What class should you play in Dark Souls 3?

It's dangerous to go alone into the world of Dark Souls, where every living thing (and some dead ones) make it their mission to destroy you as quickly as possible. Venturing solo may well be your only option though, so you should at least sally forth prepared with the class, abilities, and gear that will give you the best shot at survival.

But what if you don't know the class that will work best for you? You don't want to get stuck with a magic caster when you're a master dual-wielder, or end up with a bow and arrow when you can't hit the side of a barn with ranged weapons. Dark Souls classes can be tricky to parse like that, especially if you're new to the concept. That's what this quiz is for: just answer a few simple questions about your play style, and it'll point you right at the class your were born to play. Scroll down and check the full class descriptions when you're done!

(Already know what class you play, and just want to see the specs? Skip the quiz and scroll down for the nitty-gritty stats.)

The Classes

Knight

With a spread of moderate but respectable stats (and the highest Vitality rate of all the classes), the Knight is a solid bet for anyone who doesn't have any specific play style in mind, or wants to charge ahead and figure that stuff out for their next playthrough. Essentially the baseline of Dark Souls classes, you have everything you need to get the blood sport started: a sword, a shield, basic armor, and a fighting chance with all that extra HP. Glitzy it ain't, but in Dark Souls' heinous world, valuing function over form might be the call that keeps you alive.

Starting Gear:

  • Long Sword
  • Knight Shield
  • Knight Helm
  • Knight Armor
  • Knight Gauntlets
  • Knight Leggings

Mercenary

Comparable to the moderately-talented Knight in all but a few stat categories (losing big points in Vitality and Strength in return for a serious boost to Dexterity), the Mercenary is another good starter character if you prefer to ditch the 'board' part of 'sword-and-board'. That Dexterity focus lets you wield two swords with finesse, and while you still get a shield along with some so-so armor, you may never have to bring it out.

Starting Gear:

  • Sellsword Twinblades
  • Wooden Shield
  • Sellsword Helm
  • Sellsword Armor
  • Sellsword Gauntlet
  • Sellsword Trousers

Warrior

With a focus on heightened Strength and Vigor helping the Warrior wield a massive, two-handed battle ax, this is the class to go for if you're all about wiping out your enemies in the quickest, most heavy-handed way possible. The exchange is low Attunement, Intelligence, and Dexterity, so you won't be casting many spells or using precision equipment, but if you're looking for raw power, you've hit the mark. Really hard.

Starting Gear:

  • Battle Axe
  • Round Shield
  • Northern Helm
  • Northern Armor
  • Northern Gloves
  • Northern Trousers

Herald

The first of the brand new classes introduced in Dark Souls 3, the Herald has a novel talent: the ability to use a Miracle to heal without Estus Flasks. Once, anyway, before you have to take a trip back to a bonfire, but never underestimate the power of some Hail Mary health points. With the second highest Faith stat in the game (in exchange for low Intelligence), the Herald is the one to tap if you plan to rely on Miracles but still want to wield a weapon. Alternatively, this class is also a solid pick if you're all about thrusting weapons - as a talented spear wielder, it's one of your two possible options, along with the Assassin.

Starting Gear:

  • Spear
  • Kite Shield
  • Herald Helm
  • Herald Gloves
  • Herald Trousers
  • Talisman

Thief

If you like being the person that everyone in PvP hates, the Thief is your ticket. With a high Dexterity stat, a dagger, and a short bow as part of the standard package, the Thief is primed to be the ultimate backstabber/ranged attacker, letting you put down enemies before they can even get close. The trade-off is low Level, Vitality, and Strength, so you're in trouble if you do get caught. But the Thief also has the highest Luck stat of any class, so it might be worth rolling the dice.

Starting Gear:

  • Bandit's Knife
  • Short Bow
  • Wood Arrow
  • Iron Round Shield
  • Thief Mask
  • Deserter Armor
  • Deserter Trousers

Assassin

The Assassin is the cookie to the Herald's cream - with high Intelligence and low Faith, the Assassin is adept at using Sorceries, magic that focuses on offensive and general-use spells. Starting your adventure with a thrusting Estoc sword, basic armor, and a still mysterious "Spook" enchantment, Assassin's the class to go for if you plan to depend on magic and weapons equally to take out your enemies. The Assassin also has a much more consistent spread of stats than the Herald (most hover around the same level, while the Herald's vary widely up and down), so it has the additional benefit of a solid, steady foundation.

Starting Gear:

  • Estoc
  • Target Shield
  • Sorcerer's Staff
  • Assassin Hood
  • Assassin Armor
  • Assassin Gloves
  • Assassin Trousers

Sorcerer

The Sorcerer is, essentially, the next step toward magic dominance after the Assassin. Relying heavily on offensive magic, the Sorcerer has the highest Intelligence stat of all the classes and comes preloaded with two powerful spells - 'Soul Arrow' and 'Heavy Soul Arrow'. (I wonder what they do.) The exchange is naturally low Vigor, Vitality, and Strength, so the middling weapon you get isn't going to do much if magic fails you. But, with powers that impressive, your chances are just as good as the guy with the best sword.

Starting Gear:

  • Mail Breaker
  • Sorcerer's Staff
  • Leather Shield
  • Sorcerer Hood
  • Sorcerer Robe
  • Sorcerer Gloves
  • Sorcerer Trousers
  • Young Dragon Ring

Pyromancer

As the name implies, the Pyromancer's best friend is fire - you start the game with a 'Fireball' spell and a Pyromancy Flame to power it, and you can expect the trend to continue. A less obvious but important thing to consider is how the Pyromancer's skills level up: rather than being tied to a stat like Intelligence or Faith, the strength of your pyromancy spells increases with the level of your Pyromancy Flame. So if you'd prefer to worry about stats as little as possible and focus on your equipment instead, this understated benefit could prove useful.

Starting Gear:

  • Hand Axe
  • Caduceus Round Shield
  • Pyromancy Flame
  • Pyromancy Crown
  • Pyromancy Garb
  • Pyromancy Trousers
  • Great Swamp Ring

Cleric

The Cleric completes the magic class spectrum - while the Sorcerer depends on Sorceries and the Assassin and Herald use equal parts magic and physical attacks, the Cleric has the highest Faith stat and can perform the most impressive Miracles. Your spellbook comes fully loaded with the Force and Heal spells at the start of the game (the first shoves enemies back to clear a path, and the latter goes without saying), so you're fully equipped to defend yourself. One can't live off support spells alone, though (especially with low Endurance and Vitality), so the Cleric is blessed with respectable Strength and a fair share of Luck.

Starting Gear:

  • Mace
  • Sacred Chime
  • Blue Wooden Shield
  • Cleric Blue Robe
  • Cleric Gloves
  • Cleric Trousers

Deprived

Only for those looking for the ultimate challenge (or to show off), the Deprived class starts as a measly Level 1 with no real armor and only the worst club and shield to their name. You are offered some consistency, with every stat coming in at a solid 10, but that just means you're totally average, which isn't exactly a confidence-booster. Basically, this is not the class to try on your first play, or your second, or possibly ever. Only the truly patient, dedicated, and those dying for an even more heinous Dark Souls challenge need apply.

Starting Gear:

  • Plank Shield
  • Loinncloth

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Associate Editor at GamesRadar, lover of FPS's, horror games and stealth games. If you can see her, you're already dead.
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