A Beginner's Guide to Choosing Your Race in Elder Scrolls Online (ESO)

As a new player in Elder Scrolls Online, one of the first decisions you’ll make is selecting your character’s race. With ten different races to choose from, each with its unique racial passives and bonuses, it’s essential to understand the impact of your choice on your gameplay experience. This beginner’s guide will provide an overview of each race and help you make an informed decision when creating your character.

The Three Alliances

The ten races in ESO are divided into three alliances, each with its distinct storyline and questing areas. Your character’s alliance will determine your starting location and the team you’ll be part of in PvP activities. The three alliances and their respective races are:

  1. Aldmeri Dominion: Altmer (High Elf), Bosmer (Wood Elf), and Khajiit
  2. Daggerfall Covenant: Breton, Redguard, and Orsimer (Orc)
  3. Ebonheart Pact: Nord, Dunmer (Dark Elf), and Argonian

If you have the Adventurer Pack, you can choose any race, regardless of your alliance. However, without this upgrade, your race selection will be restricted to the three races within your chosen alliance.

Overview of Races and Racial Passives

Each race has unique racial passives that provide bonuses to specific attributes, skills, or playstyles. Here’s a brief overview of each race and its racial passives:

Altmer (High Elf)

  • Strengths: Magicka, elemental damage, and resource recovery
  • Ideal Roles: Magicka DPS, healer

The Altmer are gifted with increased magicka and elemental damage, making them ideal for magicka-based damage dealers or healers.

Bosmer (Wood Elf)

  • Strengths: Stamina, stealth, and poison resistance
  • Ideal Roles: Stamina DPS, thief/assassin playstyle

Bosmer excel in stamina-based roles and are particularly suited for stealthy gameplay, making them a great choice for stamina DPS or thief/assassin playstyles.


  • Strengths: Critical hit chance, stealth, and resource recovery
  • Ideal Roles: DPS (both magicka and stamina), thief/assassin playstyle

Khajiit have bonuses to critical hit chance and stealth, making them versatile damage dealers and suitable for stealth-focused gameplay.


  • Strengths: Magicka, magicka cost reduction, and spell resistance
  • Ideal Roles: Magicka DPS, healer

Bretons have excellent magicka management and spell resistance, making them a solid choice for magicka-based DPS or healing roles.


  • Strengths: Stamina, stamina recovery, and shield usage
  • Ideal Roles: Stamina DPS, tank

Redguards excel in stamina management and shield usage, making them a strong choice for stamina DPS or tank roles.

Orsimer (Orc)

  • Strengths: Health, stamina, and melee damage
  • Ideal Roles: Stamina DPS, tank

Orcs have increased health and stamina, as well as bonuses to melee damage, making them suitable for stamina DPS or tank roles.


  • Strengths: Health, damage resistance, and ultimate generation
  • Ideal Roles: Tank, off-tank

Nords have increased health, damage resistance, and ultimate generation, making them ideal for tank or off-tank roles.

Dunmer (Dark Elf)

  • Strengths: Balanced magicka and stamina, flame resistance, and increased damage with fire abilities
  • Ideal Roles: Magicka DPS, stamina DPS

Dunmer have a balanced mix of magicka and stamina bonuses, as well as increased damage with fire abilities, making them versatile for both magicka and stamina DPS roles.


  • Strengths: Healing, resource management, and disease resistance
  • Ideal Roles: Healer, tank

Argonians have increased healing capabilities and excellent resource management, making them a great choice for healing or tank roles.


  • Strengths: Health, stamina, and cost reduction for abilities
  • Ideal Roles: Tank, stamina DPS

Imperials have increased health and stamina, as well as cost reduction for abilities, making them suitable for tank or stamina DPS roles.

Choosing Your Race

khajiit name generator

When selecting your race, consider the role you want to play in the game (DPS, healer, or tank) and whether you prefer using magicka or stamina-based abilities. Align your choice with the racial passives that best complement your desired playstyle.

However, keep in mind that Elder Scrolls Online is designed to be flexible, and you can still enjoy the game even if your race isn’t perfectly optimized for your role. Ultimately, the most important factor is that you enjoy your character and the gameplay experience they provide.

By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each race and how they align with your preferred playstyle, you can create a character that enhances your overall ESO experience. Good luck, and welcome to the world of Tamriel!

Leave A Reply