​The Elder Scrolls Online in 2023: A Realistic Review of Solo and Group Content

Are you a fan of The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) franchise, or are you looking for a new MMO experience? In this article, we will provide an honest and comprehensive review of ESO in 2023. As someone who has extensively explored all aspects of the game, from solo content to group activities, I'll address the strengths and weaknesses of each, both in early and late games, as well as PvE and PvP. Let's dive into the world of ESO and help you decide if it's the game worth playing this year.

Solo Content:

ESO offers a plethora of solo content, catering to those days when you crave a quality solo experience or have limited time. The game boasts a vast amount of solo quests, and every single one of them is voice acted by talented actors like Kate Beckinsale and John Cleese. ESO quests provide a sense of freedom, allowing you to explore any zone and tackle quests in any order. This open-ended approach gives players the freedom to play the game the way they want to. Side quests are often quirky and offer enjoyable stories that leave a lasting impression.

However, there are downsides to the solo content. Due to the scaling system in ESO, all zones have the same level of difficulty, making them relatively easy for any player, including newcomers. This can trivialize the questing experience, especially for players who prefer more challenging gameplay. Additionally, the compartmentalized nature of zone stories can result in a lack of epic climaxes typically found in long-form MMO stories. Characters and their story arcs may not have enough time to develop a meaningful connection with players, affecting the emotional impact of the narratives.

ESO Plus and Monetization:

ESO is a buy-to-play MMO with an optional subscription called ESO Plus. The base game is reasonably priced, offering excellent value for your money. However, the best zones, dungeons, trials, gear, crafting skill lines, races, and classes are locked behind ESO Plus or DLC purchases. The optional subscription provides access to additional content, including a craft bag that helps manage inventory, but it's not essential to enjoy the game.

Monetization in ESO has been a subject of criticism. The cash shop has gradually taken over more of the game's content, impacting the reward structure. Flashy items that were traditionally earned through gameplay are now tucked into the cash shop, often at high prices. Loot crates, a form of gambling, offer cosmetic rewards but with low drop rates, leading to disappointment for many players. ESO's monetization practices have faced backlash from the community, and the game's quality control has been a concern.


ESO does allow players to pay for certain advantages, such as faster progression through XP Scrolls and buying Elder Scrolls Online gold. However, in terms of combat, skill and player ability play a significant role. While paying can expedite progress, it doesn't make a player inherently stronger than others. ESO allows the exchange of cash shop currency for in-game ESO gold, but the best gear must still be earned through gameplay.

Group Content:

The group content in ESO offers its own set of pros and cons. Sharing quests with friends and tackling them together is a significant advantage, regardless of when you started playing. However, grouping up doesn't increase the difficulty of the content, which can make it even easier and less challenging. ESO lacks some of the best weapon cosmetics and mounts as rewards for group content, instead selling them in the cash shop.

The Elder Scrolls Online offers a rich and expansive MMO experience with a wealth of content for both solo and group players. The game's solo quests provide enjoyable storytelling and freedom of exploration, although they may lack challenge and emotional depth. Group content offers engaging PvE and PvP activities, allowing players to collaborate and test their skills. While ESO's monetization practices and cash shop have faced criticism, the game continues to evolve and provide regular updates to keep players engaged. Overall, ESO is a worthwhile MMO to consider, especially for fans of The Elder Scrolls franchise and those looking for a vibrant and dynamic online world to explore.