Lost Ark Tips For Beginners: Trade Skills, Mokoko Seeds, Pets, And More
Jumping into Smilegate and Amazon's free-to-play MMORPG can be intimidating, but these essential tips will help you get started on the right foot.
After years of only being playable in regions like Asia and Russia, Smilegate RPG's Lost Ark is has come to North America and the rest of Europe through Amazon. The free-to-play, top-down MMORPG is filled to the brim with things to see and do, and if you're diving in for the first time with no prior knowledge, the world of Arkesia can be more than a little intimidating. But fear not, as we're here to help you become a seasoned veteran in no time.
The good news is that much of Lost Ark is only complicated at first glance. Spend some time with the game and its various systems and before long things will start to fall into place. Many of the different activities and much of the optional content can be safely ignored (or at least put off until reaching the endgame), meaning new players can simply pick their class of choice and quickly embark on the game's main story quest to find the titular lost ark. Here's a few tips to keep in mind over the course of the game's first two dozen hours as you work your way towards max level and Lost Ark's endgame content.
Don't Skip the Prologue (At Least On Your First Character)
If you are brand new to Lost Ark and have just made your first character, don't skip the prologue. It will introduce a number of Lost Ark's basic systems while also laying the groundwork for the game's core story. While action-RPG players will no doubt be familiar with many of the gameplay elements Lost Ark introduces here, it's still worth doing, especially since it only lasts about 30 minutes. That being said, feel free to skip it on subsequent characters.
Focus On The Main Quest And Sudden Quests To Level Efficiently
Lost Ark is filled with various side quests and other activities that you could spend dozens upon dozens of hours completing should your heart desire. But if you're just looking to experience the story while also hitting max level and reaching the endgame in a reasonable amount of time, stick to the Main Quest. This will be designated by an orange, arrow-like icon prior to unlocking your boat. From there, the Main Quest turns into World Quest (designated by a blue globe icon), which you'll need to pursue to continue the story.
While focusing on the Main Quest should be your primary objective, occasionally while you're running around the world you'll see a new quest appear on your screen denoted by a red exclamation mark. These are Sudden Quests, and are a great way to earn some additional XP and rewards without having to go out of your way. Be sure to do these when they appear along the route you're already taking to the next Main Quest objective. Of course, feel free to pick up side quests (called General Quests in Lost Ark) whenever it strikes you. While it may slow down your overall leveling speed, more rewards and progress towards both your Roster (account level) and account-wide Adventure Tome can't hurt.
Claim Your Roster And Adventure Tome Rewards
As you play, you'll notice you actually have two experience bars that are going up. One is your Combat level, which is essentially your character level. The other purple bar is your Roster level, which is an account-wide level that goes up as you accomplish tasks and complete quests. You'll also eventually unlock the Adventure Tome, which is another account-wide system that keeps track of your progress throughout the world.
Make sure you check in on these every now and then. Every time your Roster level increases, you'll be able to claim rewards in the form of account-wide stat boosts. In the Adventure Tome, hitting certain levels of completion in each of the game's various continents also grants rewards, like consumable items, cards, and more. Make sure to claim these rewards as you're working your way through the game to keep your character up to snuff.
Be Sure To Spend Your Skill Points (And Feel Free To Experiment)
One of the best aspects of Lost Ark is the freedom to modify your various class skills via the game's Tripod system. Every time you level up, you'll get skill points which can be invested to make your various skills stronger. At certain thresholds, these skills can also be augmented in a number of different ways, such as changing the skill's elemental damage type or causing the skill to grant additional buffs on use. Make sure to spend these skill points as you get them, as they'll significantly boost your character's power. There's also no downside whatsoever to doing so. Lost Ark allows you to refund skill points and try out different skill augmentations at any time, meaning you never have to feel locked into a particular skill or playstyle. Experiment and see what skills and modifiers work for you, and make sure to test out new skills as you acquire them to see if one of them might be a new favorite.
Customize Your UI And Hotkeys
As with any MMO, there are a lot of skills and items you'll be using over the course of your adventure, each which can be hotkeyed onto one of the game's various hotbars. While Lost Ark's default keybinds will get the job done, feel free to change your various hotkeys to whatever is more comfortable for you. Changing whatever key your mount is on to something easily accessible, for example, can be a life changer, and you'll want to make sure your potions and other consumable items are also easily accessible in the heat of battle.
You can also customize the UI in various ways. By default, the game's map occupies the middle of the screen. While helpful, it can get in the way at times. Using the middle mouse button, you can actually drag the map anywhere you want, like to the upper left part of the screen, where it can be left up at all times should you choose and will be significantly less obstructive. You can also adjust the map's transparency, make adjustments to the game's chat window, hide parts of the UI entirely, and more, so don't be afraid to spend a little time getting your interface and hotkeys just the way you like it.
Claim Your Free Pet, It's Actually Essential
Early on in your Lost Ark adventure as you're questing through the Prideholme area, you'll be able to complete a Guide Quest explaining the game's pet system. While this might seem like something that is skippable at first glance, you absolutely need to complete this quest. Unlike in some other MMOs where pets are cosmetic only, pets in Lost Ark actually have some essential functions. First and foremost, they will pick up loot for you automatically and add it to your inventory, without you needing to do a thing. Pets also grant various passive bonuses, such as increasing your character's max HP, attack power, and more. For players who have a Crystalline Aura activated (which is essentially Lost Ark's premium subscription system), pets have even more uses.
