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ESO Healing Guide for Beginners: Top 5 Tips to Get Started

Healers will always be necessary in Elder Scrolls Online for getting groups through difficult content. As a healer in ESO, you’ll be tasked with keeping your group alive as well as with maintaining many group buffs. In this ESO Healing Guide for Beginners, we’ll start off with the most important aspect of being a healer, which is healing in a meaningful way. These tips will help you from being just a functional healer into one that makes their team much stronger.

Here are the most important tips for healing in the Elder Scrolls Online that you’ll need to know to get started. As part of Tip #5, I’ve included some top item set recommendations to up your healing game!

Looking for tanking tips? See our Tanking Beginner’s Guide.

1. Positioning

As a healer, you have many AOE skills that you’ll need to focus toward the tank, but you’ll also want to heal the DPS on your team at the same time. While your tank holds the boss’s aggro away from your group, you’ll want to position yourself behind the DPS and aim towards the tank. At the least you’ll want all of your healing abilities to be in range of the tank.

ESO healer positioning
Image: Zenimax Online Studios via HGG

This sometimes means those DPS running about will not get healed. This is fine — they’ll either move to where the healing is or learn to do so after they die. You don’t want to waste your resources on catching those DPS running around the room with heals, otherwise you run the risk of letting your tank die. It also costs twice as many resources to cast those heals on multiple targets, running your magicka dry and potentially leading to a group wipe. 

So what is a healer to do when their team keeps running around and they aren’t able to effectively set down ground AOEs that heal their whole party? Sometimes simply asking your group to stand closer to the tank so you can heal them as well will be convincing enough. Other times you’ll need to just focus your attention on the tank and those you can heal in the path toward them. 

2. Layer Your Healing

The best way to keep everyone in your group at near full health is by layering many healing abilities at once. Stacking multiple sources of healing up on your team will prevent you from having to damage control healing up one ally from 10% health. Having a burst heal handy is nice, but they can be hard on your magicka sustain, so it’s better to avoid having to use them. The general stack of healing skills are Illustrious Healing, Radiating Regeneration, Energy Orb, and other class-specific heals like the Warden’s Budding Seeds. 

Layer your healing to be a good healer
Image: Zenimax Online Studios via HGG

The other benefit of layering your healing is that as your team will be at full health and overhealed quite often. Because of this you can reap a lot of benefit from sets like Spell Power Cure. Spell Power Cure (from White-Gold Tower) activates when you overheal yourself or an ally, giving them 430 spell and weapon damage from its Major Courage buff.

3. Don’t Just Heal!

Anyone can cast Radiating Regeneration over and over, but groups can benefit from so much more when the healer has a variety of spells. Combat Prayer (morphed from Blessing of Protection) is one such example of a skill that is great for healing, but used more so for its buff. You and your allies will gain Minor Berserk, increasing damage done by 5% and Minor Resolve increasing resistances by 2974. Your allies will be better protected and do a lot more damage during the fight, making it so you don’t have to heal as much. Once you set your heal over time abilities like Illustrious Healing and Radiating Regeneration, you’ll want to move to adding damage or other buffs. 

ESO healers should vary their spells
Image: Zenimax Online Studios via HGG

Elemental Drain (Destruction Staff Skill) is a staple skill that healers generally take to provide their group with Minor Magickasteal on enemies they cast it on. This will give your teammates back 168 magicka back every second while attacking the enemy who has it placed on them. Energy Orb is another skill that healers take that provides their team with a synergy that helps them gain back their resources. DPS who have focused their builds on reaching the highest damage possible often do not have as much recovery.  This is where the healer comes in to maintain their resource pools. 

Finally an essential ultimate for a healer to help their group deal more damage is Aggressive Warhorn (Assault Skill). Once activated, your team will have all their resource pools increased by 10%, and they’ll also gain Major Force. This will boost their critical strike damage by 20%. This will increase overall damage and survivability by a lot, and should be used the majority of the time.

