Before your Lost Ark journey properly begins, you’re going to have to answer the question that is already stumping millions of players: “What is the best class in the game for me?”
So far as that goes, Lost Ark is one of those RPGs that benefits from shockingly well-balanced classes that all bring something interesting to the table. Whether you’re a PvE player, a PvP player, or like to dive into both modes, it’s easy enough to pick the Lost Ark class that just “feels” right to you and learn to do well with them. You’re almost always better off picking the class that you enjoy playing the most over a class that you don’t really enjoy but suspect might be “better.”
However, I completely understand if you want to go into Lost Ark with at least a slightly better understanding of where every class stands in the overall rankings. Keeping in mind that these rankings can change based on future updates, specifics scenarios, your own abilities, and what players may discover about each class in the coming weeks, here’s a rough look at where every Lost Ark class currently stands for PvE and PvP play:
Lost Ark: Every PvE Class Ranked Worst to Best
Lost Ark: PvE C-Tier Classes
Lost Ark: PvE B-Tier Classes
Lost Ark: PvE A-Tier Classes
Lost Ark: PvE S-Tier Classes
What we see in the C-Tier are a few classes that sometimes struggle to distinguish themselves from the competition. I may be underrating Scrappers slightly in a PvE environment, but there are other classes that tend to be able to do a little more without having to manage as many mechanics and resources. Just know that they’re still more than capable in most PvE scenarios if you take the time to figure them out.
Deadeye and Deathblade are also respectable PvE DPS classes, but they shine much brighter in PvP (more on that in a bit). You can certainly use them in PvE if you just want to focus on one class, but they’re just a step below the next tier of classes in terms of what they bring to the table vs. how “difficult” it is to get the most out of them.
In the B-Tier, we have a few PvE classes that you can either move up a tier or down a tier depending on how well you play them and what kind of group they are in. That’s especially true of Shadowhunter and Soulfist, which are two “transformation” classes that can be tricky to get the most out of until you really put some time into learning how to master them. Artillerist is in a similar spot, though I think their “survivability” helps their learning curve.
Sharpshooter and Striker are interesting. They’re two classes I love that tend to rely on speed to a degree that sometimes comes at the cost of their pure damage potential. They’re fun to play, and you won’t hate having them in a party, but if we have to start drawing lines between the DPS classes, I’d say that’s the line that separates them from the rest of the pack in this category.
The A-Tier is where we start to see classes that are a bit “easier” to get more out of. Wardancer’s solid DPS skills are elevated by some incredibly useful buff abilities that make them great to have in a raiding party. Gunslingers can be difficult to learn, but they’re a great ranged DPS class that can really dish out some incredible damage in a variety of scenarios.
Berserker and Sorceress are just phenomenal damage dealers, full stop. It’s hard to top the raw damage that a Berserker brings to the table, and a good Sorceress has an answer to pretty much everything. The latter’s incredible AoE abilities are also phenomenal.
At the top of the list, we have three classes that you just can’t replace. Bards top the list by virtue of being a class that makes every party they’re in significantly better than they would be otherwise, while Paladins’ ability to support, soft tank, and still dish out some damage makes them a real jack of all trades. As for Gunlancers…well, they just can’t be beaten as pure tanks.
Lost Ark: Every PvP Class Ranked Worst to Best
Lost Ark: PvP C-Tier Classes
Lost Ark: PvP B-Tier Classes
Lost Ark: PvP A-Tier Classes
Lost Ark: PvP S-Tier Classes
PvP is generally a bit tougher to rank than PvE simply because there are so many variables and matchups to consider. That being the case, it really comes down to which classes you’ll get the most out of in the most common PvP scenarios.
So far as that goes, Striker and Sharpshooter run into a similar roadblock: what you put in vs. what you get out. Strikers’ CC abilities are certainly powerful (and they can steamroll specific opponents), but they’re generally not as good in team scenarios and they lack some of the versatility of other options. Sharpshooters are also seemingly built for PvP, but their big cooldowns and squishy nature mean that they can get thrown off their rhythm a bit too easily.
I like Scrappers a little more in PvP than many other players, but their higher defense and strong combos are ultimately hindered by their susceptibility to CC abilities that can pretty much shut them down. Artillerists would also probably be bumped up a tier were it not for the fact that they’re a bit too slow and a little too easy to counter.
Just as it was in our PvE rankings, the B-Tier is filled with classes that can be bumped up or down a tier depending on how comfortable you are with them.
Soulfists have a lot to keep up with and tend to rely on specific combos performed at the right time, but they can turn the tides of battles pretty quickly. Berserkers are still powerhouses, but their lack of mobility and viable CC options is much more obvious in PvP than PvE. Wardancers are surprisingly tanky and bring interesting defensive options to the table, but they can be awkward to effectively fit into a PvP team due to their hybrid style and aren’t always the best in one-on-one situations (though they could easily be bumped up a tier if you’re really good with one). Shadowhunters, meanwhile, can steamroll certain opponents but sometimes struggle to reach their final form against skilled players.
Deadeyes move into the A-Tier by virtue of their versatility and ability to survive (and thrive) in tough close-range scenarios. Gunslingers remain tough to master, but you can’t deny their damage potential or how annoying they are in PvP. Gunlancers are also simply frustrating to deal with in team battles, while a great Sorceress makes up for their lack of defenses with their ability to remain at a safe distance at most times while still dealing incredible damage.
Bard and Paladin find themselves atop the tier list yet again by virtue of their incredible support options that simply can’t be replaced in team battles (Paladins are also quite capable in one-on-one scenarios). Meanwhile, Deathblades (the class pretty much made for PvP) rightfully find themselves near the top of this list due to their ridiculous combination of CC, anti-CC, stealth, and low-cooldown abilities.
Lost Ark: What is the Best Class in the Game?
Putting aside our prior warning that there are quite a few good classes in Lost Ark (and all of them are viable), the lists above should give you a pretty good idea of where each class stands so far as the overall rankings go.
Simply put, Bard and Paladin are kind of in a tier of their own due to their viability in both PvE and PvP scenarios. Some players are just not going to enjoy playing the support role (especially in the case of Bard’s playstyle), but it’s hard to overlook what they bring to the game. Gunlancers are also prized for their unique playstyle, but you do need to be willing to commit to that tank life in order to learn to love them.
Sorceress and Gunslinger are two very interesting ranged DPS options that should appeal to players who want to keep their distance and really put the work into a class that is viable in PvE and PvP scenarios. If you’re looking for melee options that do very well in both modes, Wardancers and Soulfists are probably your best options. Shadowhunters are also solid (or better), in both, while Artillerists, Deadeyes, Strikers, and Sharpshooters are also fairly consistent (in ways good and bad) in both PvE and PvP scenarios.
Berserkers and Deathblades are particularly interesting since they excel in one mode (PvE and PvP, respectfully) and are noticeably worse in the other. If you’re going to pick one, it’s best to use the “boost” you get at level 50 on an alt character that will thrive in the mode your primary class is weak in.
Scrappers are really the only class oddity at the moment. I’ve seen good Scrapper players do incredible things with the class, but you really have to love their playstyle in order to get past how much time you’re going to need to put into mastering them.