The Elder Scrolls: Blades

App review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
The Elder Scrolls: Blades App Poster Image
Adventure series brings huge violent adventure on the go.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The touch-based controls are easily accessible and are quite responsive in combat and when navigating the various menus. Moving through the world, though, can be a bit more awkward and cumbersome. The game starts off relatively easy, but can ramp up quickly, particularly in the gauntlet-style Arena.


Players use a variety of medieval weapons and magical abilities to fight against all manner of animals, monsters, and human (or humanlike) enemies. The first-person perspective gives an up close and personal view of these attacks, with some minor occasional splashes of blood and defeated enemies dropping dead at players’ feet.


Some female characters are shown wearing low cut revealing outfits.


The game is free-to-play, but there's a heavy push to make use of microtransactions in the store to speed progress. Chests picked up in or rewarded after quests require a set amount of time to open, one at a time. This timer can only be bypassed with Gems, either earned slowly through gameplay or purchased outright. Players can also buy treasure chests of various rarities via the in-game store. Based off the popular Elder Scrolls franchise from consoles and PCs.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Players craft all manner of potions, poisons, etc. Players also occasionally come across wine and other alcoholic beverages as a way to recover some health.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a free-to-play, first-person, fantasy role-playing adventure game available for download on iOS and Android devices. Based on content from the popular Elder Scrolls franchise on console and PCs, players work to defend and rebuild their hometown by fending off all manner of threats, ranging from enemy soldiers and bandits to wild animals and magical creatures. Combat regularly occurs, with the first-person perspective giving players a detailed view of the brutal fighting. Although free-to-play, there's a heavy push for in-game microtransactions, including rare treasure chests, equipment, and gems which can be used to bypass the time required to complete certain actions.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 13 years old Written byNoxieBear June 15, 2020

Amazing game!

This game recently came out on the Nintendo Switch for a free download, and I've been playing it a lot recently. It has only been out on Switch for maybe 2... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byShadowslayer88 May 18, 2020

Great game for long sessions or short bursts.

The game does include microtransactions, but the review is outdated. There is no longer a timer on chests, and all of the items you buy can be gotten in-game wi... Continue reading

What's it about?

THE ELDER SCROLLS: BLADES is a mobile fantasy role-playing game (RPG) set in the Elder Scrolls world of Tamriel. For centuries throughout the land of Tamriel, there were few more trusted and revered than the Blades, an ancient order sworn to the service and defense of the Dragonborn. But that was before the Great War saw the order disbanded and its members hunted down and executed by the Thalmor. In the game, you're one of the few surviving Blades, a fugitive on the run and in hiding. You return to your hometown for sanctuary only to find it in ruins, the result of an attack by mercenaries under orders from the Bloodfall Queen. While you may be in hiding, you're still one of the Blades of the Empire. Calling on the sense of honor and duty that once served you as a Blade, you now take on the task of helping to rebuild your hometown, defending its people, and fighting back against the Bloodfall Queen, all while trying to uncover the true source of the encroaching evil and the threat it poses to all of Tamriel.

Is it any good?

When it was announced that this series was coming to mobile devices with an original RPG experience, concern arose about if it could live up to the legacy of its console and PC brethren. While obviously some changes had to be made, The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a strong addition to the franchise. The game looks absolutely gorgeous, recreating the detailed style of Tamriel almost flawlessly. The user interface works great for combat, which relies heavily on timing. All the commands are right at your fingertips, and the game even allows players to switch out from portrait to landscape views on the fly. Unfortunately, movement in Blades and exploring the environment isn’t nearly as good. Using the virtual thumbsticks to move feels somewhat sluggish, especially when trying to look around. On the flip side, when using the touch and move option, it’s way too easy to overshoot or undershoot your mark due to the 3D first-person layout. It’s nothing you can’t get used to with practice, but it can be frustrating after running into a wall for the umpteenth time.

The Elder Scrolls: Blades isn’t the open world adventure that fans are accustomed to. Instead, it’s a sort of hybrid between a dungeon crawler and a city builder, but with enough solid role-playing elements added in to still feel like an Elder Scrolls game. If there’s one genuine weak point to the gameplay, it’s that the free-to-play formula hurts more than it helps. The problem is that some actions are locked behind a time gate. This gets particularly irritating if you’ve collected a number of treasure chests, which can only be opened one at a time, taking longer times for rarer chests. If you keep playing the game, you wind up with a bunch of chests that are constantly waiting to be opened. The only way around this is to use Gems to speed the process along, but you rarely earn enough through gameplay to do much. The result leaves you feeling either forced to sit in timeout just for wanting to play or forced to pay to access your well-earned rewards. In spite of this frustration, The Elder Scrolls: Blades is still a solid fantasy role-playing game, with an entertaining story and strong gameplay worthy of a Dragonborn.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about microtransactions in games. What are some of the ways that “free-to-play” games try to encourage players to spend money in the game? What are some of the offers that you would be willing to spend money on and what practices discourage you from doing so?

  • Is the impact of violence in games like The Elder Scrolls: Blades affected by the fact that you're frequently fighting monsters and figures that aren't real? Would the violence be intensified if you were only fighting humans, or if the visuals were more graphic? How can more immersive experiences, such as first-person games, impact the how violence in games can affect younger players? 

App details

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