If you’re new to FromSoftware games in general, then know that you are presented with a choice between several starting classes at the start of every one of their games; Elden Ring is no exception to that tradition. While you can read up on all the nine starting classes in Elden Ring in our guide, I’ll mainly cover Vagabond as it is a standard pick for new players. Apart from the intimidating and reassuring appearance of the class, it is considered exceptionally well-rounded for melee-loving players. But before we dive into my Best Vagabond Class for Elden Ring, let’s review the base stats of the class!
The Vagabond class has a base stat distribution of 15 Vigor, 10 Mind, 11 Endurance, 14 Strength, 13 Dexterity, 9 Intelligence, 9 Faith, and 7 Arcane. Other than that, apart from being equipped with the Vagabond Knight set, the class features the Longsword, the Halberd, and the Heater Shield. While the starting kit of this class does not dictate how you’ll be playing the rest of the game due to the rebirth/respec mechanic in Elden Ring, it most certainly will influence your first 20 hours. So let’s get your Vagabond character decked out with the best gear you can obtain within the first couple of hours of Elden Ring!
Overview of Elden Ring Vagabond Build
What I’m about to guide you into doing will most certainly turn you into a living monster, making the first area of the game much easier and time-efficient to beat. But before I tell you where to start and how to assemble all the build components, it’ll be best to give you a brief overview of the build you’re about to make! All of your stats will remain untouched, and all you will need to level up to prepare my Best Elden Ring Vagabond Build is Strength, from 14 to 21!
As far as your equipment is concerned, you will simply be wielding the Greatsword, the first reasonably obtainable Colossal Sword in Elden Ring. Furthermore, in order to aid the proficient use of such a heavy armament, you will also be equipping two solid early game Talismans: Erdtree’s Favor and Green Turtle Talisman, with the addition of Radagon’s Scarseal for when you beat Margit and obtain your third Talisman Pouch. Are you excited to build such a robust yet unsophisticated build? Here’s a complete roadmap of what you need to do in chronological order!
Three Stonesword Keys
The moment you start the game with your Vagabond character and complete the tutorial area after being purposefully slain by the Grafted Scion, you’ll enter Elden Ring’s first expansive continent: Limgrave. However, before stepping foot into this beautiful land, you must’ve come across a fog wall near the Stranded Graveyard Site of Grace. Moreover, if you took some time to investigate this barrier, you must have realized that it requires two Stonesword Keys to open.
If you were disappointed upon seeing this requirement and had to move on without exploring the dungeon beyond, fret not. I will guide you to open up this dungeon to obtain your first Talisman: Erdtree’s Favor!
While Stonesword Keys are found in great abundance across the Lands Between, both as items and as merchandise sold by different merchants, there are two Stonesword Keys you can get very quickly in Limgrave.
A third stonesword key will be required for getting the Green Turtle Talisman. So the first task on your to-do list for making my Elden Ring Vagabond Build is getting three Stonesword Keys – keep reading.
You can obtain your very first Stonesword Key from Stormhill Shack unless you chose a Stonesword Key as a Keepsake – I would generally recommend against that and encourage picking up Golden Seed as it is a much rarer item. Regardless, once out in Limgrave, make your way to the ruins of the Church of Elleh, past the Tree Sentinel, and rest at its Site of Grace. This will be the second Site of Grace you will have rested at (after The First Step Site of Grace you find right in front of you the moment you enter Limgrave).
Talk to the church merchant if you wish to, but nevertheless, traverse the forest ahead, which will be under patrol from Godrick Soldiers, making it an excellent opportunity to exercise stealth for the first time. Once past the eerie forest, you will spot a Godrick military camp out in the distance besides an old ruined gate, known as Stormgate, at the front of which you should see a Site of Grace. Whether you choose to clear out the military encampment or not, don’t forget to grab the map that’s located in the center of the camp.
