Most people have never used addons or any kind of mods in a game, others opt for quality of life improvements, and some can’t live without them (this is me).
Hopefully, The Elder Scrolls Online carries the series’ tradition, and is moddable. To be exact it’s extendable, so there are addons that make playing the game, and managing your character more enjoyable.
I know first-hand that once you install the mods below, there’s no going back. I won’t judge Zenimax Online’s choices, they wanted to provide a clean and minimal experience with their interface, and what they have achieved is beautiful, and one of a kind in an MMO.
But there are times you want to explore and immerse yourself in the world, and others where the real world is calling too, and too much immersion can turn into frustration.
So enough of my chit-chat, let’s see which are the most essential ESO addons, whether everyone uses them, or no one has heard of their glory.
Native “AddOns” or Else Tweaking the Game Settings
Before we go ahead and start installing addons like crazy, there’s a few things (a lot actually) that you can tweak from the in-game settings, and make your life easier.
There’s 3 things I always do when I first set up a character:
- Settings -> Gameplay -> Auto Loot to ON
- Settings -> Interface -> Chat Bubbles to ON
- Settings -> Nameplates -> Set to ON (I set up Self -> Always as well, but that’s up to preference)
Installing Minion or Else Your 1-Click AddOn Solution
The best & safest way to install / update and delete your addons is an application called Minion. Go ahead and download it here, then open it, point it to ESO’s addon folder (this is usually C:\user\Documents\Elder Scrolls Online\live\AddOns) and it will be ready to go.
There’s 4 tabs in Minion, your Installed addons, a tab labeled “Find More” which lets you search addons from esoui.com directly from Minion, a Backup option to transfer your addons and settings in another system, and some basic options.
To install all the addons we list below, simply navigate to “Find More”, and copy-paste the addon name.
Installing the addons manually is not rocket science, you just drop the downloaded folders in the AddOns folder which we mentioned above. Minion just makes it easier to keep track of everything.
I. Essential Map AddOns
Enhancing your map experience, is one of the core reasons you will be using addons in ESO.
Again, exploration and immersion is amazing, but you can’t hope to find everything without any map markers in a single lifetime.
First things first you will need a mini-map. I can’t stress this enough, chances are you are already aching for one, so go ahead and make your life easier!
You will find various styling / sizing options in Votan’s Minimap, so don’t worry about how it’s going to fit in your interface.
The most popular minimap choice is actually MiniMap by Fyrakin, but compatibility updates take a little while, and although very versatile, I’ve found myself using Votan’s Minimap to a better extent in the end (after thousands of hours in the game).
Tip: The minimap hides itself by default in combat, and that gets annoying when you’re multitasking. Simply change that in Settings -> Addons -> Votan’s Minimap.
Author: Garkin, Ayantir & AssemblerManiac
All skyshards you haven’t yet gathered will show up on your map, compass and mini-map, with an option to hide them when gathered as well, enough said.
Tip: When playing with friends, it’s a good idea to not hide the collected SkyShards, as you can be the one yelling “there’s a Skyshard there” to your team, and get praised.
Author: Garkin, Ayantir & Kyoma
Similar with SkyShards, LoreBooks will reveal all lorebooks which grant you Mages Guild XP on your map, so it’s very easy to collect them while questing.
Tip: Even though the default icons of the addon look GREAT, and are very lore-friendly, I prefer to use the ESO style ones, because they are black & white, and blend better on my map.
Author: SnowmanDK & MasterLenman
Another essential map addon, Destinations will mark all types of POIs on your map, the ones that the rest addons don’t. World Bosses, Wayshrines, Delves, Quest Hubs you name it!
Author: Captain Blagbird
QuestMap is purely essential for completionists, since it shows you all available quests on your map / mini-map.
The only downside, is that since it gets the data from the game’s API, it doesn’t know the quests’ starting / ending points, therefore it might show several pins for a single quest (it’s all these moments you stop to get the next step or talk with someone).
Tip: In order to keep your map in order, and un-flooded, I suggest that you use the native ESO icons (that look like the default pins, not the exclamation marks), and that you make them as small as possible.
The treasure / survey puzzles in ESO are awesome, but let’s face it, no one’s got the spare time for that.
Lost Treasure works in a great, non-obtrusive way, letting you either mark the treasures on your inventory, the ones you’ve used, or all the locations that exist (you can’t pick up treasures without having the respective item).
