Leveling up in Elder Scrolls Online has many benefits. You can take on more difficult content, boost your damage and survivability, and earn other bonuses like quicker harvesting and improved pickpocketing. And these are only some of the reasons why you may want to level up quickly!
While the game does have a system that allows low-level players to play with more advanced friends, many parts of the game are still locked until you reach a specific level. Dungeons and Battlegrounds aren’t open until Level 10, Undaunted pledges until Level 45, and Veteran Dungeons (where you get the really good loot) aren’t available until Level 50. You definitely don’t want to miss out on such major parts of the game, so what’s the best way to level up in ESO quickly and effectively?
We’ll be answering that question in this week’s guide to leveling in ESO. We’ll start off with general leveling tips, then move into the best ways to level at 1–50 and 50+ with Champion Points. Let’s get right into it!
General Leveling Tips
Here are a few tips on how to level up quickly in ESO. This advice will help you out at any stage of leveling, as they’re just great ways to earn experience as you progress through the game.
Events are a huge way to make leaps and bounds in your leveling. They’re also the cheapest way to do it, as event leveling items are free after completing the first quest in the event. During the New Life Festival event, for example, each player receives a tool called Breda’s Bottomless Mead Mug. This gives the player a two-hour 100% experience boost that stacks with any other XP bonus you may have in effect (including scrolls, psijic ambrosia, etc.).
Other event items offer similar XP bonuses, and can usually be found in the tool tab menu. Most of them give general XP buffs, but some are specific to various areas (e.g. the Scroll of Pelinal’s Ferocity, which only gives bonuses for PVP gameplay).
Be mindful of when these events are happening and picking up the XP boosts where available, and you can seriously reduce the time spent grinding.
Training gear is a must-have for leveling, as it also cuts down on grinding time. Most players will swap it out at Level 50/CP 160 for gear that increases their damage or survivability, but it can be useful for farming even at later levels. Keep in mind that the training bonus only increases the experience gained from kills — it won’t give you a big bonus for turning in missions, completing daily dungeons, etc.
One of the difficult things about ESO is the way your gear grows weaker as you level up. It’s just about useless to grind out good sets until CP 160, when gear caps out. If your gear is going to become obsolete anyway, you might as well use pieces that are going to level you up quicker.
Training gear can be bought from guild traders. Law of Julianos (magicka), Hunding’s Rage (stamina), and Shacklebreaker (magicka and stamina) can typically be found in abundance. The gear tends to be fairly inexpensive, and definitely worth the gains you earn by wearing it. Note that jewelry tends to be more expensive and doesn’t have the Training trait, but you only need one piece to complete your five-piece set bonus. Your other jewelry pieces can be whatever you’d like!
Blue gear will give you the most bang for your buck. Purple gear is generally much more expensive, therefore more of a hassle to get your hands on. Feel free to buy White/Green gear and upgrade it to Blue yourself (or even Purple, if you have the materials). Just don’t bother upgrading to Gold, as you’ll want to save those upgrade materials for other items.
With seven body pieces and two weapon slots available, you’ll be able to get a total of eight effective training gear bonuses. Note that two-handed weapons count as one weapon, while dual-wield or sword-and-board count as two “half” weapons. Here are the XP bonus you’ll gain from kills if wearing all training gear at each rarity:
- White: 54%
- Green: 62%
- Blue: 70%
- Purple: 78%
- Gold: 86%
You can also get a percentage increase in experience simply by grouping with another player. The percentage changes depending on how many group members you have, increasing the XP for each player and splitting it amongst them. The ideal amount is two players per group, but 2–4 is just fine for grinding. More people means better DPS and faster completion, after all!
Keep in mind that you still have to be in the area to gain XP from group kills, so you won’t get the bonus if your group members are in different zones or offline.
Experience Scrolls / Psijic Ambrosia
Experience scrolls and Psijic Ambrosia increase your experience gained by a variety of percents and durations. These bonuses both pause when you’re offline and resume when you return, so don’t worry about losing them when you log off. Use one whenever you’re about to do something to net serious XP gains, but don’t bother stockpiling them for the “perfect” time. It’s better to use them early to boost your level than hold onto them (like I have a tendency to do).
