There are a lot of different ways you can play DPS in the Elder Scrolls Online, with each class having its own specialties. So which type of DPS in ESO is best for you? A lot of this comes down to personal preference and familiarity, but borrowing ideas from this build guide certainly won’t hurt! In this guide, we’ll go over the best DPS classes in ESO and how to build them.

We’ll start with the best single-target DPS (which really shines in boss fights), then move on to the best AOE DPS (which speeds up your group’s trash fights and prevents your tank from being overwhelmed). Then, we’ll cover the best overall DPS build for high damage, versatility, and ease of use. After that, we’ll drop into our DPS tier list complete with class and race tier lists. And finally, our tier list tables will be followed by a detailed ranking about how why each class landed where it did in the tier list.

Let’s get started!

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The 5 Best DPS Builds in ESO

It’s important to note that these DPS builds perform at high levels in all scenarios, not just on a parse dummy. While some of these picks can be outclassed in raw DPS when compared to parse dummy experts, that’s not how actual fights go in-game. Parsing shows how well DPS performs when all goes perfectly, but the highest levels of play aren’t usually as forgiving as the Iron Atronach.

You can always optimize your build into a glass canon, but we’ve designed these builds to deal high levels of damage without the need to wait for your teammates to resurrect you when things inevitably go south.

Let’s dive into the best single-target DPS in ESO right now, which will be the Magicka Nightblade for their strong damage and survivability.

1. Best Single-Target Magicka DPS Build: Magicka Nightblade

The Magblade

Best Single-Target Magicka DPS Build: Magicka Nightblade
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Race: Khajiit (Dark Elf or High Elf) | Mundus: Thief | Food: Solitude Salmon Millet Soup or equivalent (5395 health, 4936 magicka) | Attributes: 64 Magicka

What’s ESO’s best DPS class? If we had to pick one, it’d be the Nightblade. So what makes the Magicka Nightblade so strong? They deal extremely high damage over the course of the fight, with a god-tier spike during the execute phase. Their skills also have a natural health regain — when they take heavy damage, all they need to do is continue outputting damage to refill their health bar. This makes them especially useful for Veteran Trials where healers may not always be around, like the portal phase of Veteran Sunspire or Cloudrest.

For race, we suggest Khajiit for the way they synergize with the Nightblade playstyle. Nightblades focus on dealing high critical damage, and the Khajiit’s 12% increased critical damage and healing makes their execute damage even nastier when landing critical hits. Dark Elves and High Elves are close behind in terms of DPS, with other races bringing up the rear.

Skills ➡️

Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG
SIRORIA FLAME STAFF OR DAGGERS (MAIN BAR)CRUSHING WALL FLAME STAFF (BACK BAR)
Swallow SoulUnstable Wall of Elements
ImpaleBarbed Trap
Merciless ResolveSiphoning Attacks
Mystic OrbDark Shade
DegenerationTwisting Path
Incapacitating Strike (Ult)Elemental Rage (Ult)

Magblades can sustain themselves easily with Swallow Soul, as it deals high damage and gives a portion of the damage dealt as health back. However, if you don’t need to worry about self sustaining at all, Elemental Weapon from the Psijic skill line is a good alternative.

Merciless Resolve is the skill you need to pay the most attention to other than maintaining that your ground AOEs are up at all times. It lasts for a minute, and every time you stack up five light/heavy attacks, you gain Assassin’s Will. This lets you fire off a spectral arrow that deals a huge amount of burst damage, so time it to fire right after you activate your Incapacitating Strike.

Incap gives you 20% increased damage to the target for six seconds, making your nuke from Assassin’s Will hit like a truck. Be mindful that you don’t fire Assassin’s Will when you’re in execute phase, though. When it’s ready at five stacks, you also gain 10% increased critical damage and healing, making your Impale execute deal more damage.

Build ➡️

SLOTGEARTRAIT
HeadSlimecraw (light)Divines
ShoulderMother’s SorrowDivines
ChestMother’s Sorrow Divines
LegsHarpooner’s Wading Kilt Divines
FeetMother’s Sorrow Divines
HandsMother’s Sorrow Divines
BeltMother’s Sorrow Divines
JewelryMantle of Siroria Bloodthirsty (w/ spell damage enchantment)
Weapon 1Mantle of Siroria Staff or
Mantle of Siroria Daggers
Precise (w/ flame damage enchantment)
Nirnhoned/Precise (w/ flame and poison enchantment)
Weapon 2(Perfected) Crushing WallInfused (w/ weapon damage enchantment)

Easy starting set alternative: 5 Law of Julianos (craftable), 5 Mother’s Sorrow (from Deshaan), 2 Monster Set / Willpower Set

Our first set is Mother’s Sorrow (from Deshaan) for the massive amount of critical chance it gives. Giving 2842 spell critical and 1096 magicka allows the Magblade to deal consistent crits, boosting up their DPS by quite a bit. You could opt for Bahsei’s Mania for similar levels of DPS, but it requires you to keep a low magicka pool. You may want to take off Siphoning Attacks if you opt for Bahsei’s. 