Another precious addon, HarvestMap will put a marker on your map / mini-map / compass (with many customization options) for anything you gather. This includes all resources for crafting, chests, thief containers and more.
It’s going to be a great help the more you re-visit areas, and help you with looting whether you are a crafter, a treasure hunter, or both.
Tip: If you’re like me, and gather hundreds of nodes / area, your map is going to look a bit hectic with all these symbols and colors. As a (great) solution, I have made all the markers a pale color, so that it blends with the map, and all the black / white markers stand out.
Tip 2: HarverMap offers 3D pins for harvestables by default, and they are ugly as f**k. Deactivate them by opening any menu screen, then going to HarvestMap’s menu on the far right, and clicking on 3D Pins -> Off.
Another great addition for completionists, this one will let you track your dungeon progress across all of your characters (or the ones you want).
This way you won’t have to scour through the achievements tab in order to identify what’s next
Votan’s Improved Locations
There’s two main reasons I use this one, a) I have OCD so knowing the “correct” order of faction areas to clear is very important lore-wise and b) it’s just way easier to find what you’re looking for, since areas are sorted by faction.
Votan’s Improved Quests
Similarly to Improved Locations, this one will group & sort the quests on your map in a much more user-friendly way, letting you devise your next steps in the game.
II. Essential Interface & Leveling AddOns
Ravalox’s Quest Tracker
Author: Ravalox Darkshire
Unfortunately not yet supported for Summerset (Ravalox we beg you), but this one is one of the most must-haves for me.
Being able to see all your quests on-screen is crucial for any MMO, so there is not much to discuss here.
Urich’s Skill Point Finder
Urich’s Life Saver, I really don’t believe this one has so few downloads, I guess most people don’t even know it exists.
AS you can tell, it provides you with the amazing screen above, where you can see in detail all the skill points you’re missing, and what’s the best way to go about it when you need a few more Skill Points!
Harven’s Improved Skills Window
Another essential one, since it will let you preview all morphed abilities when hovering on a skill, making your life a whole lot easier when thinking out builds, and trying to figure out which morph complements your stats more.
I really think it’s a flaw of ESO that they don’t provide us with such information.
Bag Space Indicator
There’s a ton of bag watchers out there, and there’s a ton of mods that include an inventory / gold on-screen display as a complementary solution.
Even though I’m using WykkydToolbar for all my data, I need a more prominent, yet at the same time unobtrusive way to quickly check on my bag / bank space as well as the gold I’m carrying on me.
Votan’s Achievements Overview
A small quality of life change here from Votan, it will replace you Achievements Summary screen with information relevant to achievements you’re working on.
So instead of the completion / achievement group dashboard, you will get something more meaningful, like quickly checking how many more quests you need for Master Explorer, or how close you are on fishing everything in the area.
III. Essential Combat AddOns
I still haven’t found the ideal Group DPS meter, being so used to WoW’s philosophy, that any tool seems hard to understand.
Combat Metrics is an amazing addon though, using a light mode to display your DPS or Healing per Second, as well as having the option to save important fights, and take your time to analyze your & the group’s damage, with an extremely detailed break-down that will make even analysts wear their glasses.
Foundry Tactical Combat
FTC is a small suite of combat-oriented addons, of which I only use the Unit Frames, since I prefer other solutions for on-screen damage, scrolling combat and buff tracking.
The game’s default unit frames are quite bad in my opinion, since they provide with little to no information about your group, and it’s quite hard to keep track of the values, and who might need help on your team.
As you can tell this one “breaks” the immersion aesthetically, but for me it looks way better, and will enhance your combat awareness at all times.
Tip: Go to Settings -> Addons -> FTC and unlock windows, in order to place every element where you need it.
IV. Essential Item Management AddOns
Author: Randactyl & ingeniousclown
It’s a crime to play ESO without Advanced Filters.
As you can tell from the screenshot above, it provides you with sub-categories in each category of your inventory / bank / guild trader, making item management 10 times easier and more fun.
Dressing Room Reborn
Author: code65536 & Dolgubon
This is not an addon for new players, but it’s a must-have for the end game.
It lets you save gear / skill sets at will, and even though it’s very prone to human errors, and you will have to get used to the saving system, if you do, you can actually swap to your PvP, PvE, w/e gear & skills with a single click.
This is huge, and I personally can’t live without it, since I tend to PvP & PvE a ton with my main.
