The Elder Scrolls Online Class Guide - ESO Class Suggestions
Picking the right class in the Elder Scrolls Online can be very important for your time in Tamriel! Every class in ESO is not the same, each of them comes with its own unique Skills and Identity that will allow you to perform specific roles better or simply easier than the others.
This ESO Classic Guide will help you discover the classes of the Elder Scrolls Online and pick the right class for your preferred role and playstyle.
The four Elder Scrolls Online classes are Dragonknight, Nightblade, Sorcerer, Warden, and Templar, each with three Skill Lines to choose from to allow even more customization to your play style. Each class offers 3 ultimate skills, 15 active skills, and 12 passive skills divided among three special branches of focus. A player can then decide to specialize in one skill line or be a jack-of-all-trades, picking and choosing the skills important to them.
You can find a basic overview of each class strengths and weaknesses in the table just below:
Because ESO is slightly different than the typical MMO or RPG because all classes can fill every role. For example, any class, be it a sorcerer (electricity/ summoning "mage-like" class) or Dragonknight (fire/poison "knight-like" class) can tank, DPS, or heal. Furthermore, every class can specialize in Magicka or stamina.
Why it’s important to pick a proper ESO class?
Because this choice determines your Class Skills and this choice is permanent. Class skills differ from Weapons, Armor or Guild skills in that they can only be learned by their respective classes, just like Racial skills are limited to being learned by members of that race. Templar, Nightblade, Sorcerer and Dragon Knight have different abilities and you will not be able to jump from Nightblade to Sorcerer. Weapons, Armor, and Guild skills will be able to be learned by any character and will be critical to making the most out of your initial class build. The Elder Scrolls Online will provide you take that initial set of Class skills and add the right combination of Weapons, Armor, and Guild skills to your character.
How to pick the right ESO class?
The options and customization for your character in ESO can be a bit overwhelming at first, so let’s see more information about each class, and hopefully help you decide what you are going to main in Elder Scrolls Online! Please keep in mind that it’s up to your preference!
Dragonknight is a melee class in Elder Scrolls Online. It bears the closest resemblance to a classic Warrior out of all available classes in the game. Thanks to the addition of powerful Fire-based spells in Dragonknights' disposal, they can be potent spellcasters or support characters as well. A variety of crowd control and self-sustain ensures they can come out on top of every battle.
Role: Tank, DPS (melee, spellcaster), Support
Skill Trees: Ardent Flame, Draconic Power, Earthen Heart
Skill Base: This class can either use fire and dragon-type powers for DPS, tank massive damage, or crowd control & buff their allies.
Solo Play: A solid, well-defended fighter build who can soak up damage and ensure even newcomers to the game aren’t overwhelmed by combat. The Dragonknight has a great combination of weapon experience, buffs, debuffs, and magic to use in a fight, making this class an excellent choice for those who’re experiencing PvP for their first time.
Guild Play: It’s going to be absolutely necessary to have at least one Dragonknight in your party. This is a class who can tank hits, deal out massive damage and debuffs, and deal maximum DPS while crowd controlling any mobs you might encounter.
The Best Dragonknight builds:
Stamina Dragonknight PvE DPS
Stamina Dragonknight Tank
Magicka Dragonknight PvE DPS
Nightblade is a melee damage-dealing Class. Nightblades are primarily oriented on using fast one-handed weapons and stealth techniques to quickly take down enemies in both PvE and PvP fights. Nightblade Class also offers a very high healing potential for both Dungeons and Trials.
Role: DPS, Healer
Skill Trees: Assassination, Shadow, Siphoning
Skill Base: Buffs, debuffs, dark magic and siphoning attacks.
Solo Play: For people who already know they’re going to be joining the Dark Brotherhood or the Thieves Guild, this is the class to pick. Augmenting the Nightblade’s skill set with the skills and bonuses these Guilds have to offer will make you a formidable opponent, and adding in possible racial bonuses could further that advantage. The Nightblade may suffer a bit in PvP depending on the build and experience of the player, but finding a few allies to fight alongside will negate that weakness.
Guild Play: Like the Dragonknight, the Nightblade is going to be a must for any party. They have great options for crowd control such as Death Stroke, an ultimate skill that reduces the amount an enemy can heal itself, and a damage boosting skill called Mark Target that will make them essential to any PvP fight. Another skill called Agony is a fantastic attack for any group that stuns and does DoT to enemies for a long duration. Sure, the effect is broken when more damage is dealt, but if you can stun-juggle enemies in between hits, do you really care?
The Best Nightblade builds:
Stamina Nightblade PvE DPS
Magicka Nightblade PvE DPS
Sorcerer is as expected a powerful mage class, thus relying on strong spells with a Destruction Staff as their preferred weapon. They can hurl lightning bolts, fireballs or summon Daedric minions to fight for them. They are also well versed in protection spells such as magical shields that decrease incoming damage, or crowd control their enemies. Due to powerful magicka restoration effects they can be great sustained healers as well. Sorcerers are best ranged damage dealers (mages) in the game, and can make decent healers when required.
Role: DPS, Healer, Support
Skill Trees: Storm Calling, Dark Magic, Daedric Summoning
Skill Base: Lightning, summons, and dark magic.
