Every Elder Scrolls Game Ranked By Map Size

Every Elder Scrolls Game Ranked By Map Size

The Elder Scrolls series is known for its breathtaking open worlds that players can lose themselves in. From fighting dragons in Skyrim to exploring the alien landscape of Morrowind, every game in the franchise has an emphasis on immersion that is unprecedented in the RPG genre. Part of what makes this franchise so beloved are the worlds in which each game takes place.


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Skyrim, Vvardenfell, Cyrodil, and many other locations are iconic in their topography and size. Size doesn’t grow with each game, however. Some of Bethesda’s older Elder Scrolls games are much larger than their most recent titles, and some have little to no explorable area at all.

Updated December 14, 2023 by Erik Petrovich: When it comes to Elder Scrolls map sizes, there are only really two that compete with each other for what is the biggest Elder Scrolls map: Daggerfall, and Arena. This is mostly because of the way that those games are structured – both use procedural generation to fill in much of the empty parts of Tamriel, leading to a technically enormous area to explore. The three main 3D Elder Scrolls games, on the other hand, are all relatively close in size, though their scope and overall length of content to experience vary wildly, too. In fact, almost every Elder Scrolls game has some area to explore, except for Elder Scrolls Legends, the card game. This list of the biggest Elder Scrolls maps has been updated to provide more details on how big each map is, as well as some links to more Game Rant content that covers each particular Elder Scrolls game.


The Only Elder Scrolls Game With No Explorable World

Elder Scrolls Legends Card Game

Technically, The Elder Scrolls Legends is an Elder Scrolls game. Being a card game and all, though, there’s not exactly the same level of exploration as the mainline RPGs. In fact, there’s none at all – unless you count exploring flavor text, that is.

Even if you were to hypothetically line up every unique Elder Scrolls Legends card and measure their surface area, the total “explorable” size would still be too small to do anything. Though it’s not an RPG, Elder Scrolls Legends could be considered to have the smallest explorable world of an Elder Scrolls game – although nothing isn’t quite the same as 0 miles sq.

Few Dungeons & Tiny Open World Areas Make For A Middling Mobile Map

Elder Scrolls Games Ranked Map Size Travels Stormhold Dawnstar Shadowkey

  • The Elder Scrolls Travels: Stormhold (2003)
  • The Elder Scrolls Travels: Dawnstar (2004)
  • The Elder Scrolls Travels: Shadowkey (2004)

There were three mobile games released in 2003 and 2004 that brought the Elder Scrolls brand on the go under the “Travels” brand – perhaps to symbolize TES players on mobile devices. Though these games weren’t anything compared to the vast, elaborate worlds of the mainline entries (which at the time would have been Morrowind), they were a nifty bit of fun for the time. However, depending on which version a player got (mostly dependent on their phone’s strength), more content was unlocked, including new areas and even new classes.

The smallest versions of each of these games only had eight dungeons and six classes, while the largest versions held 36 dungeons and an extra class. Elder Scrolls Travels: Shadowey was developed for the Nokie N-Gage, a mobile phone and mobile gaming device. Despite this relative boost in what the game was capable of, Shadowkey is still smaller than the later mobile title The Elder Scrolls: Blades, which included a number of explorable open areas rather than a select few tiny dungeons.

Linear, Small Zones Connect Players Across Tamriel

Elder Scrolls town

The Elder Scrolls: Blades is without a doubt the smallest world in an Elder Scrolls game. It has dungeons, a world map, and towns and settlements to check out, but because of the limited mobility and linearity of Blades, the actual explorable area is miniscule.

No one has taken an exact measurement of Blades map size, but even compared to Battlespire and Redguard – two other Elder Scrolls with no consensus on their map sizes – Blades feels constrained and tiny. Battlespire and Redguard at least have relatively explorable open worlds, while Blades is a much more linear, much more guided experience through small zones.

Unconfirmed Size, But Likely Smaller Than Redguard

Elder Scrolls Battlespire

An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire, more commonly called just Battlespire by fans, is a spin-off from Daggerfall that takes place in quite the unexpected location: the Elder Scrolls‘ closest equivalent of a space station. Hidden in a pocket Oblivion realm is the Battlespire, an “elite training center” that has been overrun by Daedra.

Just like Blades and Redguard, nobody really knows the exact map size of Battlespire. However, Redguard had a proper outdoor world to explore as well as dungeons, cities, and other locations that expand the world. Battlespire takes place entirely on this elite training center, and thus is a fair bit smaller in scope than Redguard.

An Elder Scrolls Legend Battlespire

An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire

Released
December 2, 1997

Developer(s)
Bethesda Softworks

The Small Island Setting Sets Constraints On Exploration

Elder Scrolls Adventures Redguard

Between the time Daggerfall and Morrowind were released, Bethesda made a few spin-off titles in The Elder Scrolls universe. One of these games was The Elder Scrolls Aventures: Redguard. This game takes place on the island of Stros M’Kai, located on the southern coast of Hammerfell. Unlike most main Elder Scrolls games, this game is focused on completing levels in a certain order rather than exploring a massive world.

