If you’re building a new character in ESO or simply trying to unlock more passives on your main, you’ll likely want to collect Skyshards as fast as possible. Each Skyshard nets you a fraction of a skill point, which you can use to unlock and upgrade skills and passives in your skill trees. This week, we’ve put together a guide on how to collect Skyshards in ESO quickly and efficiently.
We’ll cut this guide into two main categories:
- Aboveground Skyshards are scattered throughout the general landscape of a zone and will be easier to ride or run by to grab.
- Underground Skyshards are less accessible, requiring you to fight through or run past enemies inside of delves or public dungeons to get.
Without any further ado, let’s get started!
ESO Skyshards: Strategy
The general strategy to collecting Skyshards is isolating all of the aboveground Skyshards in a zone first, then hop to the next. After doing this in multiple zones, you can return and go through all the delves and public dungeons. These will muck you down a bit, as there’s no easy way to avoid the narrow passages full of enemies.
Some zones are better than others for collecting Skyshards. The major deciding factors are the proximity to wayshrines and ease of navigation — the better you can get through a zone, the easier time you’ll have collecting Skyshards. Another factor is how often players frequent the area. You can unlock area wayshrines in an area by traveling to guild members in that zone, so you’ll need those guild members to actually be in the zone. More frequented zones are therefore easier to collect Skyshards from.
For your first run through of the game, I understand wanting to uncover things naturally as you go. Knowing certain locations ahead of time can pull you out of the immersion. Honestly, though, the novelty of discovering something isn’t worth the hassle of having to go back and seek them out again later. Just consider yourself an explorer with well-drawn maps on hand — you’ll still be exploring, just with a little guidance!
It’s beyond easy to miss a Skyshard as you run out of a delve or walk by one while facing another direction. Having an add-on that tells you where they are on the map will save you a lot of time and make leveling up your skills much easier.
If you’re strictly against all add-ons, I suggest at least getting a Skyshard and lorebook finder, as those are the easiest things to miss.
Also, consider joining guilds just for the added bonus of porting to guild members for free. You can unlock the wayshrine nearest to them, more readily opening up the zone to you. Another immersion breaker, but better than having to run across the entire zone in search of a Skyshard. Save exploring the zone naturally for other things like questing — Skyshards are somewhat of a necessity, as you need them to unlock your skills.
There are four zones that are extremely compact and only have three Skyshards each, all of them above ground and requiring minimal travel. It’s easy enough to find them all, and you won’t need to secure many wayshrines to get around quickly.
- Bal Foyan
- Stros M’kai
Bleakrock Isle also has three Skyshards, but one requires you to start the “At Frost’s Edge” quest to gain access to the area with the Skyshard in it. You don’t need to finish the quest, but it’s still more of a hassle than the others listed before. The Skyshard reached this way is called “To dig too deep would be no Folly.”
The medium zones have a maximum of six Skyshards apiece.
- Khenarthi’s Roost
- Hew’s Bane
- Gold Coast
Khenarthi’s Roost is by far the best, as each Skyshard is overland and easy to run to, despite the zone only having two wayshrines. You can complete it in a loop with relative ease. Hew’s Bane is the fastest to snag the overland Skyshards due to their close proximity to the wayshrines. Gold Coast is more spread out, so it’ll take a bit longer to collect them, especially the far northwest one.
In larger zones, you’ll usually see about nine aboveground Skyshards, six delve Skyshards, and one public dungeon Skyshard. The best larger zones for gathering Skyshards are:
- The Alik’r Desert
- The Rift
Of these easier zones to collect from, the Alik’r Desert is probably easiest. People are constantly porting around here to complete those quick delves, so you’ll get more of the map covered by randomly porting to guild mates or friends.
Deshaan comes in second, with many people frequenting the area and potentially running the dolmens for Mother’s Sorrow jewelry. Deshaan also has a more streamlined ease of access of the Skyshards from the wayshrines, as well as when you run from one to the next. Eastmarch comes in third with an easy loop to run through with a fairly compact zone and Skyshards in easy-to-reach locations.
Some of the large zones frankly have a much better layout than others. Bangkorai, for example, has large divides of impassable terrain and quests blocking entrance to specific locations. While great for questing, it’s annoying to not be able to snag a nearby Skyshard because you haven’t completed the relevant quest yet.
Other Large Zones for Collecting Skyshards
Blackwood and the Deadlands are also pretty easy to traverse for Skyshards, and as so many players frequent them, it’s easy to port around to unlock those wayshrines. Other zones pose difficulty with wider areas to cover or terrain that is annoying to traverse.
As far as PVP zones go, the Imperial City actually has some fairly easy-to-reach Skyshards. You simply port up the ladders and run along the outskirts to snag a Skyshard in each of the sectors of the city. You can also go and snag the ones in the sewers, but those are a little more annoying to get, since they’re the equivalent of delves.
Zones to Avoid!
There are some zones in particular that are just awful to collect Skyshards in. The absolute worst are:
- Blackreach (part of Western Skyrim)
Blackreach requires you to go through a lot of difficult terrain and jump between different areas within the caverns underneath Western Skyrim. While beautiful, it can be annoying to get around down there.
Craglorn doesn’t have a single Skyshard above ground. All of them require you to go through delves, and as the zone is designed for group play, they’re more difficult to get through than other zones.
Coldharbour is fine once you have the wayshrines collected, but the areas are initially inaccessible without playing through the quest. This makes getting most of them a hassle without asking a friend to port to the different wayshrines so you can unlock them yourself. Even then, the Northern Reaver Citadel wayshrine is off limits until you complete more of Cold Harbor’s main quest line.
Cyrodiil is a total pain on all fronts. Not only is the zone massive, everyone not in your alliance is trying to kill you. You’re stuck between a horse-riding simulator and constant PVP, making it a drag to collect local Skyshards. Not to mention that some of them are blocked off completely until the opposing alliance’s keeps are conquered and the gates to their elder scrolls are opened.
If you aren’t a PVPer, you have to luck into logging in to one of the campaigns where more is going on to break those doors open. And did I mention that there are forty-six Skyshards to obtain here? Fun for the chaos, not so fun for the time it takes you to gather them all.
Looking for Skill Points in Other Ways?
Leveling up your character from 1 to 50 is a no-brainer for getting new skill points. Once you hit Level 50, you’ll stop getting a skill point each time you level. Completing zone quests and dungeon story quests will also net you full skill points when you complete them.
Leveling up your Alliance ranking will also grant you a skill point, which is nice for PVPers who are less keen on traversing for Skyshards. Aside from leveling up and Skyshards, dungeon quests are the best way to get skill points in the game. Dungeon quests are fast, and you can complete them on normal for the skill point making it easy to obtain at any skill level and character role.
Join the High Ground
We hope you can gather up Skyshards more quickly now, letting you level up all those empty skill tree passives. If you have a least favorite zone to traverse, let us know in the comments below! 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.