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updated August 2021


Picking One of the Ten Races in ESO gives you the opportunity to play the way you want.  If you want a Bosmer Magic User who plays the role of a Spinner, you can do it.  Or an Orc Healer, a Breton Tank, the choices are completely up to you.  However, if you plan on going into more end-game content, the choices you make now can save you the cost of a Crown Race Change Token (approximately $25 when not on sale).  Passives that are aligned with each race make a huge difference in character build.  Keep in mind that ESO is designed for players to play the way they wish.  Here, we will cover each Race, Passives, and their preferred Roles for endgame.  The lists below are for PVE Content.  With PVP, it would be far more complicated and trickier to suggest races.  We suggest asking in our discord for help or simply search for online builds.

NOTE: We would highly recommend purchasing the “Any Race, Any Alliance Bundle” for 2000 Crowns.  This allows you to play any race for any faction instead of being limited to the Dominion if you wish to play an Altmer (High-Elf).  With Vanquish being Daggerfall Covenant, if you plan on partaking in any of the many guild PVP events such as Friday Night Fights, Warzone Wednesday (everyday PM), or Revile (weekdays AM), you will want a Covenant character.



BRETON: A race of humans that hail from High Rock. The men and women of High Rock were once ruled by High Elf overlords. Some Elven blood still runs in their veins, giving Bretons an innate grasp of magic that distinguishes them from the other human races. Passionate and flamboyant, intelligent and resourceful, the Bretons are renowned and talented craftsmen, shrewd merchants, gallant cavaliers, and inventive wizards. They can also be proud and quarrelsome. Tales of warfare between the kingdoms of High Rock account for much of their history, but most revere the Eight Divines and value prosperity over glory.

The racial skills of the Bretons reflect their affinity for the arcane, increasing their base magicka, magicka recovery, light armor, alliance point gain, spell resistance, and cost reduction of spells, allowing them to cast spells with little pause.


  • Opportunist: Increase your experience gain with the Light Armor skill line by 15%.  Increases your Alliance Points gained by 1%.
  • Gift of Magnus: Increases your Max Magicka by 600/1200/2000
  • Spell Attunement: Increases your Spell Resistance by 600/1320/2310. Effect is doubled if you are afflicted with Burning, Chilled, or Concussed. Increases your Magicka Recovery by 40/80/130.
  • Magicka Mastery: Reduces the Magicka cost of your abilities by 2/4/7%

Preferred Role(s): Healer, Magicka Damage Dealer


ORC: Though other races often regard the Orcs as barbarians and even beasts, these noble warriors have an ancient culture forged from endless warfare in their harsh mountain homelands. Orcs live under a simple code of honor by which the strong survive and the strongest rule. As the greatest smiths in Tamriel, their weapons and armor are prized by warriors everywhere. During the reign of the Second Empire, when their kingdom of Orsinium was finally granted provincial status, its restoration helped solidify their devotion to the new Daggerfall Covenant.

The racial skills of the Orcs reflect their native harsh mountain environment, giving them bonuses to heavy armor use, sprinting, weapon damage, inspiration gain, weapon proficiency, as well as base health and stamina.


  • Craftsman: Increase your experience gain with Heavy Armor skill line by 15%.  Increases your crafting inspiration gained by 10%.
  • Brawny: Increases your Max Stamina by 333/666/1000.
  • Unflinching Rage: Increases your Max Health by 300/600/1000.  When you deal damage, you heal for 175/350/600 health. This can occur every 4 seconds.
  • Swift Warrior: Increases your Weapon Damage and Spell Damage by 86/127/258Reduces the cost of sprint by 4/8/12% and increases the movement speed bonus by 3/6/10%.


Preferred Role(s): Stamina Damage Dealer, Tank (4-man content)


REDGUARD: The Redguards of Hammerfell are talented and athletic warriors, born to battle. A desert people, their ancestors migrated to Tamriel from the lost continent of Yokuda. Their culture is based on preserving ancient traditions and defying their harsh environment. They prize honor and dignity above all else, combining a deep reverence for the divine with a suspicion of all things magical. Their capital is the merchant port of Sentinel, but their roots are deep in the sands of the Alik’r Desert. In their youth, Redguards endure a rite of passage in the desolate wastes of Alik’r as a test of endurance and discipline. Only the strongest survive.

The racial skills of the Redguards reflect their ancestral legacy as sword masters, giving them bonuses to shields, base stamina, stamina recovery, movement, and duration of effects from food. Their ability to flow in martial combat is unparalleled.


