Lost Ark features a number of trade skills, each allowing you to gather the various materials used throughout the game. They offer a break from the main questing and dungeon crawling, and they’re worth doing if you want to be prepared for endgame activities. In this Lost Ark Trade Skills guide, we’ll go over the unlock requirements for trade skills and the uses of each one.
How to Unlock Trade Skills in Lost Ark
Trade skills are not available from the start of Lost Ark, requiring you to progress through the main story up to a certain point. Your adventures will eventually take you to Lakebar, an area in West Luterra. From here, guide quests will start to become available, which can be accepted from the Guide tab of your Quest Journal (default key J). Each one will teach you a new life skill, and give you a rare gathering tool upon completion.
You’ll need to reach the Lakebar main story quests to unlock trade skills on alts as well, though Lost Ark doesn’t incentivise using multiple characters for gathering. This is due to Work Energy, the resource required to gather, being shared across all characters. The upside to this is that you’re also not punished for gathering on multiple characters, as trade skill experience and the tools you use are also shared.
Lost Ark Tools and Work Energy
Each trade skill has a corresponding tool tied to it, which will be equipped to your trade skills tab (separate from your inventory and gear). They come in multiple rarities, from uncommon up. Higher rarities have better effects, but cost more to buy and repair. For most of your leveling, it’s best to use uncommon tools to save on silver.
When you buy tools, bonus effects are applied at random. These can range from Super Armor (very helpful for most trade skills), to a reduced chance of tool durability loss. Higher rarity tools will have more of these effects applied at once.
While using tools, both their current and max durability will be reduced, the former at a faster rate. These can be fixed at a repairer — current durability requiring silver, and max durability requiring trade skill tool restoration kits. Restoration kits are made at your Stronghold, but aren’t overly convenient to get.
Meanwhile, Work Energy is used to perform any trade skill action. It’s capped at 10,000, and restores at a rate of 30 per 10 minutes. This means that it’ll take more than 2 days to recover all Work Energy from empty.
You’ll be gated a lot by Work Energy, so it’s generally best to focus on only a couple of the trade skills at a time. It’s also worth noting that higher tier areas will drop rarer materials, but also require higher trade skill levels. While starting out, it’s best to gain levels and gather basic materials in the early areas (you’ll need a lot of ore and logs).
Lost Ark Trade Skills - Types and Uses
Foraging Trade Skill
Foraging has you gathering plants and mushrooms for use in a number of helpful crafting recipes (namely potions and bombs). Foraging spots are marked by leaves on the map, and nodes can be gathered from twice.
To gather mushrooms (used for bombs), you must reach level 10 in foraging. There are no active skills to unlock, meaning that it’s as simple as interacting with a node then moving on.
Logging Trade Skill
Logging involves chopping down trees (marked by a log on the map) to acquire lumber which can be used to upgrade your Stronghold or ships. Smaller trees will yield two sets of materials while gathering, with mature trees yielding three.
Level 10 logging unlocks the ability to gather from higher rarity lush trees. At level 20, you get the active ability Wild Growth. This will temporarily turn a sapling into a mature tree for extra gathering opportunities. At level 30, Kick Tree is unlocked. This guarantees special rewards, at the cost of 180 Work Energy cost and a 5 minute cooldown.
Mining Trade Skill
Mining nodes, as with foraging, can be gathered at twice. They’re marked by a blue rock on the map, and are often grouped closely together. Ores can be used for various Stronghold upgrades and gear.
Level 10 unlocks an RNG minigame that rewards rare materials for good timing. At mining level 20, you’ll have access to the active skill Moonlight Miner. This increases the drop rate of rarer materials, at a higher Work Energy cost. Another active skill, Mining Bomb, is unlocked at level 30. This destroys nearby minerals, dropping lots of ore at once.
Hunting Trade Skill
Hunting is where the trade skills start to branch out. By using the Search action, you can mark prey like rabbits with an icon above them. Then, you use the action Throw to lob axes at them. After killing your prey, you can skin them to gain meat and leather.
Hunter’s Eye at hunting level 10 will start causing prey to appear after interacting with nodes from the previous three trade skills. At level 20, it’s possible to set traps in certain locations. These catch prey after a certain amount of time, and you can still hunt animals actively at the same time. Level 30 unlocks Tracking, leading you to prey hideouts to find special prey.
Fishing Trade Skill
Unlike the other trade skills, fishing nodes (marked by a large fishing hook on the map) are always safe to gather due to a lack of enemies. However, the rewards aren’t as useful, with pearls generally being the most lucrative reward.
To fish, you use the Float Fishing skill at a fishing spot. Eventually a fish will start to bite, before dragging the float below water. Use Float Fishing again to catch the fish and potentially rarer pearls.
Level 10 fishing gives you the ability to throw bait, increasing the chance of rare Golden Fish from appearing. At level 20, Barrel Fishing is unlocked. This works similarly to traps for hunting, allowing you to set a trap to passively gather. The active skill Net Casting at level 30 requires you to gain stacks of the Off The Hook buff, gained randomly while catching fish. Using 5 stacks of this buff can be spent to unlock lots of fish at once.
Excavating Trade Skill
Excavating is unique in that its nodes do not show up on the map. Instead, you must search for them via the active skills Relic Search and Sonar. Relics are primarily used to craft tools and for certain pieces of gear.
Sonar will cause a sensor to start pinging. When it pings faster, you’re closer to a hidden relic. Once in the right place, Relic Search will cause any relics within the area to appear. From here, you can then dig them up for your reward.
The level 10 excavating skill is Loot Hunter, which increases the change of treasure chests appearing when relics are found. At level 30, you’ll get a Sniffer Dog, which increases the drop rate of rare materials for 3 minutes.
That's it for the Lost Ark Trade Skill Guide! Hopefully this helped you out - you can check out more guides below!