'Lost Ark' Character Classes Explained: Which Should You Pick (Ultimate Guide)

The first major choice you will have to make in Lost Ark is what character class you want to play as.

The Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) launches in the United States and European territories on Friday, February 11. However, it has been available in Asia for several years, meaning that its developers have had plenty of time to perfect the balancing and act on community feedback.

As such, each of the game's classes has been refined by now and they are all viable candidates. Still, it's a big decision that you have to make early in your adventure, so you'll want to make sure that it is an informed one.

With that said, this ultimate guide will walk you through everything you need to know about creating your character in Lost Ark.

'Lost Ark' Warrior Classes

Lost Ark Screenshot
Image shows a warrior class fighter charging at a dragon in"Lost Ark". Players will need to defeat enemies in raids, dungeons and out in the wild. Amazon Games

The first thing to be aware of here is that, while there are only five overarching classes in Lost Ark, each of these branches off into a few different subclasses. For instance, if you decide to be a Warrior, you'll then have to pick if you want to specialize as a Berserker, Paladin or Gunlancer.

In terms of what they have in common, all three of them are ironclad heavy-hitters with low mobility. Yet there are also some important distinctions to make.

Berserker

Wielding a two-handed greatsword, Berserker players are capable of inflicting heavy amounts of damage (especially with their devastating Area of Effect abilities) and are a bit faster than the other warriors. As a trade-off, Berserkers are also a little more susceptible to injury, so you have to carefully judge when it's time to retreat.

Their ultimate ability is essentially a Rage mode that bestows significant damage and speed buffs to the whole team.

Paladin

The Paladin class is basically a mix between a traditional fighter class and a mage class. In one hand, you have a trusty short sword that can be used for hacking away at enemies, and in its dexter you have a book that can be used to cast healing spells and grant protection to your fellow party members.

The Paladin class is definitely a good choice in Lost Ark, but only if you are prepared to commit to a more support-heavy role. If you are a lone wolf, then you'd be better off picking something else.

Gunlancer

The Gunlancer is a quintessential tank role, capable of soaking up lots of incoming damage, which is just as well because they are not particularly agile. If you decide to play as one of these characters, then your job will be to draw the enemy's attention and lead them away from teammates.

The Hook Chain ability even allows you to yank foes closer, so that they have no choice but to engage in direct combat. Out of the warrior classes, this is probably the most beginner-friendly, given that it's all about getting stuck right into the action.

'Lost Ark' Gunner Classes

Lost Ark Character
Image shows a gun toting avatar in "Lost Ark". As per MMORPG tradition, you will be able to personalize your own adventurer here. Amazon Games

The gunner classes in Lost Ark are ideal for picking off enemies at a long distance. If you favor ranged characters, then you are going to want to consider one of these.

Gunslinger

Equipped with two pistols, a shotgun and a sniper rifle, the Gunslinger class definitely lives up to its name. It takes a bit more skill to master their playstyle, as you'll need to switch between these weapons to suit different situations and learn their various stats.

If you think you're up to the challenge, then the Gunslinger is one of the most rewarding classes to play as in Lost Ark.

Deadeye

The Deadeye is very similar to the Gunslinger class. The major difference between them is gender, as the Deadeye is only available for male characters while the Gunslinger is locked to female builds.

Again, this class uses a pair of handguns, a shotgun and a sniper rifle. Its playstyle necessities that you tactically manoeuvre around the environment, so that you are at the right distance for using the weapon at hand.

Artillerist

The Artillerist has a multi-purpose weapon that serves as a flame thrower, gatling gun, mortar cannon and napalm launcher. With lengthy animations, it can be quite difficult to land a hit with any of these explosive attacks, but on the plus side they deal ridiculous amounts of damage.

Sharpshooter

A dexterous archer, the Sharpshooter is the perfect choice for those who like to pick off enemies from far away and enjoy a bit of stealth gameplay. Think of them like a sniper, in the sense that they are most effective when staying out of sight. On that note, you will definitely need to keep your distance from opponents, as they have quite low HP.

