What's the best starting class in Elden Ring? Before even making it to The Lands Between, you'll need to make a vital decision: what starting class will you choose? While you can spec your character in any direction after making this choice, picking the right one makes certain builds easier to obtain. In this Elden Ring guide, we're going to reveal the best starting class for all playstyles. For more information on starting the game, please refer to the following guide: Best Keepsake and All Starting Items Explained and Best Weapons to Get First.

Elden Ring: What Are Starting Classes?

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Starting classes in Elden Ring are the archetypes you'll choose from when creating a new character. The starting class you choose will have an influence on your Stats and Weapons which can be improved and altered as you progress through the game. It's important to choose the best starting class because this will influence your approach throughout the game. You can Respec Character Stats as you progress, but your starting class stats cannot be changed.

The 10 starting classes available in Elden Ring are as follows, as presented in the game:

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  • Vagabond
  • Warrior
  • Hero
  • Bandit
  • Astrologer
  • Prophet
  • Samurai
  • Prisoner
  • Confessor
  • Wretch

On this page, we're going to introduce all Elden Ring starting classes, including Stats, Weapons, and more. It's important to note that you can level your starting class in any way you desire, so don't worry too much if you feel like you've made the wrong decision. However, we'd highly recommend thinking carefully about your playstyle preferences before you make a commitment. We've included a list of the best starting classes in Elden Ring below.

All Starting Class Stats and What They Mean

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Each starting class in Elden Ring has a set of statistics or stats attached. These describe the capabilities of the class. However, these can be ambiguously presented and you may not understand what each stat entails. We're going to explain all stats and what they mean below:

  • Level: Determines your character's starting level of your character. You can find out more about levels through the following link: How to Level Up.
  • Vigor: Your HP. The more Vigor you have, the more health your character has. This is played on screen as the red bar.
  • Mind: Your FP (Focus Points). This is the blue bar on screen and allows you to cast spells and call on summons. The more Mind you have, the more magical abilities you can perform before needing to rest at a Site of Grace.
  • Endurance: This stat affects your stamina gauge, which is the green bar on screen. Attacking and performing almost anything uses up your stamina bar, so having more to use at once is an advantage. Endurance also affects your equip load, which is how much all your gear weighs. The heavier you are, the slower your roll is.
  • Strength: Increases the damage of weapons that scale with the Strength stat.
  • Dexterity: Increases the damage of weapons that scale with the Dexterity stat. You will also be able to cast spells slightly quicker.
  • Intelligence: Used to cast offensive spells and incantations. Some magical abilities have certain stat requirements tied to Intelligence.
  • Faith: Used to cast defensive spells and incantations. Some magical abilities have certain stat requirements tied to Faith.
  • Arcane: Affects item discovery rate and is a stat requirement of some spells.

When you create your character, you can also make a number of adjustments to Body Type, Age, and even Detailed Appearance. None of these have any implications on your character's stats, however, so feel free to spend a bit of time here designing a hero you want to play as.

You should, however, take care when selecting a Keepsake. The Keepsake you choose will be included alongside the Starting Equipment available to you when you begin playing the game. We have much more advice in our dedicated Keepsake guide: Best Keepsake and All Starting Items Explained.

Elden Ring: All Starting Classes Explained

To begin, we will list all starting classes in Elden Ring, in the order they're presented in-game, detailing their Stats, Weapons, and Equipment. Below you'll find a brief overview of each starting class in Elden Ring. There are 10 Elden Ring starting classes in total. While most starting classes come with a weapon, we'd recommend reading through our guide on Best Weapons to Get First in order to upgrade your arsenal early on. If you'd like a more comprehensive guide to All Weapons and Where to Find Them and All Shields and Where to Find Them then you can find that through the link. The same is true of armour on our All Armour and Armour Sets and Where to Find Them page.

Vagabond

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A knight exiled from their homeland to wander. A solid, armor-clad origin.

Vagabond: Stats

  • Level: 9
  • Vigor: 15
  • Mind: 10
  • Endurance: 11
  • Strength: 14
  • Dexterity: 13
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Faith: 9
  • Arcane: 7

Vagabond: Weapons, Armour, and Starting Equipment

Vagabond: Summary

If you're looking for a good all-round build, the Vagabond class is the one for you. It has the highest Vigor stat of all the starting classes in the game, which is then combined with high Strength and Dexterity. You'll need to work on those Intelligence and Faith stats if you wish to use magic, though.

Warrior

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A twinblade wielding warrior from a nomadic tribe. An origin of exceptional technique.

Warrior: Stats

  • Level: 8
  • Vigor: 11
  • Mind: 12
  • Endurance: 11
  • Strength: 10
  • Dexterity: 16
  • Intelligence: 10
  • Faith: 8
  • Arcane: 9

Warrior: Weapons, Armour, and Starting Equipment

Warrior: Summary

Dexterity is the name of the game for the Warrior class, beginning the game with the most at 16. All its other base stats are fairly average, however. This could be a good option for archers.

Hero

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A stalwart Hero, at home with a battleaxe, descended from a badlands chieftain.

Hero: Stats

  • Level: 7
  • Vigor: 14
  • Mind: 9
  • Endurance: 12
  • Strength: 16
  • Dexterity: 9
  • Intelligence: 7
  • Faith: 8
  • Arcane: 11

Hero: Weapons, Armour, and Starting Equipment

Hero: Summary

The Hero class is the perfect choice for players looking to spec into Strength. It begins the game with the highest stat in that category of 16, and couples it with a lot of Vigor. Not the most of every class on offer, but only a single point off the top at 14.

Bandit

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A dangerous bandit who strikes for weak points. Excels at ranged combat with bows.

Bandit: Stats

  • Level: 5
  • Vigor: 10
  • Mind: 11
  • Endurance: 10
  • Strength: 9
  • Dexterity: 13
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Faith: 8
  • Arcane: 14

Bandit: Weapons, Armour, and Starting Equipment

Bandit: Summary

Those of you looking to take advantage of stealth will want to select the Bandit class. Sticking to the shadows most of the time and striking when the time is right, the class starts the game with the most Arcane (14). That's significantly more than the others, with the stat governing item discovery and affecting your resistance to incantations.

Astrologer

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A scholar who reads fate in the stars. Heir to the school of glintstone sorcery.

Astrologer: Stats

  • Level: 6
  • Vigor: 9
  • Mind: 15
  • Endurance: 9
  • Strength: 8
  • Dexterity: 12
  • Intelligence: 16
  • Faith: 7
  • Arcane: 9

Astrologer: Weapons, Armour, and Starting Equipment

Astrologer: Summary

The Astrologer class is essentially the mage, with high starting stats in Mind and Intelligence. The latter governs your use and effectiveness of offensive spells, so this is the class for you if you want to deal damage through magic. Mind then affects your FP (Focus Points) gauge, so since the Astrologer has such high base stats in this field, you'll be able to pop off a lot of spells straight from the off.

Prophet

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A seer ostracized for inauspicious prophecies. Well versed in healing incantations.

Prophet: Stats

  • Level: 7
  • Vigor: 10
  • Mind: 14
  • Endurance: 8
  • Strength: 11
  • Dexterity: 10
  • Intelligence: 7
  • Faith: 16
  • Arcane: 10

Prophet: Weapons, Armour, and Starting Equipment

Prophet: Summary

With very high Mind and Faith stats, the Prophet class can cast a lot of defensive spells before having to replenish FP. You also automatically begin with the Heal and Beast Claw spells, so you can both attack and defend using magic straight from the off. The downside is your base physical stats are pretty bad, with the worst starting Endurance in the game.

Samurai

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A capable fighter from the distant land of reeds. Handy with Katana and Longbows.

Samurai: Stats

  • Level: 9
  • Vigor: 12
  • Mind: 11
  • Endurance: 13
  • Strength: 12
  • Dexterity: 15
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Faith: 8
  • Arcane: 8

Samurai: Weapons, Armour, and Starting Equipment

Samurai: Summary

The Samurai class begins with the highest Endurance stat in the game, paired with lots of Dexterity and decent Strength. This doesn't seem like the best option for magic-based builds, but those using a bow and arrow in combination with melee weapons should do nicely.

Prisoner

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A prisoner bound in an iron mask. Studied in glintstone sorcery, having lived among the elite prior to sentencing.

Prisoner: Stats

  • Level: 9
  • Vigor: 11
  • Mind: 12
  • Endurance: 11
  • Strength: 11
  • Dexterity: 14
  • Intelligence: 14
  • Faith: 6
  • Arcane: 9

Prisoner: Weapons, Armour, and Starting Equipment

Prisoner: Summary

The Prisoner class is fairly similar to the Astrologer, except it really doesn't do well with Faith. You'll want to avoid this class — at least for starters — if you want to use defensive spells for healing and buffs. It has the worst Faith stat in the game at the start, so only pick this one if you're looking for decent Dexterity and Intelligence.

Confessor

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A church spy adept at covert operations. Equally adept with a sword as they are with incantations.

Confessor: Stats

  • Level: 10
  • Vigor: 10
  • Mind: 13
  • Endurance: 10
  • Strength: 12
  • Dexterity: 12
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Faith: 14
  • Arcane: 9

Confessor: Weapons, Armour, and Starting Equipment

Confessor: Summary

Thanks to a high Faith stat and decent physical starting attributes, the Confessor class strikes a nice balance between melee weapon usage and defensive spells. Just be warned though that you begin the game at level 10 — the highest of any starting class. That means you have an ever so slightly smaller chance to customise your build.

Wretch

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A poor purposeless sod naked as they day they were born. A nice club is all they have.

Wretch: Stats

  • Level: 1
  • Vigor: 10
  • Mind: 10
  • Endurance: 10
  • Strength: 10
  • Dexterity: 10
  • Intelligence: 10
  • Faith: 10
  • Arcane: 10

Wretch: Weapons, Armour, and Starting Equipment

Wretch: Summary

Boy, do we love the descriptions attached to these deprived classes. Yes, the Wretch class is the one that begins at level one and has far and away the toughest opening hours. All of your base stats begin at 10, and you'll need to play it safe in the early goings. The upside to all this, though, is that you have a ton of extra levels to allocate over the other classes, so you really can take the Wretch in whichever direction you like. If you make it through the first few hours unscathed, then the Wretch class is an enticing option.

Elden Ring: All Starting Classes Compared

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You should have a better idea of the starting class options available to you in Elden Ring by now, including their Stats, Weapons, and Equipment. Of course, if you're still undecided on the best starting class, we've included a helpful table below with all stating classes compared.

If you select a Stat in the table heading, you can filter each starting class from best to worst and vice versa. For example, if Strength is the most important Stat to you, then you can filter the table based on that and make a more informed decision about which starting class to pick.

Class Level Vigor Mind Endurance Strength Dexterity Intelligence Faith Arcane
Vagabond 9 15 10 11 14 13 9 9 7
Warrior 8 11 12 11 10 16 10 8 9
Hero 7 14 9 12 16 9 7 8 11
Bandit 5 10 11 10 9 13 9 8 14
Astrologer 6 9 15 9 8 12 16 7 9
Prophet 7 10 14 8 11 10 7 16 10
Samurai 9 12 11 13 12 15 9 8 8
Prisoner 9 11 12 11 11 14 14 6 9
Confessor 10 10 13 10 12 12 9 14 9
Wretch 1 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10

Elden Ring: Best Starting Class for All Playstyles

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We will now recommend the best Elden Ring starting classes for a variety of playstyles. We will cover the best overall class, the ones suited to offensive and defensive magic abilities, and the most customisable class.

Best Overall Class: Vagabond

If you're unsure what sort of build you want to aim for, pick the Vagabond class. All of its starting stats are distributed fairly evenly, with a focus on Vigor, Strength, and Dexterity. You'll be able to easily get to grips with standard weapons and shield, while leaving the option open to magic use down the line. You would need to commit some upgrade points to Intelligence and Faith in order to begin casting spells, but it won't take too many to get up to speed.

Best Offensive Magic Class: Astrologer

The Astrologer class is the one for those who want to be aggressive with magic. Casting spells to hurt enemies rather than healing themselves will be the name of the game here thanks to high Intelligence and Mind starting stats. If you want to combine the class with some defensive spells, you'll need to heavily focus on the low Faith starting stat. Usual sword and shield combat also won't be the best idea, so work on getting the most out of your spells and magical abilities.

Best Defensive Magic Class: Prophet

Defensive and healing spells are tied to the Faith stat, and since the Prophet class heavily invests in this right away, it's the best choice for anyone wanting to keep themselves safe with a bit of magic. Your starting Strength and Dexterity stats are somewhat solid, so you could always spec in that direction later on. Just don't expect to cast any offensive spells thanks to that really low Intelligence stat.

Best Customisable Class: Wretch

While the Wretch class has it hardest at the beginning of the game, this is the option that'll allow you to make a build completely personal to you. All your stats start at 10, but you'll be level 1. This means you can freely distribute stat points as you see fit instead of picking a pre-determined loadout. As such, you could upgrade Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Faith all equally. Your opening few hours are going to be tough, taking more damage from enemies and dealing less yourself. However, if you manage to come out the other side, you'll be able to create a character all of your own.


What starting class will you choose in Elden Ring? Let us know in the comments below and check out our Elden Ring guide for much more help and information.