MMOARPG Lost Ark is quickly grabbing the attention of millions of gamers looking to join what could very well prove to be one of 2022’s biggest PC games, which means that millions of gamers are also wondering what the best class in the game is and what the best way to build that class is.
So far as that goes, there are a lot of factors to consider. Not only is Lost Ark a pretty well-balanced game, but it’s designed to encourage a variety of playstyles and class creativity. The best thing you can do is experiment with the various classes and their available builds. In fact, we probably won’t know what the absolute best builds in the game are until Western audiences have had the chance to experiment with this version of the title and see how that meta shakes out.
Having said that, we’re happy to offer a snapshot of what the best builds for every class look like. Just keep in mind that this guide is mostly meant to put you on the right track. You’re going to have to experiment with the specifics based on your preferences and the situation you’re in.
Lost Ark: Best Berserker Builds For PvP and PvE
Berserkers play pretty much how you’d expect them to play based on the name. They’re a melee-focused class that uses big weapons to put up big damage numbers. They’re especially good at dishing out critical damage at close range, which is great when you’re dealing with large bosses and other massive targets that the Berserker can simply park behind.
While it can be difficult to recover from a Berserker attack, their ability to deal tremendous damage with single blows is countered slightly by their slow attack speed, long cooldown times, and relative lack of mobility. While you’re always going to have to deal with those weaknesses to some degree, most Berserker builds will focus on negating those downsides as much as possible while relying on the class’ overwhelming strength to do most of the work. In every case, Red Dust, Shoulder Charge, and Finish Strike will end up being some of your most valuable abilities.
A Berserker’s ideal PvE build will typically emphasize damage and defense while sacrificing mobility slightly. Ideally, you’ll be playing end-game content with other classes who will help keep the Berserker alive and let the class focus on dealing damage.
For PvP, you’re definitely going to want a little more mobility and defense. The right combination of skills should make it a bit easier to survive missing a couple of hits here and there (though you certainly want to avoid that whenever possible.
Lost Ark: Best Berserker PvE Build
Lost Ark: Best Berserker PvP Build
Lost Ark: Best Paladin Builds For PvP and PvE
Paladin is a fascinating Lost Ark class that tends to fall somewhere between a tank and support character depending on how you build them.
You should know right now that, despite their massive armor and huge weapons, Paladins in Lost Ark aren’t exactly known as damage dealers. They can take care of themselves, but in PvE situations, this class typically relies on their amazing buffs and quick heal abilities to keep other players alive while soaking up a respectable amount of damage. “Survivability” is probably the word to keep in mind when thinking about Paladins, though a good Paladin certainly helps their party deal more damage.
For PvE, the ideal Paladin build simply focuses on staying alive and keeping their party alive/buffed. They’ll get their damage in when they can, but Paladins should really focus on keeping their support abilities up whenever possible.
For PvP, a Paladin can surprise quite a few opposing classes by virtue of being so hard to kill. You’re going to have to play smart, but Paladins can certainly shine in team-based PvP scenarios.
Lost Ark: Best Paladin PvE Build
Lost Ark: Best Paladin PvP Build
Lost Ark: Best Gunlancer Builds For PvP and PvE
Gunlancers are certainly one of Lost Ark’s most noteworthy tank classes, but don’t let their slow speed and bulky armor blind you from their ability to deal incredible amounts of damage during short windows.
Gunlancers lack some of Paladin’s buff abilities and Berserker’s “straight-ahead” offensive capabilities, but they more than make up for those deficiencies with their amazing defensive skills and a few abilities designed to simply frustrate targets. They’re the first line of defense in most raid scenarios, and they’re able to frustrate single targets through their combination of stun, interrupt, and juggling abilities that can leave opponents feeling helpless.
In PvE, Gunlancers should focus pretty much entirely on defense while allocating points to offensive abilities that allow them to keep their shield on the priority target. Again, they are going to be the tank in pretty much any party.
In PvP, Gunlancers trade some uniquely PvE abilities in for a slight boost in damage as well as some additional interrupt/stun skills. They’re actually quite capable in one-on-one scenarios, though you’ll certainly have to learn how to manage their abilities in order to start the proper skill sequence.
Lost Ark: Best Gunlancer PvE Build
Lost Ark: Best Gunlancer PvP Build
Lost Ark: Best Striker Builds For PvP and PvE
If you want to essentially play Lost Ark as a martial arts master monk that relies on inhuman speed and hand-to-hand combat to overwhelm foes, then the Striker is probably the character for you.
Strikers are all about speed. Their job is to stay out of the way of as many attacks as possible while they’re waiting for their cooldowns, and then quickly strike with combo chains that will help ensure they’re not in the fray longer than they need to be. They also benefit from some incredibly annoying stun/interrupt abilities that can make them a nightmare in one-on-one scenarios.
In PvE, Strikers are looking to get in behind an opponent whenever possible, get their moves in, and get out as quickly as they arrived. If you try to stay in a fight too long, you’ll soon discover the extent of Strikers’ defensive shortcomings.
