Elder Scrolls Online: A Guide to Fixing Common Issues & Bugs

Some users are running into issues launching, updating, or starting this game. Here are some ways you might be able to fix these problems!

The latest addition to the longstanding Elder Scrolls series is halfway through early access already, and preorder players have already been plagued with the usual first-day difficulties.

Here are some of the issues I and others around the internet have been experiencing, as well as some suggestions on how to fix them.

No in-game sound

This one happened to me. I would have sound as far as the opening trailers and the opening cinematic but nothing once I got in-game. Now it worked perfectly fine while I was in beta, so it was something new.

While I was patching, some data was corrupted - which makes sense, the patching process was a little broken before the 30th with stops and starts all over the place.

If you are experiencing this issue (or any issue) and it says you are ready to play, verify that your downloaded files are complete and error-free.

  1. Start the ESO launcher.
  2. Select Game Options (small drop down right above the news pane).
  3. Click "Repair."

This will prompt a quick scouring of your game files and will sort out whether anything has to be redownloaded. Mine was about 5 GBs.

Loading Screen Error

This has been a recurring issue for some players since beta and Bethesda has had its hands full trying to find out what is causing it and a solution for it. One of our GameSkinny writers experienced this issue - and managed to solve it too!

According to her, Adobe Flash Player is the culprit. She has already written extensively on this particular issue fix, so please check out Elder Scrolls Online - Stuck Loading? Try This Solution!

Spinning in Place

If your character is stuck constantly spinning in place, there are two different fixes for this particular issue. Many users have reported that upgrading from Windows 8.0 to 8.1 is enough to fix the issue.

However, other players who are not using Windows 8.0 are still experiencing this issue as well, and this the recommended fix for the issue:

  1. Right-click the ESO launcher icon.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Select the Compatibility tab.
  4. Disable display scaling on high DPI settings.

Hopefully this will be enough to fix the issue.

Freezing Mid-Update

While I found myself with corrupted files but an otherwise playable game, others weren't so lucky. Another one of our GameSkinny writers experienced this issue, where the update screen would freeze and refuse to download anything.

She has since managed to solve the issue and has also written extensively on the solution, which you can find here: How To Solve Elder Scrolls Online Update Freeze Issues.

ESO Launcher Will Not Start

Some players are unable to start the launcher at all, much less update or get into the game. If this is happening to you, first make sure that it is not your firewall or antivirus program preventing you from running it. 

If that doesn't work, try running the launcher program as administrator (right-click > run as administrator).

  • Try running the launcher “as administrator”.
  • Make sure that you are not using any VPN or proxy.
  • If you have any ad-blocker or similar tools installed, try disabling them.
  • Also, try disabling your antivirus/firewall temporarily to see if the problem goes away.

Unable to Zoom In During Character Creation

This also happened to me. There is no current fix for this, although other players have reported that upon making a second character, the zoom in function worked just fine. 

Bethesda has announced that a fix for it is planned for a future update.

"Error 302"

Players who experience this error see "Lobby Connection Failed" when attempting to sign in. While there is no immediate fix available, it has been reported that shutting down the launcher and retrying after 10-20 minutes will allow you to connect just fine.

Unverified Protocol Code 305

Players who receive this error also have some corrupted or unusable files which will need to be redownloaded. Unfortunately, running the Repair tool from the launcher alone does not seem to be able to find and fix the problem. Some users have reported that deleting these files first before running the Repair tool and redownloading the files have fixed the issue: 

  • Eso.manifest (C:\Program Files (x86)\Zenimax Online\The Elder Scrolls Online\ InternalLivegameclient)
  • Data.manifest file (C:\Program Files (x86)\Zenimax Online\The Elder Scrolls Online\ InternalLivedepot_databuild)
  • zos.control.manifest
  • zos.core.manifest
  • zos.eso.manifest

These files should not take very long to reacquire.

Play Button Is Grayed Out

This is an issue several users have reported, and I found a solution that seems to have some success here. This is the workaround. 

Locate UserSettings.txt in My Documents/The Elder Scrolls Online/Live. As I am not a fan of effacing stuff without a backup, I would suggest renaming the original first (e.g. ORIG_UserSettings.txt), opening up Notepad and making a new one.

Paste the following text inside it:

Save the file as UserSettings.txt in the same folder. Then start the launcher and hopefully the button will be a bright and shining blue.

Crash After Pressing Play

I've gotten a few comments about this one. Whenever the user presses the Play button, the game unexpectedly crashes and an error message pops up. Theros_9946 was good enough to post a solution:

  • Try editing the UserSettings.txt. (The default location for that would be My Documents/The Elder Scrolls Online/Live)
  • Open UserSettings.txt in Notepad and then locate the string SET GraphicsDriver.7 "D3D11" and change "D3D11" to "OpenGL" (You can hit Ctrl + F and paste in SET GraphicsDriver.7 to find the string easier.)
  • After you've made that change Save and close Notepad and try launching the game again.

If you are running into any other issues, please feel free to leave a comment. I apologize if I am unable to find a fix for you right away (if at all), although I promise to try my best. Thank you very much to everyone for reporting both issues and fixes!

Edit: It appears that notifications for GameSkinny are currently not working properly and I will have to check for comments manually. I will try to keep up, but if I miss your comment, I am very sorry!

Featured Columnist

Avid PC gamer and long-time console lover. I enjoy sneaking, stealing everything not nailed down, and shooting zombies in the face. I'm also a cat.

