1. CRAFTING WRITS
Crafting Writs are a series of simple quests that you can complete to get some valuable rewards. To get started you have to be certified first. To get Crafting Writs Certification you have to approach a Writs Board or skip that step and go directly to proper trainer, who will give you a short and easy quest. For the equipment Crafting Writs (blacksmithing, clothing and woodworking) you have to visit the trainer in the Fighter’s Guild, if you’re interested in consumables Crafting Writs (alchemy, enchanting and provisioning) look for the trainer in the Mage’s Guild.
When you’re done with that, you will get access to the daily quests. For blacksmithing, clothing and woodworking you just will have to craft some items at the crafting stations. In cases of alchemy and provisioning, if you want to save some time you can precraft all the possible potions, poisons and food.
As I already mentioned, rewards for these quests are quite good and you should be able to complete them with no problems. At the same time, ingredients are cheap and easy to get. You are guaranteed to get some of those precious mats, the inspiration experience that you can use to level up your crafting skills and survey reports that will help you find better nodes to extract materials from.
For personal ease of mind, you should choose a go-to city where you will always travel when it’s time to complete your daily crafting writs. You want a city where writ boards and crafting stations are arranged closely together. The best three are Vivec City, Rawl’kha, and Stormhold. Additionally, if you feel like manually completing writs in ESO is too monotonous, download the Lazy Writ Crafter addon for a GUI button that automatically crafts your writ items for you.
Furniture crafting is also notable for how much money you can make. Yellow, purple, blue, and even green furniture pieces can sell for thousands or tens of thousands of gold per unit. Naturally, the art of fashioning high-value furniture calls for a more sophisticated composition of skills than the average crafter would ever need. If you’re the type of ESO player who already allocates time and skill points into each of their primary crafting passives, you may want to consider entering the furniture trade.
You still need to loot, steal, or buy recipes for each type of furniture, food and/or beverage you want to construct, but with a constant stream of materials, you can pump out items and keep your volume high. Once again, you’ll want to fill each of your five guild slots with trading guilds so you can post up to 150 listings at once.
2. DAILY QUESTS
Let’s look at one of the easier ways of making gold. Daily quests are probably the best possible stable source of income for new players. Enforcing a habit of completing them every day is a great starting point. They’re not that time-consuming and they’ll reward you with some valuable items.
The income you’ll get out of them won’t be that high but it’s still worth it! Daily quests give players an option to earn a quick buck. That’s what they’re in the game for. Why not just make use of it?
One of the most specific features of MMORPGs as a genre of video games is the giant market of goods driven partly or completely by the players. No matter if it’s a piece of armor, a weapon or anything else, you will be able to sell it on the market. This allows players to become experts at trading and earn gold just by making good deals.
This is also the case for ESO. The biggest downside to this method for the new players is the requirement of some starting capital.
The bigger the amount of gold you can invest, the more potential profit you can count on. Of course, there’s some risk involved, for someone to make money on the market, there has to be someone else who’s losing it. The general idea is to take advantage of the players who don’t know the market or those who don’t care about the prices and just want to get rid of their items as soon as possible. Your goal is to find and purchase this stuff and then sell it for profit.
There are others looking for those bargains so you have to be quick, smart and a little bit lucky. I would recommend using some add-ons that were designed specifically to help with this stuff like Master Merchant. You might find them useful. Also remember, you will only be able to see your gold gains after your items are sold, so be patient.
4. FARMING BOSSES
Repeatedly killing bosses in easy dungeons and other zones can be a nice source of income. This is a great way to farm some gold by yourself. Get your character a serviceable solo PvE build and gear and go to the north-western part of Deshaan next to the entrance to Forgotten Crypts. Your goal is to run through Forgotten Crypts, killing all the bosses as fast as possible. In between those clears you can defeat some bosses in the surrounding areas. Run through Druitularg’s Ritual Altar, Dire Bramblepatch, Caravan Crest and Mabrigash Burial Circle. Kill the boss, collect loot and move to the next one. This will minimize your downtime and increase the income.
You can repeat those runs until your inventory is full. Remember that there’s an element of randomness with the loot, the bosses may drop some rare weapons and armor, but it won’t happen every time. Don’t give up after a single disappointing run, if you repeat them day after day it’ll be worth it. Try to find a build and farming route that will be the best for you, don’t be afraid of experimenting a little. You can also try to farm different locations, this is just the one I would recommend for starters.
