Elden Ring Best Starting Class: Equipment, Stats, Playstyle

Classes are the core element of the gameplay experience in Elden Ring. Like most soulsborne games, you can always change or reset the starting class’s level stats later in the game, but in the early hours, the base stats, the armor, weapons, and starting items matter the most. That is why we have curated the best starting class in Elden Ring guide so that players can have an idea about what to pick and skip in their first playthrough. While you are at it, why not read our Elden Ring review.

We have listed all ten classes of Elden Ring in our guide that will have unique equipment, attributes, and playstyles.

Vagabond

Vagabond starting class in Elden Ring is similar to how a knight class performs in Dark Souls. This class rocks a long sword, decent armor set pieces, and a shield. If you are someone who’d want to start Elden Ring without a mage or faith playstyle, then Vagabond is the perfect fit. Vagabond is the best starting class in Elden Ring should you want a strength-based or melee-based playstyle in the game.

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Starting Stats

Vigor15
Dexterity13
Mind10
Intelligence9
Endurance11
Faith9
Strength14
Arcane7

Starting Items

Vagabond gets Memory of Grace as a starting item. Other than that, you also have to select one Keepsake as a starting item in Elden Ring. Most of the keepsakes are good, and you can select to pick a consumable keepsake as starting item or a permanent one. We prefer picking Crimson Amber Medallion as starting item for the Vagabond starting class in Elden Ring.

Starting Equipment

Here is the list of armor and weapons that Vagabond gets at the start of the game. He is pretty much packed from an armor and offensive and defensive weapons standpoint.

Armor

  • Vagabond Knight Helm
  • Vagabond Knight Armor
  • Vagabond Knight Gauntlets
  • Vagabond Knight Greaves

Weapons

  • Longsword
  • Halberd
  • Heater Shield

Build Playstyle

A quick look at Vagabond’s starting stats will reveal that this class of character is designed to rely on melee weapons. It is because this starting class has one of the highest Vigor, Dexterity, and Strength. You can pretty much make decent strength, dexterity build, or a hybrid build of these two attributes for Vagabond in Elden Ring.

Samurai

Samurai is another starting class that focuses heavily on fast movements and quick attacks. This starting class can be made into a great dexterity build in Elden Ring. Also, the Samurai starting class comes with an Uchigatana sword and a longbow with normal and fire arrows as starting weapons.

Samurai is our best starting class in Elden Ring because he is the perfect fit for equipping the best weapons, applying bleed stats effect, and more on enemies in early game.

Starting Stats

Vigor12
Dexterity15
Mind11
Intelligence9
Endurance13
Faith8
Strength12
Arcane8

Starting Items

Like Vagabond, Samurai also gets Memory of Grace as the starting item along with a choice of Keepsake. Since most of the playstyle of this starting class will involve close to mid-range combat, we’d recommend picking the Crimson Amber Medallion as starting item in Elden Ring.

Starting Equipment

Here is the list of starting armor and weapons you get if you pick Samurai as starting class in the game. A quick look at equipment will give you the idea that Samurai comes packed with decent armor set pieces and an arsenal of weapons.

Armor

  • Land of Reeds Helm
  • Land of Reeds Armor
  • Land of Reeds Gauntlets
  • Land of Reeds Greaves

Weapons

  • Uchigatana
  • Longbow
  • Arrow
  • Fire Arrow
  • Red Thorn Roundshield

Build Playstyle

Like Vagabond, Samurai is also designed best for physical combat instead of magic and arcane arts in Elden Ring. This starting class has one of the highest dexterity in the game, so you will need to rely on sharp or dex weapons that must have a bleed status effect. Also, since Samurai has a bow weapon at the very start of the game, you can use it to your advantage to take out tough enemies or early bosses pretty easily while maintaining your distance. 

Astrologer

The Astrologer is the perfect mage casting starting class in Elden Ring. You also get two decent spells, which are excellent for AoE and ranged attacks. Besides having the best early mage staff, Astrologer also gets a short sword just in case you run out of mana. This is the best starting class in Elden Ring for players who’d want to have a pure intelligence or magic playstyle build in the early or mid game in Elden Ring.

Starting Stats

Vigor9
Dexterity12
Mind15
Intelligence16
Endurance9
Faith7
Strength8
Arcane9

Starting Items

The Memory of Grace and a starting Keepsake item of player’s preference are the two items Astrologer starting class gets in Elden Ring.

Starting Equipment

Here is the list of starting equipment you’d get if you begin your journey with Astrologer class. This starting class has pretty much everything in terms of weapons and armor.

Armor

  • Astrologer Hood
  • Astrologer Robe
  • Astrologer Gloves
  • Astrologer Trousers

Weapons

  • Glintstone Pebble
  • Glintstone Arc
  • Short Sword
  • Astrologer’s Staff
  • Scripture Wooden Shield

Build Playstyle

The Astrologer is a pure intelligence-based mage playstyle character in Elden Ring. Maintaining distance from enemies and dealing ranged magic damage would be to go-to mantra if you are deciding to play with Astrologer as a starting class in Elden Ring. Besides the offense, this class comes with a wooden shield which is decent to absorb some physical damage.

