The Imperial Districts are the battle-torn residential and commercial areas of the Imperial City. Each district is a combined close-quarters PvE and PvP area, with gameplay similar to that in the rest of Cyrodiil. However, Siege Weapons cannot be used in the districts. Each district has one PvP capture point located on the bridge leading to the inaccessible gates of the Palace District. There are also a limited number of PvE quests available; each district functions as a quest hub containing one story quest, and when the storyline completed, one repeatable daily quest.
Every district has a small Alliance rally point which is accessed from the Alliance Base in the Imperial Sewers, as well as an access point for all alliances into one of the sewer sections. Districts also contain Trophy Vaults which can be opened by collecting a certain number of Trophies from creatures within the city, and three of the districts contain special gear Crafting Sites. Each district contains two Patrolling Horrors, powerful bosses that drop a large amount of Tel Var Stones. Only one Patrolling Horror is active at a time, however. Portals to Coldharbour are also scattered throughout the districts.
To claim a district, the attackers need to hold the capture point on the Palace District bridge for a short period of time, after defeating the attendant NPC alliance soldiers. Once a district is claimed, NPCs of the controlling faction will appear there to help guard the flag. Note that faction soldiers do not appear anywhere else within the district. Being in control of a district grants the controlling alliance the ability to respawn at that district's rally point instead of at the Alliance Base in the Sewers. It also grants a 33% increase to the amount of Tel Var Stones earned by players of that alliance while in any of the Imperial City districts (but not the Sewers). This bonus is cumulative, and stacks to 198% if one alliance controls all six districts.
- Arboretum — The southeastern district of the Imperial City.
- Arena District — The eastern district of the Imperial City.
- Elven Gardens District — The northwestern district of the Imperial City.
- Memorial District — The northeastern district of the Imperial City.
- Nobles District — The western district of the Imperial City.
- Temple District — The southwestern district of the Imperial City.
Additionally, some parts of the city that are traditionally considered districts do not count in-game as capturable districts:
- The Arcane University district is actually a Battleground and does not require the Imperial City DLC.
- The Imperial City Prison is a group dungeon, and the central Green Emperor Way district is a sublocation of the White-Gold Tower dungeon.
- The Waterfront District is seen from the coastlines of Lake Rumare in Cyrodiil but is inaccessible.
- The district capture feature was added with Update 10. Prior to this, the city had no structured PvP objectives.
- Compared to Oblivion, the districts in ESO have been rotated counterclockwise by 30°.