Essential only for the furniture crafters and interior designers out there, this one provides you will a full list of all furniture in the game, and the ability to filter them in many useful ways.
Tip: Unfortunately you can’t preview them out of the box, but hopefully there’s a solution for that. Simply right click, and send item to chat. Then by using the addon below (ItemPreview), you will be able to right click and preview the item in its full glory!
Once more, I think that being able to preview armor / furniture etc. is an essential feature, that should have been provided by the game.
So go ahead and install this baby, it will pop up a magnifying glass on all items you can preview, and quickly get a taste of how the armor you looted looks, or if all these furniture recipes in your bank are worth keeping for your future house.
Inventory Grid View
Author: Randactyl & ingeniousclown
I’m pretty sure a great portion of ESO’s player base has a great experience with MMO games or RPGs in general, and having a list inventory is irritating.
It’s immersive and nice when you’re starting out, but very soon it will be impossible to manage hundreds of items by being able to see only a few at a time.
Author: Randactyl & ingeniousclown
If you are a set / item collector, this one is essential.
I personally deconstruct everything and just keep the set I’m wearing, but I’ve had a lot of friends in need, that wasted hours trying to not-deconstruct or lose an important item or weapon.
ItemSaver is extremely flexible, and yt
This one provides the most accessible way to browse through all the item sets in the game, so that you can take your time and think on your build without leaving the game.
Harven’s Trait and Style
Author: Harven & merlight
Harven provides one more nice addition to his quality of life improvements, giving us the option to quickly check the racial style of a weapon / item, as well as whether its trait is researchable, currently being researched or known.
Votan’s Rune Tooltips
A lore-friendly lightweight addon, that will enhance your rune descriptions, making it easier to identify its use when you are outside the enchanting table.
V. Essential Crafting & Trading AddOns
Craftstore is the holy grail of crafters in ESO, so even if I don’t say anything about it, you should have it!
It does A LOT of things (some you might want to deactivate from the gear icon), and will make your life a lot easier and faster, letting you focus on the game, and not calculations on your mind.
Briefly, it lets you track all known / unknown recipes for each character, marking them appropriately, so you can quickly learn recipes you don’t know, as well as prevent you from deconstructing an item with a trait you need to research.
There’s a neat dashboard that shows your research progress and timers as well, and what’s more there’s full lists of all the recipers and furniture in the game, as well as your progress towards completion. The same goes for style motifs.
Tip: When you install Craftstore, open the main screen, click your main character’s name, and tick on the 3 small boxes on the top rights of his stats. That is where you choose which characters you want to track, for which things.
Potion Maker (for Alchemy Crafting)
Author: facit, Khrill & votan
An essential addon for potion making, since it lets you discover all recipes based on effects or ingredients, in a very lore-friendly and non-obtrusive way.
It just sits on the right tab of alchemy, letting you invoke it at will, and check on potion / poison recipes, and combinations you haven’t yet discovered.
Tip: Just click a material, Bugloss for example, then click on search. As you see in the screenshot, you will get a list of all the possible recipes you have, or haven’t yet discovered that contain Bugloss.
Author: DonutEnigma & Ayantir
This is definitely the most lightweight addon on the list, and one you simply can’t live without if you are crafting even a small bit.
It will simply add a number below each craftable, which you can set to the number of items you want to craft. Simple, and powerful (and should have been included in the base game as well).
Awesome Guild Store
I really advise new players to not even visit a guild trader without this addon.
It’s really a pity, how bad the guild trader interface is designed by Zenimax, and it’s really impossible to use it, if you are looking to go one level above casual with the “auction house” of ESO.
Awesome Guild Store, adds all the essential and missing parts you will need, with categories and advanced filters on each single step of the way.
Master Merchant is that addon..
You know which one I’m talking about, the one that adds 2 minutes of loading time to your game, but you simply can’t go back if you start using it.
So beware friends, once you go MM, you never go back.
For the uninitiated, what MM does, is scans all the sales that happen in the guilds you are a member of. This way, day by day, and depending on how “big” your trading guilds are, you are going to get tons of sales data for each item in the game, letting you be 10 times more aware of what’s rare, what to farm, and how to get by with more money in ESO.
