Lost Ark Classes - Roles, Advanced Classes, and Difficulties

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Artwork of a Lost Ark character attacking an offscreen enemy.
March 26, 2022: We updated the Lost Ask classes list with the melee Destroyer and the magical Arcanist, which were originally announced to release in April and May respectively before the news was pulled.

With Amazon's exciting new action-MMORPG out now, it's about time you start seriously considering which of the many Lost Ark classes you'll main. It's not an easy choice - they're all likely to have one or two attacks you just absolutely love - but settling on one can speed up your progress on subsequent Lost Ark classes, so it's time to make a decision.

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Lost Ark features only five main roles right out of the gate, but each of these progress into Advanced Classes as soon as you drop into the world. You choose your initial class based on the playstyle you prefer, then dive into whichever Advanced Class strikes your fancy after giving them all a test whirl in the starting area.

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Now that we're early into the Lost Ark launch, be sure to check out our primer on the Lost Ark Founder's Packs - it can be hard to choose which is right for you. Once you're in, consider the Lost Ark gender lock system and then refer back to the Lost Ark tier list to see which class is right for you.

One of the Lost Ark classes is the warrior, who's adept at melee DPS, support, and defense depending on the class chosen.

Lost Ark Classes - Warrior (Melee DPS/Support)

The Warrior is your brute-force option with three Lost Ark classes attributed to its eventual evolution. They're a versatile bunch of brawlers that start by smacking monsters around with big weapons before diving into a few different core focuses.

They're more durable than most thanks to their chunky armour, but you'll want to settle on the Berserker for raw melee DPS damage, the Paladin for a DPS/Support hybrid, and the Gunlancer for sustained damage with plenty of room for error.

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Berserker

Role: Burst Damage

Difficulty: Moderate

The Berserker Lost Ark class - as a Greatsword class - is the choice for those who like massive blades and heavy damage. They cut, they crush, and they spin to win.

They greatly benefit from having a support class pitch in to offset some of their weaknesses, but it's far from essential if you're a solo player looking for a good time. Their name stems from their gauge which, when filled, can be activated to go full bore on the enemy, ramping up their already incredible burst damage potential with boosts like triple Critical Hit rate.

The Berserker class is incredibly weighty, but has a few ways to keep combat flowing well, using their heft to look and feel satisfyingly impactful rather than just to feel slow and sluggish. Things start slow, sure, but with a decent time investment, you'll reap some major rewards. If you're wanting to demolish enemies with hard strikes and deep grunts, go for this.

Paladin

Role: Damage-dealing Support

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Difficulty: Easy

Paladins are your typical faith-imbued sword and board brawlers and one of only a few Lost Ark classes designed around support. They’re able to deliver swift slashes with their longsword and quickly bolster their ally's offensive and defensive capabilities with holy power - or just use it to blast and smite their foes for some light ranged attacks. They’re not great for cutting through hordes of enemies, but they’re great single-target damage dealers for those who want to have - and be - a safety net.

With a bunch of heals and buffs to cast out in a jiffy, the Paladin is bound to be a popular choice in endgame groups and PVP content. While everyone else is focusing their efforts on pulling out big damage numbers, you can help them realize their potential. Will you get credited for it? Probably not. But you'll get that warm, fuzzy feeling regardless.

Paladins use a Piety meter, filling it through regular combat. Once it's filled, you can pop it to give yourself a big 30% boost, or a 10% buff for your team.

Gunlancer

Role: Tank DPS

Difficulty: Moderate

Gunlancers use a large spear and a shield to attack and defend in equal measure. Not weighed down at all by their sizable equipment, they’re able to hop around their targets, buying them time to rattle off shots from the tip of their pokey sticks and charge up bigger, more powerful cannon-like blasts.

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With their shields, they’re able to take a beating and pass along their durability to their teammates to help them live longer. Meathooks are there to pull groups of enemies in close, giving them plenty of opportunities to use a few area explosions to knock them down.

Able to take a beating, the Gunlancer passively charges a meter they can activate at any time. While active, hits deplete their gauge rather than their HP, allowing them to effectively forego tricky evasive tactics to just stand there and dish out more pain. If you want, you can also spend it all to lunge to a location and cement yourself down, dealing damage to nearby targets, taking hits in place of allies, and allowing the whole team to ignore pesky crowd-control effects for a time.

