Beginners Guide to Cyrodiil

Beginners Guide to CyrodiilCyrodiil is an enormous area in Tamriel, and for a lot of players the most fun part of Elder Scrolls Online. It’s a PvP area with a ton of different keeps and siege warfare, as well as some PvE content (quests). It also contains 45 skyshards, giving you more than plenty of reasons to visit. This guide will provide a basic overview of campaigns, keeps, siege weapons and other stuff you can find in Cyrodiil.

  1. The Basics
  2. Keeps
  3. Resources
  4. Siege Weapons
  5. Types of Siege Weapons
  6. Campaigns
  7. Emperorship
  8. Leaderboards
  9. Alliance Points
  10. Alliance War Skills
  11. Elder Scrolls
  12. Other Content in Cyrodiil

Everyone can become an Emperor!

Becoming an Emperor is a dream of every PvP player in Elder Scrolls Online. What others farm for months, you can have in just 1 week!

Learn the best PvP tactics, find out how to dominate other factions, and get your Emperor skill line with great abilities and passives!

Best of all, you won’t need a dedicated guild behind your back to carry you, and you’ll even earn some gold while doing it! Interested?

Read more »

The Basics

Cyrodiil Map with keeps and other objectivesYou can join Cyrodiil once your character reaches level 10; base attributes will be adjusted to the same values for all players unless you’re level 50, making it possible to compete even against higher level players. By participating in alliance warfare you gain gold, experience, gear, and Alliance Points. If you want your shot at the exclusive Emperor skill line, this is the only way to get it!

All new recruits fresh to the Cyrodiil warfront are provided with detailed instructions about how to participate in the war effort, courtesy of their alliance. You can speak with the following NPCs to initiate the Alliance War tutorials which will quickly walk you through the important basics of Cyrodiil and the Alliance War:

  • Aldmeri: Arcarin at the Eastern Elsweyr Gate
  • Daggerfall: Veronard Liancourt at the Southern High Rock Gate
  • Ebonheart: Olvyia Indaram at the Northern Morrowind Gate


Farragut Keep in CyrodiilIn Cyrodiil, each alliance has six keeps which are natively theirs.

  • All keeps have an outer wall, an inner sanctuary structure, two control flags, and a multitude of NPC defenders.
  • Almost all keep walls can be destroyed by siege weaponry. Look for wall sections flanked by shields—those are the sections you can destroy.
  • All keeps have a gatehouse door and inner sanctuary door. These can only be damaged by siege weapons, and are most damaged by rams.
  • When a keep is captured, the state of walls and doors remains unchanged. There are repair kits available to get the walls and doors back to prime condition.

Ownership of keeps will grant bonuses to your alliance outside and inside of Cyrodiil, but will also open up many other important aspects of the war for your alliance.

Keeps are linked together in a transit network. To teleport from one keep to another, interact with the “transitus shrine” which opens the transit map.

  • On the transit map, if a keep’s icon is green, you can teleport to it. If a keep’s icon is not green, you won’t be able to teleport there.
  • You cannot teleport to a keeps that is actively under siege, owned by another alliance, or if all of the resources around it are owned by another alliance.
  • A keep is considered “under attack” if any of the wall sections or doors are below 50% health and any keep pieces are taking damage from siege weaponry.
  • Keeps may also be considered “under attack” if the flags which control ownership are contested.


All keeps have three resources that fuel the upgrades to a keep over time, as long as the keep and resource are owned by the same alliance.

  • Farms control the nearby keep’s guard strength.
  • Mines control the nearby keep’s wall strength.
  • Lumber-mills control the nearby keep’s door strength.

Resources also upgrade over time to have tougher guards at them, or an increased rate of resource flow to the nearby keep.

Siege Weapons

Siege WeaponsSiege weapons are available at all keeps from a Quartermaster NPC, or at your entry location into Cyrodiil.

  • Siege weapons are purchased with Alliance Points.
  • A very limited selection of weapons are purchasable with gold.
  • Siege weapons are controlled by your mouse movement and can be fired with clicking the left mouse button.
    • Visit your siege practice range near your entry points to get used to siege control mechanisms.
  • All Siege weaponry can be destroyed by players by interacting with it to light it on fire. Conversely a siege weapon can be set back to usable once on fire by interacting with it if you’re the same Alliance.
  • All Siege weaponry can be stowed when in control of the weapon and if you were the person who purchased the weapon initially.
  • Rams require at least three players to escort them to a door. Once a ram is positioned on a door, it will damage the door based on how many players are escorting/controlling the ram.

Types of Siege Weapons

There are several types of siege weapons you can use in Cyrodiil to help capture keeps or damage multiple players at once. Trebuchet and Ballistae are long range weapons, and Catapults are used for short range. All siege engines deal AoE damage!

