The following is a list of quests that constitute the main questline:
- Soul Shriven in Coldharbour: Escape from the depths of Coldharbour.
- The Harborage: Explore visions of the past with the Prophet.
- Daughter of Giants: Rescue Lyris Titanborn from her Coldharbour prison.
- Chasing Shadows: Locate the agent of evil lurking in a nearby city.
- Castle of the Worm: Grant a request for asylum from a prisoner in the Castle of the Worm.
- The Tharn Speaks: Help the Chancellor uncover some new information at a Worm Cult lair.
- Halls of Torment: Save the missing companion from the Halls of Torment.
- Valley of Blades: Retrieve the Ring of Stendarr's Mercy from the Valley of Blades.
- Shadow of Sancre Tor: Retrieve the Amulet of Kings from its hiding place.
- Council of the Five Companions: Join the Five Companions and prepare for the final confrontation with Molag Bal.
- God of Schemes: Use the power of the Amulet of Kings to defeat Molag Bal.
The tutorial quest The Gates of Adamant is also listed in-game as a Main Quest, but is not related to the rest of the questline. The same applies to the deprecated Chapter-specific tutorial quests, namely Broken Bonds (Morrowind), The Mind Trap (Summerset), Bright Moons, Warm Sands (Elsweyr), and Bound in Blood (Greymoor).
- Prior to the One Tamriel update, the main quest was gated by character level, with each successive 5 levels unlocking the next section of the main quest, from The Harborage at Level 5 to Shadow of Sancre Tor at Level 40.
- Council of the Five Companions was originally unlocked at Level 45, but was dropped to Level 40 just after launch.
- God of Schemes was originally unlocked at Level 50, but was dropped to Level 45 just after launch.
- Messages Across Tamriel and The Weight of Three Crowns become available once Council of the Five Companions has been completed or once the final quest in the Alliance Storyline has been completed.
- Daedric War Storyline — the second main story arc of the Elder Scrolls Online
- Season of the Dragon — the third main story arc of the Elder Scrolls Online
- Dark Heart of Skyrim — the fourth main story arc of the Elder Scrolls Online
- Gates of Oblivion — the fifth main story arc of the Elder Scrolls Online
- Legacy of the Bretons — the sixth main story arc of the Elder Scrolls Online
- Shadow Over Morrowind — the seventh main story arc of the Elder Scrolls Online