Lost Ark Sailing Guide – How To Unlock Sailing and How It Works

Smooth sailing.

Following the main story in Lost Ark will lead you to explore the first continent in full, traversing dozens of different areas. That being said, this isn’t everything that the MMO has to offer — there are entire continents out there waiting to be visited, each with their own storylines and events. This is all thanks to Lost Ark sailing, and this guide explains how to unlock and how it works.

If you’re in need of more help, we also have guides covering a walkthrough of the main quests, the main character mechanic, how to unlock a free pet, whether to save or run away from Gerka, leveling to 50 and what to do, two Powerpass tickets, the hotfix schedule, best classes for PVP and PVE, Ghost Ship and Shangra locations, and 16 tips that may come handy.

How to Unlock Sailing in Lost Ark

In order to unlock Lost Ark sailing and embark to other locations, you’ll have to progress through the main quests. There is no way to access this mechanic early if you’re not caught up with the story, which means it will take a while until you can go out and explore the seas.

Lost Ark Sailing 3

Specifically, you’ll have to travel all the way east by following the story until you stumble upon Wavestrand Port. Then, you’ll have to complete yet another storyline, which involves the following main quests:

  • The Wind Stays while Dreams Fade
  • A Quality Vessel
  • Find the Sneaky Pirates
  • Three Sheets to the Wind
  • In Search of Pirates
  • Feartown
  • Lightshade Inn
  • Blackfang’s Whereabouts
  • Find Blackfang’s Crew
  • Whistle While You Work
  • Big Flare Up
  • Signal Your Intention
  • Rescuing Blackfang’s Crew
  • Clear Stormcry Grotto
  • Have to Half It
  • Set Sail!

They are not all time-demanding, so don’t let the long list scare you. Again, since the quests are part of the main path, you can’t miss them — it will depend on how long you decide to spend on other activities beforehand. I recommend unlocking sailing in Lost Ark as early as possible.

Lost Ark Sailing 2

Up to this point, think of the main story portion that you just saw as a first act, of sorts. The MMO doesn’t truly open up until you get to this sort of ending where your only main objective is Finding the Arks. In order to accomplish it, you’ll have to set sail and visit other continents, completing the so-called World Quests, while also getting to Combat Level 50, which opens up the endgame and all its activities therein.

In short: get to the end of this first portion of the story as soon as possible for the game to open up. Then prepare yourself, as Lost Ark sailing can be as complex and time-demanding as you want it to be.

How Lost Ark Sailing Works

In essence, you can just use sailing to get from point A to B, complete World Quests, and visit new continents in the process. Once you’re docked in a continent’s port, the game will work pretty much like before, having you traverse through areas on foot or using your mount. But there is much more to it.

Lost Ark Sailing 4
If you ask me, I don’t think they needed to go this hard on it.

You can spend countless hours customizing your ship or just buying a new one — of course, all of this comes with a cost, so if you’re already worried about your usual grind, you may not want to add even more on top. But the option is there. With sailing also comes Pirate Coins, which is a specific currency that can be earned from quests or by selling specific items to ship merchants.

As you navigate the sea, you can loot items just by pressing G as soon as you see the prompt on the screen, but that’s not all. Alongside continents, you’re free to explore dozens upon dozens of islands, each with its own distinct quirk or event waiting to be found. There is no shortage of activities, which means it can all become overwhelming fast. I recommend just sticking to World Quests for a while, and occasionally stopping on islands or other places as you’re passing by just to see what you find. But if you truly want to commit to sailing, you can expect ship battles, learning about specific terrains to work around them at your advantage, and recruiting NPCs as part of your crew.

[Disclaimer: All the screenshots were taken from an early build of the game that was available pre-release for coverage purposes.]