Public dungeons in ESO are brimming with encounters that spawn five or more mobs in clusters. Encounters in public dungeons also appear to have much shorter respawn timers than anywhere else. Thus, as you circle through a public dungeon and take out each cluster of enemies, you’re likely to glean gold and loot at a higher rate per minute than you would in other hunting grounds. More specifically, you’ll find the best results in public dungeons where Imperials are present. This is because Imperial mobs tend to drop more gold, more frequently.
Based on the above criteria, here are a few of the most popular public dungeons where Imperial mobs will show up:
- The Vile Manse (Reaper’s March)
- Razak’s Wheel (Bang’korai)
- Crimson Cove (Malabal Tor)
Note that public dungeon farming is only manageable if you’ve equipped your character to dish out AOE (area-of-effect) damage. The Destruction Staff and Bow are great weapon types for dealing damage, as both offer at least one worthy AOE skill:
- Volley (Bow): Launches a volley of arrows at a target location (with a radius of 5m) for 8 seconds.
- Elemental Storm (Destruction Staff): Builds a storm at a target location (with a radius of 8m) for 2 seconds, then unleashes a damage-over-time effect on all nearby enemies for 7 seconds.
- Wall of Elements (Destruction Staff): Based on staff element, creates an 18 x 8m zone in front of the caster for 6 seconds that deals damage-over-time and causes elemental status ailments.
- Impulse (Destruction Staff): Instantly deals damage in a 6m radius around the caster.
Templars, Wardens, Sorcerers, and Dragonknights come with at least one skill that’s excellent for AOE. Here are some class skills to look out for:
- Blazing Spear (Templar): Sends down a shower of divine damage in an 8m radius for 8 seconds.
- Impaling Shards (Warden): Summons shards of ice in a 6m radius for 12 seconds.
- Lightning Splash (Sorcerer): Creates a storm in a 4m radius for 6 seconds.
- Fiery Breath (Dragonknight): Breathes fire in a cone of up to 10m in front of the caster, dealing instant damage and applying damage-over-time for 8 seconds.
Nightblades are excellent for direct damage abilities, but don’t really have much AOE going for them besides the Soul Shred ultimate.
Of course clearing a Public Dungeon is always a good idea too. You can also farm in the Imperial City Sewers. Of course farming bosses is kind of a grind heavy method, so if you don’t enjoy this style of gameplay you should probably try something else.
5. CONTENT FARMING IN CYRODILL
If you play MMORPGs to feel the interactions with other players, but at the same time you want to make some gold, you should head straight to Cyrodill. This method somewhat resembles short dungeon runs. You will have to assemble a group of 4-12 people and join one of the available campaigns. Group of friends or guild members would be the best, but you can also team up with some random people.
I recommend you to choose the least popular campaign, because other parties might turn out to be an extra hurdle, we’re talking about a PvPvE zone after all. When you’re with your party in Cyrodill get inside one of Imperial Sewers Entrances and then into the central chamber, where you will see three portals. That’s where you’re going to have to slay a few waves of monsters along with three Flag Carriers and finally the Simulacrum of Molag Bal.
The boss spawns after all the Carriers are dead, so make sure to clear the area of enemies before you do that. Completing the fight should leave your group with some valuable loot. Remember that Molag will deal a great amount of AoE damage as he dies, so try to block it or get out of the range of it. While he’s respawning you can go and clear the outer portals to access some more loot and a treasure chest.
If you’re a PvP player at heart and you want to make money by beating some noobs, that’s the perfect method for you. Fighting in the Battlegrounds will bring you Alliance Points, a currency that may be traded for some valuable items at a Battlegrounds Merchant. If you’re not a PvP expert, you should probably just use one of the meta builds. It would be a good idea to buy some consumables, they aren’t that expensive, but they might prove quite helpful. Increasing you chance of winning and doign well will in turn get you higher income.
Remember that your AP gains depend on the outcome of the fight, but at the same time your personal performance. The game evaluates how well the player did based on a few values: damage dealt and taken, healing done, a number of killing blows and killing streaks and amount of flags captured or defended. When you finally have enough of the slaughter, find a Battlegrounds Merchant and buy some of the items you want for the AP you earned. It’s a good idea to check some of the market values before you do that, so you can trade optimally and get rich as fast as possible. That’s definitely the most entertaining method of getting gold for PvP lovers.
Thieving is another fun, but risky, method of making some gold in ESO, especially for people who enjoy the role-playing aspect of RPGs. It’s also a great activity if you need a break from grinding, but still want to make earn some money. The first way to do that would be to pickpocket from NPCs. To do that you have to crouch and sneak behind them until you get really close.
