Elder Scrolls Online: Best classes & races for Tank, Healer & DPS

elder scrolls online eso khajiit woman in burning village looks at camera wielding two axesZeniMax Online Studios

Delve into the vast realm of Tamriel and beyond in The Elder Scrolls Online, where a plethora of races and character classes are available for you to enjoy. Now that the much-anticipated Necrom chapter is live, here are all the best races in ESO and which class will be best for your role.

The recent release of the Necrom expansion, and the exciting new Arcanist class, has fans itching to experiment with fresh classes and races, immersing themselves in a whole new adventure.

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As is the norm in any MMO, the race and class you settle on will significantly shape your journey, rendering it a crucial decision.

With that in mind, here’s a rundown of all the different character races and classes, as well as which is best suited for each role.


All Elder Scrolls Online races

Elder Scrolls Online racesZenimax
There are ten unique races to choose from in ESO, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Currently, there are ten different races to choose from in Elder Scrolls Online, ranging from Nords to Argonians. It’s worth noting that your choice in race will be dictated by the empire you choose to join, so select each option carefully. We’ve detailed each Elder Scrolls Online race below, as well as what empire they sit in:

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ESO RaceEmpire
AltmerAldmeri Dominion
BosmerAldmeri Dominion
KhajiitAldmeri Dominion
BretonsDaggerfall Covenant
RedguardsDaggerfall Covenant
OrsimerDaggerfall Covenant
DunmerEbonheart Pact
NordsEbonheart Pact
ArgoniansEbonheart Pact

The best races in Elder Scrolls Online for Tanks, Healers, and DPS

Elder Scrolls Online tankZenimax
Tanks, Healers, and DPS are all vital for a successful battle, but you’ll need the right race too.

One of the best things about Elder Scrolls Online is its versatility when making a character. Ultimately, the races are there to be manipulated to suit your playstyle, whether you want to create a Tank, Healer, or DPS class. However, as it typically goes in most MMOs, some pairings are undeniably better than others.

The best ESO race for Tanks

Tanks need one thing and one thing only, a high health. They need to be able to withstand incoming attacks with ease and hold the brunt of any enemy, keeping them on the player at all times so the DPS can take it down.

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With that in mind, the best races for a Tank in ESO are either the Nord or the Imperial. This is primarily due to their tank-focused passives.

The Nord has a racial passive that increases your maximum health through Resist Frost, along with the Reveler passive, which serves to increase your bonus to using two-handed weapons, perfect for stopping an enemy in its tracks. On top of this, the Stalwart passive will increase your stamina, thus aiding your block and interrupt actions.

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As for the Imperial, proficiency with your shield through the Diplomat passive and an increase in health through the Tough passive will make you a fantastic Tank, capable of blocking and withstanding any large attacks. On top of this, you’ll get an increase in stamina thanks to Imperial Mettle and a huge decrease of 6% on all your abilities with Red Diamond, which includes your ultimate.

The best ESO race for Healers

Elder Scrolls OnlineZenimax
Healers are imperative for a party’s success.

As it’s made clear in the name, Healers are there to heal you and other players, allowing them to take the enemy down. For this, you need high magicka and be quick on your feet.

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So, the best races for a Healer in ESO are the Breton or the Dark Elf. This is thanks to their passives and natural affiliation to the arcane.

The Breton is one of the best races for a Healer. The race passives will increase your Magicka through Gift of Magnus and reduce the Magicka cost of your abilities by 7% with Magicka Mastery, just like the Imperial’s passive. On top of that, your spell resistance will be increased with Spell Attunement and you’ll be proficient in light armor thanks to Opportunist, granting you a little protection when needed.

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The Dark Elf is a great Healing class due to its resistance and bonuses. Although this is primarily for switching between Healing and DPS when it suits the party. On top of the increase in Magicka and Stamina thanks to the Dynamic passive, you will gain Flame Resistance from Resist Flame and damage reduction from lava with Ashlander. As well as resistances and Magicka increases, you’ll also get a plus in your weapon and spell damage thanks to Ruination, perfect for dealing a little damage on the side.

The best ESO race for DPS

ESO KhajiitZenimax
The Khajiit is a fantastic DPS race.

Unlike the Tank or the Healer, who are primarily Health and Magicka based respectively, a DPS can go one of two ways, either Magicka or Stamina. So, we’ll be recommending one race for a Magicka-based DPS and one for a Stamina-based DPS.