Destroyer

Role: Heavy DPS

Difficulty: High

Announced via a now-removed Lost Ark roadmap, the Destroyer class is potentially arriving as early as next month - April 2022. The first post-release class to be brought over from the original Korean release swaps out the Berserker's gargantuan blade for an equally sizable hammer. It's still a male class, though, so don't expect a copy-paste job.

Destroyer is a completely unique melee class that wholly focues on slow and powerful blows. Every swing carries weight, and you're going to need to be an expert at identifying your opponent's gaps to come in like a wrecking ball. A handy dodge can keep you safe if you miscalculate, but for the most part, you're going to be dealing consistent heavy blows with this one if you just learn to pull your punches.

One of the Lost Ark classes is the Mage, who can become a support-focused Bard or damage-oriented Sorceress.
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Lost Ark Classes - Mage (Magic DPS/Support)

If you're looking to blow enemies up in a cavalcade of colourful magic, the Mage and its two advanced Lost Ark classes are worth trying out. There's more to come after launch, but the two that we do have right now and instrumentally different to each other, making the choice easy (or hard) if you know exactly which role you want to fill.

There's the Bard for slow and steady support with heaps of crowd-control, and the Sorceress for mowing down large demonic armies with fire, ice, and all that other good stuff.

Bard

Role: Support/Crowd-Control

Difficulty: Moderate

As far as support goes with Lost Ark classes, Bard is about as close as it gets to a traditional helping hand. Its attacks and animations are noticeably slower than even those classes with far bigger weapons, but the effects of their actions are more likely to be felt by other players in the group, with their excessive normal attack range able to ensure they're always out of harm's way.

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The Bard focuses on charging up their Bubble meter, unleashing it at the right time to gift the team with helpful buffs and heals. The more Bubble bars they have when they decide to pitch in, the greater the effect of these boons will be.

Rest assured, however, that a Bard's usefulness doesn't start and end with their Bubble bars. Some of the skills they use to charge said Bubble bars involve plenty of enemy crowd-control and potent team buffs. Simply put, if you’re not too fond of dealing the damage but are happy to augment the team’s ability to do so, pitching in as a Bard is a great way to earn your keep.

Sorceress

Role: Magic DPS

Difficulty: Hard

The Sorceress Lost Ark class is your typical master of the elements. They command the forces of fire, lightning, water, and ice to pelt their enemies with all sorts of colourful attacks. For those hoping to sling spells like they're bullets, you'll have your wish: their central meter can be activated once it's 30% full, giving them a light damage boost, a massive 50% spell casting speed buff, and a reduction to their skill cooldowns.

Sorceress clearly has its core focus in area damage. Their skills are either explosive and deal damage over time, or can cripple targets with chilling slows and interruptive shocks. It's a fantastic pick for taking on dozens of enemies at a time, but you'll need to be aware of their innate lack of defences. Get caught out and you'll be in trouble. For that, you'll want to make good use of the Blink ability - just make sure to keep enough energy reserves around to cast it when needed.

Arcanist

  • Role: Magic DPS/Support
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  • Difficulty: Extreme

Also revealed as a post-launch class potentially set to arrive in May, the Lost Ark Arcanist may not be the Summoner the original beta offered, but it's still a cool new magic-focused class to mess around with.

The Arcanist uses cards to deal damage, pulling them from a deck to alter their attacks in myriad ways. It's a luck-based class in some respects, with the effects you deal unto your enemies being decided by the cards you pull. At least with some attacks. If you like to mix things up (and keep them that way), this is the class for you. It's never the same fight twice. But if you like stability and rock-solid strategies, you may want to look elsewhere.

One of the Lost Ark classes is the Martial Artist, which can become one of four different classes depending on the character's gender.

Lost Ark Classes - Martial Artist (Melee DPS/Support)

Striker

Role: Sustained DPS

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Difficulty: Moderate

The Striker Lost Ark class prides itself on incredibly fast, fluid, and precise strikes. It's surprisingly airborne in its execution, with plenty of its attacks starting with a physical strike that's strong enough to knock either yourself or your target into the air for a powerful follow-up.

There's a strong emphasis on fire and earth with the Striker. Their blows either erupt with molten fury or strike hard enough to shatter the earth beneath your feet. With that kind of force, it should come as no surprise to see high damage potential in this fleet-footed melee DPS pick

The biggest and best Striker skills are, of course, hidden beneath its central gauge. Once it's filled, you're able to weave a series of incredibly potent strikes between your already impressive abilities. Later on, you'll add an extra notch to it, giving you even more room to combo some serious firepower.

