While there are plenty of seasoned ESO players here we also have some newcomers like myself. Questions were generated last night on some aspects of dungeons that none of us knew the entire answer and gave plenty of speculation on.
I hope this helps some even if it is the basics. As we grow as a guild and look to party up and tackle the group content, knowing the ins and outs will only help us out. I know doing some research on encounters is going to be extremely helpful in not only making a run smooth but also to teach others.
WHAT IS A DUNGEON?
In The Elder Scrolls Online, dungeons are four-player activities that require teamwork and coordination to complete and offer unique rewards not found anywhere else within the game.
Unlike delves (smaller one-man dungeons that can be found in each zone), dungeons generally require a team of two damage dealers, one tank, and one healer. We say generally because while it is advisable to have a team made up of these core roles, it is possible to complete some dungeons with a more varied group, depending on the levels and skills of the players in question. It is even possible to complete a dungeon solo!
Dungeons in ESO feature large groups of enemies that are tougher to defeat than those typically found in overland content along with multiple bosses. Bosses in dungeons represent unique challenges, as they often feature special mechanics that need to be managed by the whole group.
In dungeons, each boss typically drops a unique set item (with there being three unique sets per dungeon) and other rewards that can’t be found anywhere else. Each dungeon usually has a quest and achievements associated with it that reward you with a Skill Point, too. Most zones in ESO have at least one dungeon, and some dungeons even have more than one version!
HOW DIFFICULT ARE DUNGEONS?
Some dungeons are more difficult than others, depending on several factors. For example, dungeons in the early zones (such as Fungal Grotto in Stonefalls) can be completed by a relatively low level, inexperienced group. Note that while you can walk into a dungeon at any level, we recommend you reach level 10 before starting dungeon content. Later dungeons tend to be more difficult, with this being especially true of the dungeons found in the DLC game packs such as Shadows of the Hist or Imperial City.
In addition to this, many dungeons also have a second version that continues that dungeon’s story and features new monsters, new bosses, and a higher difficulty. This is indicated by the “II" next to the dungeon’s title, for example “Fungal Grotto II."
For a greater challenge, each dungeon can also be completed in veteran mode. Veteran mode is unlocked once you reach level 50 and increases the difficultly for the group by making the mobs and bosses even tougher. In turn, veteran mode dungeon runs reward players with better quality gear and unique achievements and collectibles. To take on a dungeon in veteran mode, select the veteran option in the Group & Activity Finder menu before entering the dungeon. You can also specify normal or veteran versions of a dungeon when queuing.
Finally, when taking on a veteran dungeon, you can attempt to beat the final boss on hard mode. This will offer even greater rewards (and a greater challenge)! To find out the conditions for hard mode within a unique dungeon, check the Dungeons section of your Achievements menu (found within your Journal). To activate hard mode, some bosses only require you to activate a nearby scroll, while others require you to defeat the boss under unique conditions.
HOW DO I TAKE ON A DUNGEON?
The simplest way to enter a dungeon is to use its entrance in the zone. You can also use your map to teleport directly to the dungeon in question, and you can use the Travel to Player option if somebody else from your group is already there. Dungeons are represented on your map with a special icon:
The most common way to join a group and take on a dungeon is to use the Group & Activity Finder, a tool designed to help you find other players to take on group content with. Open the Group & Activity Finder from your UI, and select Dungeon Finder. From there, you should indicate your role (damage, tank, or healer) and then indicate how you want to queue. Note that you must be, at minimum, level 10 in order to use the Group & Activity Finder.
When queueing for dungeons, you have multiple options:
Random Veteran Dungeon
Random Normal Dungeon
Random Veteran Dungeon immediately puts you into a queue for any veteran dungeon group available. Because you are not queuing for a specific unique dungeon, you will be offered a daily bonus premium reward upon completion that includes Undaunted Exploration Supplies and XP. If you’ve already received your daily premium reward, you’ll still earn a regular bonus reward for every other random dungeon you do for the rest of the day.
Random Normal Dungeon immediately puts you into a queue for any normal dungeon group available. Because you are not queuing for a specific unique dungeon, you will be offered a daily bonus premium reward upon completion that includes Undaunted Exploration Supplies and XP. If you’ve already received your daily premium reward, you’ll still earn a regular bonus reward for every other random dungeon you do for the rest of the day.
Specific Dungeons allows you to choose from the entire list which dungeons(s) you would like to queue for. You can chose the veteran or normal mode versions and you can queue for multiple dungeons simultaneously. You do not receive a bonus reward when completing a dungeon you specifically queued for.
When queuing, you’ll be assigned a spot in a group based on the role you selected. Some roles may take longer to find a group than others, depending on how many other players of that same role are also queued at the time.
Once a group has been found, you will need to confirm that you wish to join the group and start the dungeon. Once confirmed, you will be teleported to the start of the dungeon in question. If somebody in your group does not confirm, you will be returned to the front of a queue, meaning you shouldn’t have to wait much longer to find another group.
THE UNDAUNTED AND PLEDGES
The Undaunted are a unique guild in ESO that rewards you for taking on dungeons and provides a unique Skill Line. To join the Undaunted, find the recruiter within your faction’s starting city (Daggerfall, Davon’s Watch, or Vulkhel Guard). Complete the quest called “One of the Undaunted" (you don’t need to actually clear the dungeon, just enter it and talk to the NPC) to be initiated into the group.
Once initiated, you will unlock the Undaunted Skill Line and can take part in numerous daily activities, most notably Pledges.
Pledges are daily quests that offer unique rewards that cannot be earned anywhere else and require that you be level 45 or higher. Each pledge tasks you with defeating the bosses within a unique dungeon. There are three new pledges available each day, two of them featuring dungeons in the base game and one featuring dungeons found in the DLC game packs. To pick up a pledge, find the Undaunted Enclave within your faction’s capital city and speak to one of the three pledge givers.
When clearing a dungeon and completing a pledge, you are rewarded with pledge keys. If completing a pledge in a normal or veteran dungeon, you will receive one key, and while completing the pledge in a veteran dungeon with a hard mode boss will offer two. This means that each character you play can earn up to six unique pledge keys every day.
Pledge keys are used to unlock Undaunted chests that are found in the Undaunted Enclave. Each chest offers a random shoulder monster set item. The head piece for the monster sets are earned by defeating the final boss in a veteran mode dungeon. The monster sets are unique, powerful items that are associated with the dungeons themselves.
WHAT ARE THE DUNGEONS?
Here is a complete list of all the dungeons currently available within ESO:
Base Game Dungeons (Can be accessed by anybody with ESO)
Fungal Grotto (I & II)
Spindleclutch (I & II)
The Banished Cells (I & II)
Darkshade Caverns (I & II)
Elden Hollow (I & II)
Wayrest Sewers (I & II)
City of Ash (I & II)
Crypt of Hearts (I & II)
Vaults of Madness
Imperial City dungeons (Can only be accessed with the Imperial City DLC game pack)
Imperial City Prison
Shadows of the Hist dungeons (Can only be accessed with the Shadows of the Hist DLC game pack)
Cradle of Shadows
Ruins of Mazzatun
Horns of the Reach dungeons (Can only be accessed with the Horns of the Reach DLC game pack)
We hope this guide to ESO’s dungeon is useful to you. Now get out there and clear some dungeons!
Don’t forget that if you ever have additional gameplay questions, you should navigate to the in-game Help menu for more information on the game’s features and mechanics. In addition, you can visit the Players Helping Players section in the official ESO forums to talk to the ESO community or check out any of the player-made guides right here.