Lost Ark guide: How to choose the best class for your playstyle

Lost Ark Classes

As I mentioned in my Lost Ark beginner guide, all the classes in this MMORPG are viable for endgame PvE content. While some are better than others at PvP, your skill with your class is far more important than perceived power levels. And Smilegate RPG is constantly adjusting the classes to ensure they remain in balance. With that in mind, let’s talk about how each class plays in Lost Ark so you can pick the one that best suits you.

If you’d like a brief look at what each class can do, you can check out the classes page on the official website. It’ll give you a look at some of the abilities as well as a brief description of how each class plays. You can also check out the class videos on the Lost Ark YouTube channel. I encourage you to start with these two resources, because they’ll give you a good initial impression of the classes.


When picking your class, you want to look for a playstyle that suits the role you want to fulfill in-game. Roles in Lost Ark are a little different from other MMORPGs. There is no holy trinity of tank, healer, damage dealer. However, there are classes that lean more towards the tanking and support roles. There is also a wide variety of damage dealing styles. All the classes bring something unique to the table, so let’s look at some popular playstyles from other MMORPGs and see how we can apply them to the Lost Ark classes.

The classes that can tough it out

If you enjoy the classic tank role, the class you will most likely enjoy is the Gunlancer. It’s the only class in Lost Ark that has a taunt. Plus, the Gunlancer’s Defensive Stance allows him to soak up a lot of damage and simply ignore some of the boss mechanics that other classes need to be quick to avoid. While the Gunlancer can still dish out a hefty amount of damage, its major downside is its lack of mobility.

Lost Ark Gunlancer

The Artillerist and Scrapper are two more durable classes capable of shrugging off a few hits. The Artillerist uses his transforming gun to deal substantial damage from long range, and he can resist enemy crowd control effects. If you like heavy weapons, explosions, and a bit of sci-fi aesthetic with your MMORPGs, then check out the Artillerist.

If you prefer tackling foes head-on and punching them in the face with large gauntlets, then you should give the Scrapper a look. She specializes in staggering bosses and flooring mobs of enemies. The Scrapper also has loads of moves with Super Armor that make her immune to crowd control.

They can’t do it without you

For now, Lost Ark only has two support classes, the Bard and Paladin. And at least one of them is essential to a party for endgame content. The other classes will struggle to clear dungeons and raids without supports, and these two provide shields, damage buffs, and a bit of healing to help a party perform at its peak.

The major difference between the Bard and Paladin is the playstyle. The Bard is a ranged spellcaster, while the Paladin is a melee sword wielder. If you prefer to stay back and focus on your rotations and landing your buffs precisely, then the Bard is the way to go.

Lost Ark Paladin

The Paladin is for support players who like to be in the thick of a battle and dish out a bit of damage along with providing shields and increasing the party’s damage. However, if you want to focus solely on dealing damage, don’t go Paladin. Endgame parties won’t appreciate you not providing the buffs they expect. The Paladin’s playstyle also makes it better at soloing content than the Bard.

The other thing to consider is that the Bard is female, and the Paladin is male. Unfortunately, in Lost Ark, classes are gender-locked. So, you can play a wide variety of unique classes, but you can’t play the gender you want.

The melee damage dealers

I’ve separated the pure damage dealers into three groups, melee, ranged, and the ones who fall in between. Keep in mind that pretty much all these classes offer some form of buff or debuff to a team, but their focus is to deal damage. They also have unique class mechanics that impact their playstyles.

If you like the classic warrior style of fighting, with a massive sword right in the face of your enemies, then you’re going to love the Berserker. The class is very beginner-friendly as well, so consider it if this is your first time venturing into Arkesia.

Lost Ark Deathblade

The Deathblade is another classic fantasy archetype. It’s the quintessential assassin. Her moves are flashy, and she’s excellent at zipping around the battlefield. However, if the Deathblade gets caught, she dies quickly. So, you need to be quick. She also looks very cool wielding her three blades.

The Striker is the only male Martial Artist class. It is essentially the male version of the Wardancer. The two classes have a very similar playstyle – fast, elemental strikes and kicks that build energy to unleash devastating attacks. The Wardancer does have more team buffs than Striker, but both feel impactful. So, you can choose which one you prefer largely based on gender.

The ranged damage dealers

There are two classes in Lost Ark that are almost entirely focused on dealing damage from afar. They also both have a damage buff that they need to keep applied to enemies to ensure the entire party deals more damage. They are the Sorceress and the Sharpshooter.

For those who enjoy the archer archetype, the Sharpshooter is your man. He’s agile, wields a mechanical bow, and has a hawk companion. On top of that, the Sharpshooter has a selection of melee damage abilities that he can weave into his attack rotations for some extra threat at close range.

Lost Ark Sorceress

The Sorceress is the choice for players who want to feel like a powerful magician. She unleashes elemental magic from the backlines to devastating effect. The Sorceress can take some time to cast her spells, making her less agile than the Sharpshooter. However, she has the ability to blink to help her escape danger.

The inbetweeners

This batch is the most intriguing to me and features some of the best classes in Lost Ark. They are ranged characters that are highly effective fighting up close, and traditionally melee classes that deal damage at medium range. They’re a little more unorthodox, which I love.

The first is the Soulfist. She is one of the Martial Artist classes in Lost Ark, but instead of focusing purely on melee damage, she also has abilities that extend beyond her reach. The Soulfist can increase her power levels like a Dragon Ball character to deal massive burst damage. One of the class’s Awakening abilities is a move similar to Goku’s Spirit Bomb from Dragon Ball Z. So if you like energy-wielding martial artists and Saiyans, you’re probably going to love the Soulfist.

Lost Ark Soulfist

The Gunslinger and the Deadeye are another example of Smilegate slowly removing the gender lock on classes. They both wield three types of guns, a shotgun for close range, dual pistols for medium range, and a rifle for long-range. Both classes can swap between weapon stances to change their gun, which means they can have 16 skills equipped, which can be a lot to keep track of. However, it also means they have more options in their arsenal.

The final class you can choose in Lost Ark, the Shadowhunter, is one of the best and will be my main at launch. The class has the agility and rapid melee attacks you would expect from an assassin. However, she can also call on demonic powers to attack enemies from medium range. The Shadowhunter has the ability to go full-demon mode to gain more skills, speed, and health. It’s a great class for those who like to tap into the powers of darkness to fight against the darkness. Illidan Stormrage, anyone?

Choose the Lost Ark class that best suits your style

I’ve run you through how each class in the game plays. Plus, I’ve given you a feel for their aesthetic. With that information, you can decide which class you like the sound of the most. And that’s what really matters in Lost Ark, playing what you enjoy. As I mentioned earlier, you don’t need to make the decision based on what you think endgame teams will need. They’re all viable options.

Logan Broadley
About The Author
Logan is an enthusiastic player of games (sometimes too enthusiastic according to his wife at 2 AM), and a video game reviewer, esports writer and gaming news writer. Originally from South Africa, he started out as a writer in advertising agencies, but has since moved on to a much higher calling: video games.