The Elder Scrolls Online can be played with or without the monthly paid membership called ESO Plus, which allows the player access to a wide array of playable content. The paid membership naturally offers more, but is it worth $15 a month for it? In this article we’ll dive into the ins and outs of what ESO Plus provides to give you a better idea of whether or not it’s worth it for you.
Keep in mind that ESO will offer a free week of ESO Plus every so often, which is a great time to test it out yourself to see if you truly want it. Also you can choose to only pay for one month if you don’t feel like waiting around for the next free trial. Let’s jump right into what ESO Plus has to offer!
How Much Is ESO Plus Membership?
First things first: how much does ESO Plus membership cost?
Well, it depends on the package you select. The base fee is $14.99 when you select the monthly package, but it goes down when you purchase three, six, or twelve months all at once.
These subscriptions do automatically renew, so make sure you cancel them before you are charged again if you are planning to stop playing for a while or just don’t want the extra benefits any more. Twelve months certainly nets you the most money saved if you are planning to continue renewing your ESO Plus subscription, but it comes at a hefty cost of $140.04 a year. When you break it down, for a game you enjoy playing, it’s only $0.38 a day or about three fancy lattes a month. But all at once it can be a pretty intimidating sum.
What Does ESO Plus Membership Give You?
In this section, we’ll go over the benefits offered by ESO Plus. We’ve ranked these by importance, starting with the most valuable.
Arguably the #1 top ESO Plus sub benefit is the holy grail for hoarders: The Craft Bag. This bag nullifies bank space and bag space slots being filled with countless leather scraps and alcast. All crafting items go straight to this bag, really clearing up your inventory if you are in the habit of looting everything in sight.
Crafting is a crucial mechanic in ESO, as you can utilize the many craftable sets and more importantly upgrade your gear to be the strongest possible. The Craft Bag is many times the reason an ESO player chooses to continue getting ESO Plus even if they have finished playing through all of the DLC content, as it makes the game so much easier to play.
As many players have probably encountered with Elder Scrolls games, inventory management can be monotonous and pull you out of really enjoying the game, so the crafting bag is a wonderful option for keeping you adventuring and not stuck managing your inventory.
ESO Plus gives you access to everything in the game, except for the most recent expansion (currently Blackwood). However, you get every other DLC, including Blackwood’s dungeons and trial.
Here are the different areas you can look forward to with ESO Plus DLC:
- Zones (12): Wrothgar, Hew’s Bane, Gold Coast, Vvardenfell, Clockwork City, Summerset, Artaeum, Murkmire, Northern and Southern Elsweyr, Western Skyrim, and The Reach
- Dungeons (22): White-Gold Tower, Imperial City Prison, Cradle of Shadows, Ruins of Mazzatun, Bloodroot Forge, Falkreath Hold, Scalecaller Peak, Fang Lair, Moon Hunter Keep, March of Sacrifices, Frostvault, Depths of Malatar, Moongrave Fane, Lair of Maarselok, Unhallowed Grave, Icereach, Castle Thorn, Stone Garden, The Cauldron, Blake Drake Villa, (Dread Cellar and Red Petal Bastian come out on August 23rd for PC/Mac/Stadia, and August 31st for Xbox/Playstation).
- Arenas (3): Maelstrom Arena, Blackrose Prison, Vateshrawn Hollows
- Trials (7): Maw of Lorkhaj, Halls of Fabrication, Asylum Sanctorium, Cloudrest, Sunspire, Kyne’s Aegis, Rockgrove
Depending upon what deal you got when you bought ESO, you could already have some of these DLC unlocked, but more likely than not you don’t have access to the forty-four different DLCs listed above.
Is ESO Plus worth it for lore aficionados? If you are wanting more of the Elder Scrolls’ great storytelling, going through and completing each zone with their varying quests is very rewarding. If you are more into just making your character the strongest out there, DLC dungeons and trials often have some of the very best meta equipment, so you can’t go wrong either way.
Another major factor is being able to play with your friends. I personally have had friends who wanted to play with me through the hardest dungeons and realized they could not because they didn’t have the DLC for it. Of course we played the base game content together, which can be very difficult at the Veteran level, but it’s still frustrating not being able to play the content you want to play with your friends when you want to play it. ESO Plus gives you the versatility to play any of the content you want to (minus the most recently released zone, being Blackwood).
Increased Bank Space & Transmute Crystal Capacity
You start out with a measly sixty bank spaces which fill up extremely quickly, especially without the crafting bag. As you play the game and pay gold to the bank to increase your bank space, you can get up to 240 slots.
