Most people have never used addons or any kind of mods in a game, others opt for quality of life improvements, and some can’t live without them (this is me).
The Elder Scrolls Online carries the series’ tradition, and is moddable. To be exact it’s extendable, so there are addons that make playing the game, and managing your character more enjoyable.
I know first-hand that once you install the AddOns below, there’s no going back (in a good way). I don’t judge Zenimax Online’s choices, they wanted to provide a clean and minimal experience with their interface, and what they have achieved is beautiful, and one of a kind in an MMO.
But there are times where you want to explore and immerse yourself in the world and too much immersion can turn into frustration.
Before we go ahead and start installing addons like crazy, there’s a few things that you can tweak from the in-game settings, and make your life easier.
There’s 3 things I always do when I first set up a character:
- Settings -> Gameplay -> Auto Loot to ON
- Settings -> Interface -> Chat Bubbles to ON
- Settings -> Nameplates -> Nameplates to ON (I set up Self -> Always as well, but that’s up to your preference)
Installing Minion or Else Your 1-Click AddOn Solution
The best & safest way to install/update and delete your addons is an application called Minion. Go ahead and download it here, then open it, point it to ESO’s addon folder (this is usually C:\user\Documents\Elder Scrolls Online\live\AddOns) and it will be ready to go.
There’s 4 tabs in Minion, your Installed addons, a tab labeled “Find More” which lets you search addons from esoui.com directly from Minion, a Backup option to transfer your addons and settings in another system, and some basic options.
To install all the addons I listed below, simply navigate to “Find More”, and copy-paste the addon name.
Installing the addons manually is not rocket science, you just drop the downloaded folders inside the AddOns folder which I mentioned above.
Minion just makes it easier to keep track of everything.
I. Essential Map AddOns
Enhancing your map experience, is one of the core reasons you will be using addons in ESO.
Again, exploration and immersion is amazing, but you can’t hope to find everything without any map markers in a single lifetime.
You will find various styling/sizing options in Votan’s Minimap, so don’t worry about how it’s going to fit in your interface.
The most popular minimap choice is actually MiniMap by Fyrakin, but compatibility updates take a little while, and although very versatile, I’ve found myself using Votan’s Minimap to a better extent in the end.
Tip: The minimap hides itself by default in combat, and that gets annoying when you’re multitasking. Simply change that in Settings -> Addons -> Votan’s Minimap.
Author: Garkin, Ayantir & AssemblerManiac
All skyshards you haven’t yet gathered will show up on your map, compass and mini-map, with an option to hide them when gathered as well, enough said.
Tip: When playing with friends, it’s a good idea to not hide the collected SkyShards, as you can be the one yelling “there’s a Skyshard there” to your team, and get praised.
Author: Garkin, Ayantir & Kyoma
Similar with SkyShards, LoreBooks will reveal all lorebooks which grant you Mages Guild XP on your map, so it’s very easy to collect them while questing.
Tip: Even though the default icons of the addon look GREAT, and are very lore-friendly, I prefer to use the ESO style ones, because they are black & white, and blend better on my map.
Author: SnowmanDK & MasterLenman
Another essential map addon, Destinations will mark all types of POIs on your map, the ones that the rest addons don’t. World Bosses, Wayshrines, Delves, Quest Hubs you name it!
The treasure/survey puzzles in ESO are awesome, but let’s face it, no one’s got the spare time for that.
Lost Treasure works in a great, non-obtrusive way, letting you either mark the treasures on your inventory, the ones you’ve used, or all the locations that exist (you can’t pick up treasures without having the respective item).
Another precious addon, HarvestMap will put a marker on your map/mini-map/compass (with many customization options) for anything you gather. This includes all resources for crafting, chests, thief containers and more.
It’s going to be a great help the more you re-visit areas, and help you with looting whether you are a crafter, a treasure hunter, or both.
Tip: If you’re like me, and gather hundreds of nodes/area, your map is going to look a bit hectic with all these symbols and colors. As a (good) solution, I have made all the markers a pale color, so that it blends with the map, and all the black/white markers stand out.
Tip 2: HarverMap offers 3D pins for harvestables by default, and they are ugly as hell. Deactivate them by opening any menu screen, then going to HarvestMap’s menu on the far right, and clicking on 3D Pins -> Off.
Another great addition for completionists, this one will let you track your dungeon progress across all of your characters (or the ones you want).
This way you won’t have to scour through the achievements tab in order to identify what’s next.
II. Essential Interface & Leveling AddOns
Urich’s Skill Point Finder
Urich’s Life Saver, I really can’t believe this one has so few downloads, I guess most people don’t even know it exists.
It shows where you can see in detail all the skill points you’re missing, and what’s the best way to go about it when you need a few more Skill Points!
Harven’s Improved Skills Window
Another essential one, since it will let you preview all morphed abilities when hovering on a skill, making your life a whole lot easier when thinking out builds, and trying to figure out which morph complements your stats more.
I really think it’s a flaw of ESO that they don’t provide us with such information.
Bag Space Indicator
There’s a ton of bag watchers out there, and there’s a ton of mods that include an inventory/gold on-screen display as a complementary solution.
Even though I’m using WykkydToolbar for all my data, I need a more prominent, yet at the same time unobtrusive way to quickly check on my bag/bank space as well as the gold I’m carrying on me.
III. Essential Combat AddOns
Combat Metrics is an amazing addon, using a light mode to display your DPS or Healing per Second, as well as having the option to save important fights, and take your time to analyze your & the group’s damage, with an extremely detailed break-down that will make even analysts wear their glasses.
