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ESO DPS Tier List – What is the best DPS class in ESO?

In this ESO DPS Tier List Guide we are going to take a look at which class and setup is best suited for a damage dealer. The ESO DPS Tier List focuses on the usefulness of a class or setup while playing solo, dungeons or trials.

Elder Scrolls Online offers a huge variety in terms of build composition, there are plenty of skills and sets in the game that can increase your power. Keep in mind that buffs and debuffs applied by yourself or your group will be the biggest factor that will increase your damage, healing and defensive efficiency. Therefore, we expect players with high buff and debuff uptimes to always push higher DPS and be more effective in ESO.

Two DPS Characters in Eastmarch, one Magicka and one Stamina DPS - DPS Tier List ESO

Image: Magicka and Stamina DPS Character


The Build vs The Player

Copy pasting a perfect build won’t make you a good player but it will certainly get you on the right path. The rotation and movement of a character still needs to be learned and practiced to perfection. The rotation and movement are the most important aspect of gameplay in ESO as a DPS character. A Player with a good rotation can push way higher dps as a player with a bad rotation, even if they use the same setup.

Movement is the second most important aspect. Good players know when to dodge roll enemy attacks. They also don’t stand in unnecessary enemy AoE damage. They’ve already memorized all the boss fights, therefore they can anticipate what will happen next and prepare accordingly. A build can’t make up for these deficits, the only way to learn this is by playing the game, completing dungeons, trials and other activities.


The DPS Tier List

The ESO DPS Tier List takes several indicators into account. We take a look at things like damage, range & mobility, self healing, sustain and defense capabilities that a setup has. There are more indicators but these are the most important ones for the Elder Scrolls Online.  You will find an explanation of what you can expect from each setup in the list below.

  • Score Rating:
    • Best = Can do everything perfectly
    • Good = Can do everything
    • Okay = Can do everything but harder to master
    • Bad = Can’t do all content (FYI: No setup has this rating)

Important: All classes and setups can easily perform well enough to clear ALL content in the game, there are no “garbage/trashcan classes” in ESO. The list is merely here to showcase which classes and setups have a slight edge over others and are more newcomer friendly.

Like mentioned at the start of the article, this is not purely based on target dummy humping.

 

Should I care about the DPS List as a New Player?

As a new player it is recommended to pick one of the setups that are higher on the list because these setups will make your life easier as a new player. Important things like abilities that deal damage and heal you at the same time are often present in the top picks. This is important because newer players often forget to heal themselves, but if that is incorporated into damage abilities, then it is less of an issue. In addition, sustain and mobility are also often better on the higher ranking setups.

However, all classes can do every activity in the game. Experienced players with a well thought through build can manage all challenges with ease. Therefore, play what you like, don’t let others decide for you. The journey you take through ESO is supposed to be yours only. In case you don’t like something, you can always reroll, leveling in ESO is not very difficult once you understand the concept.

Magicka vs Stamina in ESO

You can see that magicka setups are ranked higher than stamina setups. Magicka setups are generally more common and easier to play both in solo and group activities. Mostly because they have shields that they can apply to themselves, which is a good way to bolster your health. In addition, magicka setups also have easier access to healing abilities and usually have easier resource management.

That is why we only recommend stamina setups to experienced players. Of course you can start with a stamina character, but just be aware that your journey in the Elder Scrolls Online will be more difficult compared to when you start with a magicka based character.

Solo vs Group Gameplay Differences

Picking the right build for your class will also make your life easier in ESO. The solo builds are specifically designed for solo gameplay, therefore the solo builds will have a focus on damage, healing, movement and damage mitigation. Whereas group builds are cookie cutter high damage setups that have very little support capabilities, because they rely on their group mates such as their healer and tank.


Class Comparison – ESO DPS Tier List

In this section of the ESO DPS Tier List we are going to take a look why each of these setups have their respective ranking for the best damage class or setup. Make sure to read the above section “DPS Tier List” to understand how they are rated. We will also list builds that you can use for certain activities within each section.

I highly recommend reading the How To Play Guide which covers each class in-depth and showcases their most useful abilities. If you are a new player I also recommend checking out the Beginner section of the website.

The list below gives you a good overview and will showcase some of the most important abilities. However, it won’t be able to cover everything, that is why we also made sure to link the recommended builds that are available for each setup which will go into greater detail.

1. Magicka Nightblade

Damage 100
Range & Mobility 100
Self Healing & Defense 100
Sustain 100

Magicka Nightblade wins the number 1 spot in the DPS Tier List. Not only does the Magicka Nightblade have the highest damage in ESO, but it also wins in all other categories. The Nightblade has powerful abilities such as Swallow Soul, Merciless Resolve, Impale, Sap Essence and Siphoning Attacks that deal insane damage, heal you at the same time while you can stay at maximum range and move around with ease.

This sounds almost too good to be true, but that is why the Magicka Nightblade wins the top spot of being the best damage dealer in ESO.

