Skip to main content

The Elder Scrolls: Blades tips and tricks

Now that The Elder Scrolls: Blades is out on Nintendo Switch, you might be jumping into the game for the first time. Originally released as a mobile game for iOS and Android in 2019, The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a much more linear take on the beloved series. It adds elements you’d expect to see in mobile games — real-time building, simplified combat, and a heap of microtransactions. The Nintendo Switch version is optimized for using buttons, instead of touch controls and feels more like a game designed for consoles. Like the mobile version, it’s free and you can download it right now.

Even if you’re familiar and well-versed with games in the Elder Scrolls series, learning the mechanics of Blades might not come as easily as you’d expect, as it’s so different. In this guide, we’ve got you covered with all the tips and tricks you’ll need to get started with The Elder Scrolls: Blades.


Image used with permission by copyright holder

Throughout your journey in The Elder Scrolls: Blades, you’ll be doing quite a lot of attacking. During the early stages, you can get by with simply button mashing, but it is recommended to learn the ins and outs of how combat works as early as you can. When you attack with a melee weapon, you’ll notice a circle that appears on either side of the screen, depending on which hand you’re leading with. The goal here is to make sure the circle fills with white by holding the attack button and letting go at just the right time. If done correctly, you’ll execute a critical attack.

If you hold your attack too long, the circle will be yellow and you won’t do as much damage. If you’re too early, the circle will be red, so make sure you aim for that sweet spot to inflict maximum damage. Sometimes, you’ll have to change up which side you attack, depending on how the enemy is guarding. Keep this in mind when attacking.

Certain creatures will be difficult to attack, due to their distance from your character. There are some that are hard to reach, even when they’re sitting still. You’ll need to hold your attack and let go right as they lunge towards you, in order to reach them. Alternatively, you can use long-ranged attacks like spells to deal damage at any point.

Blocking & parrying

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Like the combat, you can probably get by without blocking, at least at first. But as you encounter tougher enemies, blocking becomes essential, so it’s a good idea to start practicing early on. There’s a certain rhythm to blocking, and doing it properly will give you a leg up when battling against an enemy. If you hold your shield up and wait for an attack, it’s moderately effective, but there’s a better way to do things.

Quickly press up on the stick at the peak of the enemy’s strike to stun them temporarily. This leaves them open for an attack in which you can deal massive amounts of damage, much like a parry. It takes some getting used to, but once you learn the rhythm of each enemy’s patterns, you’ll be parrying like a pro.


Image used with permission by copyright holder

You’ll find that using spells is not only a great compliment to regular melee attacks, but in some cases, it’s the best way to damage specific enemies. Make sure you pay attention to which spells work best on certain foes. You’ll want to focus on this much more in the latter stages of the game, but again, learning the ropes as soon as you can is useful.

Head to your Skills tab under the Character menu to assign your spells. Here, you’ll be able to spend your skills to acquire and upgrade spells. Keep in mind you can have three spells equipped at any given time. Use the directional buttons to unleash them upon your enemies and be sure to experiment with various combinations. For example, if you’re going up against a high-level enemy that’s weak to fire, a good combination might be to use Absorb to take less damage, followed by Fireball to exploit their weakness.

Don’t forget to upgrade your spells from the Skill menu once you’ve reached the required level. This will come in handy as you rise through the ranks.


Image used with permission by copyright holder

It’s smart to get in the habit of checking your challenges while you travel through dungeons. This not only gives you something to do, but it rewards you for your efforts. You can find the challenges under the Quest Details section of the menu. Here, you’ll find a plethora of tasks like finding food, executing critical strikes, dealing a specific amount of damage, and others. Most of them will reward you with gold, but the more difficult ones will grant you with green gems. These serve as a form of currency to buy building materials, decorations, equipment, and can be used to speed up the building process.

Many of the challenges can be completed without even trying, but it’s still a good idea to keep track of which ones are active to ensure you’re finishing them all. They replenish frequently, as well, so be sure to check them often.

Town upgrades

Image used with permission by copyright holder

One of Blades‘ defining characteristics is its building mechanics, which allows you to essentially customize your town to your liking. Some of the customization is purely aesthetic, but you can also construct useful stores like a Smithy, where you can buy, sell, and upgrade equipment.

However, constructing these buildings requires resources, time, and gold, all of which you’ll acquire as you complete quests. Pay attention to the requirements of each structure, as they need various resources to finish being built. At first, it will be quite easy to find the resources you’ll need, but as you progress through the game, each construction will require more parts.

The other thing to consider is your town’s level. Certain quests will only let you start them if your town is a specific level. To level up your town, you’ll need to continue building, decorating, and upgrading as you gain more money and resources. The more complicated a structure is, the more time it takes to build. You can use gems to speed this process up, or you can simply wait. It’s recommended to focus on adding functional buildings like the Smithy, or Alchemy lab.

Daily rewards, chests, and store

Image used with permission by copyright holder

This is a fairly straightforward tip — don’t forget to check your daily rewards each day you play. To do so, open up the menu and head to the in-game store. Here, you’ll be able to claim free items, which can be anything from building materials, to other useful equipment to make your life easier.

It’s tempting to spend real money in the store, but we recommend to avoid this. The prices for some items are egregious, anyway. You can absolutely get through the game without spending a dime, especially if you’re patient and you focus on completing quests, jobs, and challenges, you won’t need to spend your hard-earned money.

You’ll often be rewarded with chests for completing quests, but it’s recommended to sit on some of them until you’re a higher level. The reason for this is that the chests scale with your character’s level, so it’s best to keep a few of them for later. It’s relatively easy to find low-level gear at first, but as you gain more XP, the high-level items are much more valuable.


