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ESO PVP Build Guide

How to Build your Character for PVP Gameplay in ESO! A look at the basics of building your character for PVP in The Elder Scrolls Online. The little details you have to take into consideration when creating a successful PVP Build for Solo or Group content. This ESO PVP Build Guide will help you understand what the best options and practices are, when creating a successful PVP Build. Creating a PVP Build in The Elder Scrolls Online offers more freedom and flexibility than PVE! If you are trying to figure out which Class to play in ESO, you can read my ESO Class Guide or ESO Best Solo Class Guide. For the Best Race for your Build, take a look at my ESO Race Guide. If you are new to PVP, you can read my ESO PVP Beginner Guide!

Table of Contents

Attributes – ESO PVP Build Guide

Distributing your Attributes properly is very important for PVP in ESO! Attributes determine the skills you can use and how effective you can be. Putting all your points in Stamina or Magicka is the best practice for PVP, since this will allow you to use more skills of your choice in combat. Putting a few points into Health might be good for specific builds but the majority will benefit from a single attribute setup.

eso pvp build

Armor Sets – ESO PVP Build Guide

PVP offers greater flexibility and freedom when creating a Build. Armor Sets that focus on sustain, damage/penetration or defense can be good options for a strong PVP Build.

Heavy Armor is commonly used in PVP Builds because of the better survivability it offers. Crafted Sets are always a nice option for PVP since you can choose their weight(Light, Medium or Heavy). Some good examples of Crafted PVP armor include Shacklebreaker and Clever Alchemist.

eso pvp build

A combination of a defense/sustain set with a damage focused set is usually a good way to start getting into PVP in ESO. There is also the option to combine two offensive focused sets for maximum damage. This is mostly used by Gank, Assassin-like Glass Cannon PVP Builds though. An example of such a Gank PVP Build is Shadowstrike, my Magicka Nightblade Gank PVP Build. Additionally Monster Sets, Mythic Items and Ability Altering Weapons can also be very helpful when creating a PVP Build.

Armor Passive Skills – Build your Character for PVP ESO

Armor in ESO offers passive skills that affect your Build and play style! Light, Medium and Heavy Armor offer bonuses and penalties, that determine how effective you will be in specific content. These are some of the most important Armor passives you should take into consideration before picking the weight of your Armor and your Sets.

Light Armor:

  • Boosts Magicka Recovery
  • Boosts Spell Resistance
  • Boosts Critical Chance
  • Boosts Penetration

Light Armor is a great choice if you wish to boost your Magicka Recovery and Penetration in PVP.

Medium Armor:

  • Boosts Critical Damage
  • Boosts Stamina Recovery
  • Boosts Weapon and Spell Damage
  • Reduces the Cost of Sneak

Medium Armor is a great option to boost your Weapon and Spell Damage, as well as reduce the cost of Sneak.

Heavy Armor:

  • Boosts Armor
  • Boosts Health and Health Recovery
  • Boosts Magicka and Stamina Restore
  • Boosts Healing received

Heavy Armor is the best option to boost your Health, Health Recovery and Armor. It is possible to mix and match different types of Armor in order to gain the desired bonuses. Wearing Heavy Armor is common in PVP because of the extra Health, Health Recovery, Armor and in general Defense it provides. Medium Armor is another great option for Gank and Offensive PVP Builds while Light Armor is useful if you have sustain issues as a Magicka player or want to boost your Penetration!

Weapons – ESO PVP Build Guide

There is quite some flexibility when picking a weapon as well. Magicka based characters can use anything from Staves to Dual Wield and One Hand and Shield for protection. Stamina based Builds can utilize all Physical damage weapons. Two Handed, Dual Wield, Bow and One Hand and Shield for protection.

Traits – ESO PVP Build Guide

Impenetrable is the best Armor Trait for PVP while Infused and Well-Fitted can also be used. Divines is good only for Gank Builds. Infused is the best trait for Jewelry, so you can boost your enchants. The basic Arcane, Robust and Healthy can be useful as well. Sharpened, Nirnhoned and Charged are the most common and helpful traits for Front Bar weapons while Defending is a great back bar option.

CP Distinction – ESO PVP Build Guide

PVP in ESO is divided in CP enabled and No-CP, where Champion Points are disabled. Battlegrounds and No-CP Cyrodiil and Imperial City Campaigns disable Champion Points. CP Cyrodiil and Imperial City Campaigns have them enabled! This distinction allows you to choose which type of PVP you wish to play.

Playing No-CP PVP disables your Champion Points. That means that you can have your Champion Points setup for PVE but still enjoy and be effective in No-CP PVP. For CP enabled PVP though, you will have to setup your Points for PVP to be effective. Champion Points will shape up your Build and help you perform better in PVP. There are three constellations with passive and active perks to choose from.

  • Warfare, focusing on combat and Traits that help you deal more damage or reduce incoming damage.
  • Fitness, focusing on Defense, attributes and recovery boosts.
  • Craft, focusing on bonuses to your every day life activities in ESO, that can also offer a few benefits to Stealth gameplay.

Picking the right active perks will determine how effective your build will be. You can find more details on the Champion Points System by reading my Champion Points Guide.

Important Stats and Mundus – ESO PVP Build Guide

Weapon/Spell Damage is the most important stat for every PVP Build. You should try to get it as high as possible without hurting your defense though. Resistances are rather important as well, since the higher they are, the easier it is to survive. Penetration is another great offensive stat that will help you deal more damage and kill enemies. Unlike PVE, there is no Penetration Cap you must reach in PVP. The more you have, the better.

