In The Elder Scrolls Online, players can choose between seven powerful classes, each with three unique skill lines, themes, and play styles. This guide will explain everything you need to know about each class in ESO so you can pick the best class for YOU!
Elder Scrolls Online Classes
The seven ESO classes currently available are:
Empowered by the secrets of Apocrypha and the forbidden knowledge of Hermaeus Mora, The Arcanist is ESO’s seventh class, capable of powerful destructive, restorative, and defensive magic by channeling the arcane, ancient runes and lost tomes of power.
Arcanists are also extremely unique in that they make use of a powerful new game mechanic called Crux. In this system, some abilities build up Crux after casting while others can spend Crux, ultimately giving the Arcanist extra bonuses and augments to some class skills.
While this does sound complex, the Arcanist is still easy enough to pick up for new players while at the same time providing depth and many theory-crafting options for more experienced ESO builders. For a more detailed guide, review our ESO Arcanist Class Guide here.
Arcanist Skill Lines
Master forbidden knowledge and manipulate arcane energies, ancient runes, and lost tomes as the Arcanist. Draw power not intended for mortal use and weave destructive, restorative, or defensive magics that are further empowered by the unique Crux system. Available with the Necrom Chapter.
The Herald Of The Tome skill line for the Arcanist Class is focused on dealing damage (DPS). Players using these skills can manipulate arcane energies to bombard their foes with damaging blasts, beams, and more.
The Soldier Of Apocrypha skill line for the Arcanist Class is focused on defensive skills and crowd control (tanking). Players can use these skills to dominate their foes’ attention, buff themselves or their party’s defensive capabilities, and even conjure an explosive damage shield.
The Curative Runeforms skill line for the Arcanist Class is focused on healing skills and buffs. Players can use these skills to to keep their party (or themselves) healthy, shield allies from damage, or even help them navigate the battlefield via portals.
Arcanist Pros and Cons
The Arcanist can be a very strong choice for many types of content but it also feels and plays very differently from every other class in the game. So for some people, that difference might be exactly what they’re looking for to mix things up, while for others it might rub them the wrong way instead.
The Necromancer Class in The Elder Scrolls Online are masters of the undead, raising corpses and ghosts to do their will.
The Necromancer Class in The Elder Scrolls Online is a great choice for all types of content and is in high demand particularly for group content because of it’s powerful debuffs. In terms of class theme and identity, Necromancers are pretty likely what you would expect: summoning Skeletal pets and other dark creatures to do your dirty work for you. The use of short duration pets, tethering abilities and corpse management makes the Necromancer one of the most unique and skillful classes in the game though it can be challenging to play, especially for newer players.
Necromancers excel in both PVE and PVP and are highly desired in both cases. Their powerful Ultimates can be a game changer when turning around a keep battle in Cyrodiil or for stacking Necromancers and burning bosses in PVE. In PVP especially, the Necromancer’s amazing Passive Skills let them survive longer than most classes and their ability to time their damage dealing abilities to all hit at once can result in big damage spikes. So. if you’re interested in a summoner style build with great healing, defense and offensive capability that’s strong in almost every area of the game then definitely check out the Necromancer class.
Necromancer Skill Lines
All of Tamriel’s dead are a resource for you to manipulate and exploit, as nothing is forbidden for those who seek to master the dark arts. The Necromancer Class brings a unique style of play to The Elder Scrolls Online, allowing you to summon the undead and make use of corpses to overwhelm your enemies and empower your attacks. Available with the Elsweyr Chapter or Necromancer Class upgrade in the Crown Store.
The Necromancer’s Three Skill Lines are Grave Lord, Bone Tyrant, and Living Death.
Imbue the dead with frost, fire, and lightning to bring ruin upon your enemies. Raise the relentless undead and allow your fallen enemies to intensify your unyielding assault.
Bend and break the dead to your will and use their remains to create impenetrable barriers and extend your own life. Control the battlefield with the bones of the departed.
Draw from the power of life and death to replenish and restore your allies. Resurrect your defeated comrades and keep them in the fight.
Necromancer Pros and Cons
The Necromancer class is extremely powerful in solo and group play, but it requires some advanced buff and skill management to play the class to its full potential. For example, many of its class skills have short durations, meaning buff timers or add-ons are essential. Another downside is that several Necromancer abilities are forbidden around townsfolk or guards, and your bounty will increase if you use these skills in public. But if you master the Necromancer class, it can be one of the most powerful options in the game.
The Warden Class calls upon the Power of Nature and Animal Companions to defeat their foes and heal their allies.
Wardens are a great class for Beginners and Advanced players in The Elder Scrolls Online. Wardens are ESO’s defenders of nature that can summon animal companions and cast frost-based abilities that debuff the enemy or empower themselves or their group. The Warden’s strong healing and burst damage potential make it a great class if you are interested in PVP or even a bit of solo PVE.
