Armor in Lost Ark are pieces of equipment worn by players to mitigate damage dealt by Enemies and Bosses, as well as other players in the case of PvP activities. Armor is divided into several categories depending on the slot they are worn in and each armor piece has its own set of stats and other effects which contributes to a player's overall defensive capabilities. Armor also changes the appearance of the player character for cosmetic purposes. This page covers information on Armor in Lost Ark.
Lost Ark Armor Guide
Armor in Lost Ark is divided into 5 categories which correspond to the armor slot they are equipped in. These slots are the Head, Shoulders, Chest, Hands and Legs. Armor pieces are exclusive to a specific Class but there are often similar or equivalent pieces available for other classes within a given bracket. Armor can be obtained in a number of ways: via Crafting, found as drops from Enemies and Bosses, as rewards from Quests and other activities such as Dungeons, Chaos Dungeons and Raids.
Similar to other types of equipment, Armor have their own stats and parameters that determine their effectiveness in combat. This includes stats such as Physical Defense, Vitality, as well as bonuses to player attributes such as Dexterity and Strength. Armor can also be upgraded to further improve some of these parameters.
Each piece of Armor also has certain features which further affect their protective capabilities and boost the stats that they provide. The most impactful of these are Rarity, Grade and Item Level. Upon reaching level 50 and getting access to endgame content, these features become especially important to pay attention to.
Like most Equipment and Items, Armor come in different rarity tiers which denotes their overall strength. Higher rarity armor are usually stronger and can have more stats and effects on them. Rarity is color coded in the game for easy distinction. The different Rarity tiers are as follows:
Armor Grade is a colored gauge found in the top of the item's tooltip. When items are obtained, a Grade is rolled randomly ranging from 1 to 100. An item's Grade influences its Additional Effects. In the case of Armor, the Additional Effects are flat bonuses to Physical Defense, Magical Defense and Vitality. The higher the item's grade, the better these bonuses are.
Across your adventure in Lost Ark, you will pick up many, many duplicates of items which have identical properties, except for the Grade. Between two identical items with the exact same Rarity and Item Levels, the Grade will be the deciding factor in which is the better item. This is especially important for Weapons, as their Additional Effect offers a percentage bonus whereas for Armor, the Additional Effects are flat bonuses which are a nice addition, but not essential.
Armor Item Level
Item Level (also known as Gear Score) is a numeric value assigned to an item and is an overall indicator of an item's strength. A character also has an Average Item Level indicated on their character sheet, which is an average of the Item Levels of their current equipment. The equipment that influences a character's Average Item Level are the Weapon, Helmet, Chest Armor, Shoulder Armor, Gloves, and Pants that they have equipped. Note that Accessories do not have their own Item Level and therefore do not influence the character's Average Item Level.
The character's Average Item Level is more than just an overall marker for a character's combat strength, however. Upon reaching level 50, you will find that most endgame content is gated behind certain Item Level thresholds. This means that in order to participate in certain activities, you will need to raise your Average Item Level which will consequently allow you to fair better against the content's enemies and difficulty level.
Item Level can be improved in small increments by Upgrading your equipment, up to a maximum for each tier. See the upgrading section below for details.
Item Sets & Effects
Weapons and Armor can belong to a Set and equipping several items in the same set will provide special Set Effects such as improving movement speed or creating a protective barrier for a limited time when you are attacked. Set Effects and the amount of pieces required to activate them can vary from set to set.
In order to understand Item Tiers, it is important to understand Content Tiers as the two go hand-in-hand once you hit level 50 and are beginning endgame content.
Endgame Content in Lost Ark is segmented into Tiers, with major content releases signifying the start of the next tier. For example, the Vern and Rohendel Chaos Dungeons, the Ur'nil and Lumerus Guardian Raids, and the Valley of Beasts and Dream Palace Abyss Dungeons are all considered Tier 1(T1) content. As such, these activities will drop T1 Equipment and/or the materials required to craft/upgrade them.
Important: The NA/EU version of Lost Ark will launch with T1 content and will take some time to catch up to T2 and T3 which are available in other regions at the time of this writing.
Within Content Tiers, endgame activities are further segmented into three subtiers: Lower T1, Middle T1 and Upper T1. Equipment available within a content tier will also correspond to these subtiers. In this example, Lower T1 Gear will have a base Item Level of 302. Middle T1 Gear will drop with a base Item Level of 340 and Upper T1 Gear will drop with a base Item Level of 385. However, keep in mind that activities are gated by a player's Average Item Level, so you cannot simply go for the Upper T1 activities in order to obtain the best possible gear. This is where item Upgrading comes in as each piece of equipment's Item Level can be improved in small increments until you are able to hit Item Level requirements for the content you are looking to do.
Therefore, the general endgame progression is starting at the lowest subtier and acquiring gear from activities that you have unlocked, upgrading them to increase their Item Levels in order to hit the next subtier and so on.
Each individual armor piece can be upgraded a number of times, up to +20. Each upgrade level raises the piece's item level slightly, and consequently its Basic Effects which include Physical Defense, Magical Defense, Class Main Stat and Vitality. Upgrading items is a highly nuanced process that involves a success/failure rate and can become very expensive at higher levels and tiers of gear. However, formerly upgraded items can also be 'Recycled' into your newer items in order to alleviate the upgrade process.
Upgrading armor is done through the Upgrading Craftsmen NPCs who can be found in all major cities. They are denoted on the map with a Hammer symbol. Speak to the Craftsman and select the Upgrading option at the bottom. The window will list all of your upgradable equipment on the left and selecting one of them will allow you to begin the crafting process which involves two steps:
Step 1: Treatment
Before you can upgrade your armor piece to the next stage, you must first treat it by filling its Treatment XP bar. This can be done on the Upgrade page. Click the Treatment button and you will be directed to the Treatment page where you must use Fragments to fill the XP bar. Fragments are treatment materials that can be obtained from various sources such as Chaos Dungeons, Daily and Weekly Activities, as well as Quest rewards and through dismantling items. Each content tier will require a different type of Fragment to upgrade items. For Tier 1 content, Fragments of Harmony are used. Treatment will also cost some silver.