  • Wayfarer: Increase your experience gain with the One Hand and Shield skill line by 15%.  Increases the duration of any eaten food by 15 minutes.
  • Martial Training: Reduces the cost of your weapons abilities by 2/4/8%Reduces the effectiveness of snares applied to you by 5/10/15%.
  • Conditioning: Increases your Max Stamina by 600/1200/2000.
  • Adrenaline Rush: When you deal damage, you restore 333/666/1005 Stamina.  This effect can occur once every 5 seconds.

Preferred Role(s): Stamina DPS, Tank (4-man content)



ALTMER (HIGH ELF): The High Elves, or Altmer, arrived in Tamriel thousands of years ago from Old Aldmeris. They see themselves, perhaps justifiably, as the ruling race of Tamriel. They are a highly cultured people, known for their breathtaking architecture and massive libraries of histories and creative works. They tend to be isolationists, largely remaining on Summerset Isle, and only emerge when they perceive a great threat to their homeland. They are powerful mages and warriors, and the de facto leaders of the Aldmeri Dominion.

The racial skills of the High Elves reflect their magical affinity by increasing their spell damage, resource recovery, base magicka, and experience gain. These innate bonuses help define the race as proud and powerful spell casters.


  • Highborn: Increases your experience gain with the Destruction Staff skill line by 15%.  Increases your experience gain by 1%.
  • Spell Recharge: When you activate an ability, you restore 200/400/625 Magicka or Stamina, based on whatever is lowest.  This effect can occur every 6 seconds. When you use an ability with a channeled cast time, you take 1/2/5% less damage.
  • Syrabane’s Boon: Increases your Max Magicka by 600/1200/2000.
  • Elemental Talent: Increases your Weapon and Spell Damage by 86/172/258.


Preferred Role(s): Magicka DPS, Healer


BOSMER (WOOD ELF): The Wood Elves, or Bosmer, are mischievous, curious and nimble. Because their homeland of Valenwood is often attacked by the Colovian Imperials, Wood Elves are experts at the art of defense. They are also gifted archers, perhaps the best in all of Tamriel. The capital of the Aldmeri Dominion, Elden Root, lies in the heart of their homeland. It has evolved into a center of political and cultural importance and is of vital strategic importance in the battle to control Tamriel.

The diversified racial skills of the Wood Elves reflect their woodland affinity. Improved archery, base stamina, stamina recovery, stealth detection, movement speed, reduced fall damage, and poison resistance make them dangerous foes and gifted hunters.


  • Acrobat: Increases your experience gain with the Bow skill line by 15%Decreases fall damage taken by 10%.
  • Hunter’s Eye: Increases your stealth detection radius by 1/2/3 meters.  Increases your movement speed by 1/3/5% and your Physical and Spell Penetration by 300/600/950.
  • Y’ffre’s Endurance: Increases your Stamina Recovery by 86/127/258.
  • Resists Affliction: Increases your Max Stamina by 600/1200/2000 and your Disease and Poison Resistance by 660/1320/2310.


Preferred Role(s): Stamina Damage Dealer


KHAJIIT: The population of the proud feline Khajiit has dwindled in recent years following a devastating outbreak of Knahaten Flu. They owe a great debt to Ayrenn, Queen of the High Elves, for her help in restoring order from the chaos that followed the plague. They have a wry wit and a hedonistic outlook, but they are fearsome on the field of battle. They are the strong arm of the Aldmeri Dominion.

The racial skills of the feline Khajiit reflect their natural versatility and guile, giving them bonuses to pickpocketing, stealth, resource recovery, as well as base health, magicka, and stamina. These bonuses help them thrive in many ventures of life.


  • Cutpurse: Increases your experience gain with the Medium Armor skill line by 15%.  Increases your chance to successfully pickpocket by 5%.
  • Robustness: Increases your Health Recovery by 33/66/100 and your Stamina and Magicka Recovery by 25/50/85.
  • Lunar Blessings: Increase your Maximum Health, Magicka, and Stamina by 305/610/915.
  • Feline Ambush: Increases your Critical Damage and Critical Healing by 4/8/12%.  Decreases your detection radius in Stealth by 1/2/3 meters.


Preferred Role(s): Stamina Damage Dealer, Magicka Damage Dealer, Healer



NORD: The Nords once conquered most of Tamriel, and as a result, feel a certain entitlement to rule. They broke the power of the Ayleids, nearly drove the High Elves out of High Rock, and conquered much of Resdayn, the precursor to Morrowind. The Nords are excellent with arms. They are quick to anger, boisterous, and strong. They are natural-born warriors who fight with an ecstatic ferocity that terrifies their enemies.

