The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall Tips and Tricks + Gameplay Basics

The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall Tips and Tricks + Gameplay Basics 1 -
The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall Tips and Tricks + Gameplay Basics 1 -

A very useful guide for the world of Daggerfall, with useful tips and tricks for your roguelike adventure


Daggerfall is an old game which has stood the test of time – while many other CRPGs of it’s nature like Ultima and Arena fell out of favor for later games, Daggerfall has persevered due to the legacy of the Elder Scrolls franchise and the sheer depth of the game’s content. First and Foremost, this game is not easy at first; you will struggle through the first dungeon if you do not know what you’re doing, and you will possibly die many, many times if you don’t understand your character strengths well.
This guide attempts to cover the basic tips of gameplay, and then attempts to give a walkthrough of the various types of quests, finally delving into the nature of dungeons. Yes, Dungeons are a large part of this game and will be the bread and butter of your playthrough, so it is easy to understand what you are getting into. This guide will be regularly updated, and remember to notify me for any mistakes or content to add.
Now, my champion, rest well this night, for tomorrow you sail for the kingdom…
of Daggerfall

Tips and Tricks

Before we delve deep into this guide, here is a list of tips and tricks you can use to help lighten your experience:
1) To use mouselook, you can pause the game, go to controls, and then select the small mouse tab at the bottom. There, you can switch between cursor-based movement (i.e Ultima-styled movement), or a more modernized “mouselook” style. Mouselook is well suited for this game, and does not warp when you attempt to look up, therefore making it optimal for gameplay.
2) In the event you want to use cursor-based movement, then holding ALT will allow you to mouselook and check your surroundings.
-Always remember to save often. remember, have one quicksave for each particular scenario:

  • For when you are exploring the overworld with no quests being done
  • For when you are within a quest which has alot of steps
  • For when you are in a dungeon

-If you use weapons which are not suited towards your primary skills, then you will most certainly hit far less effectively with them. To maximize your damage, always use the weapons which your character is suited towards.
-If you need extra money, you can sell off armor and useless items you find to a pawnbroker. Pawnbrokers are found in most major cities in the lilac bay, and they accept nearly anything.
-The first investment you will buy is a horse, then a cart. Always save up for a horse so you can move faster through towns, and then buy a cart for storing extra junk you don’t need.
-When generating a character where you’re asked different questions, make sure you select the ebony dagger option to get it in your inventory when you start your playthrough. This Item is notoriously overpowered, and can deal damage against magical enemies. It makes a great weapon for assasins.
-For dialogue, always stick towards using the “Normal” option. “Polite” and “Blunt” are only reserved for particular individuals of a higher ranking, and when used on commoners will lead to sarcastic replies.
-Stuff like Talismans, Holy Tomes, and Lanterns are completely worthless (unless you use daggerfall unity, which then lanterns do indeed work), and can be sold for a reasonable price. It can be implied that Bethesda wanted Lanterns to be used for actual lighting, but due to deadlines this was never implemented.
-When Entering a dungeon, make sure you save at the start, and if your character is magic-based, then place an “anchor” spell to make sure you can quickly exit.
-Always be wary of underwater regions in a dungeon, as they are notoriously difficult due to containing the scariest monsters in the entire franchise. Make sure you save before diving in, and remember, your armor will encumber you.
-There is no hope in dungeons. No trick, no specific structure, every dungeon is randomly generated in the worst way possible. The best way to search through each one for your quest item is to just slowly go through each block, one by one.
-Some dungeons have secret doors which are otherwise completely hidden – you can find these either through the minimap (which they show up as a door), or through blind clicking.
-Some dungeons have strange “candles” or altars which you can click on – as said, these allow you to teleport. Additionally, some dungeons have doorways with walled-in bricks which act as portals.
-PLAY. THE. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥. TUTORIAL.

Understanding the Gameplay Loop

Daggerfall has a quest-based gameplay loop which is driven by player independence and stat boosting. We can divide the quests into different “phases”:
For most quests (Unless they’re temple quests), you have a very basic loop which can be divided into 4 bullet points:

  • Go to NPC of Guild/Random
  • Get Quest, go to X location to kill Y enemy, or find X artifact in Y location alternatively
  • Enter said location and find artifact / kill monster
  • Go back to NPC and get quest reward – this entirely depends.

Essentially, all your quests will revolve around this loop, meaning that the majority of your player characters journey will be through these mechanics. So without further ado, let’s talk about a few of these systems, starting with guilds.
All about guilds:
Within guilds, you do these sorts of quests alot and then wait to advance a level within the guild, which allows you to get:

  • Better prestige among other members of the guild/temple
  • Special magical items like potions, soulgems, enchanted items, and spells.
  • Summoning Daedra (Temples and Mages guild only, and yes you can meet sheogorath)
  • Get special rewards like houses to buy

It’s important to also note that all guilds allow you to repair items and sleep for free, while temples allow you to be cured freely. You can additionally make donations to the temples which can increase your rank within their society – but this is pretty worthless as a feature.
All About Ranking:
Player ranking is done whenever you rest and your primary skills increase, from then which then the game notifies you of your level and sends you to the character screen. Once there, you are given 5-10 more points and can spend them on your character attributes. It can be very useful for starting characters to get a few levels off of them in the first dungeon by grinding enemies, which can make it easier.
As you rank up, you gain more experience in your primary and secondary skills, making it easier to kill enemies and complete jobs. The catch being that you will also face deadlier enemies, which can range from the more tankier atronarchs to the deadly and cunning daedra.
Don’t fit a square peg into a round hole:
For some final wisdom: if your character is a thief then don’t try to be a warrior or mage, and vice versa. You should always try to roleplay to the best to your ability, and I make this a piece of advice because games like Skyrim encourage you to juggle different playstyles to succeed – while this is fine for Skyrim (and it’s not bad as an RPG mechanic), it will get you absolutely nowhere in Daggerfall.
For instance, if your character doesn’t have the proper class/skills for archery, then you will not hit your targets whatsoever. Similarly, the game already restricts armors to certain classes, so you must keep this in mind when playing, and some weapons will suit your character better than others. Always keep this in mind, and sell off extra items you don’t need.
In summary, you’ll find that Daggerfall has a very freeform gameplay loop – you will need to find your own fun within the systems the game provides. But, to keep it simple, we can divide it into 3 main steps:

  • Join guild
  • Complete Quests of Guild
  • Level up and become more powerful


Written by Tuaam

Here we come to an end for The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall Tips and Tricks + Gameplay Basics hope you enjoy it. If you think we forget something to include or we should make an update to the post let us know via comment, and we will fix it asap! Thanks and have a great day!

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