Best Weapons to Use in New World (PvE)

Vigan Osmani
Vigan Osmani
19 Min Read

Amazon Studios’ New World, is a gorgeous MMORPG that is teeming with wildlife. As you would expect from a game of this genre, there are also recognized PvE elements such as dungeons (Expeditions). Indeed, confronting Aeternum’s lurking dangers will require utmost determination and perseverance. Whether you play solo or in a group, nothing will aid you in these conquests more than your trustworthy arms. In this article, we will be covering some of the best weapons to use in New World (PvE).

Weapons in New World

What New World best excels in is giving players freedom of choice. There is no dedicated class system so the sky is the limit as far as gameplay is concerned. You can equip up to two weapons at the same time, each coming with three usable skill slots. Although you can interchange between weapons easily throughout the game, getting them to max level is another story. The grind seems never-ending, so it’s best advised to specialize on two-to-three weapons at most.

NW weapons

Selecting the best weapon combo in New World can be tough. There are trade-offs to whatever build you’ll decide to go with, so rest assured. Our ranking is primarily based on damage output, vulnerability to attacks, and overall weapon buffs/enhancements. We have included recommended builds using an online New World talent calculator.

Best One-Handed Weapons


Primary Attribute: Strength

Tier: S

The Hatchet is a supreme weapon choice if you decide to focus primarily on PvE. The Berserker build relies on quick successive attacks with active buffs that enhance your mobility and damage output. [Feral Rush] and [Raging Torrent], your main abilities, can be particularly lethal against stacked mobs in expeditions or during quest runs.

Best Weapons to use in New World: Hatchet
General PvE Build

In addition to Empower and Haste buffs, Berserker Mode allows you to heal yourself for considerable amounts. The final talent in the tree, [Defy Death] can be fundamentally crucial as well, granting you immortality for 3 seconds upon receiving lethal damage. The Throwing talent specialization, on the other hand, can be relatively weak. The buffs and debuffs are great, but the damage output is simply subpar in contrast to Berserker.

You can combine the Hatchet with practically any weapon of your choice. However, we recommend going with a Great Axe. Both weapons scale off Strength, so you can stack the bulk of your character points there for maximum terror.


Primary Attribute: Dexterity

Tier: S

Put simply, the Rapier is one of the best weapons in New World, both for PvP and PvE. The blade unleashes rapid succession attacks with somewhat moderate damage. It is in its abilities, however, where the Rapier excels. You may choose to specialize in primary damaging abilities, or into a Bleed-over-time [Tondo] spec. While both playstyles are really fun, I personally prefer the latter.

To get the most out of this build, you will need to spec fully into the Blood tree. The other two abilities in the tree, [Flourish & Finish] and [Flurry] synergize extremely well with [Tondo]. Flourish consumes your Bleeds on targets for extra weapon damage, so use it only when you have active bleeds.

Rapier Bleed Build
Blood Specialized PvE Build

Tried and tested, this build thrives in big AoE situations. This is primarily due to the [Thirst for Blood] passive, which reduces [Tondo]’s cooldown by 10% for each target hit. You could really wreak havoc in expeditions just by continuously spamming your Bleed and Finish moves. 

You cannot go wrong with the Rapier in New World. Although we’d suggest pairing it with a Spear or Bow for the Dexterity benefit, feel free to use whatever weapon you prefer. Speccing into the Grace talent tree could be particularly useful if you’re a tank. [Riposte] is a nice parry ability, that also comes with a Taunt compatible gem.

Sword & Shield

Primary Attribute: Strength

Tier: A

Perhaps a more classic or ‘vanilla’ build, the Sword and Shield is by no means a weak weapon combo in New World. Effectively a tank, the Sword and Shield playstyle will allow you to absorb lots of damage during your ventures.

Best weapons to use in new World: Sword & Shield
Expeditions Tanking Build

Since you won’t primarily be doing damage with the Sword, you should focus on the Defender talent tree. [Defiant Status] is a must-pick for any tank. You may also choose to go with [Shield Bash] for an extra stun. Just remember to spend a lot of your character points on Constitution.

To get the best out of the Sword and Shield combo, pair it with a Great Axe. Not only will the Axe’s versatility improve your damage substantially, it will also provide you with a fortify buff. [Gravity Well] and [Maelstrom] can be used to pull targets together, making it easier for your party to cleave down enemy health bars.

