Elden Ring BEST Starting Classes: PVP & PVE

I have played Elden Ring for more than 400+ hours and tested each class for Elden Ring. Here are the Best Starting classes!

About The Author

Farrukh Jafri has played Elden Ring for more than 400+ hours, so you can trust his ability to provide insight on the best Starting Classes.

While starting classes does not matter in the long run, they can be of tremendous help initially. A game like Elden Ring is bound to be daunting for newcomers, and starting classes helps manage that by giving the players an idea of what to stick with and what to upgrade.

Staring classes also come equipped with decent weapons and items that can be upgraded and greatly help the player.

This guide covers the best starting classes.

Key Takeaways

Elden Ring features several starting classes catering to different play styles, such as melee, hybrid, and magic-focused.

  1. The Samurai class is a dexterity-focused build with high levels of both dexterity and strength. It comes equipped with a longbow and a roundshield, making it a great choice for quality builds and PvP play.
  2. The Vagabond class is a strength and dexterity-focused class perfect for beginners and melee-focused players. This class comes with a longsword and halberd.
  3. The Confessor class is a melee hybrid build with high faith and average levels of strength and dexterity. This class is ideal for veterans who are interested in trying casting for the first time.
  4. The Wretch class is a balanced starting class with no armor and equal levels of all stats. It is a great choice for players who are unsure of their final build.
  5. The Prophet class is a faith-focused starting class that is best for mage builds and aspiring casters. This class comes with spells and a mace.
  6. Wretch class is the best starting class overall due to its balanced scaling; players can choose to be anything from a melee tank build to a priest caster with the Wretch class.

Best Starting Classes Compared

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

No.ClassBest forLevelVigorMindEnduranceStrengthDexterityIntelligenceFaithArcane
1SamraiBest Starting Class for Agile & Ranged Proficiency.91211131215988
2VagabondBest Starting Class for Strength & Dexterity Focus.91510111413997
3ConfessorBest Starting Class for Melee & Magic Hybrid.1010131012129149
4WretchBest Starting Class for Balanced stats.11010101010101010
5ProphetBest Starting Class for Mage Builds.710148111071611
6HeroBest Starting Class for Strength-Based Builds.7149121697811
7AstrologerBest Starting Class for Magic-Oriented Playstyle.691598121679
8WarriorBest Starting Class for High Dexterity Focus.811121110161089
9PrisonerBest Starting Class for Balancing Spells.911121111141469
10BanditBest Starting Class for Luck-Oriented Build.51011109139814

Related: Best Elden Ring Starting Gifts

1. Samurai

Best Starting Class for Agile & Ranged Proficiency.

Why did I choose Samurai?

I chose this for its agile combat style and ranged versatility, which is important for early-game encounters.


The Samurai class also comes equipped with a decently high strength level. With a dexterity level of 15 and a strong level of 13, the Samurai is an excellent quality build-focused class in Elden Ring.

The Samurai class starts with the Uchigatana, a longbow, and a roundshield. When I gained access to this expansive bay from the outset, it completely shifted my gameplay options in Elden Ring, introducing a barrage of strength and exploitation strategies within the Lands between.

The Uchigatana is a legend in the Dark Souls series. Due to its amazing skillset, high DPS, and viability, the uchigatana is a fine weapon. If the lands beyond are anything like the world of Dark Souls, I would suggest this to be just an excellent weapon, definitely top-tier for early-game encounters.

The Samurai is one of the best starting classes for Quality build players. 

  • Agility and Precision.
  • Ranged Proficiency.
  • Quality Build Focus.

  • Steep Learning Curve.
  • Dependency on Precision.

2. Vagabond

Best Starting Class for Strength & Dexterity Focus.

Why did I choose Vagabond?

The Vagabond’s strength and dexterity focus perfectly suits a balanced quality build, essential for a versatile playthrough.


The Vagabond class is another contender for the Best class for Dex. The Vagabond is a Strength and Dex-focused starting class. Starting with a strength level of 14 and a dex level of 13, the Vagabond is another option for players considering a quality build in Elden Ring.

Due to its stats, the vagabond class is also one of the best Starting classes for beginners. Especially those choosing a melee-focused path for their journey through the lands beyond.

The Vagabond class comes equipped with a longsword and a halberd, both excellent options for a quality build, even better when dual-wielded. 

