ESO Tank Race

Tanking in ESO can be done with any Race with a rather minimal difference, and it’s not of 100% importance to select whatever race you want. Tank Race can be chosen based on aesthetics if that is the sort of thing you are interested in, or you would pick a Tank Race that fits in with your Tank experience and one that will provide you will some Tank focussed bonuses.

Tanking won’t become impossible if you don’t select a Race that is aimed towards Tanking, thing could however be slightly easier if you had chosen a more Tank focused Race, especially at low level and low CP.

The main things to consider when making a Tank and selecting your Tank Race are:

  • Do you want to optimise for group content?
  • Are you new to Tanking and need sustain/survival help?
  • Are you looking to be able to switch between roles?
  • Are you interested in the appearance of your character?
Top 5 Tank Races | Elder Scrolls Online | Flames of Ambition

Once you know what sort of thing you need then you can choose a race base on those requirements.

The newer you are to the game and with a lack of Champion Points, the more race will be effective.

Generally it’s not worth switching a lot of the races from Argonian to Imperial for example, you are switching a sustain class for another sustain class so there is no real point in doing so.

For more information on ESO Tank Classes, make sure you check out our Tank Guide section and our Discord.

Tank Race Tier List & Comments

Generally the best options for Tanking due to the huge amount of extra Health and Stamina and sustain through the cost reduction passive. You can use a Imperial Tank for any Tanking situation especially if its a sustain heavy fight.

  • Huge amounts of additional Max Health and Stamina.
  • ​​Reduce cost of everything.
  • Cheaper Skills & Ultimate so you can cast more often.
  • Lower cost to Block, Roll Dodge and Break Free.
  • Imperial is one of the most well rounded classes for Tanking. Worth using at any time.
  • If you struggle for sustain, try Imperial.
  • Not included in the base game, you have to buy it separately.

Great class for Tanking now and also useful when switching to a sustaining DD.

Cost reduction on weapon abilities is ok, as a Tank we don’t use too many weapon abilities other than Elemental Blockade and Pierce Armor, but this works great when you end up using skills like Defensive Stance on vSS Lokkestiiz a lot of Power Bash to proc the Void Bash set. 15% reduction in snares will sometimes be helpful and a large 2k extra Stamina is always good for a Tank. The built in Stamina resource tool is great – just deal damage and get Stamina back every 5 seconds this equates to 12060 Stamina per minute that you can gain while blocking.

  • Every passive useful for Tanking​.
  • A great option for Stamina sustaining​ – 12060 Stamina gained per minute.
  • 8% weapon ability cost reduction.
  • Good for people wanting to switch between Stamina DD/Tank roles.
  • If you struggle for Stamina sustain – choose Redguard.

Redguard is actually a very good race for Tanking. Every passive they have has some Tank benefit and Stamina sustain is amazing when using this race. This only falls below Imperial in terms of sustain due to the fact its only Stamina sustain whereas Imperial offers reduced cost of everything including Ultimate so that makes it slightly more useful to a group.

Beginners may prefer this race for sustaining. The potion passive gives a burst 3125k of all resources on top of what you gain from the potion itself, which is extremely good but it comes at a cost of using a potion to get it. You get extra Health, Magicka and Stamina which are all good for Tanking. The 6% healing done increases the amount of any heal you cast but generally this won’t be a huge difference as a Tank.

  • All Passives are good for Tanking.
  • Great for sustain, essentially 4167 resources per min if using potion on cooldown.
  • Nice balance of extra Max stats.
  • Useful if you want to be able to switch your character between Tank and Healer easily.
  • Would work especially well as Templar, Necromancer and Nightblade which are Classes with Tank sustain issues.
  • Can see all your fancy skins and markings due to having a large tail that is always visible…

Argonian is a good choice for Tank race, especially good for beginners or people who might look to switch between Tank/Healer roles. Only drops below Imperial in terms of this list due to the fact you need to actively use a potion to benefit from the sustain passive rather than the automatic constant sustain benefits of the Imperial, and the fact Imperial has cheaper Ultimate, Argonian is a base game race and is easy to access.

If you are looking to switch between DD and Tank or sometimes play as the Off Tank or DD/Tank Hybrid then Orc’s can be a good option for increasing your damage with the additional weapon damage. You gain some Max Stamina and Max Health plus a built in auto-heal when you do damage every 4 seconds. The increased movement speed is actually really powerful for content with a lot of adds meaning you can move quicker to stack things up.

  • Extra max stats – not as many as other races.​
  • Automatic heal every 4 seconds.
  • Speed Boost is great for staying ahead of the group and stacking up adds
  • Works great for switching between Tank and Stamina DD
  • Great if you occasionally play PvP or as a Stamina DD and want to be able to switch to Tank.

