If you enjoy this guide, do check out my other guides to Elder Scrolls Online:
There is a lot of optional Down Loadable Content you can buy for ESO. However the base game is so huge that there’s really no need to buy anything else for the first few months of play — you can play just fine without buying anything extra at all. But if you have some money to spend and want to expand your experience, here are some recommended DLC options. Note that if you get an ESO+ subscription this will unlock nearly all ofthe DLC for you automatically for as long as your subscription lasts.
DLC is divided into 3 types:
- Chapters: These are big PvE areas released once a year for retail purchase via Steam and other online sales portals. If you buy the game as a Elder Scrolls Collection bundle, it includes all of the previous years’ Chapters for free. So if you are buying for the first time, that’s a great deal. Otherwise you can get chapters individually in the Crown Store for 3500 Crowns each.
- Zone DLC: These are smaller zones that are not available at retail but can be bought only in the ESO Crown Store. These normally cost 2000 Crowns each.
- Dungeon DLC: Dungeons are released in packs of 2 dungeons for 1500 Crowns per pack.
From a practical point of view you can do the DLC in any order, but since many of the NPCs recur from one story to another, if you are the kind of person that really wants the story in chronological order, here’s a suggested order:
- Base game story quest, Mages Guild, Fighters Guild
- Imperial City
- Orsinium, Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood
- Clockwork City
- High Isle
This is a free download from the ESO Crown Store. It’s a high-level PvPvE zone, with some seriously tough monsters and players all trying to kill you. I don’t recommend going there unless you have a decent team with you — it’s a dangerous place! But if you are in a group it can be a ton of fun. It’s one of my favourite regions to visit when we get a Guild team together. It also includes two great dungeons: Imperial City Prison & White-Gold Tower. Since it doesn’t cost anything, you should definitely unlock this DLC right away.
Guilds & Glory: The 4-DLC Mega-Pack
A compendium of the earliest Zone DLC content, including:
- Orsinium: A classic-style PvE questing zone. If you like the base game, this is pretty much more of the same, and that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s also a pretty large zone, with lots of interesting quests and good gear drops. Recommended, especially if you like Orcs. Bought individually this costs 3000 Crowns.
- Thieves Guild: One of my favourite RPGs from years back was the Thief series. This DLC basically turns ESO into that, with lots of sneaky stealth-oriented quests and repeatable heist missions. If you like stealth and stealing stuff, you’ll love this DLC. Contains the Hew’s Bane quest area, which is a bit small compared to some of the others — it’s definitely not worth buying this DLC if you just want a new questing area. Also contains a new 12-person Trial, which is handy if you like going on big raids. Bought individually this costs 2000 Crowns.
- Dark Brotherhood: Basically Assassins Creed in Tamriel. The ability to brutally assassinate NPCs by sneaking up behind them is a ton of fun (and has great animations). Like Thieves Guild it comes with a small but nice quest area (Gold Coast). I really had a lot of fun with this DLC, it’s one of my favourites. Bought individually this costs 2000 Crowns.
- Imperial City: See above. Since this is now free anyway, it’s basically irrelevant.
Overall, for 4000 Crowns instead of 7000 when bought individually, this bundle is definitely the best value DLC in the Crown Store. Highly recommended, this should be a no-brainer first DLC purchase. Get this one before you buy anything else.
Year Two Mega-Pack
This is composed of three DLC packs:
- The Clockwork City: This is a medium-sized PvE adventuring zone, nowhere near as good as Orsinium is in the first pack. It’s still quite fun though, and if you are into steampunk you will love it. Also includes a 12-player Trial. Costs 2000 Crowns when bought individually.
- Shadows of the Hist: This was the first of the dungeon DLC packs, and contains two dungeons: Ruins of Mazzatun & Cradle of Shadows, based on Argonian themes. Like all dungeon packs, it costs 1500 Crowns when bought individually.
- Horns of the Reach: The second dungeon DLC, which contains the Bloodroot Forge and Falkreath Hold dungeons, based on Nord themes. Also costs 1500 Crowns when bought individually.
Buying these three packs individually would cost you a total of 5000 Crowns, but as a bundle you can pick them up for a total cost of 3500, so that’s a saving of 1500 Crowns. This isn’t anything like as good a deal as the Guilds & Glory megapack, but it’s still a decent saving. If you enjoy doing dungeons, then it’s absolutely worthwhile. But if you only play solo then don’t bother.
This was the first of the “chapter” expansions that were made available via Steam and other digital download providers. It’s now free to all players, so just go to the Crown Store and unlock it! Good story, though I do find the endless expanses of volcanic ash to be a bit tedious after a while.
Another chapter like Morrowind. As well as containing the quite lovely island quest zone of Summerset, it also allows players to acquire the new Psijic Guild skill line. It’s not as good value as the Guilds & Glory DLC, but if you have those already, this one is definitely worth picking up. To unlock in the Crown store it’s 3500 Crowns, or you can get it as part of the ESO Collection bundle from Steam.
A mid-size adventure zone that’s only available in the Crown Store. For its size this one is a really fun zone, especially if you like fighting your way through swamps and talking to lizard people. Also contains the great Blackrose Prison 4-person Arena, which is basically a big tough dungeon. For 2000 Crowns this isn’t the best value purchase, but it’s worth gettting if you have finished everything in the Guilds & Glory DLC and already have the big chapter zones.
This Chapter is a decent size, is quite beautiful, and has tons of fun quests to do — especially if you like cats. And it has dragon hunting! Not only that, as a reward for completing the main story quest you get a free house! And not just any old house, this is one of the biggest ones in the game. Considering that Manor Houses of this size cost anywhere between 6000 and 13000 (!) Crowns in the store, buying this whole chapter including the house for 3500 Crowns makes this DLC great value for money if player housing is important to you. If you can get it as part of a Collection bundle it’s a no-brainer. If you like teaming up with other players for big combats this one is highly recommended, especially if you really want to own your own house in the game.
Season of the Dragon DLC Bundle
This includes the Southern half of Elsweyr plus 2 dragon-themed dungeon packs (i.e. 4 dungeons in total). Southern Elsweyr is another lovely Khajiit area and has some fun pirate and dragon quests, but there’s no getting around that it’s one of the smaller zones. The dungeons are really good, and among the hardest in the game. Note that if you like the house you got with the Elsweyr chapter, this pack will also enable you to unlock 2 whole new sections for that house. Just like the Year 2 Megapack, buying these packs individually would cost you a total of 5000 Crowns, but as a bundle you can pick them up for a total cost of 3500, so that’s a saving of 1500 Crowns. It’s definitely worth buying if you already have the Elsweyr chapter and want more dungeons to go with it. Or really, really, really like cats and dragons.
This is the last Chapter, currently only available for retail purchase. Visually it’s more of the classic “ride through this nice forest” landscape, which is decent enough, but what sets this one apart is that it has some of the best-written and funniest side quests in the game. The other big thing it has that others don’t is the new Companion system, which allows you to unlock two NPC Companions who can join your party for questing. If you normally play alone or with just one or two other people, this can be a great help, especially for dungeons etc. If that’s you, then this Chapter is highly recommended.
Coming in June 2022, and so far it looks like it should be awesome. Courtly intrigue and revolution in a classic medieval knight setting. Two really interesting new companions as well. This could be the best update yet…