The second set is (Perfected) Mantle of Siroria (from Cloudrest) for its amazing damage, assuming you can get a solid uptime on it. After dealing direct damage with a single-target attack, a ring of fire will spawn beneath you that raises your spell damage by up to 520. As you stand in the area, you’ll gain up to ten stacks of a 52 spell damage buff, so if you aren’t able to stand in the area for the full duration, you’ll only get fractions of the total 520 spell damage you could get.

To finish off the build, the Harpooners Wading Kilt (from scrying) is essential. Similar to Siroria, it gives a very strong bonus if you can maintain its stacks. If you can’t keep it up very often, it’s better to go for a different mythic item or monster set. Slimecraw (from Wayrest Sewers 1) is the best pairing, as it provides the highest critical chance among one-piece monster set bonuses at 771. Dealing direct damage will give you stacks on the Kilt that give you 125 critical chance and 1% increased critical damage every second. 1250 critical chance and 10% increased damage will really benefit you from your Mother’s Sorrow set and Khajiit passives. If you take direct damage, you will lose five of the stacks, so it’s important that your positioning is good while wearing this. 

Champion Points ➡️

Essentials in Order

Warfare: 20 Eldritch Insight, 20 Precision, 50 Deadly Aim (slot), 50 Master-At-Arms (slot), 20 Preparation, 50 Backstabber (slot), 20 Elemental Aegis, 20 Hardy, 20 Flawless Ritual, 30 War Mage, 50 Fighting Finesse (slot), 20 Blessed, 20 Tireless Discipline

Fitness: 20 Hero’s Vigor, 50 Boundless Vitality (slot), 50 Rejuvenation (slot), 50 Fortified (slot), 30 Tumbling, 20 Defiance, 30 Fortification, 20 Tireless Guardian, 50 Siphong Spells (slot)

Craft: 50 Steed’s Blessing (slot), 75 Liquid Efficiency (slot), 30 Rationer (slot), 50 Treasure Hunter (slot), 50 Steadfast Enchantment


2. Best Single-Target Stamina DPS Build: Stamina Templar

The Stamplar

Best Single-Target Stamina DPS Build: Stamina Templar
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Race: Dark Elf (or Khajiit) | Mundus: Thief | Food: Garlic Cod with Potato Crust or equivalent (5395 health, 4936 stamina) | Attributes: 64 Stamina

The Stamina Templar is currently the strongest stamina DPS variant for dishing out single-target damage throughout a fight and a top pick for ESO’s best DPS. They even have the bonus of dealing AoE damage around their target with their Biting Jabs spammable. Stamplars are also tankier than some other picks without sacrificing damage, making them strong options in Trial groups. Some higher-end Trial groups will opt for magicka over stamina, but a good Stamplar can make it into the ranks and hold their own even in a magicka-favored meta.

For race, we suggest Dark Elf for their high stamina and weapon damage stat bonuses. With an extra 1910 stamina and magicka along with 258 weapon and spell damage, Dark Elves have an easier time managing their resource pools while dealing out great damage. Khajiit is a close second, focusing more on bursts of damage with critical hits, while the other races will yield slightly lower DPS numbers. 

Skills ➡️

Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG
DEADLY STRIKE DAGGERS (MAIN BAR)THUNDEROUS VOLLEY BOW (BACK BAR)
Biting JabsEndless Hail
Power of the LightRadiant Ward
Deadly CloakRestoring Focus
Barbed TrapRitual of Retribution
Camouflaged HunterResolving Vigor
Flawless Dawnbreaker (Ult)Toxic Barrage (Ult)

Stamplars have an easy rotation and are able to manage their resources easily. After you set yourself down and place your Restoring Focus, you’ll be much tankier with the Major Resolve and benefit from the stamina regen it provides as well.

Power of the Light is the skill you have to pay the closest attention to in between bursts of Biting Jabs. This is what gives Stamplars their strong single-target DPS, as it copies the damage you deal to a specific enemy and casts a portion of it back on them after six seconds. It does max out, but you can quickly cut bosses down to size by focusing them with Power of Light and going to town with your other damaging abilities.

Build ➡️

SLOTGEARTRAIT
HeadSlimecraw (medium)Divines
ShoulderArms of RelequenDivines
ChestArms of RelequenDivines
LegsHarpooner’s Wading Kilt Divines
FeetArms of RelequenDivines
HandsArms of RelequenDivines
BeltArms of RelequenDivines
JewelryDeadly StrikeBloodthirsty (w/ weapon damage enchantment)
Weapon 1Deadly Strike Nirnhoned/Precise (w/ damage health poisons)
Weapon 2Thunderous VolleyInfused (w/ weapon damage enchantment)

Easy starting set alternative: 5 Hunding’s Rage (craftable), 5 Leviathan (from Crypt of Hearts), 2 Monster Set / Agility Set

To further form this kit into the the best stamina DPS build in ESO, you’ll need the right gear. For the first set, (Perfected) Arms of Relequen (from Cloudrest) is the best way to go. The single-target damage that you can get in extended fights is amazing, but does require you to focus down one target. Luckily for Stamplars, their Biting Jabs will do a lot of the work of cleaving nearby enemies while you target and light attack the boss or dangerous add. You can get a stack of Relequen’s harmful winds every half second from light or heavy attacking a target. This will max out at ten stacks and is based on your weapon damage, which will deal consistent massive damage to your target.