The Warden has one dedicated class skill line for each of the traditional MMO play styles of Tanking, Healing, and DPS, making it a very well-balanced class that can fit into any role in ESO. However, remember that the Warden’s Jack Of All Trades skill set also means that it will generally not be the best at any one thing.
Warden Skill Lines
Manipulate the wilds and summon powerful beasts with the Warden, a versatile Class that draws from the power of nature itself. When playing a Warden, you can unleash the fury of the wilds upon unsuspecting intruders, wrap your allies in the healing power of the Green, and encase yourself in impenetrable, protective frost. As a Warden, Tamriel’s beasts and wilds are yours to command.
The Warden’s three Skill Lines are Animal Companions, Green Balance, and Winter’s Embrace.
Call forth beasts to strike your enemies and empower your attacks, including shrieking cliff racers, monstrous bears, and swarms of stinging fetcherflies.
Maintain balance on the battlefield by drawing from nature to shroud your allies in soothing vines, sprout healing flowers from the earth, and even summon an enchanted forest.
Wield powerful frost magic spells to bolster your defenses and enfeeble your enemies, hindering them in withering, unrelenting cold.
Warden Pros and Cons
The Warden class tends to work best as a support class in group content where you can supply buffs and heals to your allies. When playing solo, you may struggle to sustain abilities or need to rely on things outside your class, such as weapon skills.
The Dragonknight Class calls upon the spirit of powerful dragons, summoning powerful Flame and Poison magic to sear and claw their foes. These Dragonknight Builds are great for Beginner, Solo, Group, PVE and PVP Content!
The Dragonknight is a powerful melee-focused magical Bruiser class in The Elder Scrolls Online that has plenty of strengths for all types of playstyles. Thematically the class centers around, you guessed it, playing like a Dragon. Most Dragonknight abilities fit into this theme in some way, whether it’s summoning wings, talons or spikes and doing either Flame or poison damage.
In terms of solo and group content on the Dragonknight class, they can be strong in both cases. For solo builds, you’ll be able to specialize in both magicka or stamina Damage Over Time (DOT) effects which can be extremely effective, plus their ultimate and resource generation makes for some great passive sustain when using those powerful ultimate abilities. In groups, Dragonknights have been the go to Tank class in ESO since launch due to their strong healing and defensive passives. They can even make for strong DPS builds as well or a unique flame-based healer if you want to give it go. So, while the Dragonknight is not the easiest class to play once you master the skills they can be insanely powerful in many different situations.
Dragonknight Skill Lines
Dragonknights use the ancient Akaviri martial arts tradition of Battle-Spirit and wield fearsome magic. Burn your foes in cleansing flame and withstand almost any assault with the Dragonknight, a fiery, unrelenting Class that thrives in the heart of battle. The Dragonknight Class allows you to win the war of attrition with abilities that draw power from both the earth and the beasts of myth while overpowering your foes with ferocious Fire spells. With the Dragonknight, you bring ruin in the form of molten metal and fire.
The Dragonknight’s three Skill Lines are Ardent Flame, Draconic Power, and Earthen Heart.
Unleash your fury with relentless Fire and Poison abilities that deal devastating damage over time and intensify your attacks. This skill line is ideal for Damage Dealers with some utility skills thrown in.
Harness the power of the ancient Dragons to strengthen your defenses, surround yourself in protective scales, and leap into battle with unstoppable ferocity. This skill line is ideal for Tanks.
Draw from the power of the earth to empower your and your allies, stun your foes, and encase yourself in damaging molten lava. This skill line is ideal for Healers.
Dragonknight Pros and Cons
The Dragonknight class in ESO excels as a Tank in PVE and PVP content due to the nature of its defensive skills, class passives, and resource generation. Dragonknights also effectively deal damage due to their focus on Damage Over Time (DOT) skills. Regarding weaknesses, DK’s have some of the weakest healing power in the game and may need to rely on Armor Sets or Mythic Items in some Solo Content.
The Nightblade Class relies on Stealth, Speed and a Sharp Blade to survive and thrive in combat.
The Nightblade is one of ESO’s most popular classes since launch thanks to its theme of being a stealthy rogue or assassin style class. Along those lines, Nightblades specialize in direct damage abilities and escape tools like invisibility and teleportation, though they have a great many unique skills which also let them do well in a variety of content.
In terms of solo gameplay the Nightblade’s ability to cloak with invisibility as well as teleport across the battlefield to avoid combat situations makes it a top class for surviving and surprising your enemies in PVP. In many cases you can use invisibility in PVE dungeons to avoid enemies and hunt down interesting locations or even treasure chests with greater ease. In a group setting, Nightblades can make for powerful and unique builds in any role, including DPS, Tank and Healer. Both Tank and Healer Nightblades are some of my favorite builds due to their unique play styles.
Nightblade Skill Lines
The Nightblade Class is best described as a Knife In The Dark. Attack from the shadows, drain your foes’ health, and vanish into the void with the Nightblade Class. The shadows truly are your greatest weapon as you wield abilities that deal devastating damage at any range and siphon your victim’s lifeforce to your allies. As a Nightblade, all of Tamriel fears your deadly unseen strike.