Rest at the Site of Grace in the camp’s outside perimeter to trigger your first story cutscene with Melina, who will bestow your horse, Torrent. Mount Torrent and make your way into Stormgate, a relatively dangerous area for one such as yourself, albeit you should be able to gallop past much of it on your trusty steed. But inevitably, it is up to you if you wish to clear out this section – nonetheless, progress up the elevated land until you reach Stormhill, where your very first Stonesword key is within arms reach!
Keep following the road until you arrive at the Stormhill Shack Site of Grace, in the vicinity of which you will see a Shack. In the Shack itself, you will meet Roderika, an important NPC who will later aid you in upgrading your Ashes Summons, so you might as well exhaust her dialogue here and now. Other than that, you’ll see an item up on the platform to which you can jump– this will be your first Stonesword Key! Congratulations, for you’ve taken your first step towards making the Best Vagabond Build in Elden Ring.
Now that you’ve gotten your hands on your very first Stonesword Key, the second one is not so far off, located in the Dragon-Burnt Ruins. To start this new venture, first fast travel to The First Step Site of Grace, which is the checkpoint closest to the Dragon-Burnt Ruins. From here, head east into Agheel Lake, a like-like area as indicated on your map, with a pile of ruins depicted in the lake’s southwest section. I would recommend mounting Torrent before entering this area as some solid enemies roam about in it; you’ll even encounter the Flying Dragon Agheel boss if you venture off deep into the lake’s center.
Regardless, when in the Dragon-Burnt Ruins, you’ll most surely have your attention grabbed by the main floor of the ruins, harboring Rotten Strays, Nobles, and Undead Soldiers. They will be guarding a basement entrance in front of a seemingly closed wall; do not enter the basement yet as it will ensnare you in a transportation trap that will be used later. Instead, wrap around the wall behind it, where you will encounter a Rat guarding an item – you guessed it, this item is your second Stonesword Key!
Bridge of Sacrifice
When you obtain your first map of West Limgrave in the Gatefront Ruins, you’ll quickly notice a largely empty, yet to be discovered, patch of land towards South Limgrave – this area is known as the Weeping Peninsula. In order to reach the Weeping Peninsula, which you will eventually later in the game, is through the Bridge of Sacrifice, a tightly guarded road that connects the two areas, an obstacle you must overcome! Once you clear this area out, you’ll find an item that will be your third Stonesword Key.
The Bridge itself is a relatively dangerous area for you to be in at this stage in the game, as it is not only packed with Godrick Soldiers but also a mortar in the back that can almost one-shot you. While you are free to experiment with how you want to clear out this area, whether going headstrong or observing some stealth, here’s what I usually do.
I mount Torrent and sprint past the soldiers all the way to the well-guarded mortar at the rear – this artillery is operated by a soldier who can be killed to disarm the lethal contraption entirely. Once he’s dealt with, the rest of the mobs can be taken care of with relative ease and patience, which will be rewarded with your third Stonesword Key. Now it’s time to really start piecing together the Elden Ring Vagabond Build.
The Erdtree’s Favor is an excellent Talisman that is practically a must-have for the early game stages of the game as it boosts your maximum HP, Stamina, and Equipment Load – all in one! More specifically, your maximum HP increases by 3%, your stamina rises by 6.75%, and your equipment load increases by a solid 5%. Later in the game, you can replace this Talisman with its +1 and +2 variations found in the Subterranean Shunning-Grounds and Leyndell, Ashen Capital, respectively.
Now that you have obtained two Stonesword Keys, you can access the dungeon beyond the fog wall near the Stranded Graveyard Site of Grace – this dungeon is known as Fringefolk Hero’s Grave. It is a very daunting area to tread into this early in the game, but we’re only here for the Erdtree’s Favor which is very doable to obtain, so don’t worry!
Once you open the fog wall, you’ll notice a set of ladders that lead down into a pool of poison. Since I doubt you have poison-healing items or incantations at this point, jump off into the pool and run into the dry platform ahead.
Once here, you’ll hear a noise getting closer and closer until you realize that it is actually a giant chariot locomating up and down the pavement. Do not come as to even touching this Chariot as it will kill you, being one of the major obstacles that stand between you and the Erdtree’s Favor. The only way to avoid it at the moment is to run down the pavement when it’s not around and take cover in the side compartments, proceeding in your descent when the Chariot passes by.
