ESO Group Dungeons: Risks and Rewards

Learn more about ESO group dungeons in this basic walkthough.

For anyone comfortable with The Elder Scrolls Online or MMORPGs in general, you readily know that PVE clearing and fighting is rather the heart of the sport – after all, it is the grist that compels great MMORPGs, and provides both experience and loot.

Well, in The Elder Scrolls Online you’ll undoubtedly be spending time in group dungeons. ESO group dungeons (as opposed to solo dungeons) are delves that should be cleared as a team as an awesome way to rack up experience, rare treasure and large gold loots. Group dungeons are “instanced” to yourself and your team, meaning that other players won’t be randomly running about.

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ESO group dungeons can be found on the mini map via the flaming torch icon. The dungeons exist in every major alliance zone and in Coldharbour. The dungeons are reachable to any player, and are darn near impossible to clear if you’re alone. ESO group dungeons have been planned and populated for teams of players (a typical group size of 4). Mobs and bosses are tough, and the dungeons are insanely difficult to solo, even if you’re over-leveled. Try to solo at your own peril!

At the time of launch, The Elder Scrolls Online has a total of 16 group dungeons in the following areas:

Aldmeri Dominion

  1. Banished Cells
  2. Elden Hollow
  3. City of Ash
  4. Tempest Island
  5. Selene’s Web

Daggerfall Covenant

  1. Spindleclutch
  2. Wayrest Sewers
  3. Crypt of Hearts
  4. Volenfell
  5. Blackheart Haven

Ebonheart Pact

  1. Fungal Grotto
  2. Darkshade Caverns
  3. Arx Corinium
  4. Direfrost Keep
  5. Blessed Crucible


  1. Vaults of Madness

As challenging as ESO group dungeons are, the delves are somewhat consistent and can be expected to have the following present:

  • Mobs
  • Bosses (both big and mini)
  • Traps

That said, understand that mobs in ESO behave in a different ways than other MMORPG mobs you may be used to. By way of example, a snare oil canister can be dropped by one mob and be lit by another. Also, mobs can sense when there’s nearby fighting and will hasten over to assist their pals – the AI is deviously programmed in a way to have mobs work together in order to destroy you!

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eso group dungeons
Teamwork is needed to clear ESO group dungeons.

Big and mini-bosses are tough, and it takes a team effort to vanquish the enemy. As a general rule, ESO group dungeons require at least a few DPS members as well as a healer. The fighting will be fast and furious, and the team can expect to take a lot of damage during an encounter.

As if mobs and bosses weren’t enough, traps in ESO group dungeons can be deadly (and extremely frustrating). Traps can stun, allowing powerful mobs to assault you, unleashing their stabs on your open your defenses. Again, the group will need a healer to help mitigate the damage inflicted.

So are ESO group dungeons all doom and gloom? Hardly. Group delves in The Elder Scrolls Online follow this constant: the tougher the dungeon, the better the loot. The risk is well worth the reward in regards to monetary gain. Besides, ESO group dungeons provide a great way to gain experience with fellow players, and gives a fun opportunity to work with others as a team — something impossible to do in a typical stand-alone game.

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Rui C.
Rui C.

Rui is the founder of, an informational website focused solely on The Elder Scrolls Online. Rui's extensive travels throughout Tamriel make him uniquely qualified to write about this brilliant MMORPG.

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8 years ago

Bit late to comment a two month article, but I just have to say–everything in this article is a flat out lie about ESO dungeons. Zenimax removed experience from dungeon mobs in order to prevent people from levelling that way. Below veteran levels, dungeons give vendor trash/decon loot, and you’d get gold much faster doing something else–like killing a bunch of mobs right outside the dungeon. At veteran levels, dungeons are run purely for loot, ut then you don’t need exp so the fact that they give no exp doesn’t matter. So basically the only point of running an ESO dungeon is to get that one skillpoint per dungeon, then never do it again. This is why no one is ever really LFG even in the group finder. You only need to do a dungeon ONCE.

Shane Scarbrough
Shane Scarbrough
Reply to  DragynDance
8 years ago

Thanks for your comment 🙂 What you say is true, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the article is a flat out lie (kind of harsh — really no purpose for Rui C. to lie to or mislead our readers), but yes — ZeniMax has made changes to ESO, and some of the info in the article is now outdated (it happens — like most MMORPGs, ESO is a game in flux, and the devs make improvements, tweaks, etc. with each new update).

Grinding for XP has been nerfed, and this change has caused some consternation in the ESO Community. Grinding in Dungeons and in certain zones, was a good way to gain a lot of XP in a relatively short period of time. I know a lot of players who liked to grind their alts for instance (me included), but ZOS basically put the kabash on that method of leveling. Now it seems the best way to gain XP is to complete quests and perhaps maintain an ESO Plus membership for the 10% XP bonus.