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Lost Ark Trade Skills guide: How they work and tips for leveling up

Lost Ark wastes no time before throwing legions of demons your way — but it’s not until you’ve invested several hours in the game that you’ll unlock Trade Skills. These give you a relaxing way to enjoy Arkesia and fill your pockets with both silver and useful resources.

Everyone should invest a bit of time into developing their Trade Skills in Lost Ark, as it’ll better prepare you for the endgame grind. There’s also a time-gated resource to account for, which limits how often you can gather resources each day. From fishing and foraging to logging and hunting, here’s everything you need to know about Lost Ark‘s Trade Skills.

Further reading

Lost Ark Trade Skills explained

Trade Skills are a huge part of Lost Ark — in fact, an entire sub-menu and hotbar are dedicated to tracking your level, equipped items, and unlocked skills. You’ll typically earn a new ability for each Trade Skill every ten levels (such as the ability to gather new resource nodes), although Mastery Skills (which confer benefits such as improved chance at finding rare resources or improving your tool’s durability) are usually enhanced at every level.

Much of the Trade Skill system is shared among its six sub-groups, but here’s a closer look at each.

Excavating

Excavating is one of the most labor-intensive Trade Skills in Lost Ark. It’s also unique to the game — while fishing and foraging are included in most MMORPGs, excavating will be unfamiliar to even veterans of the genre.

In order to excavate, you’ll need to use two different abilities on your hotbar. First, you’ll need to use Sonar, which will let you know if there’s a relic in your vicinity. It’ll also give you visual clues to let you know if you’re getting closer to a hidden object — sort of like a Lost Ark version of the “Hot or Cold” game you played as a kid.

Once you’re close to the hidden relic, you’ll need to activate the Relic Search skill to pinpoint its position. You’ll then be able to dig up and collect the relic. It’s not for the faint of heart, although you can unlock serious rewards for taking part in the search.

Fishing

Lost Ark player fishing on a dock.

Unlike excavating, fishing is about as simple as it gets. Just walk over to a Fishing Spot and cast out your line using the Float Fishing skill. You’ll eventually unlock new abilities such as Throw Bait or Net Casting, although their mechanics remain largely the same.

As you level up, you’ll improve your odds of catching rare fish and shorten the length of time before fish start biting. It’s a basic skill (Lost Ark itself describes it as “boring”), but there’s no doubt it’s an easy way to earn some silver and take a much-needed break from questing.

Foraging

Every Lost Ark player should have no problem leveling their Foraging skill, as nodes are often placed just a few paces off the main path between objectives. Simply click on one and your character will start pulling out any available resources.

Initially, you can only collect plants, but once you hit level 10 and unlock Vegetation Expert, you can start collecting mushrooms. If you like the simplicity of fishing but don’t want to put your adventures on hold, make sure you take a closer look at foraging.

Hunting

Lost Ark takes a unique approach to hunting. Instead of tracking game and dispatching them with your basic attacks, you’ll need to slot the Throw ability into your hotbar. This is a projectile attack that only works on game, killing the target and leaving their pellet and other items intact for harvesting.

If you’re having trouble locating targets, you can use the Search ability to highlight any wildlife in your area. Reaching higher levels in the skill unlocks Trap Hunting and Tracking, which let you passively catch prey or use tracking clues to locate high-level animal hideouts.

Logging

Lost Ark player harvesting wood.

Although you’ll need to find specific nodes (not all trees are harvestable), each location offers a wealth of resources. Expert loggers will earn the ability to kick trees and harvest special rewards, and hitting level 20 lets you plant saplings that will eventually turn into mature, harvestable trees.

Unlike some other Trade Skills, logging can be tackled with a friend. If you and another player are harvesting the same node, you’ll begin working together to fell the tree — letting you gather rewards at an accelerated pace.

Logging nodes are scattered throughout maps, but you’ll most often spot them just along the side of most roads. Be sure to keep an eye on your minimap for small icons that indicate their locations.

Mining

Mining lets you gather ore and other materials from mineral veins. Expert miners can set explosives to quickly gather ore, while level 20 unlocks Moonlight Miner — which increases the odds of harvesting special items.

Just like logging, mining nodes can be spotted on your minimap. Keep an eye out for these as you travel, but be warned that mining is often one of the most popular Trade Skills for newcomers and you might be fighting others for resource nodes.

What is Life Energy?

Life Energy is a time-based resource required for using Trade Skills. It maxes out at 10,000, and each Trade Skill action will reduce this value by a set amount. There are a variety of in-game items that modify your Life Energy usage, although it also recharges at a rate of about 4,000 every day.

Because of this limitation, it’s in your best interest to start training Trade Skills as soon as possible. Since you’re limited to a set amount of Life Energy each day, grinding to catch up at later levels isn’t the best tactic.

You’ll also want to focus on just one or two Trade Skills and try to hit level 30 as soon as possible. This will give you access to some of the best resources in the game, along with a solid revenue stream if you’re ever running low on silver.

Trade Skilling locations in Lost Ark

Lost Ark map with Trade Skill nodes highlighted.

If you’re looking to level up a specific Trade Skill, you’ll want to pay close attention to your map. Pressing the M key will open your World Map and pull up your current location. At the top right corner, you’ll see spots for six icons — one for each of the Trade Skills. This gives you detailed information about Trade Skill locations that you’ll find in this realm. For example, Lakebar in West Luterra offers fishing and mining, but you won’t find any excavating, logging, hunting, or foraging options.

As you travel around each location, nodes for logging, mining, and foraging will often show up on your minimap. Hunting and excavating, however, typically won’t appear on your map. This means you’ll need to rely on your hotbar abilities to help you locate your targets.

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