Life Skills are Lost Ark’s gathering skills. You use them to collect materials, which go toward upgrading and building structures in your Stronghold, along with creating tactical items. You cannot simply acquire the correct tool and begin gathering materials. First, you need to complete each Life Skill’s quest. In this guide, I’ll tell you where you can unlock each Life Skill in Lost Ark, as well as how to use the more complex ones.
You need two things to use any Life Skill: the Life Skill’s tool and Life Energy. You will be directed to a vendor to purchase a tool when you get the Guide Quest to unlock a Life Skill. Or you’ll simply be gifted a tool. When you complete this quest, you’re rewarded with a rare version of the Life Skill’s gathering tool. You can press ‘L’ to open the Life Skills page and see your equipped tools, as well as your current levels.
As for Life Energy, this is a limited resource that you need to be able to use a Life Skill. You have 10,000 total Energy, and it regenerates at a rate of 4,000 Energy per day. Now you can see how the Crystalline Aura can help you gather more materials. Life energy is shared across your account, so you can’t use alts to gather more. However, the rank of your Life Skills is also shared across all your characters.
Your first Life Skill – Mining
The first skill you unlock is Mining. This is done in Lakebar Village when you need to gather ore to make a crown for Thirain. An orange pop-up will appear in the center of your screen to activate the Mining Guide Quest. Accepting it sends you to the Trade Skills Guildmate, who will give you a brief rundown for Mining. She’ll then direct you to the vendor to purchase a pickaxe. Grab that, and then head out of the village to find some ore. You’ll be able to see it on the map or mini-map as a blue lump of rock. Find an ore node, press ‘G’ to mine, and you’ll get your materials.
Catch of the day – Fishing
In Lost Ark, the Fishing Life Skill is also unlocked in Lakebar Village shortly after Mining. You will receive the Guide Quest when you need to gather food for a feast. The process to get your rod and begin fishing is the same as mining. However, you can only fish at select spots, which are clearly marked on the map with a fishing hook. To fish, press ‘B’ to switch to your Life Skills. Then activate Float Fishing (the default button is ‘E’) when you’re near the fishing spot. Your character will cast their line into the water. Wait for the fish to drag your lure underwater and hit ‘E’ again to catch it. Easy.
Going green – Foraging
After Thirain learns the people of Freyad Village are starving, he asks you to help. This triggers the Guide Quest for you to learn the Foraging Life Skill. Click on the orange button that appears to accept it. Follow the purple quest markers to find Awella and learn how to Forage. This one is very straightforward. Like ore, you will be able to see plants you can harvest on the map and mini-map.
Become the hunter – Hunting
Just before you leave Freyad Lake for Bilbrin Forest, you will get a pop-up letting you know you can begin the Guide Quest to learn the Hunting Life Skill. Talk to the Trade Skills Guildmate by the exit of Freyad Lake. She gives you the Novice Hunting Tool. You can then head into Bilbrin Forest to perform your first hunt. It’s a little more complex than the other Life Skills.
Firstly, you need to be in a location that allows you to hunt; basically, anywhere you see critters like rabbits running around. Press ‘B’ to switch to your Life Skills and activate Search (default ‘W’). This places a target above the heads of animals you can hunt. Then you need to press Throw (default ‘Q’) and land a shot on the animal. If you succeed, you will be able to skin it. You can leave Search active all the time if you like, it does no harm.
Chop, chop – Logging
Once you meet Toibonen near the beginning of Bilbrin Forest, you’re able to accept the Guide Quest to learn Logging. Head towards the Spring Refugee Outpost to speak to the nearby Trade Skills Guildmate. She gives you your tool and a quest. You will be able to see trees you can chop down on the map and mini-map.
Digging up the past – Excavating
You receive the Guide Quest to unlock the final Life Skill when you get the quest “To the Battlebound Plains” in the Helmon Castle Ruins. Again, look out for the orange pop-up to accept the quest. Head to the exit of Bilbrin Forest to speak to Awella, who gives you an excavating tool. This gives you access to Sonar and Relic Search. You use these to uncover relics.
You can then proceed to the Battlebound Plains, where you dig up your first relic. First, you need to activate your Sonar, which spawns a blue tracker above your head. It beeps slowly, but increases in tempo as you get closer to a buried relic. When you’re close enough, the sonar ring changes to a darker blue. At this point, you must activate your Relic Search skill to locate the relic. It will reveal the location and you can run over to it and dig it up.
Useful Lost Ark Life Skills tips and info
When you complete a Guide Quest to unlock a new Life Skill in Lost Ark, you’re rewarded with a rare version of the gathering tool, as well as a potion that gives your Life Skill experience a boost. You also get a handful of materials from the Welcome Challenge associated with that Life Skill.
When you receive a new Life Skill tool, it receives random stats. So, make sure you always keep an eye out for better ones. On a similar note, as you level your Life Skills, they give you a better chance to gather rare materials, break less often, and gather faster.
Remember to use ‘B’ to change between gathering and combat mode. You know what they say: “Never bring a foraging glove to a demon fight.” Alternatively, you can switch off the automatic change to Life Skills when gathering. Just disable ‘Auto-load Trade HUD’ in the gameplay settings.
Life Skills tools have durability, which causes them to eventually break. However, you can simply repair them at an NPC or with repair items. There is no need to replace them unless you get a better tool.
For more help with Lost Ark, you can check out our beginner’s guide, our guide to get your first free pet, as well as a guide to help you choose your class based on your playstyle.