Books:Arena Player's Guide

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BK-cover-Arena Player's Guide.png
Release Date March 25, 1994
Time Period 1st of Hearthfire, 3E 389
Publisher Bethesda Softworks
Pages 88
Game Arena

The Arena Player's Guide is the manual included with The Elder Scrolls: Arena. The Player's Guide contains information about how to set up, run, and play the game, as well as information about the game world. The sections of the manual are summarized below.



Before the actual start to the manual, there is a short story based on the introduction of the game itself, a conversation between Talin (the player character) and his murdered friend, Ria Silmane, providing exposition on the game's plot.

Designer's Note[edit]

A message from the Chief Designer, VJ Lakshman, introducing the Elder Scrolls to the reader.

Installation Guide[edit]

Information on how to install, configure, and begin playing the game on DOS.

Starting Options[edit]

This section explains what each of the three main menu items do when you select them.

Character Generation[edit]

This section explains how to create a player-character, and selecting their race, class, stats, and face.

Character Sheet[edit]

This section shows what the player management, equipment, and spellbook screens look like and explains what each section and label means or represents.

The Races[edit]

This section provides information on each of the playable races, their homeland, their culture, and their abilities.

Character Class Descriptions[edit]

This section explains what each class and sub-class is capable of, including what weapons they can wield, armor they can equip, starting health, and their abilities.

Character Starting Equipment[edit]

This section contains a table showing what gear each class or subclass begins with when starting a new game.

Experience Tables[edit]

This section contains a table listing the experience points required for each class or subclass to advance to the next level, up to level 10.

Character Condition[edit]

This section explains what each color that may appear behind the character's face on the UI means.

Keys and Commands[edit]

This section explains what each button on the UI does, how to use the mouse, and what the keyboard commands are.

The Cities of Arena[edit]

This section goes into detail about the dating system and holidays of the Tamrielic calendar, talking to NPCs, finding quests, what each store or service may provide and how to negotiate with them, types of armor and their stats, summaries on each of the various guilds, and the consequences of thievery and crime.


This section explains how to use the continental world map and describes the dangers of exploring the wilderness outside the cities and how to use the local automap.


This section shows what the spell creation screen looks like, what each section and label means or represents, and how to make spells. This section also describes every spell effect and how to cast spells.

The Known Spellbook[edit]

The final section in the Player's Guide lists every spell available to purchase from the Mages Guild, their effects, and how much spell points they cost to cast. This section also contains information on how to fight with weapons rather than spells, after-effects of combat, such as diseases, curses, etc., a bestiary of several of the monsters that can be encountered in the game, and general hints and tips on how to play and run the game.


  • Though the use of the arrow keys for walking is possible, it is not mentioned in the Player's Guide; in fact, the arrow keys are mentioned only once in reference to adjusting values for spell making. In this instance the error keys are part of the hud (head up display) and are not the keyboard keys.
  • Nothing informs the player they cannot jump with mouse controls should they have a weapon unsheathed.


  • On page 21, a screenshot of a warrior character is shown to have 200 health and 258 spell points. This isn't possible, as non-magic sub-classes have no spell points whatsoever. This isn't addressed in the addendum.
  • On page 45, it is mentioned that pressing the right mouse button when the X cursor is over a monster will identify it. Although this is true for doors leading to buildings providing service, this is not true for monsters, instead the left mouse button needs to be pressed. This is counter-intuitive as the left mouse button is also used to loot said monsters' corpses.
  • On page 63, a statement is made that it can take between 10 and 12 hours to walk between cities. This isn't possible because of the infinite wilderness around settlements.


  • The English and French versions contain different stories.


  • A copy of the manual can be downloaded here. It is also available here on