The Nightblade’s three Skill Lines are Assassination, Shadow, and Siphoning.
Strike with terrible lethality and leave your foes debilitated or worse with abilities that deal massive damage and weaken them for the final blow. The skill line is ideal for Damage Dealers.
Embrace the shadows to find the perfect moment to strike or slip away without notice. Terrify your enemies with fearsome spirits and relentless shades. This skill line will be ideal for Damage Dealers and Tanks.
Weaken your foes and grant them a slow death with lethal abilities that drain the enemy of their life while also healing you and your allies. This skill line will be ideal for Damage Dealers and Healers.
Nightblade Pros and Cons
Nightblades excel at pumping out massive direct damage and nuking enemies quickly. Their stealthy nature also makes it easy for them to survive in PVP when a quick escape is needed. A negative about this class is many of their skills are dependent on light attacking to increase damage or regain resources.
The Sorcerer Class in The Elder Scrolls Online uses Conjuration and Destruction spells, wielding Lightning Bolts, Dark Magic and Deadric Pets to do damage and heal their allies.
Sorcerers are a fantastic class to choose in The Elder Scrolls Online! Sorcerers represent the classic caster or mage type but with a unique Elder Scrolls twist. Sorcerers in ESO are connected with Elemental Damage, specifically Lightning Damage skills but also have access to some darker magic types as well including Deadric Summoning. Sorcerers are known for their speed on the battlefield, multiple damage sources and easy self-healing. And just like any Class in ESO, there are even some stamina based variants of these skills meaning if you want to be a Sorcerer Tank using a sword and shield or a Sorcerer Damage Dealer that uses a big two-handed sword you can do that too!
Sorcerer Skill Lines
The horrors of Oblivion and the power of lightning itself are yours to command with the Sorcerer Class. As a Sorcerer, unlimited power is at your fingertips, allowing you to call powerful lightning strikes from above, support your allies, suppress your enemies, or overwhelm your foes with Daedric monsters. When wielding the full strength of the Sorcerer Class, all will fear your power.
The Sorcerer’s three Skill Lines are Daedric Summoning, Dark Magic, and Storm Calling.
Summon terrors from the realm of Oblivion to assault your enemies, and conjure potent armor and shields to keep yourself and your minions in the fight.
Support your allies and suppress your enemies with insidious-but-powerful abilities that can immobilize, silence, and even dispel your foes’ own magical effects.
Hurl lightning strikes to deal massive shock damage, thunder across the battlefield, and wreak havoc upon your foes from afar.
Sorcerer Pros and Cons
The Sorcerer class is excellent at dealing massive shock damage to opponents and can also summon Daedric combat followers, which makes DPS a breeze. The Sorcerer also has the easiest healing and survival of any ESO class due to passive healing from Critical Surge and strong damage shields. Sorcerers don’t offer a lot to groups other than a Damage Synergy through their Atronach ultimate, but they do make for especially strong Solo Builds.
The Templar Class in The Elder Scrolls Online calls upon the power of light and the burning sun to deal massive damage to their enemies.
Templars are a powerful and popular class in The Elder Scrolls Online for all playstyles. The theme of the templar centers around bringing the power of the Sun to the battlefield. You can think of the Templar class as ESO’s version of a Paladin. Templars excel at self-healing and group healing and remain one of the strongest classes in the game since launch due to their strong defenses and passive healing potential. The Templar’s consistency and ease of play, particularly when using skills like Puncturing Sweep, also make them a very good class for any beginner getting into ESO for the first time.
Templar Skill Lines
Seeking darkness wherever it might be found, the Templar is a beacon to their friends and a blinding threat to their foes. As a Templar, you must bring justice to Tamriel in the form of cleansing light. Call forth the limitless power of the sun to obliterate your enemies and restore yourself and your allies in radiant light.
The Templar’s Three Class Skill Lines are Aedric Spear, Dawn’s Wrath, and Restoring Light.
Bring holy vengeance with relentless, powerful weapons formed of hard light that can deal magic damage, stun your enemies, and support your allies.
Unleash the unyielding power of the sun to bathe your enemies in flame and deal massive damage. Empower your attacks and weaken your foes in radiant heat.
Restore and protect your allies with the power of the Aedra’s sacred light. Consecrate the ground and turn the tide of battle with spells that cleanse and protect your team from attack.
Templar Pros and Cons
The Templar is one of the best ESO classes for defensive play, with great passives, buffs, and tons of healing. Templars also excel at dealing AOE (Area Of Effect) damage, making them great for clearing through packs of enemies quickly. Unless you play a magic-focused Templar, healing can be a bit hard to come by early on, however.
The Final Word
As you can see, every ESO class has its own style and theme as well as pros and cons. That being said, most classes are still well-balanced, allowing all classes to participate in all forms of content. Ultimately, the best class for you is simply what you enjoy the most, so try them all!
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