ESO Class Guide - Which One to Pick?

ESO Class Guide
raphael 30.09.2019 0

Elder Scrolls Online Classes Guide

After a rather slow start, Elder Scrolls Online became one of the most played, extremely popular MMORPGs. The game still has a steady influx of new players. A lot of them wonder which class will suit them the most. This ESO Class Guide should help out with that! We’re going to talk about each of the six classes and shortly describe some of their most popular builds as well as the playstyles that they’re associated with.


Elder Scrolls Online is a pretty casual-friendly game. The level scaling mechanic lets players visit all the parts of Tamriel from the start. Of course, the main game and some of the major updates have their overarching plots, but there a lot of small storylines to explore as you travel the world.


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On the other hand, ESO can offer a lot to more hardcore players. The game features a Veteran mode that allows players to clear significantly more difficult versions of the dungeons that they already know. Other PvE challenges include Trials (ESO equivalent of raids) and solo Arenas. There’s also plenty of PvP content with Battlegrounds and the Alliance Battles PvP zone in Cyrodiil.


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ESO Classes

Each class in Elder Scrolls Online has multiple viable ESO builds. Moreover, if you’re not interested in playing competitively, you can basically use any class you want in any role and still be able to complete the vast majority of the game’s content. Even if you want to stay in the meta, you will never be married to a single build. There’s at least one alternative to choose from, if you want to mix things up a bit.


Currently, Elder Scrolls Online features a list of six playable classes: Dragonknight, Nightblade, Sorcerer, Templar, Warden and Necromacner.. The first four are available in the base version of the game. Warden was added in the Morrowind expansion (now the class can be accessed for 1500 Crowns). To play a Necromancer players need the latest major DLC – Elsweyr. Picking the right class is really improtant, but there will be a lot more choices to make in Tamriel. 


In Elder Scrolls Online, the armor types are not necessarly associated with classes. The specific build that you're going for will usually determine the armor that you're using. In general, tanks wear heavy armor, Stamina DPS use medium armor (there are some exceptions) and Magicka users wear light armor. 

ESO Attributes

When creating a build, you’ll have to keep in mind three base attributes – Magicka, Stamina and Health. Magicka is focused mainly on spell casting. Stamina empowers your weapon damage and physical DPS. Health improves your survivability as a tank. Most meta builds invest most or even all attribute points in a single stat. You will almost never want to invest both in Stamina and Magicka, since it’s usually more effective to focus on a single way of damage dealing.

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Dragonknights are the ESO equivalent of warrior classes in other MMOs. They are some of the most efficient tanks in ESO, so they often wear heavy armor (of course there also are builds that utilize medium and light armor) and excel in melee combat. They can successfully play as tank or damage dealer. Both Stamina DPS and Magicka DPS. You can also make a healer Dragonknight build, but there are classes that are significantly better suited for that role.


This class has access to great physical DPS while dual-wielding or using two-handed weapons, but can also use dragon magic that allows them to harness the powers of fire and earth to eradicate enemies or empower allies. Dragonknights fight in the frontline and have access to multiple gapcloser and crowd control abilities. At the same time, they’re widely considered to currently be the best tanking class in Elder Scrolls Online.


Just like any other class, Dragonknight has access to three skill trees. Ardent Flame improves their spell usage and brings a lot of magic damage. It’s the foundation of every Magicka build. Draconic Power increases tankiness and weapon damage. Finally, Earthen Heart is the most purely defensive one of the three. All trees also bring some crowd control and utility options. Dragonknights have access to some additional spell resistance, what makes them even better tanks against magic damage.  


Of course, depending on the build that you’re running, you will prioritize different bonuses and enchantments on your equipped gear. Tanks are going to need as much Health and damage mitigation as possible to survive in the midst of a battle. Stamina Dragonknight setups will likely prioritize flat Stamina, weapon damage and critical chance. If you want to run a Magicka build, you’re going to need spell power and spell critical rate. 


