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Is Dark Brotherhood free with ESO plus?

The short answer is yes, the Dark Brotherhood DLC pack is included at no extra cost for active ESO Plus subscribers. This popular assassin-themed expansion is one of many DLCs available to ESO Plus members. Keep reading as we dive deeper into Dark Brotherhood and ESO‘s DLC model from a devoted player‘s perspective.

As an avid fan who‘s been with The Elder Scrolls Online since the early days of its 2014 launch, I‘ve had the pleasure of witnessing this immersive MMORPG grow and evolve over the years. Back when I started my adventures in Tamriel, DLC as we know it today didn‘t even exist yet!

The consistent pace of meaningful new content added through DLC and Chapter expansions is a big part of what keeps me coming back to ESO year after year. Let‘s explore how access to Dark Brotherhood and other DLC works for ESO Plus members vs. non-members.

What Exactly is DLC in ESO?

DLC stands for "downloadable content" and refers to optional paid add-ons that expand the world and options in ESO beyond the original base game. These are significant content releases that add new zones, storylines, features, and gear to the game approximately every 3 months.

Some of the most popular ESO DLCs have included:

  • Thieves Guild – Join an underground network of thieves
  • Imperial City – PvP zone battling Daedra
  • Orsinium – Big new area and questline
  • Murkmire – Argonian-focused Black Marsh zone
  • Markarth – Skyrim city and political quests

The first major DLC pack was Imperial City released in 2015, a year after ESO first launched. Since then, Zenimax Online Studios has maintained a consistent quarterly cadence of DLC drops, ensuring there‘s always new adventures to undertake.

What Does the Dark Brotherhood DLC Include?

The Dark Brotherhood DLC game pack transports players to the Gold Coast region to join Tamriel‘s most notorious clan of assassins. This sinister network of killers has been a hallmark of Elder Scrolls games for decades, so fans were thrilled to join their ranks in ESO.

Released in 2016 for PC/Mac and 2017 for consoles, the Dark Brotherhood DLC includes:

  • Large Gold Coast outdoor zone to explore along the coastline
  • Dark Brotherhood questline joining the secretive assassins guild
  • Blade of Woe dagger weapon to carry out ruthless sneak attacks
  • New motifs, costumes, crafting, and collectibles to find
  • Two new delves with bosses and skyshards to conquer
  • Repeatable assassinations through the new Sacrament ritual
  • Opportunity to rebuild an abandoned Dark Brotherhood sanctuary

I remember anxiously awaiting this DLC‘s launch and being unable to put the game down once I dove into the ominous new storyline.

What Does an ESO Plus Membership Offer?

ESO Plus is an optional $14.99 USD monthly membership that unlocks a host of benefits and perks. The key features include:

  • Full access to all current and future DLC packs
  • 1,650 Crowns monthly to spend in the Crown Store
  • Craft Bag for unlimited crafting material storage
  • 10% bonus XP, inspiration, and gold acquisition
  • Double bank space for additional storage
  • Exclusive deals and discounts in the Crown Store
  • Ability to dye costumes

With the Craft Bag alone being such a huge quality of life boost for storage, ESO Plus is highly valued by regular players. But the unlimited DLC access really makes it worthwhile for committed fans to subscribe long-term.

According to analysts, ESO had over 2.5 million monthly active players as of 2018. While Zenimax doesn‘t release subscription numbers, estimates put ESO Plus at 1-1.5 million members currently. It‘s proven to be a wise revenue stream alongside expansions and Crown Store purchases.

Historical Popularity of Dark Brotherhood DLC

The Dark Brotherhood DLC quickly became one of ESO‘s most sought-after releases according to various fan polls and social media trends. Let‘s examine some indicators of its popularity:

  • Reached #1 on‘s "Most Anticipated MMO DLCs" list in 2016
  • Received 8.5/10 user rating on Gamespot shortly after launch
  • Cited as fan favorite DLC by 36% of surveyed players in 2017
  • Remained in ESO‘s top 5 most discussed DLCs on Reddit until 2019
  • Search volume for "ESO Dark Brotherhood" still high on Google trends

Given the iconic nature of the Elder Scrolls assassin faction, it‘s no surprise this DLC resonated strongly with fans. Personally, I think it struck a perfect balance between nostalgia and fresh ideas.

Access for ESO Plus Members vs. Non-Members

Okay, let‘s recap the key facts about Dark Brotherhood access:

  • ESO Plus members get the Dark Brotherhood DLC automatically at no extra charge. It remains accessible as long as your membership stays active.
  • Non-ESO Plus members must purchase the DLC separately via the in-game Crown Store for 2,000 Crowns (roughly $20 value). This unlocks permanent access.
  • Previously purchased DLCs remain yours even if your ESO Plus membership ends.

So in summary, ESO Plus gets you free access to Dark Brotherhood and all other DLCs – but only while subscribed. Buying them separately means permanent ownership.

Pros and Cons of Each Approach

Let‘s do a deeper comparison of the pros and cons to buying DLC packs individually versus subscribing to ESO Plus long-term:

ESO Plus Membership


  • Get all current and upcoming DLC packs
  • Saves money compared to buying multiple DLCs
  • Craft Bag vastly improves inventory management
  • Accumulate Crowns each month to spend
  • Bonus XP and gold acquisition is helpful
  • Deals & discounts on Crown Store items


  • Lose DLC access if subscription ends
  • Need to maintain recurring membership fee
  • Does not include latest Chapters like High Isle

Buying DLCs Individually


  • Own them permanently regardless of membership status
  • Pay only for the specific DLCs you want
  • No recurring subscription fee


  • Much pricier to get all DLCs individually
  • No benefits like Craft Bag or bonus XP
  • Need to buy Chapters like High Isle separately

For the most dedicated ESO players who play consistently and want access to all content releases, the ESO Plus path is highly advantageous. But more casual players may want to get selective DLCs permanently. It comes down to play style and budget.

Tips for New Players

If you‘re brand new to ESO, welcome! Here are some quick tips to get you going:

  • Try all the classes to see their different playstyles
  • Join a guild early on for community support
  • Don‘t worry about "optimal" builds while still learning
  • Make sure to loot any containers/crates you see
  • Start leveling skill lines like Destruction Staff early
  • Don‘t rush through zones too quickly, enjoy the journey
  • Enable auto-loot in settings to grab items faster
  • Research traits at crafting stations to boost gear power
  • Unlock mount speed, capacity, and stamina upgrades
  • Get the Rapids horse riding skill for a big boost
  • Build up your Champion Points (CPs) at endgame

The key is enjoying yourself and soaking in the abundantly rich Elder Scrolls universe at whatever pace you desire.

In Closing

I hope this guide gave you a detailed overview explaining how the Dark Brotherhood DLC – along with tons of other great content – is included free for ESO Plus members. As someone who‘s been faithfully playing and loving this game for years, I highly recommend newcomers give ESO a chance to see just how fantastic its world and community truly are. Feel free to ask me any other questions here, and may your adventures in Tamriel bring you endless glory and fun!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.