Is The Elder Scrolls Online worth playing in 2023?

The Elder Scrolls Online worth playing in 2023Zenimax

The Elder Scrolls Online has been part of the MMO scene for over nine years now and it’s clear the game keeps welcoming new players every day – but is Elder Scrolls Online worth playing in 2023?

MMOs are abundant as we head into 2023. From World of Warcraft to Destiny 2, everyone is enjoying online multiplayer and various different takes on the genre.

Elder Scrolls Online continues to be one of them and is undeniably one of the most popular MMOs out there, with over 21 million total players. In fact, it continues to be a raving success with every new chapter, DLC, and content release, seemingly hitting the mark every time.

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With hundreds of hours in Elder Scrolls Online and many more thoughts regarding character builds, dungeons, and its beautiful locations, it’s easy for me to praise the MMO from an experienced player’s perspective. So what about those wanting to jump back in after years of being away, or the players who want to travel into Tamriel for the first time? For that, the question must be asked – is ESO worth playing in 2023?

Traverse through Tamriel

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The vast regions of Tamriel are perfect for battles, exploration, and so much more.

Before working out if you want to play ESO, it’s worth knowing what to expect and what the game consists of.

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Elder Scrolls Online is a fantasy MMO in which you create a personalized character following a specific class. These classes lend themselves to your role which falls into genre staples like support, damage-dealing, and tank. Each role can be played using spells or weapons, or both if you build them carefully.

With your character, you’re transported into the vast world of Elder Scrolls, specifically Tamriel. Inside Tamriel, you’ll meet interesting characters who will either help you get by or try to kill you where you stand.

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As for other players, ESO is primarily a PvE MMO with a dedicated PvP location including minigames like capture the flag to compete in. There are enemies dotted around the world, some much harder than others – but the toughest enemies come in the form of World Bosses, which are conveniently marked on the map.

On top of fighting enemies, while exploring, you can also compete in dungeons which are dedicated locations set for fighting. You and three others tackle these areas, each with their own quest line, and are instructed to complete them by taking out the bosses and often making some tough decisions.

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If you’re looking to stay away from bloodshed for a while then there’s always time for a bit of crafting from cooking to blacksmithing. Or you can head over to the waters and catch some fish to cook or sell for gold. For those who prefer the exploration side, they can always take part in the games Antiquities, a relic-hunting minigame filled with puzzles and additional lore for those with a keen eye.

Ultimately, if there’s one thing Elder Scrolls Online isn’t it’s simplistic – the game is filled with plenty to see and do, meaning anyone can simply jump in and give it a go.

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Solo or among friends

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Elder Scrolls Online caters to both solo and co-op players but lends more to playing with friends.

One of the trickiest elements of ESO is its multiplayer nature. Sure, MMOs are designed to be for anyone, no matter your skill, experience, or gaming preferences but MMOs aren’t called massively multiplayer online for no reason.

To truly experience Elder Scrolls Online in all its glory, you’ll likely want to play with friends. A dedicated healer, tank, and DPS is pivotal during battles and will keep your party pressing forward through the toughest of the world bosses.

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Don’t get me wrong, Elder Scrolls Online is certainly enjoyable as a solo player but with such a large world and so much to do it can cause players to get bored and wander around Tamriel aimlessly.

Nevertheless, if players prefer to experience the game on their own then it’s entirely possible. Classes are created and dedicated to all-rounder players and you’ll certainly be able to succeed on your own. The group dungeons might get a little annoying when other players don’t work as a team but the all-in-all experience will likely be positive, no matter your preference for battles or exploration.

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If you’re working in a team, however, you’ll be able to take part in quests together, fight hordes of enemies side by side, and even travel to different planes of existence as a team. It’s truly a fantastic experience playing ESO as a team of three or four and is highly recommended if possible.

Overwhelming for beginners

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Elder Scrolls Online can be quite intense when you begin, but you’ll quickly find your way around.

For many, the thought of starting a fully-fledged MMO is incredibly daunting. There’s always so much to do and explore that it can often feel extremely overwhelming for those new to online multiplayer like ESO. Unfortunately, this is entirely the case for Elder Scrolls Online and new players will likely find their introduction incredibly intense.

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The game includes six unique classes, each with its own skill lines along with different crafting, collecting, dungeons, trials, and hundreds of quests, all mixed up into a vast world filled with deeply embedded lore that spans decades of popular games in the franchise.

If players do have someone who’s already ingrained in ESO, working through the first few hours with them is ideal. If not, be sure to take it slowly and explore each element at your own pace. Starting off by staying in your first zone is highly recommended.

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The overwhelming nature of Elder Scrolls Online’s features doesn’t serve to dampen the beginner-friendly nature of the controls. Each spell, skill, and attack is simple to grasp and has the perfect match between skill fighting and simply having enough power to take down that Ice Wrath (of which there is never enough power, those things are far too strong). Thanks to the introduction and the fairly simple controls, you’ll be able to get acquainted with Tamriel quickly and efficiently. Then all you need to do is learn the art of blacksmithing, enchanting, woodwork, jewelry crafting, cooking, horse riding, questing, fighting, and so much more.

An MMO of many chapters

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There are six fantastic chapters to explore in ESO, with each providing an unforgettable experience.

It’s not a new element to expect an MMO to be filled with everchanging content to keep players exploring new regions and completing new quests. Elder Scrolls Online manages to introduce new content perfectly. Many come in the form of smaller DLCs like the Thieves Guild which unlocks quest lines, skills, and chests to open while exploring Tamriel, while others come in the form of chapters. These include the recent High Isle, and expand to the fantastic Elsweyr update or the Skyrim homage, Greymoor.

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Ultimately, ESO manages to encapsulate every Elder Scrolls fan’s favorite location and allow any player the chance to explore these expansive worlds one by one. Each chapter introduces famous enemies like Mehrunes Dagon while embedding lovable characters and combat challenges through each main or side quest. On top of that, players get the chance to find out what they most love about ESO and experience something in that chapter leaning toward their passions. If you prefer dungeons then there’s a new one in each chapter, but if you prefer PvP then that’s available, too. If you simply love running around and exploring, there’s an expansive map that’s likely big enough to create an entire game on its own, with thousands of Skyshards, lore books, points of interest, and characters to interact with.

With six chapters to enjoy now, it’s safe to say players of Elder Scrolls Online will never be stuck without something to do.

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There’s also the perk regarding new players. If you buy the High Isle expansion, you get access to all the previous chapters meaning one purchase is all that’s needed, rather than having to go through the game and select each chapter you want to unlock. Of course, if you don’t want to unlock them all that’s entirely possible too. It’s something that makes Destiny 2’s convoluted collection of expansions look a bit silly.

Is The Elder Scrolls Online worth playing in 2023?

In a word? Absolutely. Elder Scrolls Online is undeniably worth playing in 2023. It may be relatively overwhelming and lend more to group playing rather than solo explorers, but if you can stick with it and make your own way in the world of Tamriel, you’re guaranteed to have a blast for years.

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The notion that you can buy the most recent expansion and still get access to all the previous chapters without purchasing separately makes ESO a deal any MMO or Elder Scrolls fans should buy and try.

For more tips and guides on all things Elder Scrolls Online, as well as the latest news on Elder Scrolls 6, check out these guides:

Best classes & races in ESO | Is The Elder Scrolls Online cross-platform | Elder Scrolls 6 | The best MMO games to play | All Elder Scrolls Online expansions ranked

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