Make your way down the dungeon until you reach a thinned-out bridge – this is practically a trap as you can not outrun the Chariot in that distance. So, take a detour and drop down into the catacombs below, where you will be ambushed by Imps, although it won’t be much of a surprise now that I’ve told you.
Regardless, promptly take out the two enemies before making your way to the downward staircase – do note that there is a flamethrower at the end, so bait it out first before proceeding. You can deactivate the mechanism by hitting it once you get past it!
Once past it, you’ll see two paths you can go into, one on the left and one straight ahead – on the left, you’ll find two Lightning Greeses guarded by two Imps, so you can decide right now whether you want to go for it. In any case, you will want to proceed forward, where you’ll enter a large empty room with an item off in the distance.
Be careful as approaching this item (Erdtree’s Favor) will trigger a Grafted Scion to drop from above, and when you turn around to run away, a second Grated Scion will drop down to pincer you. I would recommend going in with little to no Runes, getting the Erdtree’s Favor, and perishing to respawn at a safer location. Make no haste in putting this on as I’m sure you can appreciate the immense value this little item will add to my Vagabond Build in Elden Ring.
Green Turtle Talisman
You’ll notice that the Green Turtle Talisman is shaped in the form of a turtle that raises your stamina regeneration speed significantly, more specifically by an additional 8 stamina points per second. Unfortunately, however, unlike the Erdtree’s Favor, you will not find any +1 or +2 variations of this Talisman, although I believe it will easily last till mid-game, to say the least!
Having spent two of your three Stonesword Keys, now it’s time to use up your third Stonesword Key to get your next best Talisman: the Green Turtle Talisman. The Talisman itself is located in an underground basement gated away by a fog gate in the Summonwater Village towards northwest Limgrave.
Summonwater Village is also a pretty unsafe area to be in at this stage of the game as it harbors the Tibia Mariner, a field boss you will encounter several times later in the game. Regardless, given that the Summonwater Village is located in the higher plateaus of Limgrave, you will need to trek the Saintsbridge towards the west of Stomhill Shack.
Once you reach the Summonwater Village, igniting several Sites of Grace along the way, you’ll come across the Summonwater Village Outskirts Site of Grace, your main checkpoint for this mission.
Set a waypoint on the little piece of ruins in the bottom right corner of the village on the map and gallop towards it while trying your best to avoid the area’s boss. Upon successful evasion, you’ll come across the underground basement I spoke of earlier –expend your last Stonesword Key and help yourself to the Green Turtle Talisman!
I’ve chosen Greatsword for my Elden Ring Vagabond Build because not only is it a potent strength weapon but also because it can be used proficiently even at this point of the game, thanks to our two Talismans! Colossal Swords are generally hard-hitting weapons that are slow and consume a lot of stamina per swing, but even with 11 Endurance, you should be able to use it with monumental performance this early in the game!
The Greatsword requires 31 Strength and 12 Dexterity to properly wield, rewarding its wielders with a natural C-scaling in Strength and E-scaling in Dexterity.
You may be surprised by the fact that I’ve recommended 21 Strength despite the requirement being 31 Strength – that’s because when you two-hand a weapon, your strength goes up by 50%! So two-handing with 21 Strength would equate to around 31 Strength, allowing you successfully use this weapon with any performance drawback, and one can also argue that Colossal Swords are meant to be two-handed!
In order to obtain the Greatsword, you will now have to make your way back to that transportation trap integrated into that one chest back in the Dragon-Burnt Ruins. Opening this chest will release a white smoke, which will take a second or two to fully diffuse and warp you to another location – if you want to turn back, now’s the time to do so! But if you’re brave enough to stick through it, welcome to the Sellia Crystal Tunnel, located far out in the continent of Caelid.
Caelid is generally a nightmare for beginners as it is very easy for someone naïve to wander off into it, considering it is Limgrave’s right neighbor – so follow my lead, and you’ll be back in one piece!
