Making gold in Elder Scrolls Online is a must if you want to access the more interesting parts of the game. Whether you spend your gold on character customization or crafting materials, you’ll need plenty of gold on hand. There are plenty of ways to make gold in ESO, though your preferred method depends largely on what you like to do in game.
You should always try a variety of methods to avoid burnout, but sometimes you just want to make some quick cash. In this ESO Gold Farming Guide, we’ll cover both the easy, passive methods and the longer, more difficult ways to make gold. We’ll even include a couple DLC-exclusive options if you’re tired of running base game content.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- 1 Farming Gold via Crafting / Hirelings
- 2 Farming Gold via Fishing
- 3 Farming Gold via Dolmens / Public Dungeons with Expensive Sets
- 4 Farming Gold via Steal, Steal, Stab
- 5 Antiquities — Selling Treasures
- 6 Employ Your Services & Sell Your Goods
- 7 Investing — Items Players Always Want
- 8 Join the High Ground
Farming Gold via Crafting / Hirelings
Crafting is an incredibly passive way of making money in ESO, but it’s extremely effective. To make the most of this method, you’ll need to grind your crafting levels to 50 and invest points in their primary passives. This ensures you get high-quality resources that other players are more willing to buy. You also earn some gold just by completing a writ — completing all of them nets you just under 5K.
The more characters you have completing writs at Crafting Level 50, the better. It’s annoying to log in and out just to complete writs, but you’ll also get your Hireling drops in the meantime.
Hirelings require only that you log in once a day on the character with the Hireling passive. Various crafting items will be sent to your mailbox, which you can access via any of your characters after. Once you craft your dailies, you have a chance to earn rare crafting materials or sealed crafting writs that you can sell for a fortune.
Highest Selling Materials
The highest-selling golden materials are Chromium Grains and Platings. Current averages on PC show Chromium Grains selling for well above 30K apiece, and Chromium Platings selling for 300K apiece. You can make some solid money this way!
The runner-up is the Clothing golden material, Dreugh Wax, which sell for around 19K apiece. Tempering Alloy (Blacksmithing) sells for around 10K per, and Rosin (Woodworking) sells for around 4K per.
Note that crafting materials have been steadily increasing with time. Be sure to check the regular going price for your materials before selling them on a guild trader!
You can also craft housing items that have the potential to make you a lot of money. Keep in mind that some resources cost too much to warrant creating the item. Heartwood, for example, is very expensive at around 1300 per on guild traders. Selling an item that cost 10 Heartwood for only 10K nets you 3K less than if you’d simply sold the Heartwood itself.
You’ll usually make the most money selling less common or aesthetically pleasing items. Filled bookcases are popular because of their aesthetic and because they take up fewer crafting slots than an empty bookcase and individual book furnishings. Items from new DLC areas also sell high when they’re initially released, so seek those recipes out if you want to turn a quick profit.
Farming Gold via Fishing
Fishing is a great way to make money and relax in ESO’s many scenic locations. Fishing requires very little attention, making it a very calming grind. This farming method is lucrative in two major ways. You can either sell your fish whole for other players to filet, or filet them yourself by interacting with them in your inventory.
The end goal of this is finding the legendary provisioning ingredient, Perfect Roe. This ingredient is used for crafting Psijic Ambrosia, a consumable that increases your experience gain by 50–150% for thirty minutes, depending on the Ambrosia recipe used. As you can imagine, Perfect Roe are highly desirable for this reason, and currently sell for about 55K apiece on PC.
Farming Gold via Dolmens / Public Dungeons with Expensive Sets
Dolmens themselves aren’t wildly lucrative outside XP gain — even gold-wise, they’re just so-so. That said, you’re guaranteed a jewelry drop every time you loot the treasure chest after the dolmen is destroyed. You’ll mostly get cheap Green or Blue rarity jewelry, but some Purple jewelry can sell for tens of thousands.
Here are some examples of sets with expensive jewelry that you can get from dolmens:
- Deshaan’s Mother’s Sorrow set
- Bangkorai’s Spriggan’s set
- Malabal Tor’s Spinner’s set
- Rivenspire’s Necropotence set
These zones don’t have the most user-friendly proximity to wayshrines, but you can still get them done quickly with practice.
