In accordance with the “massive” portion of the MMORPG acronym, Lost Ark’s world map is huge, sprawling six continents separated by vast oceans.
While the player begins their journey on the two-continent island of Luterra, the rest of the in-game world is within their scope as an adventurer.
The only barrier of entry to exploring the world — besides making progress through Luterra’s introductory questline — is that of transportation.
After aiding Thirain in the Battle for Borea Castle, the player will be rewarded with a royal ship at the prince’s behest.
Traveling to Wavestrand Port with the intent of having their ship built, the player instead finds their would-be ship commandeered by a band of pirates, leading them instead to Croconys Seashore for a slight bit more of adventuring on foot.
After a few sidetracks and sidequests involving these pirates, and provided the Set Sail quest has been completed, the player can take to the seas on an Estoque ship and explore.
Much like moving a character through the world, clicking in a direction will sail the ship in the direction of the cursor.
While sailing the player builds Fast Energy, represented by the orange meter at the bottom right of the sailing HUD. Once this meter fills, the player can activate four seconds of Fast Sailing by pressing space. When fast sailing is incorporated into efficient point-to-point sailing, repeated use can cut down on travel time drastically.
Alternatively, full meters of Fast Energy can be recovered from floating barrels by clicking on them as the ship passes through them. These barrels, represented by yellow dots on the minimap, can make for helpful detours over the course of a journey.
For around every 10 seconds of sustained sailing, ships will lose 25 points of health. However, these ships can easily be repaired at ports, at the cost of silver.
To ease the process of long-distance travel, and rather than clicking through an entire journey, the Auto-route system can be used to click (Alt and left click) a location on the map and have the ship sail straight to it in a beeline. While this process is automated, players can still make use of Fast Sailing to reduce travel time.
While enough content exists on the island of Luterra to keep players occupied and progressing through the game’s early stages, the main storyline will eventually lead them toward the continent of Tortoyk, in search of one of the six remaining Arks.
The primary purpose of sailing is to provide players with the means to traverse the different parts of the world beyond the means of Triports or Bifrost points.
- Bifrosts — limited in destinations and expensive per use
- Triports — do not work outside of the player’s current continent
When traveling at sea, players will notice that their minimaps and local maps often get dotted with palm tree icons.
These trees each represent one of hundreds of small islands, upon which the player can disembark and explore.
Some islands present opportunities to gather much-needed resources or to practice trade skills as a detour to the much longer journey ahead. Others feature entirely unique one-off quests and experiences.
Boombling Island, for example, located just northwest of Luterra’s Wavestrand Port and directly in the sights of most curious first-time sailors, features an isolated community of rock golems who just want to play a decent game of Bomberman.
New players should be advised, however, that most of these islands recommend a total equipped item level of at least 250 to survive their content.
Related: How to farm Pirate Coins in Lost Ark