If you're new to Elder Scrolls Online, or MMORPGs in general, then research is essential if you wish to optimize your capabilities in this incredibly competitive and adaptive world. MMOs require a substantial amount of time investment to reach end game content compared to other game genres, and Elder Scrolls Online is no different. Information is power when it comes to MMOs and if you wish to dominate the world of Tamriel, then you'll need all the information you can get. Elder Scrolls Online is full of different paths for you to take and it's all up to you to craft your character to be as powerful as possible. Entering the world of Tamriel can be quite daunting and downright intimidating at first glance. The more you play, the more you learn and trial and error will most likely be your best teacher. Though with the help of this guide, there's no need to learn from your mistakes. To dominate in Elder Scrolls Online, you will need preparation, knowledge, dedication and well, free time. So before you start your journey into the vast world of Tamriel, sit back with a pen and paper, and take some notes. Trust me, you'll be much better off in the long run.
The absolute most important decision you need to make before starting your journey into the world of Elder Scrolls Online is choosing a class. You should be thinking about what role you would like to play both in PVP and PVE encounter and with friends. Your class should match your play style and overall personality, in-game and even in real life. Your character can be a badass version of yourself, of even your alter ego if you so wish. Do you like dishing out major damage, protecting your friends and soaking up damage, or healing your allies and keeping them alive through the toughest of encounters. Luckily Elder Scrolls Online doesn't lock classes to roles, so whether you want to heal, tank or do damage, you don't necessarily lock yourself into a responsibility no matter which class you choose. With that being said, traditionally Templars are the best healers, Dragonknights are tanks, and Sorcerers and Nightblades are damage dealers.
Just as important as picking the perfect class, is picking the perfect race. While you should be picking a class to fit your preferred playstyle and desired role, you should also be picking a race that fits your class well. Certain races in Elder Scrolls Online are meant to be paired up with certain classes via passives that benefit the roles. For instance, if you're a sorcerer/templar, you would want to choose a race that benefits magic users with something like increased Magicka recovery or increased frost, flame and shock damage. Be sure to read over the passives/skills of each race in depth before choosing. If you wish to optimize your character as much as possible, then this decision is crucial for your success in Elder Scrolls Online.
If you're a rookie to Elder Scrolls Online, then crafting the right build via gear and skills is essential to making your character as powerful and evidently effective as possible. In Elder Scrolls Online, each class has various skills which can take a character in many different directions, both power and role wise. Without knowledge of these skills before hand, you may be taking your character in a different direction than intended, without even realizing it. There is a limit to the amount of skills you can have equipped/use at a time and it's this arrangement of skills combined with your gear/equipment that ultimately determines the role of your character and the extent of his/her power.
Your first instinct when starting your character is most likely to follow the storyline quests and move through the various locations in the game, completing all of the main quests along the way. While this is a totally viable option, it is also the slowest and least efficient way to level your character. If you wish to max out your character as fast as possible and get to the juicy end game content, then you might want to consider grinding mobs. Elder Scrolls Online is full of areas in every sector of Tamriel that players choose to kill groups of enemies over and over again for experience. Why do this instead of questing? Well to put it simply, it's the fastest way to level in the game. While it can be boring and tedious, it can also save you a lot of time. Putting on some Netflix or listening to some music while grinding mobs can make it a more or less "bearable" experience.
No matter how skilled you are at this game, or how efficient you play, you won't get far without a sizeable bank account. While most gear can be obtained via dungeons and other PVE content, you can save yourself a lot of time, and frustration, by getting involved in the economy early on. The main form of buying and selling to other players in Elder Scrolls Online is through guild traders. Trading guilds can buy and maintain "Trading Caravans" which members of the guild can post items for sale and any players in the game can view and purchase these items. It is very much recommended that you find a good, active, and smart trading guild early on. Try to be nice and interactive with your fellow ESO players, as you might just get lucky and get invited to a good trading guild.
If you want to optimize your character to be as powerful as possible, then you need to structure him towards either PVE (player vs environment) or PVP (player vs player) content. Most Elder Scrolls Online veterans will have specific characters solely for one or the other. It's very hard to build a character that is equally as powerful in PVE than in PVP. While it is an option to reset your skills, it is recommended that you have a character for PVE and another for PVP, as it can be quite annoying to keep resetting your skills when you want to switch content. While making a character for each kind of content obviously requires more time, it pays off in the long run, especially if you wish to be as successful as possible in each area.
Finding like minded players to team up with and complete content is crucial to getting far in Elder Scrolls Online. Picking an appropriate guild suited to your content of choice and time-zone will help you complete hard content at a more consistent and efficient rate. There is nothing worse than teaming up with random groups for dungeons, just to get ditched, or quit yourself from frustration caused by complete lack of communication and teamwork. You're going to want to trust your team-mates when you're entering a dungeon, or at the very least, you're going to want to have some form of verbal communication with them. While you may be able to get through some easy dungeons with random groups, you won't even get close to completing the veteran dungeons unless you have a properly formed and trained team.
