Lost Ark‘s Engraving system offers a robust way to customize your character and differentiate yourself from the competition. Its true benefits won’t be seen until you’ve reached endgame, but there’s no doubt you’ll need to take full advantage of it to conquer the game’s most challenging content.
Whether you’re a newcomer to Engravings trying to figure out how it works or you just finished the main campaign and are ready to fully invest in some nodes, here’s everything you need to know about Engravings, Ability Stones, and accessing their beneficial perks.
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Engravings are passive skills that buff your character. That’s really all they are — the main reason the system feels complex is because of all the jargon that’s thrown your way. But cut through the fancy Arkesian language and you’ll quickly find the system to be both incredibly simple and supremely powerful.
Engravings are broken up into two categories — Combat and Class. Combat Engravings can be used by all characters, while Class Engravings are exclusive to a specific class. For example, the Igniter Engraving is only usable by the Sorceress class, and it gives them a unique perk that helps reduce cooldown times.
Once they’re unlocked, up to two Engravings can be directly equipped to your character, although more can be added using accessories and Ability Stones.
One of the great things about Engravings is that they can be leveled up to confer additional benefits. This is done by accessing nodes on your Engraving, which are depicted by small diamonds on the Engraving menu (in the above image, Drops of Ether has six accessed nodes). Every five nodes you access will level up your Engraving — in other words, the more nodes you access, the more powerful the Engraving effect. In fact, your Engraving won’t confer any benefits until it’s accessing at least five nodes.
To put it another way — Engravings contain 15 nodes, with every five nodes granting you additional perks. An Engraving with eight nodes has the same effect as an Engraving with five nodes, and an Engraving with 14 nodes has the same effect as an engraving with 10 nodes.
There are a variety of ways to access nodes on Engravings, and it’s important to take advantage of all of them. Here’s a quick look at all three:
- Engraving Recipes: Reading recipes for specific Engravings will both unlock it and level it up. If you hover over an entry for an Engraving on the Engraving Effect menu, it’ll tell you exactly which recipe (and how many) you need to read before leveling up. These unlocked Engravings can then be equipped by your character in the Gear menu to access its nodes. Each character can equip two Engraving — or you can equip the same Engraving twice to access double the nodes.
- Accessories: Some accessories will give you access to a variety of Engraving nodes. Be sure to pay close attention to these as you progress through the game and hang onto the ones you think will be useful for you during the endgame.
- Ability Stones: These items can be found throughout the world of Arkesia and can access a variety of Engraving nodes. However, they need to be faceted (see below) and equipped to have any effect.
Ability Stones are one of the best ways to augment your Engravings. You’ll find them by defeating enemies, searching each map, or as rewards for finishing a variety of quests. Ability Stones are items that can be equipped to your character to access additional nodes for your Engravings.
Once you’ve found an Ability Stone, you’ll need to facet it before gaining any benefits. Here’s how it works:
- Take your Ability Stone to a Stone Cutter. You’ll find them in all major towns, although the first you’ll come across is Brite in Luterra Castle.
- Click on the Ability Stone you want to facet. This will pull up a menu that shows two Engravings and one negative effect — each with several nodes.
- To facet your Ability Stone, you need to attempt to access every node for all three abilities. The success rate for each attempt is shown on the right of the screen. A failed attempt will increase this rate by 10%, while a successful attempt will decrease it by 10%.
- Once you’ve attempted to access all nodes (four for each ability in the above screenshot, with a total of twelve) the Ability Stone will be faceted and ready for use.
Ideally, you’ll access as many nodes as possible for the Engravings, while leaving the debuff with few accessed nodes. Unfortunately, it’s entirely up to chance, and you can’t use an Ability Stone until you’ve made an attempt on every single node.
With a fully faceted Ability Stone, open your Inventory and Gear menu. At the bottom right corner of the Gear menu, you’ll see a slot for an Ability Stone — simply right-click or drag the Ability Stone to the corresponding slot to equip it.
Once that’s done, head over to your Engraving menu to see how it’s altered your Engraving Effects. You’ll now notice a negative effect at the bottom of the screen, although it won’t be activated unless it has at least five accessed nodes.
Engravings take a few minutes to fully wrap your head around, but the system eventually becomes second nature. Here’s a quick recap of the system, along with a few pitfalls to watch out for:
- Engravings are passive abilities that are only activated when they have at least five accessed nodes.
- Nodes can be accessed by reading recipes, equipping accessories, or equipping fully faceted Ability Stones.
- Ability Stones can only be used after being fully faceted — that is, you’ve made an attempt on all nodes at a Stone Cutter.
- You can see all your active Engraving effects on your Character Profile under the Engravings sub-menu.
- Two Engravings can be equipped in the Gear menu. You can also equip the same Engraving twice to double the accessed nodes.
- Class Engravings often confer wildly different benefits and can radically change how you play the game. When you’re ready to invest in these, be sure to take a close look at how they’ll impact your character.
If you’re just getting started with Lost Ark, don’t worry about Engravings too much. The system is primarily built for endgame players, and there’s a good chance you won’t need their passive buffs to complete the main quest. Until then, simply horde your Ability Stones, check out a few Engravings you think sound interesting, and slowly learn the intricacies of the powerful system.
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