All classes are able to solo, but some are much easier to get your first clear with. Here are the classes I’d recommend, and why. I’ve attached pictures of how I build each character. All builds are assuming you’re building the lightning axe, so axe/lightning nodes are interchangeable if you decide to itemize differently. Any node with multiple numbers are usually based on your current progression.
Seer, is the strongest overall class in the game – hands down. He has one of the only skill trees that doesn’t pigeon-hole you into picking nodes you don’t need. On top of that his passive is insane, he has great damage nodes and is immune to weather conditions. What more can you ask for?
Ranger is my personal favorite, but if you are going for your first clear I would suggest against Ranger. If you’re adamant about using a bow as your primary damage source then Ranger is the way to go, but I chose it purely for the movement speed. My build is based around playing Ranger as melee and speedrunning.
Warrior has great early game damage, and is great for anyone wanting to use a melee/bow combo. His ability to build mana at range using a bow, then swap to melee to spend it is incredibly strong (especially while using a melee with a heal ability). As a Dark Souls vet I can’t praise the iframe dodge talent enough. It gives you the ability to play aggressive .
Hunter is more of an honorable mention as her skill tree is far more tailored to team play. Her damage nodes are locked behind mediocre utility nodes, so she lacks early game damage. The one redeeming quality is her talent Foreshadow which allows you to see points of interest. It marks camps, shrines and (most importantly) the tunnel that leads to the Hideout. If you’re constantly having trouble finding bridge,
- Berserker: I think that her passive takes too long to stack, especially since TTK is very short. The attack speed it gives is rivaled by that of Seer. Both her aoe explosion on full rage and axe node are both locked behind a fire damage node that [for my builds] is useless.
- Warden: Warden has great utility, and was the first class I cleared solo on. Now that I have solo’ing down to a science, and am pushing for faster and faster clears I don’t think her utility is necessary. I originally used her for the waystone buffs and to nullify repairs.
- Guardian/Sentinal: I’ve yet to try them because I’m not a shield cuck, and clear speed is too important for solo.
Villager Starter Kit: This is definitely the go-to if you’re fresh to the game, just starting solo or are having trouble living through the early game. The time saved and survivability gained by starting with full armor and a weapon is nothing to scoff at.
Feral Starter Kit: If you are comfortable with the early game Feral is an amazing choice. It drastically increases clear speed, but at the cost of survivability. If starting Feral make sure to not take on any T3 Bright Forest camps until you have 80%+ hp and at least a T2 potion. If the witch decides to target you with her delayed bomb you’re very likely going to die.
Thoughts on Other Starters
Honestly most of them don’t make sense. Cold and Heat starters are for areas you shouldn’t be in until later, and at that point you should have the mats to make enough hot/cold pots to get you through the zones (Or just play Seer lol). The same logic applies to Explorer. You don’t need a map to see where Hideout is when you won’t be doing it until right before Fenrir, and at that point you can just buy the map from the swamp Sorcerer.
Villager Starter: I always upgrade into Hersir sword as it can upgrade all the way to T2. The rightclick is great for picking off range mobs, and at T2 the whirlwind ability is great for clearing packs or bursting larger targets.
Note: If you find a swamp biome early, and are able to kill 2-3 hydras for the mats for a base lightning axe skip Hersir.
Lightning Axe. It’s hands down the strongest overall weapon in the game. The right click does more damage than any legendary, it’s 2nd ability heals for 100 per tick at rare quality, and 200 per tick at epic and has a mini stun. Rushing the rare version is paramount as you’ll use far fewer pots and your mana pots now double has healing pots.
Upgrading armor is a tricky subject as the time invested is not always worth the marginal survivability increase. Obviously if you are having alot of trouble surviving than armor upgrades will certainly help.
Having that said when I do upgrade armor I always skip a tier. If you’re starting Villager, or Feral then making T0 armor, I would suggest skipping from T0 to T2 (blue). If you are starting Feral you can experiment with different amounts of armor, so that you retain some of Nothing to Hide’s damage boost. Experiment and see what works for you. Chest and Legs offer the most armor per piece, so if you’re starting naked those should be your 1st two upgrades. In my speed runs I start feral, and the only time I wear armor is for clearing Hideout, which is usually T2 (blue) chest and legs.
