Screenshot from Lords of the Fallen showing two warriors facing off against a towering monster.

Lords of the Fallen: A guide to picking the best starting class

By Dave Tach, Contributor

A perfectly normal but perpetually weird thing happens in Soulslike role-playing games like Lords of the Fallen: You have to pick a class before you even take control of your character. It’s a galactically important decision to make when you know almost nothing about the game you’re about to play.

Lords of the Fallen transports you to the terrifying land of Mournstead, where unimaginable creatures roam the land and nearly everything that moves  aggressively wants you dead. It is, with no pretense, a spiritual successor to FromSoftware’s Dark Souls games—and it may be the closest any outside studio has come to making a legitimate heir to that throne.

But how do you pick between a Hallowed Knight and a Mournstead Infantry? What’s the difference between a Blackfeather Ranger and a Udirangr Warwolf, and why would you want to pick one over the other in this Soulslike? Also, what’s an advanced class?

We’ve spent many hours battling through the opening hours of Lords of the Fallen with each class, and here’s our advice: Pick how you’d like to play, and back into a class that way. In this Lords of the Fallen class guide, we’ll teach you how each class works and what it's most suited for, and then help you pick the best class for your journey through Mournstead.

How classes work in Lords of the Fallen

At the beginning of the game, classes are a combination of two things: starting gear and attribute points. Starting gear includes different sets of weapons and armor. Meanwhile, attribute points define your character's capabilities. Not to get all nerdy or reductive, but attribute points really are about simple math. Every character has points, and every point goes into one of six slots:

  • Strength: High damage, heavy weapons.
  • Agility: Ranged attacks, light weapons.
  • Endurance: Governs Stamina, so you can run, swing your weapons, and block more, as well as Equip Load, so you can wear heavier armor.
  • Vitality: More HP (or health, if you prefer).
  • Radiance: More Radiant-type magic spells and Catalysts.
  • Inferno: More Infernal-type magic spells and Catalysts.

A character class designed for magic has lots of points in the Radiance or Inferno attributes, depending on the magic they wield. A character designed for holding big weapons has more points in the Strength attribute.

Hallowed Knight: Aggressive players who want a challenge

Lords Of The Fallen Hallowed Knight
The Hallowed Knight is the class that surprised us the most. The Hallowed Knight has high Strength (12) and high Endurance (15), a combination that allows for a heavy sword and the Stamina to swing it. And the Hallowed Knight can get a surprisingly high number of swings in before depleting their Stamina. They also start with a fair bit of Radiance (9), which you could pour points in down the line to add some magic to your arsenal.

In the beginning, Hallowed Knight’s specialty is getting in close and swinging away. You won’t have to worry much about managing your health—at least relative to other classes.

The Hallowed Knight’s ranged weapon is effectively a hand grenade. They don’t carry many, and they don’t inflict much damage at the beginning, but they do have one unique advantage: They cause area of effect (AOE) damage, which means that if you chuck a grenade into a group of baddies, they’ll all get hurt.

Udirangr Warwolf: Bold but cautious players

Lords Of The Fallen Udirangr Warwolf
The Udirangr Warwolf is an archetypal glass cannon—oodles of offensive power but not so much on defense.

The Udirangr Warwolf has high Strength (16), high Endurance (13) and middling Agility (10) and Vitality (10), a combination that allows for the heaviest of swords, the Stamina to swing it, and the ability to at least throw a weapon and withstand some hits.

It’s not a subtle class, and you won’t have to attack as much as others because the Udirangr Warwolf's unparalleled strength takes enemies down in just a couple hits. The downside to that awesome offense is some pretty mediocre defense—picture yourself in the literal wolfskin garb of an Udirangr Warwolf. Don’t forget to manage your health, or you’ll be dead as quickly as you can kill your enemies.

The Udirangr Warwolf’s ranged weapon is a hatchet, which inflicts a fair bit of damage—more than we expected, given its mediocre starting Agility.

Partisan: An easygoing experience

Lords Of The Fallen Partisan
The Partisan is exactly what Lords of the Fallen’s character select screen describes it as: a “strong and dependable all-rounder class.” That’s why it was the first class we chose.

The Partisan has points evenly distributed through Strength (13), Agility (12), Endurance (12), and Vitality (12), making them a jack-of-all-trades but a master of none. It’s a great class to learn the game with, but there’s nothing terribly interesting about it—and that’s by design. You’re getting Old Faithful if you pick this class, and you’re free to pump points into any of the attributes, which (excepting the magic-based attributes) are pumped pretty full at the beginning of the game. You don’t have to keep them even. You can lean into several other builds, depending on what you wind up liking most.

The Partisan’s ranged weapon is a crossbow, and it’s got some punch to it. In fact, it feels like the perfect, quick ranged weapon for any class that isn’t a specialist in ranged weaponry or magic.

Mournstead Infantry: Mid-range players

Lords Of The Fallen Mournstead Infantry
The Mournstead Infantry has points distributed through Agility (14), Strength (12), Endurance (12), and Vitality (11), allowing them to wield a spear, which is unlike other weapons.

There’s not a ton of variation in attacks. It’s mostly stabbing because, you know, it’s a spear. It also means that you can keep a bit more distance between you and your enemies than someone holding a sword—or you can get up super close and run that spear through multiple enemies at once. There’s versatility in stabbing, as they say. (They do not say that. Only I do, and only just now.) That said, the Mournstead Infantry's special attack on weakened enemies seems significantly less effective than other classes.

