The Elder Scrolls Online: Race Breakdown - Prima Games

The Elder Scrolls Online: Race Breakdown

by Bryan Dawson

The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited is officially available for Xbox One and PS4. We covered the classes and player vs. player battles, but let’s take a step back to where your adventure begins. Before you can pick up a weapon and battle against friends and foes alike, you have to choose your race, alliance and class.

When we examine the various races in Elder Scrolls Online, we find nine available, divided into three alliances. If you purchase the Imperial Edition (a $40 premium), one of the many features included in the bundle is the ability to play as any race, under any alliance and gain access to the Imperial race. If you buy the normal version of the game, you can only play as certain races under specific alliances, but if you splurge for the Imperial version, that limitation is lifted, and you get the Imperial race to boot.

Alliance: The Daggerfall Covenant

Races: Breton, Orc, and Redguard


The Breton are the most human looking of the many races available in The Elder Scrolls Online. They excel in spellcraft and swordplay, with bonuses to magicka, spell resistance, light armor and conjuration magic. The best classes to take advantage of the Breton’s traits would be Templar for swordplay and spellcraft, Sorcerer for spellcraft, magicka, conjuration magic and spell resistance for defensive purposes. Breton’s also aren’t bad for Dragonknights due to their swordplay buff.


Orcs resemble a cross between a human and a wild beast. They have most of the facial features of a human, but fangs that are similar to a creature. They have bonuses to both heavy armor and health regeneration. This makes them a great tank, which would be the Templar class primarily, but a Dragon Knight can also tank. A Templar is more versatile than a Dragon Knight, but if you’re looking to tank as an Orc, either class will benefit from the Orc race traits.


Redguards look fairly human at first glance, and once they’re covered in thick armor, you won’t know the difference. They have bonuses to shield usage, stamina regeneration and increased power. Templars use shields more so than any other classes, which makes them a good candidate for the Redguard race. The stamina regeneration and increased power also come in handy as a Templar, but work well as a Dragon Knight or Nightblade as well.

Alliance: The Aldmeri Dominion

Races: High Elf, Wood Elf, and Khajiit

High Elf

The High Elf is your typical Elf in terms of appearance. They have a magical affinity, with buffs that increase spell damage and the rate at which they replenish magicka. These traits make them the perfect race for the Sorcerer class. If you don’t wish to be locked into a single class when playing as a High Elf, they also work well as Dragonknights due to the fact that Dragonknights use fire-based magic attacks.

Wood Elf

The Wood Elf looks more human than the other two Elf races. However, they excel in archery, stamina and stealth. This makes them one of the best races for the Nightblade class, although their stamina works well with almost any DPS class, including Templar and Dragon Knight. Dragon Knights can also wield virtually any weapon, so the archer buff will go well with them.


The Khajiit are a very animal-like race, with a face that strongly resembles a lion or panther, along with a corresponding tail. Given their feline appearance, it’s not surprising that they’re the most agile race in ESO. Their primary bonuses are stealth and melee combat. This makes the Khajiit the ideal race for the Nightblade or Templar classes. The Nightblade deals heavily in stealth combat, while the Templar can be played using primarily melee attacks. In addition, the Dragon Knight isn’t a terrible class for the Khajiit due to their melee bonuses.

Alliance: The Ebonheart Pact

Races: Argonian, Dark Elf, and Nord


The Argonian race resemble lizard people. They walk on two legs like all of the other races, but they have very lizard-like features, including a long tail. They have bonuses to healing, restoration and poison resistance. This obviously makes them the ideal healing class, which corresponds primarily with the extremely versatile Templar class. However, these abilities also go well with solo adventuring, which works best on the Nightblade class.

Dark Elf

The Dark Elf race looks similar to the other elf races, although as their name suggests, their default skin tone is the darkest of the three Elf races. They focus on high intellect and agility, with bonuses that include dual wielding, fire magic and overall fire resistance. The ideal class for a Dark Elf is the Dragon Knight, primarily because a Dragon Knight uses fire-based magic and can dual-wield. Both of these abilities are buffed when playing as a Dark Elf, which makes them the perfect choice for an aspiring Dragon Knight.


The Nord race appears to be fairly human in design, and have bonuses to two-handed weapon combat, health regeneration and frost resistance. The health regeneration alone makes them a good tanking class, which is generally going to be a Templar. However, if you plan to solo as a Nightblade, the health regeneration would come in handy there as well. As an alternative, their two-handed skills work well when paired with the Dragon Knight class.

Ready for more Elder Scrolls Online? Defeat the toughest enemies in the game with Prima’s free Boss Guide. We’ll teach you a thing or two about Crafting, then tell you where to find all of the Skyshards!