• All classes can transition into other builds later in the game
  • Starter classes determine the gear and stats players get at the beginning of the game
  • The Wretch is the hardest class to begin the game with

There are quite a few character classes to pick at the start of “Elden Ring.” Each of these classes tends to lean toward a certain playstyle, from spell-slinging mages to stealthy assassins and brutal melee specialists.

Veterans of the “Souls” series know that this isn’t a strict class system. Anyone can transition into any build they want at any point in the game. However, picking the right class to start with is still an important decision, even more so for total beginners.

Starter classes determine two things: the set of gear that players start with and the set of stats that their character has at the beginning. Having a decent set of gear can make all the difference, but the important part here is the stat distribution.

For those who want to play a melee-oriented fighter, the Vagabond class is highly recommended. This class provides an excellent base for a “Quality” build, which refers to any build that has a decent mix of Strength and Dexterity. Quality builds are the most flexible in terms of weapon choices, but this often comes at the cost of lower magic-related stats like Intelligence and Faith.

Classes in Elden Ring can be built to wield any combination of might and magic
Classes in Elden Ring can be built to wield any combination of might and magic Elden Ring

Ranged players will want to pick the Samurai class instead. This will give players high base Dexterity with decent Strength, and a katana and longbow as starting weapons. Playing the Bandit is not recommended for beginners due to their starting loadout.

People who want to start as a mage-type character can pick between the Astrologer and the Prisoner. The former has a better affinity for magic spells while the latter is more flexible, for they start with higher Dexterity. Faith builds are generally not recommended for beginners since most of the useful Miracles can only be unlocked later in the game.

Lastly, consider giving the Wretch a try. They start with a wooden club, no armor and ten base stats across all attributes. This is essentially a recipe for disaster, but the Wretch gives the most flexibility in terms of build potential, and this class will give players the best blind run experience “Elden Ring” has to offer. Be brave and good luck.