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Best Lost Ark Gunslinger build: recommended skill levelling, engravings, and awakening skills for PvE and PvP

How to kit out your Gunslinger for adventures in Arkesia

What is the best Lost Ark Gunslinger build? The Gunslinger is one of Lost Ark's best character classes, coming right at the top of our tier list, and is a strong contender for the best PvE DPS class in the game. Gunslingers wield three guns, and with their boosted crit rates and extremely high movement speeds, they're one of the nimblest classes in the game. Taken together, when built right, it's an extremely deadly combination.

On this page we'll give an overview of the Gunslinger's skills, levelling guide, and which bonus class and engravings to choose when you reach the endgame.

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Best Lost Ark Gunslinger build: Overview

At the core of any Lost Ark build is the class's Identity Skill: for the Gunslinger, that means her three weapons, which are set up on her Identity Gauge where you can rotate through them. Learning when and why to switch between guns is an essential part of getting to grips with this class:

  • The dual pistols are the Gunslinger's utility weapon. While wielding these she can perform buffs and debuffs, and take full advantage of her high movement stats.
  • The shotgun is the Gunslinger's burst attack, and excels at dealing close-range damage. But do take note that if you choose the Time to Hunt engraving for your endgame specialisation, its use will be disallowed entirely.
  • The rifle is a powerful weapon used for dealing damage at long-range. The Peacemaker engraving adds a double dose of extra functions to this particular weapon.

The Gunslinger's advantages are her speed, mobility, and high damage. The downsides to choosing this class are her relatively low HP and defence stats. Her controls can also take a bit of getting used to: while her required positioning is far from the fiddliest among Lost Ark classes, it might take you a little bit of time to get used to setting up her ideal range while also keeping an eye on cooldowns and managing weapon rotations.

Best Lost Ark Gunslinger build: Skills and levelling

Unsurprisingly, many of the Gunslinger's normal skills involve making the most of the mini-arsenal she keeps on her person, with a number of options available to improve her marksmanship. Her top-tier movement speed also comes in for a few improvements over time, and there's the option to supplement her already-impressive loadout with the addition of skill-based grenades. The Gunslinger's skills are all colour-coded for ease of reference: orange for pistol skills, blue for shotgun skills, and purple for rifle skills.

By the time you reach Level 50 you should have accumulated about 250 skill points, which is enough to put together a balanced normal skill build to take your character into the endgame:

Best PvE skills for Gunslinger

Skill Tripod 1 Tripod 2 Tripod 3
Bullet Rain: (Pistol) Fire forwards for 2 seconds. Vital Point Shot: Increases Crit rate by 20%. Rapid Fire: Bullet Rain's duration is increased by 3 seconds, and comes with a damage boost of 60%. Quick Prep: For every enemy hit, grants a 30% chance that the skill cooldown will end instantly.
Equilibrium: (Pistol) Fire the dual pistols in a broad sweep. Weakness Exposure: Affected enemies get -10% Crit resistance to attacks from all party members for 12 seconds. Enemy Raid: Equilibrium becomes a 360-degree attack, from which enemies at Challenge difficulty or below take 100% more damage. Vital Point Shot: Increases Crit rate by 60%.
Focused Shot: (Rifle) Fire twice, inflicting damage and debuffing a hit enemy's movement speed by 80% for 2 seconds. Third shot fires a high-calibre bullet that inflicts double damage and knocks down the hit enemy. Quick Aim: Reduces aim time. Flash: Every third hit stuns the affected enemy for 3 seconds. Quick Finish: Inflict Kill Confirmation after aiming to increase damage by 150%.
AT02 Grenade: (Pistol) Throws a grenade at a targeted location within 10 metres. Wide Explosion: Increases the AoE radius of the grenade by 20%. Freeze Grenade: Reduces outgoing damage by 75% but freezes enemies in place, making follow-up attacks easier. n/a
Spiral Flame: (Rifle) Fires a powerful flame bullet, launching foes into the air and dealing fire damage. Also sets a fire on the ground, inflicing fire damage to enemies in range for 2.5 seconds. Quick Aim: Increases aim speed by 50%. Kill Confirmation: Crit rate increased by 60% against foes with less than 50% HP. n/a
Dextrous Shot: (Pistol) Glide 6 metres forward while firing handguns 4 times. This skill can be used twice in a row before cooldown. Agile Movement: Increases attack speed by 10%. n/a n/a
Spiral Tracker: (Pistol) Throw a spinning handgun at a target location within 10 metres, while firing a total of 15 times. Weakness Exposure: Affected enemies get -10% Crit resistance to attacks from all party members for 12 seconds. n/a n/a