The second set is Deadly Strike (from PVP Bruma Vendor), which boosts damage over time abilities of Physical, Bleed, Poison, and Disease types by 20%. Biting Jabs is a channeled ability, so it benefits from this 20% damage boost. Increasing the damage of a spammable by 20% is a massive boon, and provides a nice damage buff to some of our other important skills like Deadly Cloak and Endless Hail. 

Champion Points ➡️

Essentials in Order

Warfare: 20 Tireless Discipline, 20 Precision, 50 Master-at-Arms (slot), 50 Deadly Aim (slot), 20 Preparation, 50 Biting Aura (slot), 20 Hardy, 20 Elemental Aegis, 20 Battle Mastery, 30 Mighty, 50 Backstabber (slot), 20 Blessed

Fitness: 20 Hero’s Vigor, 50 Boundless Vitality (slot), 50 Rejuvenation (slot), 50 Fortified (slot), 30 Tumbling, 20 Defiance, 30 Fortification, 20 Tireless Guardian

Craft: 50 Steed’s Blessing (slot), 75 Liquid Efficiency (slot), 30 Rationer (slot), 50 Treasure Hunter (slot), 50 Steadfast Enchantment


3. Best AOE Magicka DPS Build: Magicka Necromancer

The Magcro

Best AOE Magicka DPS Build: Magicka Necromancer
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Race: High Elf (Khajiit or Dark Elf) | Mundus: Thief | Food: Solitude Salmon Millet Soup or equivalent (5395 health, 4936 magicka) | Attributes: 64 Magicka

Another one of our top picks for the best ESO DPS build, the Magicka Necromancer is known for their strong AoE that can clear enemies away in no time. With an assortment of powerful class abilities, Magcros can tweak their skills at a moment’s notice to optimize for the fight at hand. Their ultimate, Glacial Colossus, is also one of the most useful skills in the game for optimizing group damage due to the Major Vulnerability it applies to enemies.

For race, we suggest High Elf for their bonus 2000 magicka, 258 spell and weapon damage, and 625 magicka or stamina regain every six seconds when they activate an ability. This lets them hit harder while also maintaining their magicka. Khajiit and Dark Elves provide very similar DPS, so it comes down to preference in that regard.

Skills ➡️

Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG
MEDUSA FLAME STAFF (MAIN BAR)CRUSHING WALL FLAME STAFF (BACK BAR)
Ricochet Skull (Spammable)Unstable Wall of Elements
Stalking BlastbonesScalding Rune
Unnerving BoneyardSkeletal Arcanist
Mystic SiphonSummoner’s Armor
Inner LightMystic Orb
Shooting Star (Ult)Glacial Colossus (Ult)

Magcros provide their team with strong AoE DPS across most of their skills, not to mention the heavily desired Glacial Colossus skill. The increased 10% damage enemies take while under the Major Vulnerability debuff helps team DPS by a huge amount. Having a Necromancer cast this before other large damaging buffs helps nuke down dangerous phases of boss fights and improve survivability.

Keeping up Unnerving Boneyard will help your team manage their resources when they activate the synergy, and it deals a nice chunk of damage to enemies inside. Depending on the situation, Shooting Star can be used instead of Glacial Colossus, as it refills your ultimate meter quickly and deals great damage.

The other important thing for Magcros to do when using the Ricochet Skull spammable is spreading their damage out evenly without focusing down singular enemies at a time. This makes it so when the third cast of Ricochet Skull bounces, it can hit two other targets. 

Build ➡️

SLOTGEARTRAIT
HeadSlimecrawDivines
ShoulderBahsei’s Mania Divines
ChestBahsei’s Mania Divines
LegsHarpooner’s Wading KiltDivines
FeetBahsei’s Mania Divines
HandsBahsei’s Mania Divines
BeltBahsei’s Mania Divines
JewelryMedusaBloodthirsty (w/ spell damage enchantment)
Weapon 1MedusaPrecise (w/ flame damage enchantment)
Weapon 2(Perfected) Crushing WallInfused (w/ weapon damage enchantment)

Easy starting set alternative: 5 Law of Julianos (craftable), 5 Mother’s Sorrow (from Deshaan), 2 Monster Set / Willpower Set

For the first set, Bahsei’s Mania (from Rockgrove) is a strong option if you can keep your magicka pool low. You’ll gain up to 15% increased damage based on your missing magicka, which will make your attacks hit for a lot harder. It can be hard at first to keep your magicka low enough for the strongest damage buff, but high enough to continue to cast your spells. Once you practice a bit, it’ll come easier, and you’ll start hitting those high DPS numbers in no time. 

