It’s a question that’s asked about almost every class-based RPG: which class is the best?
The nice thing about Black Desert Online is that it’s actually quite well designed and balanced; as a result, there’s no real clear-cut ‘best’ class in the game that absolutely everybody should use.
Thanks to the fact that Black Desert Online has a more action-leaning combat system than many MMOs, depending on your play style some classes might suit you better than others, however – so allow us to guide you through what each is good at to allow you to make an informed decision.
Another interesting touch of note is that races and genders are exclusive to classes – All Warriors, for instance, are human men – but there’s also the ‘Valkyrie’, a class which is essentially a female Warrior with a different skill set as a result of how the female warriors differ from the men.
Here’s the classes and what they’re good at:
The Warrior is a human male, and as default fights with a Sword and Shield.
This class is, as you’d expect, skilled at close-quarters combat, and can wear the types of heavy armor that’ll offer significant protection from incoming damage. Despite this, the warrior also has decent mobility and a solid set of passive skills that can be learned to boost his utility.
That said, if you’re looking for all-out-attack, the Warrior might not necessarily be you. He’s a tank by nature, but his shield is integral to his gameplay since it can block almost all full-front damage by adopting his specific defensive stance.
It’s key to keep your blocks up between devastating attacks, and so a deal of care and attention is required while playing this class. In many ways, he’s the most balanced option in the game. He’s easy to pick up and play, but thanks to the intricacies of his defend-and-attack flow, difficult to master.
The Valkyrie is a human female, and is on the surface similar to the Warrior but has some significant differences that make her stand out. Like the warrior, she too fights by default with a sword and shield.
While the Warrior has a bit more broad utility, the Valkyrie is more of a ‘straight’ tank – Valkyries can certainly put out a significant amount of damage, but put out less than the Warrior and are more skilled in damage mitigation instead via a range of supportive skills you can learn.
The Valkyrie also loses some of the Warrior’s mobility, but gains some mid-range attacks in exchange, and has a number of attacks that can knock enemies down and therefore immobilize them for a moment. The Valkyrie can hang back and support and protect or get up close and get aggressive, making her a less immediately impactful tank but one with more utility than the warrior.
The Ranger is an elf female, and wields – in the finest ranger tradition – a longbow, with a dagger as a handy backup.
In RPG terms, the ranger is essentially a DPS-based class, meaning she specializes in dealing a great deal of damage to a single target over time. Her unique selling point is, of course, that she can do so from afar. This makes her a particularly effective class in PVP, if you’re going to go that way.
Incredibly mobile, a good ranger player can kite about the edge of the battlefield and avoid the enemy entirely, all while avoiding the enemy. Playing a ranger well is all about chaining one skill into another to combo them together and lock the enemy down – but doing this requires a strong knowledge of their skills and a lot of concentration.
The ranger also unlocks some area of effect abilities for crowd control, but they are much later on her skill tree, making her a little more frustrating to play later on. More difficult to immediately pick up, the ranger can grow into an extremely powerful class in the long term.
Witch & Wizard
The Witch is a human female and the Wizard is a human male, and despite being listed separately on the class choice screen, these two are identical, using large and powerful magic attacks to decimate enemies.
As is typical for their kind, Wizards are fragile characters, and so you’ll want to hang back and dodge away if under threat. The spells of Wizards typically have long cast times and cooldowns, leaving you vulnerable while casting, but then the spell that comes out is, in turn, utterly devastating. Most spells are of an area-of-effect nature, hitting multiple enemies at once.
While they have access to devastating offensive spells, even more useful, especially in group play, is their access to healing spells – they are, for instance, the only class that can revive players who have been killed.
They’re a mix of a support role and an offensive magic-based damage dealer, and are certainly weak alone, but absolutely required in group play for any group tackling any high-end content. Early on this class can be quite forgiving to play, but there’s a strong difficulty curve, especially in solo content, as you must start using them carefully.
The Sorceress is a human female that’s taken up dark magic exclusively as a dark mage.
The Sorceress is one of the classes that I’d argue have a higher overall level of difficulty to get into thanks to how their class is designed around switching between two modes – ranged magic attacks and wild, thrashing melee. In their main hand they wield a magic glove type weapon for melee, while in the other they hold a magic talisman.
The sorceress is highly mobile but also very vulnerable. Constant movement is a must, but careless movement will not work out well for you. The aim is to curse the enemy from afar then get in close and zip around them with devastating melee attacks. She’s one of the classes most reliant on the combo system, with the idea being to lock an enemy into a damaging chain.
‘Shards of Darkness’ are unique to the sorceress, and spent to buff her skills and abilities mid-battle. This is key, thanks to her low survivability, but requires a fair amount of skill to use and thus makes her one of the harder classes to play.
The Berserker is a giant male who wields two gigantic axes into battle for an offensive battle style.
Remember how we said earlier that the Warrior isn’t the hack-and-slash class, but rather a more thoughtful tank? The Berserker is your hack-and-slash class, with almost all of his abilities built around getting into the thick of things and wrecking people through sheer brute force.
The slowest class in the game, the Berserker might take time to get close to enemies, but once he’s on top of them, he’s deadly. He can spin his axes in brutal crowd control moves, or grab individual enemies to pound them to dust. He has good survivability, and is incredibly easy to play as a result, even later in the game – though this class has less room to grow as a result.
Where this class struggles is in PVP play, where his lack of mobility can come back to haunt him. In solo or group PVE play he can be a vital member of a team or a lonesome wrecking ball with ease, though.
The Tamer is a human female who makes use of a trusty pet to protect her and deal out damage during battles, while wielding a katana herself.
The Tamer is a class all about balance – not just in terms of between attack and defence, but between use of her two main ability types – her own abilities, and the abilities of her beast companion. Using both in tandem, and occasionally combining for special combo attacks, is key to making this class work. Some skills change significantly depending on the situation the pair find themselves in.
The Tamer herself is very weak, but her beast is more powerful and together the two have surprisingly impressive mobility. Careful management of your pet is key, as being left without it for a while can often spell certain doom, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
As a class the Tamer is excellent in PVE and solid in solo PVP, but collapses under the weight of events around her in group PVP play – but she has strong late-game potential all the same.