Best PvP skills for Gunslinger

Skill Tripod 1 Tripod 2 Tripod 3
Death Fire: (Pistols) Fire a volley of bullets for 3 seconds and up to 9 hits. Hit the Perfect Zone to throw a grenade while jumping backwards as the skill times out, launching enemies into the air. Keen Strike: Crit rate of Death Fire increased by up to 80%. Chain Throw: Throw a second grenade after hitting the Perfect Zone. Infiltrate Decimation: Teleport forward 6 metres when using the skill, then immediately back by 8 metres.
Focused Shot: (Rifle) Fire twice, inflicting damage and debuffing a hit enemy's movement speed by 80% for 2 seconds. Third shot fires a high-calibre bullet that inflicts double damage and knocks down the hit enemy. Quick Aim: Decreases aiming time. Enhanced Bullet: Do up to 95% additional damage to enemies with lower than 50% health. Quick Finish Inflicts Kill Confirmation, increasing damage by up to 200%.
Perfect Shot: (Rifle) Fire a high-speed, large-calibre bullet. Hit the Perfect Zone to inflict massive damage and knock back foes. Stable Stance: Grants paralysis immunity during the use of this skill. Precision Shot: Decreases the Perfect Zone period, but increases crit rate on Perfect Zone hits by up to 80%. Enhanced Shot: Perfect Zone damage increased by up to 80%.
Somersault Shot: (Pistols) Somersault forwards 10 metres while continuously firing your handgun. Agile Movement: Attack speed increased by up to 18%. Master of Evasion: Dodge rate increased by 20% during the use of this skill. Double Jump: Perform an extra somersault, granting 2 more metres to the distance travelled and 2 more shots.
Dexterous Shot: (Pistols) Glide 6 metres forward while firing handguns 4 times. This skill can be used twice in a row before cooldown. Agile Movement: Attack speed increased by up to 18%. Excellent Mobility: Move distance increased by up to 3 metres. n/a
Quick Step: (Pistols) Slide 6 metres forward while firing the dual pistols. Excellent Mobility: Move distance increased by up to 2 metres. n/a n/a
Last Request: (Shotgun) Fires a single, powerful explosive shell, inflicting damage and launching the hit enemy into the air. Ice Shot Switches element to water and reduces enemy movement speed by up to 70% for 5 seconds. n/a n/a

Lost Ark characters start out with a decent suite of early-game abilities, and new skills unlock fairly frequently as you progress through the first 20 or so character levels. Gaining XP and levelling up gives you skill points that you can spend on improving skill levels and unlocking "tripods". Tripods are enhancements to skills that become available at skill levels 4, 7, and 10; applying one gives that skill a new secondary function. Every tripod has three options for you to choose from.

There's a limit to how much you can customise any Lost Ark character's build until they reach Level 50 and you gain access to endgame Engravings and Awakening skills (see below). Until that point, the path each class takes will be relatively linear; so throughout the early game, selecting your normal skills and their enhancements is the key to setting up a build that's to your liking.

Best Lost Ark Gunslinger build: Engravings

Once a Lost Ark character reaches Level 50, you can apply Engravings to them. Engravings are part of Lost Ark's endgame content, and allow you to apply a variety of buffs and boosts to customise your character's kit a little more. As well as generic engravings available to all characters, every class has two "class bonus" engravings unique to them. Effectively, these let you pick a subclass for them to specialise in.

The Engravings for the Gunslinger class are Peacemaker and Time to Hunt. Both are solid choices for either PvE or PvP Gunslinger builds, so it all comes down to which play style sounds more appealing to you:

  • Peacemaker increases attack speed in Handgun Stance by up to 16%, Crit rate in Shotgun Stance by up to 25%, and gives a damage boost of up to 10% when in Rifle Stance. Furthermore, hits to enemies with lower than 50% HP when in Rifle Stance will stack on an additional damage bonus of up to 30%.
  • Time to Hunt raises the Crit rate for Handgun and Rifle skills by up to 30%, but disallows the use of the Shotgun Stance.