Except of course for when your team will need a life-saving healing ultimate like Reviving Barrier (Support Skill). If you are a class with an ultimate that provides Major Protection, like the Nightblade’s Consuming Darkness or Warden’s Sleet Storm, use it before enemies use their stronger abilities. With Major Protection, they’ll take 10% less damage overall.

4. Providing Damage

Healers need to vary their healing by also dealing damage of their own. There will be times in fights where heals aren’t as necessary — during these times, you’ll want to be adding to your group’s overall damage. For this reason, you’ll want to have both a restoration staff and a destruction staff. You’ll want a range of damaging abilities, especially AOEs that you can use to weaken enemies. Elemental Blockade is a great example of this.

Eso healers - damage output with spells
Image: Zenimax Online Studios via HGG

With a Weakening enchantment on your destruction staff, you’ll reduce enemy weapon/spell power by 348. On an infused destruction staff, this increases to a reduction of 452. Skills that apply vulnerability or maim to targets should be used with high priority. Vulnerability increases an enemy’s damage taken by either 5 or 10%, while maim reduces their damage dealt by 5 or 10%.  The Warden’s Fetcher Infection and Necromancer’s Agony Totem are great skills that both apply Minor Vulnerability. Maim is easier to apply to enemies as frost staves apply the Chilled status effect, which can be done with Elemental Blockade. 

Crushing Shock is the skill of choice for interrupting ads and bosses alike from afar. Enemies hit with this skill while casting are interrupted, set off balance, and stunned for three seconds. In many cases, enemies from a range will use charged attacks that will deal massive damage to groups. In some cases, if an enemy charged attack is not interrupted, it will end up killing whoever it’s aimed toward.

Generally, if the tank is next to an enemy that is winding up a charged attack, they will interrupt them, but they can’t always do so on enemies from afar. This is especially relevant in fights like when you need to interrupt Selene’s charged attack during Lair of Maarselok, or Tackmaster Viccia’s charged attack during The Cauldron.

5. Armor Evolution (What to Wear as the Healer)

As you start healing, you’ll want to use sets that increase your healing potency and magicka pool/recovery. As you become more comfortable with healing, you’ll want to move towards sets that provide your group with essential buffs. You’ll want to aim towards wearing full light armor for the best magicka recovery. You can also wear one piece of medium and one piece of heavy to gain extra tankiness and passive bonuses.

ESO Healer Best Armor Sets
Image: Zenimax Online Studios via HGG

Undaunted Mettle increases your resources by 2% per type of armor worn. This equates to 6% increased health, stamina, and magicka pools which can increase your survivability by a lot. You’ll want to make sure that all of your armor traits are divines to increase the potency of your mundus stone. This is the most effective way of increasing healing right now in ESO as far as traits go.

You should put all sixty-four Attribute points into Magicka to increase your healing power, magicka sustain, and survivability. You’ll also want to take a mundus stone that helps you manage your resources or increases your healing. The best option for recovery is the Atronach with its bonus 310 magicka recovery (507 with full divines). The Thief provides an extra 1333 critical chance which will increase your overall healing potency the most right now (2167 with full divines). 

(Sets with the ⭐ and an image are my personal favorite to use).

Initial Sets from Overland:

Winter’s Respite (from Western Skyrim) — Casting abilities that leave an AOE on the ground creates a circle of healing that restores health every two seconds for ten seconds, scaled off of your max magicka.

Wisdom of Vanus (from Summerset) — When you complete a fully charged heavy attack, you gain Major Mending increasing your healing by 16%. Duration is increased for each rank of the Restoration Staff passive of Essence Drain.

Trinimac’s Valor (from Wrothgar) — When you cast a damage shield ability, heal group members and damage enemies in a five-meter radius scaled from your max magicka.

Crafty Alfiq (from Northern Elsweyr) — Gives a huge amount of magicka, its fifth piece giving 2550. In total, you get 5838 magicka.

