The Best ESO Builds Top Elite Players Want To Keep A Secret
You have most likely seen players posting their ESO Builds on various websites but these character builds are poorly tested and optimized. The fact is that elite ESO players don’t publicly share the builds they use to dominate the leaderboards, if everyone was copying their builds it would be hard for them to stay on top. All the best character builds have been a well-kept secret among the elite guilds in ESO, until now!
Our ESO Character Builds Guide contains extremely detailed blueprints on how to use the currently top performing builds for each class, playstyle, and role. By following our perfectly designed and tested class builds you will be able to do 20,000+ DPS, main tank boss fights, or solo heal your group with maximum efficiency no matter what class or weapons you choose. If you want to greatly improve your characters effectiveness in any role or situation and get a top spot on the leaderboards checkout our Builds Guide:
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The Elder Scrolls Online Skill Lines: Build The Ultimate Character
The Elder Scrolls Online is extremely flexible in how you can build your character, allowing a player to build their ideal skill set from the beginning with few restrictions to dictate what you choose. A player will choose their unique racial and class abilities at the start of the game, then learn whatever Skill Lines they want to add on top their initial ESO build. While any player can learn any ability – and choose to learn them all, if they so wish – the game uses a Hotbar to allow you to pick what Elder Scrolls Online skills will be active at any given moment. At any given time, a character can have 1 Ultimate and 5 Active skills on there hotbar, with the option to switch to another weapon for a different Hotbar – so your sword can have different skills attached to it than your restoration staff. Elder Scrolls Online Skills can be leveled up by gaining Skill Points or by collecting rare items in the game, known as Skyshards.
Below are links to each of the different Skill Lines a character can obtain:
- Racial Skills – The first skills you’ll select in the game are Racial Skills, unique to each race of Tamriel. Some naturally complement particular classes or other Skill Lines.
- Class Skills – Class Skills are obtained by selecting your class at the start of the game, and cannot be changed. They offer an initial template for a player to build off, and each class has its own strengths and weaknesses to consider.
- Weapons Skills – Anyone can learn these skills, and can learn all six weapon Skill Lines if they so choose by swapping the weapon they use in battle.
- Armor Skills – All classes will be able to wear all types of armor, and players can mix and match sets to work on learning all of the armor Skill Lines at once. These skills will be critical to complementing your class and weapon skills of choice, since they restore Magicka, Stamina, or boost defense depending on your pick.
- Crafting Skills – These skill lines are available from the start, and level as you use a particular crafting skill. These skills will be vital to crafting armor, weapons, potions, and the massive siege machines needed for PvP in Cyrodiil. They are leveled up with crafting points, rather than normal skill points.
- Alliance War Skills - Alliance War skills are gained by earning Alliance points in Cyrodiil’s PvP area, and offer critical boosts to allies in these massive battles. The unique support and defensive skills of the Emperor can also be found here.
- Guild Skills – Guild skills are unlocked after joining a particular faction in the game, such as the Fighters or Mages Guilds. Joining a guild with abilities that naturally complement your play style will help your effectiveness in combat, and you can join as many different guilds as you wish to.
- World Skills – These skills can be obtained by exploring Tamriel, and offer Skill Lines such as becoming a vampire or a werewolf.
How do skills work?
The options for customizing your character can seem overwhelming, The information on this page should help get you started in building your first character and better understand the vast array of options you have while creating your Elder Scrolls Online builds. Use the index below to start learning about how skills & abilities work in The Elder Scrolls Online:
- Skill and Attribute Points
- Alliance and Crafting Points
- Active versus Passive Skills
- Ultimate Skills
- Choosing Skills
- Leveling Up Your Skills
- Skill Morphing
- Skills and the Hotbar
- Discovering New Skill Lines
Skill and Attribute Points
In the Elder Scrolls Online, your character levels up by gaining experience points. Some Elder Scrolls Online skills will level with your character, like Racial Skills, and others will level separately as you use them, like weapon and armor skills. Once your character gains a level, you’ll be awarded an Attribute Point and a Skill Point to use as you think best. An Attribute Point is used to increase your base stats, and you can use it to increase either Health, Stamina, or Magicka depending on what stats your character relies on the most. A Skill Point allows you to level up a skill of your choosing in any category except Alliance or Crafting Skills. The more you level up a particular set of skills, or Skill Line, the more you’ll gain access to the better skills and skill morphs that line has to offer.
Alliance and Crafting Points
Two special types of skill points exist in the game, called Alliance Points and Crafting Points. Alliance Points are earned by participating in PvP combat in Cyrodiil, and they allow you to level up the Alliance War Skill Line. The Emperor Skill Line is part of the Alliance War skills, but it’s currently unknown if an Emperor will be required to level their abilities or if they’ll simply be completely available as soon as a player acquires them.
The other type of special skill points are Crafting Points, of which you only gain by crafting items. Since you can only get a total of 300 skill points in the game you might not want to try and master every crafting profession because the more skill points you put into crafting the less you will have for combat abilities. This encourages players to work together, trade, and sell items in the game, rather than make everything themselves.
