Lost Ark is a free-to-play game with no subscription required to play like there is in several other MMORPGs.
Because you don’t have to pay anything to create an account and play, many people are afraid that Lost Ark is a pay-to-win game.
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It should come as no one’s surprise that the main purpose of a game like Lost Ark from the developers and publishers’ side is to make money.
Lost Ark makes money by selling various in-game purchases, including boosts for a number of days, items to upgrade your character’s power, and cosmetics.
Compared to other RPG games, Lost Ark doesn’t have a high level of pay-to-win to it. It is possible to buy your way to maximum power without having to grind, but you can become strong enough for end-game content without paying anything in a reasonable amount of time.
Table of contents
Is Lost Ark pay-to-win?
No, Lost Ark does not have a heavy pay-to-win aspect to it. As it is a free-to-play game, there are in-game purchases you can buy to make your character stronger without having to grind, enabling you to progress and gear up faster than others.
The fact that you can buy your way to a stronger character doesn’t mean that paying players have a big advantage over others, as the cost of increasing the power of your character with real money is high and you can in a reasonable amount of time acquire gear strong enough to take on all content in the game with a group.
In other words, free-to-play players can easily compete with those who spend money on the game, which is why Lost Ark is not considered a pay-to-win game.
Even though Lost Ark isn’t pay-to-win, you can pay to skip some of the time it would take to reach the same level of character power, but this doesn’t have any consequences for the vast majority of players who choose not to spend anything.
Furthermore, Lost Ark is a mechanics-based game, which means that how strong your character is doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to maneuver properly and the tactics of battles.
A paying player could spend all the money in the world on gear but deal 5% of the damage of someone who hasn’t paid a dime against a raid boss, given that the free-to-play player has great mechanics and knows tactics.
Some of the strongest items in Lost Ark can’t even be obtained through purchases. They can only be obtained through grinding.
What are the advantages of paying in Lost Ark?
As a freemium game whose goal, in the end, is to make money, Lost Ark has several things you can purchase with real money. Some give advantages, and some don’t.
There are three overall categories of items that you can purchase with money in lost Ark:
- Items that upgrade your character’s power
- Items that allow you to progress faster
Items that upgrade your character’s power are what most players associate with pay-to-win. Lost Ark does have some of these, which means that you can pay your way to a stronger character.
However, as outlined in the previous paragraph, Lost Ark doesn’t have a strong element of pay-to-win with these types of items, as it costs an enormous sum to get any real advantage over free-to-play players, character power means nothing without mechanical skills and strategy, and some of the strongest items in the game have to be obtained through grinding – they cannot be purchased.
You do get an advantage by purchasing items that increase the power of your character in Lost Ark, but the way the game is set up, you cannot rely on this alone, and the advantage isn’t that significant over non-paying players.
Items that allow you to progress faster in Lost Ark include boosts like the Crystalline Aura and items that allow you to repeat content more times than regular.
These items give you the advantage of being able to progress faster in the game through discounts and other extra utility but give no direct power increases. Many players call these items pay-for-convenience.
Cosmetics in Lost Ark include skins, mounts, and pets, and they give no advantage in terms of progression rate or character power.
That’s all you need to know about whether or not Lost Ark is pay-to-win!
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