The Elder Scrolls Online – Saving Money on ESO

Due to people claiming there are to many micro transactions in this game, I made a guide on easy ways you can save money and still get everything you want out of this game.


A lot of people say that the microtransactions in this game are ridiculous, and while I do agree to that somewhat, these same people fail to realize that you can obtain things in the Crown Store, such as Costumes, for free in game. These same people ironically enough, complain about microtransactions in a game you can get for 10$, and you look on their profile, and they just bought the new Assassins Creed + Season pass or something for 100$.

As someone who has been playing this game for nearly 4 years now, this guide will be easy ways and tips of how to avoid microtransactions to a certain extent. Chances are you can easily get hundreds, maybe even thousands of hours of gameplay while still getting everything you want from this game for under 60$.

Saving Money on the Game

This game does not go on sale during things like the winter or summer Steam Sale. Instead, this game goes on sale during events like Quake-Con and other random times. If you do not know if you will like this game, this game has free to play weeks every now and again. Make sure you try it out during these weeks, as there are issues with buying it and trying it on Steam that can stop you from refunding it if you like it. Due to this game not being developed for Steam when first made, it has it’s own launcher that updates after starting the game that counts as playtime. If you enjoy the game you can pick it up for half price, 10$ during an event. Along with one free piece of DLC, Morrowind. Obtaining the DLC is the hook for this game as if you like the base game, the DLC is even better than the base game because the base game came out 5 years ago and lacks a lot of… immersion to it and new tricks they developed as time went on.

The Elder Scrolls Online - Saving Money on ESO

The Crown Store Dilema / DLC

As soon as anyone opens the Crown Store, they get blasted in the face with a bunch of things you have to pay for. An overwhelming amount of things. Luckily you don’t have to check on the Store that often, they only make you go there for special seasonal quest starters (which are free) In an attempt to catch your eye on something else while you are there. Luckily, there are only 2 main things you want from the Crown store. Everything else in there you can ignore. Those two things tend to be 1. DLC content and 2. A cool mount.

Let’s start with DLC. There is a lot of DLC in this game and it is the main thing you want in this game. However, some of this DLC can be expensive Crown Wise (the currency you pay money for to exchange for stuff in the store.)

Your first option is ESO+, which is the best way to start. ESO+ is a monthly fee that allows you to access all the DLC’s and more. However, a lot of people don’t like paying monthly fees, luckily, there is a tactic to this. Pay for one month of ESO+. Be sure to go into your Steam account prefrances and cancel it after paying, so you aren’t charged again when the month runs out.

The Elder Scrolls Online - Saving Money on ESO

You will still keep your ESO+ even if you cancel. By getting ESO+ you get all access to all DLC’s and around 1650 crowns. With ESO+ active, You can now go to all the DLC areas and complete them. By completeing these DLC areas and doing certain quests, you can get tons of free costumes and such so you do not have to go to the Crown Store to buy them, on top of access to some of the best parts/zones of the game.

The Elder Scrolls Online - Saving Money on ESO

Your ESO+ will eventually run out and you will be barred out of the DLC. Using the crowns you got from ESO+ however, you can buy some of the DLC to access when not using ESO+ at that current moment. Luckily, Some DLC’s are better than others and you should prioritize in buying specific ones with your crowns.

Every year, there is an anniversary event for when a DLC came out. During this, the DLC is normally sold for half the normal cost of crowns. So if you can hold onto your crowns, every few months you should see a DLC go on sale for you to buy. Alternatively, crowns sometimes go on sale and are sold at a reduced price. During this time you want to buy them and hold onto them in your account.

As I said, there is a certain order you want to buy the DLC in. At the time of typing this, there are probably newer and better DLC’s out that I haven’t ranked, but I will try to add them as time goes on if I remember. In order from best ones to buy first to worst you buy last (or not at all):

  • 1. Orsinium 
  • 2. Dark Brotherhood 
  • 3. MurkMire 
  • 4. Clockwork City 
  • 5. Thieves Guild 
  • 6. Imperial City 

All other DLC’s at the time of typing are Group Dungeon DLC’s at the time of typing and are not worth buying. Chapter DLC’s are separate things that normally become base game content after a year.

It is also worth noting that sometimes ESO just gives away ESO+ for free to everyone in the game for a limited time, so if you do not have the DLC you want and you do not have ESO+ at that very moment, normally every 4 months or so they give away ESO+ to everyone for 1~2 weeks, so you can access all the DLC content for free.

The Elder Scrolls Online - Saving Money on ESO

After paying for a few months of ESO and waiting to buy the DLC when on sale, you should not spend over 60$ and in return have access to thousands of quests and hundreds of hours of gameplay.

