5 major differences between the Western and Korean versions of Lost Ark

Lost Ark has significant differences across regions (Image via Smilegate)
Lost Ark has significant differences across regions (Image via Smilegate)

Lost Ark was a huge hit when the game was first released in South Korea by Smilegate RPG. Since then, the game has expanded to Russian, Japanese, and Western audiences.

With the recent release of the title by Amazon Games in Europe and the Americas, the game is accessible in many parts of the world.

While the two versions - Western and Korean - have many similarities, there are key differences. Some of the differences arise due to the difference in the age of the respective editions. The Korean versions are old ones and have a lot more content added over the years.

According to Steam, Lost Ark now has over 1.3 million online players. This makes Lost Ark the second most played game in Steam HISTORY and it’s only been out for 48 hours in the West🔥(Lost Ark first released in South Korea in 2019)

Other differences arise because of design decisions to make things more natural for the demographies they cater to. Out of all the differences, five notable ones separate Lost Ark in the two regions.

Lost Ark in the western parts has some major differences

5) Player and server numbers

This is strictly related to geography as the western version of Lost Ark covers massively larger regions than South Korea. While the game is quite popular in South Korea, bringing it to the western shores has unlocked newfound potential.

The fact that the game has surpassed 1 million concurrent players is ode to the hype it has garnered.

Lost Ark just passed DOTA 2 and CSGO to set the 2nd Highest Peak Concurrent Players EVER on Steam, only behind PUBG1.3+ MILLION PLAYERS IN GAMEI....can't believe what I'm seeingHighest All-Time Peak1. PUBG - 3.25M2. Lost Ark - 1.31M3. CSGO - 1.308M4. DOTA 2 - 1.29M

To ensure there are huge numbers of players, there are also more regions and servers. Yet, there have been major queue time issues that have led Amazon Games to create a new region altogether.

The issue hasn't yet been resolved but players will be hopeful that the server load will improve in the coming days.

4) Character designs

Western versions have seen a rising sentiment against the supposed censorship of Lost Ark. The game has run into some trouble with the female classes' character designs and available gear.

However, the degree of censorship is also more, which hasn't satisfied everyone.


This has been a hot topic of debate, as some players feel the characters don't have to be revealing at all times. Others have felt that it's a way of Amazon Games controlling the players' choices.

There are also other differences in the models of the characters. Since the western version caters to a wider demographic, changes have likely been made to promote inclusivity.

3) Differences in PVP

The PVP system in the Korean version is much more developed and dynamic. Compared to what was available at launch in the west, Korea has more game modes with more rewards.

The presence of a ranked mode also makes things much more competitive and helps players assess themselves compared to others.


The western version never got the ranked system, and the rewards are modest. It is likely that the Korean content will eventually make its way to the western version. But Amazon Games never explained the rationale behind their decision, and the reason not to include ranked at the start is pretty strange.

2) Pay-to-win element

Free-to-play games sound great but often come in the crosshairs if they have predatory practices. Based on the decisions taken in the western version, Amazon Games was skeptical about which road to take.

In general, Lost Ark is a great game, and most premium investments are catered towards cosmetics. While there are premium services like Crystallisine Aura, these can be availed through trading and earning in-game currencies.


There's a major difference in how pets work in the Western and Korean versions. Pets aren't just cute companions, but they have many utilities. For example, while western players can use the auto-loot feature for free, Korean players have to rent the feature.

While it may not be a dealbreaker, these little changes make the western version less pay-to-win as things stand.

1) The number of classes

Lost Ark has 5 starting classes and 15 advanced classes in the western version. This is less than what's currently available on the Korean server, which can be simply because the latter has been there since 2019. However, 15 advanced classes skipped Painter, Summoner and other classes from the Korean servers.

In a recent video, Arrekz Gaming explained that there are 8 classes, including a brand new starting class that's still locked in the game.


According to the forums, the idea was always to launch with 15 classes and add more gradually. This decision seems to have been made because Amazon Games wants to understand the tastes of western players.

When one observes the characters in the Western version, there's diversity. It's quite likely that the focus will now be to find out which classes work and which don't. This could help determine which classes will eventually make their way into Lost Ark's western servers.

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Edited by Saman
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