Elder Scrolls Online isn't anything like Sword Art Online, and you can't be like Kirito, no matter how awesome that would be. Even Kirito had to join a guild and make friends at some point, and so do you if you wish to dominate the world of Tamriel. While you can play Elder Scrolls Online alone, you will never be able to experience the game to its fullest potential, nor will you be able to enjoy it as much as you would with other players. Elder Scrolls Online has some of the best group content in any MMORPG and without a group of people to play with, you won't be able to enjoy the best parts of this game. Joining a guild can be a great way to meet people as well as simply talking to people out in the wilderness of Tamriel. Be friendly and you just might meet some awesome, like-minded people.
Assembling your own Elder Scrolls Online "dream team" can be one of the hardest feats to achieve in the game. While it's definitely easy to quickly find a group to complete some of the more simple and easy dungeons in the game, the more veteran/end game group content will require an experienced, skilled and seasoned team. There are many outlets outside of the game that you can use to assemble your team, such as discord or Reddit, but this can obviously also be done in-game via guilds or even chance encounter. Some players in ESO are more serious about completing challenging content than others and if you wish to complete all of the content that ESO has to offer, then you'll need to find people just as dedicated as you.
The economy in Elder Scrolls Online is constantly changing and if you wish to make money, rather than lose it, you'll have to pay close attention. One day an item may be selling for an outrageous amount due to demand, while the next day it could be over farmed and even dropped drastically in price due to players constantly selling lower and lower due to the over-fluctuation of quantity that can happen when new grinding spots become common knowledge. Most trading guilds have rules when it comes to pricing certain items to maintain a certain level of stability and some of the higher tier guilds even have lists that detail the average listing prices for all of the games most commonly traded commodities.
Once you've developed a thorough understanding of the trading system/economy in Elder Scrolls Online, you can start looking for bargains. Certain traders will sell high quantities of goods for a reduced rate, giving investors the opportunity to make money if they have a decent start up fund. Other than buying in bulk, making it a habit to visit all the guild traders around Tamriel looking for bargains can earn you a lot of money if you're lucky. Knowing which items are in demand, and how much you can sell them for, allows you to buy items for low and sell them for a higher price in more popular areas of the game. Buying and selling is not only extremely profitable, but it can also be a very fun and rewarding experience. After all, who doesn't love making money?
Whether you're grinding mobs or leveling up via questing, you need to make the most out of your time spent. Elder Scrolls Online gives players the option to boost their experience gained in a few different ways. First of all, if you marry another player, you both receive a ring of mara. Wearing the ring of mara with your partner gives you a 10% boost to experience gained. Typically you want to marry someone you know you will be playing with a lot. If you're not ready for marriage, then you might want to either invest in some Psijic Ambrosia or Crown Experience Scrolls. Psijic Ambrosia is a craftable experience potion that grants 50% extra experience for 30 minutes, while the Crown Experience Store can be bought from the Crown Store for real life money. The Crown Experience scroll lasts two hours long. If you decide to craft Psijic Ambrosia or buy it, make sure that you have both the brewer passive and connoisseur passive to get the most bang for your buck.
When you start your first/new character (aka toon), whether it's a dragonknight, nightblade, templar or sorcerer, you might not initially like it or may be under-whelmed with the class skills. It's important to know that every class has the potential to be extremely powerful in end-game with the proper skill and gear orientation. Try to avoid making a bunch of low-level characters and instead make sure you research what class and race is right for you to avoid yourself the frustration and time wasted. You're going to want to stick to leveling one character at first until you max him/her out. Trust me, you're going to want to have a high-level character for all the end-game content and the new content that the future has in store.
Crafting is extremely important in Elder Scrolls Online for many reasons. Not only is it extremely profitable, but it also increases you and your group's rate of success in PVE and PVP content. For example, provisioning (aka cooking) allows players to craft extremely powerful buffs when mastered. Provisioning is probably the easiest craft to max out and also the most useful since you will be able to make buffs for you and your friends before going into dungeons and PVP that will greatly improve your chances of success. Mastering crafts like blacksmithing, woodworking or clothier can be extremely profitable. There are many players who've neglected these crafts and they will pay handsomely for someone to craft them gear.
MMORPGs are all about community, interacting with people and building friendships. They don't call them massively multiplayer for no reason. Elder Scrolls Online is a living, breathing world full of players. I can say confidently that I've met some amazing people during my time in ESO and some friends as well. There's something extremely special about joining a community of people that you thoroughly enjoy talking to as much as you enjoy playing with. While it is fun to chase challenging content in ESO, its also important to help other players, exchange information and just have fun playing and laughing with some like-minded people. After all, even if you manage to dominate the world of Tamriel, what's it worth if you can't share it with friends?