Always pay attention to the stealth signal, it indicates the possible presence of witnesses and a possibility to get caught red-handed. Then you have to wait for pickpocket percentage to get to the highest possible value and take what’s yours (well, now it is). If you’re lucky and manage to steal a valuable motif, you can make a lot of gold in a short time. Opening chests, containers and boxes can often be worth your while.
Remember that when you’re crouching, you’re running out of stamina, so make sure you have enough of it before you engage in mischievous deeds. The less risky and arguably less fun way of stealing in ESO would be burglary and lockpicking. If you want to make thievery one of your main sources of income, make sure to invest a lot of points in the Legerdemain skill line. You might also want to complete some quests for the Thieves Guild.
The best way to maximize your efficiency as a criminal in ESO is to pursue and completely fill out your Dark Brotherhood, Thieves Guild, and Legerdemain skill lines. Here are the most important skills you can take:
- Trafficker (Legerdemain): Allows you to sell and launder additional goods, up to 180% of the default value (at Rank IV), equating to 140 total sales and 140 total launders per day.
- Light Fingers (Legerdemain): Increases the chance of successfully pickpocketing an NPC, up to 50% (at Rank IV).
- Locksmith (Legerdemain): Increasing your odds of picking a lock, up to 70% (at Rank IV).
- Scales of Pitiless Justice (Dark Brotherhood): Decreases Bounty and Heat from a witnessed murder or assault by up to 50% (at Rank IV).
- Padomaic Sprint (Dark Brotherhood): Makes you move up to 30% faster for 12 seconds after you assassinate an NPC (at Rank IV).
- Haggling (Thieves Guild): Gives you up to 10% in increased profits from fenced items (at Rank IV).
- Clemency (Thieves Guild): Adds a dialogue option to temporarily let you off the hook with the guards if you’re accosted by one. Lasts for 1 minute. Only works once per day.
- Swiftly Forgotten (Thieves Guild): (At Rank IV) makes Bounty disappear at a rate of 115 and makes Heat disappear at a rate of 64 per every 3 minutes.
- Dark Stalker (Vampirism): Lets you ignore movement speed penalty while sneaking, also lets you enter stealth 50% quicker at night.
8. JOINING A TRADING GUILD
Optimizing your income in Elder Scrolls Online, as well as in most MMORPGs, is strongly connected to trading goods between players. Big Trading Guilds in ESO have some useful conveniences, such as the Guild Traders and Guild Stores. To join of the best Trading Guilds you might have to fulfill some requirements, but if you’re going to put much effort into trading, it will be worth it, because they will allow you to sell items faster and for better prices. Every guild that has at least 50 members has access to a Guild Store that acts as an internal marketplace for it. Guild Trader is an NPC that can be hired by a guild, to allow other players to use the store.
9. USING EVENTS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Every new event is an opportunity to earn some gold. They keep the game alive and interesting and are often a reason for many players to return to it after a break. At the same time, they will often cause some changes on the market, either by introducing some limited items, or increasing drop rate of other ones. This is a great moment for some venturesome soul like you, to capitalize off that.
Of course, there will be some risk involved, but some of those phenomena will be quite predictable. For example, double EXP event will cause numerous players to want to level their alts at that time and to furthermore increase their experience gains they will want to buy some consumables to help that, which means a spike in demand that results in the price going up. It’s not the most reliable thing i nthe game, but it’s a quality way of making some bonus gold.
10. KEEPING TRACK OF THE GAME CHANGES
The game is constantly growing and evolving and so is the market! The principle will be similar to that in the previous paragraph. Always know what changes to the game are being announced. If a new DLC, content update or patch will make a certain item more common, it is time to sell it before everyone else notices.
Being aware of the upcoming changes may give you an upper hand in many situations that involve the market. Obviously, not all of the information will be handed to you on a silver platter. You will have to draw some conclusions and make some assumptions, to make gold by trading, you have to be one step ahead of many different players.
TO MAKE AS MUCH GOLD AS POSSIBLE YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE MARKET
This brings us to the last and most important tip. To make a good profit, you have to keep up with the market. As you can see, there are many different ways of making gold in ESO. They all have one thing in common though, they always involve the market. When you manage to obtain the items you wanted, no matter if they’re stolen motifs, rare items dropped from a boss or basically anything else, you’re going to have to sell it to get the gold.