The second set is Medusa (from Arx Corinium), which will provide a lot of spell critical and Minor Force. This buff increases critical damage by 10%, which will make those critical hits that much sweeter. Make sure to keep Medusa on your jewelry and weapon because it is a heavy armor set. 

The Wading Kilt (from scrying) is the strongest DPS mythic item out right now, as other alternatives just can’t compete with it. Use this item with one piece of Slimecraw (from Wayrest Sewers 1) to get your critical chance even higher. As long as you can keep from getting hit with direct damage, your 1250 critical chance and extra 10% critical damage will skyrocket your DPS. 

Champion Points ➡️

Essentials in Order

Warfare: 20 Eldritch Insight, 20 Precision, 50 Biting Aura (slot), 50 Deadly Aim (slot), 20 Preparation, Fighting Finesse (slot) , 20 Elemental Aegis, 20 Hardy, 20 Flawless Ritual, 30 War Mage, 50 Backstabber (slot), 20 Blessed

Fitness: 20 Hero’s Vigor, 50 Boundless Vitality (slot), 50 Ironclad (slot), 50 Rejuvenation (slot), 30 Tumbling, 20 Defiance, 30 Fortification, 20 Tireless Guardian 50 Siphong Spells (slot)

Craft: 50 Steed’s Blessing (slot), 75 Liquid Efficiency (slot), 30 Rationer (slot)


Best AOE Stamina DPS Build: Stamina Necromancer

The Stamcro

Best AOE Stamina DPS Build: Stamina Necromancer
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Race: Khajiit (or Dark Elf) | Mundus: Thief | Food: Garlic Cod with Potato Crust or equivalent (5395 health, 4936 stamina) | Attributes: 64 Stamina

The best stamina-based alternative for high AoE DPS is once again with the Necromancer. The Stamina Necromancer pumps out great AoE damage and provides their groups with the same great buffs, making them highly desirable in group content. They’re also quite a bit tankier than their magicka counterparts, holding their own well in situations where they’re getting less support from their teams.

For race we suggest using Khajiit, but a Dark elf will provide you with nearly the same DPS. 

Skills ➡️

Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG
KINRAS’S DAGGERS (MAIN BAR)THUNDEROUS VOLLEY BOW (BACK BAR)
Venom SkullEndless Hail
Blighted BlastbonesSkeletal Archer
Detonating SiphonResolving Vigor
Deadly CloakConsuming Trap
Camouflaged HunterBarbed Trap
Flawless Dawnbreaker (Ult)Pestilent Colossus (Ult)

Stamcros can use other spammables than Venom Skull (like Wrecking Blow), but I prefer the former’s range and unique playstyle. Venom Skull deals 20% increased damage on its third cast. While it’s slotted, any Necromancer skill contributes to this third cast, so you can plan out where you want to deal the additional damage.

The Pestilent Colossus is equally as desired as its other morph, because it also applies the Major Vulnerability debuff. The 10% increased damage enemies take when hit with Pestilent Colossus is great, and the ultimate deals more damage with each consecutive hit on an enemy. This helps Stamcros to output some great damage, especially if they time their Blighted Blastbones to hit just as the debuff applies. 

Blighted Blastbones will be your bread and butter AoE damaging ability, and it casts the Major Defile debuff on enemies hit. This causes their health recovery to be reduced by 16%.

Build ➡️

SLOTGEARTRAIT
HeadSlimecrawDivines
ShoulderArms of RelequenDivines
ChestArms of RelequenDivines
LegsHarpooner’s Wading KiltDivines
FeetArms of RelequenDivines
HandsArms of RelequenDivines
BeltArms of RelequenDivines
JewelryKinras’sBloodthirsty (w/ weapon damage enchantment)
Weapon 1Kinras’sNirnhoned/Precise (w/ damage health poisons)
Weapon 2Thunderous VolleyInfused (w/ weapon damage enchantment)

Easy starting set alternative: 5 Hunding’s Rage (craftable), 5 Leviathan (from Crypt of Hearts), 2 Monster Set / Agility Set

For the first set, a must-have stamina set is (Perfected) Arms of Relequen (from Cloudrest). Although the focus is AoE damage, you’ll need high DPS on bosses regardless. This set will need time for it to shine, but there’s nothing better for taking down bosses. Keep in mind that you’ll want to focus on only one enemy with light attacks when using this set, as switching to a different target will reset the stacks. 

Our second set is Kinras’s Wrath (from Black Drake Villa). If you already have a set like Advancing Yokeda golded, you can get near identical DPS with that instead. Kinras’s just has the added bonus of helping your group deal higher damage as well. Your light or heavy attacks give you stacks — at five, you gain an aura that gives you Major Berserk to increase your damage by 10%. The aura around you will also give you and your teammates Minor Berserk, increasing damage by another 5%.  