  • Strength and Dexterity Balance.
  • Beginner-Friendly.
  • Quality Build Potential.

  • Limited magic & casting abilities.

3. Confessor

Best Starting Class for Melee & Magic Hybrid.

The Confessor starting class is reminiscent of melee hybrid builds from Dark Souls 3. This class combines a melee weapon with decent/average strength and dexterity levels with a high faith level. All in all, a class like this is ideal for Dark Souls 3 players that relied on both melee and magic.

As a confessor, I have found out that starting with spells like Heal is a huge advantage, especially when combined with the devastating potential of an upgraded broadsword.

All in all, the Confessor class is an exceptional class for veterans looking forward to trying casting for the first time and one of the best classes for those afraid of Fromsoft’s difficulty for the heal spell is bound to make things easier.

Why did I choose Confessor?

I opted for this hybrid class to explore melee and magic, essential for adapting to different combat scenarios.

  • Perfect for melee-magic hybrid.
  • Balanced stats for versatile performance.

  • Limited weapon variety at the start.

4. Wretch

Best Starting Class for Balanced stats.

The Wretch class is the iconic naked class every soul-borne vet loves to begin their playthrough with. Despite looking like a handicapped class, the Wretch is actually an excellent way to begin your journey of the lands between, even for beginners.

The Wretch class has no armor, a level 10 on every stat, and a club. Despite its looks, it is probably the best starting class overall due to its balanced scaling. Unlike other classes in Elden Ring, the wretch is the most balanced.

Starting as a wretch with 10 in every skill was a game-changer for me. It gave me the flexibility to shape my character later on. I could pivot from a melee tank to a priest caster without feeling locked in. The club is also a very respected, powerful strength weapon, so you are pretty set in the weapons department.

Why did I choose Wretch?

The Wretch has its balanced scaling, allowing flexibility to shape my character’s build later in the game.

  • Versatile starting stats for builds.

  • Ideal for uncertain playstyles.

  • Initial vulnerability due to no armor.

5. Prophet

Best Starting Class for Mage Builds.

Why did I choose Prophet?

The Prophet, because of its faith focus, is crucial for delving into mage builds and bolstering spellcasting abilities.


The Prophet class is the faith-focused class. This is the best starting class for mage builds/aspiring mage builds. Given how powerful faith was in the Dark Souls series, it is safe to assume you can not go wrong with the Prophet class.

Similar: Elden Ring Faith Weapons

Starting with a faith level of 16, the Prophet class comes set for faith spells. It also comes with catch fire, heal, and a spear. All this makes the prophet class the perfect starting class for mage and melee builds. The spear became my reliable melee weapon, handling combat situations well. 

  • Ideal for mage builds & aspiring casters.
  • Heal spells’ are sustainably useful.

  • Limited melee weapon options initially.
  • Dependency on Magic.

6. Hero

Best Starting Class for Strength-Based Builds.

Why did I choose Hero?

This strength-based class was chosen for its raw power, which is important for a sturdy, hard-hitting playstyle.


This is the go-to class for Strength builds. Strength builds are one of the most fun ways to play a Miyazaki title. Plowing through enemies with a massive, high-damage greatsword is one of the best feelings in the world. Strength builds have always been some of the most fun and viable builds in Fromsoft games, largely due to how fun confrontations with strength weapons are.

Starting with a strength level of 16, this class has the highest beginning strength level. This class also comes with an axe and a good shield. Axes are reliable; even the most basic axe can get you through the game.

A strength level of 16 means you will be fit for most strength weapons from the get-go, which is a plus. Strength builds are also extremely viable in all situations, from bosses to PvP. Overall, the Hero class is one of the best PvE and PvP class.

  • Highest starting strength among classes.
  • Well-suited for strength-based builds.

  • Less diverse than hybrids.

7. Astrologer

Best Starting Class for Magic-Oriented Playstyle.

The Astrologer class is a melee-sorcerer hybrid starting class. It starts with high intelligence and decent dexterity with a lot of mind. This class will be exceptional for people looking for a sorcerer build with some melee in between. 

This class starts with an intelligence of 16, a dexterity of 12, and a mind of 15. It has sorceries like Glinstone Pebble and Glintstone Arc, Reminiscent of Soul Darks and Soul Sword. It also comes with a shirt, sword, and an astrologer’s staff.