Solo Play: Like the Nightblade, Sorcerers are a more subtle character who relies on keeping their enemies distant and preoccupied with something else. Ranged attacks are an obvious must, and working on maxing out the Daedric Summoning tree will net you two permanent pets and an atronach, great for being your own crowd against powerful enemies. It’ll be a more technical character to play, but when done right will manage to devastate foes and clear dungeons just fine.
Guild Play: Technically, the three other classes have enough magic and spells in their bag of tricks that you could theoretically leave Sorcerers out of a party and do just fine – except for one important skill. The Dark Magic skill tree offers an ultimate skill called Negate Magic, an AoE attack that dispels enemy magic, silences all enemies currently casting spells and does damage to them as a final insult. No other class has anything similar to this, and for PvP, crowd control and certain boss fights it’s going to be absolute gold. There are lots of benefits to having a Sorcerer along, but that skill will be the one a guild can’t do without.
The Best Sorcerer builds:
Magicka Sorcerer PvE DPS
Stamina Sorcerer PvE DPS build
Templar is a class focused on dealing melee damage, while also using the powers of light to damage or debuff enemies or heal allies. Templar is the most versatile class in Elder Scrolls Online, which can be used as a very solid tank, damage-dealer, support character, and is widely considered the best healing class in the game. Templars are best picked if you intend to heal or tank, as their damage-dealing capabilities are not as good as those of other classes.
Role: Healer, Support, Tank, DPS
Skill Trees: Aedric Spear, Dawn’s Wrath, Restoring Light
Skill Base: Light magic, the sun, and healing abilities.
Solo Play: The Templar is another great character for newcomers and veterans of the game, boasting a solid defense, good offensive skills, and healing. While all other classes are forced to rely on siphoning health, using a potion, or finding a restoration staff, the Templar can heal themselves just fine and survive huge amounts of damage. For anybody looking to be a one-man army, the survivability and healing this class offers are critically important.
Guild Play: The same things that make a Templar so useful in solo combat are what make them truly shine in a party. While the Dragonknight focuses on dealing massive damage and shrugging off the occasional hit, a Templar can support, heal, and do some very useful AoE damage and crowd controlling as well with abilities like Radial Sweep. A Templar will certainly hold their own in offensive combat, but smart strategies will allow them to be the healer and damage sponge of the party, allowing the other party members to be freed up for pure damage, crowd control and debuffs.
The Best Templar builds:
Magicka Templar PvE DPS
Magicka Templar - the best Healer in ESO build
Stamina Templar PvE DPS
Wardens harness the vast power of nature to protect life (and well, destroy enemies). Warden has powerful frost spells at his disposal and can summon animals to his aid. Warden is a versatile class that can be played in various ways. They are well-suited for all three major roles in ESO.
Role: Tank, Healer, DPS
Skill Trees: Winter's Embrace, Green Balance, Animal Companions
Solo Play: Warden is meant for playing solo. You will gain an increasing amount of XP for doing quests, which will translate into the number of available skills, and hence allow you to unlock more of them. Playing solo, you will not have to limit yourself to any particular set of arms - you can use literally everything you want. Notice, however, that if you're playing as a mage, it's recommended that you use staffs, because these weapons are directly influenced by Magicka. In such case, a recommended arms set is War Maiden, i.e. the set that has additional magic stats. Elements of this set can be found in chests, dropped by monsters, or awarded to you for quests (the set cannot be crafted).
The Best Warden builds:
Stamina Warden PvE DPS
Magicka Warden PvE DPS
If you think that's too long for you to focus on the important point, here's a very simple overview of what each class, specializing in stamina, looks like:
Dragonknight: warrior-like class who calls on class abilities to buff oneself with dragon-like toughness and endurance and deal poison (or fire, although these morphs are magicka based) damage as well as wield weapons like 2 handers, dual weapons, sword + board and bows, utilizing their skill lines to rain pain, stun and execute enemies.
Sorcerer: fast paced brawler who uses class abilities to wrap himself in a storm for speed and defense bonus and dark magic to refill resources. Additionally utilizes 2 handers, dual wielding and bows to beat enemies into submission while running circles around them.
Nightblade: rogue-like warrior class who uses class abilities to cloak himself in shadows and produce hidden blades to stun, inflict disease and execute foes as well as utilizes 2 handers, dual wielding and bows to silence enemies before they can react.
Templar: paladin-like warrior class that uses class abilities to heal self, conjure defensive restorative runes, and deal damage with a spear of light magic in addition to using 2 handers, dual wielding, bows and sword and board to exact their holy destruction.
Warden: hunter-like warrior class who uses class abilities to call feral beasts to attack and nature magic to heal and buff as well as weapon skill lines, including bow, 2 handers and dualwielding, to light up enemies in a painful burst.
For a new player of ESO, I always recommend beginning with a magicka build. No essential skills are locked behind leveling PvP (unlike stamina), many more class abilities to play around with, generally more forgiving learning curve.
As for picking the class, from the short descriptions above, you should be able to get a good feel for each of the classes, so pick whichever you’d enjoy the most! If you’re the type to rush in aggressively, you’d probably enjoy the DK or Templar. If you’d rather stand back, the ranged options, Sorc, Nerc, bow NB, could be what you prefer. For healers, they say the best healer is Templar, though Nightblade and Warden seem to be good too! Or you can just go and try all ESO classes just to see what they'd be like at a base level, you may end up liking them all!
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