At first glance, Nightblades seem pretty similar to all the rogues, thieves and assassins known from other MMORPGs. Moreover, it’s definitely a viable way of playing them. You can use some abilities that gain extra power from the stealth mechanic and delete enemies with bursts of physical damage. Besides dual-wielding you can fight with bow or even two-handed swords and axes. Of course there are other possibilities too. Besides Stamina DPS, you can also play Magicka DPS and even tank or healer (but Nightblade is significantly less efficient in the last two roles). That being said, they're great dealers, that can quickly finish off a target. 


The Magicka Nightblade build often called Magblade is an interesting option. Instead of using a more conventional weapon setup, it utilizes a staff to nuke enemies with powerful spells. They can use the stealth mechanics to wait out the time between burst rotations. Inherent mobility of this class can be used for kiting and avoiding unnecessary damage.


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Tanking and healing Nightblade builds are generally considered weaker than the damage-oriented ones right now. They are both focused around the Siphoning tree that allows to steal Health and Magicka from enemies. Tanks can sustain really well while also blocking and dodging the incoming attacks. Healers can transfer stolen Health to their allies as well as provide a lot of AoE healing and regeneration.


The skill trees available to Nightblade are: Assassination, Shadow and Siphoning. Assassination provides a lot of damage from spells and critical hits, some debuffs and additional mobility. It’s really useful for Magicka and Stamina DPS builds. The Shadow tree improves Stamina DPS and provides some defensive as well as crowd control abilities. Siphoning is focused around draining Health and Magicka from enemies, it provides sustain to survive and use some high-cost abilities. It also brings safety and allows you to deal some damage over time.



Sorcerer is one of the most standard classes in ESO. It’s also arguably the most one-dimensional class, since a single build type is considered to be optimal. Unsurprisingly, we’re talking about the Magicka Sorcerer DPS setup. Of course there are multiple Magicka DPS builds and their playstyles will differ significantly. That being said, if you want to play a Sorcerer as efficiently as possible, you should expect to put a lot of attribute points into Magicka (although it’s also possible to play a healer or Stamina Sorcerer build).


Sorcerer playstyle in PvE revolves around spamming shields and pumping as much DPS with your spells as possible. Especially for solo content, you’re going to want your summoned pet to act as frontline for you. There’s not that much to explain beyond that. You’re going to need some gear that will help with Magicka management. Vast majority of your power comes from casting spells, so you don’t want to run out of this precious resource. Sorcerers are great damage delers and that's pretty much their best role. 


As usual, there are three skill trees available. In the case of Sorcerer, they are Daedric Summoning, Dark Magic and Storm Calling. Deadric Summoning is responsible mostly for empowering your pet, but it also provides some damage, CC and utility. Dark Magic is the utility-focused supportive skill line. It helps with buffing your allies and cleansing negative effects off of them. Every Sorcerer healer build uses this tree. Storm Calling is the pure DPS tree. It’s especially effective with AoE spells. The Magicka DPS builds can either focus more on a nuking playstyle with Storm Calling or a summoner playstyle with Daedric Summoning. They will most likely use both these lines, but the emphasis will be placed differently.


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Unlike Sorcerer, Templar is one of the most versatile ESO classes. They’re considered to be the best healers in ESO, what kind of pushes them in that direction, but they can also work great as tanks, Stamina DPS and Magicka DPS. They’re kind of reminiscent of the Paladin in WoW Classic, but even more flexible. That being said, you can't go wrong with grabbing a Restoration Staff, getting a healing Templar build and keeping your group alive.


Templars use the holy power of light and solar magic in both offensive and defensive fashion. Even as healers, they will often stand in the frontline what enables them to absorb a lot of the enemy damage output, while also healing themselves and their allies. If you want to role-play as a noble guardian that will always be there to help and protect your team, this class will be perfect for you.


The skill lines that you can develop are: Aedric Spear, Dawn’s Wrath and Restoring Light. Aedric Spear is mostly focused on damage output – it’s useful both for physical and magical DPS. It also provides some mitigation and crowd control. Dawn’s Wrath is a mostly supportive tree with some debuffs and damage over time – it synergizes well with Magicka Templar DPS and healer builds. Restoring Light is a purely defensive skill line that improves survivability and healing.


Templar is a really good class for beginners, because it offers multiple interesting playstyles and really strong class skills – both actives and passives. If you decide to stay with this class, you’re going to be able to easily find parties for endgame content. Everyone who ever played an MMORPG knows that the best healing class in the game is always a hot commodity when creating a group.



