Creating your character is the first decision that you must make when playing The Elder Scrolls Online. Although you are presented with a wide variety of options for altering your character's appearance, the only decision that has an actual effect on your gameplay is your faction, usually determined by your race. Your character's capabilities are more strongly affected by how you choose to play the game (and by choices made when you level up) than by your initial character creation.
Characters are server-bound, and you are limited to eight character slots per server at any one time. Characters can be deleted, although the amount of deletions allowed in a given time period is limited. In general, deletion is irreversible. Up to seven Additional Character Slots can be purchased from the Crown Store for a maximum of fifteen.
The character creation screen is split into four menus: Race, Class, Body, and Face. The name text field appears at the top of each menu. Throughout this article, the following will be used to indicate which attributes you can change after character creation:
- C — Can be freely changed by the use of items in the game. (These items may cost Crowns initially, but once purchased can be changed at will for no additional cost.)
- T — Can only be changed by purchasing Tokens. These cost Crowns every time you want to make a change, though you may change as many attributes at once as you want for a single Token (depending on the Token type).
- U — Unchangeable.
The factors that you must decide upon are:
Your name can be any name that is not already used by another player on the server, so long as it meets the following requirements:
- At least three characters.
- Name cannot start with a space.
- Must end with a letter.
- No more than two of the same letter in a row.
- No numbers.
- No adjacent punctuation characters.
- Four hyphens, apostrophes, or spaces at most.
- [No] Invalid characters.
If any of these requirements are not fulfilled, they will show up red. Additionally, the text box takes a maximum of 25 characters and does not allow entry of symbols other than apostrophes and hyphens, so the no numbers and invalid characters requirements should not be possible to break. To get an idea of which names may suit your race and gender, see this page.
The two options are male and female. This only affects your appearance, notably the set of hair styles and adornments to choose from.
Alliance and Race
There are three available alliances: the Daggerfall Covenant, the Aldmeri Dominion, and the Ebonheart Pact. Your alliance will determine your starting location and more importantly the side you will fight for if you choose to take part in the Alliance War in Cyrodiil.
Alliance is usually determined by race with the exception of Imperials, available only with the Imperial Edition, who can join any alliance. Players with the Explorer's Pack or Adventurer Pack can choose to play any race with any alliance.
There are ten possible races to choose from:
|Orc||Wood Elf||Dark Elf||Imperial|
Your choice of race will determine the racial skill line you unlock at level 5. Personal preference plays an important role in deciding race, since it may limit your alliance choice and to some degree determines your character's appearance. If you are not concerned about alliance or appearance limitations, then the primary factor left is whether the racial bonuses pair well with your class and possibly the weapon and armor skills you plan to use.
Full details on these characteristics are provided on each individual race page; a table summarizing skills and special abilities can be found on the race summary page.
There are six different playable classes, although only four are available with the base game: the Dragonknight, the Nightblade, the Sorcerer, and the Templar. Two additional premium classes have also been added: the Warden (available with the Morrowind Chapter or separate Crown Store purchase) and the Necromancer (available with the Elsweyr Chapter).
Your class grants you three skill lines for use throughout the game. This decision will have a greater impact on gameplay than any other choice in character creation, and cannot be changed without deleting the character and starting over.
|The Dragonknight class is best suited for tanking-oriented characters due to the Draconic Power and Earthen Heart skill lines, although the Ardent Flame skill line does provide some rather literal firepower.|
|The Nightblade class is best suited for characters with a stealth focus, reflected by its skill lines of Assassination, Shadow, and Siphoning.|
|The Sorcerer class is the most magically-focused class, and have access to Dark Magic, Daedric Summoning, and Storm Calling.|
|The Templar class has both decent magical and melee capabilities. Their Aedric Spear skill line is focused on improving their melee abilities, while the Restoring Light and Dawn's Wrath skill lines primarily augment their magical powers.|
|The Warden class focuses on nature-based magic, with the Animal Companions skill line for damage-dealing and Green Balance skill line for healing, as well as a frost magic line called Winter's Embrace.|
|Necromancer||The Necromancer class is for those who wish to master death magic. It is a versatile class, offering the Bone Tyrant skill line for tanking abilities, Grave Lord for damage dealing, and Living Death for healing.|
Many aspects of your character's appearance can be customized, although race will generally have the largest impact. You can rotate and zoom the view of your character using the buttons at the bottom of the screen. This can also be done by clicking and dragging left and right to rotate and scrolling the mouse wheel to zoom. The preview options on the left let you see your character in Novice Gear, Champion Gear, and No Gear (armor depending on class).
