Lost Ark is finally seeing its western release after a long and successful period in Russia and Korea. There are 15 classes in total with the launch of Lost Ark in Western regions, with more to be added every three months to bring the game up-to-date with other versions of the game.
This guide covers the available classes in the game and more details about their specialized classes. There is Warrior, Martial Artist, Gunner, Mage, and Assassin. Here's a closer look at all of them. We have broken down each class with pros, cons, mechanics, playstyles, abilities, and engravings. You can click the links to jump through to our more detailed class overviews or visit our build guides for even more advanced tips.
Lost Ark is excellently balanced between its available classes. A lot of Tier Lists might tell you what the "best" classes are, but in reality, Lost Ark is the sort of game that can be played however you want. This guide is designed to help you pick a class based on mechanics rather than what is considered meta.
Updated February 22, 2022: If you're still having trouble deciding what class you want to play in Lost Ark, we've included a video guide that further illustrates your options.
These sword-wielding warriors are the bulky class in Lost Ark, but the different classes offer more ways to play your typical melee character. They are relatively beginner-friendly and classes like the Gunlancer provide a lot of versatility and a strong overall role. The Warrior class is divided into Advanced Classes:
The Destroyer class is not available in the western launch of Lost Ark, but will likely be added later. We will update this guide when that happens.
The Berserker class boasts some powerful AoE abilities as well as an identity ability (like an ultimate) that sends your character into a rage-induced fury. You've got some classic abilities such as a spinning whirlwind, as well as some explosive and satisfying leaps, strikes, and CC.
- High burst damage, abilities hit hard
- Long animation wind-up time
- Very satisfying to play
- The weakest in terms of defense out of three Warrior classes
PVP: Berserkers have pretty long cooldowns and need to be protected while they wait for their abilities. If you do manage to find a balance between attacking/waiting for cooldowns, the Berserker can be incredibly powerful. A very popular build rules at the moment - the Madness Berserker that sends you into an almost constant state of Berserker fury. Very powerful, and a lot of fun.
The Paladin class is an MMO classic, one of the game's proper support classes. You have a variety of support abilities paired with plenty of frontline damage. Some of these skills are super satisfying, like Law of God or Alithane's Judgment. The character's identity ability is a buff - Divine Executioner or Divine Aura. Executioner increases overall damage and range of auto attacks, whereas Aura is a more support-based ability that provides buffs to your party.
- Abilities are strong, varied, and look amazing (this is important, too)
- Two separate skill types (blue for the sword, yellow for the book) allow for a very versatile playstyle that you can change on the fly by respeccing whenever you want
- Buffs, damage, shields, heals, and a lot more, but in PvE, your aim is to keep your team alive
- Good pick for a solo player as you will find yourself getting invited to more endgame PvE groups as a support Paladin
PVP: Pure, unbridled support. Shields, heals, and a certain level of tankiness means you can still fend for yourself. The Paladin can still play aggressively, which is unique in terms of your classic support characters. You won't see many DPS Paladins out there, and it's a bit of a meme in the community considering how badly DPS Paladin is treated on the KR and RU servers.
The Gunlancer is super fun to play and works out as a sort of hybrid between a tank, DPS, and support class. Mostly you will want to focus as a tank, as it is one of the most reliable in the game. You've got a lot of unique kit here, including a Taunt mechanic that can be used to tank bosses during raids, as well as a temporary shield that can block even some boss special attacks. It's an extremely versatile class - and a sword that is also a gun is pretty cool, too.
- Hybrid with a lot of different ways to play
- Tanky class
- Lack of mobility can leave the Gunlancer feeling a bit cumbersome
PvP Note: Gunlancer has a lot of CC and utility thanks to its pulls, which makes it a very viable PvP class. You see the Gunlancer at every level of play.
These are pretty unique classes in Lost Ark and mostly focus on dealing damage with their hands, knees, etc. Essentially these are your fast-paced melee DPS classes, suitable for clearing endgame content (the Soulfist, in particular, has an amazing Awakening skill for this) or for dominating in PvP, like the Striker's juggling build. You've got four options at launch, spread across female and male versions of each class:
The Striker is a fast-paced melee class that wields the power of the elements, from flame kicks to turning into a literal tornado. You get a bunch of fun abilities to use as well as a set of abilities that boost your mobility way beyond the Warrior class. Much squishier, though, and it can be difficult to handle the class, especially in PvP.
- High mobility and low cooldowns
- The class feels very "hands-on"
- Not a tank, but not squishy either, no specialization here
PvP Note: The Striker can dance and weave across the arena, chaining abilities together and juggling enemy players in the air. However, the game's small hitboxes and general learning curve mean this is a tricky class for new players.
