Like every MMORPG, Lost Ark features plenty of classes to choose from. You can become a mighty warrior, swift archer, a powerful mage, reliable healer, etc. There are five primary classes to choose from, each with its own subclasses. The combinations you can create are unique and often excel in dealing damage – both in PvP and PvE. This means you’re not limited to standard, cliche roles mentioned above. However, this raises a couple of questions.
Which is the best class? What subclass should I choose? Is there one ultimate build that does it all? Nobody would play other classes if there were one class to rule them all, and our guide would be pointless. Every class is worth trying out, and your choice should depend on your favorite playstyle.
However, if you’d like to see the highest damage output during PvP and PvE battles, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a complete list of the best Lost Ark classes for every role.
As we mentioned earlier, every class is viable, and your choice can purely depend on aesthetics. You can even play as a support class, deal decent damage, and still reach the endgame without much hassle. However, after reaching the endgame, you have to consider current meta to prove yourself useful.
In essence, meta is a generally agreed strategy by the community. It’s considered the most optimal way of playing and has the best performance at a specific task. Meta can shift dramatically just by one patch, so it's best to keep up with the latest patch notes.
Below is a list of top subclasses for the current meta in both PvP and PvE. This is just a quick reference and is explained in detail later in the guide.
S-tier (Best): Bard, Gunlancer, Paladin.
A-tier (Great): Glavier, Gunslinger, Striker, Wardancer, Artillerist, Shadow Hunter, Berserker, Deathblade, Scrapper, Sorceress
B-tier (Good): Deadeye, Soulfst, Sharpshooter
S-tier (Best): Paladin, Gunslinger, Deathblade, Bard, Sorcerer, Shadow Hunter
A-tier (Great): Glavier, Soul Fist, Gunlancer, Striker/Wardancer, Berserker, Artillerist
B-tier (Good): Deadeye, Scrapper, Striker, Sharpshooter
If you're not interested in the PvP aspect of the game, many activities are waiting for you. After finishing the main questline, you can spend dozens of hours in Chaos Dungeons or Adventure Islands. Follow our PvE tier list to prepare yourself for the endgame as it explains the best classes for PvE available.
S-tier is the best among all tier classes and your best bet if you want to be effective. If you’re just starting out, you’ll be almost always effective, regardless of your skill level. It also works the other way around. A top-tier player will bring out the most of every S-tier class. These classes are the most versatile in the game if you’re willing to sacrifice personal preferences for high damage output, of course.
Paladins build towards DPS or support, but they shine in the supportive aspect of gameplay. They excel in optimizing the group’s DPS and cleansing debuffs in the right hands. The only downside of Paladin is relatively weak healing when compared to other support characters. However, Paladin’s decent crowd control and straightforward abilities make him an excellent choice for beginners.
Bards excel in AoE damage, and their buffs provide high utility on top of a decent damage buff. They are more squishy when compared to Paladins, so they require more planning and good decision-making. Bard is overall harder to play, but it functions like a jack of all trades. It features great healing skills on top of offensive abilities to deal consistent damage. She’s still effective in the hands of a newbie but definitely not beginner-friendly.
Gunlancer is the tankiest class in the game with decent damage output. Due to their versatile skill set, they act as a perfect frontline against tough enemies and bosses. A good Gunlancer is a perfect leader and excellent playmaker for the entire team. He can shield allies, break enemies’ armor, and stagger bosses while being an unstoppable killing machine.
Is this the ultimate class to play? Absolutely not, Gunlancers are amongst the hardest classes to properly master. This class requires patience and good timing and relies heavily on decision-making as a frontline. Thus, you can be as annoying as much as you are effective.
A-Tier is a solid choice when it comes to PvE classes. If PvP doesn’t matter to you, then all classes from this tier are more than enough to satisfy your needs. The only difference between the S-tier is their power scaling, as they require a bit more effort to get value out of them.
Glavier is the newest class added to the western version of Lost Ark. Just like other Martial Artists, Glavier has to stay in combat to unleash its full potential. It features unique gameplay mechanics due to its stance swapping and signature weapon.
As a Martial Artist, she’s the most well-rounded character with diverse abilities. It’s a perfect pick for flexible players who like to have an answer to anything happening on the battlefield. If you’re not afraid of a rather steep learning curve and want to feel unique and creative – Glavier is the way to go.
One of the easiest characters to pick in the game, which excels in the melee range. However, Berserk is more of a glass cannon which means he can die as soon as he enters the fight. You have plenty of AoE attacks and single target damage abilities, which are pretty straightforward. Simply utilize its Rage and Fury meter and act as an unstoppable damage-dealing machine upon filling it up. It’s a perfect mix of DPS class with melee warrior, as you can deal damage from a safe distance. It’s also budget-friendly as you can use the cheapest potions for maximum efficiency.
