Is Lost Ark Pay To Win? Check Before Playing

We’ve all been there – you decide to check out a new ‘free-to-play’ (F2P) game, only to discover that players with tons of spending cash win no matter how much you grind. It’s safe to say that whenever a new F2P game is released, gamers automatically wonder if this is really the case, and the release of Lost Ark has brought the same question.

Lost Ark is free, but features in-game purchases that may speed up the grind for wealthier players. However, since items can be acquired by playing the game and the model does not involve unfair PvP encounters, Lost Ark can still be enjoyable for F2P players.

Playing a game where you end up chasing your tail in an attempt to catch up with wealthier components just sucks all the fun out of this beloved hobby. Thankfully, while Lost Ark does feature optional payments and transactions, you can still have an amazing experience with some skill and determination.

Does Lost Ark Cost Money?

Playing Lost Ark will not require you to pump your savings into the game. In fact, you don’t need to pay anything to play the game. Lost Ark, a newly released MMORPG that began its journey in Korea, is classified as a free-to-play (F2P) game for any fantasy-loving enthusiast who’s interested.

But, much like any modern game, Lost Ark can cost money in some cases. No game dev team can create and maintain their projects without some form of monetization, and this new release is no exception.

All games need money to stay alive, whether it’s obvious to the players or not. Without monetary gain, the developers wouldn’t get paid for their jobs, and the stakeholders who had invested in the game’s development would see no returns on their initial investments – quite a big problem.

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It would be unfair for any enthusiast to jump into a game expecting the devs to receive no monetary rewards for their hard work. Pay-to-play (P2P) games may have fewer additional payment and transaction options in-game, but this is usually since it may not be necessary.

Things are trickier for F2P games and their developers, and they often add purchasable features or luxuries where players pay money in return or simply to show support. So, while you can spend money on Lost Ark, this is entirely optional, and you can still enjoy the game without paying a single penny.

Lost Ark Payment Model

Lost Ark does not require a subscription fee or one-off payment to play the game. However, the developers did offer a few special packs to gamers who simply couldn’t wait to start playing.

Lost Ark Founders Packs

Founders Packs were made available for players to purchase, each of which included different extras, including downloadable content, cool cosmetics, and other benefits. They offer a ton of epic extras, purchasable on Amazon and Steam, and are effective from as early as February 8th – shortly before the official release on Friday, February 11th.

Bronze: $14.99

  • 3-day Head Start
  • Founder’s Exclusive Pet
  • 30-Day Crystalline Aura
  • Founder’s Title

Silver: $24.99

  • 3 Day Head Start
  • 1000 Royal Crystals
  • 30 Day Crystalline Aura
  • Founder’s Title
  • Silver Supply Crate

Gold: $49.99

  • 3 Day Head Start
  • 4000 Royal Crystals
  • Founder’s Exclusive Pet
  • 30 Day Crystalline Aura
  • Founder’s Title
  • Gold Supply Crate
  • Founder’s Exclusive Skin
  • Character Expansion Slot

Platinum: $99.99

  • 3 Day Head Start
  • 7000 Royal Crystals
  • Founder’s Exclusive Pet
  • 30 Day Crystalline Aura
  • Founder’s Title
  • Platinum Supply Crate
  • Founder’s Exclusive Skin
  • Character Expansion Slot
  • Founder’s Skin
  • Founder’s Exclusive Mount
  • Platinum Welcome Crate

These offers may have contributed to the idea of the game being pay-to-win. However, apart from currencies, crates, and mounts, most of the content included in these packages would not have provided a massive unfair advantage to its purchasers. Some inclusions were limited to cosmetics or non-influential extras, or are only temporary.

Is Lost Ark Pay To Win?

The official Lost Ark Twitter account stated that they intended this game to be “fair, fun, and a great gaming experience where in-game purchases are completely optional”. The game was not intended to be pay-to-play or pay-to-win, but some aspects may be viewed as P2W depending on the context.

Players have heard this all before, and it’s understandable that you may be taking this statement with a pinch of salt. But, there is a massive difference between players being able to choose between taking a F2P or P2P approach, and the game being P2W in itself.

Although seeing the option for in-game transactions can quickly lead any cynical gamer to the “P2W” conclusion, this isn’t always the case. As mentioned, game devs need to make money somehow, and no high-quality game can be completely void of monetary gain for its creators.

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Having optional payments and transactions does not make a game pay-to-win, it simply means you can show the developers how much you love their work! The main aspect that would make a game P2W is whether its in-game purchases and transactions provide unfair advantages to players who spend money while ruining the game for F2P players.

Lost Ark may be seen as a pay-to-win game by some – and for valid reasons. But, PvP isn’t really a factor in an open world. You can spend money on Lost Ark, but it does not mean you’ll rise to the top purely based on your in-game purchases.

What Can You Buy In Lost Ark?

Quite a few Lost Ark items are available for purchase, including mounts, cosmetics, and currencies such as Silver, Gold, Crystals, Royal Crystals. Most cosmetics have very few tangible advantages. But, items like pets, mounts, and currencies may be another story.

Currencies can be used to buy materials, consumables, repair and buy gear, purchase items from in-game vendors, reforge, get stat-boosting avatars, and much more. Pet subscriptions add defensive and offensive stats to your character, cards provide bonuses, and mounts can increase movement speed.

These are only a few examples, so some in-game purchases can make things easier for those who spend money. But, in most cases, the effect is far less compared to the advantages seen in full-on P2W games.

Is a Lot of Grinding Required?

Lost Ark does require a steady grind for F2P players. Silver, Gold, and Crystals can be earned by completing quests, achievements, raids, and other tasks. So, F2P players are not entirely disadvantaged since you can acquire the same items by simply playing the game – although it’ll take longer.

Although it may be frustrating to see someone buying their way through the game, the Lost Ark devs have tried to create a somewhat fair playing field. It’s great to know that, with some effort, gamers can get the same consumables, items, common currencies, and rewards by just focusing on the grind.

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The only way players would ‘win’ by spending real money is potentially completing the game sooner than others. This simply means rushing through without enjoying the experience, you’d just be standing there with OP gear and no memories to show for it – which, isn’t really a win.

Spending money on Lost Ark is entirely up to you, and you can have an amazing time completely for free or show your support with in-game transactions. Either way, Lost Ark promises to be an epic experience for absolutely anyone, whether you plan on dropping cash stacks or simply enjoying the journey.

  • Jeijei is an eccentric oddball obsessed with anime, sci-fi, and fantasy. She spends her free time enjoying movies and video games, especially MMOs & RPGs, whether it be PC, console, or mobile.