Thinking of playing Lost Ark? Great! But we’ve got a few things you should know before jumping in.
Lost Ark is a huge RPG from Smilegate and Amazon Games. It originally released in South Korea back in 2019, but in February 2022 it finally saw a release in the west. And it’s about time: it saw huge success in Asia, and that success has carried over to North America and Europe; within 24 hours of its release, it was the second most played game on Steam.
If you’re thinking of jumping into Lost Ark, then, chances are you already know a little of what to expect. And its popularity speaks for itself. But we’ve rounded up eight things that you should know about Lost Ark before you play – just a few factoids and titbits of information to point you in the right direction.
1. It’s completely free to play
Did you know that Lost Ark is free to play? You probably did. But we’ll reiterate it again: it’s free to play! Of course, like all free-to-play games, there are microtransactions to be had. But none of them are necessary. This is a game you can play in full without ever needing to spend a penny.
2. You can choose one of five classes
You can’t have an RPG without having a series of character classes to choose from now can you? Lost Ark has five base character classes, with each base then having an advance class to choose from. The one you choose will shape what skills and abilities you have throughout the game. The character classes are as follows:
- Warrior: Berserker, Paladin, Gunlancer
Warriors are tough, armour-clad characters that primarily attack melee. They’re slower than some classes but hardy – they hit hard and can take a lot of damage.
- Martial Artist: Striker, Wardancer, Scrapper, Soulfist
Martial Artists are also melee-based, though these are more nimble than the Warrior. They hit with their fists rather than a weapon. Their advanced speed means they’re less armoured.
- Gunner: Gunslinger, Artillerist, Deadeye, Sharpshooter
Gunslingers primarily use ranged attacks, with each sub-class having its own different type of gun. Some opt for high-tech weapons while others may use traditional weapons like bows and arrows.
- Mage: Bard, Sorceress
Mages are ranged attackers who focus on magic. Their spells can cause great damage to enemies, but they also offer excellent support to teammates thanks to healing and buff abilities.
- Assassin: Shadowhunter, Deathblade
Assassins are melee attackers, getting up close and personal to their enemies to deal great damage with their blades. They imbue dark, demonic powers, channelling them when attacking their enemies.
3. You don’t need a super-powerful PC to play
The great thing about Lost Ark is that you don’t need a really beefy gaming PC to play on. Its minimum specs are very low, meaning that most modern PCs, even those without graphics cards, should be able to handle running the game with turned-down settings.
The minimum requirements suggest an Intel i3 or Ryzen 3 processor, 8GB RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 graphics card.
The recommended specs are also rather conservative: it’s recommended you have either a Ryzen 5 or Intel i5, 16GB of RAM and a GTX 1050.
No matter what your PC specs are, you can alter Lost Ark‘s settings to find something that works for you. There’s a simple prioritise quality/performance slider, or you can use advanced settings to tinker to your ideal preference.
4. It’s a great looking game
If you can push Lost Ark to max, it’s a great-looking game. Our Ryzen 5 paired with an RTX 3060 runs Lost Ark at 4K max settings with no problem. Considering the type of game this is, it looks absolutely fantastic. Its world has some fantastic detail, and the cutscenes are very well made, too.
5. The controls are fully customisable
You can change Lost Ark‘s controls to suit your preferences, whether you’re playing on keyboard/mouse or controller.
If you choose to stick with the defaults, there are a lot of different inputs to get used to, so keep that in mind. If you’re using a controller, you’ll find that the game often still gives you keyboard input prompts, which can be a bit confusing in the heat of the moment.
6. You’re going to meet a lot of interesting characters
Lost Ark’s world is brought to life with a cast of intriguing characters. You’ll constantly meet new NPCs as you play through the game, with many of them having quests to give you, stories to tell, and their own backgrounds to learn about. Sure, you can skip through all of the cutscenes if you want to get straight to the action, but it’s worth paying attention to some of the characters. They’ve got interesting stuff to tell you.
7. Your character has a wealth of skills from the get-go
Unlike other RPGs, Lost Ark doesn’t make you wait hours until you can use skills. Right from the word go, you’ll have a wealth of skills to use in combat. Sure, you’ll get more as you play, but right from the very first fight you’ll have a selection of advanced moves which means you aren’t simply bashing away at a standard attack. It means combat is fun and frenetic right from the start.
The skills you have will, of course, depend on which character class you’re playing as.
8. There’s a lot of loot!
That’s right: Lost Ark has plenty of loot to give you, and so if you like being showered with random items and weapons you won’t be disappointed here. You’ll get new pieces of equipment and various items drop as you encounter enemies. And you’ll also be rewarded for completing quests, and even logging into the game. Make sure you keep a close eye on what ends up in your inventory.