In short, the Sharpshooter (like most of the other gunner classes) is best suited for players who are confident in their skill level.

'Lost Ark' Mage Classes

Lost Ark Sorceress Class
Image shows the Sorceress class in "Lost Ark". If you choose to play as one of these, then you will be able to unleash devestating elemental magic. Amazon

There are only two dedicated mages in Lost Ark right now, but they offer very different experiences. One of them favors healing spells, while the other is all about unleashing destructive elemental attacks.

Bard

Although the Paladin does have a few healing abilities, the Bard is the only real choice for those who are serious about providing support to their party. While this isn't necessarily the most fun way to play the game (as your damage output is weak), you will be an invaluable part of any team.

Channelling their magic through a harp, Bards can grant buffs, shields and healing statuses to both themselves and the rest of the party. They have some offensive abilities too, like the "Prelude of Storm" move which stuns enemies.

Sorceress

The female-only Sorceress class is the bard's destructive counterpart. If you'd rather be tearing through enemy ranks with elemental magic, then this is undoubtedly the build for you. Fire spells deal damage over time, while frost can be used to slow them down and lightning can stun.

'Lost Ark' Martial Artist Classes

Lost Ark Soulfist
Image shows the Soulfist class in "Lost Ark". If you choose to play as one of these, you will be suited to both long and short range combat. Amazon

The Martial Artist classes are defined by their speedy attacks and relatively low HP. If you opt to play as one of these fighters, then you will spend most of your time chipping away at enemy's life bars and then making a hasty getaway before they can retaliate.

Wardancer

With speed attack animations and short cooldowns, the Wardancer can just keep on hitting without getting tired. They are basically the anthesis of the Gunlancer, in the sense that they are very responsive to control but also incredibly fragile. Indeed, getting caught an ambush can often be fatal for Wardancers, who are just not durable enough to take much damage.

Striker

The Striker is effectively just a male version of the Wardancer (and the only Martial Artist class that is available for that gender), sharing most of the same strengths and weaknesses.

Scrapper

The Scrapper is the closest thing you will find to an all-rounder in Lost Ark, as it deals medium damage, has a decent health pool and an average mobility level. If you're uncertain what kind of fighter you want to be, this might be the safest bet as you will have a good degree of flexibility in terms of your playstyle.

Soulfist

Combining melee and ranged attacks, the Soulfist is another option for those who want to experiment with different playstyles. The class can deal hefty damage up close with its fists or alternatively shoot energy beams from a distance.

Like the Scrapper, this is a good choice if you haven't made up your mind yet about what kind of role you want to adopt for your team.

'Lost Ark' Assassin Classes

Deathblade in Lost Ark
Image shows the Deathblade class in "Lost Ark". If you choose to play as one of these, you will be able to chain together lengthy combo attacks. Amazon

The Assassin classes are not too dissimilar from Martial Artists, but they use bladed weapons instead of their fists. You have two options here.

Shadowhunter

The gimmick with Shadowhunters is that they can channel demonic energy to transform into otherworldly creatures.

When it comes to gameplay, this manifests in a lot of mid-range abilities that allow you to land hits without putting yourself in harm's way. Of course, the true appeal of the Shadowhunter is that you get to look really cool while you are shapeshifting into different creatures.

Deathblade

Finally, the Deathblade specializes in dual-wielding daggers and can unleash a relentless flurry of blows. If you like to string together long combo-chains, this is the class for you.

Which Class Should You Pick in 'Lost Ark'?

Much like when it comes to picking your starter in Pokemon Legends: Arceus, there is no character class here that is objectively better than the others.

That being said, the Gunlancer is a good option for MMORPG newbies, Soulfist and Scrapper are both solid all-rounders, and the Gunslinger can be incredibly effective in the hands of an experienced player.

While most MMORPGs require you to pay a subscription fee, Lost Ark is free to play and is instead monetized through in-game transactions (similiar to EVE Online). It will be available to download on Steam from 12 p.m. ET on Friday, February 11.