Guide: How to Dominate The Elder Scrolls Online PvP

This guide is based on a beta build of The Elder Scrolls Online.

You may have quested to the far ends of Skyrim, slain foul beasts with friends in The Elder Scrolls Online's PvE, and explored every corner of the PvE campaign, but you haven't truly mastered ESO until you've taken your expertise to the PvP arenas. A whole different skill set is required to excel at PvP, and many players simply won't be able to dominate online because of logistics, or because it takes such a long time to get into the experience. But follow our guide, and those first hours in Cyrodiil can be some of your most productive. 

Here are the keys we've found to excelling at PvP in ESO.

Get Yourself a Mount

You can enter PvP at level 10, but that doesn't necessarily gurantee that you'll have a horse. The world of Cyrodiil is massive, and there aren't a ton of waypoints scattered around it. You'll find yourself travelling back to your Alliance's base camp more frequently than you might think, too; it's a requirement in order to repair your equipment and shop for new stuff, and you'll also head back here when you die. You'll be thanking your lucky stars (or maybe this guide) that you took the time to get a mount before entering PvP.

Join With a Team

This one is fairly obvious, but let us elaborate. You don't want to be playing ESO's PvP by yourself. In combat, you'll last seconds, and that's no exaggeration. Ideally, you don't even want to be playing it with just two or three people, as taking bases and forts is a lengthy affair that demands a large squad. You'll want to roll with between five and ten people ideally, a party size at which you can easily surround and absorb the smaller groups with minimal effort. Balance out each others weaknesses by varying the classes and races in your group, and cover each other's backs on the battlefield. In ESO, the bigger your group, the better off you are.

Construct and Use Siege Machines

eso siege machine.PNG

The easiest way to rack up kills and turn the tide of a battle in ESO's PvP is through the use of Siege Machines. Building one should be your first priority when entering a large scale battle, and if there is already one built, don't hesitate to hop into it. Skilled use of a Siege Machine can turn the tide of a battle, but you'll have to have certain members of your group stay behind to protect you as enemies will undoubtedly clue in to your tactic immediately and make a beeline for you. This is where it becomes helpful to have a group of over five members. One or two can stay behind to watch your back, while the rest can push forward into the base while you cover them with the Siege Machine.

Take Advantage of Forward Camps

While they don't have the sexy appeal of a massive Siege Machine, Forward Camps are just as important to the flow of battle. You know how they say "slow and steady wins the race"? Well the same thing applies to taking a giant fort. Inch your way forward, and give your Alliance somewhere to feel at ease with a Forward Camp.

Don't Bother With PvE or Scouting in Cyrodiil

Aside from a few introductory missions, you won't want to do much Scouting in Cyrodiil. These missions are simple, Point A to Point B runs with little in the way of conflict or excitement between. They were likely put in place to give lone players a way to contribute to the cause, but they just aren't that exciting, and especially when compared to the excellent content of the PvE campaign, they come across as dull and lifeless. Play PvP for the sieges, or don't play it at all.

Similarly, you'll want to skip the rare PvE content that is found in Cyrodiil. These battles pit you against level 50 agents of Molag Bal, but they lack consequence as the enemies will respawn after you complete the mission. They also don't influence the global thater of conflict, meaning that you will have essentially wasted your time. Better to help new players get their footing in PvP and potentially add a new member to your group, or to simply head back into the PvE servers to level up.

Check the Forums First

Don't underestimate how integral the forums are to a PvP experience, especially if you don't have your own group of join up with. You can find other like-minded players online and form your own group, and you can also get a sense of when the community is planning large-scale events like raids. But perhaps even more importantly, you can get a sense of which Alliance is winning the conflict if you haven't chosen one yet. PvP is a lot more enjoyable when your faction owns the majority of the in-game property, and that goes doubly so for those slow beginning hours.

Build Your Character With PvP In Mind

When you spec your character early on, do so with killing other players or protecting your allies in mind. You'll want to master quick skills that deal lots of damage; choose a path, and don't mess around with other stuff. The best PvP players will usually tell you that min/maxing your character, especially in the early goings, is the best way to achieve results.

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