ESO Altmer: High Elves in The Elder Scrolls

eso altmer

An overview of the ESO Altmer race in The Elder Scrolls.

The Altmer, otherwise known as High Elves, are a race that inhabits the Summerset Isles. As one of the ten playable races in The Elder Scrolls Online, the Altmer are a race primarily known for their enhanced magical abilities. They strive to maintain the appearance of their ancestors, the Aldmers, a race that evolved through highly selective traditions surrounding marriage and reproduction rituals.

ESO Altmer Physiology: High Elf Anatomy and Looks

The Altmer are one of the tallest races of the humanoids, being even taller than most humans and even other mer races.

Their race is identified mainly by their skin tone, which maintains a very pale golden hue, not quite the pale white of the northern human races such as the Nord’s or the Imperial’s, but far lighter than the Bosmer’s and their more well known features are their prominently pointed ears and almond-shaped eyes and their smaller bodies when compared to humans (which makes them generally not as strong).

Don’t judge them by that fact, because they still have a fairly tall stature (some say that makes them less agile then their Bosmeri cousins).

The Altmer is a very interesting race: Among the most intelligent and magically-inclined ones on Nirn, capable of surpassing the Bretons on those skills. Their strong tie to Magnus, the prince of magic, has however an unfortunate side effect since it opens Altmer up to magical attacks more than most other races. They where however very clever on solving this situation, they benefit from years of selective breeding that sets them apart when it comes to resistance and endurance being specially strong, almost matching the Argonians since they are created with a background of no prior diseases and strong resistance to them.

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ESO Altmer Culture: High Elf Society

As one of the oldest races on Tamriel and one of the earliest descendents of the original mer race of Aldmer and from there, through the Ehlnofey to the divine et’Ada themselves, the Altmer are extremely proud of their heritage and make a concerned and conscious effort to maintain their genetic lineage.

Their name is a translation from the Aldmeri language and it means High Ones or Cultured Ones. A name that in most cases is interpreted by other races as “tall” or more often, “snobbish”.

From their part the Altmer state they are the first true culture on Tamriel and still the most civilized race, obviously an argument that even human scholars find difficult to refute.

Living in a large island off the southwest coast of Tamriel, a place that shares their border with Valenwood, the Altmer choose to live primarily in the province of Summerset Isle. Based on their histories, their ancestors (Aldmeri) arrived on Summerset Isle in a mysterious way coming from the continent of Aldmeris. After their arrival splinter groups spread throughout Tamriel but the Altmer remained on the isles shich actas as the nominal head of the empire of Altmeri nations on Tamriel.

Other races of elves on Tamriel (such as Mythic Era) acknowledged the Altmeri king as their own ruler, a practice which persisted until the decline of Altmer-dominated Tamriel upon the founding of the Camoran Dynasty in Valenwood. Their influence is still present across the continent, however, their culture have formed some of the basis for religion, language and even architecture of the Cyrodilic Empire.

eso summerset isles

ESO Altmer Religion: High Elves and Their Deities

Forming the basis of the other religious practices on the continent, the Altmeri religion, has acceptance primarily due to its widespread appearance that is prior to the advent of human civilization. It is assumed generally that the Altmer pantheon derives from the original Gods of the Aldmer directly, and that it was nearly identical to the Ayleids one that ruled central Tamriel before the Alessian’s revolt.

The Altmer pantheon itself consists of nine of the Aedra that originally cooperated to form Nirn (also known as the mortal plane).

Their primarily worship is for those Aedra that removed themselves from the creation process in time to save their divinity. In essence, nearly all Tamrielic religions Akatosh, whom they call Auri-El is who they revere as their chief deity or at least in principle.

Akatosh however, along with the Altmer deities Stendarr (whom the Altmer view as an apologist of Man) and Mara, were part of the creation process until its end and because of that were severely weakened from their original form. During the Mythic Era, in practice, the Altmer followed the wise teaching of Trinimac (a champion deity of the elves) who was still able to physically walk the face of Tamriel. Other key divine elements in their pantheon includes Magnus (the source of magic on Nirn) and Phynaster( the patron God of the Summerset Isle) to whom the Altmer claim to have learned to live much longer lives by taking shorter strides.

ESO Altmer Race Names:

The High Elf names are usually constructed by 5 to 8 characters without any spaces, dashes or symbols between them. As for their surnames the Altmers do not have one but in very rare occasions they can have a clan name.

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ESO Altmer Passive Racial Abilities:

Altmer learned to fight with weapons for as long as they remember, their experience using the so called Destruction staff makes them an unbelievable killing machine against other races.

As for their use of magic, their powers are even more impressive. When carrying amulets and other related objects and combining them with their supernatural powers to elemental ones such as water, fire and even shock capabilities, they can easily break the enemies in battle – Once again, their heritage tough them well making them a great combat race with amazing features and new skills to learn overtime.

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Rui C.
Rui C.

Rui is the founder of, an informational website focused solely on The Elder Scrolls Online. Rui's extensive travels throughout Tamriel make him uniquely qualified to write about this brilliant MMORPG.

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