eso race guide
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ESO Race Guide

This ESO Race Guide will help you discover the playable races of The Elder Scrolls Online and pick the right one for your preferred role and play style. Picking the right Race can be very important for your character in The Elder Scrolls Online! Every Race in ESO can fulfill every role in-game from Damage Dealer to Tank and Healer. But as the gameplay becomes harder and more competitive, it is important to choose the right race for the right job. Each Race has its own unique Passive Skills that will make it more effective in performing specific roles. If you are looking for the right Class for your character you can check my ESO Class Guide.

Table of Contents

What is the Best Race in ESO

In total there are ten races in ESO, nine available with the base game and one available for purchase/unlock. The base game Races are equally divided in the three Alliances of the game, Daggerfall Covenant, Aldmeri Dominion and Ebonheart Pact. The ESO Races are:

Base Game

Daggerfall Covenant Races

  • Breton
  • Orc
  • Redguard

Aldmeri Dominion Races

  • High Elf
  • Wood Elf
  • Khajiit

Ebonheart Pact Races

  • Argonian
  • Dark Elf
  • Nord

Available to Unlock

  • Imperial

Every Race can fulfill the role of DPS, Tank or Healer but their Passives determine how effective they can be in that role. For harder content it is important to choose a race with Passive skills that will help you fulfill a specific role. Some Races are better as Stamina Damage Dealers while other are better as Tanks or Healers.

eso race guide

Which Race Should I Choose

This is a quick rundown of the best races per role, based on their Passives!

RaceMagicka DDStamina DDTankHealer
Dark ElfGoodGreatPoorGood
High ElfGreatPoorPoorGood
Wood ElfPoorGoodPoorPoor


ESO Racial Passives – ESO Race Guide

Each Race in ESO has four Passive skills that make it unique and help it fulfill specific roles.

Daggerfall Covenant Races – ESO Race Guide


Breton is a Magicka oriented race, focusing on better sustain. Its passives help with Magicka Recovery and reduced Magicka cost of abilities. A great choice for Magicka characters that want to focus on offense without any fear of running out of Magicka. Good as Magicka DPS or Healer.


  • Opportunist. Increases your experience gain with the Light Armor skill line by 15%. Increases your Alliance Points gained by 1%.
  • Gift of Magnus. Increases your Maximum Magicka by 2000.
  • Spell Attunement. Increases your Spell Resistance by 2310. This effect is doubled if you are afflicted with Burning, Chilled, or Concussed. Increases your Magicka Recovery by 130.
  • Magicka Mastery. Reduces the Magicka cost of your abilities by 7%.
eso race guide


Orc is a Stamina based race, good for Damage Dealers in PVE and PVP. Their passives work well with melee weapons and in general Physical Damage. Mainly a race for Stamina DPS that can be a good option for Tanks as well. They can fulfill the role of Magicka DPS too but they are not the best for the job.


  • Craftsman. Increases your experience gain with the Heavy Armor skill line by 15%. Increases your crafting inspiration gained by 10%.
  • Brawny. Increases your Maximum Stamina by 1000.
  • Unflinching Rage. Increases your Maximum Health by 1000. When you deal damage, you heal for 2210 Health. This can occur once every 4 seconds.
  • Swift Warrior. Increases your Weapon and Spell Damage by 258. Reduces the cost of Sprint by 12% and increases the Movement Speed bonus of Sprint by 10%.


Redguard is a Stamina sustain race with extra perks for PVP. Perfect choice for Stamina Damage Dealers that do not want to have sustain issues. This race is great for builds that rely on weapon abilities a lot. The reduced effectiveness of snares to you, also makes it a good race for PVP.


  • Wayfarer. Increases your experience gain with the One Hand and Shield skill line by 15%. Increases the duration of any eaten food by 15 minutes.
  • Martial Training. Reduces the cost of your weapon abilities by 8%. Reduces the effectiveness of snares applied to you by 15%.
  • Conditioning. Increases your Maximum Stamina by 2000.
  • Adrenaline Rush. When you deal direct damage, you restore 1005 Stamina. This effect can occur once every 5 seconds.

Aldmeri Dominion Races – ESO Race Guide

High Elf

One of the top races for Magicka based characters in PVE and PVP gameplay. The extra Spell Damage will boost your overall DPS and help you complete content faster. Can work as Stamina DPS in easier content but in general is not the best for that role.


