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Dragon’s Dogma 2 best starting vocation: Which vocation to choose at the start of Dragon’s Dogma 2

There are plenty of more complicated vocations you can unlock later on in Dragon’s Dogma 2, but the best starting class is the Thief.

Split image featuring a thief and mage in Dragon's Dogma 2.
Image credit: VG247

You might think booting up a fresh Dragon's Dogma 2 game and picking your first vocation would be an easy choice – there’s a way you want to play the game, a vibe you have in mind, and it’s all plain sailing, right? Not necessarily. The initial vocation choice you need to make is tricky; it determines the starting gear, your starting weapons, and your starting skills – all things you will rely on quite heavily in the opening hours of the game.

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You can unlock more classes later in the game – like the powerful Mystic Spearhand – but to begin with you will have a choice of four: Archer, Mage, Thief, Fighter.

Souls players migrating over to Capcom’s sequel may want to go for the Fighter class as their initial vocation, since it seems to align more closely with how most people play in the Miyazaki games. But it’s actually another one of the base classes that Dragon’s Dogma’s own Hideaki Itsuno recommends for beginners.

For now, though, let’s break down your initial choices.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 starting vocations


Dragons Dogma 2 TGS 2023
For those about to fight. | Image credit: Capcom

Equipped with a sword and shield, the Fighter is good at melee range but struggles the tackle aerial enemies or foes at a distance. The shield allows for life-saving defensive capabilities and parries (which can knock foes off balance!), but ultimately – especially in the early stages of the game – you can be left vulnerable to flying foes like harpies, and may struggle to close the gap on enemies that like to pelt you with things. Here’s looking at you, goblins.

Hideaki Istuno suggests does note you’ll get on well with this class if you’re coming to DD2 from melee-focused action RPGs, though (no one say Elden Ring).


Dragons Dogma 2 TGS 2023
Flash of the blade. | Image credit: Capcom

Fast on its feet, armed with a pair of high-damage dual knives, and capable of dancing around enemy attacks like some boisterous, violent clown, the Thief is a real pain in DD2 monsters’ proverbial arses in the early stage of the game. Peppering enemies with rapid stabs and slashes and sliding out of harm’s way in a moment’s notice, the Thief excels for players that like a dodge roll (that’s all of us, right?) and has some amazing ranged and melee attacks to follow-up with.

Playing the Thief feels more Monster Hunter than Souls, to me, and that’s why it’s my pick for best starting class (and Itsuno agrees with me, too).


Dragons Dogma 2 TGS 2023
What's his name, Jeffrey?! | Image credit: Capcom

Now this one is interesting; I’d say that typically in action-RPG titles like Dragon’s Dogma 2, there isn’t much stock in ranged-focused classes – the shooting is never as tight as the melee combat, and the power trade-off you have to put up with is rarely worth it. Gunshots in Bloodborne aren’t nearly as satisfying as cleaving an enemies head off with a saw blade, right? But in DD2, the archer (and later, the Magick Archer) actually feel more in line with ranged classes from FPS games. Yes, really.

Itsuno notes that the Archer Vocation in Dragon’s Dogma 2 is recommended for people who are coming to the game from FPS games and similar titles.


Dragons Dogma 2 TGS 2023
Ho, ho, ho, it's magic! | Image credit: Capcom

Support and healing moves like Anodyne and Argent Succor make the Mage an essential part of any team – but, sadly, often quite dull to play as. Get to the stage where a Mage can learn High Palladium (a spell grants a barrier that nullifies the first hit that connects) and you’ll soon find your party like an unstoppable phalanx, cleaving through enemy ranks. Weapon-modifying elemental magic and the ability to freeze foes in place is handy, too… if you like standing around a whole lot.

Personally, for the early sections of the game specifically, I would avoid mage – but make sure your main pawn has this vocation. The passive heals and support work it will put in is life-saving – especially when you go toe-to-toe with big enemies for the first time.

The best starting vocation in Dragon’s Dogma 2


OK, so you’ve read the breakdown, now it’s time for the real deal. The best starting vocation in Dragon’s Dogma 2 is the Thief. It has a higer DPS potential than the Fighter, it has the range of an archer whilst also having access to melee moves, it’s ultimate technique – Formless Feint – can be learned early on in the game once you complete the Nameless Village quest, and it gives you some delicious, damage-escaping iframes once you learn how to dodge roll and evade correctly.

I like the Thief the most because of its maneuverability, and the fact it can dish out more damage than even the pure strength Fighter class. Learn the skill Skull Splitter, get onto a boss, and crack it’s head open – it will do obscene damage that will be powerful and relevant way into the middle sections of the game. Teamed up with a Mage pawn that can heal you when you get bonked about, the Thief is unstoppable.

Even Itsuno agrees. In an interview with GamesRadar, he said: “If you've been playing more close-quarters combat games, and you're playing the kind of game with rolling dodges to get out of the way of enemy attacks before countering, then the Thief is something that will suit that kind of player very well."

Straight from the horse’s mouth!

If you need more Dragon's Dogma 2 help, check out our guides on the save system, the pawn system, how timed quest work, how to fast travel, and how to carry more weight.

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Dom Peppiatt avatar

Dom Peppiatt


Dom is a veteran video games critic with 11 years' experience in the games industry. A published author and consultant that has written for NME, Red Bull, Samsung, Xsolla, Daily Star, GamesRadar, Tech Radar, and many more. They also have a column about games and music at The Guardian.