ESO PC System Requirements

ESO PC System Requirements 2021 & best settings!

Can you run ESO on your PC? I have played ESO on everything from my 12″ Macbook to a Corsair ONE 1080 ti and I can tell you Zenimax is lying or being very generous when they state the minimum PC system requirements for running elder scrolls online on a PC.

ESO Minimum PC System Requirements from Zenimax.

Honestly, this won’t do, the minimum System requirements Zenimax states for running Elder scrolls online, won’t cut it. It’s not even close.
The game will startup, and you can move around in a world that looks like it was built in Minecraft. If you fight more than one mob your framerate will drop below 10 frames per second.

  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i3 540 or AMD A6-3620
  • Memory: 3GB System RAM
  • Storage: 85GB free HDD space
  • Video Card: DirectX 11.0 compliant video card with 1GB of RAM (NVIDIA® GeForce® 460 / AMD Radeon™ 6850)
  • Sound: DirectX compatible sound card
  • Internet Broadband Connection

Recommended ESO pc system requirements.

This should read MINIMUM pc system requirements.
With a setup like this, you can run ESO on lower settings and with low framerates. You won’t be able to participate in bigger raids like Trials and large PvP groups, but you can play all the Solo content at a reasonable framerate and graphics quality.
Zenimax should upgrade the requirements to what version of Windows you should be running, as Windows 7 might have been the shite back in 2014, but these days everyone runs on Microsoft Windows 10.

  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5 2300 or AMD FX4350
  • Memory: 8GB System RAM
  • Storage: 85GB free HDD space
  • Video Card: Direct X 11.0 compliant video card with 2GB of RAM (NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 750 or AMD Radeon™ HD 7850) or higher
  • Sound: DirectX compatible sound card
  • Internet Broadband Connection

The real ESO PC System Requirements for the Elder Scrolls Online!

Can my PC run ESO? If you ask that question you probably want to know if you can get the full experience. The previous setups called the minimum system requirements and the recommended system requirements from Zenimax are not even close to what you need.
Trials and large PvP groups take resources, and you will be able to live with a setup like this, even though bigger is better/faster.

  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5 10400 or AMD Ryzen 5 (5000 series)
  • Memory: 8GB minimum DDR4 – 3200Hz System RAM (it’s cheap so go for 16GB)
  • Storage: 85GB free HDD space (still holds as Zenimax slimmed down the base game somehow in 2019)
  • Video Card: Direct X 11.0 compliant video card with 4GB of RAM or more (NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 or higher/better).
  • Sound: DirectX compatible sound card
  • Internet Broadband Connection

Today in early 2021, this is still a cheap setup and you will be able to run most games on it. Some games do need at least 16GB of ram, so even though The Elder Scrolls Online does not need 16GB of ram, I would still recommend you get it.

You can run ESO on smaller CPU’s but the graphics card and the 8GB of ram is a minimum to be able to enjoy playing the elder scrolls online.
It doesn’t need to be the GTX 1650, but look at these benchmarks numbers and get a card just as good or better.

This is the benchmark of the recommended graphics card from Zenimax, the GTX 750 that was a fairly good card back in 2014.

eso pc system requirements
ESO PC system requirements.

This is the GTX 1650 that in 2021 is a cheap but good card.

My recommendation

Twice the memory and more than twice as fast.
Anything as fast as this or better will be good, and as you can see there are plenty of great video cards around.

Best in-game video settings for the elder scrolls online in 2021.

While you need a decent computer to play a great game like The Elder Scrolls Online, there are a lot of small tweaks you can do in the video settings area, that will make the game run smoother and give you less lag.
These are my preferred settings, even when I run the game on a monster like the Corsair One.

BEST VIDEO SETTINGS FOR ESO 2021

I might have gone a bit overboard, but I hate lag and especially in PvP a split second of lag can be the death of you.
This is why I turned down everything I don’t need or is just in ESO to be “pretty”. Running this on a GTX 1650 you will have at 100fps in normal fights and while running around. I tested this setup in the Sunspire trial, and the lowest fps I witnessed was 37fps. That is still playable and you could set Resolution a bit down and Texture to medium if you really need 100fps 100% of the time.

Before I forget, you should scroll through the 30+ tips for the Elder Scrolls Online I wrote in this article.

Playing on the Corsair One GTX 1080 ti, the fps only dropped to 81fps in Sunspire, but to be honest I didn’t feel any difference or was able to see it.
I never felt like I had lag with the GTX 1650 setup, but more is always better when it comes to computing power.

The reason I toggle off “Show Additional Ally Effects” is because it’s no longer of any assistance to me. Zenimax changed the Orb and shard synergies so everyone now can pick it up and not just one player.
So if fps’s are important to you, and you want to avoid lag, toggle off everything you do not need.
Combined with the real ESO pc system requirements I listed, you are going to experience and enjoy the Elder Scrolls Online as it was meant to.

Last but not least!

When it comes to the best settings it’s always a matter of what you are willing to live with.
While we wait for Zenimax to get new servers as they have promised us in 2021, you can change some stuff in the UserSettings file, found in Documents -> Elder Scrolls Online ->Live.
Switch from the number to the left to

SET DistantFoliageEnabled
SET CachedRLREnabled
SET CachedReflectionResolution
SET CachedShadowFiltering
SET REFLECTION_QUALITY_v3
SET PARTICLE_DENSITY
SET HIGH_RESOLUTION_SHADOWS
SET SHADOWS
SET GPUSmoothingFrames
SET MIP_LOAD_SKIP_LEVELS
SET RAIN_WETNESS
SET ANTI_ALIASING_v2
SET CHARACTER_LIGHTING
SET SIMPLE_SHADERS
SET DETAIL_MAPS

1 – 0
1 – 0
4 – 0
5 – 0
2 – 0
3 – 0
1 – 0
4 – 0
10 – 0
0 – 1
1 – 0
1 – 0
1 – 0
0 – 1
1 – 0

You can also avoid the commercials at startup by setting:
SET SkipPregameVideos 0 – 1