What Can You Solo in ESO?
Virtually everything in ESO can be played Solo with the exception of the highest level Veteran Dungeons and of course 12 Player Trials. This means as a Solo Player you can expect to enjoy:
- Questing and Story Content
- Overland Zones
- Delves and Public Dungeons
- Solo Arenas
- Group Dungeons IF your Build is strong enough
- PVP including Cyrodiil and Battlegrounds
What Content Cannot Be Played Solo?
The most difficult “End Game” content available in The Elder Scrolls Online are the 12-player trial zones found throughout the game. These zones are specifically tuned to only allow high-level groups of 12 players to progress and complete this content. Why? Well, in most cases these zones are filled with LOTS of hard-hitting enemies, most with millions of hit points. Most boss encounters here are too difficult to complete while Solo, and even if you could survive them you generally wouldn’t find it fun to fight the same boss for nearly an entire hour!
Questing and Story Content
One of the most rewarding activities to complete in The Elder Scrolls Online is its Questing and Story content. ESO is part of the Elder Scrolls universe but takes place before Oblivion and Skyrim, so there’s plenty to explore that will feel new while also being connected to your experiences in previous TES games. There are several types of different quests and stories to experience including:
- The Main Story Quest
- Main Faction Quests, one for each of the three ESO factions
- DLC Quests
- Chapter Quests, including Greymoor, Elsweyr, Morrowind and so on
- Side Quests
- Daily Missions
All quests in The Elder Scrolls Online are fully voice-acted and usually feature new and interesting characters and locations. And while some Quest Lines do include some specific enemies that must be defeated in order to progress the quest including bosses, most of these are extremely easy and can be completed regardless of your level or build. Finally, most major quests also include some fairly nice rewards including a big chunk of Experience, some Gold and even Set Pieces or other sellable items which also makes them well worth completing.
The Overland Zones of The Elder Scrolls Online make up the majority of the explorable content in the game and feature some pretty fantastic and large areas including sections of Skyrim, Morrowind, Grahtwood, Summerset and so much more. Tucked away within each overland zone are dozens of discoverable towns, cities, delves, bosses and landmarks. There’s always plenty to do here, whether you enjoy killing monsters, hunting World Bosses, searching for treasure chests and skyshards or doing sidequests. Generally speaking, the Overland Zones in ESO are some of the easiest content in the game and can be explored and completed at any level with any basic build.
Need more help? Check out my Beginner Builds section.
While most basic builds can explore anything and everything in the Overland zones remember that there are some more difficult encounters in the Overland areas designed specifically for groups of players to conquer, including World Bosses, Dolmens, Harrowstorms and even Dragons. However, with the right build, and enough Champion Points and player experience these encounters can be completed Solo as well, and doing so can be a fun way to challenge yourself as a player.
Delves and Public Dungeons
Delves are the easiest form of “Dungeons” in The Elder Scrolls Online, if you can even call them that. In most cases a Delve is simply a cave or mine, often with a small, circular map, with a few dozen enemies that you can easily defeat in just a few minutes. Every Delve has a Boss which is just slightly more difficult than a normal enemy as well as a skyshard to help you gain skill points faster. Delves also give you a good chunk of experience for defeating the boss which makes them well worth completing even if they are easy.
Then you have Public Dungeons which are just a step above Delves in terms of difficulty. Public Dungeons generally are larger in scale, have more enemies grouped closer together and can have multiple Bosses in different locations. There is also the usual skyshards, treasure chests and so and often a unique quest as well, all of which make them worth exploring and completing when you have a few free moments in ESO.
The Elder Scrolls Online has two challenging Solo Arenas including Maelstrom Arena and the brand new Vateshran Hollows Arena. These arenas have both a Normal and Veteran mode to choose from which scales their difficulty accordingly. The normal mode is of course much easier and can be completed with most basic builds while the Veteran mode is quite a bit more challenging and takes a solid build as well as an experienced player to complete. In terms of rewards, both normal and veteran Solo arenas offer strong and unique Item Sets in Light, Medium and Heavy armor as well as unique Ability Altering Weapons which augment your basic weapon skill with new bonuses. For example, the Maestrom Staff increases your Light and Heavy attack damage against enemies standing inside your Wall Of Elements skill, which makes it one of the most desirable items in the game.
All that being I do definitely encourage new and experienced players alike to work through the Solo Arenas in ESO. Not only will mastering these experiences increase your overall skill at the game but you can earn some pretty nice rewards while doing so.
This brings us to the 4 player Group Dungeons which are a major selling point of The Elder Scrolls Online. Let’s start by explaining that yes, these Group Dungeons are tuned specifically towards Group gameplay. In fact, some of these dungeons have specific mechanics which will block you from moving forward alone, such as unbreakable stuns or pressure plates that must be used by multiple players at once. However, not all Group Dungeons have such limiting mechanics, and in fact, most don’t, making them very possible to Solo depending on your experience and build. Also, keep in mind that just like the Solo Arenas, Group Dungeons also have Normal and Veteran modes to scale their difficulty, so if you want to make it easier on yourself you can always switch the dungeon to Normal difficulty to account for your Solo run.
Why Solo in this specific type of Group content? For one thing, some Dungeon gear sets are the best in the game for specific builds, and being able to Solo farm the Dungeon may help you collect those item sets faster when you aren’t able to find a group. Also, some players just like the extra challenge that Soloing group content can provide. Think of Soloing in a group dungeon as just a harder version of a Public Dungeon with greater challenge and often greater rewards, and if you can Solo some of the more challenging dungeons in ESO while also basically being your own tank, your own healer and while also dealing damage then your build is probably pretty good.
PVP: Battlegrounds and Cyrodiil
Finally, our discussion could not be complete without mentioning Solo options for PVP in The Elder Scrolls Online. While there are various group instances like Battlegrounds or groups in Cyrodiil, a player can choose to go “Lone Wolf” at any time. I don’t recommend this in certain cases like Battleground Flag Games for example because grouping up usually equals more success in those instances, but going Solo can be a fun way to challenge your expertise and build in new ways if the moment calls for it. Many players for example swear by their ability to 1vX, or in other words face multiple players at once without any assistance from your own faction or team. Keep in mind that this requires a lot of experience with your build as well as different PVP mechanics like lining up Burst combos and avoiding damage through Line of Sight gameplay which can take years to master, so you may face some frustration at first, but once you get it down it will definitely be rewarding.
More Elder Scrolls Online
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