Welcome to The Ultimate Tank Guide for The Elder Scrolls Online!

This ESO Beginner Tank Guide has been created for PvE Tanks, to help coach you on your way to becoming a successful Tank in The Elder Scrolls Online.

Tanking is a role that is in high demand but it’s a high pressure, difficult and stressful role to play. Before you get started with Tanking, please take a little time to have a read through this guide to hopefully give you an idea about what Tanking is all about in The Elder Scrolls Online.

You’ll discover a summary of everything you need to know, whether you are new to ESO or just new to Tanking, you should find all the basic information you need to start Tanking.

For a good starting build for a Tank, make sure you also check out our Beginner Tank Build.

If you have any questions please join us on The Tank Club Discord.

What is a Tank?

In the Elder Scrolls Online – A Tank is someone who is the heavily armoured shell of a group, the first one into battle and the front-line of combat to protect and defend everyone else against any threat.

A Tanks main job is to aggro and control enemy targets forcing them to attack you and ensure as little damage as possible is passed onto Damage Dealers and Healers. Once aggro is achieved the next task of the Tank is to position enemies safely where allies are as protected as possible to perform their respective roles. As a Tank it is vital to learn fights quickly and efficiently, know mechanics and tactics for each fight as you are the frontline and you will deal with mechanics more than most other roles in a group. Tanks in ESO, similar to the military vehicle, need a very strong defence and good battlefield manoeuvrability: You take a lot of damage as a Tank so the priority is to boost your Max Health and Resistances so you are able to deal with all incoming damage.

The biggest obstacles for a Tank are self-sustaining and survivability. Tanks usually aim for a high Magicka Recovery stat to help with in combat abilities. Stamina sustain can be difficult, when you block – you lose Stamina and Stamina cannot be regained through regeneration while holding Block. With good sustain, you’ll be able to heal yourself if needed and surviving becomes a lot easier, but experience is key to surviving and learning all areas of your class, race, role and each particular fight is vital.

Once you have mastered the basics of Tanking, you will be expected to support your group by setting up in a particular way. This is where you begin to help your group with certain buffs and gear sets, which increase the group damage output (or survivability and sustain) and also begin using further debuff skills and sets which increase the damage your enemy targets take. The reason why buffing and debuffing is important for the Tank is because you are always on the front-line and close to the enemy so it is far easier for a Tank to maintain certain buffs and debuff. Also, the more damage your group can do, the quicker fights will end which benefits everyone in a group especially a Tank who is having to balance sustain, fight management and more.

Choosing a Tank Class

The biggest factor in deciding your Tank Class always comes down to which Tank offers the most benefit to the group. So the reason why a Tank Class is more useful than another is not because of their inability to Tank content but more so the buffs and debuffs they have available that are useful to both the group and the Tank.

In terms of a Beginner Friendly Tank Class the Dragonknight is typically the easiest to play and one of the most useful.

They posses some of the best sustain and survivability in The Elder Scrolls Online while also providing useful buffs which not only makes the good for beginners but they are also one of the meta Tank Classes for the ESO Endgame.

The Dragonknight is the absolute best class for beginner tanks.

DK’s as they are also known are typically the easiest Tank class to play due to the self-sustain available to them via their class passives.

Sustain on a DK is great as you can get all resources back when using an Ultimate and you can get Stamina while blocking thanks to the passives Battle Roar and Helping Hands passives. Early on in the levelling process they have access to Magicka based crowd control with Choking Talons and Unrelenting Grip, both which are superior to every other Tank classes crowd control abilities.

They have two excellent healing skills; one burst heal that scales with Max Health called Coagulating Blood and one heal over time called Cinder Storm. They also have a group spam-able shield called Igneous Shield which scales with Max Health.

The DK has access to a unique group damage buff called Stagger which places a debuff on enemies via the Stone Giant skill which causes the target to take increased damage. Stagger is more common in the later stages of the end game due to its difficulty to maintain and sustain but is a requirement by most groups in harder content and trials.

DK’s also have a group buff called Minor Brutality which is often applied from the Mountain’s Blessing passive by casting a Earthen Heart skill.  Other groups buffs provided by a Dragonknight include Engulfing Flames and Igneous Weapons.

The Arcanist is the newest Class in The Elder Scrolls Online.

They are extremely strong because they can reach the resistance cap with almost no effort and you can easily stack huge amounts of regen as well.

Within the Arcanists kit you have so many useful group benefits, buffs and debuffs, more than any other class in ESO. They even have skills that allow you to remove whole 5 piece gear sets because you gain the same or equal buffs provided by a single skill cast.

The worst part about an Arcanist is that for a beginner they are quite complicated. They have the Crux system and all of the skills and passives you’ll typically slot will need to be cast regularly meaning they are a very active class.

Some players also find the Arcanist healing difficult since they don’t have the usual type of burst healing but instead they rely on shields and an automatic heal which could fail if you forget to recast the ability on cooldown.

In general however, the Arcansit is the best class in ESO for Dungeons just because of the sheer volume of benefits they provide from their skills and passives. In trials they are one of the top three and the decision of using one is usually down to the group leader.