Sacrificing your shotgun for the Time to Hunt specialism might sound pretty unappealing, but you might notice that in our recommendations for normal skills we've focussed primarily on Pistol and Rifle skills. This is because, happily, the shotgun is probably the least useful of the Gunslinger's three weapons, so there's no need to dismiss this engraving out of hand, since it does convey excellent benefits to the other two guns. In fact, both class bonus engravings for the Gunslinger are rather good for both PvE and PvP combat, and there's no real need to build them significantly differently.

The number of engravings you can equip is variable, and depends on the engraving slots you have available. Class-specific bonus engravings require Learned Engraving slots, which you unlock by reading books you accumulate throughout your adventures in Arkesia.

Meanwhile, the two "generic" engraving types that can be equipped by all classes (damage boosts and utility buffs) are equipped according to how many engraving points you have available. Your number of engraving points is based on a combination of your character's equipped accessories (such as necklaces, earrings, rings, etc.) and their Ability stones, all of which can be picked up as loot or from merchants throughout the game. Shuffle your loadout until you've maxed out your engravings points to 35 and you should be able to equip about three generic engravings in addition to your class bonus.

The following engravings are particularly good when it comes to Gunslinger builds:

  • Grudge increases damage by up to 20% when fighting Boss level or higher monsters, while reducing incoming damage from them by the same amount. Whichever class bonus you choose, Grudge is the top choice for any PvE Gunslinger build.
  • Cursed Doll increases attack power by up to 16%, but reduces incoming healing by -25% (not including natural passive health recovery).
  • Keep Weapon Blunt increases Crit chance by up to 50%, but carries a risk that a regular attack will deal 20% less damage than it ought to. (Also, please don't ask me how you're meant to keep your guns blunt.)

Best Lost Ark Gunslinger build: Combat Stats and accessories

In addition to Engravings, accessory items in Lost Ark (necklaces, earrings, and rings) are your source for Combat Stats. These substats can have a major effect on your character, and it is important to target gear with the right stats for your build. During the main story, Gunslingers will want to prioritize Crit and Specialization. Crit increases your critical strike rate and damage, while Specialization provides damage bonuses to all weapon types.

In the endgame, most classes will tailor their Combat Stats to their active class Engraving. Gunslinger keeps it simpler though and will continue to prioritize Crit throughout the game. For your secondary stat, you can either stick to Specialization or use Swiftness to reduce your cooldowns. Specialization builds have higher burst damage, while Swiftness builds maintain more consistent DPS.

Best Lost Ark Gunslinger build: Awakening Skills

Like Engravings, Awakening Skills become available once a Lost Ark character has reached Level 50. Again, there are two options to choose from, and unlike with Engravings it's not an either/or proposition: you can unlock both Awakening Skills if you'd like, although you can only equip one at a time.

The Awakening skills for the Gunslinger are:

  • Eye of Twilight: Debuffs move and attack speeds for a short time, but when activated it deals damage to enemies within radius as well as inflicting both Stagger and Weak effects on them. All debuffs disappear once the skill times out.
  • High-Calibre HE Bullet: The Gunslinger leaps backwards while dealing an AoE attack, inflicting Stagger and dealing significant damage to enemies caught in the burst radius.

As with most Lost Ark character options, there are no truly bad choices; but the High-Calibre HE Bullet does emerge as the favourite Awakening skill for the Gunslinger (particularly in PvP where maintaining high movement speed is essential), thanks to its lack of self-inflicted debuffs and the fact that it's just really satisfying. This is definitely the one to keep equipped until you have a specific need for the Eye of Twilight.

Since you need to be at Level 50 to take advantage of most of Lost Ark's character build materials, be sure to check out our guide to levelling up fast in Lost Ark to help you get there as quickly as possible. Or, for more information on how to level up your roster across multiple characters, see our page on Lost Ark Knowledge Transfers.

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Rebecca Jones

Former Guides Writer

Rebecca is now geeking out about multi-platform games on VG247, but rumour has it that if you chant "Indiescovery podcast" three times in front of your PC monitor, she'll reappear in the RPS comments section.