Ultimate Imperial City Zone Guide

ESO Imperial City Loading Screen

Imperial City Area Description

At the center of Cyrodiil stands the Imperial City. There, the Three Alliances vie with Daedric overlords and each other for control of the White-Gold Tower.


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How To Get To Imperial City

Imperial City is the center of Cyrodiil and its capital.  You can access Imperial City by choosing Campain -> Imperial City.  Choose between CP (Champion Points are enabled) or Non-CP (Champion Points are disabled).  After a brief wait, you will be transported into your faction’s home base inside Imperial Sewers.  Each home base includes merchants, bankers, daily quest boards, entrances into Imperial Sewers, and ladders to two Imperial City Districts.


Imperial City is comprised of six Imperial Districts:

  • Arboretum located in the southeast
  • Arena District located in the east
  • Elven Gardens District located in the northwest
  • Memorial District located in the northeast
  • Nobles District located in the west
  • Temple District located in the southwest

Ladders To The City

Inside your faction’s home base you will find six ladders.  Each of the six ladders allows you entry into a different district of Imperial City.  At this point, it is a good idea to understand how to return to the home base.  From Imperial City, you will enter into the Imperial Sewers using Irrigation Tunnels.  Depending on the district you are in and the tunnel you choose, you could have an easy quick route or a long complicated one.  For more information on faction home bases and Imperial Sewers, check out the guide.

Inside Imperial City

After climbing a ladder, you will arrive at an area where you still cannot be harmed.  In this area you will find a daily quest giver for the district and part of a main questline if you have not yet completed it.  This is an elevated area with no return.  You can change your mind and re-enter the trap door into your home base, but you cannot access this point again once you drop into Imperial City.  More information about faction home bases and Imperial Sewers can be found in the guide.

A City In Flux

What exactly goes on here?  PvE and PvP activities are found in Imperial City.  The goal is to capture as many of the districts as possible.  In the map below, you will note that three districts are claimed by Aldmeri Dominion (yellow), two are claimed by Daggerfall Covenant (blue), and one is claimed by Ebonheart Pact (red).  The Ebonheart Pact district is currently under attack and is highlighted for easy reference.  

Claiming A District

To claim a district you will need to attack the flag that is surrounded by NPC faction guards and could also include actual players.  Defeat the enemies, stand near the flag while it burns, and then your faction’s flag replaces it.  When the conversion is complete, NPC faction guards of your faction will appear to assist in guarding the flag.

Traveling Between Districts

It is simple enough to move from one district to another.  Each district on each side has a large door that allows you entry into the neighboring district.  Often these areas are busy with PvE enemies as well as PvP players.  

ESO Imperial City District Doors

Exiting The City

To exit Imperial City, you must find one of the Irrigation Tunnels.  Depending on which Tunnel you use in each district, you will find yourself in the Imperial Sewers.  Ideally, you will be close to your faction’s home base and close to safety.  The map below shows the location of each district’s Irrigation Tunnel.

ESO Imperial City Locations Sewer Grates and Districts

Tel Var Stones

Imperial City and Imperial Sewers are home to a new currency called Tel Var Stones.  This currency can only be used in Imperial City and Imperial Sewers to purchase gear, crafting materials, and other items.  Tel Var merchants can be found in your faction’s home base.

You can earn Tel Var Stones from defeating enemies inside either Imperial City or Imperial Sewers.  Some quests will also reward you with satchels, sacks, or even crates of Tel Var Stones.  

Carrying a large amount of Tel Var Stones you carry grants you a multiplier.  This multiplier applies only to monster enemies.  Multipliers can be x2, x3, or even x4.  Your multiplier is displayed on your screen.  

If your alliance is in control of the district you are in, you will receive a 33% bonus to the Tel Var Stones you earn.  This is only available in the City and not in the Sewers.  This bonus is stacked up to 198% and is cumulative if your alliance controls EVERY district.

At Risk

Unlike other currencies in The Elder Scrolls Online, Tel Var Stones are at risk!  If you die by PvE enemies or PvP players, you will lose 50% of the Tel Var Stones that you are currently carrying.  Note – only what you have in your ‘pockets’!  Anything deposited into your bank cannot be touched.  If a PvP player or players caused your death, the 50% you lose will be distributed equally among all those who contributed to your death.  

Satchels, sacks, and crates that have not been opened are not at risk.  While your multiplier will increase because you are carrying a larger amount of Tel Var Stones, you will need to decide if it is worth the risk of losing half. 

What Is A Crafting Set Station?

A crafting set station is a crafting area that allows you to craft a specific set piece of armor.  Often there are additional requirements, like a number of traits that must be researched before you can make an item of a specific set.  While you can make generic pieces at crafting set stations, these are the only areas where you can the specific set that is listed.  There is one exception – attunable crafting tables (which are ‘tuned’ to replicate set stations) can be obtained and placed in houses for use.

