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Max Dexterity vs Max Strength? What’s Better in Elden Ring?

Max Dexterity vs Max Strength? What’s Better in Elden Ring?

Elden Ring provides its players a sandbox where they can experiment with a wide variety of playstyles. As was the case with previous From Software games, the physical damage side of the experience was very much preferred over the magic side for pure damage, and the leftover mentality from those games has seeped into the Elden Ring player base too.

Every fresh new player to this Soulsborne genre usually ends up going for either Strength or Dexterity builds as it’s more accessible as opposed to the magic side. In these two styles, there are many variations in terms of weapon variety and the way you approach most combat situations so it’s an important question to get an answer to before you begin your adventure.

There are soft and hard caps in Elden Ring for all the attributes/stats so maximizing any of the stat levels to 99 is a waste and one should figure out what levels bear the most fruit. If you insist on wanting to know and from what we have figured out from the tests we conducted then we can frivolously say that Dexterity at max level has better average damage output than Strength. We are doing great injustice just by trivializing the answer as the actual effectiveness relies on many factors.

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Dexterity vs Strength

The different soft and hard caps are listed below and the best you can do is upgrade the stat to the third soft cap cause after that there are great diminishing returns

StrengthFirst Soft Cap: Level 20
Second Soft Cap: Level 55
Third Soft Cap: Level 80
Hard Cap: Level 99
DexterityFirst Soft Cap: Level 20
Second Soft Cap: Level 55
Third Soft Cap: Level 80
Hard Cap: Level 99

Testing and Conclusion

In each of our testing, we upgraded the respective stat to the max level i.e. 99 and kept the other stat at the base level the weapon required. We used the weapons seen below where Keen affinity was chosen for the Dexterity weapon for exclusive stat scaling and Heavy affinity for the giant hammer for exclusive scaling respectively.

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These weapons were chosen as they get an “S” scaling in their particular stat once adequately upgraded and with the affinity chosen they will only be dealing damage off of the stat in question. We used a bunch of moves like the basic R1 combo, R2 combos, and jump attacks on a selection of handpicked enemies to get the specific damage numbers.

We tried to keep things as non-biased as possible and with that, we got a whole list of damage numbers for each attack type and enemies targeted. Taking all the numbers and averaging it we came up with these results:

  • Dexterity= 1637
  • Strength= 1560

Looking at the results we can deduce that dexterity deals higher damage overall in pure-stat testing. But it doesn’t work like that as it depends on your type of gameplay the most. Strength weapons are better at breaking poise and deal more damage with their single hefty swings on the other hand a dexterity weapon will be more nimble and deal more damage spread over multiple fast hits.

Strength weapons consume a lot of stamina and can exhaust you when you have to roll away compromising your defensive actions while dexterity weapons use up lesser stamina and can help you in dodging more. Strength builds can also wield great shields adding to their defensive prowess. And the most crucial thing to consider in all of this is that weapons have unique moveset and Ash of War that can change up the game quite a lot for the weapon, case in point Fallingstar Beast Jaw which has a devastating skill that can overcome any of its lacking in moves.

There are many things to consider while going for a particular build or stat like the talismans you will be using and how everything synergizes with each other to get the best result and for that reason, we have to stress the fact that max stat upgrading is useless and players should spend time coming up with complimentary item combination.