If you’re one of the many people who have dived into Elden Rings, you’ll be immediately confronted with a very important question: which of the Elden Ring classes should you opt for?
There are 10 Elden Ring classes to choose from, each with different strengths and weaknesses. It’s worth point out that picking a class won’t actually prevent you from using select weapons or skills. For example, an Astrologer can still equip a massive hammer despite their low starting Strength attribute, while a Warrior can use magic.
The Elden Ring classes only affect your starting attributes and armor / weapons. You’ll be able to alter your inventory and stat balance as you progress through the game.
But if this is the first time you’ve ever played a FromSoftware game, then you’ll want to make sure you pick the right class to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for the first few hours. We’ve listed every class below, and explained their strengths and weaknesses to determine if they’re a good fit for you.
Out of all the Elden Ring classes, the Vagabond is our top recommendation for beginners to Elden Ring. It has the biggest health bar out of all of the other classes, and also has high attributes for Strength and Dexterity to ensure it’s a great at melee combat.
Having high strength and dexterity will increase the damage output of most melee weapons, while also allowing you to equip high-level weapons without seeing a penalty.
The Vagabond also starts off with a longsword and halberd. The former is great for all-round use, dealing high damage while also allowing you to remain quick on your feet. Meanwhile, the halberd has a long reach, allowing you to strike enemies without getting too close. And most important of all, the Vagabond comes equipped with the Heater Shield which can block 100% of standard physical attacks, as long as your stamina bar hasn’t been depleted.
With all things considered, the Vagabond is best suited to melee combat with a shield, so you can block standard enemy attacks easily, while still being able to deal large amounts of damage.
The Warrior is another one of the Elden Ring classes that focuses on melee combat, but is considerably more mobile and aggressive than the Vagabond. Dexterity is its strongest attribute, therefore able to deal high damage with light and medium weapons. This class isn’t really suited to heavy weapons, such as battle axes, due to its mediocre strength rating.
The warrior starts off with two scimitar swords, allowing you to dual wield. This means you’ll be able to deal very high damage, although you will need to rely on rolling and dodging to avoid taking damage in a fight. You also start off with a Riveted Wood Shield, but its 47% physical damage guard means you’ll still likely take damage from a successful block.
I’m reluctant to recommend the Warrior class to newcomers, as you ideally need to be skilled at rolling and dodging to be successful in combat. But those who don’t like to hide behind a shield will find a lot of joy here.
If you look solely at the stats, the Samurai looks very similar to the Warrior. Both focus on Dexterity for fast movement in melee combat, while still featuring enough Strength to deal high damage. Vigor and Endurance are also high to ensure you have a large health and stamina bars.
The biggest difference between the Warrior and Samurai is that the latter starts off with a bow, with the added bonus of fire bows. This means you’ll be able to deal damage from afar, while still being effective up close thanks to the lone katana. This makes the Samurai less aggressive than the Warrior, and so could be a great option for newcomers to the Souls series.
The only downside to the Samurai is its low stats for magic, so it’s not the best choice if you want to make use of spells and magical items as soon as possible.
The Hero is very similar to the Vagabond, as this is another class that specializes in melee combat. But the Hero sees a greater emphasis on strength over dexterity, meaning you can equip heavy weapons to deal seriously high damage. To emphasize this, the Hero starts off with a Battle Ax which deals base physical damage of 123, compared to the 110 damage output of the Vagabond’s longsword.
Due to its high Strength stat, this is the best class for equipping heavy armor and the most punishing weapons. But equipping such items will make your character slower, and less capable of successfully rolling out of the way of an attack. This means it’s worth investing in a good shield, and learning to time your attacks to perfection.
The Arcane stat is surprisingly high here too, which means you have an increased chance of finding rare items when looting an enemy, while also providing a boost to select spells. If you’d like to dabble with magic, but want to focus on melee, this may be the ideal class for you.
The Bandit boasts high dexterity, enabling you to build an agile character that excels at fast counter attacks. The Strength stat is very low here, so you may struggle to maximize the damage of many melee weapons, unless you stick with daggers and knives. With this in mind, it’s best to opt for a stealth approach with the Bandit, so you can sneak up on enemies to take them down before they’ve even detected you.
