What is Map Exchange in Lost Ark?
Map Exchange is an in-game mechanic that lets you trade several lower-tier Secret Maps for a chance to get a higher-tier Secret Map in Lost Ark. Map tiers can be Rare, Epic, or Legendary.
In case you didn’t know, Secret Maps are keys that will unlock secret dungeons around the game. Secret Maps contain the exact location of the Secret Dungeons, which will lead you to a random dungeon where you must kill all the enemies and beat the dungeon boss to claim various loot such as Gear and XP.
How does Map Exchange work in Lost Ark?
Map Exchange works by giving players the ability to trade multiple low-level Secret Maps for a single high-level Secret Map in Lost Ark. However, there are a few things you need to remember when trading maps through the Map Exchange NPC.
As a rule of thumb, trading multiple maps of the same tier and item level will yield the best chance of upgrading the Maps into a higher-level Map. For example, trading one Rare Map with item level 310 each will typically yield a 50% chance to upgrade the map into a higher-tier Purple Map.
However, when trading two Rare Maps, where one Map is Level 300 and the other is Level 280, you would expect to get a 100% chance of getting a higher-tier map, yet this combination will only yield a 75% chance. The trade penalty is even steeper when using low-level low-tier maps as materials for upgrading high-tier high-level maps.
How to Exchange Maps in Lost Ark?
You can Exchange Maps through the Map Exchange NPC found in Vern Castle and Luterra Castle. There is a small Exchange Cost in Silver that you need to pay when exchanging maps through the Map Exchange NPC.
Secret Maps can also be sold for Gold through a personal exchange in-game where you offer a slot to other players for a chance to run the Secret Map dungeon. After the dungeon run is completed, the other player will receive loot that’s of equal value to the Gold he paid for before starting the run.
Is it worth exchanging maps in Lost Ark?
Map Exchange is basically a convenience feature that lets you combine multiple Secret Maps into one Secret Map. This means you’ll only have to run a single dungeon instead of multiple dungeons to get a comparable amount of loot.
Below is the approximate loot you can expect from running each map tier in Lost Ark. This should give you a better idea about how many Secret Maps you need to get a higher-tier Map.
Approximate loot you can get from running each map tier:
- Rare Map: Small Bag – 500 Shards
- Epic Map: Medium Bag – 1000 Shards
- Legendary Map: 2x Large Bags – 3000 Shards
Map tier to loot ratio:
- 1 Epic Map = 2x Rare Maps worth of Shards
- 1 Legendary Map = 3x Epic Maps worth of Shards
The numbers above tell us that you need to run two Rare Maps to get the loot of one Epic Map, while you need to run 3 Epic Maps to get the same loot as a single Legendary Map.
However, due to the Map Exchange penalties outlined in the previous section, you will generally get less loot from combining multiple Secret Maps as opposed to simply running all the lower-tier maps individually.
What you’re getting by Exchanging multiple smaller maps for a single higher-tier map is the convenience of not having to run multiple lower-tier dungeons. But that comes at a penalty of getting less loot overall.
The Map Exchange is a convenient feature that can save you the time and effort of looking for several individual Secret Dungeons around the game and the hassle of looking for other players who have the same map tiers to join you in the dungeon run.
The price you have to pay for this convenience is pretty steep since the map conversion does not have a 1:1 ratio. With that said, you might find the time-saving well worth the reduced amount of loot you can get through Map Exchange.