This weekend, gamers around the world will get their first hands-on taste of Elden Ring, the upcoming action RPG borne from the minds of famed fantasy writer George R.R. Martin and FromSoftware’s visionary game designer Hidetaka Miyazaki. The Elden Ring Closed Network Test will let players explore Limgrave, a small part of the game’s expansive open world known as the Lands Between. As you play, you’ll do battle with everything from low-level enemies to powerful bosses, as well as get an idea of how combat and summoning work.
Since it was announced, there has been a lot of comparisons made between Elden Ring and the Dark Souls series, and while there are certainly a lot of similarities, the game also introduces a lot of new mechanics (stealth, anyone?) and elements like crafting and horseback riding. There’s a lot to like and a lot to learn as you progress through the Closed Network Test, making choices along the way that will determine how you handle yourself.
Of course, one of the biggest choices you’ll need to make is what class you’ll use. While Elden Ring will have 10 starting classes available when the full game releases in February, there are five classes available in the Closed Network Test. It should be noted that, whatever class you pick, you won’t be locked into a particular playstyle. You’ll be able to change characteristics as you play, tweaking stats and weapons depending on the enemies you encounter and the environment you’re in.
Let’s take a closer look at the 5 classes in the Elden Ring Closed Network Test so you can get an idea of what each class offers and which one(s) you’ll want to use. I’ve listed them in the order that I most enjoyed using, but that’s obviously completely subjective!
The Enchanted Knight
How the Game Describes Them: “These Knights have embraced the power of Glintstone, facing enemies in melee combat while simultaneously casting spells. They often seek out and destroy those who use magic for nefarious purposes.”
Starting Items: Winged Spear, Carian Glintstone Shield, Carian Sorcerer Staff, Carian Piercer (Sorcery Spell), Glintstone Pebble (Sorcery Spell)
Highest Attributes: Intelligence (16), Strength (15), Mind (13), Dexterity (12)
Who Should Choose This Class: Anyone who likes to play with a long-reaching spear in one hand and a staff in the other, alternating between thrusting melee piercing attacks and casting powerful Sorcery attacks. They’ve also got the only shield that mitigates 100% physical damage if you prefer to turtle up and go toe-to-toe with enemies.
Who Should Avoid this Class: Anyone who wants to try casting the game’s very powerful Incantations.
The Bloody Wolf
How the Game Describes Them: “The Wolf is cunning, steadfast and deadly. These warriors have no fear and face down death with unmatched vigor and pride.”
Starting Items: Bastard Sword, Iron Roundshield
Highest Attributes: Strength (16), Vigor (14), Dexterity (12), Endurance (12)
Who Should Choose This Class: Players who want to block and slash and block and slash and block and slash. In many ways, this feels like a throwback to the early Souls games. With the highest Strength rating in the game, The Bloody Wolf does big damage with a greatsword while absorbing plenty of damage with a shield. Even when they do take hits, their high Vigor means they can brush a couple off before healing.
Who Should Avoid this Class: Anyone who enjoys casting magic attacks or nimbly sticking and moving with melee attacks.
How the Game Describes Them: “Holy warriors equipped with the ability to use Incantations to face foes, or to protect allies. Faith is the weapon of the Prophet, and they wield it with prejudice.”
Starting Items: Club, Clawmark Seal, Rickety Shield, Heal (Incantation), Beast Claw (Incantation)
Highest Attributes: Mind (16), Faith (16), Strength (12)
Who Should Choose This Class: Players who want to use Incantations to take down enemies and heal themselves. Having the highest Faith in the Closed Network Test means that they are one of the only classes who can use Incantations (and Beast Claw is a particularly powerful one), while having the highest Mind means that they can cast them a lot.
Who Should Avoid this Class: Anyone who likes hacking, slashing, or stabbing enemies to death.
How the Game Describes Them: “Equipped with a Sacred Seal and an Axe, the Champion can burn foes from a distance or take them head on in melee combat. They are ferocious fighters, who do not fear death.”
Starting Items: Battle Axe, Finger Seal, Red Thorn Roundshield, Dragonfire (Incantation)
Highest Attributes: Faith (15), Strength (14), Vigor (13), Endurance (12)
Who Should Choose This Class: Anyone who wants to take the fight right to enemies with powerful melee attacks. However, while The Champion’s high ratings in Strength, Vigor, and Endurance make it an obvious choice for murderous brawling, the high Faith score makes it the only other class that can cast Incantations. Dragonfire is a particularly nasty one, too, able to take down large groups of enemies from afar. A low Mind score means you won’t be able to cast it very often, though.
Who Should Avoid this Class: Players who enjoy using Sorcery attacks or ranged archery attacks.
How the Game Describes Them: “The Warrior is a Dexterity based character that uses agile and acrobatic attacks to deal with enemies at close range. Equipped with a Buckler and Medium Armor, the warrior’s default skills allow for projectile-style sword storm attacks.”
Starting Items: 2 Scimitars and a Buckler
Highest Attributes: Dexterity (15), Endurance (13), Vigor (12)
Who Should Choose This Class: Players who are looking to quickly stick and move with melee attacks (dodging is a must without a shield) or focus on using a bow for ranged attacks. The Buckler is also the only shield that allows for parry blocks that opens foes up to very strong stun attacks, which come in handy against bosses.
Who Should Avoid this Class: Anyone who wants to use Sorcery, cast Incantations, or step up and go blow-for-blow with enemies.
I hope that this helped you get a better idea of the classes that you’ll be able to experiment with this weekend if you were able to get into the Elden Ring Closed Network Test. You can be sure that we’ll be bringing you much more on Elden Ring in the weeks and month leading up to the game’s February 22 release, so check back often!