Trebuchets, used against structures:

  • Firepot: spread burning oil (deals fire damage to enemies and structures)
  • Stone: smashes walls and enemies (used to assault keeps)
  • Iceballs deals damage and ensnares multiple enemies in ice

Ballistae, used against enemy siege engines (including rams):

  • Standard Bolts: deal massive damage (more than other ballistae’s, use those against siege engines)
  • Fire Bolts: deal fire damage
  • Lightning Bolts: shock and ensnare enemies

Catapults, used against troops:

  1. Meatbag: cause debilitating disease (damage over time debuff on players)
  2. Oil: deals fire damage
  3. Scatter-Shot: causes impact damage


CampaignsCyrodiil is packaged in a campaign system to bring a bit of order into the chaos of the Alliance War.

  • Campaigns track how well your alliance is doing in the war based on ownership of keeps, resources, outposts and Elder Scrolls.
  • You can access the campaign overview window by pressing the P key.
  • Each of the prior mentioned structures grant you points towards a campaign score. Scoring is evaluated every 60 minutes based on the ownership of structures at the time of evaluation.
  • Cyrodiil doesn’t go down or reset any keeps’ status’ when the campaign ends. Cyrodiil will, however, have a 10 minute period where no scoring is added before resetting the score values and leaderboards to zero before starting the next campaign duration.
  • Ownership of keeps will grant your alliance bonuses based on how many you own. Be aware that you must own all of your natively owned keeps to qualify for any bonuses.


Emperorship is gated by owning the six major keeps around Imperial City. If a single alliance owns all of these keeps at once, the player on top of the leaderboard for their alliance will be automatically crowned Emperor.

  • Emperorship is maintained as long as enemy alliances don’t capture all 6 of these keeps.
  • The Emperor (or Empress) is granted a new skill line with very powerful bonuses making them a force to be reckoned with!


LeaderboardLeaderboards are available to track how well members of an alliance are doing within the campaign. The leaderboards are accessible by clicking the trophy symbol in the Alliance War UI.

  • Leaderboards track how many Alliance Points players have earned in that campaign.
  • Leaderboards update approximately every 10 minutes.
  • You can filter leaderboards by ‘Alliance,’ ‘Class,’ and ‘Overall’ status.

Alliance Points

Alliance Points are the experience points you earn by participating in the Alliance War. You can earn AP by killing players and capturing various points in the zone; killing players gives more AP though to make sure the focus is on combat.

  • You earn Alliance Points by defeating enemy players, capturing and defending keeps and resources, and doing Alliance War missions, which are available on the mission boards at your border entry locations.
  • Gaining Alliance Points will allow you to raise you Alliance Rank, which also increases your Assault or Support Alliance War skill lines.
  • Each Alliance Rank you gain will also grant you a Skill Point.

Alliance War Skills

There are two Alliance War skill lines that you can learn: Assault and Support. Alliance skill abilities affect large areas and are much more expensive than normal abilities.

  • The Assault skill line’s abilities cost stamina focus on attacking enemy players and keeps.
  • The Support skill line’s abilities cost magicka and focus on defending ally players and keeps.

Elder Scrolls

Elder Scrolls BonusesElder Scrolls are objectives that provide bonuses to all members of the alliance that controls them. They are stored in scroll temples near the border gates in Cyrodiil. Once a faction takes control of them though they can keep them in any keep in their control.

Elder Scrolls are basically one additional objective for factions to get and are highly contested. Since they affect everyone in your alliance they can help turn the battles in your favor.

Other content in Cyrodiil

The various towns and caves of Cyrodiil beckon all players to explore and enjoy all aspects of the land.

  • Repeatable quests are available in Bruma, Cheydinhal, Chorrol, Cropsford and Vlastarus.
  • There are 18 caves to find and explore—but be aware, enemy player characters are lurking everywhere in Cyrodiil, possibly even in these caves. (All content is PVP-flagged, including the explorable caves.)

We hope this beginner’s guide to Cyrodiil will help you get a quicker grasp of the basics. Large scale player versus player combat is one of the best features of this game and you definitely shouldn’t miss out on it, so get to Cyrodiil and put your class build to the test against other players!

More info:

Published 1160 days ago This entry was posted in Guides and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Beginners Guide to Cyrodiil

  1. Tyree says:

    I was recently in a campaign and it said it was ending that day, but when the final minutes were over the days restarted without any bonuses

  2. thetaze22 says:

    Yeah because its all PvP I wont be going back to Cyrodil… Thought i could solo and not be apart of some bullshit war vs other people, guess that was not the case.. I went in to a delve and was vaped by a group of covenant.. The PvE and PvP stuff needs to be separated, not combined.. 2 skyshards found out of 45.. Looks like the other 43 can just sit there, Im not going back..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>