Elden Ring: Best Base Character Class for Beginners

So many options...
Elden Ring artwork of a tarnished character holding up a torch in a cave filled with large webbed eggs

At the start of Elden Ring, you’ll need to pick a character base before you can create your character and start your adventure, but the choices can feel a little confusing and overwhelming for newcomers. Here’s the best character base for beginners in Elden Ring.

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Character Base Starting Stats in Elden Ring

Every character base in Elden Ring has their own stats to start with that will dictate how you play the game. To anticipate your preferred play-style, you need to first understand the stats underlying each character base. But like with most FromSoftware games, Elden Ring doesn’t do a great job at explaining what each stat is for. So let’s take a look at them and what they do:

  • Vigor: primarily governs your overall HP but also affects your fire resistance and Immunity (resistance to poisons and rot).
  • Mind: primarily governs your overall FP (Elden Ring’s equivalent of MP or magic points) but also affects your Focus (resistance to sleep and madness).
  • Endurance: primarily governs your overall Stamina and dictates your how heavy your equipment can be before it starts slowing you down. Also affects your Robustness (resistance to Hemorrhage and Frostbite).
  • Strength: required to wield heavier weapons like greatswords and boosts attack power for such weapons. Also affects defense against physical, strike, slash, and pierce damage.
  • Dexterity: required to wield advanced (lighter and faster) weapons and boosts attack power for such weapons. Also reduces casting time for spells, reduces fall damage, and makes it harder to get knocked off your horse.
  • Intelligence: required to use glintstone sorceries (your typical damage-dealing “black” magic) and boosts attack power of sorceries. Also improves magic resistance and magic defense.
  • Faith: required to use sacred incantations (healing and “white” magic as well as draconic magic) and boosts attack power of incantations.
  • Arcane: increases item discovery, provides scaling for inflicting status buildup such as poison, sleep, bleed, and madness, and affects holy defense and death resistance. There are also some magical weapons whose attack power is boosted by Arcane.

So now that you know what all the stats do in Elden Ring, you can finally start getting an idea of how each character base plays and how they might skew toward your typical play style.

Best Character Base for Beginners in Elden Ring

Elden Ring screenshot of the Prophet, Samurai, and Prisoner character base options

Elden Ring might be your first “Souls” experience. It’s certainly the one I’ve put the most time into. But how many dozens of hours will it take to see the end? Who knows! I just hope I chose the right class at the start. There isn’t really a “right” answer to be honest. But there are more beginner-friendly options, some advanced options, and then there’s a Nightmare Mode of sorts.

Beginners will likely want to focus on survival, pumping up their Vigor and Endurance stats. But Elden Ring often feels heavily biased toward magic, and you’ll find a lot of the most powerful builds incorporate either Intelligence or Faith into them. A base character like Prisoner which splits attributes between Dexterity and Intelligence can be one of the strongest builds later on in the game, but it might struggle a bit at first.

For that reason, beginners may want to first lean toward a more balanced character base that can help them survive with physical strength and defense while they get a feel for the game. You can always start dumping points into specific attributes later on once you get more familiar the game’s weapons and magic.

Anyways, here’s a little rundown if you’re suffering from choice paralysis.


You’ll have multiple opportunities to respec your character later on in the game if you find you don’t like how your character’s build handles. So don’t worry too much about picking the “wrong” character base.

Character Bases that are Good for Beginners

This class is basically Elden Ring’s “Ryu.” If you aren’t sure what kind of combat style you’ll be into, here’s your choice for trying both! Confessor also starts at the highest level, so, that’s a little boost. You might have some trouble figuring out where you want to put your points, but here’s your well-rounder.

Wanna swing a sword around but in a fighty way rather than a tanky way? Here’s your option. Warriors have high dexterity, and solid everything else that isn’t magic. With Endurance and Vigor up there as well, you’ll be able to pick up and use almost any melee weapon.

Elden Ring screenshot of the Prisoner, Confessor, and Wretch character base options

Intermediate Character Base Options in Elden Ring

Hero has weird stats, but is very bonk-oriented. If you want to take hits and give ‘em back, here’s your choice. The problem is low dexterity, which can really impact your freedom of choice with weapons. So you really have to figure out what you want to do with a Hero long term.

Here’s your Big Tank Boy. Vagabonds start with high vigor, dexterity and strength. The problem is you start with armor so heavy it impacts your speed and dodge properties. You can try to pump up your endurance for more weight tolerance, or you can grab a greatshield and take everything head on.

Technically, Samurai is a ranged class, meaning bows are gonna be your favorite. But Samurai are relatively balanced, so you also get a katana if you need to get in close. Don’t get in too close though, because you have a glass jaw.

Elden Ring screenshot of the Vagabond, Warrior, and Hero character base options

Advanced Character Base Assignments in Elden Ring

I wasn’t entirely sure if this one fit more in Intermediate, but basically this is your “black mage” character. You have super high intelligence and mind, along with some okay dexterity. You’re mostly using Sorcery skills, but you also start with a short sword if you need to get out of a corner.

White mage! Sort of. The Prophet has very high faith and mind, and a bit more strength than the Astrologer. Don’t get hit, though. The strength boost helps you out early game, as it takes a while to get the good faith gear. But once you’re there, you get healing and some seriously powerful attack magic. It’s a slow burn kind of mage.

Elden Ring screenshot of the Bandit, Astrologer, and Prophet character base options

Tarnished Must Die Mode Character Bases in Elden Ring

Similar to the Samurai, but without any meat. With the Bandit, you have to rely on stealth as much as possible, which pays off in some ways but makes your life miserable in others. This is for people who know what they’re doing, and want to drastically change their approach.

Like a Confessor, but a lot cooler. Prisoner leans on dexterity and intelligence, meaning that later on in the game you can inflict some major pain. But the earlier challenges in Elden Ring will be, well, more challenging. This is a great option for folks who want to mix melee and magic, and aren’t afraid to die.

You start out naked, if that’s any indication of what Wretch is like. If you choose Wretch, you start without armor, at level one and with a club for a weapon. Seems like a pretty raw deal, and something only self-imposed difficulty players will be into. There is a catch, though! Wretch starts with all stats at 10. Being level one with 10 in everything means you have carte blanche for building this class. You’re super vulnerable at first, but you can really put Elden Ring to task once you get going.

So there you have it: all of Elden Ring’s character bases and the best character base for beginners. And for more Elden Ring, you may next want to find out how to summon your horse—it’s not as immediately accessible as you might expect.

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Lucas White
Lucas plays a lot of videogames. Sometimes he enjoys one. His favs include Dragon Quest, SaGa and Mystery Dungeon. You can find him on Twitter @HokutoNoLucas. Wanna send an email? Shoot it to [email protected].