When players first begin playing Elder Tale, they must select a class (メイン職業 mein shokugyou) (also translated as "occupation").
There are four groups of classes: Warrior, Weapon-based, Healer and Mage. These four types are similar to the Tank/Healer/Damage per second (DPS) roles commonly found in most MMORPGs. In Elder Tale, though, the DPS roles are split into two groups of base classes that differentiate between physical and magical damage.
For example, the Assassin and Sorcerer are both primarily centered around doing maximum DPS to defeat enemies quickly, whereas the Bard and Enchanter are both support-orientated classes with low damage output and the ability to either buff allies or debuff enemies.
Since each of the four base class group contains three classes, players may choose from among twelve different classes. Along with the player's chosen Race and Subclass, this decision will affect what kind of Skills they can obtain.
Landers do not follow the same class system that Adventurers do, instead having a "class" based on their occupation, and thus there are some "unique" ones that Adventurers cannot attain.
Each server has its own set of unique classes, although they are basically reskins of each other. Each server can have two or three unique classes; for example, Japan's unique classes are Samurai and Kannagi.  The alternate classes for overseas servers were selected through a poll conducted by Mamare Touno.