The sword can be of tremendous help, for it is a viable, fast-hitting weapon despite its basic nature. Through extensive gameplay, I have found that sorceries are also very viable and can help avoid confrontation in the game’s early levels. The Astrologer class is one of the best starting classes due to its versatility and one of the best PvE starting classes.

Why did I choose Astrologer?

I opted for this class due to its melee-sorcerer hybrid nature, which is significant for a versatile mix of magical and close combat.

  • Melee-sorcerer hybrid ideal.

  • Intelligence boosts sorceries versatility.

  • Magic-focused starts with limited spells.

8. Warrior

Best Starting Class for High Dexterity Focus.

The Warrior class is the starting class for dexterity builds in Elden Ring. This class comes with high dexterity. Dexterity builds are some of the most fun ways to play Fromsoft games, largely due to how versatile their movesets are and how quickly they deal damage.

This class comes with a dexterity level of 16 and has 2 Scimitars. Scimitars have also been an iconic dexterity weapon in the Dark Souls series, and the ability to dual wield them will open a world of combos and damage for new players.

All in all, there is not much to say except that this class will be a great pick for Dex players and is certain to be tons of fun. It is also one of the best starting classes for beginners and an excellent PvE starting class.

Why did I choose Warrior?

I chose the Warrior because of its high dexterity, which is crucial for a quick and agile playstyle.

  • Perfect for dexterity-focused builds.
  • Fast move sets & dual-wielding potential.

  • Non-dexterity, fewer choices.

9. Prisoner

Best Starting Class for Balancing Spells.

Akin to the Astrologer class, the Prisoner class is also a Sorcery Dex hybrid class with a little higher dex. The higher dex means a class like this will have the Spells take a backseat while being a little more confrontational.

The Prisoner class comes equipped with the glintstone staff and an Estoc. This class will be tons of fun due to the ability to use Dex weapons while doing massive amounts of damage with spells. 

Why did I choose Prisoner?

I preferred this hybrid class to balance sorcery and dexterity, and I found it essential for tactical confrontations with spells and melee.

  • Spells & Dexterity for hybrid gameplay.

  • Melee with spellcasting.

  • Limited spell selection.

10. Bandit

Best Starting Class for Luck-Oriented Build.

The bandit class is reminiscent of Luck builds of the past. Coming with high arcane and mid dex, this class is ideal for those who prefer luck builds. While there is not much info on luck yet, we have had infusions that scaled with luck in the past, which were very powerful. On top of that, luck also boosed item discovery.

Why did I choose Bandit?

I picked this class for its high arcane and mid-dexterity, crucial for an exploratory luck-based playthrough.

  • Luck builds thrive with discovery.

  • Encourages parry-focused playstyle.

  • Luck-based Builds require specific gear.

Good Luck in the Lands between, tarnished!

What Would I Recommend? 

The Samurai and Vagabond classes in Elden Ring capture distinct playstyles that cater to various preferences. The Samurai’s emphasis on dexterity and strength, paired with equipment like the Uchigatana, longbow, and roundshield, appeals to those who favor swift, agile combat with a touch of ranged precision. It balances flexibility and strategic prowess, allowing for stealthy approaches and confrontations.

Meanwhile, the Vagabond class provides an ideal starting point for beginners, focusing on strength and dexterity and offering a longsword and halberd. Its straightforward melee emphasis ensures simplicity and effectiveness, making it a favorable choice for those who prefer straightforward, close-quarters engagements.

Both classes present unique advantages, catering to different preferences and adapting to the challenges presented in the vast and perilous landscapes of the Elden Ring.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best Starting class?

This is very subjective, the best class is the one you have the most fun with and suits you the most. If you are a beginner and unsure, we recommend one of the basic classes such as the Warrior, Hero or Astrologer.

What is the best PvP Starting clas?

While every class will do good, some of the more popular and fun options will be classes like the Warrior, Prophet and Vagabond.

Can you change your build despite your class?

Absolutely! Starting class just help you go at things initially. You can later decide however you want your playstyle to be. For example, you may start as an astrologer, the sorcerer starting class, but later decide to play as a strength build. You can start putting points in Strength and shift to a Strength-focused build.

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