Best Two-Handed Weapons

Great Axe

Primary Attribute: Strength

Tier: S

The Great Axe is the most archetypal depiction of a Warrior in New World. Slow and heavy, it comes with a variety of skills that are borderline overpowered. Granted, chaining light and heavy attacks can leave you particularly vulnerable. With the right amount of patience, however, you will be a colossus to deal with.

When creating the best PvE build, abilities like [Maelstrom] and [Gravity Well] are a must-pick. Both abilities act as ‘pull’ spells, with the latter forming a massive vortex that brings enemies closer to its center over a short duration. You may choose to spec into [Whirlwind] for more AoE potential, or [Execute] for a more single-target type of gameplay.

Best Weapons to use in New World: Great Axe
General Tanking Build

The Great Axe is undoubtedly one of the best weapons to use in New World. In Expeditions, [Gravity Well] will highly facilitate your party’s efforts to simultaneously cleave down enemies. If you decide to tank, you should go with [Reap] for extra aggro and self-healing buffs. Best weapon combos include Sword and Shield, Hatchet, or a Life Staff for higher healing potential.

We recommend pairing the Axe with either a Sword and Shield, or a Life Staff for higher healing potential.

Perhaps the only trade-off to the Great Axe is a preference for Plate armor. As a result, you will have somewhat reduced mobility and damage as opposed to Medium or Light armor wearers.


Primary Attribute: Dexterity

Tier: B

Alongside Rapier, the Spear is one of the most versatile weapons in New World. You can practically do anything with it in terms of gameplay.

For PvE, I personally play with the Zoner tree maxed out. By having a throwable spear, I can do lots of damage even from far distances. That’s if I’m accurate of course. For the other two abilities, I’d recommend choosing [Impale] and [Cyclone]. The former applies a bleed, whilst the latter is more of a push-back AoE ability.

With the right passive skills, you can also gain many buffs, including self-heals and increased crit chance. You may of course decide to go into a full crowd-control build with [Vault Kick] and [Sweep]. While useful in some situations, this build is best suited for PvP.

Spear PvE Build
General PvE Build

Although the Spear is not recognized as one of the most powerful weapons in New World, its utility is key. To maximize your damage up close and personal, we recommend combining the spear with a Rapier. Both weapons scale off of Dexterity, so you won’t have to worry about other attribute points as much.


Primary Attribute: Strength

Tier: C

Much like the Great Axe, the Warhammer is a good choice for any hybrid tank/healer player. It boasts surprisingly high damage rates for being a slow weapon, primarily because of iconic abilities like [Shockwave]. Shockwave is especially useful for Expeditions, due to the taunt gem compatibility.

You may choose to go with a mixture of single and multi-target damage spells to go with [Shockwave]. We recommend [Path of Destiny] and [Mighty Gavel] for maximum damage output.

Great Axe Tank Build
General Tanking Build

As with every tank build, keep in mind that you will have to sacrifice your mobility for durability. Equipping Heavy armor is really the only way to effectively tank in New World. Don’t forget to also spend a majority of your attribute points on Constitution.

If you decide to go with a full tank build, pair the Warhammer with a Sword/Shield or a Great Axe. These weapons work very well with the Warhammer abilities, and can be used to create some deadly combos. Unfortunately for the Warhammer, it simply isn’t as good as its Sword and Shield or Great Axe counterparts.

Best Ranged Weapons


Primary Attribute: Dexterity

Tier: B

Although ranged weapons perform generally weaker in PvE, the Bow is by far superior to the Musket. Nevertheless, it is much more difficult to hit a bow shot than a musket shot. Prepare to spend hours practicing your arrows at various angles and ranges, and watch yourself transform into a formidable force.

The bow is very versatile. Speccing into the Skirmisher talent tree can provide you with lots of delicious buffs and AoE abilities. In contrast, the Hunter tree is much more single-target oriented. You can do heavy amounts of headshot damage if you choose this build, just remember that the skill-cap is infinitely high.

Best Weapons to use in New World: Bow
General PvE build

Our best tip is to create a hybrid between the two trees. Focus mostly on AoE abilities and you’ll be surprised at how much damage you’ll be outputting. Some weapon passives could also be used to enhance your movement.


Primary Attribute: Dexterity

Tier: C

Although the Musket can be decent for PvP, its poor mobility and multi-target hitting capacities render it abysmal in PvE. Don’t get me wrong, you can do significant damage with your [Overpower] and [Burn Powder], but only at long range. You’re also extremely vulnerable to all sorts of attacks while charging your abilities. It can be highly rewarding to hit headshots from afar, but the tradeoffs are simply too difficult to ignore.

