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The Elder Scrolls: Online is one of the most ambitious games to ever exist. Not only did the team at Bethesda have to live up to the incredibly important Elder Scrolls name, but they had to follow up one of the greatest games of all time in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
The task seemed insurmountable, and while the start was certainly a bit rocky as most MMORPGs tend to be, the last few years have built this game into an incredible achievement in gaming history. While there have been games in the genre before that tackle the scale of Elder Scrolls: Online, they have rarely done it was a real-time combat system while also hosting massive battles like castle sieges.
The combination of many parts from previous games in the series with a story that picks right from the lore of it as well has made Elder Scrolls: Online a game that you can pretty much play infinitely. The new expansions bring on new areas, and the game map is currently one of the largest ones ever created in a game.
I’ve been an Elder Scrolls fan since the early 2000s, and while I definitely have more hours invested in Skyrim, Elder Scrolls: Online allows me to jump into a game world that is so familiar yet different. The faction play is awesome, and there really are few events in games as cool as one of the many massive castle sieges you can take part in.
While the fighting is great and all, what makes the experience so special are the locations. Although it started out with a somewhat limited map, the expansions have granted us access to lands all across the world of Tamriel and beyond.
These are all handcrafted with the same care and effort that goes into every one of the Elder Scrolls games, so you can expect a mesmerizing journey anytime you log on to play. There are a staggering amount of great locations to check out while playing Elder Scrolls: Online, so let’s check out some of the best ones out there.
- Story relevant locations
- Nostalgic locations
- Imaginative locations
- Difficult location
Citadel of Deadlight
Although it wasn’t in the initial release, once Elder Scrolls: Online released the Deadlands DLC, we were given a look into an Oblivion plane that we had only heard about throughout the ages of Elder Scrolls lore. Deadlight is a realm that belongs to a Daedric Prince whose name has been long forgotten following his defeat by Mehrunes Dagon.
The only thing that remains of this prince is the Citadel in which he once took charge. Despite this melancholic history, the area is absolutely beautiful looking while having a chilling atmosphere that leaves no hints about what the nature of this forgotten Daedric Prince really was. You can access this area through the Deadlands DLC.
Okay, so it’s not the most original place considering its appearance in the uber-popular Skyrim, but Bethesda was right to bring us back here as it remained an area that felt like it had so much more to give. Luckily for us, navigating the Blackreach isn’t quite the hell it was in Skyrim, and because of that, we get to enjoy its beauty that much more.
With massive, glowing mushrooms and incredible architecture abound in this underground cave, you will see sights that you never thought possible in an Elder Scrolls game. You can access the cavern from three different zones throughout the game, though they are all located in Skyrim. You gain access to the Blackreach when you get the Greymoor DLC.
Solitude was one of the more incredible places to visit in Skyrim in 2011, so when Elder Scrolls recently released Greymoor almost a decade later, the nostalgia kicked in heavily, and the imperial city was more beautiful than ever before.
The city itself is one of the most interesting ones to explore in the main game, and if you’re playing on your own, you can easily see yourself feeling warped back into Skyrim after a while. Outside the city lies the Stone Arch of Solitude, and to view this from a distance on your approach is an awe-inspiring sight.
The city itself lies on top of this massive archway, and the only way in is to climb up it to get there. While it definitely doesn’t look like the safest place to build a massive city, it’s still an incredible location to visit in the game world. The Greymoor DLC is required to visit this location.
The Alik’r Desert has been a place long referenced in Elder Scroll games, but we haven’t had the chance to visit the area in the modern age of gaming. While the desert itself is vast and intimidating, coming across this structure is one of the most jaw-dropping moments you can experience in the main game of Elder Scrolls: Online.
This location speaks to a time when the Throne represented a place of power in this area, and although the majority of the city is in complete ruin, the Throne remains. You can find this area while taking on quests in relation to the Withered Hand, and it requires no DLC to access.
This is one of the best cities you can visit in the entirety of Elder Scrolls: Online. Accessible only through the Orsinium DLC, this massive city is incredibly designed and looks nothing like anything you’ll encounter in the game otherwise.
The city is stationed on the side of a mountain above Wrothgar, and the Orcish architecture abound and various secrets to uncover make exploring this place just an awesome experience. It’s very rare in Elder Scrolls games that we get to see the Orcish ways highlighted, and here we finally get it front and center.
If you’ve ever wondered where those pesky Aldmeri Dominion elves come from, wonder no more as you can visit their capital city of Alinor through the Summerset DLC expansion.
Located on Summerset Isle, this is an incredible looking city that shows you the sophistication of the elves compared to the humans, and the massive castles with pointed rooftops very well could make you imagine a place right out of a fairytale.
Alinor’s beauty is only overtaken by its scale, and the way the city ascends up the face of a mountain makes it one of the truly unique and memorable locations to visit in the game.
Vivec City was front and center in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, but due to the graphics at the time, it wasn’t able to properly shine like it can today. This is a massive area to explore and is fairly easy to get lost in, but while you’re exploring the water-laden city, there is plenty to discover, from the various shops and quests available in this area to the mysterious Temple Canton.
Floating above this temple is a massive meteor, and the lore behind this is that Vivec, who is a living god, prevents this meteor from hitting the city as a test of his faith. Seems to be working for now, but it’s an incredibly intimidating sight to behold. You can visit Vivec through the Morrowind DLC expansion.
The Temple of The Divines
Worship is a big point of emphasis in Elder Scrolls lore, and that has never been more true than in the Temple of The Divines. This massive building is located in High Rock, which is a place located pretty far into the game.
The city itself is a joy to explore, but the absolute highlight is the massive temple. It has some gorgeous stained glass windows that are unlike any that are seen in the game and resembles something more from our world than that of the ancient one of the Elder Scrolls.
The inside is a massive area filled with people, and the light shines in from the stained glass window to create an amazing atmosphere that really needs to be seen by everyone who plays Elder Scrolls: Online. All players can access this location at some point in the game.
Deshaan is a very unique area that you can find in Black Marsh. This is one of the more unusual-looking areas in the game, and it’s marked by marshes, mountains, and most importantly, the amazing city of Mourhold.
There are also massive trees and other smaller cities to explore here as well. Created by the Argonians, it is the first time we really get to see what this species lives like. There is a dense fog covering the area, but exploring this zone while the sun is out makes for one of the more striking visuals in all of Elder Scrolls: Online.
Morrowind is one of the most underrated places in all of the Elder Scrolls lands. While it doesn’t get the acclaim that Skyrim gets, the uniqueness was popular enough that even Skyrim got an expansion pack based on the area. What a joy it was to find out that Vvardfell would be part of the Morrowind expansion.
Veterans of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind will recommend a ton from this area. It’s almost the same size, and the environment is almost identical as well. Getting this area with some modern-age graphics make it one of the most breathtaking experiences you can have in the game.
There are gigantic mushrooms, Dark Elven architecture, and tons of Dwarven ruins to explore as much as you’d like. In the center of the area is the legendary Red Mountain, and although you cannot go into the mountain area, you can go to a Battleground map that is set close by. You will need the Morrowind DLC expansion to get to this area.
Coldharbour is the Oblivion realm of Molag Baal, and what a world this is to explore. The harsh blues that hue everything in sight give you a chill as you explore the area, and the demonic statues and architecture abound will give you pause before turning a corner here.
There is a major city in the middle of it called The Hollow City, as well as various secrets to explore as well. You can find plenty of enemies to fight here, and the quests you’re sent on in this area are among the best the game has to offer, making this area feel like its own game at certain points.
The big dungeon of the area is the Vaults of Madness, and this makes for one of the more visually interesting and fun places to fight through in the whole game. Coldharbour is accessible in the main game.
Do you like vampires? Sure you do! And even if you don’t, Rivenspire is one of the most varied locations in the game when it comes to enemy variety. You will find tons of different creatures to fight, and the story that is told in this area has some of the best quests you can find.
The dungeons here are a great time as well, providing some thorough challenges with great rewards if you can complete them. The setting is appropriately gloomy, contrasting nicely to some of the more bright and shiny areas of the game. Try and experience this area if you can as you’ll find it to be one of the most enjoyable ones available.
Finally, getting to explore the homeland of the Orcs is one of the best parts of the Orsinium DLC. This area is massive, and it’s got some truly gorgeous scenery that has its own flavor compared to other areas in the game. There are snowy lands, huge grassed fields, and the mountains that serve as the locations for its cities are just amazing to witness.
There are some awesome quests to take on in this area, as well as interesting enemies to fight, and there’s a reason why the Orsinium DLC is considered one of the best.
