The Antiquity system is becoming increasingly important in Elder Scrolls Online, as it opens up a wide variety of different build types with mythical items. That’s not even to mention all the wonderful furnishing items you can get, or the large sums of gold you can make by selling off expensive treasures you uncover.
Sadly, the leads for those mythics are still left to RNG and farming the locations that drop them. To help you out, we’ve put together this ESO Scrying guide to get you started with scrying for Antiquities. We’ve also covered some great tips that will save you loads of time scrying.
Let’s get started!
What are Antiquities?
Before we get into Antiquity hunting, it’s important to iron out why Antiquities are so valuable in the first place. Antiquities are historic relics you can dig up and either put to use or sell for a profit. You can get hefty sums of gold, furnishings, and even pieces of strong, game-changing mythic rare items.
You can also get some nice achievement rewards from Scrying, including costumes, weapon styles, outfitting dyes, mementos, mounts, and more! We outline the specifics below in the “Worthwhile Achievement Rewards” section.
When you dig up an Antiquity, you can also find up to three additional items that can either be gold, a cheap treasure item (worth 40–100 gold), style material (some can be very expensive, so don’t trash these), or set items from the zone you’re in. These fill up your inventory quickly, so make sure you have a good amount of bag space before you go on a scrying frenzy.
Journal List & Lore
If you open your journal, Antiquities are one tab over from Quests, and you’ll see a master list of all the leads you can seek out. You’ll first need to unlock the skill by completing the first Antiquarian quest, which we’ll cover below. Every time you complete the scrying mini-game, you’ll get an item (or part of an item) that comes with a historic analysis from the Antiquarian Circle’s Researcher.
These can be very interesting and give you more insight on specific lore in ESO. Even if you’re not big into lore, some of the blurbs about the items can be funny or horrifying depending on what you’re digging up, so read a couple as you go!
ESO Scrying Guide: Starting Out
To start out, you’ll need either the Western Skyrim DLC or ESO+ (which gives you all the DLC expansion zones minus the most recent area, which is currently High Isle). Once you enter Western Skyrim, go to Solitude and head for the Antiquarian Circle in the southern area of town. You’ll find it southeast of the Bard’s College and northwest of the Blue Palace.
Finding the “Calling All Antiquarians” scroll that’s posted out at the docks of Morthal, Dragonbridge, the Bottomless Pit in Dusktown Blackreach, and Leyawiin Blackwood will point you directly to the building, if needed. Regardless, you’ll be able to go directly to the Antiquarian Circle and speak with Verita Numida.
The Antiquarian Circle
Verita will give you the quest “The Antiquarian Circle,” which will reward you with the Antiquarian’s Eye. Again, this item is extremely important to Scrying — many players won’t realize its importance if they skip through dialogue in quests. The Antiquarian’s Eye can be found in the tool section of your collections, and basically points you directly toward your next dig site once you’re within range of your next Antiquity.
I ran around dig sites for what seemed like forever before realizing this tool could point my way. Don’t do what I did — use it early on so Scrying and Excavation aren’t such painful tasks!
Verita will then give you the quest “Antiquarian’s Art,” which has a walk through of how to obtain leads, locate the dig site, and dig up the treasure associated with the lead. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be a certified member of the Antiquarian Circle and can scry up whatever you like.
There are level requirements on higher rarity leads, so you’ll have to level up before you get to the really good stuff. After unlocking this Antiquity feature, you’ll get both the Excavation and Scrying skill lines. Excavation helps you get the treasure out of the dirt faster in the digging mini-game, while Scrying helps you find the items more quickly in the linking facets mini-game.
Antiquarian Levels and Leveling
The Antiquarian Insight passive under the Scrying skill tree decides what rarity of Antiquity you can dig up:
- Level 1: Green simple rarity items
- Level 3: Blue intermediate
- Level 5: Purple advanced
- Level 7: Yellow master
- Level 10: Orange ultimate
Level 10 is when the mythic rare leads are available to scry, but you can certainly find those leads beforehand. You won’t be able to scry them unless you level up quick enough to scry and dig them up. You can get the same type of lead more than once, but because you’re relying on RNG, it’s better to get troublesome leads out of the way when you first encounter them.
Scrying Guide: Leveling Your Skill
The trick of leveling your Scrying skill is to do it in a zone that you can get around easily in. This means either that you have all of the wayshrines unlocked so you can quickly dart around the map, or simply a smaller sized zone. Artaeum, the small island long ago removed from Summerset, is the perfect place to power level your Scrying and Excavation skills.
It’s super small so you can sprint to each dig site easily, and there are no enemies to slow you down and knock you off your horse. This will save you loads of time if you’re starting out Scrying with a character that doesn’t have their horse speed and stamina trained up.
If you don’t have access to Artaeum, you can always pick another small zone like Bal Foyan, Betnikh, or Stros M’Kai, or another area you’ve explored thoroughly.
How Do You Scry?