Astrologer is fully capable of becoming a pure intelligence caster in Elden Ring. Other than that, you can also use this starting class for a strength intelligence hybrid, dexterity intelligence hybrid, and a caster hybrid using multiple spell types.

Prophet

Like Astrologer, the Prophet starting class has one of the highest Mind and Faith attributes in Elden Ring. This also makes this character class a perfect fit for using incantations playstyle. Prophet starting class cane made to play as pure faith playstyle. Also, the starting Heal and Catch Flame are perfect incantations for offensive and defensive purposes.

We believe Prophet can be one of the best starting classes in Elden Ring if jolly cooperation or co-op mode is something you look forward to the most in Elden Ring.

Starting Stats

Vigor10
Dexterity10
Mind14
Intelligence7
Endurance8
Faith16
Strength11
Arcane10

Starting Items

A player’s choice of Keepsake and Memory of Grace are the starting items you get to pick while playing with Prophet in Elden Ring. Since Prophet is a little low on dealing physical damage, we’d recommend picking up the Fanged Imp Ashes so that you can summon two spirits to fight beside you.

Starting Equipment

Here is the list of starting equipment you get while playing with Prophet starting class in Elden Ring.

Armor

  • Prophet Blindfold
  • Prophet Robe
  • Prophet Trousers

Weapons

  • Heal
  • Catch Flame
  • Short Spear
  • Finger Seal
  • Rickety Shield

Build Playstyle

As mentioned earlier, Prophet is the perfect class in the game for incantations. Most of the mystic and magic arts you’d get to use will be dealing ranged fire and lightning damage. This playstyle will appeal to players who’d want to create a pure faith casting character or strength and faith hybrid character that can use infuse lightning on a decent sword or long sword. The Prophet class of character can also be leveled up to use as a dexterity and faith hybrid playstyle. Last but not least, Since the prophet already has high Mind and Faith levels from the get-go, investing equally in intelligence attributes will surely give you a hybrid caster class that will be best in incantations and sorceries.

Hero

Hero has much higher strength and endurance as a starting class in Elden Ring. This class is better at carrying two-handed weapons and dealing with slow but impactful attacks. Due to the high Vigor, Hero has a better chance of staying alive in the early hours of Elden Ring as compared to other classes that do not have this much high Vigor from the start of the game.

Besides Vagabond, Hero is the second-best starting class in Elden Ring when it comes to having a strength-based playstyle.

Starting Stats

Vigor14
Dexterity9
Mind9
Intelligence7
Endurance12
Faith8
Strength16
Arcane11

Starting Items

Memory of Grace and a Keepsake of your choice are the two starting items you get to pick as Hero class in Elden Ring. Boiled Prawn would be our recommended Keepsake as starting items for the Hero class. Since this class already has higher strength and vigor, having this Keepsake will allow you to become more reckless.

Starting Equipment

Here is the list of starting equipment you’d get if you play Elden Ring with Hero as starting class.

Armor

  • Champion Headband
  • Champion Pauldron
  • Champion Bracers
  • Champion Gaiters

Weapons

  • Battle Axe
  • Large Leather Shield

Build Playstyle

Hero is the best starting class in Elden Ring because you can level up and mature this character into multiple roles that can enhance your gameplay experience. For starters, you can create a pure strength build using the Hero class. Players can also go with the pure Arcane caste or a hybrid of strength and dexterity.

Other than that, if you want the best hybrid build from Hero class, then you can also make a strength and faith hybrid during mid-game. Overall, Hero scales well with strength, arcane, and dexterity.

Bandit

Stealth is now another feature of Elden Ring; thanks to Sekiro and Bandit, starting class is the perfect fit if you want an assassin or stealthy approach playstyle. A quick look at this starting class’s stats will give you an idea that you can level up and create the best dexterity build in Elden Ring.

Bandit has an excellent archery vibe, and this can be the best starting class in Elden Ring if you rely too much on ranged weapons, especially bow and arrows.

Starting Stats

Vigor10
Dexterity13
Mind11
Intelligence9
Endurance10
Faith8
Strength9
Arcane14

Starting Items

Memory of Grace and a Keepsake are the two starting classes for Bandit in Elden Ring. We’d recommend picking up Crimson Amber Medallion keepsake since Bandit has average vigor and endurance in the start.

Starting Equipment

Here is the list of starting equipment you get while playing as Bandit in Elden Ring.

Armor

  • Bandit Mask
  • Bandit Garb
  • Bandit Manchettes
  • Bandit Boots

Weapons

  • Great Knife
  • Short bow
  • Bone Arrow
  • Buckler

Build Playstyle

Bandit is by far the perfect class if you want an early best arcane build in Elden Ring. This class has one of the highest arcane attributes from the start, and this is something you can utilize if you fancy dragon-based attacks. Other than that, you can always level up and create a hybrid strength arcane or arcane dexterity build if that is how you want your playstyle to be during the mid and late game in Elden Ring.

