Box art - The Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online: Advanced Guide to PvP Battlegrounds

In this guide, we will discuss some of the advanced techniques you can use in The Elder Scrolls Online to make your battleground experience a winning one. Battlegrounds are a team-oriented encounter and we will discuss things you and your team can do in ESO to make it a winning encounter. You also need to be able to do some self mitigation of damage to keep yourself alive and help out your team when you do get into combat. Things like using Line of Sight (LOS), Team Positioning and Resistances can help you and your team members mitigate a lot of the potential incoming damage and help get your team the “W” in.

Elder Scrolls Online PvP Battlegrounds| Line of Sight (LOS):

The definition of line of sight as it pertains to PvP encounters is to put an object between you and the enemy so that they are unable to target you to do any damage to you. In ESO you have a reticle that you use to aim at other players much like a first-person shooter which is what makes the combat in ESO so much fun and also difficult. There are three ways to use LOS to your advantage in a battleground.

Objects

Objects are the first way to use LOS in a battleground. There will be times in a battleground when you are going to be taking a lot of damage and you need to find a way to mitigate that damage when you or your team members are out of other resources like using a potion or getting a heal from the healer or yourself. When the time comes you can find an object to put between you and the incoming damage. Many maps have pillars or walls you can use to achieve this damage mitigation. Commonly referred to as Pillar Humping. You can use this pillar to mitigate damage and regen stats while you are doing so. This can help you and your team out in many ways. It will regen your resources while also not using any of your resources such as a self-heal or potion. Also, you can save your healers Magicka by not taking some of the incoming damage. Using LOS is something you should always be thinking about when you are in a battleground. When you get into combat always be looking around for potential spots to LOS even while in combat you can LOS some members of the opposing team making yourself visible to only one enemy target. In doing so you have reduced the potential incoming damage that four players can do down to just damage from one enemy player.

Elevation

Elevation is another form of LOS in battlegrounds. Many maps have elevation changes like stairs for instance. This is a great way to LOS and still keep your damage output up. For example, if the enemy team is above you on the platform where the staircase leads you can move up into LOS and do damage to the target and many times before they have time to react you can just move back down the stairs out of LOS and take no damage at all. (You can use this tactic with pillar humping as well) This is a tactic I use on a regular basis and is great for those battleground maps with a lot of elevation changes. Elevation is also a great team tactic. You can do the same thing with your entire team mitigating a lot of the potential damage to your team while still being able to keep your damage output up and get the kills or rESOurces required for a win.

Tip: If a target is above you on a structure that you have no access to and is just sniping you (we know it’s you night blades) walk toward the structure. They can not shoot straight down at you if you are below them on the same wall of that structure.

Team Members

Team Members are another great way to LOS in battlegrounds. I know it sounds selfish but it is sometimes necessary to do so. There will be times in a battleground where you will find yourself in front of your group and taking the brunt of the damage. Your team members that are behind you may be the only way to mitigate and spread some of that damage around so that you do not take a death. If one team member dies then you are now in a 3v4 or potentially a 3v8 situation as battlegrounds are 4v4v4 in ESO. Some maps have very limited places to LOS in the previously mentioned ways and team members may be the best way to LOS. This tactic will work best if you have dedicated roles in your group like a Tank and Healer for instance. Most groups don’t use a dedicated tank so just the highest health group member will do quite nicely when finding someone to LOS behind. Try using these three LOS tactics in your next battleground to improve your gameplay and help you to secure more W’s.

Elder Scrolls Online PvP Battlegrounds| Team Positioning

Team positioning in a battleground is very important. It is positioning your team in a way that keeps you all together and will create a higher chance for survivability when encountering the enemy teams on the map. There are three team positioning tactics that I use in battlegrounds every day and that you should begin to practice.