Daily Login Rewards

Daily Logins can be a chore. Luckily compared to other MMOs, ESO is pretty lenient towards them. You don’t have to login every day on the spot, instead the timer for the second daily login reward counts down even when you haven’t claimed the reward before that, meaning you only miss a login day if you don’t login for over 2 days. Also, ESO normally only requires you to login for around 24/31 days in a month for the top tier rewards, so it isn’t to hard to get these rewards. These rewards include Crown Crates, which are going to be the main way people will get their mounts without paying. But we will talk about those next. Daily login rewards can even give you DLC for free sometimes, so keep an eye out for that, as daily logins will be providing a lot of the said free content I talked about. And if you enjoy the game, since it has hundreds of hours in it, logging in daily shouldn’t feel like a chore if you are enjoying it. Even if you miss some days.

The Elder Scrolls Online - Saving Money on ESO

Crown Crates and Mounts

Crown Crates are more or less Loot Crates. And I am not going to defend them. Because Loot Crates are made to prey on people with gambling addictions. However out of all the Loot Crates I have seen from Valve, EA, PUBG, and Activision-Blizzard, these are some of the least predatory ones I know of. But they are still predatory. However, they will be how you get your free mount. Every month as login rewards, you normally get free crates as drops. And unlike other games such as FIFA giving you a less than 1% chance to get the rarest rewards, this game gives you like a… 3% chance?

The Elder Scrolls Online - Saving Money on ESO

I mean, i’ve gotten tons of mounts and I have never bought a single crate. They were all for free. As seen above, I literally got 2 mounts in one crate once that I got for daily login rewards. On top of other things you can get such as costumes and cosmetics. You could buy a mount in game, you can buy a horse for 10k but lets be honest, no one wants to ride a bland horse.

Though maybe luck is not on your side. If it isn’t, you can trade in 100 gems for a mount. Gems are gotten by extracting rewards you get from the crates and turning them into gems. Everything that you can extract for gems that you can obtain in these crates, extract them. Potions, experience scrolls, poisons, food… Turn it all into gems. Because you can get all that stuff in game easily, and from daily login rewards. Obviously, you might not be gettting enough crates to get enough gems for that mount you want fast enough. That is where Twitch comes into play.

The Elder Scrolls Online - Saving Money on ESO

Now I am not a big fan of Twitch personally due to favoritism and cronyism on the site, but you can earn free crates using Twitch. These Crown Crates are called the Ouroboros Crates. They have a rare chance at dropping a mount but they mostly just have a ton of useless junk in them. Useless junk that can be turned into gems. By linking your Twitch account to your ESO account on the ESO home page, you can earn these crates. By checking the Drop Schedule posted by the ESO team every month, all you have to do is go into the uncharismatic streamer’s stream, pause the stream, and minimize the window. While idling in these streams you get a chance of these crates dropping for you in game. It is random if and when they drop, however, officially sponsored ESO streams on Twitch always drop the crates. They are set at marked times and are listed monthly.

Extra Tips and Tricks

There are more costumes than you think in game. These Costumes are called “Disguises”. They are found throughout the base game and their purpose is to let you sneak through enemies without fighting them, as long as you don’t go near the ones with the torches. However, if you attack or you get attacked, the Disguise breaks and you lose it.

However, if you take off the disguise as soon as you get it, and never wear it, you can keep it. Disguises only break if you are attacked in the area the disguise is used for. Luckily, there is a next to no chance that you will revisit the area it is used for after you complete it. So by taking off the disguise until after the mission, as long as you don’t enter that one specific area again while wearing it, you have a new Costume you can use. And there are some good disguises in game you will want to collect, such as one that turns you into a goblin you can use anywhere.

Another life hack has to do with Motifs. There are a lot of crafting styles on the Crown Store that… Tbh you will prob never use. As long as you have costumes. Though some look good.

Luckily only half of these styles are expensive in game. A lot of them you can buy in game from guild traders for a bit of gold, meaning there is no need to buy any of them from the Crown Store. This includes motifs being sold right now such as Dwemer, Imperial, Mercenary, Assassins League, and many more styles.

The only other things you should consider buying in the Crown Store other than the DLC is in the upgrades tab under account, and maybe crafting under outfit styles. The upgrades aren’t really needed, but if you want to consider buying one then buy the imperial upgrade. Though it is worth noting that other races can easily fill in for Imperial with their racial passives. The Any race, any alliance upgrade isn’t really needed unless you do PvP, and at the time of typing, PvP is broken and unbalanced. As for the outfit styles they are unique with a visual effects that can only be bought in the store, but chances are a lot of other players wont even see the visual effect, because they have settings to suppress them to reduce lag.

The Elder Scrolls Online - Saving Money on ESO

All other upgrades such as bag space, vampirism, mount upgrades, etc, should not be bought as you can obtain them in game easily. Basically, you only need to buy DLC in this game. Everything else can be gotten for free in one way or another. You wont be able to get some things like costumes in the Crown Store in game, but there are so many costumes you can obtain in game without spending money, that you shouldn’t need to buy any in the Store because you will almost always find one you like. Just find the one you want that is greyed out in your collections tab, read the achievement you need to do to get it, and them research as to what quest in the world it is and go do it.

Written by Pyrefeather

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