Critical Strikes

A critical strike in Elder Scrolls Online is when an ability, attack or healing does 50% more damage compared to normal. The chance for this to occur is called your critical strike rating or critical strike chance. All characters have a base critical strike rating of 10% which means that all characters have at least a 10% chance to cause a critical strike every time they damage or heal.

Spell Critical effects all abilities which use Magicka.

Weapon Critical effects all abilities which use Stamina.


Critical Strike Rating

You might notice that some item sets increase your critical strike rating with a flat number, not a percentage amount. This is due to internal workings of scaling critical strike chance up to higher Levels of items – previously all sets granted a flat percentage regardless of your Level. It’s difficult to convert the flat number to a percentage because it varies based on your Level.

The formula to work out the flat amount required for 100% critical is 2 * (Level) * (100 + Level).

This means that at Level 50 the flat number required for 100% critical is 15,000. This then tells us that 1,500 is the flat amount required for an extra 10% critical chance at Level 50. It also means that half of that, so 750, is required for an extra 5% critical chance at Level 50.


Increase Critical Chance

You can increase your critical strike rating and there is no limit on how much critical chance a character can have.


  • Miguel Geraldo
    Jun 24, 2016

    when you do the math of the critical formula if it is like you say 2*50*(100+50)=15000 not 10,050, therefore for a 10% raise you would need 1500 not 1050 that would make it a big difference.

    • ESO Academy
      Jun 25, 2016

      Yeah I’m still not sure how the formula works after the removal of Vet Ranks which is why it is messed up at the moment. The formula used to take into account VR right up to VR16 so I’m not sure if it still does take into account CP (up to CP 160) or not… I changed those numbers for now though.

    • Nelson
      Nov 2, 2017

      Miguel, your math is wrong. The formula is read left to right, with the exception of the equation in the parenthesis being done first.

      2*L*(100+L) where L is your level. For the sake of your math here we’ll use 50.

      2*50*(100+50) Here you do the equation in parenthesis

      =2*50*150 With our equation in parenthesis solved we work left to right.

      =100*150 And now we do the remaining equation.


      I haven’t done enough testing to see if this still applies through the CP 160 but regardless its a good base to go off and still get a good idea of how often you’ll land a critical.

  • Omniwar
    May 19, 2017

    Well just to clear things up. 2191 is your magic number. That is 10% for critical. So 1095.5 is half. 5%. This may not be the same factoring for penetration, as a test done to raise spell damage and spell penetration, the effects of 20% to either or through cp, was almost equal in damage increase. A good medium was 20% elemental and 20% erosion and the rest into critical damage done.. elfborn?

  • Tyler
    Sep 1, 2020

    Do “Class” skills, ie: “assassin Blade”(Assassination “Class” tree) benefit from Crit rating the same way as “Weapon” skills ie. “Flurry” (Duel Wield “Weapon” tree)? So if I use “Assassin blade“(uses Stamina) to cause 2451 damage(300% more damage under 25% health) does it benefit from “Weapon Critical chance”(versus “Spell Critical chance”) even though the attack uses a magical blade(Not reliant on me having an actual weapon in hand)? It technically falls under the “Class” skill tree, not the “Weapon” skill tree, and crit rating is either “Weapon Crit” or “Spell Crit”, there is no “Class Crit chance” if that makes sense ?

  • Linda K Threadgill
    Dec 8, 2021

    When I hit the enemy, I see white, yellow, and orange number. Do I add them up to calculate my damagem


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