Gear Honing System


Upgrading or transferring gear in Lost Ark cannot result in the item breaking or downgrading! It is however the only way to progress your character to higher endgame content in Lost Ark. Let's go more into detail about how to upgrade Gear using the Honing System and what to look out for when doing so to avoid potential mistakes.

Gear Honing Steps

1. Visit the Gear Honing NPC

Vern Castle Gear Honing NPC

Upgrading your gear can be done by visiting the Gear Honing NPC, displayed as a hammer icon on the minimap and found in any major city in the game.

2. Fill your Gear XP

Gear XP fill gauge

To initiate the upgrading process select an item of your choice and fill the XP Gauge of that item. This is done by paying a cost of Silver and Harmony Shards. Once filled, you can proceed to upgrading. The experience bar needs to be filled only once per enhancement level.

3. Upgrade Priority

All items have a 100% upgrade chance until +6 and start to reduce in success rate past this point. Different gear slots have higher damage and defensive bonuses compared to others. When going past +6, prioritize items in this order as they provide the highest benefits for your character:

Damage Dealers

  1. Weapon
  2. Gloves
  3. Shoulders
  4. Helm
  5. Pants
  6. Chest


  1. Chest
  2. Pants
  3. Helm
  4. Shoulders
  5. Gloves
  6. Weapon

4. Upgrade your Item

Success Rate and Upgrade Cost

When upgrading, every attempt costs you a set amount of materials and Gold. This cost depends on the level of your item and doesn't change until successfully upgraded.

Before upgrading you have the option to increase the odds of success by using a Star's Breaths, this item can be found through various activities like Field Bosses, Ghost Ship, Secret Maps, Cube and many more. Save these materials for upgrading your weapon, since it's your highest cost and value gear slot.

If you succeed, your item becomes 1 level higher, your accumulated Artisan's Energy gets restored to 0%, and you have to refill the XP Gauge once more to upgrade further.

If you fail, you are given a higher success rate for all subsequent upgrade attempts (up to a maximum limit). In addition, you start receiving Artisan's Energy.

For a detailed success rate & upgrade cost per level, check out the Upgrade Chart down below.

Artisan's Energy

Artisan's Energy System

Think of this as a pity system. Each failed upgrade attempt grants you a percentage of Artisan's Energy, in our example this is displayed as +13.49%. This number increases for all subsequent upgrade attempts (up to a maximum limit) until it reaches 100%, at which point your next upgrade is guaranteed to succeed.
Things to note here:

  • Artisan's Energy has no influence on your success rate prior to reaching 100%.
  • The use of additional materials like Star's Breath increase the amount of Artisan's Energy gained for failed attempts.
  • Higher item stages reward less Artisan's Energy per failed attempt than lower ones.
  • A successful upgrade resets your Artisan's Energy back to 0%.

Fusion Materials

In Tier 2 & 3, upgrades past +6 require a new ingredient: Caldarr Fusion Material. This material can only be created in your Stronghold when reaching item level 802. Research one of three recipe types depending on which Life Skill path you've chosen to pursue: Foraging, Excavation or Fishing. Once researched, this can be crafted in the Workshop "Special" tab.

Fusion Research Requirements

  • Reach item level 802
  • Go to your Stronghold by using the Song of Hearth and Home (F2)
  • Press Ctrl+1 and choose the Lab tab
  • Under Crafting Recipe Addition, search for "Craft method: Caldarr Fusion Material" (Life skill type)
  • Wait for its research and start crafting!

Gear Transfer

Gear Transfer Window

Items you find or craft that are more powerful than your current gear don't have to be upgraded from scratch. Using the Gear Transfer Tab at the Honing NPC, choose the item you want to transfer onto, select the current item you're wearing from the Material Gear listing and click Gear Transfer. This process retains all upgrade levels you've obtained so far without the chance of breaking or deleveling the item. Gear transfer only costs Silver.

High Quality Weapon

Gear Transfer can also be used to transfer higher quality grade weapons & armors over your existing ones for more defensive or offensive stat bonuses.

Gear Softcap

To be eligible for progressing into future Tiers, characters in Lost Ark have to reach certain Item Level thresholds before they are allowed to advance. This point is what determines the minimum Honing Level you have to reach for your gear before transitioning into Tier 2 or 3. For Tier 1 this point is reached at Item Level 600 (+15 average).

Going Past +15

While going past +15 is still possible, it is not required to upgrade past this point to proceed into further tiers. The level cap of Tier 1 and 2 which is 725 and 1225 (+20 average) will get replaced immediately with free Item Level 802 gear in Tier 2 and 1302 gear in Tier 3, rendering any progress you've made past the Softcap meaningless.

Because of this DO NOT upgrade past +15 in Tier 1 and 2. While there are benefits of doing it in Tier 3, we strongly advise to only use character bound materials to do so. Distribute unbound versions of these materials to your alt characters, or sell them on the Auction House for profit.

  • Destruction Stone Crystal (Bound)
  • Guardian Stone Crystal (Bound)
  • Honor Leap Stone (Bound)

Cost & Success Rate

Select Tier

Tier 1 Cost & Success Rate

Tier 2 Cost & Success Rate

Tier 3 Low Cost & Success Rate

Tier 3 Mid Cost & Success Rate

Item LevelHoning LevelSuccess RateWeapon Material Cost
302+0 (base)N/AN/A
320+1100%150 150 2
340+2100%150 150 2
360+3100%150 150 2
380+4100%225 300 4
400+5100%225 300 4
420+6100%225 300 4
440+790%350 400 6
460+890%350 400 6
480+980%475 700 9
500+1080%475 700 9
520+1170%600 1000 12
540+1270%600 1000 12 10
560+1360%750 1300 15 10
580+1450%850 1600 15 10
600+1540%1000 2000 21 10
625+1630%1500 3600 30 15
650+1720%2100 6000 42 15
675+1815%3000 9000 56 20
700+1910%4000 12000 72 20
725+205%5000 16000 90 30
Item LevelHoning LevelSuccess RateArmor Material Cost
302+0 (base)N/AN/A
320+1100%90 90 2
340+2100%90 90 2
360+3100%90 90 2
380+4100%135 180 3
400+5100%135 180 3
420+6100%135 180 3
440+790%210 240 4
460+890%210 240 4
480+980%285 420 6
500+1080%285 420 6
520+1170%360 600 8
540+1270%360 600 8 5
560+1360%450 780 9 5
580+1450%510 960 9 5
600+1540%600 1200 13 5
625+1630%900 2160 18 7
650+1720%1260 3600 26 7
675+1815%1800 5400 34 10
700+1910%2400 7200 44 10
725+205%3000 9600 54 15


Find the Gear Honing NPC in any major city in the game, choose the item you wish to upgrade and pray to the RNG gods that you are successful. Gear transfer can also be performed at the same NPC. Remember that:

  • Items have a 100% upgrade chance until +6.
  • Star's Breath can be used to further increase the success rate of your item.
  • Failed attempts give you a higher success rate for all subsequent upgrade attempts (up to a maximum limit).
  • Accumulating 100% Artisan's Energy on an item guarantees the next upgrade is successful.
  • Transferring gear preserves your upgrade level without having a chance to break or delevel the item.
  • Item Level 600(+15 average) is required to progress into Tier 2.
  • Item Level 1100(+15 average) is required to progress into Tier 3.
  • DO NOT upgrade past +15 in Tier 1 and 2.
  • In Tier 3 only use bound materials to upgrade past +15, trade unbound materials to your alt characters or sell them on the Auction House for profit.


Written by Choilicious
Reviewed by Facefoot