Wardancer

Role: Burst/Support

Difficulty: High

Basically the female option to the Striker, the Wardancer Lost Ark class uses large gauntlets in place of the Striker's bare fists.

This causes their strikes to be visibly slower than their closest allies but allows them to deal more damage per individual blow. For even more power, the Infighter is able to charge up their strikes before throwing down, which is a great strategic option to consider when there’s a large opening between enemy attacks - which can be baited with the use of swift dodges.

Interestingly enough, a common use for the Wardancer in endgame content is to take up an inscription that negates their gauge completely. Instead of the sustained DPS of the Striker, the Wardancer opts to rely on buffs and debuffs to amplify the damage of their other abilities. For that, it means radically changing your playstyle after a time and locking yourself out of some truly free-flowing action, which can be a dealbreaker.

Soulfist

Role: Sustained Damage

Difficulty: Moderate

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The Soulfist Lost Ark class sits somewhere between a Sorceress and a Striker. They attack primarily from close range, dealing magic damage with fists imbued with the power of the floating relic that follows them from behind, but they have heaps of ranged options as well.

Once again aided by the floating companion, they're able to channel and charge the elements into their gauntlets and bellow out energy in the form of a concentrated blast, or use their augmented strengths to use the earth around them as a weapon

The Soulfist can tap into their central gauge system really quickly, activating a self-buff that increases energy generation and reduces skill cooldowns. This has three levels of potency with strict timers on each, making tapping into the next before the previous one ends the key to the Soulfist's power. In a pinch, they're able to throw down a Spirit Bomb-like attack or blast waves away with a wide concentration of energy.

Scrapper

Role: Sustained damage

Difficulty: High

Another gauntlet-wielding sub-class of the Martial Artist, the Scrapper Lost Ark class looks to strike a balance in their melee-heavy blows. Though their attacks are somewhat similar to the Striker and Wardancer, they instead look to weave between the two styles, creating a sort of hybrid class.

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The heart of the Scrapper lies in their central gauge. Consisting of one yellow and one green meter, the aim is to build both up by using skills of the same colour. Using skills from one meter actually consumes the charge of the other, creating a need to weave between the two types of attacks.

Though the Scrapper's damage is high, the need to pay close attention to your rotation is paramount. If you lose track of your skill usage and pull too much from one bar, you'll be left starved of the meter you need to carry on your assault.

One of the Lost Ark classes is the Gunner, which can become one of four different advanced classes depending on the character's gender.

Lost Ark Classes - Gunner (Ranged DPS)

Looking to hang back and fire off bullets and arrows? The Gunner Lost Ark class is the one you'll want to check out. Once it's time to perfect your playstyle, you'll have the option to move into one of four advanced classes: the hunter-style Gunslinger, the high skill ceiling Deadeye, the pyromaniac mech Artillerist, and the precise Sharpshooter.

Gunslinger

Role: Ranged DPS

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Difficulty: Medium

For you Val Helsing fans out there, the Gunslinger brings style to the sport of hunting demons.

Split across three hot-swappable weapon types (or stances), the key to this one is picking the right stance for the job and cycling through as your skills come off cooldown. Handgun stance allows for rapid, piercing ranged attacks with high mobility, Shotgun Stance has heavier, mid-range attacks with plenty of crowd-control, and Rifle Stance allows for long-range, explosive blasts that can deal tons of damage.

Deadeye

Role: Ranged DPS

Difficulty: Hard

The male equivalent to the female Gunslinger, the Deadeye rewards skilled players with better situational abilities than the Gunslinger, allowing them to crank out more damage when used perfectly. If you're looking to min-max as a ranged DPS, you'll probably want to check this out. Its three-stance system is the same, but the abilities therein are different, so be sure to take that into consideration when deciding on your character's gender.

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Artillerist

Role: Ranged DPS

Difficulty: Medium

The Blater Lost Ark class is the game’s answer for heavy artillery. These folks wield a portable cannon to burn down targets through a variety of different attacks. Either used as a mortar, flamethrower, or sci-fi particle gun, the Artillerist can annihilate large groups of enemies with ease or work to gradually melt through the health bar of bigger targets.

