Lost Ark is finally available for western audiences. After success in Korea and Russia, players from NA and EU, as well as other regions, can now dive - properly - into Smilegate's MMOARPG experience. The game is beautiful, it's massive, and wow, there's a lot to learn.
This beginner guide gives you everything you need to get started in Lost Ark. We break down how the gameplay works, what the different classes are, and give some general tips for getting started in the game.
Updated February 14, 2022: If you're still looking to dive into the staggeringly complex world of Lost Ark, we've included our very own video guide to further illustrate these handy tips for newcomers in a more visual fashion.
General Beginner Tips
Welcome to Lost Ark. Here are some simple, quickfire tips to help you understand more about the game.
- Pick a class. Any class.
- Begin your journey by following quests. The game has a lot of great in-game guides and explainers to help you through this early stage of the game.
- The max character level in Lost Ark is level 60. This has been updated due to the inclusion of T2/T3 content in the western launch. You can level up several alt characters while working toward your account level. If you want to know how long it takes to hit max level, check out our guide here. You can also check out our guide to the Power Pass if you want to know how to level two other alts quickly.
- In the NA/EU version of the game, you start at level 10 with some skills already unlocked. Don't be confused. This is just the way it is.
- Simple tips for gear while you level: upgrade gear that has a blue "arrow" on it, always redeem your Adventure items (yellow arrow), and focus on the main quest if you want to maximize your time to reward.
- There is a fast travel system in Lost Ark called "Tripods", these cost a small amount of silver can be used to travel between set locations on the same continent. You can fast travel from anywhere at any time.
- You can get a free pet in the game by completing a quest in the first main hub town. Make sure to complete this quest. Pets are useful for collecting loot, primarily, although high-level pets will also provide small buffs.
- You can reset skills at any time for absolutely no cost, which makes it easier to experiment with different builds.
- There are three separate levels: Combat Level, Gear Score, and your account Roster. Your Combat Level is the level of your main character, the Gear Score is the value of your items (sometimes called i-level) and the account Roster is a summary of all your characters on that account.
- There are multiple currencies in the game - Blue Crystals, Silver, Gold, Pirate Coins, Pheons, Rift Shards, Carnelians, on and on.
- Skills have different attributes like Stagger, Back Attack, Weak Point, etc. We cover these more in-depth in our class overviews.
Check out our explainer for the Founder's Packs if you want to pre-purchase one before the game's launch.
Character Creation And Customization
At the beginning of the game, you can create a character. This will be your first character and the first one you'll level to 50 with, in theory. There are several classes and specialized classes to choose from. Here's a rundown.
What Are The Different Classes?
There are five major classes with separate advanced classes inside. You get to choose your advanced class at level 10, which happens immediately in the current prologue. Here is a very brief look at the different classes in Lost Ark.
- Warrior - Your classic, tankier melee DPS class. Berserker deals damage, Paladin acts as a heavy, aggressive support, and the Gunlancer is one of the tankiest classes in the game.
- Martial Artists - These melee fighters have high mobility and lots of damage. There are also male/female counterparts available for these classes, divided into the four advanced classes. They share similar traits but are different ever so slightly.
- Gunner - Ranged characters that deal a lot of damage - Artillerist with rockets, Sharpshooter with arrows, etc.
- Mage - The damage-dealing Summoner and the main support in the game, the Bard.
- Assassin - A class split in two, with Deathblade and Shadowhunter heading up this fast-paced, heavy-damage class.
Beginner Skill And Ability Guide
Each class has a range of different skills and abilities, including an Identity Gauge that provides the basis of how the class plays. For example, the Sharpshooter summons a Hawk to assist them in battle, or the Artillerist transforms into a massive turret. These are the identity cornerstones of each class and should impact your choice about what sort of class you want to play.