The Harpooner’s Wading Kilt (from Scrying) is also going to be the item that benefits you more than other mythics or monster sets. The stacked up 1250 critical chance and 10% increased critical damage will increase damage by a lot. The 10% increase is also unique, so there is no need to worry that it will overlap with the critical damage bonus gained from Barbed Trap. Slimecraw (from Wayrest Sewers 1) is the best piece to pair with it for the extra 771 critical chance. If you aren’t getting to the penetration cap in your group, you can instead go for one piece of Kra’gh (from Fungal Grotto 1).

Champion Points ➡️

Essentials in Order

Warfare: 20 Tireless Discipline, 20 Precision, 50 Biting Aura (slot), 50 Backstabber (slot), 20 Preparation, 50 Deadly Aim (slot), 20 Hardy, 20 Elemental Aegis, 20 Battle Mastery, 30 Mighty, 50 Master-at-Arms (slot), 20 Blessed

Fitness: 20 Hero’s Vigor, 50 Boundless Vitality (slot), 50 Ironclad (slot), 50 Rejuvenation (slot), 30 Tumbling, 20 Defiance, 30 Fortification, 20 Tireless Guardian

Craft: 50 Steed’s Blessing (slot), 75 Liquid Efficiency (slot), 30 Rationer (slot)


Best Class for High DPS, Versatility, and Ease of Use: Magicka Sorcerer

The Magsorc

Best Class for High DPS, Versatility, and Ease of Use: Magicka Sorcerer
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Race: Khajiit (Dark Elf or High Elf) | Mundus: Thief | Food: Solitude Salmon Millet Soup or equivalent (5395 health, 4936 magicka) | Attributes: 64 Magicka

The Magicka Sorcerer benefits from very strong DPS numbers and being much more accessible to players of all levels. This is our pick for the most well-rounded and best magicka dps build in ESO. One of the many reasons they’re so good is their use of pets. Having skills that passively deal damage allows players to focus on hitting their other skill combos more accurately. This in turn lets Magsorcs focus on light attack weaving, boosting their DPS even further. Magsorcs also deal amazing single-target damage, and are especially strong at the beginning of boss fights due to great passives like Amplitude.

For race, we suggest using Khajiit for their extra critical damage, but Dark Elves and High Elves will get you just about the same damage output. 

Skills ➡️

Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG
SIRORIA FLAME STAFF OR DAGGERS (MAIN BAR)CRUSHING WALL FLAME STAFF (BACK BAR)
Crystal FragmentsUnstable Wall of Elements
Daedric PreyBarbed Trap
Bound AegisMystic Orb
Volatile FamiliarVolatile Familiar
Twilight TormentorTwilight Tormentor
Greater Storm Astronach (Ult)Elemental Rage (Ult)

Magicka Sorcerers excel at dealing heavy single-target DPS on targets while also dealing solid AoE damage. They specialize at dealing the most damage at the beginning of giths, where their Amplitude passive is at full tilt. Amplitude increases damage done against enemies by 1% for every 10% of their total health they have. At the start, you’ll get a great 10% bonus, so lean into maximizing your damage at the start and using Infused jewelry.

Bloodthirsty has been the standard for a while in most builds, as it has great execute scaling, but Infused will increase your spell damage enchantment by a flat amount throughout a fight. Bound Aegis is important to keep on your front bar so that your max magicka will be increased by 8% simply by having it slotted. Its Minor Ward and Resolve also help keep you more protected from damage with the 1320 physical and spell resistance.

Crystal Fragments can feel like a clunky spammable with its 0.8 second cast time, but it has the ability to become an instant cast ability when it procs. Casting magicka abilities has the chance to proc it, making it instant, cost 50% less magicka, and deal 66% more damage. Being mindful to use this skill whenever it’s available for instant cast will help your DPS by quite a bit. 

Build ➡️

SLOTGEARTRAIT
HeadSlimecrawDivines
ShoulderBahsei’s ManiaDivines
ChestBahsei’s ManiaDivines
LegsHarpooner’s Wading KiltDivines
FeetBahsei’s ManiaDivines
HandsBahsei’s ManiaDivines
BeltBahsei’s ManiaDivines
JewelryMantle of SiroriaInfused (w/ spell damage enchantment)
Weapon 1Mantle of Siroria Staff or
Mantle of Siroria Daggers
Precise (w/ flame damage enchantment)
Nirnhoned/Precise (w/ flame and poison enchantment)
Weapon 2(Perfected) Crushing WallInfused (w/ weapon damage enchantment)

Easy starting set alternative: 5 Law of Julianos (craftable), 5 Mother’s Sorrow (from Deshaan), 2 Monster Set / Willpower Set

Our first set is (Perfected) Bahsei’s Mania (from Rockgrove). This is a very powerful set when used correctly, but will require a specific playstyle to maximize its set bonuses. You gain up to 15% increased damage in proportion to missing magicka to non-player enemies. This means that as you get closer to not being able to cast any more abilities, your abilities will hit much harder. Sometimes this requires you to waste some magicka casting energy orb over and over before a fight to “pre-buff” your damage boost. Sometimes it’s better to hold off on synergies too, but be sure to take them as you need them.

