The best New World builds are essential for surviving the wild's of Aeternum and leading your faction to victory against its rivals.
Every weapon is viable, but figuring out what builds to focus on is more difficult than it might seem. New World's combat system is more open than most, with plenty of room for customizing weapon loadouts.
We've put together a list of the top builds in New World for solo players, party combat, and specific classes, along with a few extra ones worth tinkering with just for fun.
- New World best class builds
- New World best PvE builds
- New World best PvP builds
- Life Staff and Hatchet
- Fire Staff and Ice Gauntlets
- Hatchet and Sword and Shield
- Great Axe and Hatchet
- Musket and Spear
New World best class builds
There’s no real class specific build in New World, and while you’re free to experiment with whatever build works best for you, we’ve had good luck with these.
New World best tank build
Pairing the Sword and Shield with the Great Axe makes for a solid tank build. We recommend spending your attribute points on the Defender mastery, since this won’t be your primary damage-dealing weapon. The Great Axe has a better skill pool than the War Hammer, and Mauler in particular is ideal for crowd control.
Strength and Constitution should be your main tank stats, for obvious reasons.
Tanks don't need to worry about movement, so heavy armor should be your go-to choice for outfitting.
New World best DPS build
There’s plenty of competition for the best DPS build, but we’re enjoying results from the Hatchet and Fire Staff. A Berserk-focused Hatchet is one of the strongest DPS weapons, with a strong set of passives that help you stay alive longer and deal higher damage even when your health is low.
Fire Staff is another of our top picks for the game’s best weapons and lets you maintain pressure on your enemies from a distance.
This build benefits from Strength and Intelligence, though a bit of Constitution won’t go amiss either.
You might want to experiment a bit with armor and see what suits your playstyle best. If you're a mobile DPS player, light armor works best so you're not sacrificing dodge distance. Those who take more damage should go for medium armor, though.
New World best healer build
Healer is New World’s most flexible class since there’s only one healing weapon, the Life Staff. How you build it depends mostly on how you’re playing.
Solo healers should prioritize the Healing mastery branch and pair the Life Staff with the Sword and Shield. Leveling up the Swordmaster branch gives you enough DPS potential to make it through most fights, and, of course, you can always retreat and heal if need be.
Party players would do better with Protection, thanks to its AoE buffs, and a ranged weapon such as the musket. This build keeps you out of harm’s way while still letting you swap between support and DPS roles.
Intelligence, Dexterity, and Strengths are the best stats for this build.
New World's PvE is fairly standard, outside some more difficult bosses. These encounters with Aeternum's natural dangers are a good chance to experiment with weapons to see what suits your style, and you should be safe as long as you don't stack two weapons of the same type.
Hatchet and Spear don't complement each other unless you prioritize the latter's Zoner skill tree, for example, though Hatchet and Bow or Hatchet and Life Staff give you either ranged abilities or the option to heal yourself.
PvE encounters are also a safe way to experiment with party mechanics if you're playing in a group. New World essentially lets you create your own version of a tank or healer, and it's important to figure out how your styles mesh before taking on difficult challenges such as faction wars.
One combination we've been having some luck with recently is Hatchet and Life Staff. It's the best of both worlds, giving you high DPS potential and letting you heal yourself, making it perfect for long stretches of solo exploring.
New World is flexible enough where you can make most builds work, even with low-tier weapons such as the bow, though you’ll want to consider your PvP loadout a bit more carefully. If you want to try something different from the class builds outlined above, we've got some potent alternatives lined up.One of them is this Rapier and Hatchet build. While we're not too keen on the Rapier normally, it works wonders combined with the Hatchet's strong damage output. It's a part-support, part-DPS build, so focus on the Rapier's Blood Mastery tree for this one. Those debuffs are an important part of what makes the build work, though we also recommend skills such as Fleche and Flourish and Finish. Both give you some extra measure of crowd control and mobility.
This is a simple, but devastating build. The Hatchet excels at dealing heavy damage continuously, and we recommend the Berserk skill tree to maximize that DPS potential. Unlike some weapons, though, you have few ranged options with the Hatchet.
Pairing it with the Life Staff gives you a better chance of retreating and staying alive without relying heavily on restorative items. If you focus mostly on solo play, pour your upgrades into the Healing skill tree. Life Staff’s second skill tree works best for party play.
The Hatchet is New World’s best DPS weapon, but since Life Staff is the only healing weapon in the game, it works with any other tank or DPS weapon as well.
This is a mana-heavy build, but it’s also one of the most fluid and complementary. The Fire Staff deals tremendous damage at higher levels, while the Ice Gauntlets offer more ranged attacks and even passive skills that restore mana and boost your critical damage.
Exhaust your mana with the Fire Staff, then switch to the Gauntlets for additional ranged damage - it has a surprisingly high range for a fist-based weapon. Once you’re ready to change weapons again, the Gauntlets’ pushback skills keep enemies at a distance while you launch more fire spells.
Fire Ball and Incinerate are the Fire Staff's best skills, so we recommend prioritizing those. Entombed is a must for the Gauntlets since it replenishes mana, and Ice Storm is handy for keeping enemies at bay.
This is a solid defense build if you prefer tanking or find you take too much damage normally. Sword and Shield’s skill trees make you choose between offense and defense, and while it's worth specializing in a bit of both, the Hatchet should be your primary DPS weapon. Focus on the shield tree to bolster your defenses in a pinch, then swap to the Hatchet to clear the field.
The Bow or Spear make good alternatives if you’re bored with the Hatchet.
If balance isn’t your primary concern and you just want to deal as much damage as possible, this should be your go-to build. The Great Axe is ideal for powerful AoE attacks, with skills in both trees that pull enemies closer and extends the reach of your attacks. Attack speed is the Great Axe’s drawback, so switch to the Hatchet if you need to move faster.
The Musket is one of New World’s most versatile weapons, thanks to its unique skill trees, though it’s slow and relies on headshots to deal the most damage. Pairing it with a solid mid-tier weapon such as the Spear helps ameliorate some of these drawbacks.
The Spear works effectively both as ranged or melee. While the Zoner skill is helpful for keeping enemies at a distance, the Impaler tree works best with the Musket. It deals continuous damage through bleed effects and softens enemies for stronger Musket shots.
If you're just getting started in New World, you'll want to consider which faction is right for you. We've also got some helpful overviews for where to find rare items, such as Fae Iron, Saltpeter, and Petal Cap. Some of the bosses you'll face for quests aren't the easiest to track down either, including Alastor the Vigilant.