Bright Throat’s Boast (from Murkmire) — When you have a drink buff active, your max magicka is increased by 2000 and its recovery by 133.

Crafted Sets:

Law of Julianos (from Wrothgar) — Increases your spell damage by 300.

Armor of the Seducer (from Deshaan, Grahtwood, Stormhaven) — Reduces the cost of your magicka abilities by 10%.

Eyes of Mara (from Eyevea) — Reduces the cost of your restoration staff abilities by 15%.

Strong Healing Options from Dungeons:

Sanctuary Set

Sanctuary (from Banished Cells) — Increases your and up to eleven group members’ healing received by 10%. (A great set to use if you are the second healer in a trial)

Worm’s Raiment (from Vaults of Madness) — Increases your and up to eleven group members’ magicka recovery by 145.

Hiti’s Hearth (from Icereach)—- When you heal yourself or an ally with an ability, gain a warming aura that restores health every two seconds for ten seconds, scaled off of your max magicka. It also reduces the cost of sprint, block, and roll dodge by 5%. 

Advanced Group Buff Sets:

Spell Power Cure Set

Spell Power Cure (from White-Gold Tower) — Overhealing yourself or an ally will give them Major Courage, increasing their weapon and spell damage by 430. (Olorime is an equivalent, but I find it easier to overheal than always get everyone within the AOE).

Vestment of Olorime (from Cloudrest) — AOE abilities you cast will create a circle of might that gives any within Major Courage, increasing their weapon and spell damage by 430.

Hollowfang Thirst

Hollowfang Thirst (from Moongrave Fane) — Critically healing or damaging a target will spawn a ball of blood, which explodes after two seconds. This restores magicka and applies Minor Vitality to allies hit, increasing their healing received by 8%. (This set helps with recovery and makes you heal for a lot more).

Jorvuld’s Guidance (from Scalecaller Peak) — Increases the duration of all major and minor buffs as well as damage shields you cast by 40%.

Gossamer (from Cradle of Shadows) — When you heal yourself or an ally you give them Major Evasion, reducing damage from AOE attacks by 20%.

Elemental Catalyst

Elemental Catalyst (from Stone Garden) — Whenever you deal flame, shock, or frost damage, apply that weakness to the enemy for three seconds. Each stack increases their critical damage taken by 5%, maxing at 15%. You can only gain one stack of each type on an enemy. (Great for if you want to deal some more damage and have access to each type of damage in your skills / destruction staff.)

Scorpion’s Feast

Scorpion’s Feast (from Dread Cellar) — Fully charged heavy attacks give you and three other group members 307 magicka and stamina recovery for ten seconds. You can use another fully charged heavy attack to switch this bonus to a 307 spell and weapon damage bonus for ten seconds. (Althought it can feel clunky, the extra spell and weapon damage are great, especially if you are also running Spell Power Cure and your tank is buffing up others with Powerful Assault / Yolnahkriin).

Monster Sets for Defense:

Earthgore Set

Earthgore (from Bloodroot Forge) — When you heal yourself or a group member that is under 50% health you’ll spawn a massive heal scaled off of the higher of your max magicka or stamina. (This is such a strong burst heal, it helps a lot with making sure no party members die for those hard to complete no-death runs).

Sentinel of Rkugamz (from Darksade Caverns 1) — When you heal yourself or an ally, summon a Dwemer spider that heals and restores magicka and stamina to you and your allies within an area of five meters every second for eight seconds.

Symphony of Blades

Symphony of Blades (from Depths of Malatar) — When you heal yourself or a group member that is under 50% of their primary resource, they’ll gain a buff that gives 570 magicka or stamina (whichever is their primary resource) every second for six seconds. (It’s so powerful to have those extra resources for your whole group, making damage flow faster and enabling your team to dodge roll and block when they need to.)

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That’s it for our ESO Beginner’s Guide to Healing — thanks for reading! For more Elder Scrolls Online guides, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media.

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