The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle – Guide To Playing Tales Of Tribute

Quick Links

  • Unlocking Tales Of Tribute
  • Playing The Game
  • Tales Of Tribute – The Cards
  • Ranked And Unranked

Tales of Tribute is a deck-building game that launched with The Elder Scrolls Online High Isle expansion. It's a card game with a whole set of rules that's all about outwitting your opponent and adapting your strategy depending upon the hand you're given.

If you're confused about how to approach this rather complex game, then we're going to be breaking it down to an understandable level. While there are lots of moving pieces, once you understand how it all fits together, you'll be winning matches in no time.

Unlocking Tales Of Tribute

The first thing you'll need to do is unlock the card game, but fortunately, this is a simple task.

Head to the main city of High Isle and go to Gonfalon bay, where there are leaflets located around the area with the text "Seeking New Members". These will lead you to an NPC called Bragas. This will then lead you to another NPC called Master Razhamad in the Gonfalon Gaming Hall. Talking with him will then direct you back to Bragas, where you'll play your first novice game.

This first game with Bragas acts as an in-game tutorial, which gives you a basic overview of the two-player card game and all of its features. More importantly, completing this tutorial allows you to challenge other NPCs to a game, but they have to be at the "Novice" rank.

Playing The Game

Tales of Tribute is a turn-based game. When you're playing against any NPC, there is no timer, but if you opt to play against another player, there will be a time limit for each player's turn.

  • Each player chooses two Patrons — Patrons act as decks, but there's a slight twist. Gaining the favor of all the patrons is one of the victory conditions for the game.
  • They'll be a total of five Patrons in play — four selected by the players and one neutral Patron.
  • Every turn, you'll draw five cards into your hand, and you'll be able to play them. At the end of your turn, the cards in play will be sent to the cooldown pile (on the bottom right side of the screen)— unless they're agents, who can persist between turns.
  • If you run out of cards from your draw pile (which is on the bottom left side of the screen) then the cards in your cooldown pile will be reshuffled and placed back into the draw pile.
  • You use resources like Gold and Power to either buy more powerful cards from the Tavern or deal with dangerous cards used by your opponent.
  • You gain victory by reaching 40 prestige and beating your opponent in a sudden death round (if they can't beat your prestige score, you win the game). Gaining the favor of all the patrons in play will also terminate the game and give you an immediate win.

Resources – Gold, Prestige, Power

There are three major resources that you should focus on as a beginner. These are Gold, Prestige, and Power. In your first few games, it's a good idea to just focus on these, as mastering how to gain and use these resources is a huge part of successfully winning matches.

Gold (the yellow circle above your cards) This is used to buy cards from the tavern, or it can be used on Patron abilities. It goes away at the end of each turn, and it's always a good idea to use up as much of it as you can.
Prestige (the blue hexagon in the middle) Prestige is a currency that you build up as the game progresses. Reaching 40 prestige is one of the win conditions. If your opponent can't beat your prestige once you hit 40 or above on their turn, they will lose the game. You get prestige from certain cards or unused power at the end of your turn.
Power (the third red diamond above your cards) Power is a currency that you get from certain cards. It can be used to attack agents, and it's one of the primary ways of building up your Prestige resource, as any unused Power will be converted into Prestige.

The Tavern

The Tavern is another important part of the game. This is where you'll use gold to purchase various cards that are available. This is also where some uniqueness of Tales of Tribute comes into play.

While you can select two of the four Patron decks at the start of the game (meaning you can choose a deck that you've collected more cards for), there's no guarantee you'll get the cards from that deck. Instead of each player having their pile of cards to shuffle from their decks, all the cards are merged, and a communal deck is placed in the middle of the board.

This means that you can't always depend upon the cards that you want to show up, or they could appear on your opponent's turn, allowing them to purchase the cards you want.

Tales of Tribute does not reward fixed strategies, as you'll have to adapt and improvise based upon what cards are available and what obstacles your opponent puts in your way.

Cards acquired from the tavern go into your cooldown pile, which means they don't go into play straight away.

You're investing in that card to use it down the road. However, if you gain access to a contract card, these cards will work immediately.

Tales Of Tribute – The Cards

There are four types of cards in Tales of Tribute. The type determines how they can be used and what their effects will be. The four types are as follows.

Action Cards These are cards that you buy with gold. They have a one-time effect and are used up immediately.
Agent Cards These are cards that you buy with gold but also have a health pool. They persist between turns, which you could think of as entities that cause problems, unless you spend resources on eliminating them.
Contract Cards These cards are used immediately when purchased. They'll often have powerful effects but can only be used once in a single match.
Starter Cards These are cards that you get as part of your deck at the beginning of the match. They are primarily used to build up your resources.


Patrons are the "decks" available in Tails of Tribute. There are eight patrons to choose from, and you'll acquire these different decks by playing through the quest line associated with Tails of Tribute. There are various quests in High Isle that reward you with cards, and they can also drop randomly from mobs in the expansion zone.

Patrons have three tiers during a given match — they can favor you, be neutral, or you can be unfavored. Activating a patron's ability when it's your turn increases your standing (capping out at favored). If your opponent activates the patron's ability on their turn, it would reset it to neutral.

Gaining the favor of all four patrons in play is one way of winning a match of Tales of Tribute. You can interact with a patron once per turn, but you're going to have to be very careful about how and when you use Patron abilities.

Ranked And Unranked

There are two multiplayer modes for Tales of Tribute: ranked and unranked. There are also various NPCs that you can challenge to matches. If you're just starting, it's going to be better to stick to NPCs, as these matches have no time limit between turns and are a good way to learn the game at your own pace.

  • Both ranked and unranked games will give you rewards for participation but only ranked games will influence your position on the leaderboard. Winning unranked games does not affect your leaderboard position, but will progress any quest involving Tales of Tribute.
  • You can find the multiplayer mode in the group activity finder. It's recommended that you stay well away from ranked matches until you're confident at the game and have lots of wins under your belt, as otherwise, it's going to be a frustrating experience.

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