Elden Ring is literally right around the corner, coming out February 25, 2022. (Holy shit!) There’s a lot of hype around this game, and it’s easily one of the most anticipated games of 2022. If you’re as excited as I am, you’re counting the days. With the game almost here, I’ve been getting serious about preparing for my first-ever FromSoftware game. Part of that is figuring out what class to pick. I’ve done a lot of research and gathered all the deets here for easy reference for anyone else trying to figure out what class would be best for their play style. If you aren’t sure where to start, I’ve got ya covered.
First off, what are classes?
Elden Ring’s classes are starting archetypes you chose at the beginning of the game. Each class has different statistics that influence gameplay style to some degree. For instance, some classes are high in Strength, and others are high in Faith or Vigor. The mix of statistics can be the difference between being an expert in incantations or weaponry. Right now, Elden Ring has ten different classes to choose from.
Each class has different stats, which govern gameplay. Here’s what each statistic affects:
Vigor: Affects health, can help you live longer and gives fire and poison resistance.
Endurance: Affects stamina and can help you move more before you become exhausted, perform more defenses, and handle damage. Plus, you can wear heavier armor.
Mind: Affects focus and can help with various focus-related resistances, which lets you ward off Sleep or other conditions.
Strength: Affects damage, boosts attack power, enables you to deal more damage, and is necessary to use heavier armaments.
Intelligence: Affects your ability to use the glintstone sorceries, increases your magic damage and resistance to others’ magic.
Dexterity: Affects your speed and movements, minimizes the time it takes to cast spells and helps with fall damage, among other things.
Arcane: Affects your ability to find items and gives you a certain amount of death resistance.
Faith: Affects your ability to perform sacred incantations and improves various support and healing abilities.
You can choose your character’s gender for each of the classes and customize to a degree. Each class is different, and has a different balance of stats, so I’m breaking them down quickly since we’ve reached the countdown week. There’s no time to spare!
The Samurai has high Mind, Vigor, Dexterity, and Endurance statistics. They start with an Uchigatana, longbow, arrows, and a round shield. If you aren’t familiar with the Uchigatana, the Dark Souls Wiki mentions it’s a weapon forged in an Eastern land and is recognizable for its expert slashing. It’s a good class for those comfortable using ranged weaponry.
The Confessor is a Faith class designed for using incantations in gameplay. If you are used to playing with a magic-based style or want to give it a try, consider this option. This class enables you to use healing spells, fire, and additional restorative effects. You can expect to start out with a broadsword, a kite shield, and Finger Seal.
This class starts without damaging weapons, minimal stats, and no clothes. This would be your choice if you want the highest challenge level possible. Newbies, like myself, should probably NOT play this class...unless we want to die nonstop. However, if you are experienced with Soulslike titles, you can start with this character. Use the club as your starting weapon, and mold your gameplay experience the way you prefer.
This class is high in Mind and Intelligence. It’s adept in the many sorceries Elden Ring offers and is designed for using weapon arts. As a more specialized class, it’s ideal for those who want to play primarily with magic. However, with its fair Dexterity, you can use both daggers and swords or sorceries, so definitely consider this option if you want some flexibility. Starting gear includes an Astrologer’s staff, short sword, and a small shield.
Long-range players unite! Instead of using incantations and sorceries, this class has decent stats in Endurance, Vigor, Mind, Dexterity, and Arcane. It’s ideal for those focused on weapons and equipment who want to wield long-range weapons like bows and is also good for discovering items. Expect to begin the game with a short bow, buckler, knife, and arrows.
This class has fairly high stats but has very little Faith or Arcane. If you’re looking for a challenge, but not as much of a challenge as the Wretch, consider this class. You’ll start off with an Estoc (a sword with a straight blade designed to pierce), catalyst staff, and an iron roundshield. If you aren’t sure if you want to start with weapons or sorceries, this is a good class to pick because it’s versatile due to the fair Mind and Intelligence stats.
This is a good pick if you want to focus on Strength. You start equipped with a leather shield and battle axe, and as a fan of medieval weaponry, I’ve always thought a battle axe sounded cool. Not as cool as a warhammer (Baratheon style, of course), but probably equally as effective. This class has high Strength, Vigor, and Endurance so you’ll start out strong, pun intended. I think this class can summon the Dragonfire incantation (you can summon a dragon’s head and breathe fire all over your enemies). While other classes can equip this incantation later on, I kinda want to start off with it. You can bet every last cent that if I pick this one, I’ll be shouting “Dracarys!” at the screen every time I use that Incantation. I am unashamed.
If you favor long-distance gameplay, the Prophet might be ideal for you. With a focus on Faith, this class can make incantations. It’s more of a specialized class, so if you know what you’re doing and want to use a bunch of incantations, this would be a good choice. You start out with a lot of gear, including a spear, rickety shield, Prophet blindfold, Prophet robe, Prophet trousers, Finger Seal, heal, and a badass Beast Claw Incantation.
With one of the best starting stats of all the classes, the Vagabond focuses on weaponry. It has high Vigor, Strength, and Dexterity. It’s also one of the tank options. The high Vigor stats can sustain a few additional hits from the start. Hit the ground running with a longsword, heater shield, and halberd.
This is a pretty well-rounded class with good Dexterity, Vigor, and Mind. If you want a flexible, weapon-based play style or if it’s your first time playing a FromSoftware game, this might be your best bet. Starting equipment includes two scimitars, swordsman gauntlets and greaves, a blue cloth vest and cowl, and a buckler. It’s one of the classes I’m considering.
The Elden Ring Wiki provides this super helpful class comparison table to help players compare the stats of each starting class before they suit up:
Personally, I’m thinking about either the Hero (for the Dragonfire), Warrior, or Vagabond. If you’re like me–aka a total noob–it’s good to narrow down what classes you want beforehand. That way, you’ll be prepared to make the final call when the game loads up and you’ve seen the characters come to life. Elden Ring’s classes can be improved and upgraded as you progress through the game. Plus, players can choose a Keepsake during character creation, giving you more customization options early on.
Let me know which class you’re choosing in the comments! And don’t forget to mention why. You know, asking for a friend….