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ESO Guides: Cash Money Money in 2nd-Era Tamriel

People of Riften, heed my words - it’s time for another weekend guide to ESO from your old Uncle Avi.

Tamriel runs on money. Things cost money. Things sell for money. You want money. You want money? Let’s make some money.                                                         


As always, this guide could go on for 50 pages or more. But it won't. Below I provide a list of the major currencies in the game, and then a list of key money-making activities with some basic tips on how to get going.


If you go to your Inventory Screen (“I”) and click the coin icon above the interface, you’ll see a list of all in-game currencies and how much you’ve got. Some of the totals are account-based, but some are just based on your current character. There’s TEN DIFFERENT CURRENCIES on the page (and at least one other not listed). What the actual ****, amirite? Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it seems.

There are multiple kinds of currencies:

Fully liquid currencies: Gold. There’s only one. You can buy things in gold, sell things in gold, pay players directly in gold. Primary currency of the game.

There is a second fully liquid currency called “Key Fragments,” they are earned and used for a very limited group of Imperial City gear sets. I’m excluding them from this discussion.

Partially liquid currencies: Alliance Points, Tel Var Stones, Writ Vouchers. You can’t trade these with players directly, but you can buy things with them and sell some or all of those items to players.

  • Alliance Points: earned from Cyrodiil PVP activities, some Imperial City activities, Battlegrounds
  • Tel Var Stones: earned from some Imperial City Activities
  • Writ Vouchers: earned from completing Master Writs, which are in turn earned from doing daily crafting writs.

Illiquid currencies: Undaunted Keys, Transmute Crystals, Event Tickets. You can’t trade these with players, nor can you trade the items you buy or create with them. Earning this currency is ENTIRELY about being able to get things for yourself. These are earned gradually through game activities at a semi-fixed pace; I won’t cover them for the most part in this guide.

  • Undaunted Keys: earned from completing daily Undaunted dungeon pledges. Keys are required to get the shoulder pieces of the 2-piece head-and-shoulder “Monster” armor sets. So do daily pledges, stack up keys, and then go diving into the Undaunted chests for your chance at your desired shoulder piece.
  • Transmute Crystals: earned through various in-game activities like trials, pledges and PVP. 50 Crystals let you transmute a piece of gear from one trait, like Invigorating, to another trait, like Divines or Impenetrable. You can only have 200 at a time, but you can keep unlimited Transmute Geodes (not yet converted to Crystals) in your inventory, taking us an absurd amount of space. It’s AWESOME we can transmute gear now, but this currency system is a big pain in the butt. Best way to earn these: Join a 30-day PVP Cyrodiil campaign with a character, earn 25,000 AP on that character (should take no more than an hour, with some luck 5-10 minutes). At the end of the campaign, you’ll get a 50-Crystal Transmute Geode that you can keep in inventory until you need the crystals for transmuting. You can do this on multiple characters and save as many as you can hold.
  • Event Tickets: earned from, you guessed it, daily activities in events. Also capped, you can only hold 12 at a time, and you use tickets to buy items at the event-specific vendor, usually costing 5 or 10 tickets. System is designed to make you log in on daily basis. If you don’t care about cosmetics like mounts, outfit styles, etc., you can essentially ignore this currency.

Monetization currencies: Crowns, Crown Gems, Outfit Change Tokens. These are essentially obtained through real-word money, and I am excluding them from this discussion.

Note that you can arrange to get many Crown Store items by “buying” crowns for gold—you arrange with a player to gift you a crown store item and pay them gold; the current exchange rate is around 170-200 gold per crown. HIGHLY recommend you only do this with someone you really trust, and ideally through a guild like Tamriel Crown Exchange.

Finally, I should mention the 12th and perhaps most important currency: Raw and Refined Crafting Materials. These are essentially gold, in the form of natural resources. On my main account, I have about 27 million gold right now, my craft bag of core armor materials, alchemy ingredients, enchanting glyphs, gold upgrade materials and so on, is worth about 65 million (an addon called “Wealth Evaluator” will give you this number based on current guild-store prices).