Wardens are another extremely versatile class. While their arguably strongest build is the Stamina Warden, they can also play as tanks, healers. Magicka Warden DPS setup is reasonably strong too. Similarly to Sorcerers, they have a whole skill line devoted to summoning and empowering pets – in case of this class, pets are even more important. In general, Warden is the equivalent of a Hunter class in ESO. They are ferocious fighters that remain really close to nature.


Besides summoning the animal companions, Wardens can place traps, restore Health and Magicka as well as command some elemental spells, especially ones associated with frost. Due to its high versatility, this class can also be a good option to learn the game. It might be slightly more difficult to pilot than Templar or Dragonknight though.


Three skill trees that the Warden class has access to, are Animal Companions, Green Balance and Winter’s Embrace. Animal Companions obviously synergizes with your pets, but it’s also the highest DPS skill line for this class, since a really significant portion of Warden’s DPS comes from pets. Animal Companions also includes some skills that technically are not pet-related, but they use some animal-themed animations. Green Balance is mainly focused on healing and utility. Finally, Frost skill line provides more tankiness and crowd control.


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Necromancer is the newest class in Elder Scrolls Online. To play it, you’re going to need the Elsweyr expansion pack. They can utilize corpses to use powerful spells. Necromancers can be played in multiple roles, but their most popular setups are based on DPS. You can successfuly play either Stamina or Magicka Necromancer as a damage dealer. Different skill trees also allow them to be played as tank or healer. Both of these setups are definitely viable.


This class can summon skeletons, resurrect allies, drain health from enemies and corpses as well as nuke mobs with damage spells. You won’t be able to create a huge army of skeletons that follows you around Tamriel. You’re more likely to keep a few undead minions at a time and later reanimate new ones when they fall.  


Three skill lines available to the Necromancer class are: Grave Lord, Bone Tyrant and Living Death. Grave Lord is the DPS tree, it’s extremely useful for both Magicka and Stamina users. It also brings the most summoning abilities. Bone Tyrant features the ultimate skill called Bone Goliath Transformation. It provides a lot of tankiness and sustain. Living Death is the support tree. Its ultimate ability – Reanimate, instantly revives three of your allies. It also allows you to remove negative effects, while also bringing some healing possibilities.


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eso class guide

As you can see, all the ESO classes provide multiple build paths and playstyles. More and more modern MMORPGs start giving players freedom to play a single class in a few different ways. If you really like the design and lore of a certain class, you won’t be locked in a single role that you may not like. For example, many Skyrim fans really like the Dragonknight class design, but not all of them want to role-play as tanks at all times. What is your favorite ESO build?Let us know in the comments!


Of course there will be some playstyle differences and not every class will be able to play all roles optimally. However, you always have 2-3 build possibilities even for the most challenging ESO content. Remember, class choice is just the beginning. You'll have to choose your build, collect a primary and secondary set (you can also get some of them through crafting or trading with other players). Getting the right gear sets is crucial to making your build work. Then there's gathering experience to level both active and passive abilities and collecting as well as allocating Champion Points. 


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If you want to progress through Elder Scrolls Online even faster, make sure to check the ESO offers posted at MMOAuctions! You can also follow on social media and read other guides posted on our blog. If you know which class to play, it might be a good time to take a look at a detailed Leveling Guide. You can also sign up and join our community of trading gamers!


ESO - one of the most played MMORPGs

After its relatively slow start in 2014, Elder Scrolls Online rose to become one of the most popular games in the genre. This game  that has been developed by Zenimax Online and published by Bethesda is really friendly to beginner players, what makes it a great first MMORPG. At the same time, one of the ESO trademarks - the level scaling feature, provides a lot of freedom in traveling through the world of Tamriel.


There are three main factions in Elder Scrolls Online: Aldmeri Dominion, Daggerfall Covenant and Ebonheart Pact. The race choice determines the character's affiliation. The races also bring their unique racial passives. In the endgame, players can earn gold or loot items in dungeon or trial runs. They can also explore multiple PvP options that the game offers.

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