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The Elder Scrolls Online Beta Guide

Updated on February 10, 2014

Gameplay Courtesy of

System Requirements for Optimal Gameplay

If you're thinking of playing this game, and worry about whether your computer will be able to handle it, don't fret. The designers at Bethesda Softworks designed this game with more modest system requirements than other MMOs. The basic requirements are:

  • Operating System: Windows XP 32-bit
  • Processor: Dual-Core 2.0 GHz or equivalent
  • Memory: 2gb RAM
  • Disk Space: 60gb free space required
  • Video Card: DirectX 9.0 Compliant with 512 mb RAM

The Meaning of the Beta

April 4, 2014 brings the release of a highly anticipated new online game: The Elder Scrolls. For those who have played the previously single-player Oblivion and Skyrim games the newest one will bring some of the familiar as well as many new updated changes. The biggest change would be the transition from a single-player to a MMORPG, (or Massively Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Game for those not savvy to gaming terms.) The realms of Oblivion burst to life in this epic new installment. As of this week the game sent invites to select players who had applied to be a part of the current closed Beta-test. First, lets start with the idea of Beta-testing. For those who have played MMOs in the past, a Beta-test before official release shouldn't be anything new. In particular, the ever-popular World of Warcraft would be the primary example to use, as Blizzard Entertainment often releases closed betas before they officially release new expansions. So for those unfamiliar with the idea, what is a Beta? With any MMO the player finds themselves thrown into a world filled with NPC's or (Non-playable Characters,) and thousands of other players as well. In order for the players to interact they are placed on the same server. A Beta-test ensures that these servers are able to handle so many players online at once without lagging to the point of not being able to play or even a complete shut down. These tests also make it possible to identify bugs and technical fixes needed before formal release. Betas often make most of the game available, however some features will generally be unavailable until the actual public release of the game. For example, Elder Scrolls Online will make it possible to do up to 100v100 Alliance wars, meaning 100 players versus another 100 players in one glorious battle to reign supreme. This feature is currently unavailable in the Beta, so not too much insight on this feature as of right now. Featured in this article will be a few spoilers about ESO along with system requirements, pricing of the game and a few other juicy tidbits of information to keep appetites satiated until the public release in a few months time.

Character design screen of a High Elf Sorcerer
Character design screen of a High Elf Sorcerer

Combat In Gameplay

Like many other MMOs, spells and abilities will be assigned to number keys. For those who have only played Skyrim and Oblivion on console, this will be a far cry from using 4 buttons to use and select from your spell log. There will also be a hotbar with 6 slots to keep main spells close at hand. Like Oblivion there will be blocking, heavy attacks, and light attacks. The player will have to keep an eye on stamina, mana, and health similar to the previous games. Player versus Player will be optional as there is a main quest line the player can set out on alone or with friends. If you choose to participate in PvP your character must be level 10 or above to queue up. In other MMOs such as World of Warcraft the player uses a combination of 4 letter keys to move forward, back, left and right. In ESO the player will also have to move the mouse to look around and keep an eye out for enemies close by. Players who have recently participated in the beta state the the graphics and realistically difficult combat situations make the game a must see.

Creating a Character

For seasoned players of Skyrim or Oblivion, one option that sticks out is the design of the character. When it comes to creating the character of your choice, the sky is the limit. Adjustments can be made from the distance of eyes from the top of the forehead to the width of the nose with pretty much any facial modifications you could think of in between. The player will have a choice of 9 different races, these races are split up into 3 different factions all at war with each other. To sweeten the deal Bethesda has offered an Imperial Edition which includes a 10th race respectively called the Imperials, (Later in the article will be a segment on different editions and pricing.) Each race comes equipped with some instant racial passive abilities as well as others that increases with the character's level. Below is a list of the different factions and races along with their racial abilities.

Ebonheart Pact

  • Nord- Primarily a race of warriors.They occupy the snowy mountains.These harsh living conditions give the Nords a natural resistance to frost damage. Using a two-handed weapon will result in a bonus experience gain for this race.
  • Argonian- Argonians are a reptilian race. They are able to breathe underwater and have a natural resistance to diseases as well as poisons. Argonians make great assassins or thieves.
  • Dunmer- The Dunmer or Dark Elves have a racial ability for bonus experience gain while dual-wielding. They also have passively increased fire-magic, and fire resistance. This race can be used as a good offensive mage because of their increased fire-magic abilities, as well as a decent swordsman.