However, when you are an ESO Plus member, whatever amount of bank space you have will double, giving beginners a nice starting amount of 120, and veterans a hard to fill amount of 480. This is another one of those ESO Plus benefits that makes playing the game feel smoother as you don’t have to fiddle with pulling things in and out of your bank to make room for new things, you can simply just throw everything in as 480 slots is a lot.
Your transmute crystal capacity also doubles to 1,000, allowing you to rack up a lot more before you make a decision about which items you want to change or create through the Transmutation Station.
Whenever you buy any amount of ESO Plus subscription, you immediately get 1650 crowns per month you buy, so if you are planning on getting that year-long subscription you’ll have 19,800 crowns to spend right away.
If you are new to ESO, crowns are the in-game currency you can use to buy exclusive cosmetic items or other more practical items like experience scrolls or horse training lessons. You can only train your horse once a day, and with 180 possible training slots (60 for each speed, stamina, and carry weight), taking a shortcut can be plenty desirable.
If you are wanting to get in on the decorating side of ESO with all the possible housing options, you’ll only be able to some of them through crowns as many houses cannot be bought with gold, even if you have millions (disclaimer: you can actually trade people gold for crowns, but they’ll need to gift you the crowns after you gift them gold, so this option isn’t always the safest unless it’s within your own guild or with people you trust).
ESO Plus does NOT include the Warden and Necromancer class, but for 1,500 crowns, you can buy either class, so for both you buy at least two months of ESO Plus subscription and buy both of the classes from the crown store. For such powerful and fun to play classes, it is definitely worth the cost. The Banker and Merchant (5000 crowns each) also make quality of life much easier in the game, having access to your bank and being able to sell items wherever you are, except inside of Cyrodiil where they are disabled. The Imperial race also needs to be bought, and for 2100 crowns, you will gain access to creating an Imperial character.
Costume dyeing and increased furniture placement limits allow the player to make their character and home look exactly as they want.
Costume dyeing allows you to dye all of your outfit pieces, costumes, hats, and even just your armor. These effects will last after your subscription ends, which is a nice benefit. Furniture placement limits are doubled in all of your houses with ESO Plus, allowing you a lot more room to place your favorite furnishings.
Is ESO Plus worth it for gaining EXP?
Well not to be discounted at #6 in our list, it’s important to recognize if you do go for an ESO Plus membership, you gain 10% increased experience gain, which helps your characters level up and get champion points at a much faster rate over time.
You also gain a 10% bonus to crafting research, reducing the time it takes to research all of the many traits that weapons and armor have. This hastens your ability to craft higher restriction craftable sets more quickly.
Finally, the last bonus is a 10% increase to crafting inspiration, pushing you to get those max level passives sooner.
The Cons of Subscribing
There are several issues with ESO Plus, one being that it can renew when you don’t want it to if you don’t remember to cancel it. You still gain crowns from it even if you are not playing, but any subscription has the potential of catching you off guard with an unexpected money pull from your bank if you don’t remember to cancel / change your subscription.
Another issue is that you cannot pull items out of your crafting bag when your subscription ends, but you can still use all of these items for crafting. No more selling those expensive crafting items you aren’t using, but for writs it will still draw from your crafting bag for necessary items until they run out, and then you’ll just have to manual do it afterwards like before.
Perhaps the most frustrating complaint I hear players make is that when they queue for a quick easy random normal dungeon, they will get a DLC dungeon which is thoroughly more difficult and usually much longer. This can be frustrating to players who just want the experience boost and are hoping to get Fungal Grotto 1 and then end up with Lair of Maarselok or Scalecaller Peak.
Is ESO Plus Worth It?
So, with all that in mind, is ESO Plus worth it? Short answer? Yes!
Crafting bag, DLC, and extra storage are all great benefits to the game along with those crowns for any cosmetic items you have been longing for, but it’s not for everyone. You can enjoy the game completely without ESO Plus, you will just have a smoother and more complete version of the game with it.
Many come to ESO Plus for the extra DLC content, and then stay for the crafting bag and extra inventory space when their membership ends and they realize how much easier the game is with those features. Depending upon how seriously you play, or if you are in a period where you aren’t playing as much, it may be better to pause on the ESO Plus and wait for later.
But if you are planning on getting those leaderboard numbers and being at the top of your PVE and PVP gameplay, you might want to seriously consider getting ESO Plus, even if just for a month to get the items you need.
Become a High Grounder
Is ESO Plus worth it? In the end, that’s a question you have to answer for yourself. That said, ESO Plus offers players amazing benefits, and should definitely be considered if you want to dish out the money for it. For some free benefits, subscribe to our newsletter for the latest on Elder Scrolls Online. Happy gaming!