Published Apr. 9th 2014
  • YO_3974
    Directx 11 is require to play now.
  • peter antoniou
    i start the eso about a week ago. the game has problems with crashes, but i hope they will fix it soon. i hope. but i want to say they must be carefull on some things. dont allow gold farmers enter in game(gf stealing acounts) also pay maximum attention on bots . bots makes ppl quit games . also hackers . i was playing aion about 5 years and i quit game coz all these . thx
  • daniel cork
    this isn't working I get on through the launcher just fine then when I have to log in I do just that and then it says login error I know I have put in the right details someone please help.
    and does it matter if im playing the tamriel unlimited version
  • Liz Frum
    Hello, not sure if people are still helping here. Mine will allow me to get to the login screen and when I type in my password and it goes to requesting login, it pops up and says Elder Scrolls has had an unexpected error. I have tried completely uninstalling the game and reinstalling it -- same issue. I bought a brand new computer just for this -- it is NOT my computer. Was playing it perfectly fine for a few days before this started happening.
  • TheBaconSlayer
    Same problem, sometimes will let me in... but then it crashes anyway
  • Herman_3028
    This was very helpful to me, thanks
  • Tye_7493
    I tried changing the GraphicsDriver.7 to OpenGL like said, but am still getting the crash. It happens whenever I try to login, it freezes, music still playing, music cuts out twice quickly and the crash window comes up. No error code
  • orhan leblebici
    im having same trouble with the thomas venter (Everytime i play of like 5mins then it says ESO has stopped working...
    It doesnt happen when im doing anthing in particular but always after about 5 minutes ! help please!)
  • Erin_8164
    Okay so my game is fine until I begin to login. I enter my password and it loads for a few seconds then the whole game crashes it's really annoying now it happens every time, anyone have a suggestion?
  • Brain_4238
    I'm currently playing elder scrolls online and my char a cater is glitches and I'm not able to play or do anything except go to my menu. Is there a fix for this? I tried logging in and out over and over. I also did the get me unstuck option but to no prevail.
  • Dustin_9292
    My friend keeps having people in the quest line not appear. However, they appear for me
  • Allen_4740
    The game keeps crashing my entire pc. I get into the client, log in, it loads for for a few minutes, then my pc either completely shuts down or it goes black and completely freezes. Please help!!
  • Thomas Venter
    eso has stopped working.

    version = 0.01

    ProductName = eso
    Version = eso.live.
    branch = live
    char.account = ZeitZeitZeit
    char.alliance = 2
    char.name = Unhygenix
    client.executablebits = 32
    client.mode = inworld
    client.renderertype = D3D11
    client.session_start_timestamp = 2015-04-06T15:54:17.462Z
    client.time_since_load = 369
    client.timestamp = 2015-04-06T16:02:14.344Z -frme 26033-
    client.uptime = 476.9
    computer.name = THOMAS-PC
    computer.user = Thomas
    cpu.arch = 0
    cpu.count = 8
    cpu.level = 6
    cpu.type = 586
    data.depotid = 4001
    data.dir = D:/Zenimax Online/The Elder Scrolls Online EU/depot/
    data.syncm = databuild
    data.version = 0.win.0.live.1140430
    exe.buildnum = 1140430
    exe.opt = release
    exe.reltype = public
    exe.type = client
    gfx.description =
    gfx.deviceid = 4483.293803369.161
    gfx.driver = NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
    gfx.vendorid = 4318
    globby.address =
    globby.port = 24507
    loc.wloc = 201 240825 13772 217822 179.63
    loc.world = Stormhaven
    loc.worldid = 201
    loc.zone = Stormhaven
    login.address =
    mem.current = 1666
    mem.peak = 1677
    mem.physical = 3313
    os.osbits = 32
    os.platform = windows
    os.version = 6.1.7600.
  • orhan leblebici
    did u fix it? if you did tell me how to fix it plz im having the same trouble
  • Thomas Venter
    Everytime i play of like 5mins then it says ESO has stopped working...
    It doesnt happen when im doing anthing in particular but always after about 5 minutes ! help please!
  • Sergii_9152
    I have been having an issue for the last 5 days now. I am able to log in and select the character. I click play and get the "Logging In" and Requesting Character Load". As soon as the screen changes to the zone splash screen the spinner stopped and game is not responding.
  • Matt_3825
    Hey so I've been searching for a solution for error 11.
    I've been trying to get eso to work for a month, and last night I finally found a solution. I tried all the suggested things all over the internet, and the ONLY thing that worked for me was to:

    Re-install ( I know it sucks I had to do it 12 times)
    BUT before the launcher does it first update, pause before it gets to 1%, and REPAIR FIRST. Then update.
    I hope this helps someone out there, it took me a month to get this up and running, and now my subscription is over. Haven't even created a character.
  • Tacokinesis
    My game is crashing on clicking play. I haven't been able to play the game at all or even make a character. Tired re-installing several times along with the above solutions. No luck.
  • seeker_1025
    I had this problem when trying to log in to my account, it was a memory problem, as soon as i went into bios and turned on xmp profile it worked!
  • bryarh
    i have the same issue with my game i did what u said to do and after i push play it still crashes and it says error 11 with a black screen plz help i haven't played for like 4 days because of this error
  • Aziz_7100
    I had a solution of so called 'eternal loading'. I found those guides it didn't help me. Then I found out that my network blocked this game for unknown reason, so I downloaded hotspot shield and it work perfectly fine so I can play. Until this subscription plan bullcrap in order to play.
  • Foalan_6888
    I do not have a usersettings.txt so I cannot fix the crashing at start.
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