Our second set is (Perfected) Mantle of Siroria (from Cloudrest). This set requires you to stay in the same location to gain its ten stacks of 52 spell damage. Once it’s at full stacks, the 520 extra spell damage is unparalleled. It can be difficult to maintain a solid uptime on stacks when certain mechanics push you around away from your Siroria ring, so it can be best to switch it out with Mother’s Sorrow (from Deshaan) in these situations for more consistent critical hits. 

The Harpooners Wading Kilt (from scrying) once again takes the cake. When you can keep its uptime high, the 1250 critical chance and 10% increased critical damage are truly nasty. Be sure to pair it with Slimecraw (from Wayrest Sewers 1) for its additional critical chance. Positioning yourself in a spot where you won’t take direct damage and remove kilt stacks while trying to stay in your spawned ring of Siroria can be difficult, so knowing what will go down in each fight will help boost your DPS by a lot. 

Champion Points ➡️

Essentials in Order

Warfare: 20 Eldritch Insight, 20 Precision, 50 Deadly Aim (slot), 50 Master-At-Arms (slot), 20 Preparation, 50 Backstabber (slot), 20 Elemental Aegis, 20 Hardy, 20 Flawless Ritual, 30 War Mage, 50 Fighting Finesse (slot), 20 Blessed, 20 Tireless Discipline

Fitness: 20 Hero’s Vigor, 50 Boundless Vitality (slot), 50 Rejuvenation (slot), 50 Fortified (slot), 30 Tumbling, 20 Defiance, 30 Fortification, 20 Tireless Guardian, 50 Siphong Spells (slot)

Craft: 50 Steed’s Blessing (slot), 75 Liquid Efficiency (slot), 30 Rationer (slot), 50 Treasure Hunter (slot), 50 Steadfast Enchantment


The Best DPS Classes in ESO

In Elder Scrolls Online, high DPS is one of the most coveted things a player can gain outside of fancy houses and Perfected Roe. DPS can vary a lot with how you set up your build and skills, especially when it comes to your skill rotation and light attack weaving. At the most basic level, however, certain classes make it easier to get high DPS due to the meta of the current patch.

This segment of our guide outlines just that. It is important to remember that parsing isn’t everything — it matters more to keep up consistent damage during difficult content. Certain classes and playstyles may fit you better than our recommendations, but we hope to help you get started with a class that’ll get you involved in endgame content.

With the Deadlands DLC out and Update 32 in full swing, here are how the DPS classes fall in ranking. We’ll outline how both magicka and stamina variants rank, and also cover what races will help optimize your character. Races generally only affect your overall DPS in a range of 1~7%, but if you are trying to push your numbers as high as they can go, it’s an important consideration. 

DPS Class Tier List (PVE)

When it comes to DPS, the most important consideration is how you set up your skill rotation. Even if you’re playing the strongest class, it’s crucial that you get comfortable with weaving light attacks in between your skills and resetting your skills so they have close to 100% uptime. At the moment, the following classes have the highest potential for dealing amazing damage (if you can master their rotations):

TierClass
SMag Necro, Mag NB, Stam Templar
AStam Warden, Mag Sorc, Stam Necro, Stam DK
BStam Sorc, Mag Warden, Mag DK
CStam NB, Mag Templar

DPS Race Tier List (PVE)

Race is an important consideration when crafting your DPS character — each race optimizes your playstyle in different ways. For DPS, your main concern is increasing your spell or weapon damage and increasing your primary stat of magicka or stamina. The following tier list will help you plan accordingly:

TierMagicka DPS Race RankingsStamina DPS Race Rankings
SHigh Elf, Dark ElfDark Elf
AKhajiitKhajiit
BBreton, OrcOrc, Wood Elf
CArgonian, ImperialRedguard, Imperial, Nord
DWood ElfArgonian, High Elf
FNord, RedguardBreton

All ESO Classes Ranked Best to Worst by PVE DPS Potential

Now that we have our tier lists outlined, we’ll get into why they are in their respective positions. We’ll start with our higher-tier picks and move toward the lower-tier picks that are a little harder to reach big numbers with. Each class has its own playstyle, so keep in mind that switching to a new class may take some getting used to!

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Magicka Necromancer — S Tier

Screenshot of a necromancer in ESO
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Necromancers are always a solid choice for DPS due to having the best AOE damage in the game alongside some significant single-target damage. Not only do they deal a lot of damage, they also provide great utility to their team by increasing the group’s overall damage. This is a unique feature that really sets Necromancers apart from other DPS classes.

Skills

The Necromancers’ amazing ultimate, Glacial Colossus, deals solid damage and increases damage done to enemies hit by its AOE by 10%. This is a game changer in Dungeons and especially Trials, helping you and your teammates blast through content.

