The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a free-to-play game developed by Bethesda Game Studios that was made playable on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices in early 2019, Beta and Early Access in March and also on PC, consoles, and in VR. Originally set for release on the Nintendo Switch in Fall 2019, Bethesda confirmed in late March 2020 that Blades would be available on the Switch that Spring. Pre-registration was made available from the official site. The game's score was composed by Inon Zur. On March 1st, 2019, Bethesda announced that the game would be entering early access in the spring, preceded by a closed beta for iOS (under NDA). Early access for Blades officially began on March 27, 2019. The full version of Blades was released on May 12, 2020, with the release of update 1.7, and made its console debut on the Nintendo Switch on May 14, 2020.
The game is set after the events of the Great War, in an unknown town within the Third Empire. The Fugitive, who is the player character, returns to their home town only to find it up in flames. While on their way to the town, they are ambushed by mercenaries under the employ of the Bloodfall Queen, known as Urzoga gra-Batul, who is the Imperial vassal which the town answers to. Upon arrival, the Fugitive speaks with Junius the Elder and has to return the townsfolk who fled, after which they must aid in rebuilding the town.
Blades begins with a brief prologue talking about the Blades and how the group disbanded. It then goes on to give a combat tutorial, which consists of the Fugitive learning how to attack and block by killing a Thalmor Agent. After this, the Fugitive is shown how to walk and must cut through some vines to progress into their destroyed town. In doing so, they will find some environmental hostile creatures, such as dragons. Additionally, the Fugitive will come across two mercenaries, one of whom will need to be killed, while the other will surrender and engage in dialogue.
On May 2, 2019, early access was opened to all iOS and Android players, and no longer required a Bethesda.net account.
On May 17, 2019, Bethesda announced additional planned changes to the game, such as to equipment repair costs and difficulty balance changes, as well as new features such as jewelry and additional story content. The version 1.1 update was released on June 9, 2019, also adding dialogue for characters and support for player levels beyond 50.
The Nintendo Switch version of the game was released on May 14, 2020.
If granted early access, players must first download a somewhat large patch (800 MB+).
On May 12, 2020, the game left early access as part of the version 1.7 update. This update also included a set of in-game rewards for players who had been part of the early access period.
Welcome to The Elder Scrolls: Blades!
Your town, burnt to the ground, serves as your main hub. Only you can rebuild it to its former glory.
The townsfolk there have dangerous but vital quests for you, indicated by exclamation points above their heads. Quests move the Blades story along and provide great rewards, so always keep an eye out for them.
Jobs offer even more opportunities to help townsfolk and earn rewards. Your quests and jobs are all listed in the Quests Menu.
You can also dare to brave the Abyss, which challenges you to go as deep as possible. The farther you go, the greater the loot!
The Arena is coming soon. There, you will fight other players in real-time battles for fame and fortune.
All of Blades' game modes provide chests, gold, materials, and more. The Lumber, Limestone, and Copper you earn can be used to rebuild your town and upgrade your shops. Improving your town makes more quests available, and improving your shops lets you make the better items required to complete them.
There are at least three modes of play in Blades. The player can level and customize their character, and on mobile devices, the game can be played in both portrait and landscape perspectives. Custom combat maneuvers can be performed by making specific swiping gestures.
The Abyss game mode is infinitely repeatable and contains a dungeon filled with a never-ending stream of enemies which become progressively more difficult, and rewarding, as the player continues. During each level of the abyss, the player earns progress towards different items, from crafting supplies to alchemy ingredients. They may sometimes get chests, which have a random selection of gems, coins, ingredients, crafting materials, building materials, or weapons and armor.
The Arena game mode contains one-on-one combat against non-player characters and other players online. The Arena unlocks automatically once the player reaches level 5.
The NPC one-on-one combat is available through the Challenges tab and the player is sent into to face their opponent and win special rewards should they defeat the NPC. The level and difficulty of these challenges are based off of the current player level.
The online variant is accessible through the main menu where, once in, the player can equip potions, change their weapon and even choose different emotes before they head into battle. Players battle each other on a "best of three" basis and can only swap out on weapons and armor once a round ends should they wish to do so.
The "Town" game mode is the main part of the game and focused on rebuilding the player's hometown after its destruction. Miscellaneous items can be used as building materials to restore the town in various ways. In the Town, the player can also start a number of Quests.
The player character can increase their level to unlock the following skill trees:
Stats are divided into character info, offense, and defense.
Guilds is a function which allows players to connect with other Blades players and band together in Guilds. They allow for up to 20 players to reside within a Guild where they can trade materials, chat and discuss game strategies, visit other guildmates' Towns and buy from their merchants and even view the Towns of the highest Guilds and Guildmembers on the Leaderboard.
- North America
- South America
- If an outdated version of the game is attempted to be launched, while a more up-to-date version has been used on a different device, a "Communication Error" notice will pop up, mentioning a Dragon Break as an easter egg:
"A Dragon Break is unwinding time and space: you have already played an updated version of the game on another device. Go back to play on that device, or download an update for this one if available. (400-3-605)"
- Blades routinely sends players Push Notifications advertising special events and encouraging them to collect recurring rewards.
- Bethesda Game Studios on Twitter
- Bethesda Game Studios on Twitter; (03/26/2019)
- The Elder Scrolls: Blades is now available on Nintendo Switch
- The Elder Scrolls: Blades Revealed
- BE3 | 2018 Bethesda E3 Showcase - 6/10 at 6:30pm PT (2:41:19)
- The Elder Scrolls: Blades Is Coming to Nintendo Switch
- Dialogue with Junius the Elder
- The Elder Scrolls on Twitter (11/28/18)
- Inon Zur on Twitter
- The Elder Scrolls on Twitter (3/1/19)
- Blades FAQ
- ‘The Elder Scrolls: Blades’ is Officially Out of Early Access with Big Version 1.7 Update
- The Elder Scrolls on Twitter (4/5/19)
- The Elder Scrolls: Blades is now playable for everybody on iOS and Android
- Elder Scrolls: Blades V1.1 Update: Here’s What’s New