As with all MMO subscriptions, the question remains the same: Is it worth your money to get ESO Plus? The benefits are different for new players and veterans, so we're demystifying the process - spoiler alert, it's worth it!
The Elder Scrolls Online was released in 2014 and originally a subscription was required in order to play. Over the years the model of the game evolved into a buy-to-play with the subscription becoming optional providing a pay-for-convenience experience.
In the following article, we are going to take a look at what the ESO Plus subscription can provide you with, and answer the ultimate question: Is ESO Plus worth it?
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First things first, how much is the subscription going to cost you? It depends on your subscription course.
Obviously buying the 1 year package is the best deal as you save money in the long-term but even subscribing each month is quite ok. Now let’s take a look at what the subscription provides.
The most important benefits are the DLC unlocks and the Craft Bag. DLC are extra content that normally must be bought with Crowns for a permanent unlock but are automatically available while you have an active ESO Plus subscription.
The Craft Bag is the most convenient thing in the game as it holds any material with the upside of infinite space. Materials picked up will automatically be sent to the Craft Bag and will be available to every character of your account, making them very easily accessible.
The next most important benefit are the 1.650 Crowns you get per month. Crowns can be used to buy stuff from the Crown Store. The stuff available varies from cosmetics to DLC and houses.
The free crowns are a nice bonus and since all DLC are automatically unlocked, you can use your crowns to buy cosmetics or something handy like a portable banker or merchant.
Keep in mind that you receive all your crowns instantly, so for example if you buy a 12-month subscription, you will also get 19.800 Crowns at the same time.
Active subscribers also get double bank slots. By default, the bank can be maxed out at 240 slots, meaning that with ESO Plus active it goes up to 480.
Unless you keep everything in your bank you ain’t gonna need that much space, especially with all materials being deposited in the craft bag. It will help you quite a lot with storage especially early on though, since later bank upgrades cost upwards of 50K per 10 (20) slots.
Next up we have a 10% increase in Gold, Experience and Crafting Inspiration, as well as 10% decrease in Research times. While not major bonuses, they all contribute to an accelerated progression, especially for new players.
While the subscription is active you may also hold up to a maximum of 200 Transmutation Crystals which can be used to change the Trait of an item. The maximum capacity without the subscription is 100 crystals. Changing a trait will consume 50 of them and that makes them very valuable if you want to make endgame gear to your liking.
Another convenience for premium members, and those conscious of their home’s interior design, is double furniture capacity on all your houses (so for example the tiny Inns will get to 30 slots instead of 15, and the huge villas to 600 from 300).
Well, not many ESO players like to spend their time on furnishing, but those who do will definitely can’t live without this one (trust me, when you’ve spent 50 hours arranging your villa, you don’t want the cap to cut you short!)
Even though everyone can dye their costumes / hats by using Dye Stamps from the crown store, ESO Plus members can enjoy swapping their colors anytime, without any additional costs.
You can use any color, as long as you’ve unlocked it through the relevant game progression.
Last but not least, ESO Plus members will benefit from a few exclusive deals that show up each month, in the form of free crown items you can claim, to nice discounts in other store items.
As a member I feel that these deals don’t come up too often, but on the other hand it might not be wise to just provide endless discounts only for premium subscribers (maybe a fixed 10% off on all crown items might make more sense?)
Now to the subject of our article. Is the ESO Plus subscription worth your money? The short answer is yes. Especially early on game, when your inventory is limited the subscription will make your life a lot easier and will help you max out your crafts without having to relog on alts-banks all day.
Even in the endgame, the subscription will give you access to all DLCs, which will add maps, stories, dungeons and skill lines to your character. Dark Brotherhood and Thieves’ Guild both have their respective storylines – and may I add that they are extremely well made.
For a bit less than 15 dollars per month, you get to access everything the game has to offer. You also get free Crowns, which you can of course use to buy the DLC if you think you won’t be able to afford always having the subscription active. We don’t really recommend it though as most DLC can be completed quite fast, and chances are you won’t have any use for them after some time.
In terms of convenience, the Craft Bag has become an absolutely essential bonus, especially if you gather everything in sight. Refining and Deconstructing will bombard you with materials and keeping them all in the bank may not be optimal or possible at all. When your subscription expires, you can still use your Craft Bag to draw materials but you can’t deposit anything in it.
In terms of money, we find the subscription to be a very good deal. Setting all bonuses aside, you get 1.650 Crowns. In the official store of ESO, 1.500 Crowns have the same cost as 1 month of ESO Plus. That means that subscribing will get you 150 more Crowns than actually buying them.
Our recommendation is to at least try one month. Chances are that you won’t be able to go back to free-to-play. If you still are unsure of whether it would be worth your money, Zenimax gives out free ESO Plus every now and then for a couple of days.
We covered the topic of whether the subscription is worth your money. But the question you might be asking is if the game is playable without the subscription, or if it is purely for convenience.
The answer to this question depends on the player. I know players that only play PvP. The subscription would have much less meaning to them than to a hardcore PvE player.
Some Gear Sets also drop only in DLC areas which makes them very valuable. If the Sets are sellable the prices will be quite high. If not, you won’t have access to them at all.
The materials might overwhelm your inventory. In the early stages of the game when you still don’t have enough gold to upgrade your Inventory or your Bank, you might need to make alternative characters that will only serve the purpose of banking materials. The downside is that you won’t have immediate access to those materials and you will have to relog with every character and move them to your main. With the loading times being quite long, you will soon get tired of doing the whole process.
While the 10% bonuses to Experience, Gold and Inspiration isn’t much and will not affect your life in the game that much, they are still a good side-bonus to your progress. The 10% decrease in Research time is more important as some of your last researches will need 30 Days to be completed, with ESO Plus 3 days are cut off from your remaining time.
These are the facts. The answer to the question is “yes, you can play ESO without plus”, with a huge “BUT” coming after😂. It is manageable, but will probably tire you after some time.