This guide was written to help players who want to reach max level as quickly as possible. The way to do this is through a practice referred to as "grinding," or killing NPCs in certain areas over and over. It is more fun to level up through PVP in Cyrodiil, or by completing quests; however, these methods are much slower than grinding. Grinding is extremely boring, but a fast way to level up your character.
It is highly advisable to install add-ons that help you track how much XP you are earning from each kill, such as Foundry Tactical Combat, Combat Log Statistics and XPView.To install these, simply download, unzip and copy to your AddOns folder (located in C:\Users\[your windows username]\Documents\Elder Scrolls Online\live\AddOns\ ).
2. Run Grinding Spot Routes in Clockwise Direction
The best grinding spots have several groups of mobs that quickly respawn, and there is usually a circular route you can take to keep killing them just as they spawn again. Keep an eye on your XP gain per hour and make sure you are using your time effectively. Ideally you want to be arriving at each mob group just as they respawn.
3. Play Nice With Others
You will earn a bit more experience for each kill if you are grouped together with one additional person. If there are multiple other players grinding in the same area, whether grouped with you or not, you might earn less XP for each kill, but you will probably kill more mobs in a shorter period of time.
When you are grouped, you even gain XP for mobs killed by other group members within a distance of about 50 meters. As long as your party member killed the mob within that range, you will receive the XP. This can help a small group of 2-3 players earn lots of XP quickly by dividing up a grinding area to kill different groups of mobs at the same time
Try to be considerate of others as some grinding spots can support two or more groups if you are coordinated, for example both following clockwise routes or slightly different routes. However, sometimes it devolves into chaos. You want to make sure you are at least getting some hits in on every mob. If a spot is too crowded, try moving ahead to the next area, or work on improving your dps so you are doing more damage to the enemies.
4. Special Grinding Build?
Your XP gain per hour increases significantly when using Area of Effect (AoE) abilities, for example the destruction staff abilities "impulse" and "wall of elements." These may not be the abilities you want to level for your final Cyrodiil PVP build or end-game PVE content build.
If there are certain other abilities or skills you want to level up while grinding, put some of them on your bar, and it is advisable to put on one or two pieces of different armor, so you can level up heavy and medium armor while wearing mostly light, for example.
5. Wear Broken Armor Like A Boss
Don't worry about repairing your armor or collecting loot. If you keep stopping to repair your armor, or empty your bags, it slows down your leveling tremendously. I have done this a number of times with completely broken armor, and zero available inventory space.
Instead of repairing armor, simply use an armor spell when necessary, like Immovable, Volatile Armor, Combat Prayer, etc. Instead of stopping to empty your bags, don't collect any green or blue items. If you find a purple item you want to keep, you can free up some space by sending 5 items via in-game mail to a friend with "Bounce" in the subject line, and ask them to select "Return to sender"
Keep the XP train running, move through your route as quickly as you can, killing mobs fast without stopping to repair armor or collect loot and in some spots you can gain a level every 15-20 minutes.
Ideally you will be leveling so fast, you will quickly outlevel any armor or weapon set, so the only items worth collecting are purple weapons and armor that you can deconstruct to extract Elegant Lining or Mastic, for example. (Wait to decon these after you have mastered the relevant crafting skill, so you have highest chance to extract the mats.)
6. Join Mages Guild and Fighters Guild
Remember to join the Mages Guild and Fighters Guild before starting, so you can advance in these skill lines as you level.
7. When to Move On?
As you will observe from making use of XP tracking add-ons, if a mob is more than 5 levels below your character level, you stop gaining XP. If a mob is 6-7 levels above your character, you can still gain XP, but it becomes challenging to kill them quickly, and if your dps is not high enough, you might not receive any XP if it is killed by other players. Make sure you are moving on before you outlevel the mobs in each area. (Note: this does not apply to veteran rank mobs in Craglorn.)
8. Take a Break to Practice PVP in Cyrodiil
This guide is intended to explain the fastest possible way to level up your character. However, I have observed many players who leveled to VR12 through PVE suddenly realize they must completely change their build for PVP, pay for multiple respecs and go back to level up different abilities and skills.
Going back and leveling up resto staff from 1-50 for example, can take a long time. In my view, this defeats the purpose of leveling up quickly.
In order to make sure you are leveling the appropriate skills and abilities, I highly recommend to take regular breaks from grinding to spend some time trying out your skills in PVP in Cyrodiil. This is the best way to test your build and determine which abilities work better than others when fighting other players.