There are a total of 10 different ESO races available. The ESO races guide should help you determine what kind or race you want to pick. Each of the races in ESO has different and unique racial passives that we will explain in this article. There are a total of three Alliances in the Elder Scrolls Online, each of those have different races. We will also explain what race you preferably should choose for which setup. Racial passives in ESO are very important. There is also a way to unlock all races for any Alliance, which I will explain below.

Daggerfall Covenant – ESO Races

Breton, Redguard, Orc

Daggerfall Covenant is a Faction in Elder Scrolls Online. The Daggerfall Covenant is a compact between the peoples of northwest Tamriel—Bretons, Redguards, and Orcs—that forms an alliance of mutual defense, with a vision of establishing peace and order across Tamriel. Indeed, the kings of the Covenant take the Remans as their model, claiming to be the spiritual heirs of the Second Empire.

So this is the modern Daggerfall Covenant, an alliance of the Redguards of northern Hammerfell, under King Fahara’jad; the Orcs of the mountainous northeast, under King Kurog of Orsinium; with the Breton King Emeric of High Rock presiding from his palace in Wayrest. At its best, it is a noble alliance of honorable and chivalrous peoples, representing all the best aspects of the First and Second Empires. And from this solid foundation, perhaps a third, even mightier Empire shall arise, providing all the peoples of Tamriel the benefits of mutual respect, vigorous trade, and reverence for the Divines.

Breton Race

ESO Race GuideBreton racial passives have a strong focus on magicka. Increased max magicka, increased spell resistance and magicka ability cost reduction makes them a good magicka based race often used on magicka damage dealers and healers.

  • Opportunist – Increases your Alliance Points gained by 1%.
  • Gift of Magnus: Increases your Max Magicka by 2000.
  • Spell Attunement: Gain 2310 Spell Resistance and 130 Magicka Recovery. The Spell Resistance granted by this effect is doubled if you are afflicted with Burning, Chilled, or Concussed.
  • Magicka Mastery: Reduces the Magicka cost of your abilities by 7%.

You can learn more about the ESO race “Breton” in the Breton Skill-line Overview Page.

Redguard Race

ESO Race GuideRedguards are the masters of sustain. Their cost reduction passive on all weapon abilities and their Adrenaline Rush passive increase your sustain more than any other race. It can also be wise to use a more weapon abilities focused setup as a Redguard to benefit from the cost reduction even more. Also do not forget, the cost reduction also affects your weapon type ultimate!

  • Wayfarer – Increases the duration of 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 Max Stamina by 2000.
  • Adrenaline Rush: When you deal Direct Damage, you restore 1005 Stamina. This effect can occur once every 5 seconds.

You can learn more about the ESO race “Redguard” in the Redguard Skill-line Overview Page.

Orc Race

ESO Race GuideOrcs are one of the stronger stamina race both for pve and pvp. 1000 Max Stamina and 256 Weapon Damage both scale up even further with modifiers and on top of that they also get a 1000 Health boost. Other than that they also benefit from faster running speeds which makes them very fierce in pvp.

  • Craftsman – Increases your crafting Inspiration gained by 10%.
  • Brawny: Increases your Max Stamina by 1000.
  • Unflinching Rage: Increases your Max Health by 1000. When you deal damage, you heal for 2125 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%

You can learn more about the ESO race “Orc” in the Orc Skill-line Overview Page.

Aldmeri Dominion – ESO Races

High Elf, Woodelf, Khajiit

Aldmeri Dominion is a Faction in Elder Scrolls Online. When word reached the High Elves of Alinor that the Imperial City had fallen under the control of the human supporters of Molag Bal, the Aldmeri Dominion was formed. The High Elves reached out to the neighboring races of Wood Elves and Khajiit with a plea that their combined forces might prevent the younger races of Tamriel from bringing disaster to the world, as they had so many times in the past.

The High Elves were the original settlers of Tamriel and created the common tongue used throughout the continent today. They are also naturally proficient with magic. The Wood Elves inhabit the thick, near-impenetrable forests of Valenwood. They are supreme hunters, guides, and masters in sneaking and thievery. They are also the most gifted archers in all of Tamriel. The Khajiit, a proud feline race, are fearsome warriors, proficient with bladed weapons. They stand proudly at the forefront of every battle. The power and determination of the Aldmeri Dominion should not be underestimated.

High Elf (Altmer) Race

ESO Race GuideHigh Elf are one of the stronger magicka based races. 2000 Max Magicka and 258 Spell Damage also scale further with modifiers. On top of that one of the passive reduces damage taken by 5% while you are using an ability with a cast or channel time.

  • Highborn – Increases your experience gained by 1%. Increases experience gain with the Destruction Staff Skill line by 15%.
  • 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 Max Magicka by 2000.
  • Elemental Talent: Increases your Weapon and Spell Damage by 258.

You can learn more about the ESO race “High Elf” in the High Elf Skill-line Overview Page.

Wood Elf (Bosmer) Race

ESO Race GuideWood Elf racial passives have a strong focus on stealth based gameplay style. 2000 Max Stamina and 258 Stamina Recovery that can be further increased with modifiers. They are also very good at detecting enemies thanks to the increased detection radius. On top of that they also gain faster movement speed and increased penetration after a dodge roll, which makes them especially dangerous on stamina Nightblades.

  • Acrobat – Decreases your fall damage taken by 10%. Increases experience gain with the Bow Skill line by 15%.
  • Y’ffre’s Endurance: Increases your Stamina Recovery by 258.
  • Resist Affliction: Increases your Max Stamina by 2000 and your Poison Resistance by 2310. You are immune to the poisoned and status effect.
  • Hunter’s Increases your Max Stamina by 2000 and your Disease and Poison Resistance by 2310.