When you get warped into the Sellia Crystal Tunnel, the first thing you need to do is to crouch and observe stealth, as the nearest Site of Grace is a little far, and dying would respawn you back to the Crystal Tunnel. Stay put for a second or two while a Prawn Miner who’s patrolling the mine passes by.
After that, make your way to the right while staying crouched, moving past the many Prawn Miners busy in their occupation; they won’t do you any harm unless you aggro them forcibly by attacking. However, the dangerous enemies here are Diggers who will practically one-shot you, so be wary of them and stay crouched!
Once you make your day down the right and through the miners, you’ll see a small tunnel on the left – if you’ve caught the attention of some supervising Diggers, now’s the time to make a run for it into this tunnel.
At the end of the tunnel, you’ll spot the area’s Site of Grace! Make your way down the ladder and take a nice rest, as this will be your main checkpoint for this mission. Now it’s time to step outside and mount Torrent because the scarlet rot swamp ahead will do a number on you if you trek it on foot. Nevertheless, it will be a dangerous path to take, but very well worth it for the Vagabond Build in Elden Ring.
As you have no map of Caelid at this point in the game, I would highly recommend following up on my path for some sense of direction. Simply put, head right when exiting Sellia Crystal Tunnel until you reach the Swamp of Aeonia, where you will encounter a Stake of Matrika.
This is an indicator that you need to head straight ahead into the swamps and the ruins-like area seen in it, known as the Street of Sages Ruins. Hug the left side of the Ruins, and if you encounter some Servants of Rot trying to poison you, that means you’re on the right track because up ahead will be another Site of Grace.
Head up the hill from this Site of Grace where you’ll spot a series of Greatswords shoved into the ground – a highly probable Berserk easter egg. Regardless, keep treading forward until you reach the main open road; if you’re in this area at night, you will encounter the Night Cavalry boss, so I recommend passing some time from the before mentioned Site of Grace beforehand.
Nonetheless, following along this road towards west where you will enter the haunted Caelem Ruins, a very hostile area that terrifyingly strong enemies inhabit!
Believe in your trusty steed and gallop past the many enemies you’ll see here, even reloading your character at some points in between to reset the aggro of all the enemies around you. Additionally, once you’re out of these ruins, you will spot a Black Caravan in the distance; there is a chest at the backside of this caravan that houses the mighty Greatsword.
However, you’ll have probably noticed the giant enemies roaming around the caravan, so I would recommend unmounting Torrent in order to approach the chest much more stealthily. And there you have it, the Greatsword, the final piece of my Elden Ring Vagabond Build!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you get another Stonesword Key?
Head back to Agheel Lake and make your way under the bridge. While galloping along the ravine, you will be invaded by Bloody Finger Nerijus, a very formidable enemy, but you don’t need to face him alone! Wait things out a little bit, and Hunter Yura will come to your aid. Warding off the invader will grant you access to Murkwater Cave, where another Stonesword Key awaits!
When will you get more Talisman pouches?
After obtaining two Great Runes, that is, defeating two major demi-god bosses (ideally, your first two should be Godrick, the Grafted, and Renalla, Queen of the Full Moon), you will unlock a third Talisman Pouch after talking to Enia at Roundtable Hold. You will obtain your fourth and last Talisman Pouch after defeating Godfrey’s spectral shade in Leyndell, Royal Capital.
What should you use as a third Talisman?
I would personally recommend the Assasin’s Crimson Dagger as your third Talisman. It is a solid Talisman that is dropped from the Black Knife Assasin boss in Deathtouched Catacombs towards the northwest of Limgrave. It is a good addition because it heals you for 10% of your HP along with 85 flat HP whenever you kill an enemy with a critical blow (backstabs or ripostes).
How should you develop your build across the game?
Frankly, there are a lot of options you can go with later in the game because you’re able to unlock the rebirth mechanic quite early in Elden Ring (allowing you to redistribute stats). However, if you want to commit to a Vagabond Build through and through, I recommend switching to either the Ruins Greatsword, the Prelate Infero’s Crozier, or the Giant-Crusher.