For a game that has an option to bypass the leveling process by paying for a leveled character, Lost Ark has a hefty amount of story and dungeons to get through. There are, however, some quirks to going through Lost Ark’s leveling process. Whether you just want to see the story, get used to playing your class, or just want to see if Lost Ark is the game for you, here are a few crucial tips for getting through Lost Ark’s free-to-play leveling process fast.
It’s all about completing quests
The most peculiar thing about Lost Ark’s leveling system is its complete and total dependency on questing. Simply put, without doing main and side quests, you’ll never get through the leveling process. Normal mobs grant 2 XP across the entire game. A main story quest at level 25 gives over 20,000 XP. It’s really difficult to undersell just how important main quests are (main quests database and locations here).
Side quests aren’t necessary, but it can be nice to have the XP. Most side quests are extremely simple and can be completed alongside main story quests with ease. They don’t take much time at all, and they grant much more experience than killing mobs. Sudden quests will also come along from time to time, and they’re worth doing if you come upon them (but not worth seeking out). As you approach level 50, there will be a point where you’re tasked with collecting Arks. Main quests will swap to World quests. Different name, same grind.
Once you level out your first character, you don’t have to play through the main story again. Progressing through quests will grant two Power Passes (our guide on what they are and how to use them), allowing you to level two alternate characters right up to level 50. These Power Passes are accessible even if you’re free-to-play, so everyone gets the chance to try two other classes the moment they hit level 50. Be careful when choosing which classes you want to try, as you only get these two Power Passes. Any other alts need to be either paid for or leveled by hand.
Do everything in one trip
As long as you’re not annoyed by the grind, the vast majority of Lost Ark can be experienced free-to-play. However, one of the most annoying parts of playing Lost Ark free-to-play is having to pay your way through triports. Lost Ark has a hell of a lot of backtracking, especially once you unlock the second main hub area. It doesn’t cost too much silver to triport, but that cost certainly adds up if you’re going back and forth through areas. Especially in the early game.
Guide quests should never be skipped if you’re in the area. Most of these quests are either tutorials on Lost Ark’s systems, or they consist of getting into trades like fishing, mining, and logging. The resources gained from these activities will be an essential part of upgrading your Stronghold, which is Lost Ark’s base-building side content. Additionally, each trade has its own XP progression and level attached to it. May as well start grinding now.
Finding a DPS rotation
The most fun part about leveling for many is the slow discovery of each class. Having abilities doled out through levels is a great way to get used to what each class specializes in, as well as what abilities are your favorite. That said, Lost Ark is a game that rewards the player for investing a ton of skill points into a few abilities.
You’ll get enough skill points per level to upgrade an ability to level 4, which grants the first upgrade on the skill tree. These upgrades are often smaller bonuses like an attack speed bonus, an element change and slight DPS increase, or some basic stat buffs. However, upon investing 48 skill points into an ability, you get access to all three skill tree options.
These tier 3 upgrades either change the way an ability functions and add a mechanic to it, or grant a massive damage boost. For instance, the Gunslinger’s Spiral Tracker ability goes from gaining some attack speed or crit at level 1 to gaining two stacks of the ability or crowd controlling at level 3. These big upgrades are worth way more than small ones, and shooting for Tier 3 in your favorite abilities is the way to go.
Fortunately, abilities can be respec’d at any time with no penalty. Experimenting is encouraged here, and it’s worth putting time into figuring out what abilities you like and what’s the most effective. Some abilities are certainly better than others, but don’t feel too pressured to figure out what’s best while leveling. The free-to-play experience can be a grind at times, but getting some time on your class and playing through the story content is a great way to ease your way into Lost Ark’s massive content offering and complex end game.
Lost Ark class guides
Lost Ark general guides
10 things you need to know before you play Lost Ark on day 1
The best classes and specializations for new Lost Ark players
A beginner's guide to Lost Ark: Leveling, class synergies, and Knowledge Transfer
How to unlock and use the Power Pass to boost a new character to max level
Lost Ark Database
Carver is an esports journalist and analyst who specializes in Eastern League of Legends.