  • Highborn. Increases your experience gain with the Destruction Staff skill line by 15%. Increases your experience gained by 1%.
  • Spell Recharge. When you activate an ability, you restore 625 Magicka or Stamina, based on whichever is lowest. This effect can occur once every 6 seconds. When you are using an ability with a channel or cast time, you take 5% less damage.
  • Syrabane’s Boon. Increases your Maximum Magicka by 2000.
  • Elemental Talent. Increases your Weapon and Spell Damage by 258.

Wood Elf

Another race with a focus on Stamina sustain. Wood Elves can be decent for PVP Builds thanks to their extra Stamina Recovery, Maximum Stamina and Physical/Spell Penetration.


  • Acrobat. Increases your experience gain with the Bow skill line by 15%. Decreases your fall damage taken by 10%.
  • Hunter’s Eye. Increases your stealth detection radius by 3 meters. Increases your movement speed by 5% and your Physical and Spell Penetration by 950.
  • Y’ffre’s Endurance. Increases your Stamina Recovery by 258.
  • Resist Affliction. Increases your Maximum Stamina by 2000 and Poison Resistance by 2310.


Khajiit is the best race for everything Stealth! Excellent option for Thief Builds, PVP and PVE gameplay as Magicka or Stamina Damage Dealers. A jack of all trades Race, perfect if you want to do a bit of everything with one character.


  • Cutpurse. Increases your experience gain with the Medium Armor skill line by 15%. Increases your chance to successfully pickpocket by 5%.
  • Robustness. Increases your Health Recovery by 100 and your Stamina and Magicka Recovery by 85.
  • Lunar Blessings. Increase your Maximum Health, Magicka, and Stamina by 915.
  • Feline Ambush. Increases your Critical Damage and Critical Healing by 12%. Decreases your detection radius in Stealth by 3 meters.

Ebonheart Pact Races – ESO Race Guide


Another Magicka based race with a focus on Healing and the Restoration skill line. They are decent as Damage Dealers but especially good as Healers, thanks to their passives. The fact that they can restore Health, Magicka and Stamina by drinking a potion, makes them reliable for almost every content.


  • Amphibian. Increases your experience gain with the Restoration Staff skill line by 15%. Increases your swimming speed by 50%.
  • Life Mender. Increases your Healing Done by 6%.
  • Argonian Resistance. Increases your Maximum Health by 1000 and Disease Resistance by 2310.
  • Resourceful. Increases your Maximum Magicka and Maximum Stamina by 1000. When you drink a potion, you restore 3125 Health, Magicka, and Stamina.

Dark Elf

Dark Elf is one of the top options for Stamina and Magicka Damage Dealers in PVE and PVP, thanks to their unique skills. Great Race for Hybrid Builds or if you wish to switch between Magicka and Stamina roles often.


  • Ashlander. Increases your experience gain with the Dual Wield skill line by 15%. Reduces your damage taken from environmental lava by 50%.
  • Dynamic. Increases your Maximum Magicka and Maximum Stamina by 1910.
  • Resist Flame. Increases your Flame Resistance by 4620.
  • Ruination. Increases your Weapon Damage and Spell Damage by 258.


Top option for Tanks, thanks to its extra Spell/Physical Resistance but also Ultimate Generation. Good race to create sturdy characters that can reach resistance cap easier. Weak as a Damage Dealer, since it lacks offensive Passives.


  • Reveler. Increases your experience gain with the Two Handed skill line by 15%. Increases the duration of any consumed drink by 15 minutes.
  • Resist Frost. Increases your Maximum Health by 1000 and Frost Resistance by 4620.
  • Stalwart. Increases your Maximum Stamina by 1500. When you take damage, you gain 5 Ultimate. This effect can occur once every 10 seconds.
  • Rugged. Increases your Physical Resistance and Spell Resistance by 2600.

Imperial Race – ESO Race Guide

Great Stamina based race for PVE and PVP gameplay. A good option for Stamina Damage Dealers and the second best race for Tanks in ESO. Imperial is strong in both PVE and PVP, thanks to its Red Diamond Passive, that helps with sustain.


  • Diplomat. Increases your experience gain with the One Hand and Shield skill line by 15%. Increases your gold gained by 1%.
  • Tough. Increases your Maximum Health by 2000.
  • Imperial Mettle. Increases your Maximum Stamina by 2000.
  • Red Diamond. Reduces the cost of all your abilities by 6%.


What is the Best Race in ESO?

The Best Race in ESO depends on the role you wish to perform! Right now High Elf is the Best Race for Magicka DPS, Dark Elf is the Best Race for Stamina DPS, Nord is the Best Race for Tank and Argonian is the Best Race for Healer! To learn more about Races, read this ESO Race Guide!

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