The general knowledge of prices as well as knowing when and where to sell certain items will be necessary to optimize your income. Selling your things below the market prices will meaningfully slow your earnings. There are some add-ons that will help you with that, but they simply can’t do all the work. The economic systems in most of the MMORPGs are based on player actions, which means that they will change, often unpredictably.
11. GRIND RESOURCES
ESO is great in that you can passively accumulate crafting materials in your Craft Bag. All you need to do is walk in virtually any direction. Pluck food from tabletops and shelves. Search through urns, barrels, and crates. Dredge through dark caverns and hostile campsites for treasure chests and rare mushrooms. Go foraging through the woods for stray logs and explore waterways for glimmering Nirnroots. The likelihood is that you’ll accidentally hoard stacks of items that other players want to purchase. Best of all, you’ll find highly coveted crafting motifs and recipes while you’re at it.
Of course, if you want to gather materials like a pro, it’s important that you harvest as many resource nodes and pick up as many loose items as you can carry before heading back to town. Additionally, you should deconstruct all your spare equipment pieces and glyphs each time you visit their respective crafting stations. Don’t go selling them to NPC merchants!
In order to juice the most output from equipment deconstruction, you absolutely need to take (and max out) the following skills:
- Metal Extraction III (Blacksmithing): Increases chances of materials dropping from deconstruction and makes it possible to extract Tempering Alloy.
- Unraveling III (Clothier): Increases chances of materials dropping from deconstruction and makes it possible to extract Dreugh Wax.
- Aspect Extraction III (Enchanting): Increases chances of finding Runestones from deconstruction by 10%.
- Jewelry Extraction III (Jewelry Crafting): Increases chances of materials dropping from deconstruction and makes it possible to extract Chromium Grains.
- Wood Extraction III (Woodworking): Increases chances of materials dropping from deconstruction and makes it possible to extract Rosin.
You can also allocate skill points into hirelings that mail you rare material shipments every 12 to 24 hours. Hirelings make it possible to find much more valuable crafting items (such as tempers) more often, without putting effort into grinding for them. Here are the skills, determined by rank:
- Lumberjack Hireling III (Woodworking): A hireling will send a bundle of materials every 12 hours.
- Hireling III (Provisioning): A hireling will send a bundle of materials every 12 hours.
- Hireling III (Enchanting): A hireling will send a bundle of materials every 12 hours.
- Outfitter Hireling III (Clothier): A hireling will send a bundle of materials every 12 hours.
- Miner Hireling III (Blacksmithing): A hireling will send a bundle of materials every 12 hours.
The HarvestMap addon is a handy tool for marking the locations of resource nodes in your UI. When you travel to a resource node, the addon will automatically drop a pin that’s composited over the game world, in your map, and on your compass. You can easily install HarvestMap and other addons with the help of a tool like Minion. Keep in mind that HarvestMap doesn’t come packaged with any preloaded data, but it does let you import pins from an external file. HarvestMap also offers an (optional, but highly useful) heatmap mode that calculates pin density and lays out your best-known travel path for resource farming.
To make resource farming more efficient on a node-by-node basis, put 75 Champion Points into The Lover constellation, which grants Plentiful Harvest and Master Gatherer. The former gives you a 10% chance to harvest 100% more resources when gathering, while the latter cuts your gather time by 50%. If you want to increase profits from treasure hunting and container looting, placing 75 CPs into The Shadow constellation will grant you the Fortune Seeker and Treasure Hunter perks, which will (respectively) net a 50% increase to all gold gain and an arbitrary increase to treasure chest loot quality.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE THE WEALTHIEST PLAYER ON THE SERVER TO ENJOY THE GAME
Of course, you can still play the game and enjoy it without putting so much effort into accumulating an absurd amount of gold. Not everybody wants to devote so much time and energy into a video game and that’s completely fine. After all most people play video games to have fun and not to become the best of the best at it. In this guide, you could also find some basic tips for less hardcore players, who just want to have some gold income, without going crazy about it.
If you’re more of a casual player you probably don’t want to limit yourself to spamming one method over and over again. Mix it up a bit, try different suggestions and then stick to those that bring you the most fun. When you get better at it and your game knowledge improves, you can try to come up with some strategies yourself. I encourage you to search for different farming locations and find your own personal methods of making gold in The Elder Scrolls Online.
Below I show my favorites farming locations. I use the addon Harvest Map addon I mentioned above.
Click on the image to enlarge the map.