Are you Dying to PVP?

This guide will provide you with the information you need to stop dying in PVP and start smacking the smiles off ganker faces. The topics covered here are designed for new PVPers but may be informative to veteran players too.


  • PVP and PVE gameplay are very different from one another. In PVE, you’re dealing with pre-programmed enemies that generally follow the same patterns of offense and defense every time. After some practice, you learn to anticipate those patterns, and clearing content becomes second nature in many regards. In PVP, you’re dealing with other human beings. Anticipating human patterns is much more challenging. Nonetheless, it is possible and just takes practice.
  • In PVE gameplay, players generally have prechosen roles (dps, tank, healer) that don’t overlap. During a trial, a dps isn’t thinking about how they’ll heal the group while also continuing to damage a boss. In PVP, the concept is quite different. To be effective in PVP environments, you need to learn to be all roles at all times.
  • During PVE encounters, damage output typically comes in the form of a skill rotation, often static, that is repeated over and over until the boss dies. PVP play doesn’t work like that. Instead of focusing on an offensive rotation, your focus is on either defensive skills or offensive skills, which are situationally specific rather than part of a rotation. Damage in PVP generally comes in the form of burst damage. This is where you stack several offensive skills together that overlap and produce massive damage over a very short period of time.
  • In many PVE instances, players are stacking in the same place (bosses butt, right of dragon’s head, etc.) and hammering away at the boss. In general, if you stand still in PVP, you’re going to die. A still target is an easy target and other PVPers know this. Mobility is a key part of any PVP build. This includes things like Speed, Gap Closing, Stealth, and generally any skill that assists you in getting into or out of combat when you need to.
  • In order to perfect your skills in PVP, it’s important to embrace dying and the in-game death recap. Look at what skills killed you and consider the situation. And don’t sweat dying. It happens to everyone in PVP; it’s part of the game. It can certainly get annoying to repeatedly die, so set a limit for yourself. If you go into Cyrodiil or Imperial City, allow yourself to play until you’ve died 10 or 20 times, then take a break. This will help you keep a positive attitude in PVP situations. Keep this in mind, the more you die in PVP, the better you will get. That concept is a tough one to grasp, but it’s true; eventually the situations you typically die in will become the ones you survive, and the ones you survive will become those that you dominate.


  • There are many different gear sets that can be effective in PVP. The effectiveness of gear sets in PVP can often be class specific. Gear sets that work well for a Sorceror, might not be as effective for a Nightblade for example.

  • A typical PVP build is going to incorporate a Monster Set, a Mythic, a 5-piece offensive set, and a 5-piece defensive set. The Monster Set and Mythic are always active, while the offensive set is only active on the front bar and the defensive set is only active on the back bar. Front bar weapons will vary as dual wield, destruction staff, bow, and 2-hander (2H) are all viable options. Backbar weapons will be sword/shield, frost staff, or restoration staff, usually based on preference, but sometimes class specific or situational as well.

Gear Layout

The gear setup shown here is a traditional PVP build that will work for most situations. Use this as a template with the Monster Sets and Offensive and Defensive Sets listed below. While the Flame Staff and Restoration Staff are listed as weapons, these can be swapped for your preference and play style.

Gear Slot Weight Set Trait Enchant
Head Heavy Monster Set Well-Fitted or Sturdy Prismatic
Shoulders Medium Monster Set Well-Fitted or Sturdy Stamina
Chest Heavy Defensive Set Reinforced Prismatic
Legs Heavy Trainee/Druid’s Well-Fitted or Sturdy Prismatic
Gloves Light Offensive Set Well-Fitted or Sturdy Stamina
Boots Light Offensive Set Well-Fitted or Sturdy Stamina
Belt Light Offensive Set Well-Fitted or Sturdy Stamina
Weapon 1 Flame Staff Offensive Set Sharpened Increase Weapon/Spell Damage
Weapon 2 Restoration Staff Defensive Set Powered Poisons
Necklace Defensive Set Swift Spell Damage
Ring Mythic Infused Magicka Recovery
Ring Defensive Set Swift Spell Damage

Armor Passives

The following buffs are provided as passives for wearing these armor types. In general, the more pieces of a specific armor type you wear, the bigger the buff.

