ESO Races, how important are they?

As of the year 2021, players are offered a total of 10 playable races in The Elder Scrolls Online allocated amongst the Three Alliances (excluding the Imperial Race which is bought through the Digital Imperial Edition Upgrade in the Crown Store).

Note that you can also play on any Alliance with any Race with the purchase of the Any Race, Any Alliance bundle from the Crown Store.

Each race has its own unique passives that can have an impact on your class choice, your build and your role depending on whether you want to PvE or PvP.

Luckily, unlike Classes, you can change your Race at a later point if you're not satisfied with it through the purchase of Race Change Tokens from the ingame Crown Store.

As a general rule, races can make a noticeable difference although that isn't to say you can't do 100% of all content in PvE or be effective in PvP with any race you choose. Many players however do like to optimize and the suggested roles for these races will reflect this optimization down below on this guide alongside their shown passives.


Orsimer (Orc, Daggerfall Covenant)

Recommended For:

  • PvE Stamina DPS
  • PvE Tank
  • PvP

CRAFTSMAN - Increases your experience gain with the Heavy Armor skill line by 15%. Increases your crafting Inspiration gained by 10%.  

BRAWNY - Increases your Max Stamina by 1000.

UNFLINCHING RAGE - Increases your Max Health by 1000. When you deal damage, you heal for 2125 Health. This can occur once every 4 seconds.  

SWIFT WARRIOR - Increases your Weapon and Spell Damage by 258. Reduces the cost of Sprint by 12% and increases the Movement Speed bonus of Sprint by 10%.  


Breton (Daggerfall Covenant)

Recommended For:

  • PvP
  • PvE Healer
  • PvE Magicka DPS
  • PvE Tank

OPPORTUNIST - Increases 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 2000.

SPELL ATTUNEMENT - Increases your Spell Resistance by 2310. This effect is doubled if you are afflicted with Burning, Chilled, or Concussed status effects. Increases your Magicka Recovery by 130.

MAGICKA MASTERY - Reduces the Magicka cost of your abilities by 7%.


Redguard (Daggerfall Covenant)

Recommended For:

  • PvP
  • PvE Stamina DPS
  • PvE Tank

WAYFARER - Increases 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 weapon abilities by 8% (including Weapon Ultimates). Reduces the effectiveness of snares applied to you by 15%.

CONDITIONING - Increases your Max Stamina by 2000.

ADRENALINE RUSH - When you deal damage, you restore 1005 Stamina. This effect can occur once every 5 seconds.


Altmer (High Elf, Aldmeri Dominion)

Recommended For:

  • PvE Magicka DPS
  • PvE Healer
  • PvP

HIGHBORN - Increases your experience gain with the Destruction Staff skill line by 15%. Increases your experience gained by 1%.

SPELL RECHARGE - When you activate an ability, you restore 625 Magicka or Stamina, based on whichever is lowest. This effect can occur once every 6 seconds. When you are using an ability with a channel or cast time, you take 5% less damage.

SYRABANE'S BOON - Increases your Max Magicka by 2000.

ELEMENTAL TALENT - Increases your Weapon and Spell Damage by 258.


Khajiit (Aldmeri Dominion)

Recommended For:

  • PvP
  • PvE Magicka or Stamina DPS

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 100 and your Stamina and Magicka Recovery by 85.

LUNAR BLESSINGS - Increase your Maximum Health, Magicka and Stamina by 915.

FELINE AMBUSH - Increases your Critical Damage and Critical Healing by 12%. Decreases your detection radius in Stealth by 3 meters.


Bosmer (Wood Elf, Aldmeri Dominion)

Recommended For:

  • PvP

ACROBAT - Increases your experience gain with the Bow skill line by 15%. Decreases your fall damage taken by 10%.

HUNTER'S EYE - Increases your stealth detection radius by 3 meters. Increases your movement speed by 10% and your Physical and Spell Penetration by 950.

Y'FFRE'S ENDURANCE - Increases your Stamina Recovery by 258.

RESIST AFFLICTION - Increases your Max Stamina by 2000 and your Disease and Poison Resistance by 2310.


Nord (Ebonheart Pact)

Recommended For:

  • PvE Tank
  • PvP

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 1000 and Cold Resistance by 4620.

STALWART - Increases your Max Stamina by 1500. When you take damage, you gain 5 Ultimate. This effect can occur once very 10 seconds.

RUGGED - Increases your Physical and Spell Resistance by 2600.


Dunmer (Dark Elf, Ebonheart Pact)

Recommended For:

  • PvE Magicka or Stamina DPS
  • PvP
  • PvE Tank

ASHLANDER - Increases your experience gain with the Dual Wield skill line by 15%. Reduces your damage taken from environmental lava by 50%.

DYNAMIC - Increases your Max Magicka and Max Stamina by 1910.

RESIST FLAME - Increases your Flame Resistance by 4620.

RUINATION - Increases your Weapon and Spell Damage by 258.


Argonian (Ebonheart Pact)

Recommended For:

  • PvP
  • PvE Tank
  • PvE Healer

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 6%.

ARGONIAN RESISTANCE - Increases your Max Health by 1000 and Poison and Disease Resistance by 2310.

RESOURCEFUL - Increases your Max Magicka and Max Stamina by 1000. When you drink a potion, you restore 3125 Health, Magicka and Stamina.


Imperial

Recommended For:

  • PvE Tank
  • PvP

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 2000.

IMPERIAL METTLE - Increases your Max Stamina by 2000.

RED DIAMOND - Reduces the cost of all your abilities by 6%.