If you use an addon called “Inventory Insight,” you can see all your items held in your bank, in storage chests, and on each of your characters, this goes for money as well. From left to right you'll see the four main "wealth" currencies of Gold, Tel Var, Alliance Points and Writ Vouchers. These, along with your crafting bag of materials, are the primary components of in-game wealth. And, of course, the friends you make along the way. 



Now that you know the currencies you’re after, how do you earn them in vast quantities that essentially spill from the vault in your private, Cayman Islands compound?

I’ll break this up into things you can do immediately and things that probably require some more experience (in terms of both character strength and player skill).

Note that an essential ingredient to making money for most activities is being in a good trading guild. Go to Rawl’kha in Reaper’s March, Mournhold in Deshaan, Wayrest in Stormhaven, Elden Root in Grahtwood, Vivec City in Vvardenfell, and Alinor in Summerset. These are debatably the most heavily trafficked trading hubs. Write down the names of all the trading guilds in these locations, start doing some research and find one that seems like a good fit for you. Unless you want to stand around for hours in cities peddling your wares in zone chat (some people do like doing that!), a good trading guild should be your new best friend.

Things You Can Do on Day One:

1) Just vendor the trash you pick up in your adventures.

  • Leveling a new character? Running through public dungeons for skill points? 95% of what you loot is trash, but it all sells for cash at any regular game vendor. Collect it and sell it. I think if you just sell everything you pick up from a 1-50 leveling cycle, the cash from quest rewards and from vendoring comes out to about 70-80k gold.

2) Farm for raw materials.

  • Go to a place, find a circuit that takes about 3-4 minutes to complete, harvest the raw material nodes, go back to start of loop in time for the nodes to respawn. Donesies. You will pick up tons of material for six of the seven crafting skills (food ingredients come from different sources).
  • Good suggested places: Coldharbour main city for alchemy ingredients; Craglorn routes (harvesting in Craglorn gives you a small chance of looting a Potent Nirncrux, a very valuable trait item); Hew’s Bane (the Thieves’ Guild zone, very dense concentration of nodes). But honestly you can find good routes anywhere.
  • Key addons: Harvest Map.
  • Prerequisites: None – sort of. This activity is actually a bit difficult on Day One; material nodes are hard to see without putting skill points in the crafting passives that make the nodes glow from a distance. Get those perked out before you start trying to harvest in earnest.
  • Tips: Get a gear/race setup to sprint really fast without using your horse. Getting on and off your horse takes 3-4 seconds, which is wasted time, but luckily you can build a character that can run almost as fast as a leveled mount. One easy setup: Buy a 5-piece set of Darkstride and a 5-piece set of Coward’s Gear. You can boost this further with a bunch more money, but just those two sets will let you run extremely fast from node to node and never run out of stamina.
  • You can sell materials for good coin, but I would only do that early on if you have ZERO intention of crafting anything. This is wealth with utility, so in your first year it makes much more sense to just spend some time on this every day to slowly build up your crafting inventory. Someday when you have thousands of everything in your craft bag you will thank me!

Image result for harvesting node eso


  • This was covered in my previous guide on crafting.
  • Do this.
  • Do this.
  • Seriously, roll multiple characters and do writs on them every day. Doing writs for all seven crafting skills on one character earns you about 20-25k in pure gold, plus chances at master surveys which drop tons of raw materials, chances at gold upgrade mats, chances at master writs, etc. If you were to do writs on 8 or 9 every day you would easily clear 300-400K or more in overall wealth per week. You generally need to supplement this activity with occasional purchases of stacks of refined materials at guild traders, but that cost is dwarfed by the profit from doing the writs.
  • Additionally, perk all your hirelings. It’s free stuff every day (twice a day if you log in every twelve hours), and it REALLY adds up fast in building your craft bag.
  • Key Addons: Dolgubon’s Lazy Writ Crafter.

Things You Can Do with Some More Experience:

1) Steal and kill! Shadows preserve us! Hail Sithis!