  • Heavy Armor - increases resistances, health, health recovery, block potential
  • Medium Armor - increases Crit Damage and Healing, Speed, Weapon and Spell Damage, and Stamina Recovery. Decreases cost of Sprint, Block, and Sneak
  • Light Armor - increases Penetration, Magicka Recovery, Critical Chance, and Spell Resistance. Decreases effectiveness of snares and the cost of sprint

Monster Sets

The following monster sets can provide a sizeable advantage to you during combat. Monster Set helmets drop from veteran difficulty dungeons and Imperial City bosses. Shoulders can be purchased with undaunted keys from the Undaunted pledge givers or with Tel Var from a vendor in Imperial City base zones. Monster sets come in all three weights: light, medium, and heavy.

Set Location Benefits
Magma Incarnate The Dread Cellar DLC Dungeon Provides group damage and armor buffs
Engine Guardian Darkshade Caverns II Dungeon Spawn a Dwemer Automation that heals you and gives back resources. It also takes damage and can break your opponent's line of sight, especially while you are retreating
Balorgh March of Sacrifices DLC Dungeon Using an ultimate gives you a massive buff to weapon/spell damage and penetration
Zoal the Ever-Wakeful Imperial City When you Break Free, you fear enemies and gain a buff to weapon/spell damage
Bloodspawn Spindleclutch II Dungeon When you take damage you have a chance to generate 13 ultimate and boost your resistances

Craftable Sets

Crafted sets are the most versatile sets in PVP because they can be crafted in any weight: light, medium, or heavy. This allows you to craft the perfect gear for your situation, mixing and matching light, medium, and heavy armor pieces to provide you with the most benefit. Maybe you want to be a bit more tankie, so you increase the number of heavy pieces you wear. Maybe you want more magicka regeneration and penetration, so you increase the number of light armor pieces you wear. Crafted sets give you the flexibility you don't find with most other set types. There are a handful of overland sets in the game that do also come in all three weights, but not many.

Set Type Benefits
Adept Rider Defensive Set Armor, Health, Speed
Daedric Trickery Defensive Set Increase Max Health, Stamina, Magicka. Grants random major defensive buffs that overlap
Druid's Braid Defensive Set 12 piece set that provides increased Max Heath, Stamina, and Magicka based on the number of pieces you're wearing
Shacklebreaker Defensive Set Provides increased Max Magicka and Stamina, Weapon and Spell Damage, and increased Magicka and Stamina Recovery
Whitestrake's Retribution Defensive Set Provides increased Max Health, Armor, Health Recovery and a huge damage shield when under 30% health
Wretched Vitality Defensive Set Provides huge increases to Magicka and Stamina Recovery
Clever Alchemist Offensive Set Provides increased Max Health and a huge boost to Weapon and Spell Damage when you drink a potion
Heartland Conqueror Offensive Set Provides increased Max Magicka and Stamina, Weapon and Spell Damage; increases weapon trait effectiveness by 100%
Order's Wrath Offensive Set Provides a huge increase to Critical Chance, and Critical Damage and Healing
Ancient Dragonguard Offensive / Defensive Set Offensive when Health is above 50%, Defensive when your Health is below 50%

Overland Sets

Overland sets are fairly easy to obtain through overland content but can also be purchased through guild traders. This list is an example of popular overland sets worn in PVP environments; other sets may work well too.

