is Elder Scrolls Online subscription based ESO Plus option Bethesda MMO MMORPG Necrom

Is Elder Scrolls Online Subscription Based?

The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) has been around for many years, with regular content packs expanding its borders. But if you’re new to this Bethesda-penned MMORPG, you might be wondering how much it’ll cost you to set foot in Tamriel. Maybe you’re wondering — is The Elder Scrolls Online subscription-based? I’ve got the answer.

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What You Need to Know About The Elder Scrolls Online Subscription Options

The short answer is no, The Elder Scrolls Online is not subscription-based, but there is an ESO subscription option. If you want to play the game, you’ll need the following:

  • The base The Elder Scrolls Online game
  • An Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus subscription (not needed on PC or Mac)

You can purchase the base game outright or get it through Xbox / PC Game Pass or PlayStation Plus Extra. That’s all you need to get playing the game, and it’s a good way to decide whether it’s to your taste or not. The area covered by the base game is pretty large, and that should give you plenty to do.

However, if you want to explore areas such as Skyrim, High Isle, and so on, you’ll need one or more of several DLC expansions. Necrom marks the seventh expansion, and each expansion is initially priced at $40.00, though online sales and so on mean the prices may vary.

That means if you want to get all the way into The Elder Scrolls Online, that could cost you a pretty Septim. Unless, that is, you take advantage of the optional subscription service.

What You Get with The Elder Scrolls Online Plus

For $14.99 a month or less if you pay up front, you can subscribe to ESO Plus and get the following:

  • Full access to all DLC game packs
  • Unlimited storage for crafting materials
  • 1650 crowns per month for mounts, pets, & more
  • Double Bank space for your account
  • 10% increase to Gold & Experience acquisition
  • 10% increase to Crafting Inspiration & Trait Research rates
  • Double Furnishings & Collectibles space in player housing
  • Exclusive ability to dye costumes
  • Double currency cap for Transmutation Crystals
  • Exclusive access to unique Crown Store deals

We’d recommend you check out the official ESO Plus page first, since there is a catch or two. In particular, the latest expansion pack isn’t included at launch. It arrives on ESO Plus later but not for a while after launch.

Again, I’d recommend you try the game before you put down serious money. However, the answer to whether The Elder Scrolls Online is strictly subscription-based is no, but there is an optional subscription.


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Chris McMullen
Chris McMullen is a freelance contributor at The Escapist and has been with the site since 2020. He returned to writing about games following several career changes, with his most recent stint lasting five-plus years. He hopes that, through his writing work, he settles the karmic debt he incurred by persuading his parents to buy a Mega CD. Outside of The Escapist, Chris covers news and more for GameSpew. He's also been published at such sites as VG247, Space, and more. His tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though he'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based. At Escapist, he's covered such games as Infinite Craft, Lies of P, Starfield, and numerous other major titles.