As a result, measuring the size of the map is rather difficult. With how short the game is and how small the overworld is, it is safe to assume that this is one of the smallest Elder Scrolls games of the bunch that still allows a modicum of exploration. After all, a small island is no match for the main provinces the other games take place in, though it is more developed than the Battlespire or Blades‘ linear levels.

The Elder Scrolls Adventures Redguard

The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard

Released
November 16, 1998

Developer(s)
Bethesda Softworks

Around 16 Kilometers Of Explorable Area in Vvardenfell

Veteran Morrowind fans might be surprised that Morrowind is the smallest open-world Bethesda game in the series. Vvardenfell has a grand total of about 16 kilometers of playable space. The reason it felt much larger than the likes of Skyrim was this game didn’t have fast travel, and players had to go practically everywhere on foot if they couldn’t afford a ride.

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Well, it didn’t have convenient fast travel. Players could either pay a fee to use the silt striders dotted across the landscape to travel between towns, or those adept in the arcane arts could mark locations to teleport between. Coupled with the game’s slow movement speed, the Morrowind map size feels much larger than it really is. Those that own the Bloodmoon expansion can also travel to Solstheim by boat or by having a high enough Acrobatics skill to jump over the ocean.

Around 37 Kilometers Of Explorable Area in Skyrim

It’s a meme amongst the community that Bethesda has resold Skyrim half a dozen times by now, including the Special Edition of the game, the Greymoor expansion for Elder Scrolls Online, and there’s even a port for your Alexa. There is always something interesting happening near the player, whether that’s random encounters or unexplored dungeons.

Skyrim is much larger than Morrowind, more than doubling that game’s size at 37 kilometers (which doesn’t include the impressive verticality of the fifth Elder Scrolls title). Some of that space is water and mountains, but nearly all of the landscape has something for players to discover. Its breathtaking vistas and quests keep fans coming back almost a decade since its release. This world feels relatively small compared to others, though, because it’s incredibly easy to get around quickly, making exploration both more efficient and less exciting.

elder scrolls 5 skyrim cover

Skyrim

Released
November 11, 2011

ESRB
M for Mature: Use of Alcohol, Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes

About 41 Kilometers of Explorable Area in Cyrodiil

The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has the opposite problem of Morrowind. Many fans look back on this game as much smaller than other entries, but it is the opposite. Oblivion is a larger game compared to the latest three main entries, allowing players to explore the province of Cyrodil.

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At 41 kilometers, this game has a massive landscape for players to explore. Like other Bethesda games, major towns and dungeons keep players busy while exploring. This size gets even larger when the Shivering Isles is considered—a unique zone that is roughly 10 kilometers in size. When all of Oblivion’s content is accounted for, it is one of the largest games Bethesda has made in recent memory.

More Than 400 Kilometers Spanning Almost All Of Tamriel

It seems like cheating putting an MMO beside single-player RPGs, but The Elder Scrolls Online is surprisingly not the largest Elder Scrolls game. Unfortunately, no one truly knows how large ESO is. Not only is it difficult to measure since each region is instanced, but new zones are frequently added in major expansions.

The developers of the game commented before launch that Cyrodil is around 100 kilometers while most regions are around 10 kilometers. Adding every region together and assuming the major expansion zones are around 100 kilometers, the map of ESO is around 400 kilometers. This dwarfs the size of the past three main Elder Scrolls games combined! It is the largest Elder Scrolls game ever made that didn’t utilize procedural generation for its landscapes.

ElderScrollsOnlineGamePage

9 Million Kilometers In The First Elder Scrolls Game (According To Bethesda)

The Elder Scrolls Arena

If we went off of Bethesda’s marketing alone, The Elder Scrolls: Arena would be the largest RPG ever made by a massive margin. According to Bethesda, the Elder ScrollsArena map size is over 9 million kilometers large – 9,656,064 km, to be precise. Not only have developers lied about the size of their games, but this is impossible to prove.

Players have tried walking from one town to another to measure distance, but the game seems to loop the same terrain infinitely when the player walks too far from a town. Do this long enough and the game begins to break. Cities do have unique playspace, however, but there’s no way it adds up to exceed our final entry on this list.

The Elder Scrolls Arena

The Elder Scrolls: Arena

Released
March 25, 1994

Developer(s)
Bethesda Softworks

Daggerfall Is Around The Size of The UK In Real Life

The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall is the largest game in the Elder Scrolls franchise by a massive margin when ignoring Arena. The specific number is up for debate, but many fans have settled on the Daggerfall map size being approximately 161,600 kilometers. For reference, Great Britain is around 209,000 kilometers large. The size of both Arena and Daggerfall is thanks to its usage of procedural generation.

Everything from the environment to quests is randomly generated. Archaic dungeons and sometimes impossible quests are also the results of this, but the large sandbox Bethesda made with Daggerfall is hard to beat. This game lives up to the Elder Scrolls mantra of “live another life” better than any other game in the series. Players can buy houses, join guilds, obtain bank loans, own entire boats, and even settle legal issues in court! It lacks the polish or compelling narrative of future games, but the sandbox it provides is near limitless.

elder scrolls daggerfall

The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall

Released
September 20, 1996

Developer(s)
Bethesda Softworks

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