Set Type Weight Location Benefits
Eternal Vigor Defensive Set Heavy Western Skyrim Provides increased Magicka, Stamina, and Health Recovery. Health Recovery is further increased when Health is below 50%; Mag/Stam Recovery are further increased when Health is over 50%
Grace of Gloom Defensive Set Heavy Summerset Increase Max Health and Health Recovery. When you take damage, heals for 927 every 2 seconds and reduces area effect damage by 20% for 10 seconds
Mark of the Pariah Defensive Set Heavy Wrothgar Increase Max Health and Armor. Provides up to 10206 Physical and Spell Resistance based on your missing Health.
Robes of the Hist Defensive Set Light Shadowfen Increase Max Health, Magicka, and Weapon and Spell Damage. Heals for 2000 Health per second for 5 seconds when you are hit by a disabling effect, snared, or immobilized
Warrior-Poet Defensive Set Heavy Vvardenfell Increase Max Health and Armor. Gain minor Toughness at all times, increasing max health by 10%.When you take damage, heals for 927 every 2 seconds and reduces area effect damage by 20% for 10 seconds
Gryphon's Ferocity Offensive Set Medium Summerset Increase Crit Chance and Weapon and Spell damage and provide Minor Force and Minor Expedition when dealing damage
Syvarra's Scales Offensive/Defensive Set All Weights Hew's Bane Increase Max Health, Magicka, and Stamina. AOE poison damage procs when dealing direct damage

Cyrodiil Sets

Gear sets from Cyrodiil are harder to come by than Overland and Craftable sets, but they're still not that difficult to acquire. They can be purchased with gold from guild traders, or with AP through the Elite Gear Vendor in Cyrodiil. The Elite Gear Vendor is located at one of the two home bases of your alliance. The biggest difference between these sets and overland or crafted sets is these sets are specifically designed for PVP play. They tend to give you a bit more bang for your buck.

Set Type Weight Location Benefits
Fasalla's Guise Defensive Set Heavy Elite Gear Vendor / Guild Traders Provides increased Health, Armor, and Healing Taken. Apply Minor Defile to any enemy that comes within 5 meters of you for 2 seconds
Mara's Balm Defensive Set Heavy Reward for the Worthy boxes / Guild Traders Increase Armor, Crit Resistance, Healing Taken. Heals you for 1675 when a negative effect is removed. Purges all negative effects when you have 6 or more negative effects on you at once and heals for 1675 for each
Steadfast Hero Defensive Set Heavy Elite Gear Vendor / Guild Traders Increase Max Health and Armor. Gain Major Protection for 10 seconds when you cleanse a negative effect.
Plaguebreak Offensive Set Medium Elite Gear Vendor / Guild Traders Increase Offensive Penetration, Weapon and Spell Damage. Dealing direct damage causes enemies to become Plague Carriers, dealing damage and applying the Diseased status effect. If removed early, the plague explodes dealing massive damage to the enemy and all enemies within 8 meters
Vicious Death Offensive Set Light Elite Gear Vendor / Guild Traders Increase Max Magicka, Crit Chance, Weapon and Spell Damage, and Offensive Penetration. When you kill a player they explode for 3322 Flame damage to all enemies in a 5-meter radius
Hrothgar's Chill Offensive/Defensive Set Heavy Elite Gear Vendor / Guild Traders Increase Max Health, Offensive Penetration and Armor. Stunning or immobilizing an enemy applies the Chilled status effect and deals 13% of their total physical and spell resistance as Frost Damage
Rallying Cry Offensive/Defensive Set Medium Reward for the Worthy boxes / Guild Traders Increase Crit Chance and Max Magicka. While Battle Spirit is active, critically healing yourself or an ally increases you and up to 11 group members Weapon and Spell damage and Critical Resistance


For most builds, put 20 points into Health and 44 points into Stamina or Magicka based on your build. These can be tweaked to your situation. If you find that you need survivability when you start out, more points can be put into health and then you can dial this back as you become more proficient at staying alive.

Champion Points (CP)

Champion Point selection will differ quite a bit in PVP vs PVE. A PVE dps character will have all max damage CP slotted under the Warfare Branch. They aren't concerned about damage mitigation, as they have healers and tanks for that. In PVP, you more often than not won't have that luxury. Because of this, it's important to slot some damage mitigation champion points. The chart below shows a good mix of slottable CP for use in PVP. It's a good starting point. You can tweak from there as you play to suit your needs. This is where the Champion Point system really shines.