Blastbones is another key Necromancer feature that ensures they consistently deal amazing AOE damage. Magicka Necromancers also have the great advantage of being able to slot various utility skills depending on the group they find themselves in. For example, if your group is struggling with PUG vet Dungeons, you can slot Spirit Guardian for its strong healing and its ability to soak up 10% of all the damage you take.

2/12

Magicka Nightblade — S Tier

Screenshot of a nightblade in ESO
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Nightblades are an easy DPS pick for group content thanks to their strong, single-target burst damage and great AOE damage. Magicka Nightblades can also easily sustain themselves and stay afloat without a healer hovering nearby. They do amazingly in all forms of content and can even take on difficult roles that other DPS classes would struggle with, such as the shadow realm in the Cloudrest Trial and portals in the Sunspire Trial.

Skills

The Nightblade’s ultimate, Incapacitating Strike, increases damage done to a target by 20%. This massively increases your DPS while active. It only costs 70 Ultimate, meaning you can use it to burst down targets quite often.

Magicka Nighblades have such high survivability partially due to their class spammable, Swallow Soul, which deals strong damage and gives back health whenever it’s cast. Merciless Resolve is another great skill that doubles as nuke burst damage and a strong heal.

3/12

Stamina Templar — S Tier

Screenshot of a templar in ESO
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Templars deal great single target and AOE damage, and have a very easy rotation to get used to. This allows Stamina Templars to weave light attacks between their skills more easily than other classes, and allows for higher DPS because of it. They are fairly tanky as well, helping them stay where they can deal the most damage without being pushed away by damaging ground AOEs.

Skills

Stamina Templars generally revolve their playstyle around using the skill Biting Jabs, which deals amazing single target and AOE damage to enemies close to the target you are focusing. Pairing this up with the Power of the Light skill, Templars can deal great burst damage once the skill activates. Power of the Light will copy damage up to a limit of any damage you deal within 6 seconds to a target and deal that amount to the target again. Using these two skills Stamina Templars deal a huge amount of damage consistently throughout fights.

4/12

Stamina Warden — A+ Tier

Screenshot of a warden in ESO
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Wardens are currently a strong DPS pick, as they can deal massive damage with their skills and by simply having their bear ultimate equipped. Stamina Wardens have access to many forms of bleed through their class skills, and can make good use of other bleeds like Barbed Trap, Rending Slashes, and Carve (which is easier to include in rotations since it now lasts 12s). By stacking up a lot of bleeds that can melt enemies over a longer fight, Wardens act as a great DPS for PVE content.

Skills

Wardens’ signature ability, Wild Guardian, is a must-have not only for hitting high DPS, but for significantly increasing survivability in aggro situations. It needs to be slotted on both skill bars, but it’s certainly worth the space. Growing Swarm is another strong skill that deals great bleed damage and increases the target’s damage taken by 5%, helping you dish out a lot of damage.

Wardens have two other signature skills that sync up well for some nasty burst damage. Subterranean Assault deals AOE damage for 3s after you cast it, then bursts out again after another 3s. You can get huge burst damage by pairing it with Cutting Dive, which is considered an instant-cast skill despite the time it takes for the projectile cliff racer to reach its target.

5/12

Magicka Sorcerer — A Tier

Screenshot of a sorcerer in ESO
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Sorcerers are a variable class that offer both simple and complex rotations, depending on your preferred style. With their access to strong Daedric pets that deal great single-target damage, Magicka Sorcerers can passively pull their weight in a fight without button-mashing their way through content like other classes have to.

Skills

Magicka Sorcerers generally slot Twilight Tormentor, Volatile Familiar, and Crystal Fragments. The Daedric Summons both deal great single-target damage to enemies — Tormentor specializes in dealing more damage to high-health targets, while Familiar provides a great AOE stun. Crystal Fragments is a bizarre skill that deals heavy single-target damage and has a chance of becoming stronger whenever you cast a skill that costs magicka. It loses its cast time and becomes an instant skill, deals more damage, and even costs less. Some players use it as a spammable, while others only use it when it’s activated for instant cast usage. 

6/12

Stamina Necromancer — A Tier

Screenshot of a necromancer in ESO
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Necromancers have great class skills that allow them to play more offensively or defensively, depending on the content. Stamina Necromancers have access to strong AOE skills and deal out some great damage, and can also hold their own with relative ease. Necromancers also have access to one of the best damaging utility ultimates in the game, which increases damage done to enemies hit by it. This makes Stamina Necromancers a great choice for any type of content.

Skills

The Pestilent Colossus ultimate is one of the stronger selling points of Stamina Necromancers for group content, as it heavily increases group DPS. Dealing high AOE damage, it also places the Major Vulnerability debuff on all enemies hit, increasing their damage taken by 10%. As some Trial groups are still stuffy about letting Stamina characters join them, this can be a convincing factor as all trial groups covet this skill.

Blighted Blastbones is another skill that helps Stamina Necromancers do so well in group content with its heavy AOE disease damage. Venom Skull is also a skill that keeps them relevant even at long range, being a solid stamina spammable with a great 28-meter range. 

