Dark Souls 3 Best Classes After 800 Hours Experience

I have been playing Dark Souls games for more than a year now and I'm happy to share my thoughts for the Best Classes in Dark Souls 3!

dark souls 3 best starting class
About The Author

Waleed is a Dark Souls fan having spent 800+ hours in the game. You can trust his insights on any Dark Souls related guides!

In this guide, I will come to a consensus on which class is the best for you and your playstyle, while also explaining the attribute system within the game as it can be quite confusing for new players.

Key Takeaways

Each class offers a unique starting point for players with different playstyles. Here’s a summary of some classes:

  1. Knight (Soul Lv.9): Great for beginners, equipped with a Long Sword and Knight Shield.
  2. Mercenary (Soul Lv.8): Overpowered class with Sellsword Twinblades and a Wooden Shield.
  3. Warrior (Soul Lv.7): A niche class with a Battle Axe and Round Shield.
  4. Herald (Soul Lv.9): A niche class with a long-ranged spear, Kite shield, and Talisman for casting Heal Aid Miracle.
  5. Thief (Soul Lv.5): Interesting class with high bleed damage but tougher gameplay due to low soul level.
  6. Spook (Soul Lv.10): Starts with a powerful spell that negates fall damage.
  7. Sorcerer (Soul Lv.6): Magic-focused class with Mail Breaker, Sorcerer’s Staff, Leather Shield, and sorceries.
  8. Pyromancer: Utilizes flame-type spells for both close and ranged combat.
  9. Cleric (Soul Lv.7): Relies heavily on magic and miracles with the Cleric’s Sacred Chime.
  10. Deprived (Soul Lv.1): For players seeking a challenge, equipped with a Club and Plank Shield.

Best Classes And Comparison

Here is a comparison table of my best Classes in Dark Souls 3. Each stat can be sorted to view the highest and lowest values, which has been done for your convenience:

1KnightBest Class for Beginners.9121011151312997
2MercenaryBest Class for Dexterity Build.81112111010161089
3WarriorBest Class for Strength Build.714612111698911
4HeraldBest Class for Spear Weapons.91210912121181411
5ThiefBest Class for Luck/Hollow Build.5101110991310814
6AssassinBest Class for Speedrunning.1010141110101411910
7SorcererBest Class for Intelligence/Dexterity Build.69169771216712
8PyromancerBest Class for Fire Spells.8111210812914147
9ClericBest Class for Faith Build.710149712871613
10DeprivedBest Class for Challengers.1101010101010101010

Class Comparison Table. 

Related Article: Dark Souls 3 Best Strength Weapons

Dark Souls 3 contains multiple classes, mainly 10 of them. Each with its own pros and cons to the playstyle of the player. In this guide, I will explain all of the classes in detail, so you can determine which ones fit the best for you.

1. Knight

Best Class for Beginners.
dark souls 3 best class to start with

“An obscure knight of poor renown who collapsed roaming the land. Sturdy, owing to high vitality and stout armor.
-Dark Souls 3


Knight Stats Table.

Why Did I Choose Knight?

The Knight class is perfect for people looking to make their mark in DS3 right off the bat. Its Level 9 rating is the highest among the starting classes, and it allows for a variety of attack approaches.

The knight is the standard class that any newbie or veteran can enjoy. They start with a Long Sword and a Knight Shield whilst wearing the Knight Armor Set, which is quite good for the beginning areas of the game.

The knight also starts at Soul Lv.9 which is amongst the higher side of the starting classes.

This class is best for those who would like to stick more to melee and want to enjoy the game on a sort of ”default” setting and some have even called it the best class for beginners.

  • Good for both beginners and veterans.
  • Start at Level 9 – the highest among the starting classes.
  • Perfect for players who enjoy melee.

  • Experienced players may not have the more aggressive gameplay with the Knight class.

2. Mercenary

Best Class for Dexterity Build.
dark souls 3 best class


“A mercenary and veteran of the battlefield. High dexterity allows masterful wielding of the dual scimitars.”
-Dark Souls 3

Why Did I Choose Mercenary?

While the Mercenary class has a lower level as compared to Knight, it is another wonderful option for beginners, allowing them to go into battle with strong weapons like the Sellsword Twinblades and the Wooden Shield right off the bat.

The mercenary is an interesting class due to the starting weapons and allocation of the attributes. This class starts with Sellsword Twinblades and a Wooden Shield whilst adorning the Sellsword Set.

The mercenary is a very over-powered class if the player knows how to exploit the game’s hidden mechanics and buffs. The mercenary also starts with Soul Lv.8.


  • Equipped with Sellsword Twinblades and a Wooden Shield.
  • Starts with Level 8, and is considered an overpowered class.
  • The stats make it a suitable choice for a Dexterity build.