Orc can be a decent choice for Tanking which allows you to also be able to switch and be a really good damage race also. The automatic heal is ok, nothing ground-breaking but it could save you once in a while. The additional Spell damage also means it can be good for a DK using Engulfing Flames.

One of the most common Tanking races is the Nord and it’s one that hold a lot of usefulness for Tanking, extra Stamina, extra Health and resistances give you some nice base stats. You gain 5 Ultimate once every 10s when you take damage which is minimal, but in terms of Ultigen it helps when combined with other Ultimate gaining sources.

  • Well rounded Tank Class.
  • Gains extra defence which is about 4% more mitigation​ – only if you are under the resistance cap of 33k.
  • Takes 8 minutes 33 seconds to get a “free” Aggressive Horn from the Ultimate passive.
  • Nord are a good option for all Tank classes and situations.
  • Extra resistances means its not a problem using Medium Armor, 5/1/1 or none resistance buffing sets.
  • Good at low CP when you have less mitigation from your Champion Points.

The Nord is a good race for Tanking, and it’s not really worth switching from Nord to something else unless you have a specific problem such as sustain. Nord was once the best Tank class but the resistance passive got reduced at the same time that the Champion Point system changed and its quite easy to hit resistances of 28-30k on more or less any race now, making the resistance passive less attractive.

Especially good in Magicka damage content such as Cloudrest. The huge 2k Max Magicka means you’ll probably need to apply some Attributes or Armor Enchantments into Stamina meaning generally you’ll have lower max Health. You gain a large amount of Spell Resistance which can be doubled and this is why they are great for magic damage based trials especially as a none DK. Magicka abilities cost less and you gain Magicka recovery both of which are great for a Tank.

  • Magicka Recovery and Reduce Magicka cost of abilities is fantastic for Magicka sustain heavy builds.
  • Huge Spell Resistance, great for Magicka based fights.
  • Max Magicka is a problem if you need your Stamina to be higher.
  • Nice to have in Magicka based trials and dungeons such as Cloudrest.​​
  • A decent option if you often switch roles between Magicka DD/Healer and want the option to Tank.
  • Would work well with a Frost Staff build if that’s something you are looking to make.

This is kind of like a Magicka version of a Redguard. Breton creates slightly more barriers than Redguard with its addition of extra Magicka as you’ll need to Balance it out as a conventional Tank. But it would be perfect if you are usually a DD and switching to become a 3rd Tank for vCR or something like that as the sustain and additional resistances are both really helpful, and if you are planning on putting together a Frost Staff Tank Build then this is going to be a good way of doing it. When using the Tri-Focus passive and doing a double Ice Staff build this would make things a bit easier to manage.

Increased recovery of all resources, plus additional max of all resources. It’s nice that you get all 3 recoveries and resources but overall you get a lot less stats than other races. You also get increase Critical Damage and Healing, for some passives you need to do critical damage and as a Tank critical healing yourself is extremely useful so you spend less resources keeping yourself alive when needed.

  • Max Resources, Recoveries and Crit Healing all useful.
  • You get to play as a Cat… I am sure some people would love that, right?​
  • The amount of the extra stats is quite low and some of them are wasted.
  • Not bad for Tanking but other options would perform a lot better.

This race would perform pretty well if switching between Tank, DD or Hybrid of the two. Gaining both Max Magicka and Stamina is nice, you might need to apply more Health if needed. You gain a lot of Flame Resistance which for a few fights would be a nice perk but generally unnecessary. You get both increase Weapon and Spell Damage, this increases your damage but also your healing which is good for a Tank.

  • Nice balance of extra Magicka/Stamina
  • Easy to convert between Tank, Magicka/Stamina DD.
  • Flame Resistance helpful in some very specific fights.
  • If you sometimes switch to DD
  • Decent Off Tank or Hybrid DD/Tank

5% Damage reduction when casting or channelling an ability, almost useless on a Tank. There are very few abilities you do as a Tank that have a cast time or channel. Pretty good sustain tool as you can gain Stamina or Magicka based on which is lowest when you use an ability every 6 seconds. Max Magicka might mean point are needed into Stamina most likely and the extra Weapon/Spell damage is nice to boost our Healing and can be utilised on a DK for Engulfing Flames.

  • Decent option for both Magicka and Stamina sustain, but there are better sustain races.
  • A few useless passives from Tank perspective.
  • Magicka might be higher than Stamina
  • Could work well if you want to play Tank and able to switch to Magicka DD or Healer.

While trying to stay impartial between the races, Wood Elf is possibly the worst race for a Tank. Increased Stamina Recovery is doing nothing for most Tanks who will be blocking fairly frequently and gaining nothing from this. Max Stamina & Movement Speed is nice but that’s about it. Detection radius in Stealth and Penetration is pointless.

  • No useful passives for Tanking.
  • No real good time to reason to use one.