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Elder Scrolls Online Guide to PvP Battlegrounds | Resistance, Animation Canceling, and Keybindings

In this guide Elder Scrolls Online PvP Battlegrounds guide, we will discuss some of the final things you can do to give yourself and your team the best chance of winning. I will cover three different topics in this guide: Resistances, Animation Canceling and Key Bindings.

I’m sure there have been times when you feel like someone did so much damage to you and you didn’t even see the animations of their attacks. In ESO, there is something called animation canceling. It allows you to get your rotation of very quickly. Something else you can use to get your skills off faster is keybinding them in a way that is easy for you to get to them quickly. Physical, Spell and Critical resistance play a huge role in helping you stay alive so that you can do damage or anything for that matter.


There are three types of resistance in ESO, Critical resistance, Physical resistance, and Spell resistance, all of which help you mitigate incoming damage. There is no set in stone number to hit for all players. This is something you are going to have to experiment with. I would recommend starting with high Resistance and then backing off as you see fit but of course, you could do it in reverse.

Currently, I have 17,557 Spell(26.5%), 19,834(29.9%) Physical, and 765 Critical Resistance on my Magicka Templar. I recently made the decision to lower my resistance so that I could increase my damage. If you play well defensively this may be an option for you. See what numbers work best for you.

With that being said, here are some observations about Resistance and BG’s.

  • Crit builds don’t really seem to be a thing. I have almost no crit resistance now and have not seen much of a difference in survivability. Try a little less Impen you might like it. Of course, this may change.
  • Sorcs have shields generally and don’t need as much resistance. Block mitigates 50% of all damage including Critical damage. Too many people don’t block at all.
  • People with very high resistances are generally alive longer to do more total damage in a BG. This gives them more total points sometimes.

Tip: Use a friend as a test dummy and do some duels to test your comfort level at different resistance levels.

Animation Canceling:

Animation canceling is using your skills without allowing the animation associated with that skill to complete. This can only be done on abilities that are instant cast abilities and do include your ultimates and most executes. There are five types of animation canceling.

Light Attack animation canceling is using a light attack to animation cancel a skill. So you press your skill then immediately press the left mouse button. This will take some practice so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it perfect right away. You can also animation cancel the light attack with a skill as well. So, in this case, you would press the light attack button and then immediately press the skill. You can also combo these together: light attack>skill>light attack. This will effectively cancel two of the three animations allowing you to get your skills and rotation off much more quickly. When you weave light attacks and skills together into your rotation this is called Spell weaving.

Tip: Light attack animation canceling is also going to build your Ultimate. This will allow you to maximize how much damage you do with your ultimate as it will be off cooldown more often.

Bar Swap animation canceling is using your bar swap to animation cancel with. So you would use a skill or light attack then immediately swap bars. This type of animation canceling and light attack animation canceling are the two most commonly used forms of this technique. I tend to bar swap animation cancel more than anything and I mix in some light attacks as well. This is highlighted in the video above.

Tip: All of these techniques can be used with Ulitames and Executes as well.

Bash animation canceling is using your bash to animation cancel a light attack or skill. As with the others I have discussed you can use this as a combo so, light attack>bash or light attack>bash>light attack or light attack>bash>skill. There are many combinations you can use with all of these techniques of animation canceling.

Block animation canceling is using block to cancel an animation from your light attack or skill. This form of animation canceling can be used very successfully in a PvP environment, as it will allow you to mitigate damage while also dealing damage at a faster rate than your opponent.

Dodge animation canceling is also very useful in PvP environments though it is used in PvE as well. So with dodge animation canceling you would light attack>dodge roll. You could also make this into a combo and it would look like this: light attack>dodge roll>skill>dodge roll or any variation thereof.

Tip: To help you get used to the art of animation canceling you can use a target dummy to practice on. You may have a guildie that has one in his house you can use.

Key Bindings

The way you bind your keys can be very important for your movement, survivability, rotation, and your overall success in battlegrounds. I am constantly thinking about where I could bind or map a key to make myself more efficient at something in-game. All games have default keybindings when you first get started. ESO is no different. Just because the game bound keys in a certain way does not mean that it was the most efficient way.

Movement is a very important part of BG’s and should be interrupted as little as possible. One thing that I ask myself when I am thinking about my key binds is will it affect my movement keys. In other words, will I have to move a finger off of WASD? If you say for instance your dodge roll was bound to “R” you would have to move your left index finger off of “D” and press ”R” to dodge roll thus not allowing you to use your movement key “D” at that time.

Changing WASD

WASD always felt weird to me. I was always reaching with my middle finger. Think about what the home keys are on a computer ASDF, they are all in a row as should your movement keys be.  So by just remapping “W” or forward to “S” this way, those three fingers are sitting on keys in the same row. It is much more comfortable in my opinion. Test it out and see if it works for you. Oh, and if you were wondering where “S” or backward went it is now “X”. You’re welcome!

Survivability can be increased with the use of some simple key binding. For instance when I am in a BG and I get crowd controlled or “CC’d” it will either be something that I have to break free from or dodge roll out of. If I need to break free I just flick my scroll wheel up or away from me. This makes breaking free almost instantaneous. For instance, I get leaped by DK’s all the time, we all do and using this key bind I am free before I ever hit the ground. I hit the ground running right back into combat. Dodge rolling is another way to remove a CC. In this case, I just press the scroll wheel down. Almost every mouse has a scroll wheel, let’s use it some. Also when you are dodge rolling you should know that you can change directions while rolling. These two things increase my survivability a lot in BG’s and keep me from having to use my left hand or movement hand to do these things.

Improving rotation speed and efficiency

Rotation speed and efficiency can be improved using a few simple tweaks to your key binds. Let’s start with the ultimate ability, which by default is bound to “R” on the movement key hand. As stated previously I use and recommend that you use a gaming mouse with at least 6 buttons on the thumb side of the mouse. So with my Razer Naga, I remapped the “6” button to be the ultimate, thus keeping my movement hand on movement keys for positioning of my character. I already had my skills mapped to 1-5 so this came to me as a natural progression of that. So now 1-6 have all my attacks and have increased my damage output considerably.

Another way to improve your rotation speed and efficiency is adjusting the bar swapping key bind. The default key bind is the “`” or Tilde key above the Tab button on your keyboard. This is a very awkward key to try and press while in the middle of combat. If I try to hit it with my pinky I have to manipulate my entire left hand, so you end up using your left ring finger which is less manipulation but here again your movement hand is off the movement keys. I am not saying never use your movement hand for anything, I just want to use it less. So again I went to the scroll wheel, there is still one direction left and that is down or towards me. This has been a game-changer. Not only does it allow you to animation cancel like we talked about earlier but now it’s easy to do, and really fast.

All three of these topics are very important in BG’s. They may not all work for you but I hope at the very least they will make you think about what you are doing and if there is a better way to do it for you. They can be used to elevate your gameplay and make your experiences in the BG’s more enjoyable because you are winning!

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!