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Tripping the Rift: Avoid Common Stumbles When Creating Your Rift Character

by: Benjamin Sell ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Rift character creation can be a confusing process for the newcomer to the game. Our guide will walk you through, step by step, and help you ensure that you're able to play with your friends and that you choose the best origin and calling for your personal playstyle.

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    Rift Retail Packaging   Easily the most frustrating part of starting a new MMO is creating your first character. It’s so easy to create something that you won’t be happy with or that you’ll inevitably end up deleting.

    I recently picked up Rift and have had a good time creating a few different characters. For those of you who are just starting out with the game, our guide to creating a character in Rift will walk you through the process, pointing out important things to remember along the way.

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    Step 1: Log In, Choose Your Server

    Fire up your Rift client and enter your password to get started. The first thing you’ll be asked to do is choose your “shard" or server. This is a very important choice if you have friends already playing the game.

    If you’re trying to join someone you know in Telara, make sure you know their server and faction before you create your character. Rift is now offering free character transfers, but it doesn’t make sense to waste one on a low-level character if you can just start out on the right server in the first place.

    High population servers will be more crowded, but there will also be more people to help you out if you get overwhelmed or when rift events start cropping up. It’s up to you, just think about how many people you want to be sharing the game world with.

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    Step 2: Choose Your Faction

    Rift Defiant   Rift Guardians   Once you’re at the character select screen, click on the “create" button (far right on the very bottom) to begin crafting your character. The first thing you’ll be asked to do is choose your origin, or faction. Again, make sure you’re choosing the same faction as any friends you may be joining, because if you don’t, you won’t be able to play or communicate with them.

    All character classes and soul combinations are available to both the Guardian and Defiant origins, but your race classes will be limited by which faction you choose.

    Guardians gain access to the Mathosian, High Elf, and Dwarf races and the Defiants get to choose from the Eth, Kelari, and Bahmi races.

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    Step 3: Choose Your Race

    Once you’ve chosen a faction, you’ll have three races to choose from. Differences between races in Rift are largely cosmetic, there aren’t huge statistical differences, so you should choose a race that you’re comfortable staring at for the duration of your time in Telara.

    One important difference between the races to consider is racial abilities. Each race has one unique ability and an increased magical resistance. They are as follows:


    • Density: Dwarves can fall twice the distance of other races.
    • Miracle of Hammerknell: +20 water resistance.

    High Elves:

    • Angelic Flight: Allows the High Elf to fly 30 meters. It can be used every 15 seconds but cannot be used in combat or PvP.
    • Grace of the Forest: +20 life resistance.

    Rift Mathosian   Mathosians:

    • Motivational Roar: +30% movement speed to the group for 10 seconds. 2 minute cooldown and can only be used outside of combat.
    • Legacy of the Shade: +20 death resistance.


    • Mighty Leap: Leap up to 30 yards. 15 second cooldown, cannot be used in combat.
    • Shalastir Heritage:+20 air resistance


    • Agility: Increases movement speed by 70% for 15 seconds. 2 minute cooldown and cannot be used in combat.
    • Desert Dweller’s Birthright: +20 earth resistance

    Rift Kelari   Kelari:

    • Camouflage: Turns the Kelari into a fox for 30 seconds. The fox has a reduced aggro range, making it perfect for sneaking through crowds of hostile mobs.
    • Legacy of the Fire Islands: +20 fire resistance

    Once you’ve chosen your race and sex, it’s time to move on to selecting your class.

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    Step 4: Choose Your Calling

    Calling, or class, selection is perhaps the most important decision you will make in the character selection process. While it’s true you can rearrange the souls you choose later on, you’re always locked into the base class you choose at this time. It’s worth doing a bit of research (perhaps our Cleric, Warrior, or Mage Rift guides?) before choosing to ensure that the choice you make is one you’ll be happy with.

    To select your calling, click on the description that sounds most appealing to you and click “next" to continue.

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    Step 5: Customize Your Character

    Once you’ve chosen your origin, race, and calling, you can move on to customizing your character. The character creator allows for very specific customizations, so it’s worth spending a little time here to create a character you’ll be happy with.

    There are individual sliders for things like nose size and tilt, hair style, mouth size, etc... You can also tweak facial markings (if applicable), hair and eye color, and the size of your character.

    For those who aren’t too picky or don’t want to spend a bunch of time designing a character, repeatedly hitting the “random" button until you get something you like is always an option.

    Customize your character, give him or her a name (random button is an option here, too), and then press “next" to complete the creation process.

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    Step 6: Play Rift

    You’ll be treated to an excellent cinematic detailing the background behind your faction’s current situation, and then you’ll find yourself standing in front of your first quest giver.

    Where you go from here varies depending on which origin you’ve chosen, but either path you choose is filled with exciting possibility. Enjoy your time in Rift.

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