Weapon skills

In ESO players get to specialize in six different weapon skill lines:

  • Bow
  • Destruction Staff
  • Dual Wield
  • One Hand and Shield
  • Restoration Staff
  • Two Handed

You can advance in these skill lines by using the abilities or by simply having one of the abilities on your action bar. You can also find skill books in the world which can instantly give you a rank in one of the skill lines.

Each weapon skill line includes five active skills and five passive skills. The active skills can be morphed by using a skill point. Morphs enhance the original skill. Each active skill comes with two morph options. Once you have morphed an ability, it will replace the original ability.

Note that many of the passive weapon skill bonuses only apply whilst you are using that specific weapon type.

For readability’s sake let’s look at Ranged weapon skill lines and Melee weapon skill lines separately.

Ranged Weapon Skills

Ranged weapons have three different skill lines in Elder Scrolls Online: Bow skill line, Destruction Staff skill line and Restoration Staff skill line. Bow skills use Stamina as resource while Destruction Staff and Restoration Staff use Magicka.

Active Skills

  • Instant
  • 28 m. range
  • 32 Stamina
  • Deals 6 Poison Damage to enemy. Target takes an additional 8 Poison Damage over 10 seconds.

Morphed from Poison Arrow

  • Damage over time is increased on targets under 35% Health.

Morphed from Poison Arrow

  • Also interrupts the caster, putting them off balance, and stunning the caster for 3 seconds.
  • Instant
  • Target: ground
  • 25 m. range
  • 5 m. radius
  • 49 Stamina
  • Repeatedly fire arrows at target location for 3 seconds, dealing 1 Physical Damage every 0.5 seconds to enemies in area of effect.

Morphed from Volley

  • Range and radius increased.

Morphed from Volley

  • Physical Damage becomes Fire Damage, and also leaves an AoE fire patch on ground that deals Fire Damage every second.
  • Instant
  • 10 m. range
  • 42 Stamina
  • Deals 6 Physical Damage to target, knocks them back 6 meters and disorients them for 5 seconds.

Morphed from Scatter Shot

  • Enemy is also snared by 40% for 6 seconds when disorient ends.

Morphed from Scatter Shot

  • Deals increased damage and knocks you away from target.
  • Instant
  • Target: area
  • 20 m. radius
  • 56 Stamina
  • Deals 6 Physical Damage to enemies and snares them 40% for 5 seconds.

Morphed from Arrow Spray

  • Deals Poison Damage instead of Physical Damage. Also adds Poison Damage over time.

Morphed from Arrow Spray

  • Affected enemies are also immobilized for 2 seconds.
  • 3 sec. cast
  • 40 m. range
  • 60 Stamina
  • Deals 15 Physical Damage to enemy.

Morphed from Snipe

  • Increases Weapon Power of ranged attacks against target by 10. Target can also be hit from 5 m. further away.

Morphed from Snipe

  • Deals Poison Damage and applies the poison status effect. Also reduces target’s healing taken by 50%.

Passive Skills

Long Shots (0/2)

  • Bestows up to 6% bonus damage vs. distant targets while you have a bow equipped.

Accuracy (0/2)

  • Increases Weapon Critical strike chance by 3% while you have a bow equipped.

Ranger (0/2)

  • Reduces the Stamina cost of Bow feats by 10%.

Hawk Eye (0/2)

  • Increases damage of your Bow attacks by 8% when striking vulnerable targets.

Hasty Retreat (0/2)

  • Increases Movement speed by 15% for 2 seconds after activating Roll Dodge while you have a bow equipped.

Active Skills

  • Instant
  • 7 m. range
  • 53 Magicka
  • Deals 6 Magic Damage to target enemy. Fire Touch causes knockback, Frost Touch causes deep freeze, and Shock Touch causes disorient.

Morphed from Destructive Touch

  • Fire Touch causes knockback and stun, Frost Touch causes deeper freeze, and Shock Touch causes disorient and chance to be thrown off balance.

Morphed from Destructive Touch

  • Range increased to 14 meters from 7 meters.
  • Instant
  • Target: self
  • 53 Magicka
  • Creates an elemental wall that deals 2 Magic Damage every 1 second to enemies in the area of effect. Wall lasts for 2.5 seconds.

Morphed from Wall of Elements

  • Wall size and duration increased.

