News & Guides

Lost Ark Guide: How Gems Work and What Gems Should Keep

By Jessie2023-02-16

The gem system is an important part of Lost Ark, which supplements your skills by granting gems additional bonuses to damage or cooldown. At the current endgame, some players have an issue that pushes gem levels and general confusion about where to stop. Here's some information to help you clear that up and decide how to move forward.



First, we will clarify some misconceptions about gems and help you better understand their role and how they work.


Blind Focus on Gems

As we know, high-level gems are very important in the endgame, so many players will keep upgrading them. But meanwhile, other significantly more important aspects of their characters also will be ignored, which in turn ends with them getting denied by parties.


Before turning to gems, focus on some things that will improve your character's functionality and appeal to party finders, as they cost less than gems.


Lost Ark Gems Guide Pic 1



According to the players' experience from Korea, most players will keep the level 8+ gems as an arbitrary gatekeeping mechanism to try and get mains for content on release, with the assumption that alts stop at level 7 due to high-cost efficiency and only main go further for the majority of players. But keep in mind that all contents in the game can be done with level 7 gems. It only needs your character to be on par with other requirements.


Real Value of Upgrading Gems

Most people think that the damage increased from upgrading a gem is the flat difference in percentage between the two gems. This is wrong, and we'll explain why.


Lost Ark Gems Guide Pic 2


Values calculated using this formula: [(100+new gem %) / (100 + old gem %) – 1]*100


The easiest way to understand this is to remember that when you upgrade a skill with a gem, the percentage you gain is added to the skill's base value, not the number you currently see, which a gem has already increased.


Using the formula above, the actual damage increase is the percentage difference between the two gem values.


Lost Ark Gems Guide Pic 3


Value calculated using this formula: [(100 + New Gem %) / (100 + old gem %) – 1] * 100 * skill DPS Contribution


Upgrading a single gem will only increase your overall DPS about how much that specific skill constitutes in your DPS distribution.


In this example, Surge constitutes around 60% of a surge deathblade's total DPS. Additionally, the distribution of DPS for other classes may be significantly different from this.


Lost Ark Gems Guide Pic 4


CDR gems have linear scaling. It means beyond level 8, the cost to efficiency ratio goes down. But DMG gems are different with it since there is also a spike in percentage increase.


In the game, almost every class can play their rotation with only level 7 CDR, and going higher only helps you to recover more easily from mistakes.


If you're not sure if you'll benefit from higher CDR gems, consult the community guide specific to your class.


What Gems Should You Get, and When?

We've figured out what gems do and what they're worth. And the following shows the normal progression for the majority of players.

Level1-4: Not worth paying attention to, even for alts 

Level 5: Starting point. A base level can play any class 

Level 6: It can be skipped to favor level 7 

Level 7: Functional rotation and can clear any content in the game. Expected standard for properly geared characters. 

Level 8: Generally skipped due to cost efficiency. CDR gems can have some use cases. 

Level 9: The Endgame goal for the majority of players. Not required to clear content. 

Level 10: Incredibly bad cost to damage ratio. Generally not worth chasing. Acquired through hardcore dedication or using the cash shop. 



Here are some examples of higher level gems.


Lost Ark Gems Guide pic 5


Sometimes you can upgrade CDR gems to unlock new combos or make performing them easier. Double doomsday on lgniter sorceress is a good of this scenario.


If you're unsure if you can benefit from certain higher CDR gems, consult the community guide specific to your class.


Lost Ark Gems Guide Pic 6


Some classes, like shadow hunter or Scouter, have most of their damage focused on a single gem. You can upgrade that gem to level 10 while ignoring the others. It is a good long–term progression goal.


Lost Ark Gems Guide Pic 7


Some players like to play several characters of the same class. If you fit into this category, the value you get from upgrading gems increases exponentially as it applies to your entire roster, and this becomes a very efficient damage boost.



In general, it's not worth it to upgrade gems above level 7. CDR gems rarely provide good value; for the most part, they only help your rotation become smoother without impacting your damage output too much. DMG gems can be used to increase your DPS, but they will become incredibly expensive. So they should be treated as min-max upgrades for dedicated players.


Lastly, whether you have top tier gems or not will not affect players to clear content in the game's current state. So if you don't have them, that is ok!



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