have around 400 or so ingredients, you can make unlock a passive, use progressively better and better posion solvent getting more and more exp along with champion point passive inspiration boost in the green craft tree and bang you’ll level up no time.
Once max, funnel your master writs to your alternate character or whoever you need to feed experience to and go to your main town. My choice is usually Mournhold in Desshan because the alchemy station and master writ voucher is so close. Deposit, open another, rinse and repeat. There’s even an addon that does pretty everything for you called WritWorthy so keep that in mind.
Alik’r Desert Dolmens
This is probably the easiest grind but also grants the least experience points. However, it requires near zero skill and just follow the leader and hit a couple buttons. Usually, you run into the zone and ask for dolmen group on EU Dolmen+. On PC NA, you can usually join groups by pressing ‘x’ ‘y’ or ‘z’ where an auto invite will often pick you up. There’s nearly always someone leading a group and you’ll bounce from 1 of 3 dolmen spots killing zombies, getting treasure and leveling.
Consider this weak on on XP for Champion Points, but great for materials, gold and especially leveling jewelry. This is also a great grind for a completely inexperienced player who has little combat ability because it’s so easy. Most of the other players will be proficient in combat and do much of the work. Just make sure you get an attack in.
Final Grinding Tips
These tips aren’t for things that are necessarily essential to a grind, but will prove helpful if you can make use of them.
- Consuming Trap skill for resource sustain
- Reaving Blows in the Warfare Champion Point Constellation for survivability
- Occult Overload in the Warfare Champion Point Constellation for huge AoE nukes
- Gap Closer to close the distance
- Snare removal like Race Against Time, or medium armor skill Shuffle
- Major Expedition in class or via bow
- Level skill lines by slotting skills from different weapon types even if you don’t use them
- Preparation passive in the Warfare Champion Point Constellation for huge damage reduction
- Celerity passive in the Fitness Champion Point Constellation, 3x swift and even wild hunt to get to speed cap
- Best food all around is Jewels of Misrule – super low costing, high regen