Lost Ark is finally here. After years of waiting, western audiences can finally hack and slash their way through Lost Ark's leveling and endgame experiences. Hundreds of quests, dozens of activities, and multiple progression systems will keep devoted players busy for hours.
Of course, jumping into a new MMO isn't always easy, and Lost Ark is no exception. With how much is in this game, it's quite easy to make some mistakes along the way. To help you get a head start, we'll be giving off our ten tips and tricks that we wish we knew before jumping into Lost Ark for the first.
This list is in no particular order.
10/10 Tier Lists Don't Matter
Most MMOs have "best" and "worst" classes that dictate that game's meta. Some DPS classes are better than others, some tanks are easier to play than others, et cetera. Lost Ark doesn't really work like that. Out of the 14 classes available at launch, all of them are equally viable at endgame. We aren't overexaggerating or omitting some major detail. If you see a class that looks fun to you, play it.
Lost Ark doesn't feature the traditional holy trinity of classes—DPS, healer, and tank. Tanks aren't really a thing in Lost Ark, and there are only two support classes in the NA/EU version (Paladin and Bard). Support classes are in hot demand in just about every server, so if you just want to pick a class that is highly valued at endgame, play a Bard or Paladin. If you want to play as a DPS, look for a class that mechanically or stylistically jives with you. There aren't any DPS comparisons or anything you need to worry about.
The only class that we don't recommend you play is Paladin if you're looking to play as a DPS. Paladin's do not have competitive DPS values to be used in the endgame. However, they do make for incredible supports, just as powerful as Bards. Beyond that minor exception, every class is viable in Lost Ark. Play what looks fun to you.
9/10 Don't Skip Every Side Quest
Most leveling guides you'll read on the internet will recommend that you skip every side quest in Lost Ark. And they're right, mostly. Side quests give pitiful XP and rewards in the KR and RU versions of Lost Ark, but Smilegate made some small reward changes in the NA/EU version.
The western version of Lost Ark has added Engraving recipes to certain side quest rewards, drastically reducing the T1 Engraving grind for those who complete these quests. You can choose to avoid every side quest in Lost Ark to level quickly, but at least check what the side quest rewards are before disregarding them. If you see an Engraving recipe as a reward, it's worth taking an extra few minutes to complete the quest. Future you will be grateful you did.
8/10 Catch-Up Mechanics
Unlike most MMOs, you don't have to live and breathe Lost Ark to get the most out of it. Hardcore players that log in daily will get the most rewards, but Lost Ark has a few catch-up mechanics that make it much easier to play casually.
Most endgame activities have a catch-up mechanic that will increase your rewards for each day you missed. For example, if you forget to run your two Chaos Dungeon dailies, your next Chaos Dungeon will grant twice as much loot on your next run. These bonuses typically cap out at five days missed, so weekend warriors and casuals can still progress at a smooth rate.
7/10 Engravings Are Important And Expensive
Engravings are a major source of character power in Lost Ark, granting build-enabling boons when active. Obtaining the best Engravings for your class is a massive time and Gold sink, one that can get exponentially worse if you end up chasing the wrong Engravings. Time is money in MMOs, and Lost Ark is no different. Before you start fracturing ability stones and dismantling jewelry, be sure that the Engravings you're chasing are worth using for your build. The best Engravings vary for each class, so check out our Lost Ark hub to see what your class' best Engravings are.
6/10 Use The Bifrost System
You can create custom fast travel points in Lost Ark with the Bifrost system. Located directly under your minimap, Bifrost is a mechanic that lets you save a location as a fast travel point for future use. This works alongside the Song of Return, allowing you to create a series of fast travel points to streamline traversal. You can increase your Bifrost slot limit by earning Bifrost Keys from endgame activities and by obtaining the Crystalline Aura effect—Lost Ark's subscription status.
5/10 Expand Your Stronghold
Your Stronghold is more than a player home in Lost Ark. Unlocked around level 25, this area serves as a base of operations that can craft battle items, unlock useful bonuses, and even complete endgame activities for you (albeit with fewer rewards). Be sure to use your life skills to gather materials for your Stronghold, and always have your Stronghold buildings actively progressing something.
4/10 Save Your HP Potions
While leveling, you'll receive two types of potions: healing potions that grant a flat amount of HP, and HP potions that restore a percentage of your HP instantly. Keep your percent healing potions. They are the only potions you can use in Lost Ark's endgame activities, and they scale incredibly well into the endgame. The static HP potions work just fine for leveling, so use those. Put your percent HP potions into your bank for future use.
3/10 Respec Your Skills While Leveling
Leveling in Lost Ark can be a rough experience for some classes. To speed things up, remember that skill respecs are free. Upgrading your skills to unlock skill Tripods is key to a smooth leveling experience, yet you'll unlock stronger skills that you'll want to use as you level.
Whenever this happens, unspec out of a particular skill and put your points into your new skill. Related to this tip, be sure that you're unlocking and using skill Tripods. Check out our Tripod guide for more information about this system.
2/10 Collectibles Matter
Collectibles aren't just a status symbol or filler content in Lost Ark. This game features a wide range of collectible items that can be exchanged for valuable endgame currencies and even potions that grant permanent stat increases. Whenever you're burnt out on the endgame grind, start filling out adventure tomes across Lost Ark's various continents. Mokoko seeds, masterpieces, cards, and more await.
1/10 Quality Of Life Tips
We could make a list solely about quality of life tips for Lost Ark, but we're going to condense them all into this section since they're all fairly simple.
- You can hide sections of your HUD by pressing Alt + X. Press it multiple times to remove your HUD entirely, useful for taking screenshots.
- Get a pet ASAP. They automatically pick up loot for you. A quest in Prideholme gives you a starter pet for those who didn't purchase a Founder's Pack .
- There's an auto-sort button at the top-left of your inventory.
- Holding Ctrl and scrolling with your mouse wheel will change your cursor's appearance.
- Hold Alt while consuming an item in your inventory to use the entire stack.
- Once you get a ship, you can turn in completed quests by clicking the "Ongoing Quests" box above your quest log.
- You can set filters to auto-dismantle certain rarities of gear you obtain. You can set this up in your dismantling menu—located at the very bottom of your inventory screen.
Major towns have a skills vendor that can save skill Tripod bonuses from any gear you aren't using.
- A dedicated vendor can also transfer your item upgrades into a new piece of gear, saving you days of grinding.
- You get two Powerpass tickets upon reaching level 50, allowing you to boost two alternate characters straight into the endgame.