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Lost Ark sailing guide: The best ships, how to unlock, and more

Sailing is a significant part of Lost Ark, although you won’t get your sea legs until you’ve worked through much of its main campaign. Most players can expect this to take around 15 hours. Once you’ve finally unlocked ships and sailing, you’re bound to be overwhelmed with all the new content thrown your way.

If you want to learn more about the basics of sailing, how to unlock sailing, and which Lost Ark ships are best for hitting the high seas, here’s what you need to know.

Further reading

How to unlock sailing in Lost Ark

Lost Ark ship leaving a port.

Sailing will automatically be unlocked as you progress through Lost Ark‘s main storyline. You’ll be given the aptly named Set Sail quest — which will teach you the basics and give you your first boat. It’s not possible to miss the quest, and you don’t have to go out of your way to complete it. Just keep hammering away, and you’ll eventually reach the sea. For reference, your player level will likely be in the mid-30s before encountering the quest.

Every ship in Lost Ark

Lost Ark doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to sailing. While each ship is upgradable in a variety of ways, you’ll also have access to eight unique ships. These come with their own set of perks, including resistance to hazards and movement speed. Here’s a quick look at all eight:

  • Estoque: Base speed of 20.0, resistances are all equal.
  • White Wind: Base speed of 19.0, most resistant to Sandstorm Seas.
  • Sturmbrecher: Base speed of 18.0, most resistant to Cold Snap Seas.
  • Eurus: Base speed of 21.0, most resistant to Kelp Beds.
  • Brahms: Base speed of 18.5, most resistant to Siren Seas.
  • Tragon: Base speed of 18.0, most resistant to Tempest Seas.
  • Astray: Base speed of 22.0, resistances are all equal.
  • Eibern’s Wound: Base speed of 18.3, most resistant to Dead Waters.

How to upgrade ships in Lost Ark

Lost Ark ship upgrade screen.

To improve your odds when encountering hazards on the water, you’ll need to upgrade your ship. This confers a variety of benefits, including improved movement speed and overall ship durability. There are quite a few components you’ll need before upgrading your ship — although the game will let you know exactly which items (and quantities) are required.

While on the Sailing menu, select the ship you’d like to upgrade. From there, click the Upgrade button at the top-right corner of the screen. This will bring up a Ship Upgrade menu. Here you’ll find a detailed rundown of all items needed for the process. Upgrade materials typically include:

  • Timber
  • Ship parts
  • Blueprints

Many of these parts can either be purchased from merchants near ports, crafted at the Processor NPC, or found on the Auction House.

You can also improve your ship’s performance by hiring and equipping Sailors. While docked at a port, navigate to the Sailors menu at the bottom of the screen. This is where you’ll find any available Sailors. Many can be used with any ship in your fleet, but some of the best Sailors will only ride on specific ships. Be sure to check their details before adding them to your crew.

What are Pirate Coins?

Pirate Coins are a form of currency earned while sailing. Taking part in activities such as Marine Events and Island Quests will grant you a variety of rewards — including Pirate Coins. These in turn can be used to buy items from merchants docked at ports or upgrade your abilities.

What is the best ship in Lost Ark?

Lost Ark player sailing to a new location.

Lost Ark is a surprisingly balanced game. Whether you’re looking for an overpowered class or a sturdy ship, there’s not one that stands clearly above the rest. That makes it difficult to pick a “best ship,” as that title is often determined by what you’re currently doing.

If you’re looking to speed around the water as fast as possible, you’ll want to unlock Astray. As the boat with the fastest base speed, there are not many other ships that can keep up.

You’ll also want to pay attention to where you’re going to be sailing and pick a ship that has the best resistance for the task at hand. All eight ships in the game excel at handling specific hazards, so plan ahead and bring the ship that will best handle the threat.

Most players will find the Estoque to be a well-rounded ship that handles most threats with ease. It’s not necessarily the best ship in Lost Ark, but it’s easy to obtain (comes as part of the main campaign), is easily upgradable, boasts an impressive base speed, and has equal resistance to all threats.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a freelance journalist whose gaming addiction began with the SEGA Genesis. His work has been published on…
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