The Elder Scrolls: Arena - 8 Tips For Players New To The Classic RPG (2024)

With Bethesda finally releasing The Elder Scrolls: Arena to Steam for free, fans of The Elder Scrolls can finally deep-dive into the game that started it all. As fans may remember, Arena was originally just an arena RPG concept that soon expanded to include hours and hours’ worth of content to the larger world of Tamriel. And soon, Arena became a part of the larger The Elder Scrolls franchise that spawned a huge fanbase.

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For players booting Arena for the first time, they might be surprised to find that the game’s dated graphics don’t hold back the title’s sheer openness and the number of options available. And to those who want to maximize the experience, just how can they fully enjoy their first playthrough of the classic RPG?

8 Mind The Saves

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Unlike other Elder Scrolls games, Arena is unfortunately plagued with potential bugs while still being fit to run on most low-end computers. There’s a nifty list of glitches in the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages, but a general rule of advice is to shut down all other programs except for Arena to get the most optimal experience. Aside from this, it’s recommended to keep on saving during most moments, such as during rest, killing something, or even opening doors.

However, players should also mind where to save, as Arena doesn’t allow saving inside taverns, temples, and stores. Not only that, it helps to save and take a rest at night indoors, as monsters roam city streets at night. Likewise, organizing saves into current saves, travel saves, killing saves, and story mode saves can help players reorganize quickly whenever the game glitches out.

7 Familiarize Yourself With Combat Optimization

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Given the age of Arena, its application of the FPS formula is quite different compared to modern games. As such, it helps players to be more familiar with how the game’s combat mechanics work to avoid getting stuck in a rut. First, it helps to remember that attacking, shooting, and movement are all attached to a single control. As such, players can’t exactly move and attack at the same time. Players may want to practice to be able to react much faster in these situations.

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A nifty tip during combat is to pause the game using the U-Key. Not only can players use this to reposition their cursors, but this is practically a pause feature that allows them to use potions and prepare for combat.

6 Get Magical Accessories

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Compared to other Elder Scrolls games that only allow characters to wear limited kinds of jewelry and accessories, there are a lot of equipment slots reserved for players in the game. Some items provide passive bonuses to attributes and armor (amulets, belts, bracelets, torcs), while there are items that provide special abilities with limited uses (bracers, crystals, marks, rings).

Due to the number of benefits players could attain per accessory, it’s advised they get these items whenever they get the chance. Understanding what certain classes need and how best a Magical Item can aid them can help players avoid unnecessary dungeon resets.

5 Be Careful Of Diseases

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Similar to Morrowind, Diseases do exist in Arena. However, instead of ordinary diseases that simply decrease attributes, a lot of Diseases in Arena not only affect attributes but may even kill characters vigorously. There’s also an early prototype of vampirism! It’s advised for players to carry Potions of Cure Disease at all times, especially since a lot of creatures often transmit various diseases.

Among creatures to watch out for are Mages, Rats, Ghouls, Zombies, and Vampires. If players don’t have the necessary potion, they may want to make their way to the nearest Mages Guild or Temple for healing.

4 Remember How Dungeons Work

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There are potentially “infinite” dungeons players can explore throughout the game simply because the game can randomly generate them whenever players visit an area. However, dungeons more or less work the same way, and players can find them much easier to traverse and complete if they know what’s going on. First and foremost, random dungeons are always the equivalent of two to four square blocks, with two exits on the east and west side. Staircases leading to the next level are always in the northeastern section of that block.

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Aside from that, it helps to use the go-to advice for navigating any maze: hug the walls. This can help with understanding the game’s mapping feature and make it much easier to check a dungeon’s details that players might miss if they are stuck in the middle of the area.

3 Try The Thief For Easy Item Access

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Unlike other Elder Scrolls games where players are generally allowed to immerse themselves in almost any “path” they like, classes pretty much restrict what players could do within the game. And a lot of these restrictions come with money, wherein most characters often need to earn money the hard way in order to constantly purchase and upgrade their equipment.

This is where the Thief comes in. Once this class is chosen, players do get the ability to Lockpick and even Steal items, provided they’re able to sneak up to a person properly and be prepared to defend themselves if things go awry. With the right approach, players at their early levels could access extremely powerful equipment pretty quickly without a lot of monetary investment.

2 Use The EXP Farming Exploit

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While there are a lot of ways players could get attacked in Arena and get EXP from kills, the unpredictability of monster encounters can get quite frustrating for players. Thankfully, players who understand the system well enough can actually “hack” their way into EXP farming with a few easy steps.

For instance, players can simply break into a house and position themselves in a corner before trying to rest. This will prompt the appearance of monsters such as skeletons that drop around 2,000 EXP a pop. It’s recommended to do this in a house with a bed to access immediate resting.

1 Game The Level-Up Bonuses

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Unlike other games in the series where players can choose which attributes to improve upon leveling up, Arena provides players with random gains in Attribute and Hit Points. More specifically, players can get around three to six Attribute Points they could distribute per level, as well as specific rules as to how much extra HP is gained depending on the class and Endurance bonuses.

In this regard, it may help players to save right before they embark on leveling up. That way, players can restart the saves as much as they want until they get decent Attribute Points to spend. This might feel like cheating, but the process helps considering the level of imbalance with regard to enemy difficulty.

Players can now access The Elder Scrolls: Arena for free via Steam.

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The Elder Scrolls: Arena - 8 Tips For Players New To The Classic RPG (2024)

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