A classic mage is one of the most renowned professions among ranged classes. It’s a straightforward choice for anyone familiar with western RPGs. Using mythical charms, you can combine her massive DPS attacks with a 6% damage buff on top of a high burst radius. She’s not very mobile, lacks defense, and can die in a matter of seconds. Therefore, pick Sorceress only if you’re confident about what you’re doing and can extract the best performance out of her.
An assassin class that is viable both in PvP and PvE. It features multiple playstyles and synergizes well with other melee classes, like the aforementioned Berserker. Deathblade can choose between Surge and Remaining Energy – both are viable but differ in playstyle. Luckily, both are easy to play and cheap to maintain in the long run. Another great class for beginners and skilled players that can unleash her full potential.
Shadowhunter is the most diverse Assassin subclass, mainly due to its demon form. You can focus on fully utilizing her demon skills or completely ignore it and concentrate on human skills. Each build has its drawbacks, but in the right hands, Shadowhunter deals incredible damage and is perfect for clearing dungeons.
Her best feature is a 12% additional damage buff, similarly to Berserker class. They even play likewise, so your picking decision can be based on aesthetics. Entering the battlefield with the Shadowhunter in all her demonic glory is a sight to behold. However, she requires more planning and has slightly worse stats than the aforementioned Berserker.
It’s an extremely well-rounded class perfectly suitable for beginners. She has an easy-to-learn kit despite having two distinct playstyles. Great mobility paired with solid damage, strong stagger ability, resilience, and strong weak point damage make her a likable character. However, many players consider her a training class since she doesn’t provide that much in the long run. After gaining some experience, many decide to pick Striker instead, as he’s better suited for late-game activities. However, Scrapper is an excellent starting point if you enjoy playing a classic brawler.
Wardancer is one of the better choices, thanks to her buffs. She can boost the attack speed and crit chance for her teammates. She’s not as straightforward as Scrapper due to her 6-second major damage buff window. To be effective for your team, you have to play around that. You need to know when to hold your skills and how to do the rotation. The combination of rapid strikes and elemental damage makes her extremely fun to play.
The major flaw of this class, though, is that her buffs have a long cooldown period. She’s often left hanging around on the battlefield while her team has to do all the work without her. Luckily, her gear scaling is one of the best among all the classes making her a solid choice for the endgame.
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A male counterpart for Wardancer with one major difference – aerial attacks. Due to his high movement speed, he can attack foes from all angles. Positioning is key while playing Striker, thus making him one of the most challenging classes to control. However, his massive damage output combined with high mobility and increased crit chance makes him a killing machine. Even if you’re struggling to land your skills, crit chance and attacks speed boost also apply to your teammates.
A female counterpart to Deadeye with multiple guns to wreak havoc on the battlefield. Her swift movement coupled with a 10% increased crit buff to ranged attacks makes her an excellent choice for a PvE DPS class. She’s a solid option when playing solo, and her passive buffs are also beneficial to her party members. With Peacemaker build, you can use all of her weapons at once, and unlike Deadeye, she can be effective at all angles.
She’s a walking arsenal and excels in possible build paths. You can even play a mid to long-range build that ignores the shotgun in favor of the pistols and sniper rifle. The only real downside of the Gunslinger is the early game. But once you get over it, the later sections of the game feel incredibly rewarding. An excellent class for those seeking a challenge and flexible enough to attack from any range and angle.
The main benefit of Artillerist is his versatility. Thanks to his jack-of-all-trades abilities, he can fit in almost every team. Although he’s a master of none, it doesn’t mean he’s incapable of being effective regardless of the chosen role. However, keep in mind that he won’t excel in any task given. The Bard provides better shield support, Gunlancer is a better tank, and there are classes with more damage and better movement speed. But the Artillerist is an optimal choice regardless of chosen playstyle.
Classes from B-tier can be as versatile and helpful as those from higher tiers but are more challenging to master. Usually, B-tier characters have easier counterparts that can do the same job with less effort. B-Tier is viable in the hands of experienced players or one-trick ponies who dedicated themselves to mastering a specific character.
Lost Ark is known for blending high-fantasy with science-fiction elements. Deadeye is a perfect representation of this statement. Like Gunslinger, he wields three different guns and deals substantial damage with a 10% crit buff to all of them. It’s a challenging class to play, so mastering it can be very satisfying.
However, the biggest flaw of Deadeye is that you can achieve a similar result with the less advanced class. But it all comes down to preference. If Deadeye’s lore and vibe are eye-pleasing to you, there’s no reason to not try him. Every class can achieve its top-tier potential; this one is simply more challenging than the others.
Soulfist is a proud owner of the most damaging ability in the game. Her entire kit revolves around Spirit Bomb, which is her iconic ultimate. Unfortunately, you can’t say the same about her other skills. With both ranged and melee abilities, mastering this class is clunky but rewards you with an excellent scaling for later stages of the game. The ultimate is also not the easiest to land since it takes several seconds to deploy and is heavily dependent on landing crits while it’s active.
