1.) GO SLOW AND TAKE YOUR TIME
Take your time and don’t try to rush your character to level 50 if it is your first character. If you rush you will not be able to properly invest time in your class and race to see if you like it. You will also wind up skipping things that are intriguing and fun like main and side quests.
There are so many detailed quests, and unlike some other games, most of the quests are not your typical fetch style quests. Taking your time will allow you to learn the game, the systems involved, your character and it will allow you to make mistakes and learn from them.
2.) UPGRADE YOUR MOUNT SPEED
Start upgrading your mount speed right away. You will obtain your first mount at level 10, with many others available to discover. Mount speed is per character, meaning you will need to train and upgrade your mount on each one separately.
To do this, go to the stable found in any major city and spend 250 gold to upgrade every 20 hours. Most of the time it is best to invest in speed first, and then focus on carrying capacity and stamina evenly. If you do this every time you log on it will save you a lot of pain down the road.
3.) DON’T SKIP THE QUESTS
As mentioned above, questing is very rewarding in this game and is worth the time you will spend. Every zone has a zone specific questline, and many of these zone quests will reward you with skill points, which are invaluable as you progress through the game. Additionally, each zone has a ton of side quests that will grant you experience and provide an interesting story while leveling your character.
Completing quests, including zone main and side quests as well as the main quest for the game, will provide you with not only experience and skill points, but you can also earn achievements, cosmetics like dyes for your armor and many other awesome rewards.
4.) LEARN THE MAP
Spend some time getting to know the layout of the map and what the icons mean. One thing that is easily overlooked on the map is the colors of the icons. Things that you have discovered will appear as white icons and things that you have not yet discovered will appear as black icons.
Another important thing of note is that you can travel around the map for free using wayshrines, either going from one wayshrine to another or teleporting to another player that is in a zone you haven’t yet discovered. You can do this by finding a player in the guild that is online and in a zone you have not yet discovered and clicking on their name and selecting “Travel to Player”.
You can also just travel directly to a wayshrine from almost anywhere in the game, but keep in mind that this will cost gold. The amount of gold to travel to a wayshrine will be relatively low if you only do it from time to time, but if you travel somewhere and then try to travel to a different location shortly after that the cost will be much higher.
5.) SLOT SKILLS TO LEVEL THEM
Skills only gain levels when they are slotted on your skill bar when you gain experience from kills or turning in quests. So if you have a particular skill you are trying to level, you will need to make sure you have the correct skill bar active especially when turning in a quest.
It can be easy to forget that you switch skill bars during a boss fight in a dungeon for example, and then when you turn in the quest for the dungeon you don’t get the experience from it on the skill you are trying to level. For class skill lines, they each gain a little bit of experience as you level, but having more skills slotted from a skill line will increase this gain.
The same is generally true for weapon skill lines, except that you only gain experience on a weapon you have active. Early on it is usually a good idea to try and have at least one skill form each line you want to level on your skill bar so they all get a small boost and level fairly evenly. For armor skill lines, the more pieces you have on the faster the line levels. So if you are trying to level your light armor skill line, having 5 pieces of light armor will level it much faster than having 1 piece of light armor equipped.
Many times it is advisable to equip 5 pieces of the armor type you need for your class and 1 piece from each of the other two types to ensure you are gaining experience in all armor types and are able to take advantage of the passives available to each line.
6.) USE SKILL POINTS TO UNLOCK SKILLS BEFORE PASSIVES EARLY ON
Skill point allocation can be tricky at times, but generally if you are taking your time on your first character and questing you will have enough skill points to get skills and passives with no major problems. If you are power leveling an alt character this can be more difficult as you may not have those extra points to allocate.
Try to focus on unlocking skills first, as those will help you level the skill lines faster, and only focus on the passives after you have gotten the skills you need for your build.
7.) LEARN WHERE TO FIND THOSE VALUABLE SKILL POINTS
Building on point 6, there are lot of ways to earn those skill points even when power leveling. Every dungeon has a quest that will give you a skill point the first time you complete it on a character.
Public dungeons also have a group event that will give you a skill point upon completion. Delves and public dungeons are also a good way to pick up Skyshards, and 3 Skyshards will grant you 1 skill point.
If you are working on an alt character and have all the Skyshards in a zone on another character, there is an option to purchase the Skyshards for that zone in the crown store. This costs crowns, but is another possible way to gain skill points quickly on an alt character.
8.) READ EVERY BOOK
Read every book case you come across. Not only is this a great way to pick up books for that rainy afternoon where you just want to catch up on lore, bookcases also have a chance to provide you with a book that will level up one of your skill lines.
No matter how many points away from the next level on a skill line, reading one book for that line will bump it up a level.
9.) JOIN NPC GUILDS EARLY
There are 3 guilds that you need join right away on any character. These are the Fighters Guild, the Mages Guild and the Undaunted Guild.
The Fighters and Mages guilds can be unlocked by going to the respective guild halls in your alliances starter city. You can learn about the Undaunted Guild on the Undaunted Guide.
To level the Fighters Guild skill line, you will need to kill undead and daedra and defeat dolmens. The Mages Guild levels by collecting lorebooks found throughout the world and the Undaunted skill line is leveled by completing dungeons and dungeon achievements.
10.) DO YOUR DAILY DUNGEON AND BATTLE GROUNDS
At level 10 you can start doing daily dungeons and battle grounds for a nice experience bonus. You can queue for each of these by going to the group page and selecting the random daily for both dungeons and battle grounds.
