Once you reach level 50 in Lost Ark, you will have a huge experience at the end. Chaos dungeons, Guardian raids, island quests, and more await you. But before embarking on any of these challenges, you need to make sure your item level matches the level of content you’ll be facing.
Like your character, the items you find in Lost Ark also have their own level, called “item level”. Item leveling is a simple but important aspect of grinding at the end. Let’s understand what an item level is, how to level it up, and give some tips on how to quickly level up an item.
What is an item level?
In Lost Ark, all weapons and armor you get are item level. This number is used to determine how powerful your character is and what types of content they can participate in. The higher your character’s overall item level, the more activities they can perform and the higher levels of content you can complete. It is very important that you increase this stat once you reach level 50 in order to unlock most Lost Ark endings.
At the beginning of the game, items are incredibly low level. As you level up your character in Lost Ark, you will receive items with higher item levels that will give your character more powerful stats and even ability upgrades when you reach the end. You will start the finale at around item level 250 – this is the first tipping point for Chaos Dungeons and Guardian Raids. Thanks to the honing system and end-game rewards, you will be able to level up items to 1000 and gain access to T3 content, the most difficult content currently available in Lost Ark.
Tip: If you are level 50 and don’t have level 250 gear, complete the Shushary quest in the northern part of the map. This will give you a gear set with a high enough “item level” to start clearing the Chaos Dungeons.
Item Level Up
Your main source of item level is gear honing. When you reach level 50 for the first time, you will need to complete several Chaos Dungeons to get your first set of gear. With this gear, you will need to talk to a vendor in your city’s crafting district. In Verne, it is located in the southern part of the castle.
At the very beginning, three materials are required to sharpen an item:
- Shards of stone;
- Harmony Stones;
- Shards of harmony.
Note: Only weapons and armor can be honed. Ornaments and Ability Gems do not level up the item, instead they grant engraving progress and character stats.
The type of stone shards depends on the item you want to upgrade. Weapons require Destruction Stones, while Armor requires Guardian Stones. Harmony Stones and Shards are used for all types of weapons and armor. When you reach T2 and T3 content, the material types will also change. Shards of stone will become just stones, Shards of harmony will become Shards of life, and so on. Clearing content at the maximum item level of your character will ensure that you get the right gear upgrade materials.
When you enter the hone user interface, you will see a “upgrade” button below the percentage sphere. This area shows how successful the modernization will be. Yes, equipment upgrades have a chance to fail, spending all resources in the process. Failing to enchant will not destroy the item you want to upgrade, only the materials you used. Failure will also increase your chance of a successful honing, which is displayed in the Artisan’s Energy of this item.
To increase this chance, you will need to invest Harmony Shards. Inserting the maximum amount guarantees a successful update on the first few levels of honing. However, once you exceed a certain number of upgrades, the upgrade chance is no longer guaranteed – even if you invest the maximum amount of Harmony Shards into the upgrade. This is where additional items for honing come to the rescue. Items such as Breath of the Star further improve honing success, making it less likely that an upgrade attempt will fail. Items can reach +20 rank before having to be completely replaced, although most will replace their equipment with +15. Even if this happens, keep your updated gear transfer kit (explained later).
Receipt of materials
The main sources of materials for honing are Guardian raids and Chaos dungeons. Completing any of these quests yields a decent amount of honing materials, so make sure you complete two quests each day. If you complete the daily quests, you can mine the Chaos Dungeons for currency that can be used to purchase additional honing materials, up to a weekly limit.
However, we strongly recommend that players who are just starting the game complete quests on the islands in order to obtain materials for sharpening. Completing these quests will net you hundreds of Stone Shards and dozens of Harmony Stones, so they are absolutely worth your time. The Lost Ark community has created a great resource for all of the island’s rewards, which you can view here. To begin with, we recommend that you clear Glacier Island and as much of Shadow Isle as possible. This will give you more than enough materials to reach level 400+. Once you’ve completed the missions on these islands, you’ll need to rely on the Chaos Dungeon and Guardian Raid daily clears.
Note: You can also purchase enchant materials from other players at the Auction House or Mara’s Secret Shop in the Lost Ark in-game store. We do not recommend using either method unless absolutely necessary.
Using gear transfer
Of course, as you play Lost Ark, you will find better items. You can invest thousands of materials in improving any item, and only then the best option will become available to you. In these situations, you can use the item transfer system to transfer upgrades from one item to another, allowing you to upgrade your gear without having to worry about item leveling down.
Using the equipment transfer system is incredibly simple:
- Go to a local honing dealer in your city;
- Click on the Equipment Transfer tab at the bottom of the dialogue menu;
- Select the item you want to improve;
- Choose a suitable upgraded item;
- Transfer levels to your upgraded item, destroying your upgraded item in the process.
This process is incredibly cheap and has no chance of failing, so be sure to level up when you find the best items for your character.
Tips for farming item levels
- Complete the missions on the island once you reach level 50. For completing these tasks, you will receive materials for upgrading. The distribution of rewards for them can be found here;
- If you’re short on time, send a stronghold team to complete a Chaos Daily Dungeon or Guardian Raid for you;
- Always put the maximum number of Shards of Harmony into the honing process. This will increase the chances that the improvement will not fail;
- When you find a weapon or armor of a higher quality than the one you are using, use the equipment transfer system to transfer the upgrade process to a higher quality item;
- While not directly related to “item level”, make sure you only replace jewelry and ability gems when they have the best stats or engraving. They don’t give “item level”.