Having a large pool of your main Attribute(Stamina or Magicka) and high recovery stats is also very helpful. Finally Critical Chance and Critical Damage are not very helpful in PVP, because of the high Critical Resistance(Impenetrable Trait) PVP Builds (should)have.

Having said that, the best Mundus for a PVP Build is The Apprentice or The Warrior, that boost Spell and Weapon Damage respectively. The Lover is a nice alternative that boosts Penetration. The Atronach and The Serpent are also useful when you need to boost Magicka and Stamina Recovery. Finally The Thief(Critical Chance) and The Shadow(Critical Damage) are not that helpful.

Skills – ESO PVP Build Guide

Burst Damage is King in PVP! Sustain is secondary(unless you are focusing on a support role). Your goal in ESO PVP is to execute your combo and deliver your damage as fast as possible. Your Skills distribution should include:

  • Buffs/Debuffs
  • At least one Stun/Immobilization skill
  • Hard Hitting damage skills
  • An Execute ability
  • Heals and Shields

Buffs and Debuffs are skills that either boost your stats, like Spell/Weapon Damage or reduce the stats of your enemies. Buff abilities can be active or passive. You have to activate manually active buffs and use resources to get their effect. Critical Surge and Boundless Storm from the Sorcerer Class are two nice examples of active buff skills.

Passive buffs only need to be slotted to work. A good example of a passive buff is Inner Light from the Mages Guild Line. Abilities that Stun enemies are vital for PVP! They immobilize your targets and allow you to execute your combo. Flame Clench, Fossilize, Invasion are a few examples of immobilization skills.

eso pvp build

When talking about Hard Hitting abilities, we mean skills that deal massive damage when hitting the enemy. Crystal Fragments, Death Stroke and Morphs, Dizzying Swing are a few examples. Execute abilities are also quite important and can help you finish enemies faster. Executioner, Whirling Blades, Assassin’s Blade and Morphs, Mages’ Fury and Morphs are examples of execute abilities.

Heal abilities either from the Restoration Staff line or from your Class, can help you and your team survive. Finally Shield Abilities are more commonly used in PVP to increase survivability. Shadowy Disguise from the Nightblade Class is your only option if you wish to play a Stealth(Gank) Build. There are several skills combinations you can make in PVP, depending on your Class and Main Attribute. But your rotation is always simple and clear: Buff/Debuff, Stun/Immobilize enemy, Use Massive Damage and Execute abilities, Heal and Shield yourself/team.

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Passive Skills

Passive Skills are very important for every build in PVP. You should invest skill points to them as soon as possible. The Passive skills every Build should have include:

  • All Passive Skills from your Class’ Lines
  • All Passive Skills from Weapon Lines you are using
  • All Passive Skills from Armor Lines you are using
  • Vampire or Werewolf Passives if your character uses any of the two
  • Passive Abilities from Guild lines(Fighters Guild, Mages Guild, Psijic Order) that affect your skills/Build
  • Undaunted Passives
  • Your Racial Passives
  • Medicinal Use Passive from Alchemy to boost the effectiveness of Potions

One Bar Builds – Build your Character for PVP ESO

Playing with an One Bar Build is a viable and fun way to experience everything ESO has to offer, in PVE and PVP Gameplay! Most of the points(Armor, Stats, Skills) presented above affect normal Two Bar Builds and One Bar Builds equally! However One Bar Builds have a few important differences from normal Builds that make them feel unique.

First of all with one only bar for skills, there is not enough space for everything you need. You will have to sacrifice abilities to get a good mix of damage and defense skills to kill enemies. This is why the Oakensoul Ring Mythic Set is a must have item for One Bar Builds! The Oakensoul Ring offers a plethora of Minor and Major Buffs that cover all of your needs and allow you to focus more on offense! The introduction of the Oakensoul Ring is actually what made One Bar Builds more mainstream and successful in ESO.

One Bar Builds are a lot of fun in ESO PVP because they allow you to focus mostly on offense! They may lack some utility, normal Two Bars Builds have but they pack quite a punch, thanks to the Oakensoul Ring’s Buffs! Oakensoul Ring PVP Builds can focus on Light Attack Weaving Build or deal their damage with mostly Heavy Attacks. It is entirely up to you and your favorite play style.

Food, Potions and Poisons – ESO PVP Build Guide

Poisons play a big role in ESO PVP! They are very important to apply additional effects to your targets or deal massive damage. Because of how important they are for PVP gameplay, you should prefer them over using normal Weapon Enchantments. The Best Poisons you can use are crafted. Among the Best are Poisons that Drain Health, Stamina and Magicka, Immobilize and Debuff Enemies.

Crafted Potions will also help you remain alive and defeat your enemies. Potions that restore attributes, make you immune to immobilizations or detect enemies in Stealth are valuable to have. Specific Builds can utilize simple Magicka or Stamina potions as well, even use Essence of Spell/Weapon Power with success. You can find the recipes for many important Potions and Poisons in my ESO Alchemy Guide. Finally for Food, choose Foods and Drinks that will boost your main Attribute(Stamina or Magicka) and Health, in order to boost your survivability.

FAQ – Build your Character for PVP ESO

How do I start PVP in ESO?

When you hit level ten(10), you will receive an invitation to visit Cyrodiil. From this point onward you can start PVP in The Elder Scrolls Online! Since Cyrodiil is an instanced zone, you can only enter it via the appropriate queue. Pressing “L” will open the Alliance War window! From there you can pick an ongoing PVP Campaign and enter the queue to join! To learn more about PVP in ESO, you can read this ESO PVP Guide!

What is the Best PVP Class in ESO?

The Magicka Dragonknight and Stamina Arcanist are both a powerful PVP Class in ESO! You can learn more about the Best PVP Class in ESO by reading this ESO PVP Tier List!

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