Ball Groups

Ball Groups are something that I think we have all encountered in the battlegrounds. Those tightly formed groups that seem to always move in uniform and never seem to get separated from one another. When you get your team to group closely together into a ball group you will start to see why it so successful in a battleground. As mentioned above you will be able to quite easily LOS amongst each other sharing a lot of the incoming damage and not allowing other teams to pick off a single player in your group. Another reason for using a ball group was mentioned in a previous article Beginners Guide to PvP battlegrounds, Synergies! When you are in a ball group you are in range of every other group member’s synergy buff. This may increase health, resistances, main stat and many more helpful buffs for you and your group. Last but not least you will be in range of your healer at all times. All of these are crucial reasons to stay grouped up tightly and move around the map as one big ball.

Sandwiching

Sandwiching another team is a great way to use your ball group very effectively. Too many times I see groups just run to the center of a map and start fighting one team only to have another team come up behind them and now you are fighting a two-front battle. You do not want to be the creamy center of an oreo while in a battleground. You want to be one of the cookies. So never, I repeat never, just go into the center and start fighting a group without knowing where the other enemy team is in location to your team. What I do every time I enter a battleground is be patient. Find out where the other teams are and then try to let them engage each other first. This way you are letting them expend their rESOurces while you are still at full rESOurces. Wait about fifteen to twenty seconds after they have engaged each other and then hit one team from behind. Preferably the team with the lowest rESOurces and health.

Over Extenders

Over Extenders are players that have been separated from their group and require the immediate attention of your group. They are an easy way to put the other groups at a distinct disadvantage. When you secure the kill on this overextended player you are now fighting an enemy team that is down a group member. As I always say, a dead player can’t do anything, they can’t cap a flag they can’t heal and they can’t do any damage. Think about this always. Sometimes it is better to stop what you are doing and get the kill then it is to stand and fight and waste rESOurces in a location where you might not be able to get a kill. Be mindful of your surroundings and always keep your head on a swivel to find any player that might be overextended!

Tip: Do not be overextended if at all possible

Elder Scrolls Online PvP Battlegrounds| Securing the Kill

Ultimates

Ultimate’s are an extension of your abilities and generally are used to help get a player into the execute range of 25-50% health. You can have an ultimate ability on both of your bars. I run Dawnbreaker of Smiting as my main damage ultimate. It does initial damage to the target and then puts a DOT on the target for extra pressure damage. There are many different ultimates out there to choose from so see which one works for you and your build and your group composition. When you have an ultimate ability that is ready to be used let your other group members know that you have it up and coordinate with them when to use it. Always call out to your group members when you are using your ultimate ability so that they will be ready to look for who is taking the most damage so that your group can secure the kill.

Tip: Using the Bloodspawn head and shoulder set will increase your Ultimates regen allowing you to use it more often and really put some big damage on the other team.

Executes

Executes are what you use to finish off a player after you have gone through the rotation of your regular abilities and your ultimate ability, you execute when the target is below 50% or 25% health depending on the tooltip on the ability. The execute that I use is Radiant Oppression. It does 480% more damage to players under 50% health and really hits hard when they are under 25% health which is where I tend to use it the most. Execute are also something that you should communicate with your group about. Let them know when you are going to use it. This will allow them to potentially use their execute on that target as well and you can focus them down together.

Note: Ultimates can also be used as executes and in many cases are.

Focus Targeting

Focus Targeting is an easy way to use the aforementioned tactics of securing the kill. In your battleground group as I have said, always keep your head on a swivel looking for that low health player. That player is the one you want to try and secure the kill on. Of course, when you are doing battlegrounds you will be in comms (voice chat) with your other party members so always call out a low health player to your other group members so you can focus that target down as fast as possible and keep your team at a numbers advantage in the game. The better you get at this the better experience you are going to have and the more games you are going to win.

Tip: While in battlegrounds I highly recommend that you use a program that allows you to communicate verbally in real-time with your group. The best program that I have found for this is Discord!


Emob produces live content on Twitch. He has been playing MMO’s since 2006. Switched games to Elder Scrolls Online in 2016, which is where you will catch him playing these days. He currently plays a Magicka Templar. Find him at EmobTV on Twitch. Go watch some PvP!