This Scrying mini-game can be a nice reprieve from the chaos of parsing and battling god-tier threats in ESO, but it can get monotonous if you do too much at once. The goal is to connect facets to reach the six different glowing areas throughout the mini-game. These glowing facets represent the potential dig sites. Each time you connect to one, it erases one of the dig sites, leading you more directly to the correct location. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t connect to all of the glowing facets, each one you don’t reach adds one more area you’ll need to visit to check for the dig site.
Once you get into the green zone where the Antiquity is (or may be) located, use the Antiquarian’s Eye. Consider slotting it into your quick slots for easy use! It’ll save you a lot of time running around, since the green zones can potentially span a big chunk of land.
When used, the Antiquarian’s Eye will show a glowing beacon pointing you in the direction of the dig site. You can only use this tool within the sectioned out area, and you may need to use it more than once in spots with a lot of differing terrain, but it clears up any confusion on where the item might be after one or two uses.
When you visit areas that aren’t the correct spot, you’ll find the usual mound of dirt with only a white rarity treasure worth 40 gold. On the bright side, digging it up will take that area off the map of potential dig sites. If you find the correct spot on the first or second try, you’ll just open up into the normal mini-game dig menu.
Once you’re in the dig menu, try ordering your moves to isolate the probable area as quickly as possible. The auger (R — the brush) shows you how close the item is with a color-coded system:
- Red: the item is far away from the highlighted area
- Orange: the item is still far, but you’re getting closer
- Yellow: the item is nearby
- Green: the item is directly underneath the highlighted area
If you diagonally come in from each corner by about spaces (as shown above), you can get a general feel of where the item is. In the images above, there are three orange spaces and a yellow space in the bottom-left, meaning the Antiquity is somewhere further down and to the right.
Once you have the probable area found, you can dig down one tile with the small brush (W). Each time you dig, you’ll store up one energy. With two energy, you can either use the trowel (A) to remove three layers of dirt, or the heavy shovel (D) that takes out one layer in a 3×3 area.
If you don’t employ this strategy or a similar one, it can be hard to gauge where the Antiquity is. You’ll likely have to dig down to the lowest level to see if the item is there or not. This will take up more of your time, as you’ll have to ride around in the same area to find another mound to dig up.
The positive side is that even if you don’t find the Antiquity (or break it by digging into it too deeply with the Trowel), you’ll be able to find it in the same zone you’re already digging in, just slightly further away.
Excavation and Scrying Passives to Take and Skip
I have tried Excavation and Scrying with all passives maxed out, but this does take up a hefty chunk of skill points. Excavation takes 14 while Scrying takes 16, taking out a grand sum of 30 skill points. You can get by without speccing much into Excavation, but doing so will make your life easier. Definitely don’t pass up the Keen Eye: Treasure Chests passive at the very bottom, which highlights treasure chests with a bluish glowing light when you’re within 30 meters. This is great because you can find leads from treasure chests, helping you to find more Antiquities.
The Scrying skills are harder to pass up, as you’ll very much need to get all 5 points into Antiquarian Insight to unlock those mythic rare items. I also like to use either Coalescence or Farsight to claim long chains of facets to more easily reach the 6 glowing facets of interest. Pick your favorite of skills that make linking up facets easier, and just go with that one (Coalescence, Farsight, or Dilation are your choices). The Preemptive Power passive does help get you started out more easily, claiming an additional layer of facets at the starting point for you as you begin.
Antiquity Treasures — Making Money
Each zone gives you a freebie green lead to start out with, which unlocks a blue lead once you complete it. Completing the blue unlocks purple, which in turn unlocks green again. You can go around and complete this for each zone if you want to eventually unlock the Al-Esh Ascension Coin that sells for 100,00 gold.
You’ll make some good money in the meantime too, as green leads sell for 250, blue for 1000, and purple for 5000. Once you dig up a green, blue, and purple in each base game zone, as well as all of the DLC zones when Western Skyrim came out, you’ll unlock the Al-Esh Ascension Coin lead.
The DLC zones you’ll need to complete the three leads for include:
- Hew’s Bane
- Gold Coast
- Clockwork City
- Northern and Southern Elsweyr
- and Western Skyrim
Worthwhile Achievement Rewards
You can get two costumes — the Antiquarian Field Garb (via achieving “Master Antiquarian,” also unlocking the title “Master Historian”) and the Antiquarian Robes (via achieving “Master of the Eye,” also unlocking the title “Sagacious Seer”).
You might get a pickaxe look called the Antiquarian’s Pickaxe, which is perfect for any miner character (via achieving “Master of the Spade” also unlocking the title “Expert Excavator”). Or get an outstanding white dye titled Marble White dye (via achieving “Excavation Virtuoso”).
The memento Antiquarian’s Telescope (via achieving “Bygone Bounty”) is a great look but a frustratingly long memento to use. Luckily it sometimes bugs out and lets you wield the telescope as your weapon for a while before the game bugs it back out of existence.
Join the High Ground
We hope those Antiquity facets line up perfectly on your next scry, and you get some solid leads for legendary items and beautiful furnishings soon. Let us know your favorite Antiquity you’ve found, or the one you are most excited to uncover in the comments! 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.