If you’re jumping into Elden Ring, be sure to choose the right starting class for you!
Whether you’re new to the ‘Souls’ style of games or not, you’ve got quite the adventure ahead of you. After all, Elden Ring is Hidetaka Miyazaki’s biggest project to date, and there’s plenty to explore.
Taking the notoriously difficult series into the open world, Elden Ring gives players the freedom to explore, while also maintaining the feel of a Souls title.
However, even the game’s director admits that Elden Ring offers a more leisurely pace than Dark Souls!
With that in mind, it’s time to pick the best starting class for you, as well as get started with the crazy Elden Ring character customization!
Which Elden Ring Class Should I Pick?
The good news is that your Elden Ring starting class won’t dictate your whole experience. But it does help to pick the class that best fits your playstyle.
Like in the Dark Souls franchise, your starting class will dictate your initial stats and weapons/armor. However, should you choose, you can always put points into attributes of your choice, as well as equip yourself with whatever gear you choose.
Bear in mind that choosing the right starting class is still an important decision.
Best Melee Classes in Elden Ring
If you’re a fan of simple and effective combat, the Hero is for you. This class starts off with high Vigor, Strength, and Endurance stats, making them an excellent option for new players or ones that love straightforward Souls combat.
Not only can you take extra hits before being defeated, but you’ll also be dealing big damage with Strength-based weapons. As a drawback, however, you’ll often attack relatively slowly.
Starting Equipment: Battle Axe, Large Leather Shield
The Warrior is a Dexterity-heavy class who focuses more on speed than offensive power. However, since you have rapid attacks, you’ll be dishing our damage just as well as the Hero.
Don’t get hit though, as Warriors don’t start off with a shield to protect themselves, trading a reliable defense for some extra damage.
Starting Equipment: 2 x Scimitars, Riveted Wooden Shield
The Bandit is a rather Dextrous all-rounder class in Elden Ring. It has a notably high Arcane stat, making it an excellent looter, and resistant against instant death.
What may appeal to some fans is that the Bandit also has a bow in its starting equipment, making it effective at any range. But you’ll need to work on your parry timing as the Buckler shield is too small to offer much protection.
Starting Equipment: Great Knife, Shortbow, Buckler, Bone Arrow
Unsure as to which weapons you’ll enjoy most in Elden Ring? The Vagabond may be the best class for you.
With high Strength, Dexterity, and Vigor, the Vagabond is a class all about keeping your options open. It’s also the only class to begin the game with a Halberd.
Starting Equipment: Longsword, Halberd, Heater Shield.
The most dextrous class in Elden Ring, the Samurai starts with not only a Katana but also a bow and flaming arrows. The Samurai focuses on speed and prefers to dodge incoming attacks or keep enemies at range.
If you’re a fan of fast, flashy, versatile combat, the Samurai might be your best bet.
Starting Equipment: Uchigatana, Longbow, Red Thorn Roundshield, Arrow, Fire Arrow
Best Magic Classes in Elden Ring
Now that all the melee combat classes are out of the way, let’s take a look at the Prisoner. This class is one of the best options for those who want to try out Magic in Elden Ring.
It focuses on Dexterity and Intelligence, making it an excellent option for spellcasters. However, you could easily change your mind and become a melee fiend too.
Starting Equipment: Estoc, Glintstone Staff, Rift Roundshield, Magic Glintblade
With high Faith and Mind stats, the Prophet is (unsurprisingly) the best option for those who want to try out transformation and healing magic. If you’re looking to use some of Elden Ring’s epic Dragon Transformation spells, look no further for your starting class.
The Prophet also gets access to the powerful Beast Claw and Heal abilities right off the bat. Just make sure you know how to get more Focus Points in Elden Ring to keep casting Magic!
Starting Equipment: Short Spear, Finger Seal, Rickety Shield, Heal, Catch Flame
If you’re looking for the ultimate Magic glass cannon, look no further than the Astrologer! With the lowest HP out of all the starting classes, the Astrologer makes up for its weakness with huge magical DPS.
The Astrologer works best when casting Magic Spells at range, and it can even do so while on horseback! Again, take a look at our guide to keeping your Focus Points high (linked above), as you’ll need to manage FP well to play this class.
Starting Equipment: Astrologer’s Staff, Short Sword, Scripture Wooden Shield
You can think of the Confessor as being very similar to the Prophet, only with more of a focus on melee combat. Although the class has the Faith and Mind stats of a Magic-focused class, it also relies on Strength and Dexterity.
This starting class allows you to burn through your Magic abilities and still have a good way to fight. But it lacks the incredible starting loadout of the Prophet, as a trade-off.
Starting Equipment: Broadsword, Blue Crest Heater Shield, Finger Seal, Assassin’s Approach, Urgent Shield
Most Versatile Class in Elden Ring
Finally, we have our last Class in Elden Ring – the Wretch. This is the most versatile class in the game, and isn’t particularly strong or weak in anything.
While the Wretch starts off at a lower level than other classes, it allows you to build your Attributes however you choose. And that makes it the best starting class for many Elden Ring players, so long as they’re ready for an early-game grind.
Make sure you know what every Attribute stat does in Elden Ring before you start leveling up your classes!