Recommended Builds:

2. Magicka Sorcerer

Damage 100
Range & Mobility 95
Self Healing & Defense 100
Sustain 90

Magicka Sorcerers also have a powerful damage output while being a fully ranged setup with good mobility. Magicka Sorcerers therefore also offer the complete package for a good setup. They have Hardened Ward which is one of the strongest shields in the game. They have Critical Surge which increases their spell damage and heals for an insane amount at the same time.

Their summoned pets such as Volatile Familiar and the Twilight Matriach also deal good damage and can sometimes distract enemies. Sustain is made easy through Dark Conversion and they can also achieve high mobility through Streak.

Recommended Builds:

3. Magicka Necromancer

Damage 100
Range & Mobility 95
Self Healing & Defense 90
Sustain 95

Magicka Necromancers have similar benefits to Nightblades and Sorcerers. Powerful damage output while being completely ranged. You will find a Necromancer in most groups, because their ultimate Glacial Colossus increases the overall damage of your group by 10% for a long duration, something nobody wants to miss out on! Resource management is also connected to damage with abilities such as Skeletal Arcanist (triggers Undead Confederate passive) and Mystic Siphon, which both deal damage and increase your sustain.

Healing is covered through the Spirit Guardian and you can also use the ultimate Reanimate, to instantly resurrect up to 3 players in case your group members died. Necromancers have access to Necrotic Potency, which increases their ultimate regeneration like crazy as well.

Recommended Builds:

4. Magicka Templar

Damage 95
Range & Mobility 75
Self Healing & Defense 100
Sustain 85

Magicka Templar could have made it into the S Tier list. We placed the Magicka Templar in the Good Tier list because it has some restrictions in terms of range, but that is about the only downside. The damage output, healing capabilities and sustain are very good on a Magicka Templar. Because of skills such as Puncturing Sweeps which both deals damage and heals you at the same time and also activates the Burning Light passive.

Channeled Focus increases your damage mitigation and sustain and Radiant Oppression is one of the strongest execute abilities in the game. You can play the Magicka Templar as a ranged setup if you want, but you will lose out on the benefits you gain from Puncturing Sweeps.

Recommended Builds:

5. Magicka Warden

Damage 85
Range & Mobility 85
Self Healing & Defense 80
Sustain 90

Magicka Wardens have a very balanced layout. They provide good damage, can stay at range and have good mobility. Self healing, defense and sustain are also taken care of easily. Deep Fissure deals great AoE damage and debuffs the enemies at the same time. Blue Betty increases our sustain tremendously at no cost. Healing is covered by Living Trellis or other healing abilities that are in the Wardens toolkit.

Wardens also have access to a very unique buff which is called Minor Toughness that increases your health, this buff is provided through the passive Maturation.

Recommended Builds:

6. Stamina Nightblade

Damage 100
Range & Mobility 65
Self Healing & Defense 70
Sustain 100

Stamina Nightblades are very powerful damage dealers. The only thing they lack like most stamina based setups is range. Powerful abilities such as Surprise Attack, Relentless Focus, Killer’s Blade, Power Extraction and Incapacitating Strike give them a very unique edge over most other stamina setups as well as good sustain due to Incapacitating Strike and Leeching Strikes.

The Stamina Nightblade is the most complete out of all stamina setups, you really feel like it is unique due to all the powerful class abilities it has access to.

Recommended Builds:

7. Stamina Sorcerer

Damage 85
Range & Mobility 70
Self Healing & Defense 85
Sustain 90

The Stamina Sorcerer is also a very powerful setup. You have access to powerful abilities such as Hurricane, Crystal Weapon, Bound Armaments and passives like Amplitude that increase your damage. The ability Critical Surge is one of the most powerful healing tools available and only accessible for Sorcerers, it really makes a huge difference in combat. Meanwhile, you also always have the option to run Dark Deal which pretty much means infinite sustain and some extra healing on top.

Recommended Builds:

8. Stamina Necromancer

Damage 100
Range & Mobility 65
Self Healing & Defense 65
Sustain 85

Stamina Necromancers have crazy damage output but also suffer from melee range like most stamina setups. Their most powerful ultimate Pestilent Colossus is a must have in every stamina group, it increases the damage of the whole party by 10% for a long duration. Plenty of other powerful unique abilities such as Venom Skull, Blighted Blastbones, Skeletal Archer and Detonating Siphon add to the destruction of enemies.

Necromancers also have access to Necrotic Potency, which increases their ultimate regeneration like crazy,

Recommended Builds:

9. Stamina Templar

Damage 95
Range & Mobility 65
Self Healing & Defense 70
Sustain 85

Stamina Templars have great damage and sustain but like most stamina setups also lack range. The signature abilities of a Stamina Templar are Empowering Sweep and Biting Jabs which also constantly proc the passive Burning Light. Restoring Focus both provides us with a lot of extra sustain and damage mitigation. Repentance transfers plently of stamina from dead bodies to us.