You can learn more about the ESO race “Wood Elf” in the Wood Elf Skill-line Overview Page.

Khajiit Race

ESO Race GuideKhajiit racial passives are both good for magicka and stamina based setups. Both stamina and magicka benefits from the extra Critical Damage buff. On top of that they also get 915 Max Health, Magicka and Stamina. Which is not a lot but it still matters. Khajiit are also the prime race for gankers, as the Critical Damage modifier really pushes up the critical hits on enemies. They are also harder to detect than other races due to the detection radius reduction by 3m.

  • Cutpurse – Increases your chance to so successfully pickpocket by 5%. Increases the experience gain with the Medium Armor Skill line by 15%.
  • Robustness: Increases your Health Recovery by 100 and your Stamina and Magicka recovery by 85.
  • Lunar Blessings: Increases your Max Health, Magicka, and Stamina by 915.
  • Feline Ambush: Increases your Critical Damage and Critical Healing by 12%. Reduces your detection radius in Stealth by 3m.

You can learn more about the ESO race “Khajiit” in the Khajiit Skill-line Overview Page.

Ebonheart Pact – ESO Races

Nord, Dark Elf, Argonian

Ebonheart Pact is a Faction in Elder Scrolls Online. Jorunn, of Eastern Skyrim, is acting High King of the Great Moot, but he does not rule absolutely. His decisions must be ratified by all three races in a unique form of governance called The Great Moot. He is down-to-earth, humorous, and has an iron will to succeed.

Nord Race

ESO Race GuideNord racial passives have a strong focus on tanking based passives. Increased Max Stamina and Health, extra Physical and Spell Resistance and also more Cold Resistance. On top of that they also get one of the most important passives, extra Ultimate regeneration. Ultimate regeneration is always important, be it in PVP or PVE.

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

You can learn more about the ESO race “Nord” in the Nord Skill-line Overview Page.

Dark Elf (Dunmer) Race

ESO Race GuideDark Elf racial passives let you play both Stamina or Magicka based setups. Dark Elves are one of the strongest races for both magicka and stamina based setups. They also get flame resistance, which can be helpful if you are a Vampire (because Vampires take extra fire damage).

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

You can learn more about the ESO race “Dark Elf” in the Dark Elf Skill-line Overview Page.

Argonian Race

ESO Race GuideArgonian racial passives are focused on healing and tanking. Increased resource return when you drink a potion, increased max health, increased disease resistance and increased healing done. Argonians are often used on tank setups due to their passives. The Resourceful passive also makes them one of the best races in order to improve sustain tremendously.

  • Amphibian – Increases your experience gain with Restoration Staff skill line by 15%. Increases swimming speed by 50%.
  • Resourceful: Increases your Max Magicka and Max Stamina by 1000. When you drink a potion, you restore 3125 Health, Magicka, and Stamina.
  • Argonian Resistance: Increases your Max Health by 1000 and your Disease and Poison Resistance by 2310.

You can learn more about the ESO race “Argonian” in the Argonian Skill-line Overview Page.

Other ESO Races

There are also other races that don’t strictly belong to any of the alliances.

Imperial Race

ESO Race GuideImperial racial passives are focused on stamina and health. Increased Max Health and Max Stamina gives them a big extra piece of resources compared to other races. Having that much Health makes it possible to run Gold sustain Food, which will make resource management easier. They also get 3% cost reduction, which applies to everything, including Ultimates.

  • Diplomat – Increases experience gain with One Handed and Shield Line by 15%. Increases your gold gained by 1%.
  • Tough: Increases your Max Health by 2000.
  • Imperial Mettle: Increases your Max Stamina by 2000.
  • Red Diamond: Reduces the cost of all your abilities by 6%.

You can learn more about the ESO race “Imperial” in the Imperial Skill-line Overview Page.

What ESO race should I use for my setup?

Each build on our website always has recommendations for what eso race you should pick. However, here are some general recommendations and explanations for pve:

Tanks Race Choice

Best choice: Nord, Argonian and Imperial

Nords are great for extra ultimate regeneration and extra resistance. Argonians have good allrounder stats and also increased sustain due to the potion drink passive. Imperials are nice if you are looking for a lot of extra max stats and extra cost reduction.

Healer Race Choice

Best choice: Breton, High Elf and Argonian

Breton, High Elf and Argonian are all very good healer races. Bretons have the overall best sustain by far. High Elf and Argonians are also very good choices for healers because of their magicka based passives.

Magicka Damage Dealer

Best choice: High Elf, Dark Elf, Breton

High Elf and Dark Elf have the highest overall damage due to their Spell Damage and Max Magicka passives. Breton is not far behind but has way better overall sustain.

Stamina Damage Dealer

Best choice: Dark Elf, Orc, Khajiit, Wood Elf, Redguard, Imperial, Nord

Dark Elves, Orcs and Khajiits are the best picks for a stamina based damage dealer because of their passives. Wood Elf, Redguard, Imperial and Nord are also viable options though.


In PvP the builds and races are usually more diverse than in PVE, therefore it is quite tricky to suggest races. I recommend checking out the pvp builds itself which always have recommeded races listed up.

How to unlock all ESO races for every faction

I highly recommend buying the “All races any faction perk“, this will allow you to use any race in any faction. So you are not locked to the certain alliances. For example this way you could use a Redguard in the Ebonheart Pact, even tho Redguard is usually in the Daggerfall alliance.

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