And Coming Back
ESO is a very big game and can be overwhelming when you're first starting out. But the ESO community is a friendly place and we're here to help! You'll find a few places to start here! Also, do check out the official website at ElderScrollsOnline.com and the official Forums.
I'M BRAND NEW, HELP!
Well, welcome to the best MMO on the market! You may have arrived here from another MMO or you may have arrived here from other single player Elder Scrolls games. Where-ever you've come from, you'll find a home here.
Do the Main Quests
The best advice for brand new player (especially if you've not played an MMO before) is to start by treating this as a single player game. Start at the very begining, the very best place to start, and let the main quests guide you through each zone. These quests give you skill points, lots of leveling experience, useful gear and set you on your path.
If you're ever not sure what to do next, open your map and check the Zone Guide (introduced with the Wrathstone update). It will show you where the next step on the current quest is, or where the next quest for you starts.
Take Your Time
Yes, you can grind your way to top level fairly quickly, but if you do, you'll miss out on valuable combat practice. You only get to be a truly new player in this game once, so take your time and enjoy it!
Eat Your Food and Drink Your Drink
New players sometimes miss this, but Blue (or greater) level food is essential! It can comprise up to 20% of your total health pool. If you're feeling squishy, or constantly running out of magica or stamina, find (craft) yourself some food.
Do Your Writs
Learn and level up your crafting and do your crafting writs. Every day if you can. You will level up (simply from doing the writs), you'll make money from the rewards, you'll save money from making your own armor/potions/food, and you can open a profitable venture making them for other people.
Train Your Horse and Feed Your Banker
As soon as you can, train your horse as soon as you can, putting points equally into speed and capacity. You'll need both as soon as possible. Stamina is important, but mostly in PvP situations.
Use your in-game gold to increase your bank and inventory space as soon as you can. It's the best place to invest your money.
ESO has two different ways to refer to your level. Initially you'll level your characters from Level 1 to 50. Once you reach L50 you'll switch to earning Champion Points. CP allow you unlock perks that offer small bonuses to your character. When you reach CP160 you will have unlocked the top level of equipment (save your high level crafting improvement mats until then).
Once you have leveled one character to CP level all other character will jump to the same CP once they cross that L50 barrier. This means that it's much easier to level future characters.
I'VE RETURNED AFTER A BREAK
Welcome back! We're glad to have you here again! You're probably wondering where you left yourself and what you should do next. That's easier than ever!
The new zone guide (accessed with opening the map) will show you what you're up to in a zone. Using this in conjunction with your Quest Journal should get you back into the swing of things.
Explore the new zones that have released since you were last here and do the new dungeons! There are Prologue Quests that lead into every new Chapter (expansion) and they're a good starting point.
Join a Player Guild
Joining a player lead guild can be a great way of finding friendly people to do content with. It can be a very casual thing, where you get access to a guild trader, or a place where you can make lifelong friends. The Elsweyr Chapter introduces a guild finder in game with filters and application forms. Other ways of finding guilds are asking in zone, checking the official forums or asking people who you've grouped with that you get on with.
I'M READY TO STEP UP THE DIFFICULTY LEVEL
You've been playing a while and overland content seems easy. Monsters melt away and they're not challenging you anymore. You're looking for more. What now?
Perfect Your Build
The combination of skills, gear and champion points (your build) has a direct relationship to how effective you can be in the game, no matter what your role. There are many online resources that you can use to guide you, but ultimately you need to practice to get better.
Some areas are designed for multiple characters. If the mechanics allow, doing them solo is a great way to challenge yourself. Try solo fighting World Bosses, Normal Dungeons (mechanics permitting) and Public Dungeons. These solo activities make you focus on being a better player, as you'll have to both do a decent amount of damage and keep yourself alive.
Veteran Dungeons are the next progression point. Do make sure you know the content before you queue for the dungeons on veteran. They are considerably harder. Mechanics can't be ignored and Tank/Heal/DPS roles are important. And the Monster Helm sets you get from Veteran Dungeons are the next step in improving your abilities in the game.
There are also challenging Hard Mode versions of all veteran dungeons. And the DLC dungeons are usually harder (and longer) than the base game ones.
Normal TrialsRead more about Trials
You're probably also ready for the normal difficulty 12-person Trials. Do look for a group that will teach you the mechanics in a friendly setting. Joining a guild that runs this content is a great way to do this (ahem, Skal Guild). Do check with the Trial leader that you meet the minimum requirements for the activity.
GIVE ME THE HARD STUFF
Now you're really looking to challenge yourself. What can you do in ESO to really challenge yourself?
There are thousands of achievements in ESO that you can hunt down, from crafting, to exploration, to PvP to end-game content. Achievements give you titles, dyes, and other cool things. How many points can you hunt down?
Do you dream of knowing every crafting style, every armor and weapon trait, every furnishing recipe? These are things to work towards that can be very satisfying. And important if you want to be a...
Master House Decorator
Housing in ESO is true end-game. Large houses cost large amounts of in-game gold (or are available for Crowns only). Materials, patterns and skills required to craft furniture to fill the houses are only acquired after a considerable amount of time. And furnishing your houses in a way to make them look amazing is a skill in itself.
Master Money Makers
Do you want to be the richest person in ESO? You can certainly try to reach that goal, but you'll have competition. Play the markets, find out what sells, undercut competition. Climb to the top of the heap, and then go swimming in gold.
Like veteran dungeons, veteran Trials are a big jump in difficulty. Mechanics are more complex than normal versions and monster health and damage are greatly increased. Hard Modes are only completed by the best of the best and only those players can access the exclusive skins.
Four Player Arenas
If getting 12 people together is not possibly there are also 2 four-player arenas with extensive waves of monsters and challenging mechanics to overcome. These reward you with some of the best weapons in the game.
Veteran Maelstrom Arena (solo)
Normal Maelstrom Arena in no way prepares you for the challenge of vMA. You must learn the locations of monster spawns, know the mechanics, know the counters, know the best way to play your class, and know how to keep yourself alive. Your reward for completing this hardest of content are the best weapons in the game. If you're lucky, you might even get the one you're after!
PvP COMBATRead more about PvP
PvP combat is very unlike PvE combat; skills are different and playstyle is different. Battlegrounds are a challenging 4v4v4 mode of Player Vs Player combat, with associated leader-boards. You can queue for them as a pre-made group or as solo player. Can you claw your way to the top?
Emperor of Cyrodiil
Do you have a lot of time on your hands? Do you enjoy spending it killing other players and knocking down keep walls? Emperor might be for you, but you won't achieve it without a willing guild to help you get it.
This is the highest PvP achievement and is direclty related to earning alliance points (the PvP currency). These can be earned both in Cyrodiil from killing players and doing objective quests and in Battlegrounds from killing players and finishing 1st or 2nd.