  • The "Justice" system in this game is SO MUCH FUN. You can pickpocket most NPCs in the game, you can assassinate people with the Blade of Woe and loot them for "stolen" treasures--and some of the items you pick up are worth good money. You need to level up your ledgerdemain skill and your TG and DB skills to really become a master thief/assassin, and the montary profit from the activity isn't great in terms of income/hour. But again - SO MUCH FUN if you haven't tried it yet.
  • Key Addons: FenceData. Not really essential but it puts a widget on your interface that tells you how many more items you can fence or launder that day (it's limited).

Image result for blade of woe eso

2) Farm for valued style motifs in Veteran DLC Dungeons and Trials.

  • When the new dungeons start dropping their motifs, the pages can sell from 50k-250k each. This is because only a small percentage of players in the game are good enough to clear this content, at least at first, and the pages are rare drops upon completion. Scarcity breeds high prices.
  • Pretty simple. If/when you get really really good at PVE, grab your other top-tier pals and grind these dungeons for profit.
  • Key Addons: Various combat addons and interfaces so you can stabby stabby real good, and so you don't go squish in your dungeon.

3) Earn tons of AP in Cyrodiil or Battlegrounds and convert it to gold.

  • You can read other guides on how to PVP. Generally, you can expect to make anywhere from 25k-75k per hour in Cyrodiil just heading over to keeps, outposts and resources that are being taken or defended by your faction. You can earn 6-7K AP from losing in Battlegrounds badly, and more if you play well and/or win.
  • Ways to turn AP into cash: Right now, buying Dawn Prisms from the War Researcher, or Akaviri motif pages, are likely the best AP-to-cash conversion options. Dawn Prisms are probably best, they move more consistently on guild traders. The War Researcher can be found at one of the two “home base” gate locations in Cyrodiil for your faction.
  • Side note: DO PVP. IT'S GREAT. DON'T LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHO GRIPE ABOUT IT; NINE TIMES OUT OF TEN THEY ARE JUST MAD THAT THEY GOT STEAMROLLED BY BETTER PLAYERS. (Full disclosure I definitely do some steamrolling but I am also quite often the steamrolled.) 
  • Key Addons: Various PVP addons that you like.


Farming potatoes at Castle Roebeck: A compelling source of revenue.


4) Earn tons of Tel Var in Imperial City and convert it to gold.

  • Again, read other guides or watch vids on Youtube for advice on grinding Tel Var. You can get some from killing mobs and bosses in IC. You can get a lot killing other players. You will lose half of your carried Tel Var whenever you die in IC. Go for fun when you are new-ish in the game but don’t go in with expectations of earning and keeping tons of Tel Var.
  • Convert this to gold at the vendors inside your faction’s base in the Imperial Sewers (where you appear when you enter Imperial City). By far the best option is to buy Hakeijo runes for 5,000 Tel Var each. These used to sell for 10k, then 12k, then 14k, now well over 15-16k. (These enchanting runes are needed to make tristat glyphs for armor and Oblivion-damage glyphs for weapons. They are highly valued.)
  • Key Addons: Various PVP addons that you like.

5) Sell Master Writs, or complete them and buy rare furnishing items.