Active versus Passive Skills
Normal skills are two basic types, active or passive. Active abilities will be ones you have to select during combat in order to trigger, but there are no cool-down times to these abilities. Unlike every other MMO out there, you can use an ability as much as you choose to as long as your health, stamina, and magic are holding out. Passive abilities are ones that are constantly active and don’t require being triggered in combat.
Combat-oriented skill trees have one ultimate ability to offer, giving every character multiple options to pick from, such as AoE attacks, healing boosts, and powerful combat techniques. All ultimate skills require you to build up ultimate points, meaning players can’t simply spam their ultimate attacks or fire them off in the first seconds of battle. Only one ultimate skill can be placed on the Hotbar, but it has its own separate slot from the five Active slots. Swapping weapons in battle will give you access to a second ultimate ability, though swapping mid-battle will require you to wait through the animation of your character sheathing one weapon and drawing another.
Starting from the ground up is the easiest way to go – decide what your play style is going to be, then pick the class that most complements your style. You can then select a race based on either the natural bonuses it may offer that class or your personal preference. Based on that starting “template”, you can then continue adding skills to flesh out that character’s potential – for example, a lone berserker will want an entirely different set of skills than a cleric who plays with their guild. Each of the 3 skill lines within a starting class offers 1 ultimate skill, 5 active skills, and 4 passive skills, which means plenty of options when fine-tuning your character for their next battle. Skills gain experience as you use them, so completionists will want to make sure they’re swapping out skills frequently in order to get the most from their character. Leveling up skills via Skill Points also allows you to morph them into an upgraded version with various extra perks.
If you decide you’ve chosen the wrong skill later on, don’t worry. Zenimax has stated that you won’t be able to take a character you’ve built and completely start over from scratch with it, but have also reassured players that any character will be able to master all skills with enough time and effort.
Leveling Up Your Skills
Skills are leveled up in two significant ways. The first is by leveling up – just like in Skyrim, each level a character gains will earn them an attribute point to increase stats, and a skill point to unlock a new skill from one of their trees. The second is by improving that skill through use. Unlocking a skill lets you use it immediately by placing it on the Hotbar, and using it frequently gains you experience in that skill, eventually allowing you to morph the skill into an upgraded version. Skills can also be leveled up by finding rare items called Sky Shards throughout the world – gathering several of these will equal one Skill Point. This way, even after an adventurer reaches the level cap of 50, they’ll still be able to work on learning all of the skills the game has to offer.
Every skill you choose will gradually gain experience as you level up, eventually allowing you to morph that skill into one of two more powerful options. Not all morph skills are known yet, and it’s unclear whether each skill might have multiple tiers to a morph or just one.
For example, if you were playing a Templar character and you chose the Restoring Light skill tree that the Templar class offers, at level 1 you would unlock the Rushed Ceremony skill, which allows you to heal someone for 313 health. After using this ability enough you would be given the option to morph it into either Battle of Life or Honor the Dead. Battle of Life would allow you to heal two additional allies for 150 each, while Honor the Dead would restore part of the spell’s cost when healing low-health party members. Both are great options, and what you pick is ultimately decided by how you want play the game.
Skills and the Hotbar
The Hotbar is going to be essential to tailoring gameplay in between fights. In the world of the Elder Scrolls Online, you might be soloing a dungeon today and headed off to fight in a massive alliance battle tomorrow. The Hotbar allows you to pick and choose which skills will best serve you for the situation you’re in, meaning you’re never limited to just the handful of skills you picked for your first skirmish.
Up to 5 Active skills can be placed on the Hotbar at one time, with an additional slot reserved for an Ultimate skill, and you can swap those skills before and after combat. There are also 4 slots available for Passive skills. Active and Passive skills must be placed on the Hotbar to be used, even if you’ve earned them. A second Hotbar is available mid-combat by switching weapons, allowing you even finer control over your battles. For example, you could set your weapon to have purely melee advantages and your restoration staff to have defensive and healing skills.
Discovering New Skill Lines
While everybody starts out with their class and racial skills right away, many other Elder Scrolls Online skill lines are out there waiting to be discovered. Weapon and Armor lines can be learned by changing the weapons and types of armor you use in combat, and as you travel the world, shop guild stores, and learn Blacksmithing, you may find even more varieties of things to wear or wield. Alliance skills can be discovered by diving into the PvP combat in Cyrodiil, and fighting for your faction’s alliance. Different crafting skills can be unlocked both by visiting crafting stations and exploring Tamriel for new and different materials to use, and as you explore various dungeons, you may stumble across the chance to be a werewolf or vampire. Finally, seeking out non-player Guilds such as the Mages and Fighters Guilds also gives you access to new ESO Skill Lines. Zenimax has done a great job sprinkling new skills and discoveries across every corner of Tamriel, so get out there and explore!