Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition – Is It Worth It?

elder scrolls online imperial edition worth it

Yesterday, Bethesda officially announced that gamers could pre-order The Elder Scrolls Online (in case you missed the pre-order news, you can read the Skyrim Fansite article here). The game won’t be released for a few months yet, but the news was most welcome for players looking to continue their Elder Scrolls adventure in a completely new way.

I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting Bethesda to release The Elder Scrolls Online in two flavors: a Standard Edition and an exclusive Imperial Edition. Honestly, I was only expecting one version of the game for around sixty bucks. The Standard Edition is being priced at $59.99, while the Imperial Edition is being sold for a premium: $79.99 for a digital download and $99.99 for a retail boxed set.

Before placing my pre-order I had to ask myself whether The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition was worth paying extra for.

Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition ContentThe Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition offers some perks and advantages over the less expensive Standard Edition. In essence, here’s what you get for paying an extra $20 (digital download) and $40 (retail boxed set):

  • Exclusive content allowing you to play as an Imperial in any Alliance, including unique Imperial bonuses, crafting styles, and gear.
  • An Imperial white horse that allows you to travel through Tamriel with increased speed.
  • A Mudcrab vanity pet.
  • Rings of Mara that allows you to gain bonus experience if you play ESO together with a friend.

Besides the above perks, the retail boxed version includes:

  • A Molag Bal Statue measuring 12 inches tall.
  • A printed map of Tamriel.
  • A copy of the Emperor’s Guide to Tamriel, a 224 page illustrated guide to the game.
  • Collector’s edition box and steel case packaging.

elder scrolls online imperial edition retailWhether or not The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition is worth the extra money really comes down to your gaming budget, your play style, and whether or not you’re a collector.

  1. ESO is catching flak for going the “pay-to-play” route, and some players and fans are already disenchanted with the subscription fee to begin with (see Is The Elder Scrolls Online a Ripoff at $14.99 a Month?). Having to pay extra money for an Imperial Edition on top of everything else? Even if the exclusive content sounds appealing, the extra $20 or $40 might be too much to bear financially, or too much to spend on principle.
  2. If you’re not going to play the game as an Imperial, the exclusive content loses a lot of its appeal. The only benefit may be the Imperial horse, Mudcrab pet, and Rings of Mara (assuming you’ll be playing ESO with a friend). If you’d like to play as an Imperial though, there is more value (bonuses, crafting, etc.).
  3. If you’re a collector, The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition retail version is very enticing with its map, book, and Molag Bal statue.

Bottom Line: Whether or not to pre-order The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition is a personal one, but if you have the extra money in your gaming budget, if you think you might like to play as an Imperial, or if you’re a collector — go for it. It should be money well spent.

In the end, I opted to pre-order the Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition, even though I don’t think I’ll get much benefit from the exclusive content (I don’t fancy playing as an Imperial, and I hate Mudcrabs — kill ’em any chance I get in Skyrim). I’m a collector and big fan of the Elder Scrolls series though, and the printed map and book offered in the retail version was too tempting to pass up. Truthfully, the cost was more than I was expecting to pay initially, and my gaming budget will be pinched for awhile. Once I frame and hang the map of Tamriel in my office though, the price will long since be forgotten. Whether my wife forgets the money I spent though, remains to be seen 🙂

So how about it? If you plan on playing The Elder Scrolls Online are you pre-ordering the Standard Edition or the Imperial Edition? Share your opinions in the Speak Your Mind section below.

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Shane Scarbrough
Shane Scarbrough

Shane Scarbrough is the founder of the Skyrim Fansite. He's a business owner, video game journalist, and role playing game aficionado. When he's not working he enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games. He's currently on his third playthrough of Skyrim, and is playing as a Templar in The Elder Scrolls Online. You can find Shane on Google+ and FaceBook.

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10 years ago

I bought the Imperial Edition because I want to support the game and play all races: now I can be a badass Imperial fighting for his homeland (probably my PvP char). I was very happy to see all the races being unlocked – they heard the ES community and they delivered. I am going to play with a friend, so the rings are a nice little bonus too!

Shane Scarbrough
Shane Scarbrough
Reply to  Raven
10 years ago

Thanks for your comment Raven 🙂 If you’re playing with a friend, the Imperial Edition is a great way to go. Who doesn’t like bonus experience points after all?

9 years ago

look at it this way, say your buying it for roughly $100 on the xbox one. your paying 60 for the game, 20 to 30 depending for the guide, and then you get all the other stuff for around 10 dollars. granted if you don’t want the guide then its probably not worth it but if not you might as well go for the gold

Shane Scarbrough
Shane Scarbrough
Reply to  pride
9 years ago

Thanks for the comment, Pride. Well said.