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Shack Chat: What's your ideal Elden Ring character stat?

On this week's Shack Chat, the team discusses which stats are most important to their Elden Ring build. What do you level first in Elden Ring?


Elden Ring, much like other Soulsborne games, is one in which there’s a wide variety of builds available. Whether you favor strength, survivability, style, magicks, faith-powered weapons and incantations, or something else, we all have our own ideal path of progression. With that in mind, the Shacknews Staff talked about which of the Elden Ring stats matter most to them: Strength, Vigor, Endurance, Mind, Dexterity, Intelligence, Faith, or Arcane. Check out where our level-ups went in the discussion below.

Question: What’s your ideal Elden Ring character stat?

Intelligence - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Lord of the Elden Rings Editor

I don't play a lot of Soulsborne games, but these worlds look awfully dangerous. If I'm going to jump in, I want to be able to strike from afar and magic the crap out of whatever's threatening me. That's why I'll focus on Intelligence and hope that my sorcery will keep me going.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see how it plays out.

Dexterity - Donovan Erskine, likes to shoot arrows

I’m one of those people that has to play an archer or assassin build in every RPG. Elden Ring is no different, as I quickly gravitated towards the short bow and a set of twin daggers. Both of these weapons scale with dexterity, allowing you to use them more efficiently.

Dexterity also decreases fall damage and lowers the chances of you getting knocked off of your horse, which are just a couple of invaluable perks to have.

Endurance - Blake Morse, Co-EIC

Let’s face it: if you’re playing Elden Ring, you’re in it for the long haul. It’s gonna take a lot of physical and metaphorical endurance to get through it all. Also, the more of it you have, the more you can hack away at enemies before having to run away and recharge. And for someone who has poor timing and tends to flail around a lot, I could really use some extra stamina to keep me in the battle. And it’s not like they have little blue pills to help with this kind of thing in Elden Ring, do they?

Vigor - Sam Chandler, Finds out

The enemies in Elden Ring hit like a truck. I am a competent dodger, but sometimes I’ll whiff a roll as an enemy holds its attack for several beats longer than I thought it would. So, when that attack comes crashing down as I’m exiting the invincible frames, I want to ensure I can survive the hit. Besides, if my Sacred Flask is healing more than my entire health bar, that’s a bit of a waste.

Vanity - Chris Jarrard, Incredibly vain

You’ll hear my casual coworkers go on and on about Vigor or Faith or some other garbage, but the real heart of these Souls games is looking good. No one cares if you kill bosses or harvest runes or return order to the land. All sorts of people chop down foes in Souls games, but only the real players care about looking good. Fashion Souls matters, even in Elden Ring. This is why Vanity is the most important stat (even if it’s hidden).

In the older games, the character creation tools were limited at best, ensuring that 90% of all characters made in the game look like Mark Zuckerberg. Thankfully, Elden Ring finally stepped into 2011 with its character creator, allowing adventurers to be made that resemble actual people! This will help me immensely as it's better to look good than to be good. Why be some grizzled skeeze in a hoodie when I could be Ringo Starr? I can’t imagine a better look for strolling out and backstabbing some creature near the octopus garden in the shade.

Strength - Bill Lavoy, King Tarnished

If you ask Sam Chandler and David Craddock about my Elden Ring build they would both say it revolves around Strength. I want to carry big weapons and hit enemies hard. I’m all about the Greatswords, Greataxes, and the Great Hammers. In fact, I spent some time recently tracking down a Great Hammer called Great Stars that applies blood loss to enemies. I don’t want to jump the gun here, but it might be my forever weapon.

Leaning into Strength has been my jam since I created my character, which I made sure was as big and muscular as possible. The goal here is that should someone need a wall knocked down in Elden Ring, they’ll immediately think of me. I play offline, though, so don’t try summoning me.

Dexterity  - TJ Denzer, Slaying in style

I have two primary goals when I play a Soulsborne game. One: Beat the game. Two: Look cool down to the very end doing it. Much like Chris, I am a huge proponent of Fashion Souls. I don’t want to arrive at the final boss looking like an absolute pleb. Fortunately, there’s a stat that’s all about style in these games. It’s Dexterity. That’s the stat that makes my bandit leather armor a good choice, allowing me to dodge roll about with a cool cape, and wield ice rapiers and dragon heads while I’m doing it. When I sheathe my katana and stand stalwart against your incoming attack, I’m going to look sick as heck and hit you for 500 to 700 damage while doing it. A perfect balance of style and substance has always been my way in Soulsborne and that extends to Elden Ring.

Strength-Steve Tyminski, Stevetendo show host, Can lift a car over his head (what, you think I can’t)

What is my ideal Elden Ring character stat? I don’t play these games too often but when I do, I want to be able to be strong! Strong enough to wield big weapons and do a lot of damage at any given time. That being said, I would have to go strength as it gives you a lot of options in terms of cool-looking, large weapons that will leave a mark when enemies get smacked with them. Artie from Pete and Pete was the strongest man in the world so I think it’s only obvious that strength is the way to go. Being able to kill a skeleton or some other monsters in one hit sounds pretty cool to me.

Intelligence & Dexterity -  Dennis White, Community Manager

I’m usually big on Vitality, especially in the early game. It can save your life in a boss room. I’ve beaten bosses with a smidgen of my life bar left. BUT when it comes to Elden Ring, the game really opened up when I started leveling up intelligence. The amount of spells in this game really gives me unique ways to fight with magic and a host of cool weapons. I can also use quality support spells as well like Scholar’s Armament that put powerful statuses on my weapons. Given the amount of enemies that use some kind of magic ability, having stronger resistance is also a really helpful benefit. Currently, my build is an intelligence/dex hybrid. Fast casting speed, lethal parry damage, efficient bleed options with dual blades and katanas, and a host of ranged options between magic projectiles and bows. I also love having tracking spells or hovering swords chilling while I walk through new areas full of dangers. Makes me feel like Vergil from Devil May Cry with the katana/spiral swords combo! I have plenty of game left to play, but it’s been a fun ride boosting my brain power with intelligence.

Vigor - Asif Khan, Shacknews Luminary/Lola’s Assistant

I am terrible at Souls games, so I am loading up on Vigor like Frank Thomas loads up on Nugenix Total T. I hope to someday attract random middle-age maidens once I max out my character.

Vigor - Morgan Shaver, Stayin’ Alive

I primarily focused on Vigor for my character in Elden Ring because I’m impulsive and like to run into boss fights regardless of whether I’m properly equipped to handle them or not. With my character having an extra meaty health bar, I can take a hit or two and then decide whether or not I want to continue fighting, or call upon my horse for the tried-and-true tactic of running away and hoping for the best. Outside of Vigor, I also put a decent chunk of points into Endurance because I’m a hoarder in games like Elden Ring and like to carry a bunch of stuff around with me, you know, just in case.

And that covers our favored Elden Ring stats. What about the rest of you? Let us know what stat you favor for your Elden Ring character build in the Shacknews Chatty section below! Need a hand with your journeys? Be sure to check out our guides and further coverage on Elden Ring as well.

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

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