In PvP, Strikers are still looking to pull off their key damage combos, but they’re also going to have to learn how to get out of a bad situation as quickly as possible as well as how to maximize their incredibly CC abilities that open up additional evasion and attack windows.
Lost Ark: Best Striker PvE Build
Lost Ark: Best Striker PvP Build
Lost Ark: Best Wardancer Builds For PvP and PvE
Wardancers are a more-than-capable DPS class, but the thing that truly sets them apart are their buff abilities and the ways they can make their party just a little bit better than they would be without them.
Wardancers are fast, easy to learn, and capable of dishing out disgusting amounts of damage, but much like Berserkers, their long cooldowns mean that missing a couple of key abilities can completely throw them off their rhythm. They also lack Berserkers’ defensive capabilities but tend to make up for it with their mobility and devastating PvP skills.
A PvE Wardancer should consider themselves a damage dealer above all else, but they need to learn how to weave their buff abilities into prolonged fights.
In PvP, Wardancers are looking to keep moving whenever possible and only go in for the attack when they’re certain they can pull off incredible ability chains that will put opponents on their back foot or kill them outright.
Lost Ark: Best Wardancer PvE Build
Lost Ark: Best Wardancer PvP Build
Lost Ark: Best Scrapper Builds For PvP and PvE
Scrappers may look like a simple melee DPS class, but if you really want to get the most out of them, you’re going to need to master some surprisingly complicated mechanics that will ultimately separate the good from the great.
Scrappers have the raw damage output, mobility, and defensive skills needed to be useful in a variety of situations but properly playing one requires you to manage various resources and self-buffs that greatly impact your damage output and survivability. You’re going to need to stay on your toes if you’re going to master this class, but there’s no denying that the rewards are worth it.
For PvE, Scrappers are looking to emphasize their single target damage while incorporating a few AOE skills and the defensive abilities needed to ensure they don’t completely fall apart when things go bad.
It’s a similar story for PvP, but this build utilizes a few more deterrent abilities that should help when you’re surrounded or just want to escape a bad situation without simply running away.
Lost Ark: Best Scrapper PvE Build
Lost Ark: Best Scrapper PvP Build
Lost Ark: Best Soulfist Builds For PvP and PvE
If you’re the kind of player who loves to sprinkle a little magic into their melee, Soulfist may just be the Lost Ark class for you.
I’ve heard some compare Soulfists to a Dragon Ball Z character, which isn’t entirely inaccurate. They’re basically trying to use melee abilities to work their way up to devastating magical attacks that will absolutely destroy anything near them. It’s going to take you a while to learn how to properly manage the resource-building phase so that you can pull off those big attacks, but the rewards really speak for themselves.
In PvE, Soulfists are looking to cut through mobs while balancing their abilities in a way that allows them to pull off combos against stronger individual opponents.
In PvP, Soulfists typically treat their opponents like PvE bosses. That is to say that they’re looking to evade attacks, weave in a few hits, and work their way towards those insane damage windows.
Lost Ark: Best Soulfist PvE Build
Lost Ark: Best Soulfist PvP Build
Lost Ark: Best Gunslinger Builds For PvP and PvE
Lost Arks’ ranged classes can be absolutely devastating in a variety of ways, and few of the game’s ranged characters are more feared than a good Gunslinger.
Mind you, it’s not easy to become a good Gunslinger. You basically need to learn how to effectively swap between their three weapons (each of which is best utilized at specific ranges) while dodging every attack that you can and making the most out of some incredible AoE abilities. It’s a lot to keep up with, but once you learn to react to a variety of situations and respond accordingly, Gunslingers easily become one of the best overall classes in the game.
In PvE, a Gunslinger typically wants to reduce their downtime while increasing their attack speed. That combo allows them to always stay in the fray while remaining effective at various ranges.
In PvP, Gunslingers typically emphasize speed and keeping their opponents at a distance long enough for them to outlast, outwit, and generally be pretty annoying.
Lost Ark: Best Gunslinger PvE Build
Lost Ark: Best Gunslinger PvP Build
Lost Ark: Best Artillerist Builds For PvP and PvE
If you’re interested in playing one of Lost Ark’s gunners but don’t like the idea of using small arms and evasion, then the Artillerist is absolutely the class for you.
This rather unique class relies on massive weapons and surprising defensive capabilities to mow down waves of foes while still being able to go toe-to-toe with some of the toughest enemies in the game. You can treat them like a tank when you need them to be one, but getting the most out of this class requires you to learn their various forms and really get a feel for when they’re going to focus on AOE and when it’s time to hunker down.
In PvE, an Artillerist will typically focus on sweeping AoE attacks while leaving themselves the option to go more defensive when the situation calls for it.
In PvP, an Artillerist tends to focus more on their defensive abilities as well as a series of smart attacks that will punish opponents for daring to get close.
Lost Ark: Best Artillerist PvE Build
Lost Ark: Best Artillerist PvP Build
Lost Ark: Best Deadeye Builds For PvP and PvE
At first glance, the Deadeye probably looks pretty similar to the Gunslinger. Honestly, they really are pretty similar in a lot of ways.