  • The stat distribution isn’t as impressive compared to the Knights.

3. Warrior

Best Class for Strength Build.

“Descendent of northern warriors famed for their brawn. Utilizes high strength to wield a heavy battle axe.”
-Dark Souls 3

Why Did I Choose Warrior?

While most people write off the Warrior class due to its low level and less impressive attributes, I suggest you keep it in consideration, especially because it boasts the highest Strength attributes.


The warrior is one of the more niche classes that exist within and that can be attributed to the fact that this class does not offer many special features, unlike the previously discussed classes.

The starting weapons are the Battle Axe and a Round Shield with the Northern Armor Set. The warrior also starts with a relatively low Soul Lv.7.

  • Best for Strength build.
  • An ideal choice for melee attacks.
  • Also works with Luck hybrid builds.

  • Doesn’t have many special features.

4. Herald

Best Class for Spear Weapons.
dark souls 3 best class to start with

“A former herald who journeyed to finish a quest undertaken. Wields a sturdy spear and employs a gentle restorative miracle.”
-Dark Souls 3

Why Did I Choose Herald?

The Herald Class has one of the highest Faith attributes among all the classes, and it is perfect for players who prefer an attack-and-defend combo with its Spear, Shield, and Talisman.


Just like the Warrior, the Herald is a niche class very rarely used by the players. This class has 3 basic weapons. One of these is a long-range Spear and a Kite Shield with a Talisman that casts the Heal Aid Miracle alongside a Herald Set of armor, with Soul Lv.9.

Still, I would not recommend it to every player unless you are trying a specific challenge run or you are a big enthusiast of spears.

  • More suited for PvE combat.
  • Perfect for players looking for a challenge.
  • Ideal for a Faith build.

  • Comes with very basic weapons.

5. Thief

Best Class for Luck/Hollow Build.

“A common thief and pitiful deserter. Wields a dagger intended for backstabs alongside a military-issue bow.”


Why Did I Choose Thief?

The Thief class is perfect for more experienced players who are skilled at parrying and counter-attacking, and those who know how to use the Bandit’s Knife and Iron Round Shield, as well as the Short Bow.


The thief is an interesting class most usually reserved for builds who aim for high bleed damage and a tougher run of the game. This is because the Thief starts off with a Soul Lv.5, which is the second-lowest in the game.

The thief starts off with a Bandit’s Knife and an Iron Round Shield alongside a Short Bow which has 30 arrows in it.

This is usually not in the running for the best class, not by a long shot. However, it does have its place and we have a very good guide on a good Dark Souls 3 Thief Build.

  • Only class to come with a bow.
  • Deals a high bleed damage.
  • Perfect for Luck builds.

  • Has the second-lowest level in the game.

6. Assassin

Best Class for Speedrunning.
dark souls 3 best class for beginners

“An assassin who stalks their prey from the shadows. Favors sorceries in addition to thrusting swords.”


Why Did I Choose Assassin?

The Assassin class is your go-to choice if you’re fascinated by the game’s speedrunning mechanics, and would also like to benefit from the high level that this class enjoys.


The assassin is considered to be one of the best classes to speedrun the game. This class starts with the Estoc as a base weapon which is quite powerful in the early game, alongside a Target Shield and a Sorcerer’s Staff with which to cast its most powerful spell.

The spell I’m talking about is Spook, a spell that negates all fall damage to the player character, all while starting at Soul Lv.10, the highest soul level of any class.

  • Can be used for Dexterity build.
  • Possesses Estoc, a powerful weapon.
  • Starts at the highest soul level.

  • Doesn’t have an impressive stat distribution.

7. Sorcerer

Best Class for Intelligence/Dexterity Build.

“A loner who left formal academia to pursue further research. Commands soul sorceries using high intelligence.”


Why Did I Choose Sorcerer?

The Sorcerer class may be the most challenging class to start with, but it is wonderful for those looking for a true challenge, as well as those looking to develop an intelligence spellcaster.


The Sorcerer is a magic-focused class that mainly utilizes spells from long range. They are equipped with the Mail Breaker, an average weapon, and a Sorcerer’s Staff alongside a Leather Shield.

The sorcerer also has spells in the form of Soul Arrow and Heavy Soul Arrow, hence reinforcing the ranged playstyle of the sorcerer. All of this with a Young Dragon Ring which boosts sorceries alongside a Soul Lv.6.

  • Wonderful choice for Intelligence or Dexterity builds.
  • Can also be used for an Intelligence/Dexterity hybrid.
  • Perfect for players looking to excel in magic.

  • One of the most challenging classes to start with.

8. Pyromancer

Best Class for Fire Spells.

“A pyromancer from a remote region who manipulates flame. Also, an adept close combat warrior who wields a hand axe.”