7/12

Stamina Dragonknight — A Tier

Screenshot of a dragon knight in ESO
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Dragonknights specialize in DPS revolving around heavy DOT skills, and make great use of other non-class DOT skills. Stamina Dragonknights are back in a strong position, and can even make use of the spammable Molten Whip (which now scales with a player’s highest offensive stat, making it viable for stamina characters). 

Skills

Dragonknights can establish a lot of consistent DPS on enemies using a combination of both class and other weapon tree DOTs. With access to Molten Whip as a spammable, Stamina Dragonknights can focus on rotating their Ardent Flame skills to maximize the damage of their Whip. Each Ardent Flame skill increases the damage of the Molten Whip by 33%, stacking up to three times and allowing for some solid double damage whips at full stacks. 

8/12

Stamina Sorcerer — B Tier

Screenshot of a sorcerer in ESO
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Sorcerers deal great single-target damage and also have solid class skills that help them deal damage passively while also increasing their tankiness. Stamina Sorcerers depend less on Daedric pets than their magicka counterpart, but they still make great use of the Unstable Clannfear. They’re highly mobile and have some great damaging class abilities, making them a great addition to a team.

Skills

Most Stamina Sorcerers will make use of Bound Armaments, a great skill that can be used to increase their stamina by 8%, light attack damage by 10%, and strike an enemy up to four times. Critical Surge is another strong class skill that offers an easy source of Major Brutality and Sorcery while also healing upon dealing critical strikes, helping you sustain yourself during difficult fights.

9/12

Magicka Warden — B Tier

Screenshot of a warden in ESO
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Wardens are a strong class that can be used for raw damage and solid utility thanks to their many ice-based skills that increase group damage and help control the battlefield. Magicka Wardens pull this off with ease due in part to their ability to maintain the Minor Brittle passive and help increase their group’s critical damage.

Skills

Magicka Wardens can make use of the bear ultimate or use a more AOE-focused ultimate like Northern Storm or Shooting Star. Winter’s Revenge is one of the Magicka Warden skills that deals significant frost damage that helps apply the Chilled status effect. Magicka Wardens also make great use of their Animal Companions skills, using Deep Fissure for its great AOE damage and Fetcher Infection for its strong DOT and Minor Vulnerability.

10/12

Magicka Dragonknight — B Tier

Screenshot of a dragon knight in ESO
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Dragonknights deal solid flame damage and place many strong DOT skills on enemies, burning them down slowly over fights. Magicka Dragonknights’ skills require them to be closer to enemies than other magicka classes would generally like to be, which can be difficult for some players. Despite this, Magicka Dragonknights put out great AOE DPS and can burn down enemies with ease. 

Skills

Engulfing Flames is a strong AOE DOT that Magicka Dragonknights make great use of, helping to burn down many enemies at once while also making them take more damage from flame damage attacks, up to 10% increased damage. Molten Whip is another essential skill for Dragonknights that deals progressively more damage the more Ardent Skills you use before it, capping at 100% increased damage. 

11/12

Stamina Nightblade — C Tier

Screenshot of a nightblade in ESO
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Nightblades are a strong class that make use of great class abilities that deal heavy burst damage, especially in execute phases. Stamina Nightblades can perform really well in most content due to their substantial single-target damage, but put out a lot less AOE damage than other classes. Their playstyle is fun and rewarding, but it can be difficult to pull the high DPS without putting in a lot of practice on rotations. 

Skills

Incapacitating Strike is a great ultimate that increases Nightblades’ damage by 20% against a specific target for 6s This can really help to burst down high priority targets in execute phases. Killer’s Blade is the Nightblade execute that deals great damage while also healing if the enemy dies within two seconds of being hit with it, helping Nightblades survive through difficult fights while focusing on dealing damage. 

12/12

Magicka Templar — C Tier

Screenshot of a templar in ESO
Image: ZeniMax Online Studios via HGG

Templars have an easy-to-approach playstyle that revolves around straightforward rotations, making them an easy class to get good with. Magicka Templars are more designed for healer style gameplay, but can still deal great single-target and AOE damage when built correctly. While Magicka Templars position themselves close to enemies, their main spammable heals them, which keeps them relatively safe despite their squishier light armor builds.

Skills

Magicka Templars’ main skill is Puncturing Sweep, which also doubles as a solid heal. It deals both single-target and AOE damage to enemies surrounding the target, allowing you to heal for 40% of the damage done. This helps you be an active DPS even while taking heavy damage.

Purifying Light is another Templar skill that deals great damage while also providing a heal. Copying damage dealt to an enemy over 6s up to a cap, it releases the damage again to the enemy, and heals nearby allies for 6s after. These skills combined help Magicka Templars remain active throughout a fight and even help boost their teammates’ survivability. 

Join the High Ground

DPS is a role in ESO where players can really set themselves apart from others with varying styles of gameplay. The huge range of DPS differences are quite noticeable with more advanced players, so we hope this guide helps push you into the ranks of those who make the leader boards!

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Happy gaming!