How can you lose your bounty level in Elder Scrolls Online? This is a question that gets asked a lot, especially by newer players who have accidentally killed or injured townsfolk and are now wanted by the guards. The guards in ESO will keep killing you if you don’t have enough gold on your character (does not include the bank) to pay your bounty and this can be frustrating at times.
So the good news is that bounty decreases over time and will continue to decrease until it reaches nothing. So if you wait long enough (and don’t kill anyone or steal anything) then your bounty will go away all by itself. You should also know that bounty decreases even when you are not online. You can leave your character in the woods overnight and come back to little or no bounty in the morning.
There is some debate as to the rate at which bounty decreases in ESO and this still isn’t fully understood. The general consensus is that the rate of decrease changes based on your character level and possibly your online status.
Some numbers which are not confirmed but have been observed in the game are as follows.
Online, Level 1-50: 3 Gold / 3 Minutes
Offline, Level 1-50: 7 Gold / 3 Minutes
Online, Veteran Rank 1-14: ~22 Gold / 3 Minutes
Offline, Veteran Rank 1-14: ~66 Gold / 3 Minutes
There are varying reports of the rate at which bounty decreases and nothing is really known for certain. There is a possibility that the bounty decrease rate is connected to the amount of bounty that a character has – so it might decrease faster with more bounty and gradually slow down with less and less bounty.
All of this really just goes to say that it is not wise to wildly start killing townsfolk.
PAY YOUR BOUNTY
You can also just walk up to a guard (provided you are not kill on sight) and pay your bounty in gold. If you are kill on sight then you will be killed by the guard and the guard will take the bounty from any gold that you have on your character at the time (not the bank). The guard will also take any stolen goods (including things like rare style motifs). In order to keep your stolen goods you must launder them at a fence which are located in all of the Outlaw Refuges in the towns.
The problem comes when all your gold is stored in your bank and you can’t access it to pay your bounty because the guards keep killing you. You have three options.
1.You can choose to just head off and do a quest in the wild to get the gold. You can kill things to get even more gold.
2.You can go out on do another activity and wait for your bounty to decrease enough so that you can sneak into town.
3.You can go to Cyrodiil (where there are no guards or Justice System elements) and access your bank. You could also wait out your bounty while participating in PVP in Cyrodiil.
These are the best ways to pay, or reduce, your bounty. Cyrodiil is often the favorite choice because you can play PVP and wait for your bounty to go down or you can access your bank to withdraw gold and pay for your crimes.
CROWN STORE FUTURE
This is pure speculation and there is nothing whatsoever to confirm this but it may be possible in the future that the ESO Crown Store might offer a potion or scroll (like a pardon) which removes your bounty (or some of your bounty).
This would continue the trend of convenience items being available to purchase in the Crown Store. Who knows though – this might never be a thing at all.
PREVENTION IS BETTER
Before you go on a killing spree you should know that you will likely accrue bounty which will have to either be paid or waited out. You can take some steps to ensure that your bounty does not get too high however. Make sure that you are not witnessed stealing! You can sneak around and remain hidden when you are about to steal an item (or pick a lock). It can be difficult to pickpocket but you can improve your chances with the Legerdemain Skill Line!
You can turn on “prevent the killing of innocents” in the Game Settings which will prevent some of the accidental killing or injuring of innocents when you use abilities in town or on a quest. This isn’t foolproof though and you can still attack people if you walk up to them and perform a light or heavy attack (even accidentally).