Which starting class should you pick in Steelrising? The new soulslike action RPG from GreedFall developers Spiders, Steelrising quickly sets the stage of a late 1700s Paris overtaken by King Louis XVI's army of cold metallic automatons, and introduces you to - well, yourself. In the form of a shiny new automat named Aegis, who unlike the other automata in the city obeys Marie-Antoinette, the Queen of France, rather than the King.
While you cannot change much about your automat's appearance besides her face, wig, and chassis colour, there is one important decision you must make at the beginning of the game: your choice of starting class. There are four classes to choose between in Steelrising - Bodyguard, Soldier, Dancer, and Alchemist - and while they only affect starting stats and equipment, the choice is still worth weighing carefully, because each class has particular benefits and drawbacks that the others lack.
Below we'll walk you through which is the best class in Steelrising for new players. We'll also detail the starting stats and weaponry of each of the four starting classes so that you can make the most informed decision possible.
Which is the best class in Steelrising?
Your choice of starting class in Steelrising affects three things: your starting weapon, your starting consumable item, and your starting attribute bonuses. None of this locks you into a certain playstyle throughout the entire game: you can assign points to different attributes, collect more consumables, and purchase or find different weapons over the course of your playthrough.
But all the same, some starting classes are better than others. Check the rankings below to find out the best class in Steelrising in our opinion:
Below we'll take a closer look at each of the four starting classes in Steelrising, and explain the strengths, weaknesses, and potential of each one in turn.
The Dancer is our pick for the best starting class in Steelrising, mainly because of the boost to Agility. Agility-focused setups are extremely strong in Steelrising thanks to the Immobilisation mechanic, wherein hitting your opponent multiple times in quick succession disables them and leaves them open to a heavy attack.
The Armoured Fans are a good starting weapon - decently fast, easy to use, and capable of creating a shield at short notice to block any attack that you can't dodge around. But if you really want to take advantage of that starting Agility boost, you should follow the advice in our Steelrising best build guide and pick up the Nemesis Claws while you're out and about in Saint-Cloud, the starting area of the game.
The Soldier begins life with a Gribeauval Halberd in hand. This powerful polearm is a great heavy weapon with which to learn the basics of Steelrising's combat system, allowing you to poke at and deliver crushing attacks on enemies from a considerable distance for a melee weapon.
More importantly, the stat boosts are excellent. Power is an essential attribute for any character that uses a heavy weapon (as their damage scales with your Power stat), and Vigour supplies you with extra Endurance, which is sorely needed at the very beginning of the game. I think Dancer still has the edge on Soldier for the best starting class, but if you prefer a heavier weapon, then go for Soldier.
The Bodyguard has the benefit of an extra +3 Durability from the get-go, which gives you more Health to help you survive those early encounters. You're then given even more protection on top of that thanks to the Engineering stat boost, which upgrades your armour so you take less damage from attacks.
The Body Of Work is a massive hammer that you should pick if you want to deliver the highest damage-per-hit of any starting weapon. It scales well with Power, and - like the Dancer's Armoured Fans - you can utilise its special skill to create an impenetrable shield at a moment's notice. Why, then, is it ranked 3rd in our list of best classes? Simply because in Steelrising, it's well worth picking a class which gives you a good boost to either Power or Agility (the stats which the vast majority of weapons in the game scale off). Flat damage is just too important to ignore.
The Alchemist offers players the earliest opportunity to try out the alchemical afflictions mechanic. The Glass-core Batons are a decent light weapon (though not as good as the Armoured Fans in my opinion), and you can use their special skill to imbue your attacks with Frost for a time. Hit enemies with enough Frost attacks and they'll be frozen, leaving them vulnerable.
The issue is that at the early stages of the game, most enemies will die to flat damage before they are frozen in place. Alchemical afflictions are very useful in Steelrising, but not too much at the very start of your playthrough. And while the boost to Elemental Alchemy is useful for those who wish to use an Alchemy-focused build, I'd still say the Alchemist's starting attribute boosts are the worst of all the classes.
That wraps up this primer on the four starting classes of Steelrising. If you want to get your playthrough off to an even better start, then be sure to read up on where to find the best weapons in Steelrising. To help you reach those places early on you should also understand how to create shortcuts by destroying breakable walls in Steelrising.