Dark Souls Class Tips, Best Starter Class and Character Builds Guide

Like in any other action RPG, there are different classes to start within Dark Souls. Dark Souls builds can be quite confusing but hopefully, our Class Tips guide can ease the burden a little. Each class has its own attributes and skills but by no means does it restrict you to use any sort of equipment. You can upgrade your skills/stats to use any weapon, armor, or magic but that will a tough and time-consuming task.

Dark Souls Class Tips

There are a total of 10 starting playable classes in Dark Souls, each with their own benefits and downsides. Whichever one you want to start off with depends on your play style and if you want to have an easy or challenging experience in the early hours of the game.

You are not locked to your starter class and can invest in other stats to go a different route from what you originally started with.

For example, if you start with a warrior and want to do tricks like a sorcerer then that is also possible with the right combination of skill point investment. Anyhow, following stats about each character can help you decide the best Dark Souls character class. For more help on Dark Souls, read our Magic, Weapons Reinforcements, Armor, and Items guide.

Best Starter Class

Let’s first talk about the starting class. When you start the game, it will display a list of all the classes, with their description. It will look like this:

Class Stats
Warrior Weapon expert, high strength and dexterity
Knight High HP, solid armor, not easily toppled.
Wanderer Wields scimitar, high dexterity
Thief High critical hits, has the Master Key
Bandit High strength, wields a heavy battle axe
Hunter Wields bow, weak with magic and decent at close range
Sorcerer Casts soul sorceries
Pyromancer Casts fire spells and wields a hand axe
Cleric Wields a mace and casts healing miracles
Deprived Unclothed, only armed with club and old shield

This list might look intimidating if you’re playing the game for the first time. Do note that the different abilities and skills you will be able to employ is not governed by what starting class you pick. This class only acts as a base for you to build on, as you progress in the game.

If you’re confused as to what class you should choose as your starting class; in our opinion, the best Dark Souls starting class is the Pyromancer Class. The best thing about this class is how many kills and options it offers, and its ranged attacks.

Probably the coolest and most useful of these is the Pyromancy Flame ability. It allows you to throw fireballs at your enemies, dealing relatively significant damage.

Since this attack is ranged, you will be able to defeat the starter enemies without even taking damage, if you play well. Also, you can also use it to lure enemies out of difficult positions.

If you select the Pyromancy Class, you can free the Pyromancer from the Undead Burg. Doing this will make your Pyromancy Flame even more powerful. This will require some souls.

Another one of the Pyromancy Class’ best weapons is the Hand Axe. Having good range, speed and damage, it will work well against the enemies you will face at the beginning of the game.

Warrior Class
Warriors are made to fight. The resistance and fighting skills are the defining attributes of this class. As a starter, you can opt for heater shield which renders the warrior 100% ability to block the physical attacks.

Level Vitality Attunement Endurance Strength Dexterity Intelligence Faith Resistance Humanity
4 11 8 12 13 13 9 9 11 0

Knight Class
Knights have the highest vitality and hence can play the role of a tank. They are slow but can afford to sustain a considerate amount of damage. The faith is good enough to for healing. Increase their strength a bit and you will have a good time with them.

Level Vitality Attunement Endurance Strength Dexterity Intelligence Faith Resistance Humanity
5 14 10 10 11 11 9 11 10 0

Thief Class
What a thief naturally does? He comes fast and after doing the damage, leaves you in shock. Although thieves have high agility, they can’t endure much damage and have quite a limited number of weapons they can wield at the start.

Level Vitality Attunement Endurance Strength Dexterity Intelligence Faith Resistance Humanity
3 9 11 9 9 15 12 11 10 0

Wanderer Class
Wanderers are almost as quick as the thieves but they have improved level of endurance. They serve the all-around purpose and can fight both up close using different combos and from range using the bow.

Level Vitality Attunement Endurance Strength Dexterity Intelligence Faith Resistance Humanity
3 10 11 10 10 14 11 8 12 0

Bandit Class
Bandit is a good combination of strength and endurance. They can execute the hard-hitting physical attacks effectively. Swords and axes are their primary weapons of choice. Although they are good fighters magic is their least favorite and you will have to put a lot of effort to teach them some magical tricks.