The Wardancer is pretty much the Striker, only with a female model and a few crucial changes. It's one of the most popular classes in the game, mostly because of its extreme mobility, low cooldowns, and the fact that it just feels fun to play.
- Simple mechanics, generally, a great option for a new player
- Short-range on attacks and less AoE than Warrior classes, for example
- Strong class for fast-paced boss fights and endgame PvE thanks to that mobility
PvP Note: The Wardancer is an aggressive melee class, and yet can play a more support role in PvP thanks to the damage reduction and buffs/debuffs she can apply.
Take the abilities of the Wardancer and add a bit more beef, and you've got what is essentially a tanky melee DPS class, the Scrapper. You've got longer animations here than the Wardancer, but generally, it's still a pretty fast-paced class and a lot of fun for beginner players. No set identity skill here, either, but rather yellow and green skills. It's a bit complicated, but when you use yellow skills they will boost your green bar, and vice versa. This is called "chi" in-game.
- Chunkier melee DPS
- Mobility is still pretty high
- You hit harder than the Wardancer or Striker, but have longer cooldowns, attack animations, and a different identity skill system
- Scrappers provide a lot of "Destruction" and "Impairment", which are two stats that will you get to know well in Lost Ark, but it basically means she's a good class for endgame PvE boss fights
PvP Note: Lots of damage, rapid cooldowns...the Scrapper is a lot of fun in PvP and a popular choice. You will definitely notice the long ability animations, though, which can lead you to get caught out by aware enemy players.
The Soulfist is another pretty unique class, as it provides access to both ranged and melee abilities. You charge up your identity while dealing damage which can be used to unleash some impressive combos, including the massive (and gorgeous) ultimate Awakening ability. You will get to know this Awakening ability very well, as it's the main source of damage for the class.
- Damage can feel a bit inconsistent, even if the abilities are designed to make it feel like you're hitting hard
- Can act as an off-support in PvP
- Lots of damage, decent tankiness, overall a fun class to play
PvP Note: Soulfist can offer a lot in PvP, particularly as a sort of off-support to complement the Paladin and Bard. You're still capable of dealing damage, though, particularly if you can hit those big, impressive abilities before your cooldowns.
It's all in the name: Gunner is a class that offers plenty of ranged utility and damage. The Gunslinger and Deadeye rotate three separate weapons and change between them to balance cooldowns and combos. The Artillerist hits very, very hard. The Sharpshooter wields a technologically-advanced bow and summons a magic hawk. These classes are squishier but provide some of the very best DPS in the game. There are four unique advanced classes under the wing:
The Gunslinger and Deadeye classes are the male/female version of the same class. Here's the key takeaway about this class: you've got three weapons to choose from, a pistol, shotgun, and rifle. Gunslingers are squishy but offer a lot of sustained damage, decent mobility, and some support mechanics. The identity mechanic means you can swap between these three weapons whenever you want.
- Some of the best sustain damage in the entire game
- Squishy class, don't get caught in PvP
- Highly mobile
- Gunslinger has a pretty high skill ceiling because of the game's tiny hitboxes, which we've already mentioned
PvP Note: One of the top picks for PvP in Lost Ark, the sheer damage output of the Gunslinger class means you'll always see a few in the arena. A talented Gunslinger is a force to be reckoned with.
The Artillerist provides a pretty balanced kit all-around, with a focus on dealing massive damage to single targets and for clearing waves of PvE. You can put out a lot of damage, but you're also carrying around this massive launcher, so you have hardly any mobility. The class's identity lets you turn into a stationary turret with its own set of unique skills - you're completely stationary, though.
- Some of the best burst and combo damage in the game
- Heavy, slow, but tanky to make up for it
- Unique identity ability that leaves you completely stationary
PvP Note: The Artillerist can put out massive, massive damage thanks to its combos, but this means you will quickly become the main focus of the enemy team.
Deadeye is the male counterpart of Gunslinger and shares most traits, including the three weapons. The playstyle is very similar between the two classes.
- Highly mobile but very squishy
- Lots of combo damage
- Shared skills with the Gunslinger
PvP Note: Much like the Gunslinger, the Deadeye class can put out huge damage but is squishy. Aiming can be hard in PvP - just have to hit your shots.
The Sharpshooter is a bow-and-arrow class with a mix of short-range and long-range skills that definitely makes him feel pretty versatile. This class is all about putting a sustained level of damage with an identity that allows you to stack damage against the same target, which is decent against raid bosses and other PvE content.