You earn experience scrolls for gaining a level between 1–50, and will likely receive them quite often as login rewards. Crown experience scrolls can be bought, but I prefer to wait it out and use my crowns for items I can’t earn otherwise. Gold Coast scrolls give XP bonuses of 50%, 100%, or 150%, and last at least an hour. Crown experience scrolls offer a flat 50% bonus, but last for two hours.
Psijic Ambrosia is a craftable consumable, which means it can be bought and sold over guild traders. It requires some rare ingredients, thus making it fairly spendy. I tend to opt for the experience scrolls, but Ambrosia is a solid way to level if you run out of scrolls. It has three stages, each with a bonus lasting thirty minutes. Psijic Ambrosia gives a 50% bonus, Aetherial Ambrosia gives 100%, and Mythic Aetherial Ambrosia gives 150%.
Note that you can’t use experience scrolls and Ambrosia at the same time. XP gain consumables do not stack, but they do stack with other items like training gear or event items.
Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, here are some of the fastest ways to level in ESO through the 1–50 tier.
Dolmen Derby is a fun and chaotic way to get earn experience, and is the go-to way to power-level without needing to think about it. If you’re looking for immersive XP grinding, this probably isn’t the method for you.
It takes place primarily at the dolmens in the Alik’r desert. While you’re in the zone, active dolmens will blink on the map. They go off one at a time in rotation, so you’ll need to complete them all before looping back to the first. They’re easy to spot with how much space they take up in the sky, though, and the blaring horns that accompany them make them hard to miss.
Dolmens in the Alik’r Desert go down in what feels like less than a minute at peak hours. It can be hard to get hits in on mobs because of this, so it’s important to group up. Typing “x,” “y,” or “z” will generally get you an auto-invite from one of the groups running through. You may have to wait, as they fill up quickly, but you can always start your own group if you aren’t getting any bites.
You can find people grinding dolmens in different zones, but the Alik’r Desert is by far the best. Each of the three dolmens are located close to wayshrines, so going to and from them is a breeze. You can also run dolmens at Deshaan and Rivenspire for relatively good speed and great loot (Mother’s Sorrow and Necropotence). Auridon has some fast dolmen runs as well, but it still doesn’t hold a candle to the Alik’r Desert.
Until Blackrose Prison became a more efficient run, Skyreach was the go-to way to grind. This delve is meant to be completed with a group, so it can be much more difficult than the other options.
If you’re under Level 50 and don’t yet have a solid build, you’ll want to bring someone who has CP with you. Some players even pay gold to higher-level DPS characters to carry them through. Expect to pay out a decent sum if you ask for this in the Craglorn zone chat. That said, you might get lucky and find someone willing to do it for free!
This group area in Craglorn is another solid place to grind, and has a very similar feel to a public dungeon in the way that the enemies respawn. You can circle through and make quick work of enemies while netting some great experience.
It can be a fairly high traffic area, but it’s amazing for grinding solo or with a group when it is open. Once you get your route settled, you’ll level up in no time. You won’t get much in terms of looting items off enemies, but it makes up for it in raw XP gained. The area looks amazing, but can get a bit old after you run your hundredth circle around it.
Public Dungeons can be an incredibly fast way to power level once you get your groove of pulling and managing mobs. Mobs respawn incredibly quickly, so you can generally revisit a room just after completing another.
You can also get a solid amount of zone-specific set items from bosses. As there is a public dungeon in each zone, you have plenty to choose from. Here are some of my favorites for each alliance:
- Aldmeri Dominion: Crimson Cove in Malabal Tor and The Vile Manse in Reaper’s March
- Daggerfall Covenant: Razak’s Wheel in Bangkorai and Obsidian Scar in Rivenspire
- Ebonheart Pact: The Lion’s Den in The Rift and Sanguine’s Demesne in Shadowfen
- DLC: Old Orsinium in Wrothgar
There are some drawbacks to Public Dungeons, though. Since you’re not in your own instance, other players can join you and potentially throw off your rhythm. If this happens, try going down a different route to avoid them, or just jump to a new public dungeon if the XP drain is too much.