The  Mournstead Infantry’s ranged weapon is a great high-damage spear. It fits the class perfectly. Although they don’t carry many, they kind of don’t need many to eliminate faraway enemies.

Blackfeather Ranger: Balanced, ranged players

Lords Of The Fallen Blackfeather Ranger
The Blackfeather Ranger has points distributed through Agility (13), Strength (11), Endurance (11), and Vitality (10), which allows them to brandish a gigantic axe. They’re also incredibly snazzy dressers.

The axe works a lot like a sword, except that its charged strong attack is a devastating downward chop. The combination of Strength, Endurance, and Vitality means that the Blackfeather Ranger can wield a close-range weapon, swing it several times, and take the beating that close-range combat sometimes invites.

The  Blackfeather Ranger’s ranged weapon is a bow and arrow, and it’s hard to imagine a more fitting weapon for the class with feathers on its armor. It’s easy to understand, easy to use, and quite powerful.

Exiled Stalker: Fast, aggressive players

Lords Of The Fallen Exiled Stalker
The Exiled Stalker is the first of what Lords of the Fallen refers to as an Advanced Class, which really just means that it’s a quirky, opinionated build.

The Exiled Stalker’s points are heavily weighted toward Agility (16), with fallbacks in Endurance (11) and Vitality (11). That pairs nicely with their weapons: a pair of light daggers, one for each hand. (In another game, they’d be called a Thief.) The Exiled Stalker swings their daggers fast and furious, and although you’ll be attacking more, you’ll be killing just as quickly.

It’s worth noting that the Exiled Stalker has no shield, and its health is about average, not extravagant. Likewise, its average Endurance allows for decent—but by no means heavy—armor. That’s what makes this a challenging class. You’ll be right in everybody’s face without much protection.

The  Exiled Stalker’s ranged weapon is a handful of throwing knives—fitting for a class with a backstory about being an assassin, but pretty underwhelming in Mournstead. They can inflict bleed damage if you throw enough of them, but that doesn’t seem possible at the beginning of the game.

Orian Preacher: Tanks who want a little range

Lords Of The Fallen Orian Preacher
The Orian Preacher’s points are heavily weighted toward Radiance (18), with fallbacks in Vitality (11) and Strength (10). Their Strength allows them to wield a gigantic metal hammer, and it’s slow and devastating. Think of this class  like a combination of the vulnerable muscularity of the Udirangr Warwolf and the ranged capabilities of the Blackfeather Ranger.

The Orian Preacher’s ranged weapon is magic, and it is pretty great. Magic isn't super powerful per-spell, but a lengthy blue mana bar allows  you to attack many more times at range than other classes.

The Orian Preacher really is about extremes. You don’t have great health to withstand close attacks with your hammer, and you don’t have unlimited ranged weaponry. It's a class built to incentivize a strategy that combines close and far combat.

Pyric Cultist: Mid-range and ranged combat

Lords Of The Fallen Pyric Cultist
The Pyric Cultist’s points are heavily weighted toward Inferno (18), with fallbacks in Endurance (11), Strength (9), and Vitality (9). It’s perhaps the oddest combination in the game.

The Pyric Cultist wields a staff, which it swings in wide, slow arcs for little damage. Nothing about it seems particularly effective or noteworthy. It takes several swings to kill even the earliest-game enemies, which was initially surprising, but a high Endurance score imbues the Pyric Cultist with the stamina it needs to swing away.

Its ranged weapon isn’t nearly as milquetoast. The Pyric Cultist’s Inferno points allow it to throw magical fireballs at its enemies. And just like the Orian Preacher, its blue mana bar allows it to toss them around with near impunity. Chucking fireballs is what this class is really about. Its melee options, at least for the first few hours, aren’t impressive.

Condemned: Video game masochists

Lords Of The Fallen Condemned
In Lords of the Fallen, Condemned is basically a roll-your-own class. Its points are entirely evenly distributed with 9 points each in every attribute. Nothing is good. Nothing is terrible. And as soon as you start leveling up, you can make it whatever you want it to be. That’s the potential upside.

The downsides are legion. You start by wearing what amounts to dirty rags, your main weapon is quite literally a broken bucket, and the throwing rock you get as a ranged weapon is about as dangerous as a damp piece of paper.

Completionists (and video game masochists) won’t be stuck with these weapons and armor for long, but it’s not like there are lightsabers and machine guns just ahead. There’s a reason that the developers wrote "PICK AT YOUR OWN RISK" under the class’s description.

How to pick the best starting class in Lords of the Fallen

The stories are in the points, and the points tell you how to behave in the game’s first several hours. Match a class to your preferred play style—or go for something wild. I didn’t expect to love the Exiled Stalker, but that’s my main now.

And don’t worry if you get it wrong. The good news is that if you don’t like what you pick, you can build a character you do like. There’s nothing stopping you from investing in Strength even though you started with an Agility-heavy build. What’s more, you can find every class’s starting gear and spells scattered throughout Lords of the Fallen’s sprawling world, provided you look hard enough—and don’t die before you get there.

Now that you know where to get started, pick up Lords of the Fallen right here on the Epic Games Store.