Choosing the best starting class in Elden Ring is the first big decision you will come across, and it will shape the first hours of your adventure.
As with other Soulsborne games, your starting class defines what kind of builds you can experiment with. As stats differ quite a bit between each other, knowing which one would best suit your playstyle is key, and will save you a few headaches when levelling up.
If you played the network test, know the choices here will be different.
Not only that, you'll also need to choose a Keepsake - in other words, a starting item - giving you another potentially difficult decision to make.
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How important are classes in Elden Ring?
Choosing the best class in Elden Ring is a task that varies greatly depending on what you're looking for. Some classes are best as tanky warriors that can wear massive shields or longswords. Others, meanwhile, excel at magic,or agility.
If you're pursuing an specific goal for your character or have a certain build in mind, the class you pick will serve as the foundation for it - whether it matches the weapons or even the stats you'll be focusing on is what makes a difference and, ultimately, a hard choice.
However, know that whatever you pick, it doesn't define what your character can do. Every class can wield all weapons, items and abilities, provided you level up stats in that direction. It's best to consider the starting class choice as what you want to prioritise, rather than a defining choice for the rest of the game.
Elden Ring classes list
There are a total of 10 starting classes to choose between in Elden Ring. Their classes and levels are as follows:
Though each class has different weapons and armour, these stats do help influence our choices. Now, let's look into the best options...
Once you have settled on a starting class and starting Keepsake item, you should first work out how to level up, how to respec and use Ashes of War. Need some direction from there? Our Elden Ring walkthrough and Elden Ring boss order can help with where to go next, but we also recommend hunting down Golden Seeds, Sacred Tears, Crystal Tears, Talismans and some of our best weapon and best armor choices. If you are approaching the end game, we can help with the Volcano Manor quest and Rykard, Haligtree Secret Medallion locations, solving the Ordina, Liturgical Town puzzle, the Millicent quest, Commander Niall, Morgott, Godskin Duo, Maliketh and Malenia.
What are the best starting classes in Elden Ring?
As mentioned, no one class will define what your character can equip, use or cast long term - but some can give you access to certain traits faster if you want to prioritise certain playstyles. In short, there's no 'worst' class choice here - but there are a few we'd argue are better than others.
If you're not sure where to begin, the Vagabond is a great all-round choice, with an even spread of stats and a good starting weapon and armour set that will help you survive a few optional early dungeons and forays into the open world.
If you are thinking of melee primarily, then the Warrior is a good shout for one reason - a high Dexterity stat. This will allow you to equip a wider array of weapons from the off, including some of our best weapon suggestions for the early game.
Know that regardless of which class you choose, our first pick - the Twinblade - is off limits to all due to its requirements, but the Warrior is just two Dex points shy from reaching it - which will save you from having to level as much to equip it.
If you want to use magic - which is the safest way to engage in combat - then the Astrologer is a must. This is the only good sorcery wielding class out of the gate, and since staffs are hard to come by at the start of the game, choosing for these reasons alone is a good idea.
Finally, the other one that jumps out is the Wretch. This appears to be a joke class - giving you no armor and just a Club to protect yourself - but with 10 stats across the board, and starting at level 1 giving you more room to grow versus the other classes, this is actually a good base to work from. It'll leave you not nearly as defended as the other classes, of course - but you'll be finding armour and better weapons soon enough.