Branch Slotted CP 1 Slotted CP 2 Slotted CP 3 Slotted CP 4
Fitness Celerity Sustained by Suffering Pain's Refuge Slippery
Warfare Duelist's Rebuff Ironclad Deadly Aim Master at Arms
Craft Rationer Liquid Efficiency Gifted Rider War Mount

Food / Potions / Poison

There is a huge variety of foods and potions that work well in PVP environments; your choice of the food and potions you run on your PVP character can very much be the difference between surviving an encounter and dying. In most situations, running poisons on your backbar is going to give you a significant advantage in escaping bad situations.


In most cases, the food you choose should at a minimum increase your overall health and provide a boost to health recovery. Recovery statistics in PVP gameplay are halved, so having the additional health recovery will help you stay alive. Keep this in mind when theory crafting. If you build a character that has 1500 Health Recovery, it will only be 750 in Cyrodiil, Battlegrounds, or Imperial City.


Potions are short acting, but can provide enormous buffs to help you in many different situations. In PVP, you will typically run 2 or 3 different potions and switch between them depending on your need.

Potion Solvent Ingredient 1 Ingredient 2 Ingredient 3 Use Case
Essence of Health Lorkhan's Tears Bugloss Columbine Mountain Flower Tri-Stat Restoration and Recovery Potion for use in most encounters
Essence of Spell Power Lorkhan's Tears Corn Flower Lady's Smock Namira's Rot Magicka Power Pots, used offensively to apply more pressure to enemies. These are your kill pots, consumed just before mounting an offensive push, or during 1 v 1 encounters to give you enough power to burn down the enemy
Essence of Weapon Power Lorkhan's Tears Blessed Thistle Dragonthorn Wormwood / Water Hyacinth Stamina Power Pots, used offensively to apply more pressure to enemies. These are your kill pots, consumed just before mounting an offensive push, or during 1 v 1 encounters to give you enough power to burn down the enemy
Essence of Detection Lorkhan's Tears Corn Flower Lady's Smock Wormwood / Torchbug Thorax Used to detect invisible players and gives you Magicka power to burn them down when you detect them
Essence of Invisibility Lorkhan's Tears Blue Entoloma Butterfly Wing Spider Egg Used in retreat. Boosts your health and health recovery and makes you invisible for 12 seconds. Also used in stealth builds to stay hidden
Essence of Immovability Lorkhan's Tears Columbine Mountain Flower Wormwood / Namira's Rot Used in retreat. Boosts your health and health recovery, stamina and stamina recovery and makes you immune to knockbacks and disabling effects for 8 seconds.


The following poisons are the very best in ESO for PVP gameplay. Poisons are typically defensive but do also offer offensive benefits.

Poison Solvent Ingredient 1 Ingredient 2 Ingredient 3 Use Case
Escapist's Poison IX Alkahest Bugloss Columbine Wormwood Immobilizes target, makes you immune to immobilization, Drains Health and Magicka from your target and restores Health and Magicka to you
Damage Health Poison IX Alkahest Emetic Russula Fleshfly Larva Nightshade Deals poison damage and increases the cost of your target's Stamina abilities
Vulnerability Poison IX Alkahest Clam Gall Dragon's Bile Dragon's Blood Inflicts Minor Vulnerability, absorbs health, negates healing, grants Minor Heroism increasing your Ultimate Generation
Brutality-Draining Poison IX Alkahest Blessed Thistle Dragonthorn Wormwood Inflicts Minor Maim and Minor Enervation to your target, while giving you Minor Brutality and Minor Savagery. Drains targets Stamina and restores yours.
Damage Health Poison IX Alkahest Blessed Thistle Stinkhorn Torchbug Thorax Applies a massive poison dot
Crown Lethal Poison Daily Reward / Crown Crates Applies a massive poison dot

Types of PVP Gameplay

There are four different PVP types: Duels, Battlegrounds, Cyrodiil, and Imperial City.