Recommended Builds:

10. Magicka Dragonknight

Damage 100
Range & Mobility 65
Self Healing & Defense 80
Sustain 60

The Magicka Dragonknight has a great damage output but has difficulties in most other categories. You have access to powerful abilities such as Burning Embers, Engulfing Flames, Flames of Oblivion, Lava Whip and the ultimate Standard of Might. Sustain is tough on a Magicka Dragonknight but passives such as Battle Roar and Combustion help a little bit. You go fully ranged but you would have to drop a lot of the melee range class abilities.

Recommended Builds:

11. Stamina Dragonknight

Damage 85
Range & Mobility 65
Self Healing & Defense 70
Sustain 65

Stamina Dragonknights are good damage dealers but also have issues in most other categories. They have powerful abilities such as Venomous Claw, Noxious Breath, Stone Giant and ultimates such as Standard of Might or Corrosive Armor. Sustain might be a bit tough but can be made up for with the right playstyle and setup. Molten Armaments is also popular if you are using a heavy attack build.

Recommended Builds:

12. Stamina Warden

Damage 85
Range & Mobility 65
Self Healing & Defense 65
Sustain 75

Stamina Wardens are as well good damage dealers but also lack in most other categories. They do have powerful abilities such as Cutting Dive, Subterranean Assault, Growing Swarm as well as the ultimate Wild Guardian. Healing and sustain can be tough but abilities such as Bull Netch really help.

Recommended Builds:


Conclusion for the DPS Tier List

As a new player it is recommended to pick one of the setups that are higher on the list because these setups don’t struggle with anything. Important things like abilities that deal damage and heal you at the same time are often present in the top picks. In addition, sustain and mobility is also often better.

However, all classes can do every activity in the game. Experienced players with a well thought through build can manage all challenges with ease. Therefore, play what you like, don’t let others decide for you. The journey you take through ESO is supposed to be yours only! In case you don’t like something, you can always reroll, leveling in ESO is not very difficult once you understand the concept.


FAQ – DPS Tier List ESO

Frequently asked question about DPS/ Damager Dealers in ESO.

How is damage calculated in ESO?2021-01-07T07:18:31+00:00

The total amount of damage in ESO is calculated by the damage of each ability you deal against a single enemy or multiple enemies. Single target is often referred to as ST damage and multiple targets are often referred to as AoE damage.

The damage of an ability can be increase by increasing your spell/weapon damage and magicka/stamina. 1 spell damage is worth around 10.5 magicka. 1 weapon damage is worth around 10.5 stamina. For example, that means every 1000 magicka is worth approximately 95 spell damage.

 

What is the best DPS Class in ESO?2021-01-07T07:20:00+00:00

To understand what is the best dps class in ESO, we need to first understand how we set up the rankings in the ESO DPS Tier List. There is no class that does everything the best. Therefore it is important to know what kind of activities you plan on doing in ESO before you pick your class. All classes can do all content in the game with the right build.

Also very important, the developers like to change the balance of combat, therefore it could be that the best setup changes from patch to patch.

 

What is the strongest class in ESO?2021-01-07T07:22:18+00:00

I recommend reading the ESO DPS Tier List to understand what the strongest class in ESO is. This will give you a good understanding to pick your class, because depending on the situation the rankings can vary. There are plenty of activities in ESO and there is no class that does everything the best.

However, in general players like to pick a Magicka Nightblade, Magicka Sorcerer or Magicka Necromancer as the strongest class/ setup in ESO. I do recommend reading the explanation on the ESO DPS Tier List for further explanation.

What is the highest DPS in ESO?2020-12-30T18:41:18+00:00

The highest DPS in ESO is currently the Magicka Nightblade. However, the rankings change at least once every 3 months because the developers make adjustments to the combat balance every 3 months. Therefore, it is always important to ask your guild members to stay up to date with what has the highest dps in ESO.

We do recommend to check out the ESO DPS Tier List to get a better understanding of all the classes and damage dealer setups.

How do you know your DPS in ESO?2021-01-07T07:28:26+00:00

To figure out your DPS in ESO you can do a few things. On both PC and Console the Target Dummies in your own house show your average DPS after you completed your test in the chat window.

However, on PC you also have the option to download addons like Combat Metrics which show the average single target and area of effect damage during the fight. In addition, the addon also lets you analyze your fight afterwards in great detail like you can see in the image below.

Stamnecro 100k dps parse ptsweek1

About the Author:

Alcast is the owner of the website and creates Builds & Guides for everything related to The Elder Scrolls Online. Alcast is part of the Class Representative Program and a Stream Team Partner, both officially supported by ZOS. Alcast has been playing The Elder Scrolls Online since the Beta and has knowledge of all types of classes and builds in the game. Alcast also publishes videos on Youtube, live streams on Twitch and for personal updates you can always check out his Twitter. If you want more information about Alcast you can also check out his About Me Page.
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