Image used with permission by copyright holder

As with the Elder Scrolls games of the past, exploration is a huge aspect of Blades. However, it’s not as open as the other games in the mainline series, but you’ll still want to be thorough when making your way through an area. Many dungeons feature at least one secret section that contains a chest or other useful items. It’s recommended to search through every nook and cranny, which isn’t too tough, since much of the game is straightforward and linear. Though it does open up a bit more as you progress.

Also, if you get lost, Blades features a nifty path you can follow by clicking in the left stick. This will point you in the right direction, which especially comes in handy when making your way through some of the complex dungeons. The exploration doesn’t have to end when you complete your objective, either. After you finish a quest’s requirements, you can continue to explore the area to grab any items you might have missed.

Quests and jobs

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Always keep your eyes peeled for quests. Quests are where the bulk of the game’s action will take place, so be on the lookout for NPCs with exclamation marks above their heads. You can get a sense of a quest’s difficulty by its recommended player level. Steer clear of quests that are far above your level to avoid inevitable death. Typically, a quest will require you to run through a dungeon while defeating enemies, or collecting certain items. At the end, you’ll usually gain some sort of reward like XP, resources, gold, or equipment.

Jobs also work the same way. You can find a list of jobs from a bulletin board in your town, each with a variety of rewards, difficulty, and level requirements. We recommend you try to complete as many jobs and quests as you can, to get the most out of your time with The Elder Scrolls: Blades.  This will get the ball rolling when enhancing your town and leveling up your character. If you’re having trouble finding quests, go around to the NPCs in town and talk to them to see if they have any work for you.

Editors' Recommendations

Joseph Yaden
Joseph Yaden is a freelance journalist who covers Nintendo, shooters, and horror games. He mostly covers game guides for…
Baldur’s Gate 3: tips and tricks for beginners
Baldurs Gate 3

Whether you've played a CRPG before, or even the classic pen-and-paper Dungeons & Dragons game, there's no denying that Baldur's Gate 3 has captured the attention of many gamers who are unfamiliar with the genre. This makes it quite intimidating to jump into for newcomers with just how deep the systems appear but with a little help, it isn't terribly hard to become invested in this unique experience. While Baldur's Gate 3 does do a lot to try and explain itself, there's just far too much to take in for most players. Since you can't exactly ask a DM to catch you up or remind you of how something works, we'll help guide you through the early hours of Baldur's Gate 3 with this set of tips and tricks.
Save a lot

Things can get very bad very fast in Baldur's Gate 3, in and out of combat. In fights, there's always the chance a bad roll will wipe your party or you came in with the completely wrong setup or companions. In that case, having a handy save is vital to jump back to and prevent you from either failing or using a ton of resources to squeak by.

Read more
Red Dead Redemption is coming to Nintendo Switch and PS4 this month
red dead redemption switch ps4 release date key art

The original Red Dead Redemption is coming to two new platforms, PS4 and Nintendo Switch, later this month. It'll retail for $50 on both platforms.
Red Dead Redemption and Undead Nightmare Coming to Switch and PS4
Rockstar Games' open-world western game first launched in 2010 for Xbox 360 and PS3. It was critically acclaimed and a smash sales hit, creating a new franchise for Rockstar that could stand alongside the likes of Grand Theft Auto. It received a sequel, Red Dead Redemption 2, in 2019, but the original Red Dead Redemption remained stuck on older platforms outside of backward compatibility support on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
That's why fans got excited when a rating for the game from the Game Rating and Administration Committee of Korea popped up. We've now learned that this rating is for new Nintendo Switch and PS4 ports of Red Dead Redemption by Double Eleven Studios. Red Dead Redemption will release across both of those platforms digitally on August 17, with a physical launch to follow on October 13.

It will cost $50 and includes the base campaign as well as the zombie-infested Undead Nightmare expansion; the Red Dead Online multiplayer is not included. This is the first time Red Dead Redemption will ever be on a Nintendo system, although it doesn't look like the port will have much in the way of Switch-exclusive features. That said, a press release does reveal that this will be the first version of the game to include Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Latin American Spanish, Polish, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese localizations.
Red Dead Redemption comes out on PS4 and Nintendo Switch on August 17. 

Read more
The best places to find Purple, Ice, Pink and Rock Pikmin in Pikmin 4
The player stands with Oatchi and some Red Pikmin in Pikmin 4.

While there were only the base Pikmin types of Red, Blue, and Yellow in the original game, there are now nine different types in Pikmin 4. All the originals return, as you would expect, but plenty of new and exciting ones are introduced. Each one still has a unique advantage that allows you to do new things and get to new areas of the massive zones, meaning you will need to utilize each and every one to complete all your tasks. That said, there are some types that are more difficult to find than others. Yes, you could make each type yourself by finding their corresponding onion, however, some onions aren't unlocked until very late into your playtime, or even after you've beaten the game. If you want to know the best places to track down the Purple, Pink, Ice, and Rock Pikmin in Pikmin 4, follow our lead.
Where to find Purple Pikmin

The Purple Pikmin are the first type that is somewhat tricky to find. This type is useful because each one has both the carrying capacity and weight of 10 Pikmin, creating shockwaves when you throw them, but is the slowest of all the types. The first level you can encounter them on is Seren Shores. On this map, head into the Engulfed Castle cave. This is a very dangerous cave, but if you're just looking to bolster your numbers, you can rush in, collect them, and run away.
Where to find Ice Pikmin

Read more