You can duel another player anywhere in ESO non-PVP overland content. Group content areas like dungeons and trials prevent dueling. To initiate a duel, you walk up to another player, interact (F for keyboard users) with them and challenge them to a duel. If accepted, a flag will drop and there will be a short count down to begin the battle. During this countdown, players typically apply their buffs and shields and drink a potion. The battle will commence and continue until either one player dies, or either player moves far enough away from the flag. If you move too far from the flag, you'll forfeit the duel. Aside from achievements, there is no in-game benefit to dueling. You don't receive a reward for winning a duel.


Battlegrounds can be accessed through your group menu (P for keyboard users) in game. There are various game modes, each offering a different play style: Deathmatch, Domination, Capture the Relic, Chaosball, Crazy King. All Battleground matches include three teams of 4 players each in one arena. There is a quest called "For Glory" which can be accessed in Vivec City, Vulkhel Guard, Daggerfall, Davon's Watch, and Alinor. This quest will open access to the Battleground Daily quest and repeatable quests. If you are running Battlegrounds, you should pick these quests up as you'll passively complete them.

  • Deathmatch: Points are rewarded for killing enemy players. The first team to 500 points wins. There is a 15 minute timer. If no team reaches 500 points, the highest scoring team wins.
  • Domination: This is a land grab type game. Flags are set up around the arena. The goal is to hold as many flags on the arena as possible. Scoring is based on the number of flags you hold.
  • Capture the Relic: This is a capture the flag type game. You will try to steal the other teams' relics and bring them back to your relic. Scoring is based on the number of relics you retrieve successfully. The first team to capture five other teams' relics wins.
  • Chaosball: This is a flag type game. There is one chaosball that spawns in the middle of the arena. Only one player can possess the ball. While you hold the ball, it damages you and increases that damage every second. Damage is mitigated when your teammates stand in the ball's AOE. Points are earned by carrying the ball or healing the carrier. You do not earn points for killing other players.
  • Crazy King: This is a land grab type game. This is similar to Domination, but the flags in this game type disappear periodically and reappear somewhere else. To be successful in this game type, teams need to constantly move around the map and capture flags before they disappear.

Rewards: Alliance Points (AP), gold, Reward for the Worthy boxes, transmute crystals. The top 100 players on the weekly leaderboard receive additional rewards via mail.

Important Notes: Battlegrounds are quick PVP encounters and can be a good way to practice and hone your skills. It is important to know that Champion Points (CP) are disabled in Battlegrounds but Proc sets still work.

Imperial City (IC)

Imperial City is a two-part PVP zone in the middle of Cyrodiil. It can be accessed through the Alliance War menu (L for keyboard users). There are two Imperial City campaigns: CP and No-CP. Champion points are disabled in No-CP as are Proc gear sets. When you port into IC, you will arrive at your alliance base. There is a banker, various merchants, quests, and access to both lower and upper IC.

Lower IC

Lower IC is made up of a complex network of the narrow sewer passageways, which often open to more spacious rooms. From each alliance base, the sewers lead indirectly to a central arena where you can fight Molag Bol. There are many PVE encounters in the sewers, including various world bosses and two special Scamps called Cunning Scamps and Trove Scamps. These special enemies have a chance to drop some great loot, including Hakeijo runes. These scamps have a special glow to help you identify them. Challenging enemies known as Banner-Bosses also patrol this area. You'll know one is coming when you start to hear a faint heartbeat. This sound gets louder as they get closer. When you hear one, prepare for combat. If you're alone, it's often better to retreat. Each alliance's sewer network also has two locations where a ladder leads to one of the upper IC districts.

IC has its own currency called Tel Var. Tel Var can be accumulated by killing enemies or enemy players in IC. There are some basic principles of Tel Var you should know.