Musket PvE Build
General PvE Build

As such, Musket is most useful in long-range or kiting situations. This can be particularly effective against fast animals, like deers and elk. If you decide to main a Musket, you’ll do best to combo it with a Spear or Rapier. Maximize Dexterity to get the best of both worlds with this build.

Best Magical Weapons

Life Staff

Primary Attribute: Focus

Tier: S

Healing in New World can be particularly tense. Technically speaking, Life Staff is the only weapon in game that can actively heal targets. As such, it automatically deserves a spot in the S Tier.

Life Staff comes with direct healing and buff/absorb talent trees. Ideally, you’ll select skills from both trees to maximize your effectiveness in PvE. Skills may also vary depending on what type of content you’ll want to prioritize. Go-to abilities for Expeditions include [Sacred Ground] and [Splash of Light] for AoE heals, whilst [Orb of Projection] is a great single-target heal that should be used primarily on a tank.

Best Weapons to use in New World: Life Staff
Expeditions and General PvE Build

Life Staff can be equally terrific for solo-play or questing. If this is the case for you, go with [Divine Embrace], [Orb of Projection] and [Beacon]. Even the mighty bears and alligators of Aeternum will be no match during your seemingly interminable onslaught.

Don’t rule it out just because it’s considered a healing weapon. The Life Staff can do surprisingly high damage, especially if paired with an intelligence weapon. Be wary however, Life Staff is the only weapon in New World that uses the Focus attribute. As such, you’ll want to prioritize Focus gear for extra mana regeneration and healing output.

Some people also like to combine Life Staff with melee weapons including the Great Axe or Warhammer. This tank-heal hybrid can be highly effective in all sorts of PvE scenarios.

Fire Staff

Primary Attribute: Intelligence

Tier: A

What MMO would be complete without its fiery harbingers of doom?  If you have a natural affinity for spell-casting, then the Fire Staff may be the choice for you. You will be using mana, so make sure to spend most of your attribute points on Intelligence.

Fire Staff excels at AoE damage, with iconic spells like [Meteor Shower] and [Flamethrower] being particularly lethal in Expeditions. Generally speaking, there is a lot of variety to playing a fire mage. Spells like [Incinerate] can create a push-back explosion around you, while [Burn Out] can be used to propel yourself forward.

New World: Fire Staff
AoE/Expeditions Build

Fire Staff is definitely one of the best choices for Expeditions. Combine it with an Ice Gauntlet to get the most out of your attribute damage. Just make sure to equip Light Armor for enhanced mobility, as you are somewhat susceptible to close-quarter combat.

Ice Gauntlet

Primary Attribute: Intelligence

Tier: A

In contrast to its Fire counterpart, the Ice Gauntlet can chill enemies to the bone using frost spells. As you’d expect from a frost weapon, almost every spell comes with a temporary slow. This can be vital when fighting against treacherous wildlife and corrupted elites found around Aeternum.

Much like the Fire Staff, the Ice Gauntlet can be extremely lethal in AoE situations. In this department, [Ice Storm] is perhaps the single best ability in New World. Use this with [Ice Shower] for an additional slow, and [Ice Pylon] for extra AoE damage.  It is also quite easy to kite and keep enemies at bay with this build.

New World: Ice Gauntlet
AoE/Expeditions Build

Naturally, we recommend pairing the Gauntlet either with a Fire or Life Staff to get the most out of your Intelligence attribute. Wear Light Armor for the enhanced movement and the 20% additional damage buff.

The Verdict

SLife Staff, Hatchet, Rapier, Great Axe
AIce Gauntlet, Fire Staff, Sword & Shield,
BBow, Spear
CMusket, Warhammer

In the end, there is no shying away from the fact that certain weapons are just better than others. Although it may be easy to rank weapons based on their damage output and other miscellaneous efficiencies, we highly recommend you to experiment before deciding which ones to main. Every player has his or her individual playstyle, so what may work for some will not necessarily work well for others.

During launch week for example, I mained Rapier and Musket, however I quickly found myself switching to Rapier and Spear. I’d play the [Fleeche] and [Grace] combo, before ultimately sticking with a Bleed specialized build. I combined this with the [Skewer] tree from Spear and ended up becoming a Damage-over-time force.

Rememeber, the beauty of New World lies in its variability. Play what weapons you genuinely enjoy, master them to the core, and venture into Aeternum with a renewed sense of glory.

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Experienced gamer with a dedicated passion for writing. Vigan spends his gaming time primarily on FPS shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield, as well as MMORPGs including World of Warcraft and most recently New World
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