Elden Ring, the upcoming open-world action-RPG from From Software and George R.R. Martin, is only a week away from release, and many players are still deciding which class they’re going to start off with. In total, players will get to choose from ten starting options, so we’re here to break them down all classes so you can decide which one best suits your playstyle.
It’s worth noting that due to Elden Ring‘s flexibility in upgrading skills, starting classes only really impact the initial hours of the game and your starting equipment/items. From then on, you can pour points into whatever skills you want your character to have.
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All 10 Elden Ring Classes Breakdown
Focus: Vigor, Strength and Dexterity
The Vagabond is the most accessible class in Elden Ring. Like the Knight class in Dark Souls, the Vagabond will start off with high Vigor, Strength and Dexterity. Your starting equipment includes a sword and shield along with some decent armor. If you’re a player that favours using melee weapons and specializing in the defensive approach mixed with hard-hitting offense, then Vagabond might be for you.
Focus: Dexterity, Mind and Endurance
If you’re looking for incredibly stylish combat, look no further than the Warrior class. Starting off with very high dexterity, the Warrior is focused on positioning and offense rather than defense. You’ll start off with two scimitars and a medium shield, though this also means that if you dual-wield, you won’t be able to use your shield. This class will require players to have careful positioning while almost always being on the offensive. In terms of skills, it’s a fair spread of Endurance, Vigor, Strength and Mind, with a definite focus on Dexterity.
Focus: Vigor, Strength and Endurance
The axe-wielding Hero class gives players a good head-start in Vigor, Strength and Endurance. Starting off with a battle axe and shield, the Hero will cater to players who are mostly looking for a strong offense, though can still take damage by playing defensively. More importantly, the battle axe is a rather powerful, viable option in the early game if you aren’t a fan of swords or other melee weapons. Their slight boost in Arcane also means that they’ll have a greater chance of finding items.
Focus: Arcane, Dexterity and Mind
The Bandit class (not to be confused with the axe-wielding class from Dark Souls) is actually catered more towards bow users. If you’re looking to make a viable stealthy archer build, the Bandit could be an excellent class to start off with. Excelling in Arcane, finding items in the world will be a breeze. Thanks to decent Dexterity, it allows bows to be an effective option in combat. Needless to say, the Bandit is the ideal stealth build and starts off with a dagger, bow and arrows, and a parrying shield.
Focus: Dexterity, Endurance, Strength and Vigor
Arguably one of the coolest classes in Elden Ring with a fair spread across many skills, the Samurai is ideal if you want some of the strongest starting skills and gear right out the gate. With high Dexterity and Endurance, the katana-wielding Samurai focuses on a patient playstyle that’s equally offensive and defensive. Excelling at both long and close-range thanks to its starting equipment which includes a katana, round shield and longbow with Bone Arrows and Flame Arrows, the Samurai is a versatile class that’s able to switch between an assassin and warrior at a moment’s notice.
Focus: Dexterity, Intelligence and Mind
Despite its strange appearance, the Prisoner class is a fairly balanced starting class excelling in Dexterity, Intelligence and Mind. What you essentially have is a Spellsword, capable of combining melee swordplay and magic effectively. Their affinity with magic makes them ideal for players looking to deliver a strong magical offense, starting with Heal and Beast Claw. The Prisoner starts off with a large sword called an Estoc, a staff and a shield.
Focus: Intelligence, Mind and Dexterity
Elden Ring‘s Astrologer class is perfect for magic users looking to deal high damage. Thanks to their high starting skills in Intelligence and Mind, the Astrologer specializes in great offensive magic with the unfortunate setback of having low defense. Apart from a variety of starting magical abilities, you start with a staff, small shield and sword. Those looking for a sorcerer that engages enemies from a distance with a flurry of magical abilities might find this class to their liking.
Focus: Faith, Mind, Dexterity and Strength
The Confessor is one of the most versatile starting classes in Elden Ring. The church spy excels at Faith and Mind, meaning magic is an essential part of their playstyle. However, this is also countered by good Dexterity and Strength, so they can effectively use melee weapons and magic for a balanced battle-mage playstyle. Due to their covert nature, they can also make for a great stealth approach to combat, using a balance of magic and weapons to thin hordes of enemies from the shadows. The Confessor starts with a broadsword, shield and various incantations.
Focus: Faith, Mind and Strength
The Prophet starts off with the highest Faith of any class in Elden Ring. Though it’s often looked down upon, Faith might be an incredibly viable option this time. The Prophet’s starting equipment is a spear, shield and finger seal, which is a magical starting item. Despite its low health and poor armor, incantations can be used to buff the Prophet and give them a range of strong offensive and defensive capabilities. Since magic is their bread and butter, FP management is vital to ensuring the Prophet is able to hold their own in battle without running out of magic.
The Wretch is essentially the equivalent of a Deprived from Dark Souls. You start off with no real skill bonuses, strength or meaningful items. Your starting weapon is also a club. This class is meant for those who prefer to add that extra challenge to their experience. Furthermore, it’s also the most flexible class in terms of skills since you can pour points into practically anything and hone your ideal build from the start. Without heavy equipment weighing the class down, it will likely be a good choice for speedrunners.
Elden Ring launches on 25 February 2022 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.
Source: Elden Ring Twitter