Elden Ring has several starting character classes to suit every playstyle. While not all of them have been revealed yet, here’s each of the starting classes from the Elden Ring beta explained.
Like most RPGs, Elden Ring has a variety of character classes that players can choose from at the start of the game. While some deviation and customization is possible after the initial choice, these classes generally dictate that character’s path for the rest of the game.
Whether that character is a battle-hardened armored knight or a spell-slinging sorcerer, the chosen starting class gives every player the best start on their Elden Ring journey. Since the Elden Ring beta began, we’ve seen several starting character classes in action, but we now know all of them.
- Elden Ring character classes: What’s different?
- Known character classes in Elden Ring
- Former starting classes
As most people already know, Elden Ring is the latest entry in FromSoftware’s ‘Souls’ series, serving as a spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls (1-3), and Bloodborne. While the game is the start of a new franchise and universe, it bears much resemblance to what’s come before, including starting character classes.
However, there are some differences to previous Souls games this time around which could even stump Souls veterans. When it comes to Elden Ring’s character classes, certain terms and skills now mean something different from what they meant in earlier games. These changes have been identified below.
There are a 10 character classes available in the Elden Ring. Here’s an explanation of each:
This is a class for seasoned Souls players or those that enjoy playing as a tank. The Vagabond resembles the Strength-based builds of Dark Souls, equipped with heavy armor and large swords.
However, the build uses little else, ignoring magic, faith, and dexterity in favor of pure physical dominance with a large health pool. While the starting class has been made with veteran Souls players in mind, new players who enjoy tank builds in RPGs will find a lot to like here.
The Vagabond replaces the Bloody Wolf from the closed network test.
The Hero is equipped with light armor and a large axe, they are berserker-like warriors who hit hard up close but also use magic to blast enemies from a distance. In some ways, the Hero borrows elements from all the other classes, allowing the player to tailor them as they see fit.
They aren’t suited to heavy armor as they value manoeuvrability, but they make up for it with a large health pool and raw strength. The class risks becoming a Jack of all trades and a master of none in the wrong hands, but players that find their groove with the Hero are likely to create an effective build in PvE and PvP.
The Hero class was called Champion in the closed beta test.
The Warrior is a dexterity build in Elden Ring. In previous Souls games such as Demon’s Souls and the Dark Souls trilogy, the Warrior class was associated with strength and vitality. The sort of class that would swing a two-handed axe with Barbarian-themed armor – like the Hero class above.
However, in Elden Ring, the Warrior class is now more associated with roguelike qualities such as curved swords and bows. This is a class that typically moves quickly in medium armor, attacking enemies with a range of melee and projectile-based attacks.
The Warrior doesn’t have as much health as some of the other classes and their combat style is based around agility and skill. It’s a risky starting class for beginners to Elden Ring, but the rewards follow in time.
The Prophet is essentially a faith-based mage in Elden Ring, specializing in Incantations to either buff themselves and allies or to damage and curse enemies. Incantations are similar to Miracles from earlier Souls games and work a little differently from standard sorcery.
As far as gear is concerned, the Prophet will wear light armor to stay mobile and will generally avoid close combat. They will also have limited health, making them vulnerable to strength-based opponents. However, from a distance the Prophet is deadly, and the hard part is getting close to them.
Every Souls game has a ‘naked’ starting class. One where the player character has a broken weapon, no weapon at all, limited stats, and starts the game wearing nothing but a loincloth. In Elden Ring, this is the Wretch character class.
This class is for seasoned players who want to make the game as challenging as possible. Elden Ring’s director, Hidetaka Miyazaki has even cautioned new players against using this class in their first run – it would be wise to listen to him.
Elden Ring’s creepy looking Prisoner class has been revealed by the game’s official Twitter page, yet it creates more questions than answers. So far, all we know is the class is dressed in rags and looks like The Man in the Iron Mask with a fishbowl shaped helmet.
The helmet also resembles 19th century diving equipment, but it looks like it may have been sculpted around the characters head rather than placed over it. This may mean that the character class is unable to remove the helmet during gameplay.
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Such a design decision would be a first for a Souls game and may even limit the build. However, the helmet may offer some special perk which makes the class unique and desirable. Of course, this is merely speculation – the helmet is likely just a starting item.
There’s presently no stats or further details about the Prisoner class, so we’ll likely need to wait until release to know more. You can check out the image of the class below, standing next to a Warrior class.
WARRIOR: A nomad warrior who fights wielding two blades at once. An origin of exceptional technique. PRISONER: A prisoner bound in an iron mask. Studied in glintstone sorcery, having lived among the elite prior to sentencing. Pre-Order #ELDENRING: https://t.co/oooEiDTmRv pic.twitter.com/IyzMhb8ZAt
— ELDEN RING (@ELDENRING) February 8, 2022
The Bandit starting character looks like a classing dexterity build, one that uses bows and light armor to dance around their enemies and strike from a distance. We also imagine they’ll be skilled in stealth and poison buffs. They’ll also likely use scimitars and daggers in close-combat.
BANDIT: A dangerous bandit who strikes for weak points. Excels at ranged combat with bows.
ASTROLOGER: A scholar who reads fate in the stars. Heir to the school of glintstone sorcery.
— ELDEN RING (@ELDENRING) February 11, 2022
The Astrologer is likely to be the classic wizard/caster starting character in Elden Ring. While the Enchanted Knight uses a blend of magic and tankiness, and the Prophet relies on incantations (miracles for Souls veterens), the Astrologer will be for those who want to go all in with elemental magic.
It will be interesting to see what falls under the ‘Glintstone sorcery’ umbrella when the game releases.
The Confessor class is one of the final two classes to be revealed before the game’s final release. This character is a faith and dexterity build which as previous Souls players will tell you, can be deadly in the right hands.
It’s also a class players have often had to build for themselves, so it’s great to see FromSoftware finally offer such a blend as a starting class. Expect these characters to be nimble on their feet, dangerous from a distance, and constantly casting buffs.
CONFESSOR: A church spy adept at covert operations. Equally adept with a sword as they are with their incantations.
SAMURAI: A capable fighter from the distant Land of Reeds. Handy with katana and longbows.
— ELDEN RING (@ELDENRING) February 15, 2022
One of the final two character classes to be revealed was the Samurai, and this is one to get excited about. All former Souls games have flirted with a samurai build, many of them including an Eastern NPC with matching armor and a katana.
Their quests were similar and cliched, with that character hunting for a certain sword which you inevitably find, only for them to battle you to the death for it. Elden Ring may include such a quest, but it’s awesome to see FromSoftware finally committing to a starting Samurai class.
We imagine this will be a dexterity build that also makes use of heavy armor, so were looking forward to seeing this class in action – after only really cosplaying as a Samurai in previous games.
The following classes were only included in the beta test and will not be in the final version of Elden Ring:
The Enchanted Knight class has been one of the most popular during the Elden Ring beta. It’s an interesting mix between the classic Souls Knight and Sorcerer classes, melding them into one to encourage a varied playstyle.
Those wanting to dabble in melee and magic as a battlemage will be most drawn to this class. It will also allow players to experiment with both fighting styles and gear their build around which suits them best.
An excellent class for players who are new to Souls games.
If you need to know more about FromSoftware’s latest adventure, then check out our detailed guide to everything we know about Elden Ring.