Lost Ark: How To Increase Your Item Level

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  • What Is Item Level?
  • Increasing Your Item Level
  • Obtaining Honing Materials
  • Using Gear Transfer
  • Item Level Farming Tips

Once you've reached level 50 in Lost Ark, a vast endgame experience will open up for you. Chaos Dungeons, Guardian Raids, island quests, and much more await. But before you can delve into any of these activities, you'll need to ensure that your item level is up to par with the content you're facing.

Just like your character, the items you find in Lost Ark also have a level tied to them, referred to as "item level" or "ilvl." Increasing your item level is a simple yet important aspect of the endgame grind. Let's delve into what item level is, how to increase it, and give some tips for increasing your item level quickly.

What Is Item Level?

In Lost Ark, all weapons and armor you obtain come with an item level. This number is used to determine how powerful your character is and what sorts of endgame content they can partake in. The higher your character's overall item level is, the more activities they can do and the higher content tiers you can clear. It's paramount that you increase this number once you reach level 50 to unlock most of Lost Ark's endgame content.

Starting out, items have an incredibly low item level. As you level your character in Lost Ark, you'll receive items with higher item levels, granting your character more potent stats and even ability-centric upgrades when you reach the endgame. You'll start the endgame at around 250 item level—the first breakpoint for clearing Chaos Dungeons and Guardian Raids. Through the honing system and endgame rewards, you'll be able to raise your item level over 1,000 and access T3 content, Lost Ark's most challenging offerings currently available.

If you reach level 50 and don't have ilvl 250 gear, complete the Shushire questline at the north end of the map. This will give you a gear set with a high enough ilvl to start clearing Chaos Dungeons.

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Increasing Your Item Level

Your main source of item level is going to be through honing your gear. When you first reach level 50, you'll want to complete a few Chaos Dungeon runs to get your first set of gear. With that gear, you'll want to speak with a honing vendor in the crafting district of your town. In Vern, it's located at the southern end of the castle hub.

Honing an item requires three materials when starting out:

  • Stone Fragments
  • Harmony Leapstones
  • Harmony Shards

Only weapons and armor can be honed. Jewelry and ability stones do not contribute to your item level, granting Engraving progress and character stats instead.

The type of Stone Fragments you'll need will depend on the item you're attempting to upgrade. Weapons take Destruction Stones, while armor takes Guardian Stones. Harmony Leapstones and Shards are used for all weapons and armor. When you reach T2 and T3 content, the material types will also change. Stone Fragments will just become Stones, Harmony Shards will become Life Shards, et cetera. Clearing content at your character's maximum item level will ensure that you're receiving the correct upgrade materials for honing your gear.

When you enter the honing UI, you'll see an "upgrade" button under a percentage orb. This orb tells you the change that your upgrade will succeed. Yes, upgrading your gear has a chance to fail, consuming all resources in the process. A honing failure will not destroy the item you wish to upgrade, only the materials you used. Failing will also increase your chance of a successful honing system, shown by that item's Artisan's Energy.

To increase this chance, you'll need to invest Harmony Shards. Investing the maximum amount will guarantee a successful upgrade for the first few tiers of honing. However, once you exceed a certain number of upgrades, your upgrade chance will no longer be guaranteed—even if you invest maximum Harmony Shards into an upgrade. This is where additional honing items come in. Items such as Star's Breath can boost your honing success rate even further, lowering the odds that your upgrade attempt will fail. Items can reach up to +20 ranks before they need to be replaced in their entirety, although most replace their gear at +15. Even when this happens, keep your upgraded gear set for gear transferring (explained later).

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Obtaining Honing Materials

Your main sources of honing materials are Guardian Raids and Chaos Dungeons. Clearing either activity will grant honing materials in decent quantities, so be sure you're completing two of each activity every day. Should you complete your daily runs of both activities, you can farm Chaos Dungeons for a vendor currency you can use to purchase additional honing materials, up to a weekly cap.

However, for players just starting out, we highly recommend you complete island quests for honing materials. You'll get hundreds of Stone Fragments and dozens of Harmony Leapstones from these quests, so they're absolutely worth your time. The Lost Ark community has created an excellent resource that showcases each island reward that you can view here. Starting out, we recommend you clear Glacier Island and as much of Shadow Island as possible. That should give you more than enough materials to reach ilvl 400+. When you've completed these island quests, you'll need to rely on daily Chaos Dungeon and Guardian Raid clears.

You can also purchase honing materials from other players in the Auction House or from Mara's Secret Shop in Lost Ark's in-game store. We don't recommend using either method unless you absolutely have to.

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Using Gear Transfer

Of course, you're going to find better items as you play Lost Ark. You might invest thousands of materials into upgrading an item, only for a better option to become available to you. In these situations, you can use the gear transfer system to transfer the upgrades of one item onto another, allowing you to upgrade your gear without worrying about lowering your item level.

Using the gear transfer system is incredibly simple:

  1. Visit your town's local honing vendor.
  2. Click on the "gear transfer" tab at the bottom of the dialogue menu.
  3. Select the item you wish to upgrade.
  4. Select a compatible, upgraded item.
  5. Transfer the levels onto your better item, destroying your upgraded item in the process.

This process is incredibly cheap and has no chance of failure, so be sure to gear transfer whenever you find better items for your character.

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Item Level Farming Tips

  • Complete island quests once you reach level 50. These quests shower you with upgrade materials. You can find a reward breakdown for them here.
  • If you're strapped for time, send your stronghold crew to complete a daily Chaos Dungeon or Guardian Raid for you.
  • Always invest the maximum number of Harmony Shards into the honing process. This maximizes the chances that the upgrade won't fail.
  • Whenever you find a weapon or armor piece with higher quality than what you're using, use the gear transfer system to transfer your upgrade process onto the better item.
  • While not directly related to ilvl, ensure that you're only replacing jewelry and ability stones whenever they have better stats or Engravings. They don't give ilvl.

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