Elder Scrolls: Blades is a F2P RPG that’s now available for everyone on iOS and Android, and according to the people at Bethesda, there will be a full console release. This isn’t your standard phone game — you’ll be able to freely walk around, explore environments, collect chests and complete quests. There’s a story to finish and a personal town that you can customize. And yes, there are tons of paywalls in place to slow down your progress.
There’s an upside to all of this. You don’t need to spend a single gem or purchase premium currency to complete Elder Scrolls: Blades. It’s going to take a little longer, but it is 100% possible to finish the story yourself. You’ll need patience and some smart strategies to beat the toughest opponents — and you’ll want to keep track of those chest timers. Below, I’m going to offer my tips to keep you on track to beat the story in a little over a week or so.
#1: Get Your Daily Reward Chest (It Opens Instantly)
Unlike literally every other chest in the game, the daily reward chest will open instantly. One of the annoying paywalls in Blades is that every chest has a countdown. You need to collect it, open it, and then wait to actually get your rewards. You can spend gems to open the chests, but I don’t recommend it.
And you will get a lot of chests — especially silver chests. It’s going to take days to open them all, so keep checking your phone, drop it, get your stuff, and get off. It might feel like busywork, but it’s the only way to get all these chests open in a reasonable amount of time.
#2: Carry Different Weapons For Different Enemies
Every enemy type has a different weakness, and bringing a strong set of tools will minimize wasted inventory space. You’ll be able to handle everything the game throws at you, if you bring the following items on quests. This list was helpfully compiled by fans on Reddit — check out the full thread here.
- Poison Cleaving: Bandits, Mercenaries, Warmasters, Necromancers, Thalmor
- Fire Cleaving: Trolls, Wights, Spriggans, Wisps, Nether Liches, Wispmothers, Skeevers
- Shock Slashing: Wolves, Bears, Outcasts, Ancient Dragons
- Frost Slashing: Dremora, Dragons
- Frost Bashing: Skeletons, Goblins, Spiders
Fire-based weapons are very effective against a wide range of enemies, and it doesn’t necessarily matter what type of fire-damage weapon you’re using. You can use cleaving / bashing against Liches, Wisps, and others.
Keep some (or all) of these weapons as you progress, and you’ll be able to handle just about anything. Remember, you can add enchantments to your weapons at the Enchantment Tower. Like everything else in town, you’ll want to keep it upgraded as you level up.
#3: Jobs Are Randomized – Cancel Them To Reset
To build up your town, you’ll need a ton of resources. Most specifically, you’ll need lots of limestone and lumber. Some jobs will give you limestone and lumber, but it’s totally random. If you’ve got a job board with none of the resource rewards you need, simply enter a job dungeon, then exit through the door right behind you to cancel the job.
New jobs will appear, and hopefully those jobs will have the gear you need.
#4: Don’t Take Jobs That Will Drain Your Cash
Not every job will give you a net profit. Certain enemies like Thalmor and Trolls hit hard and fast — the more enemies you fight, the more you’ll have to repair your armor. Simple, basic, non-story jobs shouldn’t drain your cash due to steep repair bills. Keep your repair bills in mind before accepting annoying quests against enemies that aren’t likely to give you any worthwhile rewards.
#5: Upgrade Your Smith To Stay Strong
The Smith is one of the most important buildings in your town. There, you’ll be able to get higher and higher level armor. To keep up with the difficulty curve, you’ll want to save up supplies and build the Smith before anything else — other structures like the Workshop are nice for increasing your town prestige, but they’re worthless when it comes to helping you build better armor.
The higher your Smith level, you’ll get more and more powerful armor sets. Always try to unlock the Smith that’s one level above you. If you’re Lvl. 27, unlock the Lvl. 6 Smith for Lvl. 28-32 gear.
#6: Build An Alchemy Lab, Enchanting Tower & Secondary Smith
When it seems like you’re stuck and unable to progress on a tough mission, having an enchanted set of armor / weapons can help. The Enchanting Tower, Alchemy Lab, and Smith are the three major buildings you’ll need to upgrade. The Smith is the most important, but the Enchanting Tower can further upgrade your items, while the Alchemy Lab will let you craft more powerful potions.
You can also build a second Smith to keep your adventure going. The second smith can be used exclusively for repairs, freeing up your ‘main’ smith for crafting and tempering.
#7: You Can Completely Avoid The Dragon In Abyss
One of the early roadblocks in Elder Scrolls: Blades? Dragons. These impressive beasts are tough, and you’ll need to be well equipped to beat them. Well, usually. Sometimes you can completely avoid them.
In the ‘Abyss’, you can simply sneak around the sleeping dragon that’s in the center of the dungeon. Carefully inch around the corner, and you can sneak by the dragon without activating it for a fight.
#8: You Can Do As Many Jobs As You Want, Just Ditch The Silver Chests
Every job drops two Wooden Chest and you’ll almost always get a Silver Chest at the end. Unfortunately, if you’re a free player, that basically means you’ll always have a full Silver Chest inventory. You can only carry so many of each chest, so you’ll have to ditch the silver chest.
Thankfully, you can still play tons of jobs a day. You can farm for materials (as stated above) and gain XP. Don’t worry about the chests. They’re plentiful.
#9: For Main Quests, Check The Rewards Before You Accept
Speaking of chest inventories — randomly, jobs will give you gold chests. There’s no way to predict this, so it’s best to ignore it. Some players state that they’ve figured out which jobs give Gold Chests, but it’s completely inconsistent and doesn’t work for everyone. Basically, there’s no easy way to farm Gold Chests.
That makes them really valuable. Main Quests and other important jobs will actually tell you what rewards you’ll get for completing them. Sometimes these jobs will have Gold or Legendary chests. Make sure you have an open inventory space for these chests before accepting the jobs! Open the chests you have, then accept those jobs. You don’t want to lose out on predictable rewards like that.
#10: Progress Those Skills To Get Stronger
Found a weapon you like? It’s a good idea to focus on that particular weapon — upgrade your particular class / playstyle. It’s a good idea to drop a skill into your preferred weapons, and into elemental magic. Otherwise, focus on your single tree. Don’t spread out those points.
There are a few skills I recommend for everyone to unlock ASAP. It doesn’t matter if you prefer heavy / light armor or one-hand / two-handed weapons. These skills are insanely helpful for literally everyone.
- Adrenaline Dodge
- Load Bearer
- Matching Set
Those skills give you a better dodge, more inventory space, and bonuses for wearing a full matching set of armor. There’s no reason not to pick up those skills.
At the end of the day, following these quick tips will help you complete Elder Scrolls: Blades without spending any money. It’s going to take some time and patience, but it is possible. Goodluck, adventurer!