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ESO Imperial City Beginner Guide


Welcome to the Imperial City Beginner’s Guide for ESO. This guide will explain all you need to know about the Imperial City, how to maneuver it and tell you about all the possible things you can do. With this Imperial City Beginner’s Guide it will be a lot easier to navigate this place, as many people don’t know about all the possibilities this part of the game offers. The guide offers you not only how the Imperial City works, but also what you can buy for the currency you can only get there, as well as offer popular classes/setups for the Imperial City and popular grind spots to farm Tel Var. Finally, this Imperial City Beginner Guide will give you an overview of the Quests that you can complete.

Setting of Imperial City in ESO

The Imperial City is at the heart of Cyrodiil and was the site of the fight for the rule over Tamriel before Molag Bal seized control of it and made it the heart of the Planemeld. Since the Imperial City has been in the grip of the forces of Coldharbour, the three alliances have been called to recapture the city, but this also means that there is a new battleground for the three alliances as they fight over dominance of the city.

Table of contents

Entering the Imperial City

You can enter the Imperial City via the Alliance War menu ingame (default L). The Imperial City is a separate area now listed underneath Cyrodiil and any player can join the campaign focused on it. There are no Leaderboards associated with this Campaign, including Emperorship, which means that there will be no rewards other than what you can already receive in the Imperial City. There is also the option to play the Imperial City without Champion Points, which means that all Champion Points abilities are disabled. You can either double click on the campaign, or press E while hovering over it. After this you will be teleported into your Alliance base, where you can find several vendors, a bank and ladders leading upstairs into the Imperial City itself.

Champion Points or no Champion Points Campaign, what’s the difference?

First off, any player can join any of the campaigns, but while there aren’t any specific bonuses to the different campaigns, there are still some major differences. In the Champion Point campaign, you will have all your Champion Points enabled, which means that, depending on the amount, you are more or less protected, will do more or less damage and can utilize your resources more or less well. This also applies to your enemy players, of course. So if you aren’t very high in Champion Points you will be more vulnerable than a player of a higher CP level and you might find it harder to kill these. In the non CP campaign, all Champion Points are deactivated.None of the bonuses will be applied to your character and also not to enemy players. This changes the game immensely, as all NPC encounters will be a lot harder and it will be a quite different approach to kill or survive enemy players. On the plus side, this evens the battlefield and someone that doesn’t have many Champion Points can play with players that are already maxed out and have a fair chance against their opponent. It is also worth mentioning that siege weapons don’t work in the Imperial City.


There are different activities such as playing in the Districts, Sewers or the Dungeons.


Since the Imperial City has two separate areas, the surface is made out of 6 districts. They are now a bloody battlefield that was once made up out of residential and commercial areas, offering both PvE and PvP battles. A PvP capture point per district is located at the bridge leading to the gates of the Palace District that is not accessible and owning all of these offers a Tel Var collection bonus to the faction that holds all of these. Owning one control point of a district will increase the amount of Tel Var Stones earned by 33% increase and adds up to 198% if one alliance controls all districts. Much like “Capturing the Flag” or taking possession of a flag in Cyrodiil, you take possession of a District by holding the capture point after killing the NPC guards. Upon taking over the district, soldiers of your own faction will spawn and help you in defending the district.Even PvE quests are available, one story quest per district, and one repeatable daily quest if the story quest has been completed. Additionally, one of two mini-bosses will spawn in each district, so called "Patrolling Horrors". Like the other monsters roaming the city they will drop Tel Var Stones, only in quite a huge amount. Per district there will also be portals to Coldharbour that spawn a wave of Daedra and reward you with Tel Var, experience and random items. Each district also offers a Trophy Vault

which you can open with 60 Key Fragments. You can find these Key Fragments from all enemies at a low chance, and from a Patrolling Horror as a guaranteed drop. Same goes for the dungeon bosses and enemies. These will open up to different gear that you can be rewarded with, as well as jewelry and Tel Var stones.


The Sewers span beneath the Imperial City and are like a city of itself, offering different vendors and a bank in the starting area of your alliance, and spanning several rooms until the final endroom, in which Molag Bal and his elite force of Daedra spawn. If it weren’t for the PvP aspect, you could very much compare it to a Public Dungeon as well, as it contains a lot of Daedra mobs that you can kill, which give you XP and Tel Var in return. There are several events, like portals that spawn and upon killing the enemies will contain a reward. It is where you first land upon entering the Imperial City campaign, in your alliance’s base. This safe zone contains ladders leading up to the Imperial City districts, to rally points that are also safe points. Upon dying you will spawn there and can go back down to the Imperial City sewers. Else you can only return through the Sewers themselves.

Aldmeri Domion players start out in the right corner of the Sewers, Ebonheart Pact members on the left side and Daggerfall Covenant alliance players in the northern corner. From there pathways branches out, containing four group boss champions that are really hard to kill and that patrol the sewers, two district ladders and a total of seven Skyshards. From here you can access the White Gold Tower Dungeon, too. At its center, the ghostly aspect of Molag Bal spawns periodically, after having defeated the three portal bosses. He can drop various rewards, among those the rare Soul Shriven Skin and the Stonefire Scamp pet. Only twelve players can loot Molag Bal, which is usually determined by who deals the most damage. It is advisable to bring at least one tank and a healer with you, as all encounters deal a lot of damage and enemy players could always linger around, too, trying to hinder you from getting your loot, or even the kill.

If you die, you have to respawn in your base if no one can resurrect you, so keep that in mind before approaching this encounter. Surrounding the center, there are also portals that can be closed while waiting for Molag Bal. Upon closing these, a chest will spawn containing Tel Var, random loot and style Motif pages. If you are really lucky, you will come across a Scamp that has the chance of carrying a lot of Tel Var… or even just a few. Regardless, it’s a very lucky chance to find any of these, but can also be quite dangerous, as it will probably draw in a lot of other enemies while you chase it down. If you can’t kill it in time, it will simply teleport away.


There are two dungeons available with the Imperial City: The White Gold Tower and Imperial City Prison Dungeon. The White Gold Tower has been the symbol of the Empires of Cyrodiil for a long time, and a focus of mystic power by the Ayleids before that, and is now the show down of one of Molag Bal’s generals, threatening to be drawn into Coldharbour. It can be accessed through the Imperial City Sewers or the Dungeon Finder, and is available in both normal and veteran difficulty. At the end you will have to face Molag Kena, that will also drop her own Monster Set Mask. The Imperial City Prison can be accessed either in the northern Memorial District in the Imperial City, or through the Dungeon Finder. Within you find the prison of the Imperial City, a place full of Daedra and Undead, hiding a secret that Molag Bal is digging for. At the end the Lord Warden is waiting for you, dropping its respective Monster Set Mask. In both dungeons you get access to a Trophy Vault , which will need 150 key fragments to be opened. These key fragments drop from a number of occasions, but most frequently from bosses throughout the Imperial City and its dungeons. In these vaults you will receive a random gear reward from the dungeon, plus some Tel Var and jewelry.


Tel Var and Multipliers

Tel Var are stones that the Ayleids used to build the White Gold Tower with and which are believed to contain the essence of Creation itself. Nowadays they are used as a currency and can be traded in for a variety of items. You can exchange them for 6 different gear sets, lockboxes filled with random items, teleportation stones that will bring you back to your Alliance’s base from any place in the Imperial City, Crafting resources, housing items, Polymorphs and other useful things. Everywhere inside the Imperial City and the Sewers you can collect these, just not in the dungeons. You can either collect them from NPC enemies or players that you kill. Carrying Tel Var will expose you to the same danger though of losing them, as every death will reduce these by half of what you were carrying around with you, so 50%. There will be multiplier in place to make it easier for you to gain even more, but you need to carry these amount of stones on you in order for the multipliers to work:

Amount of Stones Multiplier Amount you loot from monsters
1-100 x1 Normal
100-1000 x2 Double
1000-10000 x3 Triple
10000+ x4 Quadruple

This multiplier applies when you kill a monster solo (not player). If you kill it in a group, these get shared between all players in relatively equal shares. The distribution of uneven numbers is random. If you die to a monster, you will lose half of what you were carrying with you, same as when dying to a player. But this only applies to the Imperial City and Sewers, not to the dungeons or any other place outside of the Imperial City. You can store all your Tel Var in the bank, same as you can store your money. Just choose Tel Var instead of the ingame gold currency.

What to buy with Tel Var?

There are five different vendors in your Alliance base which exchange Tel Var for goods. They are the First Armor vendor, the Second Armor vendor, Equipment Lockbox vendor, General Merchant and Jewelry Merchant. You can find them in your Alliance's base in one of the siderooms. Depending on your Alliance, the names vary, of course, and additionally to the vendors you will also find an Outfit station, as well as a Cooking Fire.The First Armorer vendor sells these set pieces with the Impenetrable trait: Powerful Assault, Shield Breaker, Meritorious Service, Reactive, Phoenix and Black Rose (5000 Tel Var each)The Second Armorer vendor sells these set pieces with the Impenetrable trait: Imperial Physique, Harbinger, Galerion and Vicecanon (5000 Tel Var each)The Equipment Lockbox vendor sells these items, with a chance of getting any set piece from the box: Black Rose Equipment Box, Galerion’s Revenge Equipment Box, Imperial Physique Equipment Box, Meteritorious Service Equipment Box, Phoenix Equipment Box, Powerful Assault Equipment Box, Reactive Armor Equipment Box, Shield Breaker Equipment Box, Thews of the Harbinger Equipment Box, Vicecanon of Venom Equipment Box (3000 Tel Var each)The General Merchant sells these items for various different prices: Alkahest, Ancestor Silk, Charcoal of Remorse, Dragon Scute, Hakeijo, Itade, Jehade, Lorkhan’s Tears, Platinum Ounce, Rejera, Repora, Rubedite Ingot, Rubedo Leather, Runebox: Xivkyn Augur, Runebox: Xivkyn Dreadguard, Runebox: Xivkyn Tormentor, Sanded Ruby Ash, Siege of Cyrodiil Recognition, Siege of Cyrodiil Recommendation, Sigil of Imperial Retreat, Soul Gem, Storage Chest (Fortified), Storage Chest (Oaken), Storage Chest (Secure), Storage Chest (Sturdy), Storage Coffer (Oaken), Storage Coffer (Secure), Storage Coffer (Sturdy), Superb Imperial Reward and Waxed Apothecary’s Parcel.The Jewelry Merchant sells these item sets in Legendary quality as rings and necklaces: Galerion, Imperial Physique, Meritorious Service, Black Rose, Harbinger, Phoenix, Powerful Assault, Shield Breaker, Reactive, Vicecanon (100000 Tel Var each)

Sets in Imperial City Sewers Alliance Base

You can acquire 10 item sets in the Imperial City Sewers Alliance base, which are the following:

The Imperial Physique Set

The Imperial Physique Set gets a separate mentioning because it will give you additional benefits when farming Tel Var stones. Not only do all of your primary stats get increased, you will also increase the effect of the 4x multiplier for Tel Var stones by 600%! This is why it’s a really good set for farming. The only downside to this is that you light up like a beacon, showing friend and foe alike that you are carrying at least 10000 Tel Var stones.

Crafted Sets

There are also three crafted sets available in the dangers of the Imperial City above the sewers. These are the following:

Name Traits you need to know
Armor Master 9 Traits
Noble's Conquest 5 Traits
Redistributor 7 Traits

Key Fragments

As mentioned before, Key Fragments play an essential role when wanting to acquire specific sets. In each of the Imperial City districts you find vaults in which you can acquire these sets with Key Fragments as currency, as well as in the two dungeons. You need 60 to open the city Trophy Vaults , whereas you need 150 to open those inside the dungeons. These are the following:

Set Location Type
Agility Clawed/Monstrous Tooth Trophy Vault Three Piece
Endurance Legionary/Planar Armor Trophy Vault Three Piece
Willpower Bone Shard/Vault Ethereal Trophy Vault Three Piece
Brands of Imperium White Gold Tower Heavy Armor
Essence Thief White Gold Tower Medium Armor
Spell Power Cure White Gold Tower Light Armor
Leeching Plate Imperial City Prison Heavy Armor
Sheer Venom Imperial City Prison Medium Armor
Scathing Mage Imperial City Prison Light Armor

Monster Sets

In the Imperial City you can also get Monster Sets. The bosses inside the sewers will now drop Monster Masks and there's a Tel'Var Merchant that will sell you coffers with randomized shoulders of the set. The shoulders can be any weight and have any trait. This is a current list of all sets available.