You can also farm these same sets in public dungeons. This is potentially more effective, as bosses have guaranteed set drops. You can also farm mobs between boss fights, since public dungeon mobs have an insanely fast respawn rate. Simply gather up huge waves of enemies and blast them down with AOEs for easy gold and XP, then rinse and repeat.
Farming Gold via Steal, Steal, Stab
Thieving can make you millions in ESO, and is also loads of fun. Not only can you fence the treasure you steal, you can also pick up furnishings and recipes that can potentially sell for a pretty penny.
How to Get Started with Thieving
Before you start pickpocketing, go by the Thieves’ Guild in Hew’s Bane if you have the Thieves’ Guild DLC. There is a Tip Board that will direct you to a location to do some thieving. You can hop around to the different destinations, and you’ll even earn some extra gold when you turn the quest in.
My personal favorite spot to steal is in Lilmoth Murkmire. The people are decently spread-out, allowing for easy pickpocketing, and Murkmire crafting recipes sell for a lot. Other DLC locations will also net you a lot of great crafting recipes you can flip on the guild trader from 1000 to 100K, depending on what you find.
The principle of pickpocketing is that each time you steal, you’re more likely to get caught. Your odds of a successful pickpocket will go down by 10% for each item you steal. NPCs have different chances of catching you, so look around to find easier targets, like beggars or drunks. (Not exactly moral, but certainly effective.)
When pickpocketing, wait for the interaction to turn from white to green. A bell sound will go off, notifying you of this easier pickpocket. The pickpocket chance will leap up 20%, making it much easier to pull off.
Here’s where the Steal, Steal, Stab strategy takes effect.
The first time you steal with the green bonus, it should be easy. The second will be a bit harder to pull off, and the third usually gets you caught. This is where the Dark Brotherhood’s Blade of Woe comes into play. You’ll need the DLC for it, but using it lets you stab an unsuspecting target in the back and loot a stolen item from them. This makes stealing three items from NPCs fairly easy, as long as nobody sees you doing it.
It’s much easier to get caught stabbing an NPC than pickpocketing, so make sure you’re out of line of sight when you do this. Consider snagging the CP Shadowstrike for five seconds of invisibility after stabbing someone with the Blade of Woe. Another solid bonus is that the NPCs have a visible reset when they come back to life, rather than leaving you wondering about who you can pickpocket again.
Other Thieving Strategies
Pickpocketing isn’t the only way to steal. Make sure to check wardrobes, nightstands, and locked safeboxes in houses, as well. Stealing from people in houses is much easier, as there are less NPCs around to see what you do.
If you want to make stealing your primary source of income, make sure to invest in the Legerdemain skill and the left side of the crafting CP. Legerdemain passives make sneaking and pickpocketing easier to do. You can also increase the daily limit of items you can fence by 180% to a total of 140 items.
The crafting CP also has several must-have passives that make earning money much easier. For example, Infamous increases the selling price of stolen goods by 25%. Cutpurse’s Art increases your chances of pickpocketing higher rarity loot, which means fencing more expensive goods.
Pro Tips: Wear a mix of Night Terror, Night Mother, and Darloc’s Embrace to get solid sneaking bonuses. You’ll get spotted less often being practically invisible and will be able to sneak around in areas you normally couldn’t get around in. Invisibility potions are also solid for when you get into trouble and are already spotted.
Antiquities — Selling Treasures
The Antiquities system allows you to dig up treasures like furnishings and even mythic weapons and armor. We’ll be using it to dig up “treasure” that’s only purpose is to be sold to merchants.
Antiquities themselves require the Greymoor expansion or ESO+. You’ll need to travel to Solitude in Western Skyrim and complete the quest called “The Antiquarian’s Circle” to unlock it. If you open your journal, antiquities are one tab over from quests.
Where and How to Focus Scrying
Artaeum is the easiest zone to start digging up antiquities in. You’ll need the Summerset expansion or ESO+ to have access to this island. Artaeum is a very small area and doesn’t have enemies to slow your path while you dig up treasure. This is the easiest way to grind up levels, but it can feel quite boring. Grind out as many levels here as you’d like before heading to other zones (ideally, ones with more unlocked wayshrines).
Scrying in zones you haven’t fully explored/unlocked wayshrines in makes the process a total pain. You’ll spend more time than necessary running all across the zone. The important thing is getting to Scrying Level 5, where you can start scrying Advanced (Purple) rarity antiquities. This is where the money starts pouring in.