If you aren’t sure where to go, you can always pick up the Mages Guild quest that sends you to a dungeon. Turning it in also nets you a big rapport boost with Bastian, if you’re interested in taking this route.
Daily Dungeon / Battlegrounds
You’ll get a huge sum of experience by completing a random daily dungeon or battlegrounds. You do need to be Level 10 to queue for daily dungeons/battlegrounds, but you should get there pretty quickly if you follow the other methods in this section.
Running dungeons on Normal difficulty is the most time-efficient. Fungal Grotto and Spindleclutch 1 can be run in under five minutes by a group with good DPS! Make sure to take all the daily pledges first — if you happen to luck into running a daily, you’ll get even more experience after turning it into whoever gave you the pledge.
Undaunted pledges unlock at Level 45. Pop an experience scroll ahead of time, as you receive XP after beating the last boss of a dungeon or finishing first or second in a battleground. If you were completing a quest for either option, you’ll also get some nice bonus XP. These bonuses reset twenty hours after you gain them, so it’s easy to achieve daily.
Queuing up for another random daily afterwards can be a decent option, but you’ll get a significantly smaller bonus than you did from completing your first. It’s best to switch over to grinding in a different part of the game at this point, such as running dolmens.
Level 50+ CP
Here are some of the fastest ways to level your CP in ESO once you reach Level 50.
Enlightenment is only available to players who are past Level 50 and in their CP leveling process. This system speeds up leveling by increasing your experience gains from everything by 4x. Every twenty-four hours, you’ll get 400K XP worth of Enlightenment. Thankfully, this doesn’t go to waste if you don’t play for a while, and stacks up to twelve times. Be sure to play at least once roughly every two weeks to make the most of that bonus.
Blackrose Prison Arena
This is currently the best area in the game to gain the most experience in the shortest amount of time. You’ll want to run this on normal, and have at least one other person with you. You can ask for others to join your group in Craglorn, or pay people to carry you through more quickly. XP gains are best with two people, but you can run with four for better speed.
AOE damage is your friend here, so slot as many AOE skills as you can. The weird thing about BRP is that you’ll want to only go through the first wave. You can complete the full arena for a solid arena weapon, but for grinding experience, it’s best to quit right after the first stage. Because you can teleport directly into the Blackrose Prison, leave the arena to reset the area and port right back in to start over.
If set up properly, crafting can be a very fast way to level up. Turning in your dailies all at once can get you some decent experience, but master writs are where it’s at. Keep in mind that you need to be Level 50 in whatever crafting area you’re completing writs for. You’ll also want to have a surplus of crafting materials to avoid getting held up by a missing ingredient.
Master writs are earned by turning in a daily crafting mission once you’re Level 50 in that craft. You can also buy them from guild traders. These can get pricey, but are worth buying to craft in short bursts. You’ll probably want to do this in Deshaan Mournhold where the crafting stations are easy to access and close to Rolis Hlaalu, where you’ll turn these in.
Gather 3–5+ alchemy and enchanting master writs, and rush back and forth between crafting and turn-in. Enchanting writs can be extremely easy to plan out beforehand, while alchemy writs are a bit harder to craft before seeing which ingredients are needed. Using an experience scroll for this will get you some amazing experience gains, but because this is so quick, you’ll want to head out to a different leveling area soon after.
Tip: Having Dolgubons Lazy Writ Creator Add-on will make this process even quicker and won’t require you to make decisions on what resources to use.
Join the High Ground
That’s it for our guide on the best and fastest ways to level in ESO — thanks for reading! Grinding levels in ESO can be both fun and frustrating, so we hope you can put these tips to good use for the most efficient leveling possible. For the latest on ESO and your other favorite games, follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter.