What ESO edition to buy?
If you want to try ESO and are unsure about its various versions, here are all the editions and clarifications we could find to help you choose and get the best value for this fantastic game.
ESO Content Model
Over the years Elder Scrolls Online has grown significantly and now has a lot of additional content. Let’s break down the difference between base game, DLCs, and chapters:
- Base game is what released originally in 2014 and includes the Alliance zones, Craglorn, Cyrodiil PVP zone, and Coldharbour.
- DLCs are smaller expansions that contain either a small zone or a pair of dungeons. As of January 2024, there are 23 DLCs in ESO, of which Imperial City DLC is free.
- Chapters are big expansion packs that come out once a year, right now there are 7 chapters: Morrowind, Summerset, Elsweyr, Greymoor, Blackwood, High Isle and Necrom, and the 8th, Gold Road, is coming out soon. Of these, Morrowind is free. Chapters have a larger zone to explore and include a new system that isn’t available in the base game, for example a new class.
As of January 2024, when you are buying ESO as a new player, you are offered several bundles:
- Standard Edition consists of basegame, Morrowind chapter and Warden class;
- Necrom Collection offers basegame, all released chapters and Warden, Necromancer and Arcanist classes;
Necrom Upgrade includes basegame, Necrom chapter, Warden and Arcanist classes;
- Gold Road Collection consists of basegame, all released chapters, Gold Road chapter that will come out in June 2024 and Warden, Necromancer and Arcanist classes;
Gold Road Upgrade offers basegame, Gold Road chapter and Warden class.
ESO Plus Subscription
None of the aforementioned bundles include the many DLCs that ESO has. Those can be accessed in two ways: by purchasing separate DLCs or DLC bundles with crowns or by getting the monthly subscription, ESO+ . It not only grants access to all the DLCs released so far, but also gives you all the chapters except the current and upcoming ones. ESO+ does not grant access to Warden, Necromancer and Arcanist classes. Necrom and Gold Road chapters are not currently available through ESO+.
Alternative Editions and Notes
- Upgrade gives you access only to the chapter you are buying, while Collection includes that chapter and all that came before it.
- Deluxe (Upgrade- or Collection-) are bundles with added exclusive cosmetics such as mounts, pets and costumes (cosmetics do not affect gameplay).
- Please read the store’s description of the bundle you’re buying carefully, as bundles may differ depending on platform and retailer.
- For PC, ESO is available on Steam, Epic Games Store and through Elder Scrolls Online website. For Xbox, ESO is also included in the Gamepass, but only the base game without any chapters. You can claim the Morrowind chapter for free in the crown store, but this does not include the Warden class.
- Although Imperial City DLC is now free to claim in the in-game Crown Store, Imperial race is not included in it. To play as an Imperial, you need to purchase the Digital Imperial Edition Upgrade.
- There’s no crossplay or cross save between PC, Xbox and Playstation. If you want to switch platform, you need to purchase the game again and start from scratch. PC version of ESO is regarded as the best one mainly due to access to QoL addons.
- You do not need to pay for new versions in ESO. As the game updates, you can simply keep playing without needing to purchase any new content unless you want to.
Best choice for new players
If you just want to try out ESO, get the Standard Edition – it’s cheap and has hours upon hours of questing and exploration, group dungeons, three 12-man trials, 2-man roguelike endless arena and also all PvP areas.
ESO+ is a great option if you want to have access to the vast amount of DLCs without much spending. Should you cancel ESO+, you will keep all items, collectibles and achievements you got, as well as all items in your Craftbag.
If you want to have access to all content in the game, get Gold Road Collection and ESO+ subscription.