What does “entry requirements not met” mean in Lost Ark?

No noob entry allowed beyond this point.

Lost Ark guide

Image via Smilegate

Lost Ark is an incredibly content-rich MMO that structures its later activities around a consistent and gradual progression system. As players explore the land of Arkesia, they’ll encounter dungeons and instances that scale with their characters in difficulty as they grow stronger and earn better equipment.

However, as these players are introduced to the team-oriented dungeon-raiding aspects of the game, such as Guardian Raids or Chaos Dungeons, they’ll often find themselves barred sternly from participating by four red words — “entry requirements not met.” Certain requirements are placed on a player’s progression for them to qualify for these activity types, not only to give them something to continue playing for and work toward, but to make sure they have what it takes as newbies to contribute meaningfully to a team of veteran dungeon-raiders.

Meeting entry requirements: A few hours more

Screenshot by DoubleXP

From the moment they set foot in Arkesia, players have two methods of progressing their preferred characters toward Lost Ark’s late-game content — raising combat levels and raising item levels. While most end-game content requires that players bring a character with at least combat level 50, the item level required for different bosses and dungeons can vary greatly, introducing them to gradually increasing challenges as they themselves gradually increase in power.

Experience for combat can be gained passively by defeating enemies and completing quests. Players who pursue every quest marker to its completion will experience little trouble reaching the game’s combat level soft-cap of 50, at which they can level up and optimize their active skills as best as possible.

Increasing a character’s item level, however, takes substantially more effort to accomplish, only incrementing with statistical upgrades to their equipped gear pieces. While early-game gear upgrades come standard in enemy drop tables, later gear sets — anything totaling item level 300 or higher — can only be acquired through successful completion of late-game activities and slowly upgraded through gear honing.

Related: How to fix the can’t see party members issue in Lost Ark