Morphed from Wall of Elements

  • Wall explodes for AoE Magic Damage when it expires.
  • Instant
  • 28 m. range
  • 35 Magicka
  • Deals 1 Fire Damage, 1 Cold Damage, and 1 Shock Damage. Applies the Chilled Status effect, snaring enemy 40% for 5 seconds, the Burning Status effect, dealing 12 Fire Damage over 3 seconds, and the Concussion Status effect, reducing enemy damage done by 10% for 4 seconds.

Morphed from Force Shock

  • Casting targets are stunned for 3 seconds and set off balance.

Morphed from Force Shock

  • Deals Magic Damage to 2 nearby enemies that are burning, chilled, or concussed.
  • Instant
  • 28 m. range
  • 35 Magicka
  • Reduces target’s Spell Resistance to Fire, Shock, and Cold by 40% for 15 seconds.

Morphed from Weakness to Elements

  • Restores Magicka when attacking target with Fire, Shock, or Cold damage.

Morphed from Weakness to Elements

  • Increases chance to apply elemental status effects to target by 50%.
  • Instant
  • Target: area
  • 8 m. radius
  • 35 Magicka
  • Deals 6 Magic Damage to nearby enemies. 100% chance to apply concussion/chilled/burning, based upon element used.

Morphed from Impulse

  • Deals additional Magic Damage to nearby enemies over 10 seconds.

Morphed from Impulse

  • Reduces enemies’ Max Health by 10% for 30 seconds.

Passive Skills

Tri Focus (0/2)

  • Frost attack Snares enemy by 30%/40% for 3.5 seconds.
  • Shock attack deals 5%/10% splash damage to 2 nearby foes.
  • Fire attack increases critical strike rating with destruction spells against target by 5%/10%.

Penetrating Magic (0/2)

  • All Destruction Spells bypass 5% Spell Resistance.

Elemental Force (0/2)

  • Increases chance to apply Fire, Shock and Cold status effects by 8% when you have a destruction staff equipped.

Ancient Knowledge (0/2)

  • Heavy attacks charge 5% faster when you have a destruction staff equipped.

Destruction Expert (0/2)

  • Restores 3 Magicka when killing an enemy with a destruction spell.

Active Skills

  • Instant
  • Target: ground
  • 28 m. range
  • 8 m. radius
  • 46 Magicka
  • Heals all allies in target area every 1 second for 3 seconds.

Morphed from Grand Healing

  • Restores Magicka for each ally in the area.

Morphed from Grand Healing

  • Duration increased by 1 second.
  • Instant
  • Target: area
  • 28 Magicka
  • Heals two nearby wounded allies over 20 seconds.

Morphed from Regeneration

  • Heal over time effect is removed to instantly heal allies if they drop below 20% Health.

Morphed from Regeneration

  • Heal ticks faster and do more healing.
  • Instant
  • Target: area
  • 20 m. radius
  • 49 Magicka
  • Heal allies in front of player. Affected allies gain Armor and Spell Resistance for 8 seconds.

Morphed from Blessing of Protection

  • Increases area effected and healing done.

Morphed from Blessing of Protection

  • Also increases damage done of allies for 8 seconds.
  • Instant
  • Target: area
  • 28 m. radius
  • 60 Magicka
  • Creates a damage shield for 6 seconds on the lowest Health ally in front of you. Shield strength is bolstered by up to 300%, increasing based on Health lost.

Morphed from Steadfast Ward

  • Also heals target on cast and for 100% of shield’s remaining strength when it expires.

Morphed from Steadfast Ward

  • Shield also affects self.
  • 1.5 sec cast
  • Target: enemy
  • 28 m. range
  • 32 Magicka
  • Nearby allies gain Health when attacking target. You gain 100% additional Health when attacking target. Effect lasts 20 seconds.

Morphed from Force Siphon

  • Ability is cast instantly.

Morphed from Force Siphon

  • Nearby allies also restore 1% Magicka when attacking target.

Passive Skills

Essence Drain (0/2)

  • Final hit of a Heavy Attack heals a nearby ally for 15% of damage done when you have a Restoration staff equipped.

Restoration Expert (0/2)

  • Increases healing on allies under 30% Health by 8% while you have a Restoration staff equipped.

Cycle of Life (0/2)

  • Gain 1% damage for every 20% Health you have while a Restoration staff is equipped.

Absorb (0/2)

  • Blocking Spells restores Magicka while you have a Restoration staff equipped.

Restoration Master (0/2)

  • Increases all healing done by 3% while you have a Restoration staff equipped.

Melee Weapon Skills

Melee weapons also have three different skill lines in Elder Scrolls Online: Dual Wield skill line, One Hand and Shield skill line and Two Handed skill line. All melee weapons use Stamina as resource.

