- For other uses, see Combat.
Combat in The Elder Scrolls Online comes in two separate types, Player vs Environment and Player vs Player, however, both are designed to work in similar ways. Player vs Player combat is available after reaching level 10.
Light & Heavy Attacks
Light Attacks are basic attacks performed with one's weapon. They can be weaved together with abilities if one's timing is correct, which can increase damage per second by a fair amount (about 20%).
Unlike in other games, Heavy Attacks are primarily used to restore Stamina or Magicka. They will also knock down an enemy that is Off Balance. Restoration and Lightning staves will start dealing damage immediately, and therefore may be detrimental if in stealth.
"Medium" attacks can be performed by releasing a heavy attack before it is fully charged. However, doing so does not provide any advantages.
Physical Weapon Expert and Staff Expert will increase the damage of both attacks. Retaliation and Butcher provide increases in certain instances. Tenacity increases the resources heavy attacks restore, and Shadowstrike gives stealth after killing an enemy with a heavy attack. Siphoner will reduce opposing players' recovery when attacking, and Expert Defender will reduce damage from those attacks.
Break Free allows the player to remove some crowd control effects from themselves, like stun and Fear. They are also immune to those effects for 7 seconds after breaking free, indicated by white swirls around their feet.
As breaking free costs Stamina, it is sometimes necessary to conserve stamina to be ready to avoid stuns and hit with subsequent heavy damage (ie Hedge Maze Guardian in Moon Hunter Keep). This is especially true for magicka-based players, who tend to have low health and resistances as well as low Max Stamina.
Interrupt allows the player to disrupt and cancel an enemy's attack. Generally, attacks that are interruptible have a cast time, and are indicated by red lines moving towards the enemy. The easiest way to do this is to bash with one's weapon or shield, which costs stamina. The abilities Deep Breath, Focused Charge, Crushing Shock, and Venom Arrow will also interrupt enemies. Most crowd control effects will interrupt normal enemies (ie not bosses) as well. Opportunist will increase one's physical attack damage after interrupting.
- Main article: Ultimate Abilities
Ultimate Abilities are very powerful attacks that can be unlocked by successfully filling up the Finesse bar. These attacks level up the more that they are used, like other skills. Ultimate Abilities are one of the six skills in the hotbar that can be used by players.  Ultimate Abilities are class based, meaning that different classes will be able to unlock different abilities.  
There are several different types of damage in Online:
Buffs and debuffs
- Main article: Status Effects
- Main article: Synergy
- Main article: Dodging (Online)
- The Elder Scrolls Online: The Alliance War
- October 22, 2012. Elder Scrolls Off The Record Finesse Synergy and You: How it all fits together in Elder Scrolls Online
- October 22, 2012. MMOHuts. The Elder Scrolls Online Reveal Interview (Video)
- August 05, 2012. Platform Thirty Two The Elder Scrolls Online - Exclusive Interview With Maria AliprandoOctober 22, 2012. MMORPG. The Elder Scrolls Online: The Comprehensive Preview
- August 05, 2012. Platform Thirty Two The Elder Scrolls Online - Exclusive Interview With Maria Aliprando
- December 10, 2012. Good Game. Good Game Interview - Maria Aliprando
- June 6, 2012. TheRealGiantBomb E3 2012: The Elder Scrolls Online Interview (Maria Aliprando)
- October 22, 2012. MMORPG Stuff We Didnt Play: PVP and Social Integration