[Top 5] Pathfinder Kingmaker Best Beginner Classes That Are Strong

Pathfinder, Party fighting owlbear
A mage always chooses fireball

Party Fighting Owlbear

An average encounter in the game

What Classes are Beginner Friendly?

Pathfinder Kingmaker is a complex CRPG where you tame the Stolen Lands and try to become its ruler. Selecting a class can be overwhelming, what if I make the wrong decision? Well then you are in luck, this guide will help you get a beginner-friendly class. My criteria will focus on how easy it is to play. How strong does it get? Does it teach you the game’s systems?

1. Ranger

Rangers when they see their preferred enemy

Rangers are specialized hunters who excel at hunting their favored enemy. They can be skilled in both melee and ranged combat. To top this off they also receive some spells, making them a very versatile class.

What the Ranger Excels In:

  • With a hit die of 10 (potential to gain 10 hit points every level), they are durable as fighters if you are just looking at HP without including benefits from feats. The healing spells they receive later on also helps
  • An animal companion gives them more damage and a backup tank with certain animals being extremely strong.
  • Excellent attack bonus (their ability to hit things) making them viable combatants throughout the game. They also receive the same number of attacks as fighters ( an additional attack after every 5 levels).
  • Weapon specialization comes with their kit; the combat style ability grants you feats related to your preferred weapon specialization e.g. archery, dual wielding, two-handed weapons, and sword shield.
  • Extremely effective against their specialized enemy; the ability ‘favored enemy’ gives rangers bonus attack and damage to an enemy type of their choosing (e.g. demons, humans, wildlife, etc). 
  • Great survivalists; rangers get a good amount of skill points combined with their ability favored terrain which grants bonuses to specific skills (nature lore, perception, stealth, and initiative).

Pick Ranger if:

  • If you want a class that gets progressively more complex while still having simple core gameplay; the rangers for the most part can be played as a standard fighter or archer but as you level up you unlock the animal companion allowing for positioning and tactics. Then you also get spells (mostly low and buffing type) you can experiment with.
  • You want your main character to have a variety of skills; rangers get a decent amount of skill points giving them more utility than other martial characters, especially fighters. So a ranger who is persuasive or good at stealth is a viable roleplay option.


Ranger Details:


Ranger Guides:


2. Fighter

Stylish but functional

The fighter is the first line of defense for the party. Strong, tough, and easy to use are the hallmarks of this class making it the perfect class for anyone new getting into this game. It doesn’t get any more classic than this.

What the Fighter Excels In:

  • The fighter is one of the toughest classes out there; from its high health points to its ability to equip and use heavy armor to its maximum potential. This is further augmented with the use of feats and buffs.
  • Extremely customizable due to receiving the most bonus feats out of every class available; you have a lot of freedom with your builds such as creating a fighter who specializes in tripping or someone who scares his opponents with every blow. They can specialize in every weapon type, use all types of armor and use different combat styles (sword and shield, two-handed weapons, etc).
  • Good offense; the fighter has some of the best class attack bonuses and number of attacks. They get the weapon training line of exclusive feats which improve your attack bonus and damage with a specific weapon type.

Pick Fighter if:

  • If you want a strong but simple role the fighter is the one for you. They are tough and can do good damage but their gameplay is very simple throughout the game. Most of the strategy comes from your build, weapons, and your positioning during battle.
  • You are fine with a very limited role outside of combat; you will have a very limited amount of skills and will have to rely on your party for most skill checks.


Fighter Details:


Fighter Guides:


3. Paladin

This sword is for smiting evil

Noble knights dedicate themselves to a deity and follow their doctrine religiously. Paladins are a strong martial class with cleric spell casting abilities. Their main role is to be frontline fighter, buff themselves, and generally support the party with healing spells and smiting the enemy.

What the Paladin Excels In:

  • A very tough class that gets a lot of hit points, can equip heavy armor and has very good saving throws (due to divine grace). If that wasn’t enough they can cast healing spells as well. Along with fighters they were built to be tanks.
  • Strong melee class especially against evil enemies. Paladins already scale the same as fighters when it comes to their bonus attacks and number of attacks but they also have smite and weapon bonds to further increase their attack potential.

Pick Paladin if:

  • You want to play as a fighter with a more active role. As a paladin, you will need to cast smite and heals along with being the tank for your party. The gameplay gets a bit more complex as you learn more spells and abilities.
  • You are fine with making moral choices restricted within your alignment; as a paladin your powers come from worshipping your god who requires you to stay on a certain alignment, losing that will get rid of your powers.


Paladin Details:

Paladin Guides:


4. Sylvan Sorcerer

A sorcerer in their natural environment

You’ve probably noticed that all the previous recommendations are melee classes with some magic. There is a reason for this, pure casters can be very overwhelming for newcomers. However, this is the one class that can be the perfect training wheels for getting into the magic system of Pathfinder. A sorcerer is a magical powerhouse that can buff the party, do crowd control and deal massive damage with their spells. Unlike wizards, sorcerer innately learns their magic meaning you don’t need to memorize spells.

What the Sylvan Sorcerer Excels In:

  • Swift spell progression, second only to wizards. They quickly increase the number and level of spells they can cast. Has a high number of spells you can cast before resting, you can see this from their level progression.
  • Strong yet versatile spells; from the ability to buff themselves and the party with Displacement, resist energy, etc to dish out damage with fireballs and hellfire rays. Summoning monsters to support the party and evening up the battlefield with cloudkill and grease. Every stratagem requires the use of their spells.
  • Having a strong animal companion that can act as a tank and damage dealer; Smilodon (one of the best animal companions you can pick) has five attacks and a lot of hit points.

Pick Sylvan Sorcerer if:

  • If you want to learn the magic system of the game. The sorcerer doesn’t need to memorize spells so you don’t need to plan every encounter. The spell selection lets you try out all the important combinations. It also lets you test metamagic for advanced play. If your spells are not working out or you feel overwhelmed your animal companion can help you out.
  • If you want to be very active in and out of combat. Sorcerers have a good range of skills that can be useful outside of combat encounters. Furthermore, you will be buffing your party and initiating the fights with a spell.


Sylvan Sorcerer Details:



Sylvan Sorcerer Guides:



5. Barbarian

barbarian ready for another battle

The barbarian is rage incarnate. They are amazing fighters that melt through enemies. A bit more complex than fighters barbarians are a simple class to get into.

What the Barbarian Excels In:

  • The barbarian excels at dealing raw damage. Their attack bonuses and the number of attacks are on par with fighters. They get rage which adds further attack and damage bonuses but it doesn’t end there, their rage can be further customized as you level up to become even more deadly.
  • They are tough, receiving a d12 hit die on every level up (potential to gain up to 12 hit points without adding constitution modifier) and damage reduction during rage. They can even equip medium armor.
  • The mad dog sub-class gains an animal companion which acts as a damage sponge and damage dealer.

Pick Barbarian if:

  • Pick Barbarian if the standard fighter is not your flavor; a bit more complex than the fighter during the fight, the Barbarian’s main strategy is quickly eviscerating their targets be it the boss or the squishy mage.
  • If you want a really strong start this is the class for you. Most of your toughest encounters will be the starting few fights with some optional encounters being especially troublesome. The first few levels will make your Barbarian more than capable of challenging these foes getting rare loot at the start.


Barbarian Details:

Barbarian Guides:


These were my selection for strong beginner-friendly classes. Let me know what you think of them in the comment section below.


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From booting up sega mega drive emulators in my youth to installing a hundred different mods in my next Fallout playthrough, I have amassed a wealth of experience I wish to share with my readers.
Gamer Since: 2003
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