  • Tel Var is shared among those that kill enemies. You get a lot more Tel Var if you run solo or in a duo in IC.
  • You will lose 1/2 of your total Tel Var if you die. If an add kills you, the Tel Var disappears. If an enemy player kills you, they steal 1/2 of your Tel Var.
  • Carrying Tel Var on your character gives you a Tel Var multiplier: x2 for 100, x3 for 1,000, and x4 for 10,000. For instance, a Banner Boss is worth 600 Tel Var if you have 0-99 Tel Var on your toon, 1,200 if you have 100 - 999, 1,800 if you have 1000 - 9999, and 2,400 if you have more than 10,000. Be advised that carrying large amounts of Tel Var on you is risky. In general, when you farm Tel Var, you should periodically return to the bank and deposit it into your bank.

Upper IC

Upper IC is divided into 6 districts, each possessed by the alliance that maintains control of the district's flag. The upper IC districts can be accessed through a network of ladders in your alliance base, or via the various ladders located in the sewers. When you enter upper IC through your alliance base, there is a daily quest giver as soon as you arrive in a particular IC district. If you intend on completing the dailies, you should go up a ladder, grab the daily quest, then go back down the ladder to your base. Repeat this for each district until you have all 6 daily quests. Access to the dailies is restricted to a platform that you port into the district on. Once you leave the platform you don't have access to the quest giver, and you can't access the quest giver in other districts unless you go back through your alliance base, which is time consuming.

Upper IC has many enemies, including a World Boss in each district that has the chance of dropping a specific monster helm. Monster helm drops in IC are not guaranteed like they are in Dungeons. The matching shoulder piece can be purchased with Tel Var in lower IC. You will likely encounter plenty of enemy and friendly players as well. Sticking around friendlies as you complete daily quests is recommended.


Cyrodiil is the single largest zone in ESO. It's so large it will take you a full 10 minutes to ride from one end of the map to the other. That's of course if you survive the ride! The Cyrodiil map is roughly triangular in shape. DC own the top left, EP the top right, and AD the bottom. Each alliance has two base gates to use as spawn points. These are safe zones that the other factions do not have access to. You can find a banker, various merchants, mount training, and quest givers in these zones.

Travel in Cyrodiil

Cyrodiil uses a special way shrine for travel, called a Transitus Shrine. There is one of these located at the two alliance spawn points, as well as all keeps, castles, forts, outposts, and towns. Use of these shrines is restricted in two ways. First, if a keep is under siege, you can not port into or out of it. Secondly, if you lose control of the three resources surrounding a keep your alliance controls you lose the ability to port into or out of it.

An additional form of travel in Cyrodiil is a Keep Recall Stone. These inventory items will be accumulated the more you play in Cyrodiil. They can also be purchased for 20,000 AP from a siege equipment vendor. These can be used any time you are not near a keep and want to port to a keep, outpost, or town your alliance controls.

The last form of travel in Cyrodiil is the infamous death port. When you die in Cyrodiil, you can respawn for free at any area controlled by your alliance, including the gates you spawn into.

Once you enter Cyrodiil, there are only two ways you can leave. First, each of the two alliance spawn points has a traditional way shrine that can port you to any way shrine in Tamriel that you know. A more common way to get out is to que for Imperial City. You can port directly from Cyrodiil to Imperial City and then walk out the front door in IC to get back to where you were when you ported into Cyrodiil.

Home that Campaign

Whichever campaign you decide to play, it's important to understand the concept of homing a campaign. Campaigns last for 7 days or 30 days. When you home a campaign, the experience you gain there goes toward a tier system of levelling. Each tier increases the rewards you receive at the end of the campaign. Achieving Tier 1 status in a campaign is fairly easy and can take as little as an hour of time. When the campaign ends, you will receive mail for each toon you have Tier 1 status on. That mail will include 50 transmute crystals. Tier 2 and 3 offer even more rewards. If you're one of the top ranked players in the campaign, you'll receive even more rewards. A Tier 3 player that's in the top 100 players in the campaign will receive 100 transmute crystals and 5 pieces of purple Cyrodiil PVP gear jewelry, as well as a small amount of gold.

