Last Updated: September 9, 2023
Classes are the mechanical heart of characters in Pathfinder 2e, defining your characters’ advancement, their capabilities, and the majority of their feats. Understanding how to build and play a class effectively is the most important part of building an effective character.
Uncontested masters of alchemical items, alchemists can create free, high-level alchemical items using a daily pool of Infused Reagents, allowing them to create powerful items like bombs, mutagens, and poisons which would normally be too expensive or impractical to use, and use them either offensively or to empower the party.
An aggresive melee-focused martial character, barbarians are built around their Rage feature to boost their effectiveness in combat.
Occult spellcasters often associated with magic, bards are skilled at supporting their party and overwhelming their foes using a combination of spellcasting and Composition Cantrips which allow them to produce various effects, such as buffing the party with Inspire Courage.
Divine warriors with more of a martial focus than fighters. Champions have the best armor proficiency in the game, making them extremely durable, and their Champion’s Reaction feature allows them to protect allies and harass foes. Each champion subclass is associated with a specific alignment.
Divine spellcasters that draw their power directly from a deity. Channel Energy gives you a pool of addition Heal or Harm slots which can stretch your limited number of spell slots, and you can get Focus Spells from your domain, providing a variety of ways for the Cleric to function. Clerics get to choose between the casting-focused Cloistered Cleric or the armed and armored Warpriest, then further customize by picking a deity and domains offered by that deity.
The iconic Primal spellcaster, druids can focus on spellcasting, on having a powerful animal companion, or on using Wild Shape to turn into various combat form.
The iconic martial character, the Fighter is deeply customizable and capable of maximizing the benefits of nearly any weapon. They notably gain proficiency with Advanced weapons without jumping through massive hoops and also have the beast weapon proficiency progression in the game, meaning that they crit frequently and have higher damage output than you might expect.
Master of firearms and crossbows, gunslingers can feel somewhat similar to a fighter, but their ability to use firearms and crossbows to great effect makes them unique and exciting.
Take PF2’s complex item mechanics and make them even more engaging. The Inventory builds around on piece of equipment (or a pet robot) and gradually improves it as they gain levels.
Outside of combat, the Investigator pursues one or more ongoing cases, and gets clues and bonuses when working toward solving them. They also get more skill increases than most classes, allowing them to fill a variety of skill-based rolls. In combat, the Investigator’s Devise a Stratagem feature allows them to apply their intellect in combat.
Masters of the elements, the Kineticist channels elemental power in a variety of ways. Depending on your choices of elements and Impulses, Kineticists can play very differently, ranging from durable Defender builds to high-damage Blaster builds. While their capabilities often feel like spells, they have neither spell slots nor Focus Points to worry about, allowing them to use their abilities freely without rest.
Live your fantasy of hitting someone with a lightning bolt a sword at the same time. The Magus blends arcane spellcasting and martial prowess in one class and can deliver spells through their weapon attacks using the Spellstrike feature.
Inspired by real-world martials arts traditions, the Monk is adept at fighting unarmored. Their system of stances allows you to adopt different play styles, making each monk feel exciting and distinct. Among other options, high-level monks can essentially go Super Saiyan, so anime references are not unfounded.
Divine spellcasters who also bear a powerful curse which increases in severity as you use your Focus Spells. Managing the curse is a significant part of the Oracle’s gameplay, but it creates an exciting resource loop that makes the Oracle feel very unique alongside other spellcasters.
Occult spellcasters mostly focused on using Focus Points to “Amp” their cantrips. They feel very different from other spellcasters and have fewer spell slots, but they’re not less exciting.
Skilled explorers and monster hunters, rangers are diverse and capable. They can be built around Snares (single-use disposable traps), around supporting their party, or around making a huge number of attacks.
The iconic sneak, scoundrel, assassin, and thief. Rogues get more skills than any other class except the Investigator, and their Sneak Attack features allows them to deal extra damage by capitalizing on enemies being Off Guard (Flat-footed pre-Remaster) in combat.
Sorcerers draw their magic from a magical bloodline which determines both your spellcasting tradition and some additional available spells and Focus Spells. Among other exciting things, the Sorcerer gets more spell slots than other spellcasters.
The ultimate pet class, the Summoner bonds you to a magical creature called an Eidolon which you customize as you gain levels. It’s like build-a-bear if build-a-bear let you build a dragon.
Exciting martial characters who care as much about style as they do about substance. They’re more capable with social skills than many martial characters, and in combat their Panache mechanic supports exciting combos ended with Finishers for big, exciting effects.
Martial characters who study and hunt monsters, thaumaturges use special implements to gain various ability and can use their class features to impose temporary damage vulnerabilities on enemies.
Witches are spellcasters who obtain their magic from a patron, who sends a familiar to teach the witch to cast spells. Your choice of patron determines both your spellcasting tradition and some additional spells available to you.
The iconic arcane spellcaster, wizards prepare their spells from a spellbook, allowing them to hoard spells like a magical magpie and change their spell optios daily. Wizards can specialize in a variety of things including familiars or magic items, and can choose either a specific school of magic to specialize in or to be a generalist.