Each class has a unique identity skill, and they typically also have a unique archetype. For example, the Gunslinger can perform lots of close-range back attacks with the Shotguns, or take a more ranged approach with the rifle. Abilities can easily be told apart due to their color, but they might also feature these different attributes:
- Back Attack - Back Attacks are quite common across the classes. It essentially means you will do extra damage if you attack the enemy directly from behind. These attacks deal extra damage and have a chance to critical hit. Some classes make more use of this than others.
- Stagger - Stagger is almost required for some endgame content, as some Raid bosses will have a Stagger-check before you can defeat them.
- Weak Point - This can be enhanced with an Engraving - this allows you to destroy specific parts of an enemy boss, which you will encounter during endgame content.
- Front Attack - The opposite to Back Attack, provides similar buffs to your abilities when you hit from the front.
- Counter - This can directly counter a boss and its attacks, although not all bosses can be countered. The timing on Counter skills is really important, as you have to get it just right.
Classes also have unique Class Engravings that impact their playstyle. You can find out more in our beginner Engraving's guide.
Head to our What Class Should You Play In Lost Ark? guide for more information regarding class mechanics, playstyles, and other details.
Leveling is an important part of Lost Ark. The majority of the gameplay revolves around endgame daily missions, raids, and PvP content. You want to get there pretty quickly.
- If you want to hit level 50 as quickly as possible, streamline the main quest while ignoring sidequests, rapport quests, and secret dungeons.
- It should take you around 15-20 hours to hit max level by completing just the main quest, depending on how fast you go.
- You can solo the majority of the leveling content with any class in the game.
- You can pick a class with high mobility to make movement through zones faster, such as a Wardancer, or any other Fighter class.
- You will have access to a mount, but this can't be used in all zones, like Dungeons.
- Be aware of your Adventurer's Tome. You can unlock account-wide rewards here.
Different Currencies In Lost Ark
There are multiple different currencies in Lost Ark. Here is a rundown of each one.
- Blue Crystals - These are available through both in-game rewards and from purchasing the currency separately. They can be used to purchase skins, certain potions, as well as some other boosts and buffs. This has been toned down in the full release of the game in Western regions - we will update with more info when the game is fully out.
- Silver - This is your standard in-game currency earned through completing quests, looting chests, and killing enemies. You can use this currency to pay for your fast travel, buy potions or other items from various NPCs around the world, and repair your equipment.
- Gold - This is the top-tier currency in Lost Ark, which you get from exploring islands, Abyss Raids, Raids, and more. Gold is required to upgrade your character's items. It's essential. More gold, the better. You won't have to worry too much about this until the endgame content.
- Pirate Coins - These are accessed when you begin to complete daily and weekly island/sailing quests, which you can complete across multiple characters on the same server. You use them to buy extra materials.
Beginner Dungeon Guide
Dungeons are available through the main storyline and always instanced, although you can solo any of the content on either hard or normal mode. On hard mode, you get slightly better rewards, but because you will be racing through gear it's not necessary to complete them on hard.
- Complete dungeons on normal mode to speed up your leveling.
- You can complete dungeons alone, or with friends.
- Once inside a dungeon, you cannot use a mount, but you can skip certain groups of enemies. They will not follow you indefinitely.
- Most dungeons have a large, raid-style boss at the end of the dungeon. These can be solo'd.
- There are secret dungeons you can find my examining scrolls in certain locations.
We are currently working on endgame our Dungeon guides.
You can play PvP from level 26 onwards on the current live patch for Lost Ark, although we're not sure whether this applies to the upcoming closed beta and full release of the western version of the game.
Originally, you had to be level 50 to take part in PvP. Regardless, PvP is a huge part of the endgame. There are different game modes, although the ranked 3v3 arena is the most popular.
- You unlock PvP at level 26 at Luterra Castle. There is a quest line you can follow to unlock the arena.
- All gear is equalized. PvP is quite balanced this way.
- Different classes perform differently in PvP than in PvE.
- The endgame is split between PvP and PvE content. You can find things to do for both types of gameplay.