Gear Honing Guide – Lost Ark

In this Gear Honing Guide for Lost Ark, you will learn how to upgrade weapons and armor in Lost Ark and the various facts you should know about upgrading.
item upgrade lost ark weapon armor

Weapon and Armor Upgrading in Lost Ark is called Gear Honing, and is an essential part of gear progression in the MMORPG. In this Gear Honing Guide for Lost Ark, you will learn how to upgrade weapons and armor in Lost Ark and the various facts you should know about upgrading.

While items can technically be upgraded by 25 levels, up to a +25 rating, Lost Ark really is designed around getting to +15 in any of the tiers. Your goal as a player should be trying to stay at the current tier gear, and reaching +15 on all of your gear. This is the case because after +15, each level gets exponentially more expensive, and also less likely to succeed, which means even more chance to spend way more materials for a small upgrade.

Remember that you can find all kinds of guides in our Lost Ark Guides article if you are searching for anything else in particular.

How To Upgrade Gear in Lost Ark

1. Go To Gear Honing NPC

Go to a Gear Honing NPC located in any of the major cities in Lost Ark. You can find them on the map by locating the Steel Hammer icon.

Gear Honing Location on Map lost ark
Gear Honing Location on Map
Gear Honing NPC lost ark
Gear Honing NPC

2. Choose Your Upgrade Item & Material via Gear Honing

Choose your item on the left hand side of the UI screen after you have spoken to the Upgrade NPC. Now you can choose any fragments you have in your inventory or bank vault in order to fill the EXP gauge. You will choose from Harmony, Life, or Honor fragments, representing Tier 1, 2, and 3 of the fragment item type.

Enhance Gear XP
Enhance Gear XP

You can obtain the fragment materials from many daily and weekly tasks such as Una’s Tasks, daily quests, Chaos Dungeons, Guardian Raids, islands, treasure maps, and dismantling.

3. Verify Required Materials

Each upgrade also will have required materials. The UI will tell you what you need based on the item you are upgrading. For example, you may need Guardian Stones or Destruction Stones, Leap Stones, and Fusion Material. Sometimes you will need to pay silver and gold as well, depending on the tier and upgrade level of the item you are upgrading.

Upgrade Materials for Gear Honing lost ark
Upgrade Materials for Gear Honing

For Tier 1 items you will not need silver. You will only need Gold and Fusion Stones after upgrading passed item upgrade level +11.

Now you will click to start the upgrade. Each upgrade has only a certain percentage chance (see table later in this guide) that it will succeed in upgrading to the next level for the item. If you fail to upgrade the item, it will not deteriorate, it will just simply take the materials you used and you will need to try again with more materials.

4. Add Special Materials To Increase Success Rate

At the next page of the UI, you will be offered to use Additional Materials such as Star’s Breath, to increase the odds of upgrade success. Depending on the cost of refining materials on your server, you may want to save these materials for weapon upgrades as they are the most important to upgrade first.

Increase Success Rate Chance lost ark
Increase Success Rate Chance

You can use these training auxiliary materials to increase your success rate to 100% chance, all the way up to item upgrade level +15.

5. Upgrade the Item

You can now proceed to upgrade the item. If you didn’t add auxiliary materials and therefore didn’t have a 100% success rate, you may fail the upgrade. If this is the case, you will need to use more materials to try again.

Upgrade Successful lost ark
Upgrade Successful

What Happens When The Upgrade Fails?

As mentioned earlier, you will lose the materials you put in to upgrade the item. The item will not get downgraded ever, thankfully. When you fail the upgrade, you will also have an added chance to upgrade successfully on this item in the future. Each time you fail, the chance of success will grow, but it is not by much. For example, if an item has a 10% chance to succeed but it fails, the next time it may have 11% chance to success. Each time in this item’s case, would add only 1% more likelihood of succeed.

lost ark upgrade fail
Upgrade Fails Feelings

When you fail an upgrade in Lost Ark, you will also gain Artisan’s Energy. This is an energy gauge that fills up more and more each time you fail. Once it fills to 100%, your next upgrade attempt will be guaranteed to be successful. Note that if the bar is partially filled and you succeed an upgrade, it will reset back to 0%. This energy bar works as a mitigation to bad RNG luck, so that eventually you know you will succeed the upgrade. Each time you fail consecutively, you will gain larger amounts of Artisan’s Energy than the previous fail.

Additional Tips for Gear Honing in Lost Ark

Through your Stronghold Territory, you can eventually unlock research that will give you a discount on the materials that are needed to fill the EXP from step 2. This research will also grant you +10% success chance on all upgrades up to item level +15. This is a great bonus to have while you continue to upgrade your items.

You should also take advantage of Recycling your items that have been upgrade, especially when they are within the same tier bracket. Recycling your items will allow you to transfer the upgrade levels from one item to another, costing you A LOT less in the long run.

When the seasons and tiers progress through, patches will come out that increase the success chances of older tier upgrades up to +15. If you know a new tier is coming out soon, you may decide to hold off on upgrading items in case they introduce this extra catch up mechanic.

Detailed How Item Upgrades Work – Tier 1

You may note here that the Weapon Attack rating seen here is not equivalent to damage. It is not a linear equation and therefore, the higher weapon attack you have, the less of an increase it actually is in Attack Power. This table and reference comes directly from Saintone’s Google Drive Doc:

Before referencing the charts below, please remember that Weapon Attack is not 1:1 with Attack Power gain:

  • At 20,403 Weapon Attack I’m at 20,975 Attack Power
  • At 16,294 Weapon Attack I’m at 18,744 Attack Power
  • At 708 Weapon Attack I’m at 3,907 Attack Power

Item LevelWeapon Enhancement LevelBase Success ChanceGold Cost (Per Attempt)Weapon AttackIncremental Weapon Attack Gain %
540 +1270%1031927.26%
600 +1540%1038405.96%
650 +1720%1543806.57%
675 +1815%2046506.16%
700 +1910%2049205.81%

While it is possible to upgrade passed +15, it is not necessary to do so until you get to Tier 3 in the 3rd Season. During the Tier 3 content it will be necessary to get to a +20 median item level. The main appeal to players to get to +20 is that your weapons will glow at that level, so it is more of a flex for cosmetic purposes at that point, as the power gain is minimal.