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The best race for a Magicka DPS is the Khajiit, thanks to its versatility and helpful passives. As for the best Stamina DPS race in ESO, we recommend selecting the Dark Elf race.

The Khajiit makes for a fantastic Magicka-based DPS character. This is due to the bonus in stealth thanks to Feline Ambush, which also grants the player an increase in their critical damage. On top of this, you’ll get a great bonus to your Health and Stamina thanks to Robustness and Lunar Blessings, perfect for any combat. Lastly, since a DPS works best in medium armor, the additional experience gained through Cutpurse serves as a great boon.

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Stamina-based DPSs are the most popular and work best with a Dark Elf. This is primarily due to your increase in Stamina thanks to the Dynamic passive. Then, while also getting flame resistance through Resist Flame and Ashlander, you also get a 15% increase in the Dual Wield skill line thanks to the latter passive. This, combined with an increase in your weapon damage with Ruination, will make you a formidable opponent indeed.

All Elder Scrolls Online classes

In total, until the release of the Arcanist in the Necrom chapter, there are six classes to choose from. Each prioritizes different strengths ranging from magic to physical damage. We’ve detailed each below:

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  • Arcanist
  • Necromancer
  • Warden
  • Dragonknights
  • Sorcerers
  • Nightblades
  • Templars

The best classes in Elder Scrolls Online for Tanks, Healers, and DPS

Best ESO classesZenimax
Classes are an important choice in ESO and dictate how you play the rest of the game.

Classes are a tough choice when starting Elder Scrolls Online. They cannot be changed and dictate how you go through battles and the game in general. So, here are the best classes for Tanks, Healers, and DPS players to help with that tricky decision.

The best ESO class for Tanks

The best ESO class for a Tank is the Dragonknight. Pairing perfectly with either the Nord or the Imperial, this class prioritizes strength, and resistance, and has some fantastic bonuses. Especially with the Magma Shell skill which limits you and your allies from being damaged, as well as hurting the enemy at the same time. That, combined with the Igneous Shield makes you able to withstand attacks with ease and protects your allies too.

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An honorable mention for the best ESO class for Tanks is the Warden. They are extremely powerful and make a great second choice if you want a bit more magic behind you, but managing your Health, Stamina, and Magicka to a high standard can be tough to keep up with.

The best ESO class for Healers

Warden ESOZenimax
The Warden is a great tank, healer, and DPS class.

While the Warden is a great class for a Tank, it’s also the best Healer class you can play in Elder Scrolls Online. Along with its great damage and buff abilities, the amount of healing spells you’ll be able to use allows you to simultaneously damage, heal, and control whenever you need to, all while keeping you alive with skills like Minor Toughness.

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If you don’t want to play the Warden class, the next best is the Templar. This class also has some great healing skills while still being able to support your allies with ease. It can certainly hold its own in even the toughest of dungeons.

The best ESO class for DPS

With the DPS being one of the most popular roles in ESO, it’s important you choose the best class to match. So, we recommend using the Warden class for a Magicka-based DPS or a Nightblade for a Stamina-based DPS.

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The Warden is an extremely powerful class with the ability to control enemies and deal fantastic damage to them, especially with companions and animal-based offensive skills like Fetcher Infection. You’ll be able to start a fight by boosting your and the party’s stats before laying into the enemy with a fantastic amount of damage and then finishing them off with your adorable Eternal Guardian.

Then, for a Stamina-based DPS, we recommend using the fan favorite, the Nightblade. Essentially the rogue of ESO, this class does high damage quickly and is able to narrowly escape attacks with their high speed and nimble dodge. It’s a fantastic class to play if you want a simple yet effective DPS character.

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Alternatively, we also recommend using the Sorcerer for a Stamina-based DPS class due to its summoning skills and versatility on the battlefield.

The best race for each class in ESO

While you can manipulate each race to work for each class, some undoubtedly pair better than others. So, here’s the best race for each class in Elder Scrolls Online so you can further optimize your character.

ClassBest Races
ArcanistHigh Elf, Khajiit
NecromancerAltmer, Breton, Dunmer
WardenBreton, Dark Elf, Imperial, Nord
DragonknightImperial, Nord
SorcererAltmer, Breton, Dark Elf, Khajiit
NightbladeArgonian, Bosmer, Dunmer, Khajiit, Redguard, Dark Elf
TemplarBreton, Dark Elf

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