So why is this particular quest so important to complete? Pets normally must be bought in Lost Ark's premium store or earned through various in-game events. This introductory Guide Quest actually grants you a free pet, making it your only free, early-game option for taking advantage of the various benefits pets offer.
Pay Attention To Your Combat Skill Types And Effects
Combat is one of Lost Ark's strong suits, offering frantic action combat against both massive bosses and huge swarms of enemies. While you can mash your way through most of the leveling process without truly understanding some of Lost Ark's deeper combat systems, you'll need to know the difference between different skill types and skill effects like Stagger and Counter work to survive the endgame.
Skills come in a few different types in Lost Ark. Normal skills are pretty self explanatory–you press a button, and the skill happens. More complicated are Charge, Hold, Point, and Combo skills. Charge skills require players to, well, charge the skill for a certain amount of time. Hold skills can be held for longer periods of time, with the skill persisting until the skill key is let go. Combo skills allow for multiple presses of the skill key in a set time window. Finally, Point skills require players to target an area by pointing with the mouse.
Knowing the difference between the various skill types will help you choose which skills you prefer. Understanding skills effects are just as important to emerging victorious in Lost Ark's combat. Large enemies, like bosses, will have a purple Stagger gauge underneath their health. Depleting this gauge will cause the boss to be stunned, leaving them open to attack. Certain skills deal varying amounts of Stagger damage, so it's essential to know which of your skills deal Stagger damage to come out ahead. In addition, some skills benefit from being cast in front of enemies, while other skills offer bonuses for being cast behind enemies. Some skills can even be used to counter stronger enemies charging up powerful attacks (counterable attacks are shown as blue instead of red). To learn what types of effects any given skill has, simply hover over the skill with your mouse to reveal a tooltip. Master these elements of combat, and you'll have no problem reaching Lost Ark's endgame.
Keep An Eye Out For Mokoko Seeds
Throughout the world of Lost Ark are numerous collectibles players can discover and acquire. The most prominent of these are Mokoko Seeds, which are little green seeds which can be found in nearly every one of the game's environments, including dungeons. While these aren't super important in the early game, finding them does grant you some Roster experience, which is nice. Considering there are literally over a thousand of these, you're not likely to find them all while leveling. That's perfectly okay. Some are painfully obvious to find while others are extremely well hidden. Just keep an eye out, find the ones you can, and move along.
Be Stingy With Your Consumables
Not all consumables are created equal in Lost Ark. While at first you'll be swimming in various potions and bombs, later on you'll either need to craft or purchase these important items should you run out. It's worth taking a closer look at your various healing potions in particular. While some potions heal a flat amount HP, others heal a percentage of your character's total HP. As a result, these latter potions are significantly stronger and scale better at higher levels, meaning it's best to avoid using them if you don't have to. You'll also want to save some of the various bombs and other useful consumables for higher-level content. Since the game automatically equips new consumables to your action bar as you acquire them, always take a moment to remove them and put your more valuable consumables into storage so you don't accidentally use them.
Take Some Time To Level Life Skills And Invest In Your Stronghold
At a certain point in your leveling journey, you'll unlock both your island Stronghold and Life Skills (Lost Ark's version of professions.) These two systems go hand in hand, and you would be wise not to neglect them. The Stronghold can be customized and upgraded and is where you'll be able to craft various consumables and items that will aid you in your quest. To get these upgrades rolling and also the required materials needed to craft helpful items, you'll need to level up your Life Skills like archeology, fishing, herbalism, logging, hunting, and mining.
Right as you start to unlock your Life Skills, you may notice a Life Skill vendor who sells various tools you'll need to practice skills like herbalism, mining, and others. Ignore this vendor. You can get a free set of tools by completing an associated Life Skills Guide Quest, so steer clear and save your silver.
Once you have your tools in hand, make sure to occasionally level up your Life Skills by gathering various resources as you travel through Arkesia. You don't need to go after every resource node you see, but making sure to at least put some effort into your Life Skills will mean you don't have to backtrack later if you find yourself in an area where you are unable to gather resources because your associated skills are too low.
Make Use Of Your Teleports
There are a few ways to get around in Lost Ark. Aside from using your boat to travel between continents, and of course, traveling around on foot, there's actually two main ways you can teleport around Arkesia. The first you'll have access to is the Triports. These are essentially waypoints scattered throughout the world you can fast travel to, so make sure to unlock them as you come across them. While it's not made entirely clear in-game, you can teleport to these waypoints at any time using the game's map (for a small fee). However, you can only use Triports on the same continent you are currently on.
The other main teleportation system is the Bifrost. This works like an instant recall, similar to a hearthstone in World of Warcraft. You can set this to specific locations and then use it to teleport instantly, even across continents, once you gain access to it later on in your adventure. You can have one Bifrost set for free, but those who have a Crystalline Aura get two additional Bifrosts.
Don't Be Overwhelmed
Lost Ark is a tried-and-true MMORPG, with special emphasis on the massive. There are thousands of collectables to find, a huge number of areas to explore, and numerous in-depth systems like NPC Rapport, Strongholds, the Adventure Tome, and more. Taken all together, it can definitely be intimidating. But if you're just getting started, know that many of these systems don't truly come into play until the endgame, and even then some are varying degrees of optional. In the first few dozen hours, instead of stressing about how many Mokoko Seeds you still have to find, focus on mastering your class, experiencing the story, and having fun. The rest can come later.