- The Sharpshooter is a fun class and can be played in a couple of different ways
- Sort of squishy, decently mobile, but provides a lot of great sustain damage to make up for it
- Fun stealth mechanics that are useful in PvP more than anything
PvP Note: Highly reliant on actually hitting your shots, this is a pretty ping-based class, and has a decently high skill ceiling. You will spend a lot of time dodging in and out of stealth in the arena.
Welcome to the classic mage archetype in Lost Ark. These classes are all about magical damage, both elemental and with some big AoE hitters. The Summoner was removed from the NA/EU launch of the game, so there are only two available classes in this category at the time of writing:
The Bard is your classic support archetype in Lost Ark, alongside the Paladin.
The Bard is the classic support class in Lost Ark, wielding a magical harp that deals damage but has a priority focus for heals and buffs.
- Support plays an important role in endgame raids, so it's not all about spamming abilities
- Support is also important at the highest PvP ranks
- The Bard is fun to play, with some DPS options, but you want to focus mainly on support, to begin with
PvP Note: Support plays just as an important role in PvP as it does raids. Teams with a support character on their side generally do better.
The Summoner has been removed from the NA/EU release of Lost Ark. We are leaving this section here, because, well, the Summoner will be back eventually.
The Summoner, well, summons pets that can be used during combat. This class is pretty fun with a lot of variety in the skillset, with a number of abilities that are focused attacks rather than summons. This class is relatively straightforward - if you can work around the finicky pet summons, you will be able to complete PvE raids and perform well in PvP.
- Squishy and quite low burst damage
- Better for sustained damage during long fights
- Low mobility
PvP Note: You might often hear that Summoners are one of the best classes to climb the ranks, and that's mostly because the class is so simple to use. Low mobility is an issue but that easy damage makes up for it.
The Sorceress is the Summoner's replacement in the EU/NA launch of the game. She's a relatively new class to Lost Ark and comes with some of the most impressive PvE skills we've seen yet - loads of elemental magic and huge AoE attacks make this one of the most satisfying classes to play. We expect this one to be very popular at launch.
- Lots of versatility and scales well when you're leveling
- Lots of high-power AoE attacks
- Can feel a bit squishy - a bit of a glass cannon in some ways
The Assassin classes in Lost Ark are some of the best-looking and most enjoyable to play. They're all about big damage, high mobility, and typically really shine in PvP. Like all classes in the game, though, there is a lot of balance for PvE, too. Here are the two you'll get with the launch:
Shadowhunter has double-blades, like a very famous demon hunter in another MMO, and a generally dark aesthetic. You've got a bit of range and melee, as well as an identity bar that lets them transform into a powerful demon-form.
- A lot of versatility with this class
- Typically more melee during PvE and then switch to ranged for PvP
- Balanced class with supreme sustain damage and decent mobility
PvP Note: The Shadowhunter excels at stun-locking opponents from range in PvP. Quite frustrating if you're playing against a decent player, and very satisfying to play yourself.
Deathblade is a heavy damage class with a lot of sleek, quick abilities. These abilities also send you about the place for that PvP-friendly mobility.
- The identity class for this lets you choose between buffs or extra damage
- Lots of sustain damage
- High mobility
- Long cooldowns on her abilities
PvP Note: Deathblades are one of the best DPS classes in the game. You will see them in PvP, have no doubt.
Lost Ark PvE And PvP Tier Lists
This is an interesting topic - you'll see a lot of PvE and PvP tier lists out there for the classes, and it's true there are some classes that are more popular than others. However, to place classes into a strict tier list really goes against what makes Lost Ark so great - these classes are pretty well-balanced, overall, and the meta changes somewhat regularly with new classes added and tweaks to Class Engravings and abilities to change how classes play.
Rather than a strict PvE or PvP tier list, here's a rough overview of the most popular classes in Lost Ark determined by player data and community polls.
5 Most Popular Classes In Lost Ark
- Sorceress - She's relatively new, which means this class will likely be popular at NA/EU launch.
- Paladin - People just love the tanky Warrior class, even if the DPS build is a bit of a meme by this point. To be fair, the Paladin has some great-looking abilities and provides a lot of role strength for partying in the endgame. Want to feel wanted? Play the Paladin.
- Deathblade - Deathblade is a badass class. There isn't much more to say about it than that. Lots of flashy moves, high mobility, and a cool-looking character model guarantee the Deathblade a top spot.
- Bard - Like the Paladin, the Bard is a very popular class due to the success of the support role in Lost Ark. A lot of endgame content requires a support class, so the more Bards the better.
- Berserker - The Berserker's Madness build is currently one of the most popular in the game, so this may be warping data on this one.
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