So you’ve never been big into computer games, but your best friend, or your kid, or your co-worker, talked you into giving Elder Scrolls online a try. Modern video games can be pretty confusing for people who aren’t familar with the way they work–especially MMOs like Elder Scrolls online. Don’t worry, you can actually pick it up pretty quickly. Here’s a short Elder Scrolls online guide to get you started.

Elder Scrolls online is an MMO, which stands for something no one can ever remember, but basically means a video game that thousands of people can play at the same time. There are three ways to play an MMO.

Solo play–you play by yourself, interacting with other players only when you want to. You get quests from non-player characters (think of them as the supporting cast). Follow the instructions for the quest to learn about the world, gain experience, and do neat stuff. You can also just explore the world, learn how to make things, and other extras.

Group play–you get together with a bunch of your friends and go into ‘instances’–special quests that only you and your friends can go into, so you don’t run into other players. If you have friends you can play with, group play can be a great way to learn about the game with people you trust to help you out. Just be sure that your friends are relaxed players. Some serious MMO players can get annoyed with new players making beginner mistakes, and playing with them when you are learning is the exact opposite of fun.

PvP–Player vs Player pits you against other players. In most MMOs, PvP is pretty much a free-for-all. In ESO, every player is a member of one of three armies fighting for control of the capital of the Tamriel, Cyrondil. PvP can be a lot of fun if you want to play with other people, but don’t have friends to play with. Just get comfortable controlling your character in solo play before you try PvP.

Each character in ESO has a race (what species they are), a class (which gives you some special skills) and an alliance (which side of the three-way civil war they are on). The character builder in ESO will walk you through building your first character. Don’t worry to much about the different abilities you can get with different races and classes right now. Just pick what sounds interesting and run with it. Once you start the game, you’ll have the option to go straight to the main game, or start in a beginner area, which will teach the basics of playing the game. Take your time exploring the beginner area, and when finish the quests there you can move on to the main game.