ESO Map Icon Crafting Set Stations

On your map, crafting set stations appear with a blackened crafting icon when you are close to a location.  Once the set station has been visited, the icon turns white.

Imperial City Crafting Set Stations

How To Obtain Other Set Pieces

Players can be rewarded with various armor sets in Imperial City by defeating enemies or purchasing from a Tel Var merchant.  The following sets can be obtained in Imperial City:

What Is A Group Dungeon?

Group Dungeons are designed to be four-player areas.  Dungeons in ESO feature large groups of enemies that are tougher to defeat and have multiple bosses.  These bosses pose unique challenges and often feature special mechanics that require teamwork.  Each dungeon has a quest with a skill point rewarded for its completion.  Dungeons also offer special gear sets that cannot be found in the overland areas of Tamriel.  Dungeons can be completed in normal mode, veteran mode, or veteran hardmode.  Dungeons completed in any of the veteran modes will reward you with a Monster Helm – a unique piece of armor for the head.  You can learn more about Monster sets in the Monster Set Guide and how to obtain the matching shoulder piece in the Undaunted Guide.  You can also find a video and a written guide for each dungeon in the All About Mechanics Series.

ESO In-Game Icon Group Dungeon

On your map, dungeons appear with a blackened square-shaped icon with a plus sign.  Once the dungeon is completed (by defeating the bosses), the dungeon icon turns white.

Imperial City Group Dungeons

Note:  Unlike other areas of Tamriel, Imperial City group dungeons cannot be accessed directly from Imperial City.

Imperial City Prison Armor Sets

White-Gold Tower Armor Sets

What Is A Skyshard?

Skyshards are glowing crystals that provide you with 1/3 of a skill point.  Collecting 3 skyshards grants you 1 skill point which can then be used for abilities and/or passives.  

ESO In-Game Map Icon Skyshard

On your map, skyshard will appear with a blackened skyshard icon when you are close to its location.  Once the skyshard has been collected, the icon turns white but then disappears from your map.

ESO Achievement Skyshard Hunter

Once you collect all the skyshard from the zone, you will earn the Auridon Skyshard Hunter achievement.

Imperial City Skyshard Locations

There are a total of 6 Skyshards in Imperial City.

Skyshard #1 – in the water near some debris

Skyshard #2 – on top of a ledge overlooking fighting civilians

Skyshard #3 –  at water level in a corner next to a barrel

Skyshard #4 – in a corner by the water

Skyshard #5 – upstairs in a building next to a ruined bookshelf

Skyshard #6 – in dirt near a wall by the water

What Is A Zone Daily Quest?

Zone daily quests are daily repeatable quests throughout Tamriel.  Each zone has its own dailies which are usually given by a NPC.  Typically zone dailies include completing activities in delves, killing world bosses, or completing zone-specific tasks.  

ESO Map Icon Daily Repeatable Quest

On your map, zone daily quests appear as blue highlighted arrows.  Once completed the arrow disappears until the next day.

Zone Daily Quests In Imperial City

There are quite a few daily questing in Imperial City.  From your faction’s home base, you can use the Bounty Mission Board or the Scouting Board.  As you enter into the City, there are quest givers nearby in each district.  Additional quests can be gathered while exploring Imperial City.

What Is A Lore Book?

Shalidor’s Library is a collection of lore books in Tamriel.  Reading lore books within this collection increases your Mages Guild rank.  

ESO In-Game Icon Lore Book

On your map, lore books will appear in your compass as you near it.  Once collected, it will disappear.  You can track your collection under the zone guide.

Imperial City Lore Book Locations

There are a total of 3 lore books to be found in Imperial City.

  • Lore Book #1 – Varieties Of Daedra, Part 2 – on a table to the left in the Macer’s Foodstuffs
  • Lore Book #2 – The Order Of The Black Worm – on top of a bench inside the Rusty Nail
  • Lore Book #3 – The Amulet Of Kings – upstairs in a building in front of a mirror

Trophy Vaults

Two unique Trophy Vaults can be found in each of Imperial City’s Group Dungeons.  Imperial City Prison dungeon has the Daedric Shackle Trophy Vault.  To access this vault, you will need 150 key fragments.  White-Gold Tower dungeon has the Daedric Embers Trophy Vault.  To access this vault, you will also need 150 key fragments.  

You will also find six additional unique trophy vaults in the districts of Imperial City:

  • Bone Shard Trophy Vault located in the Memorial District
  • Ethereal Trophy Vault located in the Arena District
  • Clawed Trophy Vault located in the Arboretum
  • Monstrous Tooth Trophy Vault located in the Temple District
  • Legionary Trophy Vault located in the Nobles District
  • Planar Armor Trophy Vault located in the Elven Gardens District

Each of the Imperial City Trophy Vaults can be accessed with 60 key fragments.  Opening a chest inside the Vault will require a key specific to that Vault.  You can track both fragments and keys in your inventory.

Trophy Rewards

Various gear and styles can be acquired in Trophy Vaults:

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