clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lost Ark beginner’s guide, tips, and tricks

How to make the most of your exploration of Arkesia

A Lost Ark character stands in the middle of a large watching crowd Image: Smilegate/Amazon Game Studios
Johnny Yu (he/him) is a guides writer at Polygon. He has written about games such as The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Diablo 4, and Fire Emblem Engage.

The Korean MMORPG Lost Ark has finally arrived in the West, and with it comes lots of complex gameplay. There’s a ton to do in Lost Ark, between sailing, leveling, PvP, nabbing collectables, and even building out your own island stronghold. Our Lost Ark beginner’s guide will give you the lowdown on what to focus on and how to get started in the big world of Arkesia.

Experiment with all the classes

Lost Ark currently has 15 classes to choose from, and you might decide that you don’t like the class you’re currently playing. Don’t feel the need to be committed to the first class that you choose. Find a class that best suits the way you want to play, whether it’s brawling up close and personal, supporting your party with shields and heals, or fighting from a distance with magic or guns.

Leveling speed shouldn’t deter you from picking a class to play. You may be playing a class that is slow during the leveling process, but leveling speed doesn’t matter after you reach level 50 and unlock endgame content. For example, the Bard, Paladin, and Gunlancer are a few classes that can be slower during the leveling process, but they are invaluable in endgame content.

Don’t forget your Roster Bonuses

There are rewards in Lost Ark that can be claimed for your entire roster (all of your characters within the same world) and rewards solely for one character. Lost Ark will warn you beforehand when claiming a reward that it will be bound to one character. Try to hold off on claiming single-character rewards until you feel comfortable with your class.

However, Lost Ark has numerous claimable bonuses that impact every character you own on one server. As you level up your characters, you may notice a lot of red circles on the bottom right of your screen. There are notices for Roster levels, Rapport, titles, and many more bonuses, which you must claim before you reap any rewards.

Take advantage of the many methods of traveling

Triports and mounts are your friends! Triports are fast travel points where you can teleport to and from, as long as you are on the same continent. Teleporting does cost some Silver, but there are many ways to get Silver in Lost Ark, so don’t worry about using Silver to get to your destination faster. All you have to do to teleport to a Triport is click the Triport icon from your main map or click while holding Alt on the tabbed map.

A Lost Ark character stands in a town square with a low opacity map over him Image: Smilegate/Amazon Game Studios via Polygon

If you want to explore Arkesia at a faster pace, you should be riding your mount at every chance you get. You receive your first mount right after the prologue; put it on your hotbar for easier use. If you want to be even faster, make sure to use your dash ability (spacebar) to leap or boost for more movement speed.

As you progress through the story, you will have to start sailing the seas to travel from continent to continent. After you visit a Triport in a continent’s port city, you will be able to skip the sailing process by using the ocean liner. The ocean liner leaves each port city every minute for a small fee of Silver, but it’s much faster than sailing from port to port.

Resetting Skill Points is free

In Lost Ark, you can reset your skill point tree whenever you desire at no cost. If you level up a skill that you end up not enjoying, you can always backtrack and find a combination that works better. You can try out many different builds at no cost, so test out all of your skills without fear of messing up your build. You can also save presets of your skills to swap between builds at your own convenience.

Use your healing potions, but save your HP potions

Lost Ark has two different potions to use: healing and HP. Healing potions recover health over time, while HP potions recover a percentage of your HP in an instant. As you are leveling your characters, you will receive an abundance of both potions; however, they are used differently. Healing and HP potions can both be used while traveling Arkesia, but only HP potions can be used during certain late-game content such as Guardian Raids. Try to save your HP potions for endgame content as they can become a limited resource.

A comparison of Healing Potions and HP Potions Graphic: Julia Lee/Polygon | Image sources: Smilegate/Amazon Game Studios

Hold on to your feathers (Phoenix Plumes)

If you do end up dying, you have a few choices: resurrect at the nearest settlement or use a Phoenix Plume. Phoenix Plumes allow you to revive at the spot of your death without having to run all the way back to where you were. These can be useful when you are in a Chaos Dungeon or Guardian Raid and need to be resurrected on the spot to kill a boss faster. You may have an abundance of them at first, but they can quickly become a limited commodity if you overuse them. You can get more Phoenix Plumes from side quests and other means, but they should be treated as a somewhat precious resource.

An example of Feather Plumes purchasable in a premium currency shop Image: Smilegate/Amazon Game Studios via Polygon

Stick to the main story quests for leveling

To reach level 50 as fast as possible, you need to follow the main quests, which have a downward pointing orange arrow. These can be found on your quest log and map.

For those that are taking their time progressing through the story, there are many other quests to pick up with useful rewards. In Lost Ark, side quests can give you roster rewards, which buff all of your characters.

Quests can have a chain link symbol behind the exclamation point to indicate that it is a chain quest. Chain quests have a series of quests that you complete to get a bigger reward at the end of the whole quest line. You do not have to complete every quest out there, but you should look at the rewards to see if they have something that you want.

While you can do lots of side quests, the main quests alone will get you to level 50 efficiently (and you’ll have lots of main quests leftover beyond that).

Explore at your own pace

Lost Ark has numerous quests and activities to experience, which can be overwhelming for a new player. Whether you want to speed to level 50 and try to reach endgame content as fast as possible, or level up your trade skills and do every side quest imaginable, progress how you want to progress. You can watch every cutscene or skip the story altogether. Find the way you want to play, and don’t worry about falling behind other players. Experience everything that Arkesia has to offer, and don’t let others decide how you play Lost Ark.