The Elder Scrolls Online in 2019 has three Chapters in total. These are Morrowind, Summerset and Elsweyr, the latter of which only came out in May of this year. Chapters are pretty much expansion type content for ESO, and comes with a new zone, main stories and more beefy updates compared to DLCs. If you’re a new or returning player to Elder Scrolls Online 2019, there’s always that question of “which Chapter should I do first?”. It’s a valid question for many reasons such as continuity or avoiding spoilers, so here’s what you need to know. The most simple of answers is to play them all chronologically, and we’ll elaborate on that down below.
Morrowind is the Elder Scrolls Online’s first Chapter since releasing in 2014, and it arrived in 2017. This massive update succeeded the best period in ESO’s lifetime up to that point, when Zenimax made the game buy to play. They also broke down the walls with the One Tamriel update, allowing players to quest and explore all zones without level restrictions in true Elder Scrolls fashion. It’s because of these updates that the MMORPG begin to turn its reputation around, and it culminated in the Morrowind Chapter. Morrowind was huge for the Elder Scrolls Online, because it’s a return to a classic and iconic location in Tamriel. The expansion introduced its first class since launch, the Warden, and added more base game content like PvP Battlegrounds. For main story continuity, it’s crucial that players who want to follow the vanilla game’s Daedra storyline do this Chapter first. This is because it introduces key characters and plot lines that will crop up in the next Chapter.
Elder Scrolls Online Summerset is the game’s second Chapter, and it follows the Daedra narrative to the home of the High Elves. Not only is there a plot to pit the locals against all other races, but a more sinister plot bubbles beneath the surface. In terms of fun factor, Summerset does offer a lot more than Morrowind did in terms of content. The Chapter’s Trial or 12-man dungeon is a blast, in addition to the return of timed events known as Geysers. These pop up around the island and can be tackled solo or with others since they scale. It’s quite important that new or returning players complete Summerset after Morrowind and preferably before Elsweyr due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, a character from the Morrowind chapter will show up in the main story. They have a big part to play in the narrative. A second character you’ll encounter in Summerset – who was prominent in the base game – will also show up in 2019’s Elsweyr chapter, so you can see where we’re going with this. Elder Scrolls Online’s Chapters can work as standalone experiences, but are definitely best done in chronological order.
And finally, there’s this year’s Elsweyr Chapter, which is very popular among Elder Scrolls Online players. Not only does in introduce Dragons to the ESO world of the first time, it also brings the game’s second premium class, the much requested Necromancer. Elsweyr is unique in the sense that it no longer revolves around the Daedra story, since that ended in Summerset. Instead, it is part of the Season of the Dragon storyline, which runs throughout 2019 and all four content updates, beginning with the Wrathstone DLC that came out in Q1 2019. Therefore, it’s safe to put this Chapter as the final one to play if you want story continuity. Make no mistake however, that you’ll definitely encounter central Elder Scrolls Online characters that have appeared in all prior content and Chapters, which only rewards you for your perseverance. In a way, it also makes more sense when they greet you and chat up about what you’ve done together in the past.
So there you have it. If you want to know which Elder Scrolls Online Chapter to play first, do it in the order above. However, this is only if you want story continuity. It’s perfectly fine to jumble them up and do what’s available to you whenever. For instance, ESO new players in 2019 who own Elsweyr, will begin their new character’s journey in Elsweyr. This is a game design that can’t be changed. Therefore, you’ll need to either complete the Chapter then go back and do the others, or instantly leave Elsweyr and start the vanilla stories.