Once the armor piece has been treated, you can continue on and upgrade it to the next level. Note that this Treatment process needs to be performed once for every upgrade level. However, in the event that an Upgrade fails, you will not need to repeat the Treatment process and can simply go straight to another Upgrade attempt.
Step 2: Upgrading
Once your Armor piece has been treated and you have the required materials, you can click the Upgrade button. Armor requires Guardian Stones as a primary material and Leap Stones as a secondary material for upgrading. Similar to Fragments, these materials will vary from tier to tier. Depending on the item tier and current upgrade stage, it will also cost some Gold, Silver and Fragments.
After selecting Upgrade, you will be directed to a Summary page for the Upgrade attempt. This page will list the Upgrade's base chance to succeed. The base chance is 100% for the first few upgrades but subsequent upgrades will have incrementally lower chances of succeeding. Higher tier items will also have even lower base chance to succeed the higher they are in the upgrade stage. From the Upgrade Summary page, you will have the option to use Catalyst materials to improve the base chance for success by small increments. You can only use a certain amount of these catalysts per upgrade attempt. Additionally, you can use rare Amplifier materials which will boost your chances to 100% or boost your upgrade by several levels.
Should the Upgrade succeed, your Armor's item level will increase by a small amount and its basic effects will also improve. The item will also get a prefix at the beginning of its name, indicating its upgrade level ranging from +1 to +20.
If the Upgrade fails, however, the Armor piece will not be destroyed, downgraded or lose its durability or stats. The only consequences of failing an Upgrade is that you will have lost the materials and resources paid to attempt the upgrade. As noted above, you will not have to Treat the armor piece again even if you fail. Furthermore, for every time you fail an Upgrade, the item gains a small boost to its base chance to succeed on subsequent attempts. Additionally, every failure will also grant you Craftsman's Energy, which is a percentage value denoted in the Upgrade Summary page. If Craftsman's Energy accumulates to 100%, your next attempt is guaranteed to succeed. Craftsman's Energy is essentially a Pity Counter which guarantees that items can always be upgraded if given enough attempts. You will gain more Craftsman's Energy on an item the more times you fail. If you succeed before your Craftsman's Energy reaches 100%, it will be reset to 0.
The Treatment and Upgrade process is repeated over and over until you reach your desired upgrade level. In most cases, it is not worth going past +15 upgrades because a new Content Tier will eventually be released and with it, a new tier of items with higher item levels. Do not make the mistake of discarding your old upgraded items, however, as their upgrade levels can be transferred to these new items (up to a certain extent) via the Recycling feature.
Recycling items is the process of transferring over your item's upgrade levels over to a new item. This is done in the case that you obtain an item with better Rarity, Grade, Tripod Effects, Set Bonuses or even purely for aesthetics. For example, if you have a +15 weapon, but find a weapon with a better Grade and therefore better Additional Effects, you can recycle the original weapon onto the new one to gain the new weapon's Additional Effects while retaining your hard-earned upgrade levels and carrying over the Item Level and base stats.
More importantly, Recycling is used to break through to higher item subtiers and tiers without having to completely upgrade new gear from scratch. For example, while you can technically keep using and upgrading Lower T1 items (base iLevel of 302), you will begin experiencing diminishing returns at around +15 as upgrading becomes more expensive and the chance to succeed becoming exceedingly low. To combat this, you will want to jump onto Middle T1, which have a base iLevel of 340 and therefore a higher potential ceiling for upgrades.
Important: Recycling items onto others within the same subtier will transfer the full upgrades. However, transferring between subtiers and tiers will transfer only a portion of your upgrades. The more upgrades the original item has, the more upgrade levels are transferred. At +15, moving up a subtier will carry over +6 of your upgrades but the resulting item will have the same iLevel at +6 as the original item had at +15. You will then begin upgrading this new item up to +15 again, reaching new iLevel heights and the process will repeat itself as you move through subtiers and tiers all the while making progress on your overall Average Item Level.
The Recycling process is straightforward and involves the same Craftsmen NPCs. Speak to one of these NPCs and select the Recycling option at the bottom. Next, select the item you wish to transfer to and a list of all eligible transfer materials will be shown on the right. There are a few caveats to this process:
- You can only transfer items to other items that fit in the same equipment slot. Weapons can only transfer to weapons. Head armor can transfer to head armor, but not to shoulderplates, gloves, etc.
- Grade is not transferrable. The new item will retain its original grade even if the recycled item has a better Grade. For this reason, it is best to try and acquire a new item with a good Grade before transferring your upgrades over.
- Tripod Effects are not carried over. There is a separate system for transferring Tripod Effects.
- If the item you are recycling has been Treated, the Treatment XP will carry over.
Unlike Upgrading, there is no success/failure rate involved and the Recycling process is guaranteed to succeed. Recycling items will require resources such as Guardian Stones and Fragments, as well as Silver.
Armor Sets in Lost Ark are complete combinations of individual Armor pieces. When a certain number of Armor pieces from the same set are worn together, they provide the player with bonus Set Effects such as boosting Attack Speed, Attack Damage, Movement Speed, etc. Some Set Effects are situational and take effect when certain conditions are met such as when fighting Boss-level enemies or higher. Armor Sets are more common with higher rarity equipment and not every armor piece will belong to a set. This page covers information on Armor Sets in Lost Ark including set piece, set effects and more.