ESO Factions - Which Side Are You On?
ESO Factions Guide
Picking up a new MMORPG always is an exciting, but also difficult prospect. The first problems can show up as early as during the character creation process. Choosing the right race, class, and faction might seem a bit overwhelming for a player who doesn’t know much about the game. Let’s talk about ESO factions and their impact on the game.
In Elder Scrolls Online, there are three major factions. Your faction choice will determine the ESO races that you can play, as well as your character’s starting area and allegiance. When compared to Alliance and Horde in World of Warcraft, the ESO factions have a relatively low influence on the gameplay, especially in PvE. However, it’s still an important choice to make. The three possibilities are: Aldmeri Dominion, Daggerfall Covenant, and Ebonheart Pact.
Meaning of ESO Factions
First of all, if you’re a long time fan of the Elder Scrolls series, you might be interested in joining your favorite alliance and role-playing as you explore Tamriel and progress with the story. There are many casual players that don’t really care for the MMO aspect of ESO – they treat it as just another installment of the Elder Scrolls franchise. You can have a great time by simply completing quests and following the main storyline. The “online” part allows you to play with your friends whenever you want, but it doesn’t force you to play PvP or raids. If you’re one of these people, you don’t have to worry about the alliance choice. You can always team up with your friends in PvE – even if they belong to another faction.
Factions are more important to players who are interested in PvP. They determine which side you’re on in the Alliance War. It’s a mass PvP feature that takes place in Cyrodiil. Only the members of the same faction can play together groups in the Alliance War. You can meet your friends from other factions there, but in that means that you’re on opposing sides. It’s important to note that players don’t bind their accounts to a specific alliance – you can always create a new character that will belong to another faction.
Elder Scrolls Online Factions
As we mentioned earlier, Elder Scrolls Online players can choose from three ESO alliances: Aldmeri Dominion, Daggerfall Covenant, and Ebonheart Pact. Each of the factions consists of three races. Every race is assigned to one of the factions – simple, right? However, there’s a single exception. The tenth race – Imperial. The Imperial characters aren’t assigned to any faction. Instead, they can select which faction they want to fight for. That being said, this choice is final. There’s no way of changing your allegiance.
The High Elves formed the Aldmeri Dominion together with the Wood Elves and Khajiit. This faction’s goal is to take away the power from younger races and help restore Elves as the rightful ruler. The Dominion consists of the provinces of Alinor, Elsweyr, and Valenwood. Their capital city is Elden Root, and their characters spawn on the island called Khenarthi’s Root.
Altmer (High Elf) – High Elves are the leaders of Aldmeri Dominion. They have been the original inhabitants of Tamriel. It’s a race that’s very talented at using magic to cast powerful spells.
In terms of gameplay, their passives provide additional proficiency with Destruction Staff, increased spell damage, maximum Magicka, sustain of the combat resources, and a reduction of incoming damage when casting spells. These aptitudes make them great healers and Magicka DPS characters. Of course, you can also play High Elves in other roles, but they excel at play styles that involve a lot of spell casting.
Bosmer (Wood Elf) – Wood Elves inhabit the lush forests of Valenwood. They’re an agile and dexterous race that’s great at hunting (especially with bow and arrows) as well as surviving in the wild.
The Bosmer passive skills make them experts at bows, increase their maximum Stamina and recovery of that resource as well as allow them to be better at detecting stealthed enemies. Finally, they also receive a burst of extra penetration and movement speed right after using a Roll Dodge. Stamina DPS is by far the best role for Wood Elves. They don’t get any bonuses to Magicka or spells. You may also consider playing one as a tank.
Khajiit – this beloved cat-like race is the last element of Aldmeri Dominion. They are known as relentless warriors that inhabit the province of Elsweyr. They’re also great traders and artisans.
Their racial passive skills make them proficient at using medium armors and increase the maximum capacity as well as regeneration of the three main resources (Magicka, Stamina, and Health). They also can deal increased critical damage and healing. This set of passives is versatile, and it makes Khajiit something of a jack of all trades. You can play them in any role, just remember to make the most of increased critical damage if you’re going for a DPS build.
The north-western regions of Tamriel are united under the Daggerfall Covenant. It’s an alliance between Bretons, Redguards, and Orcs that are mostly focused on military power and trade. All three of these races are known as brave, faithful, and honorable what creates an excellent foundation for mutual respect. The Daggerfall Covenant has been created by the Breton High King Emeric, and it aims to create a strong, united empire.
Breton – they play the leading role inside Daggerfall Covenant. It’s a race of noble wizards and diplomats. In the past, they have been ruled by High Elves. The partially Elven blood sets them apart from other Human races and allows them to control Magicka better. They’re also accomplished traders and craftsmen.
