Last Updated: Fri Apr 15 2022 Reading Time: 4 min

Lost Ark Progression System Explained

Find out about Lost Ark’s tier system and what it means for launch.

You may be a new or veteran player, but there is no escaping the topic of Lost Ark Progression. Everyone who plays the game will push to tier 3 content just to play the end game, but what exactly does that mean? And, what exactly does that enable you to do? Well, this Lost Ark Progression guide will help explain it all for you!

Explaining Lost Ark Tiers

Lost Ark came to PC first in Korea in 2019. Since then, the game has seen a ton of different updates, including major content additions known as ‘tiers’ – something similar to expansions in other games.

Every tier has requirements that you must fulfill in order to progress. Firstly, you must complete the Main Story Questline before you progress your items for that tier. Secondly, each tier has mini-bumps in content that requires you to unlock a higher item level to progress through it. And Finally, the guide quests will explain content to you before you can access them, so make sure you read those quests.

Lost Ark is currently at tier 3. This means if you were to start a character today, you will have to progress through the tier 1 and 2 content before you can reach tier 3. But, in order to do that, you need to progress your character’s item level.

Lost Ark Progression Tier Map
World map broken down into different tier sections.

Progressing Item Level

Increasing your character’s item level is the main form of progression in Lost Ark. The method to do this in game, is call honing. And the best way to describe honing is that you are shoving experience, via materials, into your gear to level them up.

Tier 1 equipment can earn a total of 20 levels before they are max. However, to access tier 2 content you will only need to reach level 15 in your tier 1 gear. By doing so, your average item level will be 600. And at item level 600 is when you can unlock the tier 2 MSQ. The same applies to accessing tier 3 content, you need to gain 15 levels of your tier 2 gear. Doing so will push your average item level to 1,100.

Additionally, tier 3 gear is currently max level 15. As for why, find out in the next section!

Tier 2 Paladin
A Paladin in full item level 600 gear to unlock tier 2 content.

Half Tiers

In addition to having 3 tiers, there are half tiers. In MMO terms, think as the first half of a tier as the introduction to the expansion. The second half of the tier to be the conclusion of the expansion. Basically new content and a minor bump in the item level happens in the second half. Additionally, it makes the previous content easier to progress.

While tier 1 and tier 2 are complete, tier 3 is only in the first half. Meaning that the current tier 3 content will be easier once we have the tier 3.5 release. For now lets focus on the others; to access tier 1.5 you will need an item level of 460 (+6 on all your gear). And, for tier 2.5 you will need an item level of 960 (Also +6 to all gear).

When unlocking a half tier, you also unlock additional Main Story Quests. You will need to complete the new quests to unlock the new content, similar to accessing a new tier.

Abyssal Dungeons Tier Breakdown
Showing break down of the tier and half tier content for Abyssal Dungeons.

Why People Are Rushing to Tier 3 Content

If it hasn’t become apparent yet, the reason people are pushing tier 3 content is because that is where the current end game is at. Additionally, this is where all the latest and greatest content for the game can be found. Remember, that some players have already been playing this game with a VPN to KR/RU before it was in NA.

Lost Ark Abyss Raid Requirements
T3 Abyss Raid Requirements – Current End Game

So, if you are new to the game don’t feel bad if you don’t have access to tier 3 content yet. Take your time and enjoy the game, since that is the purpose of video games after all! There are a ton of collectibles, things to unlock, quests, events, and much more in the game. The best part of starting at tier 3 is just that we’ll have hundreds (if not thousands) hours of gameplay. 

That’s the Lost Ark progression guide for you! Let us know if you have any questions or comments by connecting with us on Discord. Happy travels in Arkesia!