If you’re new to Elden Ring, or new to FromSoft games in general, starting the game can seem like a daunting task in and of itself. One of the first choices a new player must make is their starting class. Each class comes with its own pros and cons, but for an Elden Ring newcomer, deciding which class is best for you can be a little overwhelming. In this guide, we’ll cover the five
best starting classes for beginners and how to play those classes to give you the best chance of survival as you begin your journey into the Lands Between!
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5 Best Starting Classes in Elden Ring
As a new player, you might feel anxious about locking yourself into one style of play with your choice of starting class. The good news is that most starting classes are very flexible in their playstyle. The game allows you to change things up as you level your character if you find you don’t like the way a certain weapon or spell set plays.
The five best starting classes we’ll be covering in this guide are all great for new players because they allow for a mix of playstyles. They can also easily be customized to suit your preferences once you find your footing in the game.
Best Elden Ring Class Overall — Vagabond
The most well-rounded of these classes, and the best overall class for new players, is the Vagabond.
Starting Stats for Vagabond
This class starts at Level 9, the second highest level of any starting class, with 14 Strength and 13 Dexterity, the two primary stats that most weapons scale damage with. With a balanced spread between these two stats, players will have the ability to wield a wide variety of early-game weapons, including the longsword and the halberd the class starts with. This gives players room to experiment with the type of weapon they prefer while still allowing them to maximize the primary stat of their preferred weapon later on.
The Vagabond class also starts with 15 Vigor, the highest of any of the starting classes. This means the player will also be starting with the most HP out of any other choice of class. More HP means a higher likelihood of survival in the early hours of the game. Combined with the heater shield the class comes with, you’ll start out equipped ready to take hits as well as deal out some damage.
This class is great for creating what veteran Souls players call a “quality build” — a character that is well-rounded in attack and defense that primarily uses a shield and a on- handed weapon.
The quality build is a great choice for new players because it lets you experience the bread and butter of combat in the game — attacking with your weapon in one hand while blocking with your shield in the other. If a quality build sounds right for you, the Vagabond is a great place to start.
I recommend focusing on leveling your Vigor, Strength and/or Dexterity based on your preferred weapon, as well as Endurance to ensure you have the equip load necessary to carry some of the heavier weapons and shields.
Best Weapons for Vagabond
Your best bet for a solid weapon in the early game is the Bloodhound’s Fang, a greatsword that requires 18 Strength and 17 Dexterity to wield. It scales nicely with both of those stats, making it one of the strongest early game weapons for the Vagabond class. You can find this sword by defeating the boss inside the Forlorn Hound Evergaol in the south of Limgrave.
You can find the Brass Shield, an excellent early game shield, by defeating Godrick Soldiers near the Gatefront Site of Grace in Limgrave. This shield has a 100 physical guard stat, meaning it will block all physical attacks as long as you have remaining stamina.
Best Strength Class — Hero
If you’re looking to deal heavy damage at the cost of a slower attack speed, then a Strength build is right for you. The best starting class for a Strength build is the Hero class.
Starting Stats for Hero
The hero starts at Level 7 with 16 Strength and 12 Endurance. For this class, you’re going to want to stick with weapons that scale with strength, like the Battle Axe you start with. You also get the Large Leather Shield to start with, but I recommend using your weapon in the two-handed stance in order to maximize damage output. If you find it too difficult to avoid taking damage while using a two-handed weapon, you can always re-equip your shield.
While slightly less than the Vagabond class, the Hero still starts with a respectable 14 Vigor. This is a stat you will want to be sure to level up as you will want to compensate for your slower attack speed with the ability to take more hits. Endurance is another stat you will want to focus on leveling up because it will allow you to equip heavy armor and heavy weapons.
Keep an Eye on Your Load
Pay attention to your equip load. You want to make sure you always stay at a medium load or below so you can still effectively dodgeroll. If you’re at a heavy load, change out your armor or weapons until you’re down to a medium load and try to level up your Endurance before equipping the heavy weapon or armor.
Best Weapons for Hero
Since you will be using strength-based weapons, you’ll want to invest in Strength as your primary damage stat. One of the best early game strength weapons you’ll come across is the Great Axe.
To acquire this weapon, you’ll have to defeat one of the two giants pulling a caravan to the east of Agheel Lake in Limgrave. Once you’ve defeated one and stopped the caravan, open the chest in the back to claim your Great Axe. It requires a hefty 30 Strength to wield, but it packs a powerful punch perfect for a tanky character.
Best Dexterity Class — Samurai
As opposed to the Hero class, the Samurai focuses on fast attacks at the cost of reduced damage. But don’t let that put you off of this style of play! Dexterity based builds can be very powerful in Elden Ring.
Starting Stats for Samurai
The Samurai starts at Level 9 with 15 Dexterity, 12 Strength, and 13 Endurance. While the Warrior class has the highest starting Dexterity of any class, the Samurai is the better option for beginners because it comes with a wider variety of equipment that can be very useful in the early game, most notably the Longbow.
Tips for Attacks
Starting out with the Longbow, as well as Arrows and Fire Arrows, means you will have access to ranged attacks from the get go. This can be incredibly useful for new players who may be intimidated by combat because it allows you to pick off enemies from a distance before they can get too close. Ranged weapons are hard to come by early on in Elden Ring, so starting with one from the beginning is an advantage the Samurai has over any other class.
The Samurai also starts with the Uchigatana sword as their primary weapon, as well as the Red Thorn Roundshield. The Uchigatana scales with both Strength and Dexterity, making it a fairly well-rounded weapon for a fairly well-rounded class. With the addition of the Red Thorn Roundshield, you can swap between melee and ranged combat as necessary while having the means to handle both.
Best Weapons for Samurai
If you’d like to stick with a primarily Dexterity-based build, a great weapon to pick up is the Flail. It can be found in a chest in the back of a caravan at the Gatefront Ruins very close to the Gatefront Site of Grace. You need 18 Dexterity to wield this weapon, but it is worth it for the additional bleed damage it inflicts.
Another solid option is the Great Epee, which can be found in a chest amongst a group of enemies to the southeast of Lake Agheel in Limgrave. This weapon is a bit on the heavier side, but it allows you to attack while continuing to hold up your shield. It’s a great choice if you are not sure you want to commit to a pure Dexterity build and want to level up Strength as well.
Best Intelligence Class — Prisoner
Up to this point, we’ve been focusing on Strength and Dexterity as our primary offensive stats. But if you’re interested in using magic, you’ll want to focus on investing in the Intelligence and/or Faith stats. Magic in Elden Ring can be broken down into two basic categories: Sorceries and Incantations. Sorceries require varying levels of Intelligence to use while Incantations rely on your Faith stat.
If you’re interested in using Sorceries, the best class for you to start with is the Prisoner.
Starting Stats for Prisoner
Like the Samurai with its Dexterity stat, the Prisoner class starts with only 14 Intelligence, not the highest starting Intelligence stat when compared to the Astrologer. However, the Prisoner also starts with 14 Dexterity and 11 Strength giving it more melee oriented capabilities than the Astrologer. This allows you to dip your toes into Sorceries while still being able to fall back on melee combat if you need to.
The Glintsone Staff the Prisoner starts with will be your primary weapon for casting Sorceries. You will start with the Magic Glintblade Sorcery, which summons a spectral sword that fires at your opponent. This makes the Prisoner another great option for engaging in ranged combat.
Keep an eye on your blue FP meter, though. Every Sorcery costs FP to cast. You can restore FP by drinking from your Flask of Cerulean Tears. This class also starts with an Estoc and Rift Shield that you can swap to if you need to protect yourself during melee combat.
Best Weapons for Prisoner
Once you’re comfortable casting Sorceries, you should look for Sorceress Sellen in the Waypoint Ruins Cellar east of Lake Agheel in Limgrave. She will sell you new Sorceries in exchange for runes, so you can add new Sorceries to your arsenal. Glintsone Pebble is a must have as it has a short casting time and a low FP cost making it a staple of any Sorcerer’s build. Just be sure to equip new Sorceries under the “Memorize Spell” option while resting at a site of grace.
Best Faith Class — Confessor
The Confessor, like the Prisoner, is a more well-rounded Faith based class.
Starting Stats for Confessor
It has the highest starting level of any class at 10, but again, has only 14 Faith compared to the more optimized 16 Faith of the Prophet. However, once again, the Confessor is the better choice for a beginner because it starts with 12 Strength and 12 Dexterity allowing you to fall back on melee attacks.
Your starting equipment includes a Broadsword and Blue Crest Heater Shield as your primary armaments, as well as a Finger Seal which is used to cast Incantations. The Confessor starts with two Incantations, Urgent Heal and Assassin’s Approach.
In general, Incantations tend to be support-oriented magic rather than offensive magic like Sorceries. Urgent Heal heals the player proportional to their Faith stat while Assassin’s Approach allows the player to move with silent footsteps. Both of these Incantations are helpful for new players because they can aid your movement and exploration of the world, allowing you to sneak around enemies you might not want to face yet and provide additional healing when you’re in a pinch.
Best Weapons for Confessor
As a Faith-based class, you won’t have a lot of options for offensive Incantations early in the game, so you’re going to want a good melee weapon and shield. The Brass Shield that Godrick Soldiers drop is a better shield than the one you start with and the Great Epee takes advantage of the Confessors balanced Strength/Dexterity stats.
Join the High Ground
Remember that, no matter what class you start as, you’re not locked into that play style and can change your build as you go. Hopefully this guide has provided you with a good place to start. Comment below with any questions or feedback you have about the best starting classes in Elden Ring.
Good luck out there, brave Tarnished!