Level Vitality Attunement Endurance Strength Dexterity Intelligence Faith Resistance Humanity
4 12 8 14 14 9 8 10 11 0

Hunter Class
Using some quick attacks and retreating is a good option while playing as hunters. They have good dexterity and average strength/endurance stats. Hunters can use a wide range of weapons but like bandits, they suck at magic.

Stats:

Level Vitality Attunement Endurance Strength Dexterity Intelligence Faith Resistance Humanity
4 11 9 11 12 14 9 9 11 0

Pyromancer Class
They can use physical weapons as well as do some magic tricks. This is the only class that starts from level so you can plan things the way you want to. Try to maintain a balance between magic and physical attacking ability to deal with the wide range of enemies.

Level Vitality Attunement Endurance Strength Dexterity Intelligence Faith Resistance Humanity
1 10 12 11 12 9 10 8 12 0

Cleric Class
Impressive faith makes Clerics pretty effective healers. They can wield weapons but you will have to do some leveling up for that due to low dexterity. Since Clerics are healing specialist, you can’t expect to be the “Thor” of the battlefield.

Level Vitality Attunement Endurance Strength Dexterity Intelligence Faith Resistance Humanity
2 11 11 9 12 8 8 14 11 0

Deprived Class
This can be a tough class to handle especially in the first stages of the game. Since it has the same stats for each attribute, you can mold this class into anything you want. But for that of course, due to lack of initial equipment, you will have to bear with them in the early stages first.

Level Vitality Attunement Endurance Strength Dexterity Intelligence Faith Resistance Humanity
6 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 0

Sorcerer Class
Sorcerers are known for their magic. If you don’t want to be a hard-hitting Warrior, Knight or a Bandit then this class may suit your taste. To make them physically strong, you will have to spend some points before they can use those heavy weapons. Till then, you can rely on the spear.

Level Vitality Attunement Endurance Strength Dexterity Intelligence Faith Resistance Humanity
3 8 15 8 9 11 15 8 8 0

Character Builds

Now that you know what starter class you should choose and what each of the classes’ strengths and weaknesses are, let’s talk about Character Building in Dark Souls. If you don’t know, the term refers to building a character catered to a specific purpose in the game.

When building a character, the first thing you need to think about is what purpose you are building it for. Whether you’re doing it for PvP, PvE or Co-Op.

  • If you’re doing it for PvP, you should make your character as aggressive and agile as possible.
  • If you’re doing it for PvE, you should focus on shield-wielding, healing spells and overall, just making your defense as good as possible.

Now, you should what Soul Level you want. For PvP, the recommended Soul Level is 120. What Soul Level you should be at depends upon the area of the game you want to play the most.

If you want to fight as many online players as possible, keep a low Soul Level to maximize PvP encounters.

The next thing to do is to think about what specific Armor, Weapons and Spells you want to employ.

Once you decide what you’re going to use, you now need to plan your stats.

For Attunement, you can find out how much of these are good for you by looking at how many slots you have – if you’re using spells, of course.

For Endurance, you have the choice to either go the maximum amount, which is 40, if you want to have as much stamina as possible, or you can look at the weight of your weapons and armor and set your Endurance accordingly.

You can do this by taking a sum of your weapons and armor’s total weight, then setting your Endurance at 25% and 50% of that, if you desire fast roll or medium roll, respectively.

For Intelligence or Faith, you have the choice to raise them, relative to what catalyst you want to use, or can just use the lowest amount required to employ the spells you want.

For Strength and Dexterity, look at your weapons’ stat requirements. This will give you an idea of how much Strength and Dexterity you want.

Do note that you shouldn’t go that high with Str. And Dex. If you’re going to use elemental upgrades for your weapons.

For Vitality, there’s not really any formula you can apply. Just use whatever points you got left.

Example Builds

Below is one of our favorite PvE builds with a focus on Strength and Vitality:

Right Hand: Quelaag’s Furysword
Left Hand: Greatshield of Artorias
Head
: Giant Helm
Chest
: Giant Armor
Hands
: Giant Gauntlets
Legs
: Giant Leggings
Rings
: Havel’s Ring and Ring of Favor and Protection
Items
: Firebomb, Black Firebomb, Throwing Knife, Estus Flask, Green Blossom

Vitality: 48

Attunement: 16

Endurance: 44

Strength: 48

Dexterity: 20

Intelligence: 8

Resist: 11

Faith: 12

Humanity: 10

Now that you know exactly what to do to build the best class in Dark Souls, which class are you playing with?