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Every Elden Ring Class, Ranked

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Classes in Elden Ring and other FromSoftware games work slightly differently to classes in other games. Rather than providing firm limits and shaping the character-building experience and playstyle for the rest of the game, as in many other RPGs, classes in Elden Ring simply determine the starting character’s equipment and stats, nothing more.


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Any type of character can be made from any class, but the class still has an important impact — particularly at the beginning of the game when it provides the majority of the player’s options. Although every class is viable, and certainly none are unplayable, Elden Ring‘s open world and scattered loot make picking the right class important.

Updated on November 9, 2022 by Kennedy King: As Elden Ring quickly moves toward the one-year anniversary of its release, the blockbuster RPG continues to garner acclaim from critics and fans alike. While no DLC has been announced for the title, its continuous maintenance has introduced a myriad of balancing/quality-of-life changes to the game, resulting in a notably different experience than its original state. Accordingly, this has led some of the game’s starting classes to offer slightly different benefits than they did before.

10/10 Bandit

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

A Demi-Human Queen and her followers attacking a bandit Tarnished using staff sorceries — Elden Ring

Stealth is a new mechanic introduced into Elden Ring, taking its lead from FromSoftware’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Unlike in that game, where stealth is the most efficient way to deal with groups of enemies, it is merely one option in Elden Ring. That being said, it can be quite a powerful tactic.

The Bandit class is designed for stealth, with a bow and arrow to deal with enemies from afar and a knife that excels against unsuspecting enemies. In the open world, the Bandit can acquit itself fine. However, stealth is much less viable against bosses, where many players will find Elden Ring‘s most significant challenge, putting the Bandit in a very tough spot.

Starting Stats:

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

9/10 Prophet

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

Prophet Elden Ring

Magic has received a boost in Elden Ring compared to Dark Souls, including with the ‘Incantations’ that replace the Miracles of the latter series. Nonetheless, spells of every kind are a limited resource, with the player having to conserve their Focus Points, particularly in hard fights.

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The Prophet is by no means weak, with an excellent starting Faith that makes it one of the best spellcasters off the bat. However, it is fragile, it lacks a powerful melee attack, and its starting equipment is weaker than many other classes. As such, some players may struggle with the Prophet until they get the hang of using their magic at the right time.

Starting Stats:

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

8/10 Wretch

“As poor, purposeless, and naked as the day it were born. A nice club is all they have.”

The Wretch class from Elden Ring

In terms of just the early-game experience, there is no questioning that the Wretch is by far the hardest. It continues the tradition of the ‘Deprived’ class from Dark Souls: a half-naked warrior with low, balanced stats wielding a club. With a low level, low stats, and poor equipment, the Wretch is a rough experience.

However, the Wretch’s weak start comes with a pay-off. As a Level 1 class with balanced stats, the Wretch can be built any way the player wants, with almost no wasted points. Their levels come cheap and they are the most flexible class in Elden Ring, rewarding players who are skilled enough to survive the early game.

Starting Stats:

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

7/10 Warrior

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

The Warrior class in front of the Erdtree in Elden Ring

Of all the melee starting classes, the Warrior is the one most likely to trip up new players. It starts with a pair of scimitars, which do low damage per hit individually but can be dual-wielded and chained together to keep up a constant barrage of damage to enemies.

The Warrior can be highly lethal once a player has mastered their unusual weaponry and the timing inherent to Elden Ring‘s combat. But until then, players may struggle with relatively low damage and the lack of physical sturdiness compared to other melee classes. Nonetheless, the Warrior can be a very powerful combatant.

Starting Stats:

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

6/10 Hero

“A stalwart Hero, at home with a battleaxe, descended from a Badlands chieftain.”

The Hero class in Limgrave Elden Ring

Replacing Elden Ring’s playtest ‘Champion’ class, the Hero class is a fairly forgiving melee combatant for the early game. The class has a clear focus on Strength over Dexterity, and while it’s not built for spellcasting, it is reasonably well-rounded as a melee character.

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With high Strength, generous Vigor, and better Stamina than many other classes, the Hero is perfect for new players who just want to strike their opponents down in a few hits to get the hang of the game. Able to take some damage as well as deal it in high amounts, the Hero is a balanced start, but not the most remarkable in the game.

Starting Stats:

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

5/10 Confessor

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

Confessor Elden Ring 1

As the description implies, the Confessor class is designed with some level of stealth in mind. But it also fulfills a secondary function as a ‘hybrid’ class between a full-on Faith caster and a melee combatant. Starting with high Faith and some Incantations, the Confessor isn’t a fragile caster but instead starts with decent Vigo and a shield that can block all incoming damage.

Although not as good a melee combatant as others, and not as good a Faith caster as the Prophet, the Confessor occupies a comfortable middle ground that can help players learn the casting system without forcing them to commit almost wholly to it.

4/10 Prisoner

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

The Mask-wearing Prisoner class Elden Ring

Sorcery magic — using Intelligence — is one of the most effective playstyles in Elden Ring. Sorceries deal high damage with generous casting costs and have the added benefit of being cast at range.

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The Prisoner is another hybrid class, leaning a player towards Dexterity-based melee weaponry while also giving them the Intelligence and Mind to be an effective caster. In addition, it starts with the Magic Glintblade Sorcery, a moderately-damaging projectile spell that gives the Prisoner more options and serves as an effective teacher of magical combat.

Starting Stats:

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

3/10 Vagabond

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

The Vagabond in the Vagabond Knight Set Elden Ring

Although there are several melee classes in Elden Ring, the Vagabond stands out by sheer virtue of tankiness. With high Vigor and good armor — that can’t be found otherwise until the end of the game — the Vagabond is the sturdiest of the game’s beginner classes while still being able to pack a punch.

The Vagabond is almost perfectly split between Strength and Dexterity and begins with the balanced Longsword, meaning that players can build either way — or even both. The Vagabond is one of the best classes for new players because it doesn’t force them to commit and it is forgiving of mistakes.

Starting Stats:

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

2/10 Samurai

“A capable fighter from the distant Land of Reeds. Handy with katana and longbows.”

Uchigitana Samurai Elden Ring

The Samurai class is also built around Dexterity, but its design is less focused on stealth. The focus of its starting gear is its Uchigatana, a fast and powerful sword that inflicts the extremely strong ‘Bleed’ status effect.

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Bleed deals a massive chunk of damage once its meter has built up and can even affect enemies through shields. With an excellent starting weapon, the Samurai is considered a good class for those who want to build Dexterity and can handle its relative fragility early on.

Starting Stats:

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

1/10 Astrologer

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

An Astrologer using several Sorceries in Elden Ring

Sorceries are extremely powerful, so Elden Ring’s Sorcery-focused class is its strongest. The Astrologer begins with several powerful, practical Sorceries that, while not flashy, are good at helping a player slay enemies and master the magic system.

As the game progresses, the Astrologer gets more and more powerful Sorceries that can make even the game’s harder bosses incredibly manageable. Anyone looking to master Elden Ring‘s magic system and get a leg up at the start of the game needs to pick the Astrologer.

Starting Stats:

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

NEXT: D&D: 10 Unusual & Powerful Multi-Class Combinations

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