Things to do in Cyrodiil

First, there are many repeatable daily quests in Cyrodiil. Check out the guild's guide Cyrodiil Town Quests, which was written by @sleepyworm for more information on these quests. Despite being a PVP zone, Cyrodiil is rich in PVE content, including quests and many delves sprinkled throughout the landscape. There are also 46 sky shards for collection in Cyrodiil.

Being a PVP zone, most people come to Cyrodiil to enjoy the PVP experience. This includes battling other players, capturing resource points, and sieging keeps, castles, forts, outposts, and towns. Combat in Cyrodiil can be epic at times, with battles of 100+ players happening often. While it may not seem so at first, there is a lot of strategy that goes into the PVP gameplay in Cyrodiil. As you play more, you'll learn to anticipate other factions moves, plan your own, and be a contributor to your alliance.

Scoring in Cyrodiil

There are various bonuses available in Cyrodiil. Generally, the more areas of the map you control, the better these bonuses are. One particular bonus that everyone has access to is the delve boss AP bonus. Killing a delve boss in Cyrodiil grants you a 20% AP gained buff for one hour, which is repeatable. Each alliance also controls 2 scrolls, which are typically located in temples near the spawn points. These scrolls grant defensive and offensive bonuses to the alliance; they can be stolen by the other factions, causing your alliance to lose the bonuses. Scrolls move through Cyrodiil pretty routinely as the factions fight over them. Scoring is updated in Cyrodiil campaigns every hour. Generally, the alliance that possesses most control points, gains the most points. There are underdog bonuses granted to low population and low scoring alliances. These bonuses are evaluated every 30 minutes, rather than the standard one-hour scoring.


There are various forms of siege equipment available in Cyrodiil. Some, like the shock lancer are even part of the antiquities system and need to be excavated. For a basic setup, you should purchase 4 fire ballistas, 4 firepot trebuchets, 4 meatbag catapults, 4 battering rams, 100 door repair kits, 100 wall repair kits, and 6 flaming oil. Siege equipment can only be used from your quick slot menu, so place these items on that menu before you venture out of your home base. Siege merchants are available in the alliance spawn points, as well as each keep, fort, castle, outpost, town, and at every resource point your alliance controls.

Siege Strategy

There are various ways to siege a keep. These are a few scenarios you might encounter.

  • The quickest way into a keep is through the front door. The fastest way, but often the most dangerous, to siege the front door is with a battering ram, surrounded closely by 3 fire ballistas. Battering rams only work if at least three players are near them. Placing the fire ballistas close to the ram allows you to proc the ram and still control the ballista when it's ready to fire. For even more damage, a fire ballista can be placed right in front of the door prior to dropping the battering ram. The ram will pass through the ballista, do its work, and still allow someone to control the extra ballista. In WTU lore, this is known as the "Algroko." It should be noted that if the keep you are sieging is heavily defended, enemies will probably be dropping flaming oil on the ground in front of the door. Oil kills quickly and if there's too much of it, you won't be able to siege the front door in this manner.
  • If the front door is under oil defense, groups will generally move further away from the keep and drop fire ballistae and firepot trebuchets and fire on the door. Enemies will usually fire back at you from the keep walls, so doing this in a big group with several healers is best. Healers can keep you alive again the barrage of enemy fire while you burn the door down.
  • High Advantage Point Wall Siege - there are several keeps on the map that have a high cliff or overlook just outside a keep wall. Many siege weapons can be placed on this higher ground and aimed at the wall. These areas are easy to defend and allow a group to take a wall down quickly. It's also harder for the enemy to hit these high points with siege from the keep walls.
  • Volendrung - this is a siege artifact that was brought to Cyrodiil by Sheogorath to make things interesting. There are rumors a raccoon also had something to do with it. Regardless, this Hammer of Might spawns 4-5 times each day in a random location. The hammer gives the player that controls it the ridiculous amounts of power. The hammer can take down a keep door or wall in seconds. When you wield the hammer, your skill bar changes to include hammer skills which do insane amounts of damage. The alliance that controls the hammer has a significant advantage. It takes experience to wield the hammer effectively, so it's often best for someone that knows how to use it to wield it. The hammer needs to be fed by killing other players or damaging structures. After not doing these things for a period of time, it will despawn. One way players avoid the despawn is by killing themselves while in a group of friendlies and allowing a new player to take the hammer. The feeding timer resets when a new player picks up the hammer. You will also run into situations where the hammer is possessed by someone, but they take it back to a spawn point or even jump into the moat in the middle of the map. This is to keep it out of the hands of the enemy. If you're alliance has low population and possesses the hammer, it's often best to ditch it.