The big difference between the two is that a Deadeye typically does most of its damage up-close whereas Gunslingers want to keep a little distance between them and their targets. That’s not to say that a Deadeye can’t do damage from longer ranges but rather that learning to master one requires you to recognize when it’s time to go in for the kill and put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.
In PvE, a Deadeye will typically use AOE abilities against waves of lesser enemies while looking for their chance to get in close to bosses and other single targets.
In PvP, the Deadeye will get in close a little more than usual while utilizing a few evasion skills that will (ideally) allow them to ensure that they don’t bite off more than they can chew.
Lost Ark: Best Deadeye PvE Build
Lost Ark: Best Deadye PvP Build
Lost Ark: Best Sharpshooter Builds For PvP and PvE
A Sharpshooter immediately distinguishes itself from other ranged damage dealers in Lost Ark by virtue of their use of a bow rather than a gun, but that’s not what really sets this class apart.
Sharpshooters are looking to deal damage from a range while relying on top-tier mobility options to escape potentially devastating scenarios. They don’t offer the kind of burst damage you get with other classes, but they are able to provide a consistent stream of damage that helps ensure that they’re not quite as dependent on those attack windows that can be shut so easily.
In PvE, a Sharpshooter wants to stay as far away from bosses as possible while using a few key AOE abilities to deal with mobs.
In PvP, the game plan is pretty much the same. There, though, you’re really going to have to learn how to weave in a few key attacks while staying on the move as much as possible.
Lost Ark: Best Sharpshooter PvE Build
Lost Ark: Best Sharpshooter PvP Build
Lost Ark: Best Bard Builds For PvP and PvE
Bards may be a support class, but their high-end power levels and incredible combination of abilities make them an irreplaceable part of any PvE or PvP team.
While Bards are about as squishy as they come and barely do any damage worth talking about, their role as a dedicated support class means that they make every other class in the game significantly better than they could be without a Bard alongside them. They keep teams in the fight and help end conflicts as quickly as possible.
In PvE, a Bard is going to focus on their support abilities 90% of the time, but the best Bard players will learn how to effectively utilize a few of their key attacks to contribute in other ways.
In PvP…well, Bards certainly function best on a team, but they can deal a decent amount of ranged damage and use some of their defensive abilities to ensure opponents don’t just cut through them the moment they get in close.
Lost Ark: Best Bard PvE Build
Lost Ark: Best Bard PvP Build
Lost Ark: Best Sorceress Builds for PvP and PvE
Anyone who has played pretty much any class-based RPG ever will probably be instantly familiar with the Sorceress: your standard MMO mage in most respects.
Simply put, the Sorceress is an incredible ranged DPS character who boasts laughably overpowered AOE abilities as well as some incredible single-target skills. There really isn’t another DPS class in the game that relies on magic quite the way they do, which does make them a little tricky to learn in the context of this game but also means that they’re incredibly challenging to play against in PvP scenarios.
For PvE, Sorceress players are going to rely on their amazing AOE abilities while sprinkling in just enough single-target skills to keep them near the top of the damage meters during boss fights.
It’s a somewhat similar story for PvP, though competitive Sorceress builds usually devote a few more points to evasive and defensive abilities to try to compensate for those times enemies get a bit too close for comfort.
Lost Ark: Best Sorceress PvE Build
Lost Ark: Best Sorceress PvP Build
Lost Ark: Best Shadowhunter Builds for PvP and PvE
As one of only two assassin classes in Lost Ark, Shadowhunters are quite different from everything we’ve looked at before. For that matter, they’re quite different from the other assassin class in the game.
Shadowhunters depend on their ability to transform into a powerful demon in order to help finish fights. They’re similar to a Soulfist in that respect, but they’re just a little more dependent on their ability to transform. It’s not that they’re useless outside of their demonic form but rather that mastering them is all about learning how to maximize your time in other forms.
In PvE scenarios, Shadowhunters will mostly focus on priority targets while filling their transformation gauge but they do bring some solid AoE abilities to the table.
In PvP, Shadowhunters want to fill up their gauge as quickly as humanly possible (pun intended) so that they can terrorize their opponents and never give them the chance to take over the early fight.
Lost Ark: Best Shadowhunter PvE Build
Lost Ark: Best Shadowhunter PvP Build
Lost Ark: Best Deathblade Builds for PvP and PvE
Deathblades aren’t too far removed from the Rogue classes you see in other RPGs, which is really another way to say that they’re stealthy characters who do most of their damage from behind.
To be honest, Deathblades are probably best thought of as a PvP class. That’s not to say that they can’t contribute to a PvP group, but their dependence on positioning, interrupts, and escapability means that they were clearly designed to shine against other players. So far as that goes, though, the right Deathblade can dominate nearly every other class in the game.
In PvE, a Deathblade will try to stay behind single targets to maximize their damage output while using a few key AoE abilities to keep groups of foes at bay.
In PvP, it’s all about frustrating foes with your mobility while stunning them long enough to pull off devastating combos that will leave them wondering what just happened and what they are supposed to do.