Any Tarnished who enters the Lands Between in Elden Ring knows there’s no shortage of player freedom. Customization options allow you to not only build your ideal character, but create your own combat strategies. So, whether you’re a seasoned Soulsborne enthusiast or if Elden Ring is your first FromSoftware experience, there’s a play style for you. There are 10 starting classes for you to select from, and each one is a bit different. Which is best, and which should you choose? Read on to learn more.
Which Starting Class to Choose in Elden Ring
Elden Ring offers 10 distinct classes that will determine what you will receive in terms of stats and equipment. The 10 classes are Astrologer, Bandit, Confessor, Hero, Prisoner, Prophet, Samurai, Vagabond, Warrior, and Wretch.
By and large, the best starting class choice depends on how skilled you are with similar games. If you’re new to Elden Ring, the Samurai is generally considered the best classes to start with. But if you’re already familiar with the formula, you’ll almost certainly want to choose the Wretch.
For the following breakdowns of these classes, we’ll briefly explore their beginning levels, critical stats, and starting equipment.
A sorcerer from the very beginning, the Astrologer specializes in casting spells with quick execution. While it may be the ideal class for mage builds, it does hold a Faith 7 stat, which is considerably low if you intend on healing yourself with holy magic. The Astrologer’s starting equipment includes the Astrologer’s Staff, Short Sword, Glintstone Pebble, Glintstone Arc, and Scripture Wooden Shield.
Starts at Level 6 with Intelligence 16, Mind 15, and Dexterity 12.
The Bandit is a cunning warrior who aims for the sweet spots either up close or with a bow. With the elevated stats for Arcane and Dexterity, it’s easy to say that this class is for the sneaky and the swift who wish to find worthwhile items along the way. Since the Bandit can strike from a distance, you’ll commence with a Shortbow, some Bone Arrows, the Great Knife, and a Buckler shield for archer builds.
Starts at Level 5 with Arcane 14, Dexterity 13, and Mind 11.
For the skilled church spy known as the Confessor, you’ll be able to wipe away your enemies with both magic and decent physicality. With the combined medium stats of Dexterity and Strength, this Tarnished becomes a relentless fighter on the field. If you fancy a solid beginning balance between sword and spell, you’ll start this class off with the Broadsword, Blue Crest Heater Shield, a Finger Seal, and the Urgent Heal and Assassin’s Approach Incantations. The Confessor is also the class with the highest starting soul level.
Starts at Level 10 with Faith 14, Mind 13, Dexterity 12, and Strength 12.
If you’re looking for a boost in your tank build, the Hero is a great way to go. While you do only get a Battle Axe and Large Leather Shield, you’ll be able to wield heavier weapons early on as opposed to many of the other classes.
Starts at Level 7 with Strength 16, Vigor 14, and Endurance 12.
Bounded in an iron mask, the Prisoner is a good choice for magic builds, especially if you’re looking to excel in Glintstone sorceries. The higher stats in Dexterity and Intelligence offer an equal footing for fighting and magic usage. Eager Tarnished who crave spellswords might find this class to be the ideal choice. The Prisoner is equipped with the Magic Glintblade for the Glintstone Staff, an Estoc, and a Rift Shield.
Starts at Level 9 with Dexterity 14, Intelligence 14, and Mind 12.
When it comes to comparing the Prophet with the Astrologer, the main difference is that the Prophet focuses on Faith more so than Intelligence. This allows the player to utilize more Dragon-based Incantations with ease. The banished seer begins their journey with a Short Spear, Rickety Shield, a Finger Seal, and the Heal and Catch Flame Incantations. An easy pick for mage builds.
Starts at Level 7 with Faith 16, Mind 14, and Strength 11.
The swift and highly-skilled Samurai might be the class to go with if Sekriro: Shadows Die Twice was a rewarding experience for you. Dexterity will allow you to equip better weapons, which goes hand-in-hand with a boost in Strength. Then there’s Endurance, the stat that is critical for blocking. The Vigor 12 doesn’t hurt either if you need an adequate amount of health to originate with you. Our Samurai class is a good fit for melee and archer builds since you’ll get the Uchigatana, Longbow, a Red Thorn Roundshield, and both regular and Fire Arrows.
Starts at Level 9 with Dexterity 15, Endurance 13, Strength 12, and Vigor 12.
The class with the highest starting Vigor stat, this Knight-inspired Vagabond excels in melee but lacks reasonable magic stats. This one is plainly tailored to tank builds and for players who prefer to not use spells. For this particular class, you’ll receive a Longsword, Halberd, and Heater Shield.
Starts at Level 9 with Vigor 15, Strength 14, and Dexterity 13.
If you have a knack for using two weapons simultaneously, then the Warrior class is for you. It’s definitely the perfect class for dual-wield and melee builds and if you’re on the hunt for a spellsword. The Warrior’s starting equipment includes two Scimitars and a Riveted Wooden Shield.
Starts at Level 8 with Dexterity 16, Mind 12, and Endurance 11.
The Wretch class is probably the most hardcore and challenging class to select. This one is made for seasoned Dark Souls players, and we wouldn’t necessarily recommend this for new players. However, it does generate a more overall challenging experience if you go with the Wretch. Moreover, if you need a class that only starts with the Club, look no further than the Wretch.
Starts at Level 1 with 10 points across all stats.
Which Starting Class is Best?
All things considered, the Samurai class is the best starting for new Elden Ring players. Dexterity is critical in your mission to wield stronger weapons, and the Samurai starts with plenty. It also features the third highest Vigor stat among all classes, meaning you can take more hits without perishing. Beyond that, it starts with the full Land of Reeds set, a fast-attacking katana, and a short bow.
Of course, if you’re aiming to have the best possible build down the line, you’ll want to start as the Wretch. It offers the most flexibility on your path toward New Game Plus and the eventual max level cap. The catch is that it’s the weakest option for the beginning of the game, lacking entirely in armor and only wielding a wooden club.
Lastly, the Two Fingers have high hopes for you, Tarnished. Lay thy eyes upon these guides that we have written up should you find yourself stuck and lost somewhere:
- Where to Find All Imbued Sword Keys
- Raptor’s Black Feathers | Where to Find
- Winged Scythe Location | Where to Find
C. Anthony Rivera is a freelance writer from Chicago, IL. He graduated from Columbia College with a degree in Writing and has been published on several gaming websites with reviews, news articles, and guides. He is currently working on a novel.