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Combat Tips For What The Game Doesn’t Teach You

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Helpful combat tips for The Elder Scrolls Online that the game doesn’t teach that can improve a player’s skills, gameplay, and experience.

The Elder Scrolls Online has an excellent in-game tutorial; however, it doesn’t teach new players everything in regards to combat. Similar to previous Elder Scrolls games, The Elder Scrolls Online covers many separate conflicts plaguing the world of Nirn. When launched, The Elder Scrolls Online had players facing a battle on two fronts, one where the fate of the world hung in balance involving Daedric Prince Molag Bal and the other a war for the Imperial throne.

As Elder Scrolls Online DLC and expansions have been added, more of the world has been unlocked to explore and more antagonists have appeared for players to defeat. As with any MMO, combat and other gameplay features have been tweaked over time. Still, there are numerous aspects about combat that the game doesn’t immediately tell its players.

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When starting any game for the first time, it can take a while for new players to find their feet and even veteran players can sometimes be surprised and learn new things. Helpful combat tips can improve a player’s battle skills which can enhance gameplay and overall experience. While some information is covered in ESO‘s tutorial questline, it is not extensive and other crucial knowledge can only come from time spent playing the game. With a bit of practice and patience, though, it’s fairly easy to learn the ropes of combat in Elder Scrolls Online.


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The Elder Scrolls Online loosely covers blocking in the tutorial; however, many players don’t realize just how useful this mechanic is. Blocking reduces the damage taken from an attack and is becomes especially vital in PVP. Blocking uses stamina; however, it is something all players should use, even if the characters being played are magicka based. Knowing when to block and when to interrupt an attack is a useful skill to learn when playing The Elder Scrolls Online. The key is looking at the animation ‘particles’ when the enemy is charging the attack as the color of them will indicate which action the player should take. Red ‘particles’ mean that the attack can be interrupted whereas white ‘particles’ mean the player should block.


Another combat mechanic for Elder Scrolls Online only briefly covered by the tutorial is that of attacking enemies when they are off-balance. Heavy attacks against off-balance enemies will do extra damage and stun them which can allow the player to knock them down. But what the tutorial doesn’t show is that medium attacks will also stun, so a player doesn’t always have to fully charge an attack for it to be successful which saves stamina.

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Although it is seen as traditional to play in first-person for Bethesda games, players will miss so much in combat. The Elder Scrolls Online uses visual cues to let players know when they should block a particularly strong attack or when the enemy is about to block. Being in first-person doesn’t allow the players to see these cues properly which can make combat much harder than it needs to be.


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Playing in third-person for combat makes life much easier as players won’t miss any attack animations or other helpful visual cues. To zoom in and out on PS4 and Xbox, players will need to move the right stick up or down while holding the down button. For players using Mac or PC, they can simply use the mouse wheel or by pressing V to toggle between first- and third-person view.

Targeting one enemy at a time is very useful in Elder Scrolls Online PVP and PvE for focusing on a particular target. This is good for picking off squishy enemies quickly or focusing on an especially troublesome enemy. Locking onto a target can be done by holding down the right stick on PS4 and Xbox or by hitting TAB for Mac and PC. Another clever tip is that enemies have much larger hitboxes than players assume. Area of Effect (AOE) attacks don’t have to be placed directly on top of most dungeon and trial bosses. The knowledge can be used to great effect when facing multiple enemies as the player can place ground AOE attacks in between them to attack them in one go.


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Learning how to work effectively as part of a group is a core part of any MMO and The Elder Scrolls Online is no different. Players will most often work with others when tackling dungeons and trials so knowing how to work within a team is key. This will make combat easier for all of the group and also make other players want to work together again in the future.

Groups are made up of three types of characters: tanks, DPS, and healers. This is the same for nearly all RPGs and MMOs. Tanks initiate the fight and until the enemy is engaged with the tank no attacks should be made on them. Healers heal and should stay further back from enemies so that healing and buffs can be cast without taking damage. The Elder Scrolls Online differs from other MMOs slightly in the way DPS players can best work as part of a group. It’s best if DPS players in ESO stick close together and attack the enemy from behind. By doing this, it makes combat much easier for the healer as the DPS are grouped for healing while also being separate from the tank. A happy healer makes the whole experience better for the whole group.


The best tip, however, is for new players to take their time and learn the game mechanics. There is no rush and by powering through PvE content players can easily become overwhelmed when entering PVP. A lot can be learned by simply playing the game and interacting with other players. The Elder Scrolls Online is constantly adding new content so there will always be something new to learn for new and old players alike.

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