Dark Souls is one of the best action RPGs there is. While the graphics and gameplay may feel a little outdated–especially compared to Elden Ring–the game is still just as fun and engaging as it was all those years ago. If you’re new to the world of Dark Souls Remastered (or it’s just been a while), you’re going to want to pick a beginner-friendly class to get a solid footing as you dive into this hostile world.
We’ll make sure you know everything you need to start your journey and go over the best beginner classes and builds for Dark Souls Remastered so that you can make an informed decision when creating your character.
But before we get into the nitty-gritty of this article, let’s go over what exactly classes are in Dark Souls. Firstly, a class is a basic outline of your character that you will select at the start of the game. It will determine their stats, as well as the armor and weapons they start out with at the beginning of the game.
Do keep in mind that they are not “locked in” to any particular play style or set of weapons/armors. Once you pick a class, you cannot change it after beginning your play-through.
The point of the class system is to give you a basic direction of where to take your build. For example, if you know you want to do a mage-like character, you might pick the Sorcerer class. It also gives you the basic tools you need to fight off enemies and make it through the early parts of the game until you can get better stuff.
So as you can imagine, picking the right class for your first play-through matters. But out of all the classes, which one should you pick? I’m glad you asked…
Best Starting Classes & Builds for Dark Souls Remastered
With that out of the way, let’s jump right into this guide!
Bandit is a pretty good melee class that allows users a pretty versatile play style without suffering too much in any one area. This is a pretty underrated starting class in my opinion. While there are many disadvantages to taking this class, there is one key advantage I’ll mention that I think makes it worth it, despite the downsides. Please hear me out and read to the end.
This is a high-strength berserker-like class that gives you a giant axe right out the get-go. It’s great for dealing good damage to enemies, which is invaluable to have early on. Especially when you are going up against some of the game’s bosses. I recommend you pick this class if you’re fairly experienced in third-person action RPGs similar to Dark Souls, but have not ever played Dark Souls itself before.
As previously mentioned, this class begins the game with a high level of strength. This will allow you to wield strength-based weapons and will increase the amount of damage that you can do with said weapons. This class also begins with good endurance, which is a must-have stat for being able to frequently attack enemies and dodge out of their way. High endurance also helps with having a high equip-load, which allows you to roll faster.
This class also begins the game with a bow. While you can get a hold of one fairly early on, it’s still a nice feature to have right from the get-go. You’ll be able to deal with enemies from a safe distance, keeping you out of harm’s way. This is especially useful when going up against certain bosses. It’s also good for dealing with big groups of enemies, as you can pick them off one by one.
If you decide to go with this class, then you’re going to want to increase your vitality. This is the stat that governs your health. I consider the play style of a Bandit to be fairly aggressive, so having more health definitely helps. Increasing strength is also great for boosting your damage output early on, although endurance would be a great choice as well due to the fact you can dodge out of the way more often.
The best and most important thing for making this build work is by getting the Zweihander early on. This is a really powerful greatsword that does very high damage. You only need to level up strength three times to use it, and you can get it extremely early on.
When you’re at the hub area (the place where the crow drops you off after the Undead Asylum), go to the graveyard next to the church. It will be on a corpse towards the end of that area.
This sword is very, very good. It will allow you to deal lots of damage to both bosses and regular enemies alike, making you very powerful early on in the game. This is why I recommend this class for beginners, even if it may not seem as great as some of the other classes.
Next up is the Knight! This is a really simple, but effective sword and shield build that is great for keeping you alive and protected.
The Knight is a fairly straightforward and easy-to-understand class, but don’t think that means they aren’t a good class to choose from. They don’t have access to any spells or incantations at the start of the game and instead focus on a melee-based play style. While they do not have the best offensive capabilities, they make up for it with great armor and stats that are geared more toward defense.
Speaking of stats, a Knight has a mixture of strength and dexterity, meaning they don’t specialize in any specific weapon type. This is nice if you haven’t decided if you should base your character on strength or dexterity-based weapons yet.
Though one thing that I dislike about Knights is that with their starting equipment and stats, they have a slow roll speed. This is bad for a game like Dark Souls, where you’ll need to be dodging a lot.
They are still fairly tanky, however, and can use their shields to defend from most damage. Knights start the game with the Tower Kite Shield, which is a really fantastic medium shield that can get you through most combat encounters with ease.
So overall, while the Knight is not very agile and could have better offensive capabilities, it’s still a tanky class with good health and defense that makes it great for a beginner that’s starting to learn Dark Souls Remastered.
The stat that you’re going to want to focus on leveling the most in the early game is endurance. I cannot stress enough how important this stat is to the Knight.
As previously mentioned, due to how heavy the equipment of the Knight is, they are slow when rolling around. You’ll want to increase your endurance to up your equip load, which will allow you to move around faster. You’ll also want to decide if you should do strength or dexterity-based weapons, and level up the appropriate stat.
As for gear, the stuff you start out with is honestly pretty good for most of the early game. You can, however, get a hold of the Elite Knight’s Armor set early on in the Dark Root Garden. This is a pretty nice suit of armor that can help with your defense.
If you decide to level up strength, you can also effectively use the Black Knight’s Sword, which has a 20% chance of dropping whenever you kill a Black Knight.
The Cleric is another great beginner class to try out in Dark Souls Remastered. This is a class that is perfect for healing and keeping yourself alive.
Cleric is a magic-based class that can cast healing incantations to quickly regenerate health. They’re essentially a support character and do not offer as much in the way of defensive capabilities when compared to certain classes in the game. I recommend this character if you find yourself taking damage often and need something to regenerate health if you keep running out of estus flasks.
A Cleric will start out the game with a Faith level of 14, which is pretty decent. This makes a lot of sense given their emphasis on using miracles to heal themselves and their allies. Their dexterity is low, sitting at level 8, but they make up for that with high strength. This is actually higher than the Knight’s starting stat. The Cleric also begins the game with a Mace, meaning you can deal a decent amount of melee damage with them right from the get-go.
One major downside of the Cleric is that they start the game with one of the worst shields in Dark Souls. This is not the best class to use if you want something that will make defense much easier on you. Despite this drawback, however, there really aren’t that many other downsides to using the Cleric, and it’s still a solid starting class to pick for your very first play-through.
Choosing the Cleric is a must if you are planning on doing a paladin build for your playthrough of the game. Having high faith as well as a Talisman at the start of the game allows you to immediately start casting spells.
I advise you to level up your vitality to get your health up. You should also put some points early-game into endurance to make sure that you have a high equip load and can roll around quickly.
Afterwards, you should also focus on raising your faith, due to how often you’ll be using miracles. You can raise your attunement to increase the number of spell slots you have (but don’t do this until you unlock more miracles).
And in first place, we have none other than the Pyromancer as the best beginner class in Dark Souls Remastered! This is the class that I chose for my first playthrough, and I can’t recommend it enough.
This is a magic-based class that centers around the use of pyromancies. This is a special type of magic that allows you to cast a variety of fire-based spells.
When you first start the game, you’ll only be able to cast basic fireballs. But later on, you will be able to create a variety of larger, more deadly spells, such as storms of powerful fire geysers, and strong combustion spells that deal very high melee damage.
This class starts out with pretty balanced stats, making it a good jack-of-all-trades early game. You won’t suffer too much in any one category. In addition to that, this class will start you out at level 1. This may sound bad, but it’s actually very beneficial. This is because it means you’ll require less XP (“souls” as it’s called in-game) to level up your character, allowing you to increase your stats quickly.
In regards to starting gear, the best feature of the Pyromancer class is its fireballs. This is a basic spell that deals good damage in a close range. It’s very good for taking on early-game bosses, as it deals more damage than your starter weapon.
Speaking of which, you will start out your game with a handaxe. This weapon is good for many of the enemies you’ll encounter at the start of the game, but obviously, you’ll want to upgrade later to something better.
For a good pyromancer build, you’re going to want to put a lot of points into dexterity. This is because the dexterity stat increases the speed at which you cast out fire incantations. I recommend that you get this to 45 points.
But don’t forget to level up your vitality for more health and endurance for more stamina. These two stats are pretty low early on, and you’ll want to make sure they get some attention too.
If you want to get a hold of some additional pyromancies during the early game, head to The Depths early on and look for an underground kitchen near the sewers. In a room full of barrels will be an NPC named Laurentius. If you free him by rolling into the barrels, he will then head back to the hub area and offer to sell you pyromancy spells. As for equipment, you should mainly upgrade your Pyormancy Flame. This is the only way to increase the damage your spells are doing to enemies.
Join the High Ground!
We hope that you found this article informative! What do you think is the best beginner class/build in Dark Souls Remastered? Do you have any questions or tips to share with us? If so, leave a comment! And be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more guides.