Picking a starting build in a FromSoftware game is a huge deal. Your starting build is pretty important in any RPG. Leveling up your character by upgrading stats is crucial in Elden Ring, as it has always been in FromSoft games. There’s a lot of laboring and theorycrafting that goes into designing these class-based systems, and even more work is done by players in understanding them.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to be locked into a choice. You do have the ability to respec your character, or reallocate all of your previous levels. This is huge in an open-world RPG where you can sink tons of time into a build. Although there is respeccing in the game, that itself takes a ton of work to do. Most players will just want to know what builds are the best for their desired playstyle, keep reading to learn more about all the Classes in Elden Ring.
Which Class in Elden Ring should you pick?
That is obviously a very loaded question. The current assumption ahead of launch is that FromSoftware made the game at least a little similar to the previous games in their history. That is to say that stat scaling is key for making effective builds. The highly fluid combat isn’t about smacking enemies until they die. Beating bosses requires careful play and planning. And part of that planning involves knowing how to play your desired build.
Your starting Class in Elden Ring will have a lot of impact on the build you go for throughout the game. Each build within the game starts with base stats that help the offensive and defensive potential of their chosen stats. So in theory, you would use an Astrologer if you wanted a spellcaster, or a Samurai if you wanted to use bows. Sure, you could focus on something that is entirely antithetical to the archetype of your chosen start, but that’s just wasted points.
All Classes in Elden Ring Explained
There are a total of 10 classes in the game at launch. It’s likely that there are a lot of direct comparisons to previous FromSoftware games that can be made here. Below you will find a full breakdown of each of the starting stats and their levels for each class. It’s important to note that each of these classes can be specialized into certain builds pretty easily. If Elden Ring works similarly to previous Souls games, there will be tons of possible stat scaling and customization to be had.
Elden Ring Classes and Stats
The Astrologer is a very specific kind of style of play in this game, as is often the case with spell builds in RPGs. If you prefer caster classes and want to test out the magic system, this is a good choice to begin with. With a high Mind stat of 15 and an even higher Intelligence, it will be able to use plenty of spells and hit hard with them. The trickiest part of these builds is how squishy they tend to be, and the added resource management of your magic abilities. But for those that can hack it, it’s a lot of fun to nuke entire waves of foes.
The Bandit is a starter class with a good mix of all-round stats, but with a bit more focus on evasion-based defenses. The class begins with a bow and dagger and a small shield. It’s not meant to be a tank, more akin to a rogue in classic RPG archetypes. It’s not a bad choice to go for a fast-moving character that can leap clear of enemies before being hit. Another option is a magically-enhanced tank that uses magic buffs to add defensive layers. With the highest starting Arcane of any class, it has some potential there.
The Confessor is the jack-of-all-trades starting choice. It has a focus on 14 Faith, 13 Mind, and 12 Dexterity as its primary stats. This allows it to easily focus on many different builds before its stats hit any kind of soft cap. It’s very similar to any other hybrid character, only that it uses Faith as its primary starting stat. Whereas something like the Prisoner uses Intelligence. There are obviously any number of weapon and gear choices available to this build.
The Hero is a brute with 16 Strength at start. If you plan to use a weapon scaling that stat, this may be the option for you. Although with a low allotment of stats in the likes of Dexterity and Arcane, you won’t see good returns from investing in those stats. The Hero is the perfect starting class for a pure strength-based build.
The Prisoner is another option that has potential to move into many different builds. Starting with both a Rapier and Staff, it can go immediately into either melee or spellcaster archetypes. The Prisoner is built around melee and spells that scale around Dexterity, so focusing on that if you’re melee is golden. But if you want a spellsword type build, you would lose some raw DPS to grab stat points in Arcane, which would allow for more powerful spells. Both approaches work pretty well.
With a lot of focus on spellcasting, the starting 16 Faith and 14 Mind stats lend the Prophet plenty of magical prowess. It also specializes in a few types of magic, with powers lending to holy and fire magic at the start. The Prophet starts with a staff and spear for weapons, though you would be mistaken if you tried to rely on melee attacks with this character. But if you want to push boundaries you could certainly try to make that work.
The Samurai has a good mix of stats in melee abilities. With a max of 15 Dexterity, followed by 13 Endurance, it has a lot of propensity for melee builds. The Samurai is similar to the Vagabond, except for a higher focus on dexterity and ranged attacks. You could certainly go for a bow-based build here. Although hopefully FromSoft has fixed the god-awful controls for aiming from their previous games. We will have to wait and see. If that’s the case, the Samurai Elden Ring class could be a great bow attacker.
Vagabonds are durable fighters that start with a solid set of armor, and a medium-range melee weapon. It is pretty beefy, and has some of the best starting stats for a melee build. It even beats out the Warrior in terms of offense and defense scaling with its starting allocation. It’s probably one of the easier classes to do a jack-of-all-trades setup with. Another key difference is that it starts with higher Strength than the Warrior, making it suited to big and bulky weapons.
The Warrior is a Dexterity-based class that begins with a huge 16 Dex. This allows it to start scaling that damage type right away, far better than other builds in the melee archetype. This faster attacker won’t hit as hard, but it has a bit more focus on defense according to starting stats compared to most more specialized melee builds. Only the Vagabond beats it compared in the realm of melee offense and defense. This is much closer to a Ranger in archetypal tabletop RPGs than a Fighter, if you need that kind of comparison.
The Wretch is the direct nod to the Deprived from Souls games. This incredibly average character is actually surprisingly weak. With no starting gear other than the club, it’s much easier to kill than a more armored character with weaker stats. And the fact that all starting stats are set at 10 actually makes focusing on a build idea that much harder. If you want a challenging build, this is the choice for you. Although it’s really just a light challenge, not some insurmountable task.
Now that you have a quick breakdown of every class in Elden Ring, you have a lot of choices ahead of you. Will you opt for a melee build? Will you want to test out magic? See what builds are to your liking, and enjoy the game.