Early Game- Day 1-5
Fragment Acquisition Order (Generally): Quest=Event -> Jotunn -> Hideout
Priorities: Quarry, Upgrading Town NPCs, Map Exploration, Quest Completion
- If at any point you have the mats for a Quarry (600 Souls, 12 Planks, 9 Stone Blocks, 6 Metal Bars) get to the nearest shrine, or port back if you won’t lose too much distance traveled since last shrine/base.
- Path in a way that you get to as many ramps as possible. The mats from wooden gates are the key to an early quarry. If Quarry is built path in a way that you’ll be on the coast of whichever land mass you’re on.
- Upgrading the Toolsmith to 3 and Weaponsmith to 4 are the most important, especially if you get silver early. Upgraded tools help alot, and a higher tier of weapon will greatly increase clear speed.
- Take note of event/Jotunn spawn locations for map info. Jotunns usually spawn at the point furthest from base.
- Most of the “Easy” difficulty quests are gopher quests. Bring fur, bring common rarity gear, etc etc. Sometimes you will get kill quests though, and those need to be picked up earlier rather than later. “Highland Pests” and “Fur Market” can give kill quests, so be lucid of those. If “Highland Pests” NPC is in a desert biome don’t attempt to complete it before you have heat-res pots. The objective is to kill goblins and they are just about everywhere, so there’s little to no time lost by waiting. “The Witch Hunt” is my go to, as you will inevitably do a T3 Bright Forest camp for your witch kill.
- Don’t over-collect mats; its a waste of time. Know how many mats you need. Having a gearing plan is a big time saver.
NPC Level(s): 1
Event(s): Jotunn Spawn. Takes 1.5-2 days to arrive at base.
NPC Level(s): 2, 1+ at 3 Ideally
Event(s): Deer Spawn. Despawns early Day 5, so you have plenty of time.
NPC Level(s): Weaponsmith at 4. Toolsmith at 3. Armor/Potion vendors at 2-3.
Invasion: Ignore if Ygg seed is around 6k souls and all NPCs are at least level 3 with 1/2 at 4.
Event(s): Blood Moon Invasion
NPC Level(s): Weaponsmith at 4. Everyone else at 3+.
Note: If you decide to defend make sure to not stay the entire night. 2 Explody bois and 1 Elite will spawn (2 can spawn, but its very uncommon). If anything kill the Elite and leave.
This is where things start to get hairy as days are shorter, and defending becomes ever more important. Using my strategy you are not set up with the supplies to build defenses quickly. If you are very behind around day 3/4 you will want to consider building a lumber mill – some foresight is required, and that comes with experience. If bridge is not built prior to Day 6 the supplies needed will now start being leeched by defensive structures. More material gathering during day cycles will likely be required. Building bridge and finishing your fragments is paramount
Invasion: Ignore if you have 4+ archer towers (2 at Blacksmith Entrance). Defend for some of the night if not.
Build(s): Archer Towers (4+)
Invasion: Defend. Gate health is important.
Event: Prisoner Despawn, Chicken Events Spawns
Build(s): Level 1 Gates
Invasion: Defend. Have gate upgrades on deck. (Covered Below)
Event: Blood Moon Invasion
Build(s): Level 2 Gates (if possible)
There are multiple rooms in Hideout that can get dicey, though mostly just the ones with the T2 Archers and/or T2 Fire Sword Humanoids. Their explosive arrows can hit up to 2700, as can getting hit by both fire tornados from the Fire Sword heavy. Bringing a bow and/or mana pots for axe throws is advised. As far as I’ve there are 3 tiles that contain them, but I will adjust this if that’s false.
This is one of the tiles. 2 of them spawn on the far side of the ramp leading to the chest. You can use the bombs in the room to blow up one, though youll have to either rush or range down the second.