  • It is not possible to consistently do all of these at first. All of them require mastering and perking out the relevant skill at a minimum, and most of them also require you to have collected a large number of style motifs or food/drink recipes.
  • Different master writs reward you with different amounts of writ vouchers, redeemable at a few vendors for various cool items that can be used or resold. VERY GOOD TIP: If you are doing crafting research on a character, you can buy timer-reduction scrolls from the furnishing vendor. They are super cheap, 3 vouchers to cut research time in a skill by a day, with a one-day cooldown between using a scroll of each crafting type. If you do master writs consistently, you can plow those vouchers into essentially cutting your research time in half. (You can also cut research time to nothing by spending an absurd amount of real money in the Crown Store, but please don’t do that. Say No to Monetization.)
  • The value of the writs in based on how many vouchers they produce and how much it costs to craft the writ in terms of materials. Hence, their sale price, and/or the wisdom of completing the master writ, is based on the “cost per voucher” of completing. Lower cost per voucher means it’s smarter to complete it and its sale price per voucher will likely be higher. And vice versa.
  • You used to be able to instantly vendor these master writs for close to 1,000 gold per voucher, but those days are long gone. Today they are difficult to sell for 300-400 gold per voucher.
  • You can also buy things like Aetherial Dust or Attunable Crafting Stations and sell them on guild traders for big bucks. Generally, the conversion ratio isn't in your favor here (in other words, you'll spend more completing the master writs and collecting vouchers than you'll earn selling the things the vouchers can buy). However, say for example you are diving into the RNG boxes for high-end Summerset or Elsweyr furnishing recipes, because you want to collect them. If and when you get duplicate recipes that you already know, you can sell them to recoup some of your costs.
  • Unless you are really going to get into furnishing, or (as I mentioned) can get high value from the vouchers for yourself by speeding up crafting research, you may want to try and sell the larger vouchers, and just save the smaller ones (e.g., 2-voucher alchemy and enchanting master writs) for a while. It’s sort of a complex system at first, and you are better off focusing on mastering other methods of making money.
  • One side note: completing any master writ, small or large, gives your character a giant amount of general XP. During a double AP event, with a 150% XP booster scroll, you can level a character from 1 to 50 by doing 100 (maybe 150?) of these writs. So you may find it worth taking a monetary loss on producing some of these writs, simply to speed-level a character.
  • Key Addons: WritWorthy--essential whether you're planning to complete master writs or sell them.


I think that’s a good place to stop. Hopefully this information is helpful. The most important advice is to make sure you spend most of your time having fun—any repetitive action that offers monetary reward can be addictive, so don’t end up burning out on the game simply by getting tunnel vision and grinding money during all of your time in Tamriel. That being said, get out there and start building your empire!

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  • So much invaluable knowledge all in one place! I’m so on board for the player killing and stealing parts too! Excellent guide Avi you’ve once again out done yourself!

  • So much awesome stuff here. Thank you for sharing!

    I'd love to see a follow-up everntually for the business side of money-making. Flipping items, playing the market, interacting with other players, etc. (And you know there's gotta be a section on making money from ERP, lol).

    I especially appreciate the tip on those sets for node harvesting. I didn't know about that, and most likely would have ended up using my mount to farm! I know there's also a CP perk (I think it's in the Tower maybe?) that doubles node harvesting speed, and another that gives nodes a chance to drop double loot. Those are surely worth using as well when doing overworld node farming.

    Question for you: A player in one of my guilds made over 400K worth of items from an hour of farming during a guild event the other day. I was afraid it might be rude to ask him how he did it, so I held off. Do you have any idea what he was doing? (We were using an addon called Farming Party, which tracks item drops while the party leader has it active, so I don't think he could have cheesed it. It checks Master Merchant for the value of all farmed items during the time period.) Do you think he just got a super lucky motif drop or something? Or do you think he has some secret end-game money farm figured out?

    • Thanks for the kind words; a couple of answers:

      There are several CP perks in the green trees you want to get in general. Plentiful Harvest (Lover 10) gives a chance to double yield from resource nodes. This is true for things like Potent Nirncrux, too, so you have a very chance of getting TWO of those in one node in that perk. Fortune Seeker (Shadow 10) increase gold found in chests and safeboxes. BTW, Inspiration Boost (Tower 30) gives you more crafting experience so you want that one while leveling crafting skills. Finally, targets for when you have more CP - Master Gatherer (Lover 75) makes you harvest faster, and Treasure Hunter (Shadow 75) improves quality of gear drops from chests.

      I don't know about your farming question, it depends on where he was and what he was doing. If he was "farming" dressers and desks in interior spots to get furnishing recipes, one drop might be worth 400k. If he was farming in Craglorn, its conceivable (but unlikely) he landed a bunch of Potent Nirncrux in an hour, those are worth ~20K each.But even normal stuff, if you hit a node and 2 Corn Flower, that's 800 gold. If you get a Kuta from an Enchanting node, that's like 3k. Shit adds up.

  • This is dope! My biggest gripe was always how hard it was to make money. At least to me. Thank you for this guide!

This reply was deleted.