Overall, Bandit is excellent for arcane-based damage output and is a better pick if you want to have a hybrid playstyle in the game.

Warrior

Warrior is the perfect choice for the best dexterity build or playstyle in Elden Ring. That is because this starting class comes with the highest dexterity in the game and has two starting weapons as well.

Starting Stats

Vigor11
Dexterity16
Mind12
Intelligence10
Endurance11
Faith8
Strength10
Arcane9

Starting Items

Memory of Grace and your choice of Keepsake are the starting items for Warrior class in Elden Ring. We’d recommend picking Shabriri’s Woe as Keepsake for this class.

Starting Equipment

Here is the list of equipment you get if you pick Warrior as starting class in Elden Ring.

Armor

  • Blue Cloth Cowl
  • Blue Cloth Vest
  • Warrior Gauntlets
  • Warrior Greaves

Weapons

Build Playstyle

A quick look at the stats will reveal that the Warrior class can be used to create the best dexterity build or dex and str build in Elden Ring. It is because the class has one of the highest dex attributes from the get-go. Moreover, other stats such as Mind, Vigor, and Strength are also decent enough to create an early best hybrid build in Elden Ring.

Prisoner

Besides Astrologer, Prisoner should be the second choice to create the best intelligence build or playstyle in Elden Ring. If you look at the stats of this starting class in the game, you’d realize it has got 14 intelligence, 12 Mind, and 14 Dexterity. The high dex is a positive attribute when it comes to casting spells, as this can significantly reduce the casting time. Prisoner can make a decent early-mage-class character in Elden Ring.

Starting Stats

Vigor11
Dexterity14
Mind12
Intelligence14
Endurance11
Faith6
Strength11
Arcane9

Starting Items

Keepsake of your choice and Memory of Grace are the two starting items you get with Prisoner starting class. We’d recommend picking up the Fanged Imp Ashes as Keepsake for Prisoner.

Starting Equipment

Here is the list of armor and weapons that you’d get if you pick Prisoner as starting class in Elden Ring.

Armor

  • Prisoner Iron Mask
  • Prisoner Clothing
  • Prisoner Trousers

Weapons

  • Magic Glintblade
  • Estoc
  • Glintstone Staff
  • Rift Shield

Build Playstyle

Prisoner has decent armor set pieces and early weapons that should gear up for a proper intelligence build in mid to late game. You can create a strength intelligence build or Dexterity intelligence build because Prisoner’s starting stats will scale well with playstyle.

Other than that, if you don’t want to rely too much on melee weapons, then you can also create a hybrid caster build or playstyle as well.

Confessor

Confessor can create the best hybrid build in Elden Ring using its high starting faith and strength attributes. This class is also best for stealth plus direct confrontations. It is because you get Assassin’s Approach incantation as a starting spell if you pick Confessor.

Starting Stats

Vigor10
Dexterity12
Mind13
Intelligence9
Endurance10
Faith14
Strength12
Arcane9

Starting Items

Besides getting Memory of Grace, we’d recommend you pick Golden Seed since Confessor has got average health.

Starting Equipment

Here is the list of starting equipment you’d get if you pick Confessor as starting class in Elden Ring.

Armor

  • Confessor Hood
  • Confessor Armor
  • Confessor Gloves
  • Confessor Boots

Weapons

  • Urgent Heal
  • Assassin’s Approach
  • Broadsword
  • Finger Seal
  • Blue Crest Heater Shield

Build Playstyle

As mentioned earlier, if you want the best starting class in Elden Ring that is a mix of stealth and combat, then there is no parallel of Confessor. You get decent armor pieces which are enough for early hours in the game. Additionally, the two incantations, a broadsword, and a shield, are perfect for getting you started in the early hours of the game.

Wretch

Wretch starting class is equivalent of Deprived from Dark Souls 3. You get just one melee weapon and no armor whatsoever. This class is for the pro-soulsborne players who are aware of the game’s mechanics or at least what to expect in the game.

Starting Stats

Vigor10
Dexterity10
Mind10
Intelligence10
Endurance10
Faith10
Strength10
Arcane10

Starting Items

Memory of Grace and your choice of Keepsake are the two starting items you get while picking Wretch starting class. We’d recommend picking up the Golden Seed keepsake since you have no armor whatsoever in the early hours, and this Keepsake can be used to upgrade your Flask.

Starting Equipment

If you pick Wretch as a starting class in Elden Ring, then you’d only get a club melee blunt weapon only. This starting class does not even come with any armor piece, so you’re all exposed to damage until you get any armor in the early hours of Elden Ring.

Build Playstyle

You can basically make any build or playstyle if you pick the Wretch starting class. Also, this starting class should only be picked up by veteran soulsborne players since they’d appreciate the challenge they’d face after selecting this starting class in Elden Ring.

That is pretty much everything you need to know about the best starting class in Elden Ring. Which class is your favorite in the game? Let us know more of your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Irfan Ansari


With four years of Video Game Journalism and Tremendous love for Gaming, Irfan loves chatting and writing everything about video games.

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