The Bandit also starts off with a Shortbow, allowing you to fight enemies from a range. If you want to build your own archer class, the Bandit is arguably your best option. Its incredibly high Arcane stat also means you’ll have a high chance of finding high-level loot, as well as being able to dabble with magic.
The Bandit requires players to have quick reactions, as you’ll be required to roll and jump a lot to avoid enemy attacks, especially in close-quarter boss encounters. But if you’re keen to use stealth and archery to your advantage, then the Bandit is a fantastic option.
The Confessor is the first Elden Ring class on this list that specializes in magic, albeit focused on the Faith stat. It starts the game with an Urgent Heal spell, which pairs nicely with the character’s high Faith level. The Assassin’s Approach spell can also be used to silence your footsteps and make it easier to sneak up on an enemy and perform a backstab.
Despite its focus on Faith spells, it’s also got high stats for Strength and Dexterity, making it a competent melee fighter. This is reinforced by the fact you start off equipped with a broadsword and Blue Crest Heater Shield, which are both fantastic options for combat.
The Confessor is arguably the most rounded Elden Ring class, sporting the highest total of attribute points out of all of the other options. For this reason, the Confessor is one of the best options for newcomers, especially if you’d like to play around with magic while still being competent at up-close melee combat.
The Prophet is very similar to the Confessor class, but with higher stats for both Faith and Mind to make spells more effective, while also seeing a slightly larger magic meter at the start. You also start off with a Heal spell, as well as the Catch Flame which can deal damage at a distance.
You also come equipped with a spear and rickety shield, so you can still engage in melee combat, although you’ll likely see more success by focusing on spells. That said, the Intelligence and Arcane stats here are underwhelming, so the Prophet isn’t the best class for all-round magic.
Unless you want to really focus on Faith spells, then I wouldn’t recommend the Prophet class. The Confessor largely has the same perks (aside from the starting Fire spell) but is more versatile, hitting harder in close combat thanks to its superior starting weapon and higher Strength and Dexterity attributes.
The Astrologer is another one of the magic-centric Elden Ring classes, although he excels in Intelligence instead of Faith. What’s the difference? Not a great deal, although they both have different pools of spells and weapons to take advantage of. Faith is generally more focused on healing, while still being offensive, whereas Intelligence prioritizes attack, enabling you to use a staff to cast magic projectiles.
The Astrologer class starts the game with two Sorcery spells: the Glintstone Pebble and the Glintstone Arc. Both spells enable you to attack enemies from range via the Astrologer’s Staff, while the Short Sword and Scripture Wooden Shield still make it possible to strike enemies up close.
But due to the Astrologer’s low Strength attribute, we wouldn’t recommend picking this class if you want to engage in melee combat more often than magic. Nevertheless, this is a great Elden Rings class for beginners who want to try out sorcery.
The Prisoner is another Elden Ring class that champions the Intelligence attribute, so you can make use of sorcery spells to damage enemies from a safe distance. But with high Dexterity and decent Strength, this is a more competent class for up-close combat.
Combine those strengths together, and the Prisoner is a very good option for using magic weapons. You even start with Magic Glintblade sorcery, which can be fired at enemies. The Stock thrusting sword you start off with also ideal for a Dexterity build, with long reach and fast swipes.
The Prisoner is a well balanced class, only seeing low stats for Faith and Astrology. It’s a decent class to start off with in Elden Rings, although the range of options at your disposal may be a tad overwhelming for Souls newcomers.
The Wretch is the weakest class of them all, and is essentially FromSoftware’s way of introducing a challenge to veteran players. Everything single attribute is given the same mediocre 10 level, which means this class doesn’t have any strengths, while also having the lowest accumulation of attributes out of all of the available classes.
You also begin the game with just a Club, while also venturing into the world with no armor or clothes, making you highly vulnerable to attacks before you’ve managed to seek out some equipment.
The best aspect of the Wretch is that it basically acts as a blank slate, allowing you to create your own build however you wish, while only making use out of weapons, armor and spells that you find on your journey. Nevertheless, this is the absolute worst class to pick for beginners, so we only really recommend choosing it if you already have plenty of Souls experience under your belt.