Don’t forget to use the “Antiquarian’s Eye” tool while scrying. This item is a life saver and allows you to pinpoint the direction of an antiquity once you’re in its area. Don’t wander around like a headless chicken like I did while leveling up my scrying ability.
Each zone starts you out with digging up a Green lead, which then unlocks a Blue lead. This in turn unlocks a Purple lead. Once you find those, you’re finished with the zone. Green leads sell for 250, Blue for 1000, and Purple for 5000. Dig up all these leads from each zone and you’ll unlock the final lead, located in the Antiquarian’s Circle in Western Skyrim.
On the upper floor near the back-right corner, you’ll find the Al-Esh Ascension Coin lead that will get you the treasure that sells for 100K gold. You’ll need Level 10 in Scrying, as it requires the highest level of Antiquarian Insight to dig up Ultimate rarity items.
Employ Your Services & Sell Your Goods
This is kind of a weird one, and really depends on the level of player you are. You’ll need to be kitted out with BIS sets and be able to quickly burn through content to help other players get through content.
Where and How to Get Paid for Assistance
Craglorn is basically the only zone where you should offer help with running content or getting a specific item. It’s the go-to spot for players to group up with one another, as the zone is made specifically for running group content. New players and returning veterans alike use Craglorn for grouping up.
People will most often ask for normal Black Rose Prison, Spellshard, Skyreach, and etc. Players also post their prices for carrying saying things like “Carry for nBRP or Skyreach here, pm me if interested.” Set your price, then run content for an hour or so. People charge various amounts, but it’s not uncommon to see people charge 200K+ per hour for experience grinds. The faster you can complete the content, the higher you can charge.
Clear the content alone or with a friend first to assess how fast you can complete it, then decide how much you want to charge. You may get more bites when asking for less, but you may also waste your time if you could be charging more.
Farm Gold by Selling Desirables
Another similar money-making method is selling off desirable items that can only be obtained in dungeons or trials. With the new guaranteed weapon/jewelry drops that aren’t yet bound in your sticker book, you can ensure you get a specific desirable weapon from the final boss.
For example, you could run Black Drake Villa and get all possible drops except the Kinras’s dagger. Next time you complete the dungeon and kill the last boss, you’re guaranteed to get that drop. You can then post something like “Guaranteed Kinras’s dagger drop from nBDV for 100K” in the zone chat.
It can be tedious to level to the point that you can start selling off specific weapons, but you can potentially make loads of money if you’re able to clear new content easily.
You can even help people farm for the motifs that can be found in vet DLC dungeons and trade them to the player for a price. If they have the motif already, you can always sell it on a guild trader. The newest DLC dungeon motifs will sell for a lot of money, so you can farm those quickly and sell them out immediately even if you want to use that motif eventually. Over time, the motif will drop in value and you can buy it back once the market is flooded with more copies. Collectors are willing to pay big bucks to fill out their collections as quickly as possible, so get your motifs out to the highest bidder!
Investing — Items Players Always Want
Gold does lose its potency over time, so buying items that retain their worth can be a good way to save the gold you have earned. Turning your gold into assets can also be a gamble, as some items become more common over time and lose their worth.
There are several items that will always retain or even grow in gold worth over time, however. Crafting materials are a solid way to “invest” your gold in ways that will avoid inflation.
People will always want the following items:
- Tempering Alloy
- Dreugh Wax
- Chromium Plating
- Perfect Roe
There’s every chance that ESO will make big changes and increase the frequency of finding these items through a new CP or just by increasing drop rates, but it’s not bad to have a stockpile of some of these resources.
Investing in Rare Items
Another way to invest your gold is by obtaining items that are very rare and/or collectable. An example of this would be the complete Imperial Crafting Motif. Rare motifs and style pages will likely continue to increase in price even as more are found, as they’re still rare finds overall. Rare furnishings are another example of a great way to invest your gold, as things like Ayeleid furnishings are so rare that they will most likely continue to be worth millions on the guild traders deep into the future of ESO.
Join the High Ground
We hope you become a millionaire in no time by using some of these strategies! Let us know how these strategies work out for you or if you have a different method that we missed. For more information on all of your favorite games and the latest in all things ESO, follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter.