This Best Elden Ring Classes guide will give a full rundown of all the Elden Ring classes and which Elden Ring classes are the best and worst.
If you’re playing Elden Ring, you’re going to want to select the best Elden Ring class for your starting characters. There are 10 Elden Ring classes to choose from.
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Most Best Elden Ring class guides will be quick to point out that your choice ultimately doesn’t have any lasting consequences in the endgame, as there are no class-based equipment or spell restrictions. Which is true, everything is dependent on your equipment and stats.
However, your Elden Ring class selection is going to have a very big impact on your gameplay experience. First, it sets the tone for how you plan to build your character. You’ll most likely pick a class which specializes in a way you already plan to specialize your build. You wouldn’t pick a mage class and then sell all your spells and start randomly dumping points into strength, right?
Second, Elden Ring is a long, punishing game. The early and midgame periods are long. You will not be able to replace all your gear immediately, especially not without a guide. You can’t respec your stats for a very long time.
Your Elden Ring class selection will define your playstyle, stats, equipment and general look for a long time, so it’s a good idea to to finish the tutorial dungeon with a few different classes to see which one you like best.
So, even though it technically doesn’t matter in the long-term, I think you should put some thought into picking the best Elden Ring class for you. It really does make a big difference.
Differences Between Elden Ring Classes
There are three things that separate each of the Elden Ring classes from each other. They are:
- Starting Equipment
- Starting Stats
- Visual Look
Obviously visual look comes from equipment, but I just want to point out as a separate category that for most players, the visual look you pick at the start will be lasting with you at least several hours, and you’ll probably be wearing pieces of your starting gear long after that. In Elden Ring, upgrades come slowly.
The same thing goes for equipment in general. For example, if you don’t start with Faith equipment, it will be a few hours or several hours until you can get it. Same thing with finding a staff, and other similar things along those lines.
I’m going to go through each of the Elden Ring classes one by one and just give some general insight about the worst and best Elden Ring classes that will be helpful to new players.
Vagabond – Best Elden Ring Classes
Among Elden Ring classes, Vagabond is sort of your typical knight class. It’s got strong defense. You’ll notice when you select this class that it is much better at blocking than most other classes, largely because it starts with a better shield than other classes.
Vagabond’s stat allocations are balanced between Vigor (HP), Endurance, Strength and Dexterity, making it a hearty, technical warrior.
Vagabond is probably the most defensively focused class you can roll, so if you’re looking for a tank, Vagabond is most likely your best bet. Other options for a tank include Hero and Confessor.
Vagabond’s high strength and endurance will enable you to wear most heavy gear you pick up.
If you’re looking for a solid physical attacker with limited options for range, Vagabond is one of many choices. Vagabond, Warrior, Hero, Confessor and Wretch all sort of fill that role in slightly different flavors.
Vagabond is the only one of the Elden Ring classes that starts with a Halberd which is good for players who want to focus on spears.
Warrior – Best Elden Ring Classes
The most notable thing about Warrior compared to other Elden Ring classes is that it starts with dual wield scimitars. If you want to dual wield and get a taste for the flavor of the dual wield playstyle early on, Warrior is the class for you.
In addition to dealing more damage with regular attacks, when you’re dual wielding, you’ll be able to use your equipped weapon’s Ashes of War skill. You can also use this skill if your left hand is empty or if you’re two-handing your weapon.
Warrior’s build is clearly focused towards Dexterity, which is great not only for scimitars but also bows and other ranged weapons, which all scale off of Dexterity.
A Dexterity focused build is nice because it’s simple. Instead of balancing your build between several stats, you can largely focus on dumping points into Dexterity and Vigor, and add just enough Strength to be able to equip gear you pick up.
The main downside of a dual wield build is obviously the lack of a shield. Another is difficulty dealing with shielded enemies that don’t expose their back without being able to rely on Guard Counters and Parries.
Warrior doesn’t start with a ranged option and doesn’t have particularly good defenses. It’s somewhat similar to Bandit and Samurai in that those are also Dexterity focused fighters and will likely end up having a pretty similar play experience. The difference is Warrior starts with 2 weapons and no ranged option.
I feel like you also shouldn’t discount that Warrior’s outfit looks especially fly compared to other Elden Ring classes. Is it the best Elden Ring class? I feel like Samurai offers a similar build but begins with more versatile equipment options. I think it comes down to: would you rather start with a bow or dual wield? And which costume do you like better? That’s the main difference between Warrior and Bandit/Samurai.
Hero – Best Elden Ring Classes
Among the Elden Ring classes, Hero is most similar to Vagabond. It’s a high health strength build. Compared to Vagabond, it sacrifices Dexterity and a few points in Mind for higher Strength.
If you want to get a full Strength/Vigor build at the expense of almost everything else, Hero is the best template for that.
There are pros and cons of a strength-focused build like you’ll get using the Hero as a template. Ranged attacks will be weaker than Dexterity or Intelligence builds, and ranged attacks are incredibly useful in Elden Ring.
On the other hand, Hero is going to be a lot more survivable with its high health, high defense and access to heavy equipment.
You’ll still have ranged options as a strength-based build, but they’ll be much more limited.
Hero and Vagabond are extremely similar. If you intend to go with either one, I’d choose between whichever one looks more visually striking to you. Vagabond is more balanced, stat-wise. Hero is more fully dedicated to Strength/Health.
Bandit – Best Elden Ring Classes
Compared to other Elden Ring classes, Bandit starts with a large amount of Arcane. Arcane is a bit of an odd stat, and if you’re just starting Elden Ring, it’s probably not apparent what it does.
Arcane is basically luck in Elden Ring. It increases the chance for enemies to drop items. Several special pieces of equipment and spells also randomly have Arcane requirements, so it sort of allows you to equip some specific spells and pieces of gear you otherwise might not be able to equip.
There is a strong dagger you can get early on called Reduvia, for instance, that requires 13 Arcane.
However, you should keep in mind there are very few things that require Arcane and they are mostly Incantations (faith-based spells) and Sorceries (intelligence-based spells).
In addition to having a bunch of Arcane, Bandit also begins with high Dexterity and a bow. It’s clearly geared to be a Dexterity based fighter. In that sense, it competes with Samurai and Warrior as a Dexterity-based fighter template.
Whether or not you think Bandit is worthwhile really depends on how much you value Arcane, because if you don’t, Samurai starts with everything the Bandit does and more, and Warrior starts with dual wield.
The other thing to think about is that Arcane dagger. Bandit is set up to equip it right off the bat and it’s the best dagger for a very long time, so if you want to use daggers, Bandit is probably the way to go.
Astrologer – Best Elden Ring Classes
When it comes to Elden Ring classes, Astrologer is your resident mage. It starts with Glintstone Pebble, a bread and butter magic projectile, and Glinstone Arc a spell that hits in a wider area.
Magic in Elden Ring is very, very strong, and Astrologer does very well. As a build its weak points are fights that take place in close quarters, getting swarmed by multiple enemies, and other mages. However, it shines on a lot of bosses and most content in general where you can stay largely out of harm’s way and just snipe enemies with hard-hitting spells.
When it comes to spellcasting, your only real choices are Prisoner and Astrologer. Prisoner has a more hybrid/melee focus. Astrologer is the magic specialist.
If you plan to use magic, starting as Astrologer makes a lot of sense. Not only because of its magic-focused stats, but because anything you need to build a mage is difficult to acquire early and Astrologer starts with everything you’d want.
Getting a staff early requires going out of your way. Getting spells early requires beating a boss.
So, my opinion is, if you plan on playing as a mage, start with Astrologer and save yourself some trouble. Magic is very strong overall and is a solid option for new players. In my opinion Astrologer is among the best Elden Ring classes.
Prophet – Best Elden Ring Classes
In terms of Elden Ring classes, Prophet is your resident cleric. It starts of with a Seal, which is an item you hold in place of a shield that allows you to cast Incantations (Faith-based magic).
If you don’t start as a Prophet or Confessor, it will be a while before you can get access to either Seals or Incantations, so if you want to start using those from the beginning, you’ll want to pick one of those classes.
The spells Prophet starts with are Catch Flame and Heal. Catch Flame is a melee range fire spell, and Heal obviously replenishes your health.
Aside from that, Prophet has a spear and a shield, pretty standard stuff. This is a spellcaster at its core, your weapon and shield are secondary.
Obviously the main reason to pick Prophet is to cast Incantations. If you’re new to Elden Ring, you might not know what Incantations are. Overall, Incantations are generally heal spells, buffs, elemental magic (fire, lightning, ice). It is not as offense focused as sorcery, but it is decently offense-focused and by no means entirely healing/buffs.
In terms of best Elden Ring classes, if you want to cast Incantations regularly, pick Prophet. Simple as that. If you want to just cast buffs and the occasional heal, you might want to do Confessor instead.
Samurai is the last of the Dexterity-focused fighter classes, alongside Warrior and Bandit. In my opinion it’s objectively the best Dexterity class to start with just because of its equipment options. Warrior and Samurai are basically identical except Samurai gets a longbow, fire arrows and a katana, and you can pick up another katana pretty quickly if you want to dual wield.
Warrior, on the other hand, starts with dual wield and you have to go find a bow or rely on crafted throwing darts. It’s a tradeoff. Reliable ranged damage is way more useful than dual wielding in Elden Ring, but the difference between Samurai and Warrior, honestly, is the first couple hours and the look. Very quickly a Samurai will become capable of dual wielding and a Warrior will very quickly be able to be ranged.
Your other option for a Dexterity fighter, Bandit, objectively you’d mainly pick if you wanted to roll with Daggers, or you want some extra Arcane stat to get more item drops (more crafting) and occasionally some more exotic equipment options.
So it’s up to you. In my opinion, Samurai is the stronger overall pick for a starting class if you want a Dexterity-based fighter, so that makes it among the best Elden Ring classes.
Prisoner – Best Elden Ring Classes
Prisoner is obviously most well-known for having a pretty wild looking helmet.
After that, the main thing about Prisoner is it’s a Dexterity-fighter/Mage hybrid, which is a little bit of a weird thing to be. The main advantage of that, which is not immediately obvious, is that Dexterity increases cast speed for magic and many spells are very slow.
So when you think about Prisoner, imagine a playstyle where you’re buffing your weapon and casting spells faster, but more weakly than a standard mage, and it’s sort of up to you how much you want to focus on weapon vs. magic.
In practice, I’m not sure this works very well, because the main reason to be a Dexterity fighter is already to get ranged damage at the expense of survivability.
Prisoner definitely provides an interesting playstyle that’s sort of unique to it, which is being a Dexterity-focused mage. The main benefit of this early on is that you won’t have to worry about running out of arrows.
Confessor – Best Elden Ring Classes
Like Prophet, Confessor starts out with a Seal equipped, so it’s able to cast Incantations. Unlike Prophet, Confessor is definitely more melee focused. This is starting you off on the path of being a melee focused class with Incantations as a backup.
It comes with Urgent Heal and Assassin’s Approach. I think Assassin’s approach is somewhat questionably useful. It’s basically a stealth buff, and stealthing does come in handy a lot, but not so often you feel a pressing need for it. Urgent Heal is a bit more efficient than health potions, but it’s not a huge game changer.
Still, Confessor looks really cool with his sweet cape, Urgent Heal gets better as your Faith increases, and later Incantations are more fun. There are elemental weapon buffs, defense buffs, status recovery magic, etc. It’s a very useful toolkit.
Basically Confessor is what you’d get if you took the balanced, tanky Vagabond class and made it a little less tanky and gave it healing and support magic.
The main downside of Confessor is it does not get a strong ranged damage option for quite a while. At a certain point, it will get some good Incantations to rely on, but not for at least a few hours. Until then you’ll be stuck using weak bows and throwing knives.
If all that’s what you’re looking for in a character, Confessor is a good choice for you.
Wretch – Best Elden Ring Classes
A lot of people will look at Wretch and think there’s a tradeoff where you get to have more control over your character or that it has a few more stat points to play with overall.
In actuality, all the Elden Ring classes have the same amount of stat points. Eagle-eyed players will notice they all start at different levels, and have an appropriate amount of stat points for their level.
Additionally, most classes are better suited towards their specialty than the Wretch would be, since they dump some useless stats for their build in favor of more specialized stats. Astrologer gets high int, for instance, by taking points out of Faith and Strength.
So it’s not clear that this totally balanced stat spread is really ideal or better than what other classes get.
If you’re going to pick Wretch, what you’re really picking is the challenge of starting off with no equipment, because it’s going to be quite a while before you’re decked out with a full complement of gear.
That said, the playstyle of building yourself up from scratch may be exactly what you’re looking for. In that case, Wretch would be your choice when it comes to best Elden Ring class.
Final Verdict – Best Elden Ring Class
So which is the best Elden Ring class to start with overall?
I’d say, gut feeling:
- Astrologer: Magic is really strong, it’s very difficult to build other classes into mages quickly
- Samurai: Dexterity-based fighters have strong ranged damage which is really useful, and Samurai has the overall best starting kit
- Vagabond: If you want to not die quickly and walk around rocking a shield and blocking everything, Vagabond is a strong choice
I think beyond that, though, a lot of it is more about the flavor of the playstyle. Confessor, Prophet and Prisoner have fun, interesting and somewhat unique playstyles. Samurai is probably marginally better than Warrior for a limited period of time, but otherwise almost identical. Bandit is a little weaker but gets access to some extra items. Hero and Vagabond are also very similar.
So I think you can’t go wrong if you decide:
- Do you want to be a tanky melee strength-based warrior? Vagabond or Hero
- Do you want to be a fighter with strong ranged attacks? Samurai, Warrior or Bandit
- Do you want to be a mage? Astrologer
- Battle-mage hybrid? Prisoner
- Healing/Support/Elemental Magic? Prophet
- Fighter with heals? Confessor
- Extra difficulty? Wretch
And that about sums it all up.