Daggerfall Covenant

  • Redguard- Redguards make very good dragonknights, knightblades or templars. Their passive racial ability awards bonus experience by using a one-handed weapon and shield combination, a melee master of sorts from maces to axes to swords.
  • Breton- This race has a bonus experience gain while wearing light armor. What they lack in armor however, they make up for in magical ability. This race is gifted in conjuring as well. Primarily a spell caster race.
  • Orc- You guessed it! Orcs are a heavy armor wearing race and are generally melee characters. A tough, hearty race that gains bonus experience by wearing heavy armor, also able to regenerate health in combat.

Aldmeri Dominion

  • Bosmer- Bosmers are Wood Elves. This race, much like Legolas, make great archers. Their racial ability gives them bonus experience gain on the Bow skill. An agile race, wood elves are a great choice if you're looking for a ranged attack.
  • Altmer- or High Elves are skilled in the magical arts. As their name suggests, they have a proud nature. The Altmer's passive ability gives them a bonus experience boost on the Destruction Staff Skill.
  • Khajiit- Khajiits are cat-like creatures with a sneaky demeanor. This race can also make a very skilled knightblade as stealth comes naturally to them. Their passive racial ability gives them bonus experience gain on stealth and melee combat.

The Imperial (Available for play in Imperial Edition only)

  • The Imperials are a human race. In the previous Oblivion and Skyrim games they were gifted in magical arts and light melee combat. Also known for being well-rounded and intellectual, not much more is known about this race as it is not available for selection in the beta. What is know about this race is that they will be able to join any of the 3 factions mentioned above.

This article is only a guide as to what is currently known about the upcoming release. Please note that changes can occur at any point when Bethesda does patches or updates the game.

Pre-Purchase of both editions available at Amazon


Elders Scrolls Online is available for pre-buy. Below are the editions available and bonus features included within them.

Digital Standard Edition Pre-Purchase ($59.99)

  • 5 days of early access (That's right, play on March 30 instead of waiting until April.)
  • Choice of any Alliance you wish to choose, no matter what race you choose.
  • Treasure Maps that take you to bonus loot.
  • A Scuttler vanity pet so you won't get lonely on your quests.

Digital Imperial Edition Pre-Purchase ($79.99)

  • As mentioned above, the ability to play as an Imperial.
  • An Imperial horse mount to travel far and wide with great speed.
  • A Mudcrab vanity pet, (Imperials need company too!)
  • Rings of Mara, these legendary rings allow you and a friend to earn bonus experience while playing together.
  • 5 days of early game play
  • Ability to play in any Alliance as seen in Standard Edition.
  • Imperial Edition pre-purchase will also include Scuttler vanity pet.
  • Bonus treasure maps included as well.

Retail Standard Edition (Physical Hard Copy, $59.99)

  • 3 days early game access
  • Play any race in any Alliance
  • Scuttler Vanity Pet.
  • Bonus treasure maps included as well.

Retail Imperial Edition (Collector's Edition, $99.99)

  • 12" statue of Prince of Dominion, Molag Bal
  • Printed map of Tamriel
  • The Emperor's guide to Tamriel.
  • Ability to play as an Imperial
  • Ability to join any Alliance.
  • 5 days early game access.
  • Rings of Mara
  • Mudcrab Vanity Pet
  • Imperial White Horse mount
  • Bonus treasure maps
  • Scuttler Vanity pet.

*Each purchase will also include a month of game play. After the first 30 days a $14.99 subscription fee is required monthly to continue play. Game can be pre-purchased at the Elder Scrolls Online Store (http// as well as A few of the physical retailers are Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Gamestop.

First Official Gameplay Video (More information on


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    • CecilyHolt profile imageAUTHOR

      Cecily Holt 

      4 years ago from Ohio

      If you've ever played and enjoyed Oblivion, i would suggest it. I played Oblivion awhile ago on Xbox and liked it, but the only PC game i play is WOW. A friend of mine tried the beta and i was fascinated by it. Its definitely a whole new world. Thanks for commenting!! : ) I'm new to the site and haven't really had anyone comment yet.

    • ilikegames profile image

      Sarah Forester 

      4 years ago from Australia

      I can't wait for this game to come out, I'm tossing up about buying one of the pre purchase options but I'm still not sure just yet.


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