This resets every 20 hours, and you will get some extra items in the mail in addition to the experience bonus for completing them. These random dailies are a good way to learn dungeons, and the battle grounds will help you level your PvP skill lines which will also help in some PvE content.
11.) IF YOU ENJOY THE GAME, CONSIDER ESO+
Consider getting ESO+ for the benefits it gives, such as the craft bag and content access. You can learn more about this benefit on our starting guide.
12.) SPEND TIME ON CRAFTING AND RESEARCH
Spend some time working on crafting on at least one character. The quickest way to level these lines is by deconstructing items with the intricate trait marked on them. You will want to focus on leveling at least the skills that reduce research time and allow you to research multiple items at once.
Starting your research on a character early on will pay off in the long run, and is needed to be able to transmute items. More on why this is so important can be found on the beginner crafting page.
13.) NO, REALLY, DO RESEARCH
See the tip above. Research is extremely important and you want to start with any items you collect that have the magnifying glass icon on them from the very start of the game. Some items are even given to you in game explicitly for research purposes, take full advantage of these.
14.) ITEMS CAN BE USED FOR CRAFTING/RESEARCH WHILE IN YOUR BANK
While still on the topic of crafting and research, you can deconstruct, research and craft with items that are in your bank, without needing to remove them from your bank. This allows you to store things like materials and items in one location to be used and not having to run back and forth to grab items each time you want to use them.
This is where ESO+ can come in handy, as the craft bag it provides will come in handy when you start collecting materials for crafting. Whether you have the craft bag or are just using the bank, these inventories are also account wide, so putting something in your bank on one character will allow another character to use it as well. This is especially nice if you have an alt as your main crafter and need an easy way to get items to them for research or other purposes.
15.) KNOW WHERE TO SPEND GOLD EARLY ON
Making and spending gold can be difficult early on. The most important things to spend your gold on early in game are mount speed, bag space upgrades and bank space upgrades. Bag space upgrades and mount speed are per character, but the bank space upgrades are account based so all your characters can take advantage of the bank space.
Buying gear from merchants or guild traders can be expensive and you will out level the gear so quick it is not usually worth the cost. The best way to make money is to make sure to sell all items with the ornate trait on them, as these sell for a much higher amount than many other items you will pick up early on. You also want to sell any items marked as treasure in your inventory as these will fetch a good price. See the gold guide for more information.
16.) LEARN AND UNDERSTAND THE CHAMPION POINT SYSTEM
When you hit level 50 you will stop gaining base levels and will enter into the Champion Points (CP) system. This system allows you to continue to level, but instead of gaining a skill point for each level you will gain a champion point in one of the 3 trees. Each tree has 3 sub trees that are focused on various skills that will increase things like your damage done or effectiveness of your damage shields.
Once you hit CP, it is unlocked on all of your characters. This means that if you get your main character to CP level 300, you will have 100 skill points in each tree to spend on that character as well as any alts and any new characters. So if you start a new character, you can use all of those skill points right away on that character. There is currently no limit to the amount of CP you can earn, but there are limits to what you can use and specific limits on other benefits.
For example, gear is capped at CP 160. You will not get any gear higher than that level, and have no need to keep anything below CP 160 unless you are using it for research. Up to CP 300 you will get a small bonus to your magicka, stamina and health pools depending on which tree the champion point for each level goes into.
17.) MOST GEAR IS ACCOUNT BOUND – NOT CHARACTER BOUND ON EQUIP
If you are watching the video linked at the top of the page while going through this list, you may notice that in the video it is stated equipping gear binds it to the character that equips it. Adam corrected that statement in a later comment, to reflect that while gear you equip is bound to your account it is not necessarily bound to a character on equip. There are some pieces of gear that become character bound, but most pieces can be transferred between characters on your account to allow for things like transmuting or running a different character with a gear set.
Golded out gear is not a good investment early on. It is very expensive to get the materials needed to upgrade and item to gold, and this is better reserved for high level end game sets that you plan on using as part of your final build. The benefits of golded gear, even on end game sets is not usually worth the cost as the stats are only marginally improved and will not help you with a lower level build as you will outlevel the gear very quickly. The gear that you will get the most benefit from later game is weapons, and you want those to be at least CP 160. Jewelry is almost never worth the cost of upgrading, as you will spend 300K-400K to get it to gold and the benefits are not worth the price.
18.) ANTIQUITIES INTRODUCED IN GREYMOOR IS WORTH LEARNING
If you bought the Greymoor edition of the game, you have access to antiquities. The basic concept of this system is that you pick up leads throughout the world for artifacts of varying value and purpose. You can sell some of these for a nice price, some are housing items and some are wearable items that give you a 1 piece set bonus. Check out the antiquities guide for more info on this system!
19.) JOIN A PLAYER GUILD IF YOU ARE ABLE
Try and join a guild if at all possible. The Necrodaddys, Necropappas, and Necromamas are the Brahfia guilds on PC-NA and PC-EU, but even if you are unable to join either of those because you are on console you should try and find an active guild to join to help you link up with players for trading and group activities.
The ESO community overall is one of the most helpful gaming communities out there, and you can always pop over to the Brahfia Discord regardless of platform and find people to answer your most difficult questions or run a dungeon anytime. We have players from all over the world and on every platform and love to see new players join the community we have built.
20.) KEEP LEARNING!
Now that you are set up and on your way in ESO, head over and start learning more about group content like dungeons in our beginner dungeons guide!