There is a button in the bottom right to randomize your appearance. Additionally, each option has a lock button that disables editing for that feature, allowing you to randomize only certain things.
There are a wide variety of aspects you can tweak and they come under various sections, split between the Body and Face menus:
- Body Type T
- Two subsections. One is a triangular slider with three options of Muscular, Large, and Thin. This is the main factor in your character's body shape. The second is Height. Although both of these factors are largely tied to race, with Altmer being the tallest, Orcs being the bulkiest, and Bosmer being the smallest in either regard, these sliders allow players to differentiate their characters from other members of the same race.
- Skin Color T — Your options are dependent on your race (there are some shared options and some unique options for each race). Although each race has a larger selection of possible skin colors than in Skyrim, the overall range has been reduced for some races. For example, Nords and Bretons have a large number of subtly different skin tones to choose from, but they will remain fairly light-skinned no matter which a player chooses.
|Argonian||Breton||Dark Elf||High Elf||Imperial|
- Body Marking C — Choose from a list of 24[verification needed] scars and tattoos.
- Upper Body
- Torso Size T
- Chest Size T
- Gut Size T
- Waist Size T
- Arm Size T
- Hand Size T
These all range from small on the left to large on the right. The triangular body type slider will also affect each body part, so these individual sliders allow the fine-tuning of body proportions within the selected body type.
- Lower Body
- Hip Size T
- Posterior Dimensions T (Also affects tail-thickness on Argonians)
- Leg Size T
- Foot Size T
Again, these range from small to large and work in conjunction with the body type slider to control the proportions of each body part.
- Face TypeT
- One subsection; a triangular slider with three options of Heroic, Soft, and Angular. This is the main factor in your character's face.
- One subsection; your choice of voice for generic sounds. There are 8 options, ranging from Voice A to Voice H.
- Hair Style C — These options are dependent on race but also on gender, with some unique hairstyles per race, notably for Argonians and Khajiit. You will have a maximum of 24 hairstyles to choose from no matter what choices you have made up until this point.
- Hair Color T — These depend on race, and can be selected from the sets shown below.
|Argonian||Breton||Dark Elf||High Elf||Imperial|
- Age T: young—old
- Adornment C: Choose from 24 options. Like hair, these depend on race and gender.
- Head Marking C: Choose from 24 options. These depend on race, but not gender.
- Forehead Slope T: inward—outward
- Cheekbone Size T: small—large
- Cheekbone Height T: low—high
- Jaw Size T: small—large
- Chin Size T: small—large
- Chin Height T: long—short
- Neck Size T: thin—thick
- Eye Color T: Eye color has unique options for several races, such as all black eyes for Wood Elf or red eyes for Dark Elf. See the table below.
- Eye Size T: small—large
- Eye Angle T: angled—flat
- Eye Separation T: together—apart
- Eye Height T: low—high
- Eye Squint T: wide open—nearly closed
|Argonian||Breton||Dark Elf||High Elf||Imperial|
- Eyebrows C: Choose from 20 different eyebrow shapes. This is not available for Argonians and Khajiit.
- Eyebrow Height T: low—high
- Eyebrow Skew T: higher left—higher right
- Eyebrow Depth T: inward—outward
- Nose Shape T: concave—convex
- Nose Height T: high—low
- Nose Width T: thin—thick
- Nose Length T: short—long
- Mouth Height T: low—high
- Mouth Curve T: frown—smile
- Lip Fullness T: thin—thick
(Not available for Argonians)
- Ear Size T: small—large
- Ear Rotation T: close to head—far from head
- Ear Height T: low—high
- Ear Tip Flare T: toward head—away from head
It is possible to revisit certain aspects of character creation via the Crown Store. While the official name of this feature is the ESO Style Parlor, these options are also commonly termed the "Barber Shop" due to MMO parlance. Alliance and class cannot be changed.
A Name Change Token will allow you to change a character's name to any currently available on that server. These tokens cost 2500 .
A Race Change Token will allow you to change a character's race as well as appearance and gender, but not their name. It does not affect style knowledge, meaning the character will retain knowledge of their original racial style. These tokens cost 3000 .
- Attributes (as seen in Oblivion) do not exist, meaning that your choice of race has fewer implications, and that gender does not affect gameplay.
- On the PTS, you can often choose from certain pre-made characters using a menu in the top left.