Bretons’ passive skills are focused entirely on Magicka. They empower light armors and provide additional maximum Magicka and sustain of that resource. They also receive extra Spell Resistance and have a decreased Magicka cost of their abilities. Unsurprisingly, they’re incredibly valuable in the role of healer or Magicka DPS.
Redguard – a race of noble warriors that inhabits the desert region of Alik’r. They have a great deal of respect for their tradition and ancestors. They reject Magicka and undergo harsh training to become warriors from a young age.
Their racial passives are focused on physical combat. They get bonuses to fighting with one-handed weapons and shields. They also get extra Stamina and Stamina sustain, as well as reduced cost of weapon abilities and duration of snares applied to them. These traits make Redguards an excellent choice for Stamina DPS or a tank.
Orc (Orsimer) – Orcs are another race that excels in melee combat. They’re considered as the best blacksmiths in the entire Tamriel. Even though their history is full of war and bloodshed, Orcs are very noble and pride.
Their passive skills assist with heavy armors and crafting. They also provide maximum Stamina, increased weapon damage, max Health, and self-healing in combat. Similarly to Redguards, Orcs usually see play as tanks and Stamina DPS characters. They’re also powerful in 1v1 duels what can be useful, especially in PvP situations.
The races of Nords, Dark Elves, and Argonians united together to defeat a common enemy and formed the Ebonheart Pact. While it has a leader in the form of Jorunn the Nord Skald King, the most important decisions are made together by The Great Moot – a gathering where all the races are represented. Instead of forming an empire, the Ebonheart Pact wants to create space for multiple independent states to cooperate and flourish.
Nord – a race of strong and robust fighters that has conquered a large part of Tamriel in the past. They’re fierce and warlike – a Nord will never walk away from a fight, he might actually cause some of them.
In terms of passives, they get a lot of defensive stats. Nords have an increased Health pool and strong bonuses to cold, physical, and spell resistances. They’re also proficient with two-handed weapons, they generate more Ultimate and have increased maximum Stamina. It’s one of the best races in the game if you’re a tank player. They’re also decent as a Stamina DPS, but your damage output will be lower than some of the other races.
Dunmer (Dark Elf) – a powerful race that’s good both with spells and with weapons. They function in a complex system of clans that are based in Morrowind.
Similarly to the Khajiit, Dark Elves are extraordinarily versatile, and their passives provide value to basically every build in the game. They’re proficient at dual-wielding and deal increased damage with both spells and weapon abilities. They’re highly resistant to fire, and their Stamina and Magicka pools are increased. While Dunmer is rarely the best choice for any build, it’s a great choice for players who want to have a possibility of swapping between multiple builds and doing well on all of them.
Argonian - a lizard-like race that comes from Black Marsh. They are able to survive in this harsh region thanks to their proficiency in healing magic. Argonians are not related to men or Elves, but they have a history of fighting against them.
Argonian racial passives provide extra Magicka, Health and power of healing magic. They're also immune to poison and very proficient at using restoration staff. Argonians are perfectly suited for the role of a healer, but they're also decent as tanks and Magicka DPS characters.
Imperial – the neutral race
Finally, we reached the tenth race – Imperial. As we already mentioned, they’re not assigned to any of the factions. The player gets to make their choice in that regard. Without this obligation, you can join any alliance that you please. They come from the past great Empire that has been destroyed by the invasion of Daedra. Imperials are based in Cyrodiil and the Imperial City.
They’re great at fighting with one-handed weapon and shield - they also have increased pools of Health and Stamina. Finally, Imperials regenerate all three basic resources when they deal damage to an enemy. All these factors together make them exceptional tanks and allow them to keep staying relevant as Stamina DPS. This race was at first only available for players with the game's Imperial Edition.
Elder Scrolls Online Factions
As we established, the only aspect of the gameplay that’s affected by factions is the Alliance War in Cyrodiil. If you want to play there with your friends, make sure that you’re all members of the same faction. That's the most important thing that you must think about while making your choice. Otherwise, pick whichever one you like the most and enjoy your campaign in Tamriel! Become a member of the great community of ESO players! Besides factions, you can also join a guild. There are player created guilds as well as the AI-controlled ones, like Psijic Order or Dark Brotherhood.
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How many factions are there in ESO?
Elder Scrolls Online has three alliances (factions): Aldmeri Dominion, Daggerfall Covenant, and Ebonheart Pact.
Is there a way to change my faction in ESO?
No, it’s not possible. You can change your character’s race, with the ESO Race Change Token from the Crown Store, but it won’t affect your allegiance. If you're having second thoughts, you might have to level up another character.
Can I play with friends from different ESO factions?
Yes, you can group together in all the PvE content and Battlegrounds. The only restriction is the Alliance War in Cyrodiil, where players from opposing factions are enemies.