Groups in Cyrodiil

It's always more fun to play in a group in Cyrodiil. If you don't have a group, pay attention to zone chat. People will often invite other players to join their group. Take people up on this offer. You won't be sorry. There are plenty of good people in Cyrodiil that you can learn a lot from.

Combat Strategy

First, it's important to play smart. Think before you leap into combat. If you run into a big group of enemies by yourself, you will die. If you encounter a larger group by yourself, you're unlikely to be able to kill them all before they kill you. Instead retreat. If you run with a big group, this same rule still applies. Don't charge into a huge group of players by yourself. Instead, position yourself around other friendly players and always know where the heals are coming from. You'll be able to know who's healing by all the Radiating Regeneration Resto staff casts. Pay attention to where your group is focusing damage. Focus your damage there too. Groups that work well together will focus damage and heals together and even when outnumbered can often play smart enough to take out a larger group.

It's always best to follow a specific routine in combat. First, cast your buffs, heal over times, and shields. Then engage in combat. After 8-10 seconds, you should retreat out of combat and reapply your buffs. Don't try to do it while you're near the combat or you'll risk getting nuked. Instead, roll dodge backwards a few times away from the action so you can't be targeted. Quickly rebuff yourself, then get back into combat. If you follow this advice, you're going to die less and kill more.

Learn to resurrect other players. But be smart about it. When you see another player die, evaluate the situation before deciding to rez them. Think about whether it's safe for you. One living player is better than 2 dead players. If you saw them die, find the enemy player and deal with them first. You can't fight while you resurrect another player, so if you don't deal with the enemy first, they'll likely kill you while you're trying to save your buddy. Also watch for AOE damage. If your friend dies to flaming oil, it's not a good idea for you to run into the same oil and try to rez them. You'll be dead too.

Be aware of your environment during combat. If the battle is mobile, with a lot of moving around, find structures you can use to break enemy line of sight. Move around these while you fight to give yourself some added protection. Know your retreat points. Where are you going if shit goes sideways? Most importantly, always be moving. If you're stand still in combat, you're going to die in most cases. Constantly be dancing around, dodge roll often, and block when you need to. This takes some practice, but once you learn to do it, you'll notice a big difference in how many battles you survive.

Don't Chase I can't say this enough and I don't have enough time to talk about all the times I chased another player and regretted it. PVP players are smart and they love to bait other players. When you see 1 EP player run into a resource structure, what you didn't see were the 5 other EP players that stealthed into the same structure. When you run in thinking it's 1v1, you find out the hard way it's actually 1v6. This is fairly common in Cyrodiil currently. Large groups of players will stealth while 1 or 2 walk around looking like they don't belong there. When a group tries to take them down, the group pops out of hiding and nukes everybody. Don't get nuked. If a player runs away from you, let them be. You're better off moving on to something else. This doesn't mean you shouldn't 1v1 as many players as you can. You should. It just means if a player engages you in combat and then runs away, don't go chasing after them.


This guide is a work in progress and will updated periodically with updated information. Thanks for reading.