As the name suggests, Destroyer is meant to destroy everything on its path. He’s a powerful, aggressive tank DPS warrior. A good Destroyer can turn the tides of almost every losing fight as he is designed to do so. He has a high impairment and destruction effect on his skills that can destroy every boss in the game.
Learning boss mechanics or animation canceling while fighting with one is usually not required. However, playing as Destroyer can be difficult because it is hard to line up certain attacks. He requires patience and precision, which is one of the main reasons he’s so low on this list.
Sharpshooter is the only pure long-ranged character in the game. Every Lost Ark class has at least one melee ability, while Sharpshooter attacks only from afar. He deals a huge amount of damage, has stagger and adds a 6% increased buff to the whole team. From the stats alone, he deserves to be placed much higher on the list if it wasn’t for his poor performance in close combat.
Lost Ark’s game style revolves around being in the center of the action, so if this doesn’t appeal to you, look for a more hybrid character. You might want to choose a Gunner with more versatility, like Gunslinger or Altirrelist. All in all, Sharpshooter is probably the most unique character out of all. It’s the only ranged class character where you have to keep your distance from enemies and avoid being hit.
Upon reaching level 50 in Lost Ark, you’ll be able to participate in PvP endgame activities. This list focuses on PvP classes that excel in solo queue ranked games. Remember that picking up a character from the highest tier won't automatically make you a prodigy in PvP combat. Whether you’re more of a fighter type or you lean toward support classes, without experience, you won't be helpful in team fights. So before you think of testing out a new character in ranked, please test it out in PvE first.
Also, keep in mind that this list is not meant for the highest level of play and world tournaments. Coordinated teams are the exception in most PvP matches at the moment, especially with random teammates. Here you will understand the strength and weaknesses of each character and how they are perceived in the meta.
Like the PvE list, the characters listed here are the most effective in the PvP arena. Their stats and skillset are ideal for 3v3 matches, and they don’t require good coordination to succeed. In the right hands, an S-tier character can single-handedly turn the tides of any match and lead his PvP team to victory.
Great character to pick up both in PvE and PvP. She can deal damage up close or from afar, but she’s clearly better in ranged combat. The massive amounts of damage she deals, coupled with bonuses to critical hits, make her a safe and reliable pick. An experienced player can instantly 100-0 an enemy without him even noticing. However, while she deals the most damage in PvP matches, she’s also extremely fragile. Make sure your teammates will protect you while wreaking havoc on the battlefield.
One of the strongest supports that can deal outstanding DPS damage with his strong identity skill. They’re made to be played aggressively due to their crowd control abilities. You have to be careful though, as Paladin lacks super armor so he can be taken down eventually by experienced players.
We’ve covered everything you need to know about Shadowhunter’s gameplay in the PvE section. Just remember she’s more vulnerable outside of her Demon Form and can be easily punished. Use her hybrid nature to stay safe and still be effective.
Taking control of the battlefield with the amount of CC Sorceress provides is a pleasure to watch. She excels in dealing consistent, big damage throughout the match. A top-tier sorceress is great at positioning herself while taking almost no damage from enemies. It’s crucial when playing her as she lacks mobility, so she needs a lot of practice before playing competitively.
She’s the most useful support in both tier lists and the best pick for PvE and PvP. You simply can’t ignore her ability to heal teammates and make them invulnerable to CC for a short period of time. However, you have to be an experienced player and have knowledge of your enemies' abilities. Then, you can play accordingly to their actions as Bard is a very fragile class.
Beginner friendly, tons of protection, big hitboxes, and high movement speed. What’s not to like? Deathblade is a solid pick in every scenario, especially in isolated combat and team fights. Despite her low base attack damage she’s a popular choice for PvP fights. Her cooldowns are pretty low, so they had to nerf her in other aspects. However, you’ll be just cannon fodder for your enemies if you waste her cooldowns. On top of that, seeing her wreaking havoc with three swords is a sight to behold.
There are a lot more characters to choose from in A-Tier. They’re noticeably harder to get the most value out of them since they require good team comps to mitigate most of their weaknesses. I’ve decided to skip the description of these characters since all are covered in the PvE list.
Classes from B-Tier can be as strong as the rest but require significantly more practice. If a specific character from this tier is appealing to you in particular, they can be very valuable in the right hands with enough dedication.
As you can see, picking the right class is not an easy task in Lost Ark. Fortunately, if you’re not a professional playing competitively, any class can give you an advantage over other players with proper practice. All classes in Lost Ark are so well designed, that you’ll be having lots of fun regardless of your choice. But if you’re more result-focused, our tier list is everything you’ll need to climb the ladder in ranked games.