The racial skills of the Nords reflect their strong and hardy natures, giving them bonuses to two-handed weapon use, duration of effects from drinks, physical, spell, and frost resistance, ultimate generation, as well as base health and stamina.


  • Reveler: Increases your experience gain with the Two Handed skill line by 15%.  Increases the duration of any consumed drink by 15 minutes.
  • Resist Frost: Increases your Max Health by 333/666/1000 and Frost Resistance by 1540/3080/4620.
  • Stalwart: Increases your Max Stamina by 500/1000/1500.  When you take damage, you gain 1/2/5 Ultimate.  This effect can occur once every 10 seconds.
  • Rugged: Increases your Physical and Spell Resistance by 866/1732/2600.


Preferred Role(s): Tank, Stamina Damage Dealer


DUNMER (DARK ELF): The Dunmer, also known as Dark Elves, are the ash-skinned, typically red-eyed elven peoples of Morrowind. The Dark Elf homeland of Morrowind has been invaded many times by the Akaviri and the Nords. This history of conflict has transformed the Dunmer into hardened warriors. They also have a natural affinity for magic and great intellect, making them skillful sorcerers.

The racial skills of the Dark Elves reflect their intellect and agility, giving them bonuses in dual wielding, flame and lava resistance, weapon and spell damage, and base magicka and stamina. These bonuses allow them to adapt to anything.


  • Ashlander: Increases your experience gain with the Dual Wield skill line by 15%.  Reduces your damage taken by environmental lava by 50%.
  • Dynamic: Increases your Max Magicka and Max Stamina by 600/1200/1910.
  • Resist Flame: Increases your Flame Resistance by 1540/3080/4620.
  • Ruination: Increases your Weapon and Spell Damage by 86/127/258.


Preferred Role(s): Magicka Damage Dealer, Stamina Damage Dealer, Healer


ARGONIAN: The Argonians are possessed of a cool intellect, and are well-versed in the magical arts, stealth, and the use of blades. They are also guerilla warfare experts, long accustomed to defending their borders from invaders. They often serve as the scouts and skirmishers for the forces of the Pact. Nagas are a "subspecies" of Argonians found further south in places like Murkmire.

The racial skills of the Argonians reflect their people's perilous swamp environment; giving them bonuses to healing done, restoration staves, disease resistance, resources gained from consuming potions, swimming speed, as well as base health and magicka.


  • Amphibian: Increases your experience gain with the Restoration Staff skill line by 15%.  Increases your swimming speed by 50%.
  • Life Mender: Increases your healing done by 1/3/6%
  • Argonian Resistance: Increases your Max Health by 333/666/1000 and your Disease and Poison Resistance by 660/1320/2310.  Gain immunity to the Diseased status effect.
  • Resourceful: Increases your Max Magicka by 333/666/1000.  When you drink a potion, you restore Health, Magicka, and Stamina by 1200/2400/4000.


Preferred Role(s): Tank, Healer




IMPERIAL: Also known as Cyrodiils, Cyrodilics, Cyro-Nordics and Imperial Cyrods, the well-educated and well-spoken Imperials are the natives of the civilized, cosmopolitan province of Cyrodiil. Imperials are also known for the discipline and training of their citizen armies, and their respect for the rule of law. Though physically less imposing than the other races, the Imperials have proved to be shrewd diplomats and traders, and these traits, along with their remarkable skill and training as light infantry, have enabled them to subdue all the other nations and races and erect the monument to peace and prosperity that comprises the Glorious Empire. Their hegemony has waxed and waned throughout the eras, and most historians refer to three distinct Empires, the ends of which each mark a new epoch in Tamrielic history.

The racial skills of the Imperials reflect their combat training and perseverance in battle, giving them bonuses to gold drop rates, shield proficiency, base health and stamina, and resource recovery when fighting back, making them resolute fighters.


  • Diplomat: Increases your experience gain with the One Hand and Shield skill line by 15%.  Increases your gold gained by 1%.
  • Tough: Increases your Max Health by 600/1200/2000.
  • Imperial Mettle: Increases your Max Stamina by 600/1200/2000.
  • Red Diamond: Reduces the cost of all your abilities by 2/4/6%.


Preferred Role(s): Tank, Stamina Damage Dealer