Returning to Skyrim in the Greymoor DLC was cool enough, but finding out that The Rift would be involved in it as well as an amazing discovery. This area was always one of the more gorgeous locations to explore in Skyrim, and the same can be said here. The whole land feels like it is in eternal Autumn as the forests are filled with lush orange and yellow-leaved trees.
Not only is the beauty mesmerizing, but you can also visit the city of Riften here, providing a substantial slice of nostalgia for anyone reminiscing on their Skyrim days. You must have the Greymoor DLC expansion to visit The RIft.
If you’re sick of the normal-looking areas of Elder Scrolls: Online, you should definitely try out the Clockwork City DLC. This is basically a world within a world, and in order to access it, you must shrink yourself in the game world. There are tons of zone quests that appear here daily, but the biggest attraction is the appearance of the world bosses here.
The atmosphere here is unlike anything else in the game world, and it has a steampunk aesthetic with a glimpse into futuristic technology that makes it just a visual marvel to explore in the game.
The creatures here are all appropriately weird here as well, so whether you’re looking for a tough challenge or just looking for a change of pace, the Clockwork City has what you need.
While it kind of seems like with every Elder Scrolls: Online release, we’re just getting to play things that modders had already added to Skyrim, it’s still hard to knock the effort. Elseweyr gives us a chance to finally explore the Khajit homeworld for the first time. All is not well here as dragons are attacking from above, and necromancy is returning to the land as well.
Tons of new quests, enemies, weapons, and more are able to be experienced here, and it’s a very interesting look at a land that’s been thrown into complete turmoil.
You’ll also meet a bunch of Khajit here as well, which is always an interesting time regardless of who it is. The lands you’ll explore here are pretty massive, and the aesthetic is a dusty, mountain-filled area that feels far removed from other places in the game. In order to play Elsweyr, you must have the Elsweyr DLC expansion.
The Psijics are a group that is often spoken of in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim but never actually seen. In Elder Scrolls: Online, they get explored in the Summerset chapter of the game, and it is here that you will get to see where they come from. The isle itself has been hidden away by the Psijics. Few have seen it, and even fewer have been there.
It is on Artaeum that many mages have made their home. It isis not only home to the good, though, as Mannimarco, but the main antagonist of the game also makes his home here as well as Sotha Sil.
Visually, this place is incredible and feels like a place ripped out of a dream world. Every step in the land feels like you’re wandering through a world in another reality, and that might just be what you’re actually experiencing.
Roots of the Elden Tree
The Roots of the Elden Tree can be accessed by going to the center of Grahtwood and Elden Root. The city is located inside the base of the massive tree, making it one of the more fascinating-looking locations in the game.
The tree is referred to as the beginning point of the First Era, making it a massive landmark area for the series. You can climb the trunk if you’re careful, and getting to the top will provide some absolutely gorgeous views to take in. It’s not the most amazing area to explore, but just visually speaking, it’s absolutely unforgettable.
Yes, I know more Skyrim locations, but with Eastmarch, a lot feels different from your journey through Skyrim all those years ago. This game takes place ages before, so the College of Winterhold has yet to be founded.
Instead, you can find a ton of quests here that tell a very interesting story, and even if you finish those quickly, you still have massive snow-covered land to explore. While some purists might be unhappy that the College of Winterhold wasn’t part of this, it provides plenty of other interesting sights to see and places to explore that make up for it.
Hew’s Bane is located in Hammerfell, and it is known primarily for one thing. The location of the ever famous Thieves Guild. Whether you’ve come here to join the guild or just engage in some PVP combat with some of your fellow players, you can find a ton to do in this area. It’s an awesome place to explore because of its middle eastern vibes.
The architecture here is much simpler than most locations, and the buildings are much smaller as well. All of it serves the vibe that the Thieves Guild headquarters looks to establish.
If you decide to start off as an Ebonheart, you will get to explore this gorgeous area fairly early on in your playthrough. This area has a ton of enemies to fight, some great story beats, and a whole lot of exploring for you to do as well.
This will likely be the first place you come across a pretty difficult public dungeon, and this is one of the best areas to try out group content for the first time.
The Fungal Grotto is a particularly tough group dungeon that will show players how to work together in order to take down the tougher challenges the game has to offer. You can locate this area in the center of Morrowind.
This zone is a very cool-looking area that combines the basic plains of Cyrodiil with more exotic fare such as jungles to create quite the atmosphere to explore. There are a bunch of fun dungeons here as well as story-rich quests to explore at your leisure.
