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Lost Ark Trade Skills - what are they and why are they important?

Fancy taking a break from all the brutal combat in Lost Ark? Trade Skills are a super important part of the game. Here's how they work...

Like any good MMO, Lost Ark is filled with a selection of side hustles and grinds that allow you to pillage the natural world to your heart's content. In Lost Ark, these are called Trade Skills, and are a crucial part of the Lost Ark experience regardless of how invested you are in gathering and and hard labour.

To help you get to grips with Trade Skills, we’ve created this short guide taking you through what Life Skills are, how they’re used, and how you should approach leveling your Trade Skills.

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What are Trade Skills in Lost Ark?

Trade Skills are a selection of professions you character can undertake alongside all the typical hack 'n’ slash action. You are first able to learn Trade Skills once you reach Lakebar early on in your leveling experience. Each has their own introductory quest, levels, and benefits, so it’s absolutely worth paying attention to once you’re first introduced to them.

Any time you desire, you can swap from your combat mode to a Trade Skills mode to begin gathering resources. This requires specialty tools for each Trade Skill and uses up a Trade Skill energy bar that replenishes over time.

The list of Trade Skills you can acquire includes:

  • Foraging – The gathering of plants and herbs. Allows you to create items that can come in handy during fights, such as potions.
  • Logging – Chopping down trees and looking good while you do it. Used to gather lumber which is primarily used at your stronghold for constructing buildings and maintaining your boat.
  • Mining – The art of gathering rocks and precious ore. Similar to Logging, this skill is all the source for many resources you’ll need at your Stronghold.
  • Hunting – A crafting Trade Skill where you go out and hunt in the wild for valuable materials. Used for creating specialty items, and catalysts used in late-game crafting.
  • Fishing – the patient Trade Skill for those who like to sit back and relax. Fishing, like Hunting and excavating, is a source of certain resources used in crafting.
  • Excavating – If you're all about dusting off old treasures this is for you. The third and final crafting Trade Skill which is crucial to all players for securing those late game items.

Progress through Trade Skills is shared across all your characters, so regardless of what character you’re playing on at a given time you’ll be able to continue training in your chosen skills without hindrance. This, as you may imagine, makes the process of gathering resources on side characters way easier.

What do you use Trade Skills for in Lost Ark?

Now that you have a general idea of how Trade Skills work? As briefly mentioned above, each Trade Skill has their distinct uses. They can be split into two general groups – Stronghold skills and gathering skills.

As you’re building up your stronghold, both logging and mining are invaluable. The resources they provide allow you to build and upgrade your stronghold, which is immensely important in the late game as you look to create specific pieces of gear or consumables.

The other four – Foraging, Fishing, Hunting, and Archeology – are all used to collect shared resources that is used throughout numerous valuable items. It’s a great idea to pick up and level at least one of these at one time, as every player will need the materials these Trade Skills create.

How do you level Life Skills in Lost Ark?

As mentioned during our fast-levelling guide, you shouldn’t focus on Trade Skills as you level your main character the first time around aside from gathering the materials you need to improve your stronghold.

However, once you’re ready to dedicate your time to doing so, you should make sure to use up your Trade Skill energy bar whenever it’s full. Since this energy bar takes a while to recharge, you really don’t want to leave it maxed out if you care about being efficient.

On that note, with this information in mind you’re ready to go out and try out these skills for yourself. For more Lost Ark guides, check out our articles on how to pick a class in Lost Ark, and what cards do in Lost Ark.

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