They can summon personal turrets to deal damage when they can’t, or even repurpose their shots to fire out traps and travelling mine-like ammunition to apply a range of effects.

The Artillerist gets more powerful the longer they fight. Each hit they land increases their Firepower gauge, increasing their damage. Max it out, and you'll climb into a mech-like exoskeleton suit, turning you into a mechanical war machine for a time.

Sharpshooter

Role: Ranged DPS

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Difficulty: Medium

The Sharpshooter is a hybrid ranged/melee class with lots of finesse. Utilizing their expertise with a short bow to fill their targets full of arrows for a time, they can lunge into melee range once they're out of skills to cast, dealing even more damage with explosive gadgets.

Rather than having a secondary weapon or mechanic turret to help them out, the Hawkeye Lost Ark class instead opts to call a friendly animal - like a bird - into battle, sending it in to deal additional damage between blows or to create the opportunity to fire off a slow-moving charged shot instead. They even get a cool little sniper attack for that extra sharpshooting bonus point.

Kicking things off with distant gunshots from a longer rifle, the Lost Ark Demon Hunter class can then go in hard, bursting down targets with a barrage of frantic shots from their smaller pistols. Stay back to rattle off slower, yet more precise and powerful explosive slugs, and jump into the middle of a swarm when you’re ready to attack from all angles. The odd trap can keep the enemy’s focus off you for a time, or hold them in place while you do what you need to do.

One of the Lost Ark classes is the Assassin, a female-only damage dealer with two different class options.

Lost Ark Classes - Assassin (Melee DPS)

For the melee damage-dealers who love big crits, the Assassin and its two accompanying Lost Ark classes are well worth seeking out. These are the game's traditional back-stabbing hitmen and are well-versed in finding ways to outmanoeuvre their targets, flanking their rear to do massive damage.

The Death Blade is a more traditional assassin, with the Shadow Hunter instead simply opting to do enough damage to unleash its demonic forms and deal even more damage over a wider area.

Shadow Hunter

Role: Sustained DPS

Difficulty: Easy

Akin to a succubus, the Shadow Hunter Lost Ark class uses twin glaives to rush and chop through foes, summoning demons and horn-like structures from the ground to strike foes and force them to submit.

Clearly stemming from the Assassin base class, they find a means to get behind, then rattle off fast and sharp attacks before calling on their demon form to further augment their strength, extend their reach, and even increase their HP and movement speed, which should let you get even more up-close and personal with reduced risk.

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Death Blade

Role: Rear DPS

Difficulty: Hard

The Blade Lost Ark class can be considered the graceful duelist. Utilizing dual shortswords or longswords, the Death Blade is adept at hurtling its body around the battlefield - poking, prodding, and gliding its blades through targets.

Like the Shadow Hunter class, the Blade does what it can to get behind foes and execute a string of slashes, looking to score damage-multiplying crits for their brave and advantageous battle strategy.

If you prefer to take your time and look for the best moment to strike, it’s a fine choice. Use the shortswords for agile and precise strikes on larger enemies, then switch to the longswords to increase your effectiveness against hordes.

The Lost Ark Summoner class was swapped out for the Sorceress right before launch.
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What Happened to the Lost Ark Summoner Class?

Thinking something's missing from the original beta release of Lost Ark? You'd be right. Before the game launched in the west, the game's various pre-release tests let players test out the Summoner class - an Advanced version of the female Mage.

In the launch patch notes, however, this was suddenly swapped out for the Sorceress instead. The Summoner is expected to be added in at a later date, but we don't yet know when.

When Should I Decide Which of the Lost Ark Classes to Main?

Whichever one of the many Lost Ark classes you pick, you're sure to feel some envy towards another you see ripping and tearing through monsters out in the field. Lost Ark features some incredibly impressive spell effects that can turn even the most mundane battles into spectacular light shows.

Even once you settle on your main, you're encouraged to roll an alt to help with endgame material grinds, so don't feel like you're having to choose one over any other. Try them all out to around level 16 before you settle, then rest easy knowing the next character you level up will mature faster than the one before it thanks to some handy boost effects.

Before then, though, read up on how to level up fast in Lost Ark with our preliminary guide for your first character. And while you're here, why not check out our Lost Ark gear guide and list of Lost Ark quests? If you're struggling to get in at all, here's what you need to know about the Lost Ark servers at launch.