The main story in this area definitely isn’t as compelling as most zones, but there are so many good side quests here that it’s tough to be bored in this zone. Not only that, but the quests you’re provided here depend on choices you’ve made earlier in the zone as well as other previous areas you’ve been to as well.
This is one of the few zones that takes your past actions into account, and that makes the game feel far more connected than it normally does. You can access this location between Valenwood and Elsweyr.
This area won’t be for everyone, but I found it to be a pretty visually intriguing area. The thick forests that subdue your vision throughout this zone make for a someone claustrophobic feeling that makes the encounters with the enemies feel more intense because of it.
The towns in this area are fun to explore as well, with each one taking up its own little section of the forest. The Aldmeri Dominion rules over this area, and there are plenty of awesome sights to see, including The Chancel of Divine Entreaty, which is an Ayleid temple ruin that can be found west of the city Silvenar.
If all of that isn’t enough for you, there is also Tempest Island, a fantastic group dungeon that will challenge your entire party in a variety of ways. You can access this area in the jungles west of Valenwood.
While the aforementioned Throne found in the desert is a cool sight to see, the desert as a whole provides one of the most interesting lands in the game. Elder Scrolls: Online does a great job of giving the feeling of vastness here as the desert seems like it stretches on forever.
There is tons of unique architecture to explore here, and a handful of major cities surround the area as well. You can find some of the best questlines in the game here, and most of them put other zone questlines to shame. Plenty of enemies inhabit the area as well, so those looking to level up fast might want to take a trek here.
The important place to check out here is The Motion Necropolis, which is a gigantic graveyard that’s in the northeast part of the map. You can access this area within the main game.
For those who love playing Elder Scrolls: Online like me, you can venture to the northeast corner of the Wrothgar zone to find the Malestrom Arena. This is an incredibly difficult area that has you going into an arena and trying to come out on top all alone.
No allies are allowed to help you in this one, so I hope you’ve got the skills on hand to support yourself through an absolute gauntlet of challenges.
You will fight tons of enemies here, and while the basic small mobs won’t cause you that much issue, the bosses of the area are some of the hardest in the entire game. The enemy designs are all completely original too, so prepare to see some never before seen creatures to fight.
Craglorn is known as one of the most difficult in Elder Scrolls: Online; it’s a strange area that’s located in northeast Hammerfell, and it’s separated between highlands and lowlands. The area is plagued with incredibly tough enemies that you likely haven’t seen before, including soo beings of untold power.
It seems like there is a force at work here causing the issue, and you’re tasked to be out what it is. The main story here revolves around the disappearance of the constellations as well as how the Celestials are impacting Craglong and the world.
If you’re looking for a challenge, whether it’s alone or with your party, Craglorn is going to take everything you’ve got to beat its many challenges and remains one of the hardest overall areas in all of Elder Scrolls: Online.
This is not only one of the best dungeons in the game playthrough wise, but it’s also one of the most visually stunning as well, The mechanics that make up this dungeon are particularly clever, and it would be spoiling things to tell you just what that is, but just know that you’ll need a group that is very communicative if you want to get out fo this one alive.
The main boss here is the Inheritor, which has caused many issues for players here as the unique way in which to fight her is not really seen among other bosses. There is some epic gear here as well if you manage to make it through.
This dungeon is one of the more unique ones when it comes to themes. The mechanics at work here are particularly interesting, and this pirate cove type area will certainly play into your final fight here in a unique way.
Whoever is tanking in your party will be morphed into a Skeleton with a unique move set. That means you need to get creative on how you’re going to deal big damage to the final boss and figuring it out as half the fun.
Question: Does Elder Scrolls: Online Have a Story?
Answer: Elder Scrolls Online has a main story, but in each zone, there are separate stories that play out as well, and this gives the game a lot of variety in the tales it wants to tell.
Question: How Many Players can be on One Server in Elder Scrolls: Online?
Answer: The exact number is unknown, but there can be around 400,000 players on a server at any given time.
Question: How Many Players can You Encounter in a Single Playthrough in Elder Scrolls: Online?
Answer: A campaign in Elder Scrolls: Online can have up to 600 people playing it at the same time, so expect to see a very populated world when it comes to engaging with other players.
ESO Locations Guide: Conclusion
Elder Scrolls: Online has hundreds of hours of gameplay for you to dig into. This will take place across all different kinds of areas and dungeons, and while not every place is memorable, the sum of its parts makes for an unforgettable experience overall.