Active Skills

  • Instant
  • 5 m. range
  • 18 Stamina
  • Two hit attack for 2 Physical Damage. Affected target bleeds for 12 Physical Damage over 7 seconds.

Morphed from Twin Slashes

  • Damage caused by bleed effect heals you over time.

Morphed from Twin Slashes

  • Target is also snared for the duration of effect.
  • Instant
  • 7 m. range
  • 46 Stamina
  • Six hit consecutive attack for (2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 6) physical damage.

Morphed from Flurry

  • Chance on hit to set target off balance.

Morphed from Flurry

  • Increases attack speed by 15% for 6 seconds.
  • Instant
  • Target: area
  • 5 m. radius
  • 49 Stamina
  • Deals 3 Physical Damage to all surrounding enemies nearby. Damage is increased vs. enemies with low Health.

Morphed from Whirlwind

  • AoE radius increased to 11 meters.

Morphed from Whirlwind

  • Restores Stamina every 2 seconds for 10 seconds. Each additional target hit restores 50% more Stamina.
  • Instant
  • 7 m. range
  • 49 Stamina
  • Blinds target for 4 seconds.

Morphed from Sparks

  • Deals Physical Damage in a 5 m radius to all enemies and debuffs targets with 40% miss chance for 4 seconds.

Morphed from Sparks

  • Weapon Power for next attack is increased.
  • Instant
  • 20 m. range
  • 32 Stamina
  • Throws a dagger dealing 9 Physical Damage and snares 40% for 6 seconds.

Morphed from Hidden Blade

  • Range increased to 28 meters.

Morphed from Hidden Blade

  • Damage and snare all enemies in front of you. Range reduced to 5 meters.

Passive Skills

Slaughter (0/2)

  • While dual wielding: Increase damage 10% vs. targets under 25% Health.

Dual Wield Expert (0/2)

  • Increases off-hand weapon damage by 15%.

Controlled Fury (0/2)

  • Reduces the cost of dual wield feat abilities by 10%.

Ruffian (0/2)

  • While dual wielding: Deal 8% more damage when attacking disabled targets (stunned/immobilized/ disoriented/silenced).

Twin Blade and Blunt (0/2)

  • Dual wielding weapons grant the following bonuses per weapon equipped:
  • Axe: 3% chance to bleed for 0 Physical damage over 10 seconds.
  • Mace: Deal up to 2.5% bonus damage to heavily armored enemies.
  • Sword: Deal 1.25% additional damage.
  • Dagger: Increase critical strike by 2.5%

Active Skills

  • Instant
  • 5 m. range
  • 32 Stamina
  • Deals 8 Physical Damage, reduces target’s Armor by 40% for 12 seconds, and taunts target for 15 seconds.

Morphed from Puncture

  • Also reduces Spell Resistance by 40%.

Morphed from Puncture

  • Increases your Armor by amount reduced.
  • Instant
  • 5 m. range
  • 39 Stamina
  • Deals 8 Physical Damage and snares target 60% for 9 seconds. Reduces target’s weapon damage by 15% for 9 seconds.

Morphed from Low Slash

  • Also immobilizes target for 2 seconds.

Morphed from Low Slash

  • Also reduces target’s damage by 15% for 12 seconds.
  • Instant
  • Target: self
  • 30 sec. duration
  • 32 Stamina
  • Reflects next spell projectile back at attacker when activated.
  • Increases block mitigation by 5% and reduces block cost by 5% when slotted.

Morphed from Defensive Posture

  • Absorbs the reflected spell, healing yourself for spell’s damage.

Morphed from Defensive Posture

  • Reflected attacks stun enemy caster for 2 seconds.
  • Instant
  • 22 m. range
  • 49 Stamina
  • Player charges to target and attacks, dealing 7 Physical Damage and stunning target for 2 seconds.

Morphed from Shield Charge

  • Stun duration increases based on distance charged.

Morphed from Shield Charge

  • Also creates a damage shield for 4 seconds.
  • 1.2 sec. cast
  • 7 m. range
  • 42 Stamina
  • Deals 8 Physical Damage and disorients target for 8 seconds.

Morphed from Power Bash

  • Increases damage slightly and disorient duration to 12 seconds.

Morphed from Power Bash

  • Enemy’s Power is reduced for 10 seconds when disorient ends.