There’s many different helpful modules here, like a separate meter for Cyrodiil & Imperial City, another one for Battlegrounds and even one for personal Duels!
What’s more, there’s an in-depth dashboard that’s inspired by Combat Metrics (the DPS addon above), which keeps a nice in-depth PvP history of your character. Amazing!
Foundry Tactical Combat
The game’s default unit frames are quite bad in my opinion, since they provide with little to no information about your group, and it’s quite hard to keep track of the values, and who might need help on your team.
As you can tell this one “breaks” the immersion aesthetically, but for me it looks way better, and will enhance your combat awareness at all times.
Tip: Go to Settings -> Addons -> FTC and unlock windows, in order to place every element where you need it.
IV. Essential Item Management AddOns
Author: Randactyl & ingeniousclown
It’s a crime to play ESO without Advanced Filters! Just saying!
This AddOn provides you with sub-categories in each category of your inventory/bank/guild trader, making item management 10 times easier and more fun.
Dressing Room Reborn
Author: code65536 & Dolgubon
This is not an addon for new players, but it’s a must-have for the end game.
It lets you save gear/skill sets at will, and even though it’s very prone to human errors, and you will have to get used to the saving system, if you do, you can actually swap to your PvP, PvE, w/e gear & skills with a single click and a bar swap.
Essential only for the furniture crafters and interior designers out there, this one provides you will a full list of all furniture in the game, and the ability to filter them in many useful ways.
Tip: Unfortunately you can’t preview them out of the box, but hopefully there’s a solution for that. Simply right click, and send item to chat. Then by using the addon below (ItemPreview), you will be able to right click and preview the item in its full glory!
This one provides the most accessible way to browse through all the item sets in the game, so that you can take your time and think on your build without leaving the game.
V. Essential Crafting & Trading AddOns
Potion Maker (for Alchemy Crafting)
Author: facit, Khrill & votan
An essential addon for potion making, since it lets you discover all recipes based on effects or ingredients, in a very lore-friendly and non-obtrusive way.
It just sits on the right tab of alchemy, letting you invoke it at will, and check on potion/poison recipes, and combinations you haven’t yet discovered.
Tip: Just click a material, Corn Flower for example, then click on search. You will get a list of all the possible recipes you have, or haven’t yet discovered that contain Corn Flower.
Author: DonutEnigma & Ayantir
It will simply add a number below each craftable, which you can set to the number of items you want to craft. Simple, and powerful (and should have been included in the base game as well).
Awesome Guild Store
It’s really a pity, how bad the guild trader interface is designed by Zenimax, and it’s really impossible to use it, if you are looking to go one level above casual with the “auction house” of ESO.
Awesome Guild Store, adds all the essential and missing parts you will need, with categories and advanced filters on each single step of the way.
So beware friends, once you go MM, you never go back.
For the uninitiated, what MM does, is scans all the sales that happen in the guilds you are a member of. This way, day by day, and depending on how “big” your trading guilds are, you are going to get tons of sales data for each item in the game, letting you be 10 times more aware of what’s rare, what to farm, and how to get by with more money in ESO.
It’s not perfect. But that’s because ESO’s auction house system is far from polished (even though unique and engaging). So it will only scan sales from guilds you are a member of, leaving out a HUGE portion of sales all across Tamriel. And all that, by saving locally all this information in your machine, making the load times of the game a bit painful.
Tip: You can also consult Tamriel Trade Center or TTC in short, but keep in mind the prices you get, are the listing prices, which might be quite far from what the item actually sells for.
Tip 2: Another great addon for OCD traders like me, is Price Tracker Updated. Similarly to TTC, you are scanning for listing prices, so might be far from sell prices. But what is neat, is that you get the option to manually scan a guild store, letting you data mine the guild traders you really care for, and generally let you have some manual input in the process. It is an overkill for casuals, but I had to share this hidden gem.
VI. Other Helpful AddOns
Azurah – Interface Enhanced
Author: Kith, Garkin, Phinix & Sounomi
There’s bound to be some elements in your UI that stack up wrong, and cover important information, or simply look chaotic.
The fast and proper way to move any in-game UI element is Azurah. It will unlock everything for you so that you can place every element where you want it to be.
Tip: Simply type /azurah unlock in the game chat to unlock all the elements, and quickly arrange your interface.
Srendarr – Aura, Buff & Debuff Tracker
Author: Phinix, Garkin, Kith & silentgecko
So for example, you can make sure to have all your long buffs on the bottom right of the screen, the short buffs & effects on the right of your HP bar, as well as the opponent’s buffs and debuffs on his.
It will make you better in combat just by using it, since now you’ll be able to track all your cooldowns and ability durations on your targets, letting you optimize your rotation, dps & support without even thinking about it.
Tip: Spend some time in the settings to understand which buff groups are assigned to which module, so that you can prepare a nice setup, and never have to think about it again.
WPamA (What Pledges at my Alts)
Author: ForgottenLight & OlegS
An amazing addon and must-have for altoholics, since it lets you track various things across all your characters, like the essential currencies, undaunted & world boss dailies and many more.
VII. How to Manage All These AddOns
Circonians Addon Selector
In order to manage all these addons, you really need to have this one.
Trust me, there will be times where you want to check and test things, and it’s hard to remember your exact setup etc. in a time of need.
So once you setup your perfect addon combination, go to Circonians, and create a set which you can load at will, with a single click.
Its was really hard hand-picking the most essential addons out of the 25+ ones I use, keeping in mind to not bloat your loading times & interface, as well as provide addons that stay up to date & usable through all the expansions and DLCs that come out.