It’s not perfect. But that’s because ESO’s auction house system is far from polished (even though unique and engaging). So it will only scan sales from guilds you are a member of, leaving out a HUGE portion of sales all across Tamriel. And all that, by saving locally all this information in your machine, making the load times of the game a bit painful.
I wonder, will we get a website sometime? Combine data from all players / guilds and maintain an online database that a) leaves our loading time intact and b) provides 100 times more accurate and complete information on item prices?
Tip: You can also consult Tamriel Trade Center or TTC in short, but keep in mind the prices you get, are the listing prices, which might be quite far from what the item actually sells for.
Tip 2: Another great addon for OCD traders like me, is Price Tracker Updated. Similarly to TTC, you are scanning for listing prices, so might be far from sell prices. But what is neat, is that you get the option to manually scan a guild store, letting you data mine the guild traders you really care for, and generally let you have some manual input in the process. It is an overkill for casuals, but I had to share this hidden gem (props to Garkin & uladz for this one).
VI. Other Helpful AddOns
Azurah – Interface Enhanced
Author: Kith, Garkin, Phinix & Sounomi
Don’t get in the game with more than 10 addons, and without Azurah.
There’s bound to be some elements in your UI that stack up wrong, and cover important information, or simply look chaotic.
The fast and proper way to move any in-game UI element is Azurah. It will unlock everything for you (check screenshot above) so that you can place every element where you want it to be.
Tip: Simply type /azurah unlock in the game chat to unlock all the elements, and quickly arrange your interface.
Srendarr – Aura, Buff & Debuff Tracker
Author: Phinix, Garkin, Kith & silentgecko
It might be the WoW in me (and 1.3M other downloaders), but even though there’s many solutions for buff tracking out there (even in-game settings that get overlooked), I use Srendarr.
There’s amazing customization options here, letting you group “buff types” and move them anywhere on the screen, while keeping a different design for each one.
So for example, you can make sure to have all your long buffs on the bottom right of the screen, the short buffs & effects on the right of your HP bar, as well as the opponent’s buffs and debuffs on his.
It will make you better in combat just by using it, since now you’ll be able to track all your cooldowns and ability durations on your targets, letting you optimize your rotation, dps & support without even thinking about it.
Tip: Spend some time in the settings to understand which buff groups are assigned to which module, so that you can prepare a nice setup, and never have to think about it again.
Author: Puddy & Ayantir
The WoW in me No2 wants me to have this one.
It makes chat.. proper! You choose how names show up (character names, account names or both), all the colors and fancies, timestamps, copy pasting, fast channel swaps and chat history.
Tip: The hardcore socials might want to check out on TOM (Tamriel Online Messenger), as it lets you keep a separate tab for all your whispers and private interactions, so you never have to scroll & search for your friends’ chat or multiple WTS’s.
WPamA (What Pledges at my Alts)
Author: ForgottenLight & OlegS
An amazing addon and must-have for altoholics, since it lets you track various things across all your characters, like the essential currencies, undaunted & world boss dailies and many more.
I’m on my knees to the addon authors, please guys let us track the crafting writ dailies as well in there!!!
If you are rich, and don’t have a care in the world, you can experience Tamriel the way it was meant to be.
Your whole map is a beige fog of war, waiting for you to explore it as if playing Oblivion for the first time, and after 14 hours of exploring you go for a pee and search the bathroom’s corners for any trolls or bats that might be lurking in the corners.
Anyone who uses this, WTT my life.
VII. How to Manage All These AddOns
Circonians Addon Selector
In order to manage all these addons, you really need to have this one.
Trust me, there will be times where you want to check and test things, and it’s hard to remember your exact setup etc. in a time of need.
So once you setup your perfect addon combination, go to Circonians, and create a set which you can load at will, with a single click.
Tip: I also use a “vanilla” set, where everything is deactivated, so that I can quickly test an addon by itself, or make several other compatibility tests between addons.
This Is The End
Phew, that’s been a long one, and trust me it was really hard hand-picking the most essential addons out of the 200+ ones I use, keeping in mind to not bloat your loading times & interface, as well as provide addons that stay up to date & usable through all the expansions and DLCs that come out.
Keep an eye on this list, as it will get updated when and if better or other unique addons come out, that provide unique interactions and fun into playing The Elder Scrolls Online!
What do you use guys? Which addons you can’t live without? Which addons from this list you think should not be here, are overkill or you have better alternatives? Let us know in the comments, and let’s create the Holy Grail of ESO Addons together.