Set (Shoulder) Location Type
Baron Thirsk Sewers Alliance Base Two Piece
Glorgoloch the Destroyer Sewers Alliance Base Two Piece
Immolator Charr Sewers Alliance Base Two Piece
Lady Malygda Sewers Alliance Base Two Piece
Nunatak Sewers Alliance Base Two Piece
Zoal the Ever-Wakeful Sewers Alliance Base Two Piece


Story Quests

  • City on the Brink: Report to an Alliance General for a briefing on the struggle for power in the Imperial City. (All alliances)
  • Knowledge is Power: Recover an ancient tome from the Daedra and assist in its translation.
  • Of Brands and Bones: Convince a skeleton to reveal the Worm Cult's excavation plans.
  • The Bleeding Temple: Rescue the priests of the Imperial clergy from the Daedra.
  • The Lock and the Legion: Liaise with an Imperial captain who has infiltrated Legion Zero.
  • The Imperial Standard: Defend a garrison from the forces of Molag Bal.
  • The Sublime Brazier: Put an end to Molag Bal's plot in the Imperial City.
  • The Watcher in the Walls: Turn the tables on the Daedra in the Imperial Arena.

District Quests

  • Dousing the Fires of Industry: Halt Legion Zero's production of siege weaponry.
  • Historical Accuracy: Help an archivist preserve Imperial documents.
  • Priceless Treasures: Place a ward on the Temple of the One's treasured artifacts.
  • Speaking for the Dead: Create an undead spy network to keep an eye on the Worm Cultists.
  • The Lifeblood of an Empire: Rescue Imperial citizens from the Daedra.
  • Watch your Steps: Set traps for Ogrim in the Nobles District.

Scouting Quests

• Scouting the Arboretum (Arena District, Elven Gardens, Memorial District, Nobles District, Temple District): Scout and secure the Arboretum (Arena District, Elven Gardens, Memorial District, Nobles District, Temple District) rally point.

Dungeon Quests

  • Planemeld Obverse: Fulfill the prophecy of the Elder Scrolls by freeing the White Gold Tower from Coldharbour's clutches.
  • Summary Execution: Aid Lyranth on her path to vengeance and liberate some lost souls along the way.
  • Pledge: White Gold Tower: Prove you are truly Undaunted by freeing the White Gold Tower.
  • Pledge: Imperial City Prison: Prove you are truly Undaunted by clearing Imperial City Prison.


Frequently asked questions

How do you get to Imperial City ESO?

You can enter the Imperial City at level 10 for the first time. Open your PvP menu and choose The Imperial City instead of Cyrodiil.

What's the point of Imperial City ESO?

If you enjoy open PvP, then Imperial City in ESO will be one of your favorite places! especially if you want to intermix it with PvE elements, because that is what Cyrodiil definitely lacks.

What can you do in Imperial City ESO?

In the Imperial City in ESO you can either kill enemies and get Tel'Var, or kill other players and get AP plus Tel'Var. Tel'Var are an extremely important currency for which you can buy a lot of good things!

How do you survive in Imperial City ESO?

Usually gear is incredibly important, as well as your build. Being built for survival is a must, especially when it comes to PvP. Plus also having either passive healing, or active healing!

What is Imperial City in ESO?

The Imperial City in ESO is an open PvP area, where players from different alliances can kill each other and compete in which faction rules which part of the city and get bonuses for killing bosses.

Is Imperial City free in ESO?

Yes, Imperial City is free in ESO.

How do I farm in Imperial City ESO?

Usually it's best to farm at times where there's not a lot of players on, usually during the early morning hours.

Can you solo Imperial city bosses in ESO?

Yes you can, but they can be very challenging. You definitely need to go there prepared and always keep an eye out for enemy players!

Can you solo Imperial City bosses in ESO?

Solo'ing Imperial City bosses in ESO is not easy in the No CP campaign, but pretty do-able in the CP campaign. Usually the hardest is to deal with opposite faction members while killing the bosses.

Do you get AP in Imperial City in ESO?

Yes, you do get AP in Imperial City in ESO for killing enemy players, but not for killing random monsters. You also do get Tel'Var which is a very useful currency.

Can you solo Imperial City sewer bosses in ESO?

Solo'ing the sewer bosses in Imperial City in ESO is incredibly difficult. It is possible, but you always need to aware of your surroundings and eventually players of the other factions.

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