Why Did I Choose Pyromancer?

The Pyromancer class is ideal for players looking to cast flame-type spells in their PvP and PvE combat. It enables them to work with pretty decent attributes, thus enabling an Intelligence or Faith build.


The pyromancer is a different type of sorcerer that uses flame-type spells that can aid them in hand-to-hand and range-based combat. This is also a good starter class that allows for a mixed style of combat for the player and is in the running for best starting class.

The pyromancer starts off with a Hand Axe and a Caduceus Round Shield.

What sets this class apart is the Pyromancer Flame which allows the user to cast a variant of spells, known as pyromancies. The starting pyromancy given to the class is the Fireball which does a good bit of damage to all flesh-based enemies. This class also starts with a Great Swamp Ring which boosts pyromancy damage.

  • Great for both hand-to-hand and range-based combat.
  • Allows for a mixed style of combat.
  • Contains the Pyromancer Flame that allows for a variety of spells.

  • Can be weak against thrust attacks.

Similar Article: Dark Souls 3 Pyromancer Builds

9. Cleric

Best Class for Faith Build.
dark souls 3 best class

“A traveling cleric who collapsed from exhaustion. Channels high faith to cast many varied miracles.”


Why Did I Choose Cleric?

The Cleric class possesses the highest Faith attribute among the various classes I am reviewing in this guide. It is one of the most versatile classes that enables you to perfect your attack and defense simultaneously.


Once again we arrive at a niche class that is not used by the wider player base. The cleric is a high-faith character meaning he relies heavily on magic and miracles.

The cleric begins with the Mace and a Blue Wooden Shield, which is nothing special. But the cleric also has the Cleric’s Sacred Chime to cast miracles. The miracles that the cleric has access to in the beginning are Heal and Force. The cleric also has a relatively low Soul Lv.7.

  • Has the Force and Heal miracles.
  • Perfect for players who enjoy miracles and magic.
  • Can be nicely used for the Faith build.

  • Not suitable for players looking for Strength or Intelligence.

10. Deprived

Best Class for Challengers.
is deprived the best dark souls 3 class

“Naked and of unknown origin. Either an unfathomable fool in life or was stripped of possessions upon burial.”


Why Did I Choose Deprived?

The Deprived class allows you to start from scratch, with only a soul Level 1 to work with. Players who love a good challenge should try this class at least once, just like I have.


Last but not least is the Deprived class. The class for true try hards and masochists who either love grinding or love to challenge themselves to the point of insanity. This class starts out equipped with nothing but a Club and a Plank Shield. This class also has the lowest soul level in the entire game Soul Lv.1.

  • Perfect for more experienced players.
  • Most of its attributes similar to each other.

  • Starts with very low soul level.

Attributes Explained

Vigor: The Vigor determines overall Health and Frost Resistance. This will help your character live more than one or two hits from bulky enemies and brutish bosses.

Endurance: This Attribute controls Stamina, Lightning Resistance, and Bleed Resistance. Without this aspect, you will not be able to maneuver during confrontations with bosses.

Attunement: This specific Attribute raises your FP (Focus Points) and the number of Attunement Slots you receive upon leveling up. This is primarily focused on spellcaster builds and more or less ignored on melee builds.

Vitality: The Vitality in Dark Souls 3 controls your Equip Load, Defense, and Poison Resistance. This is important for wearing different types of armor sets and general defense. Important for any type of build be it specialist or quality.

Luck: This increases Item Discovery which is basically the chance of items dropping from mobs while your Curse Resistance and increases your character’s Bleed capabilities and Poison capabilities. Check more on Luck Here.

Strength: This raises your Fire Resistance and determines how heavy of a weapon you can equip in-game. It also determines the Attack Power when using any weapon and it is usually used in conjunction with Dexterity for quality builds or used alone for very high strength builds.

Dexterity: Dexterity adds Attack Power while decreasing spellcasting times, and is required for equipping a number of weapons. This is the same as Strength, where it can be used in combination with another aspect for a quality build or used solo for high dexterity builds.

Intelligence: Intelligence is required to cast Sorceries, and Pyromancies and increases Magic Resistance. This is mainly an attribute for spellcasters and magic specialist builds.

Faith: The Faith is also a requirement for casting spells and raises the power of spells too whilst also increasing the players Dark Resistance. Another attribute that is focused on more magic specialist builds and used in conjunction with Intelligence and Attunement.

What Would I Recommend?

When it comes to the best class – the answer becomes quite subjective and dependent on personal preference.

With that being said though the most common answer to this question is the Knight class. The knight class is an all-rounded class that lets new players get accustomed to all the mechanics of the game while giving them enough room to make their character lean towards any particular direction, given the data and statistics observed.

That is why the Knight class is crowned the best class for beginners and veterans of the series.

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