Passive Skills

Fortress (0/2)

  • While you have a one hand weapon and shield equipped:
  • Reduce cost of blocking by 15%.
  • Reduces cost of One Hand and Shield abilities 5%.

Sword and Board (0/2)

  • While you have a one hand weapon and shield equipped:
  • Increase damage by 3%.
  • Increase block mitigation by 10%.

Deadly Bash (0/2)

  • While you have a one hand weapon and shield equipped:
  • Bash deals 50% additional damage.
  • Bash costs 25% less Stamina.

Deflect Bolts (0/2)

  • While you have a one hand weapon and shield equipped:
  • Blocks 8% additional damage from projectiles and ranged attacks.

Battlefield Mobility (0/2)

  • While you have a one hand weapon and shield equipped:
  • Movement speed while blocking increased by 25%.

Active Skills

  • Instant
  • Target: area
  • 7 m. range
  • 32 Stamina
  • Deals 3 Physical Damage to all enemies in front of you and inflicts a bleed for 8 Physical Damage over 10 seconds.

Morphed from Cleave

  • Adds a damage shield for 8 seconds. Value increases by 100% for each enemy hit.

Morphed from Cleave

  • Player gains 3 Ultimate for each enemy hit.
  • Instant
  • 22 m. range
  • 49 Stamina
  • Player charges to target and attacks, dealing 7 Physical Damage. Always deals Critical Damage.

Morphed from Critical Charge

  • Deals bonus damage based on distance traveled.

Morphed from Critical Charge

  • Also immobilizes enemy for 2 seconds.
  • 1 sec. cast
  • 7 m. range
  • 60 Stamina
  • Deals 13 Physical Damage, stuns for 3.5 seconds and knocks back 4 meters.

Morphed from Uppercut

  • Affected enemy deals 20% less damage for 6 seconds.

Morphed from Uppercut

  • Power of next attack against target is increased. Power bonus does not apply to Wrecking Blow.
  • Instant
  • 5 m. range
  • 32 Stamina
  • Deals 5 Physical Damage, with damage increasing based on target’s Health loss, to a maximum of 300%.

Morphed from Reverse Slash

  • 2-Hand Weapon abilities deal 15% more damage to targets under 25% Health while slotted.

Morphed from Reverse Slash

  • Two nearby enemies take 20% of damage inflicted.
  • Instant
  • Target: self
  • 20 sec. duration
  • 46 Stamina
  • Increases Weapon Damage by 10% for 20 seconds, and an additional 2% every 2 seconds.

Morphed from Momentum

  • Removes 1 snare effect when activated.

Morphed from Momentum

  • Heals self when effect ends.

Passive Skills

Forceful (0/2)

  • Light and Heavy Attacks with Two-Handed weapons deal 13% splash damage to 1 nearby enemy.

Heavy Weapons (0/2)

  • Two handed weapons grant the following bonuses:
  • Axe: 10% chance to bleed for 0 Physical damage over 10 seconds.
  • Mace: Your attacks ignore 40 Armor.
  • Sword: 3% additional damage.

Balance (0/2)

  • Reduce the cost of two handed feat abilities by 10%.

Arcane Fighters (0/2)

  • While you have a two handed weapon equipped:
  • Increase chance of proccing status effects (burning, chill, etc) by 50%.

Battle Rush (0/2)

  • While you have a two handed weapon equipped:
  • Killing an enemy increases Stamina regeneration by 25% for 6 seconds.
  • franco aventine

    The Weapon Skill lines combined with the Class skill lines and or the Guild skill lines in this game are a great design!. There is so much versatility. For example you can wear medium Armor which provides stanima, and using the weapon swtiching abilty to can change from range weapon (say bow) to melee weapon (say dual daggers) in combat as part of your fighting technique…and it makes for great fun! Or can stack heavy armor and work sword and shield and use enchants on your gear to boost your stanima and provisions to provide even more. Or go with more Class abilities and wear light armor which give you Magicka for you class attacks and use enchants to increase health, or your characters attributes to stack health or Magica. It just goes on forever how many endless possibilites there are to building a characters combat techniques in so many different and very viable ways. Also…the dozens of availabe abilities in all these different builds are entertaining and fun to execute and watch the animations whether area of effects or crowd control or slow, or on and on they go.

    If you are new to this game and learning it I recommend you take the time to just look over all the different skill lines and attributes and so forth…and take your time going through the game, Learn stuff as you go and try different things..mix and match stuff,..experiment. By the end game you will have likely maxed out a few skill lines and have a character you can fine tune to fight just the you like.