Best New World builds for PvE and PvP combat

New World
New World (Image credit: Amazon Games)

Putting together a specialized build is one of the best ways that you can improve how effective you are in New World combat encounters, as the right combination of weapons, armor, and attributes can turn you into a stalwart tank, a ruthless damage dealer, or anything between. Whether you like to tackle PvE challenges with your friends or want to charge into New World's PvP modes, using builds like these will drastically improve your chances of winning the fight.

Here's a look at some of the best builds you can put together in New World, as well as what playstyles they encourage with their stats, weapons, and armor types.

New World best builds: Tank

Source: Amazon Games (Image credit: Source: Amazon Games)
  • Attributes: Strength and Constitution
  • Primary weapon: Sword and Shield, Defender skill tree
  • Secondary weapon: Great Axe, Mauler skill tree OR War Hammer, Crowd Crusher skill tree
  • Armor type: Heavy

If you want to play as a traditional tank-style character in New World, the best way to do it is to invest heavily in Strength and Constitution while using Sword and Shield as your primary weapon and the Great Axe as your secondary. Strength gives these two weapons excellent damage output, while Constitution boosts your health to very high levels.

Additionally, the Defender skill tree of the Sword and Shield significantly reduces damage you take and improves your regenerative abilities, while the Great Axe's Mauler skill tree allows you to draw enemies in and either stun them or do strong crowd control damage (you could use the War Hammer with the Crowd Crusher skill tree as well). In terms of armor, you're going to want to wear heavy armor so that you have even more protection from damage.

New World best builds: DPS

Source: Amazon Games (Image credit: Source: Amazon Games)
  • Attributes: Dexterity and Constitution
  • Primary weapon: Rapier, Blood skill tree
  • Secondary weapon: Musket, Sharpshooter skill tree OR Bow, Skirmisher skill tree
  • Armor type: Light OR Medium

Players that want to maximize their damage against opponents should opt for a Dexterity-heavy stat distribution, with Constitution as a secondary attribute. This is because the Rapier, Musket, and Bow all do tons of damage with a high Dexterity spec, while some Constitution will keep you from being too squishy.

The Rapier's Blood skill tree is the core of this build, as it allows you do huge chunks of damage while also inflicting the Bleed status that damages foes over time. Both the Musket and the Bow are strong secondary weapons for ranged combat; the Musket does high burst damage and will perform better at longer distances, while the Bow is ideal for closer engagements and dealing consistent damage. Finally, you want to use either light or medium armor so that you can remain agile, as you don't want to take hits like a tank character would.

New World best builds: Support

Source: Amazon Games (Image credit: Source: Amazon Games)
  • Attributes: Focus and Intelligence
  • Primary weapon: Life Staff
  • Secondary weapon: Ice Gauntlet, Ice Conjurer skill tree
  • Armor type: Light

Healers and support characters are always a valuable asset in any MMO group, regardless of whether or not you're going into PvE or PvP. The best way to play support in New World is to spec into Focus and Intelligence so that you can make good use of the Life Staff and the Ice Gauntlet, respectively. The Life Staff allows you to heal both yourself and your allies while also buffing them with defensive magic, while the Ice Gauntlet with the Ice Conjurer skill tree lets you create turret-like ice pylons that attack enemies, debuff them, and buff your allies.

When it comes to armor, you should wear light protection so that you're able to dodge long distances. Since you don't have as much health as beefier builds, being able to avoid damage effectively is key.

New World best builds: Mage

Source: Amazon Games (Image credit: Source: Amazon Games)
  • Attributes: Intelligence, Focus, Constitution
  • Primary weapon: Fire Staff, Fire Mage skill tree
  • Secondary weapon: Ice Gauntlet, Ice Tempest
  • Armor type: Light

If you want to play as a damage-oriented mage character, you should primarily spec into Intelligence with Focus, Constitution, or both as your secondary stats. Intelligence is what will give your magic its devastating power, while Focus will improve your mana regen and Constitution will raise your HP. You'll then want to use a Fire Staff with the Fire Mage skill tree, which is centered around dealing huge amounts of damage from afar with fire magic.

Your secondary weapon should be the Ice Gauntlet with the Ice Tempest skill tree. The Ice Gauntlet is an effective weapon to use if enemies close the distance, and the slowing area-of-effect abilities of the Ice Tempest tree will help you keep groups of foes at bay.

New World best builds: Berserker

Source: Amazon Games (Image credit: Source: Amazon Games)
  • Attributes: Strength, Constitution
  • Primary weapon: Great Axe, Mauler skill tree
  • Secondary weapon: Hatchet, Berserker skill tree
  • Armor type: Medium

What if you want to go purely melee, but also want to focus on damage instead of tanking? A berserker build that combines Strength and Constitution with a Great Axe and a Hatchet will be right up your alley. The Great Axe with the Mauler skill tree can output some of the highest melee DPS in the game, and with lots of Strength, you'll have no problem cutting down foes left and right.

Your Hatchet does good damage, too, and you can also utilize the Berserker skill tree to give yourself speed and sustain buffs that help you stay in your enemy's face. For armor, medium gear is the best choice since you want to be able to dodge decently without giving up your ability to take some hits.

New World best builds: Solo

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  • Attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Focus
  • Primary weapon: Hatchet, Berserker skill tree
  • Secondary weapon: Life Staff, Healing skill tree
  • Armor type: Medium

While it's true that the MMO experience is better with other players (New World in particular is one of the best PC multiplayer games that have released recently), there's also no reason that you can't go through New World on your own. However, without other players there to cover the weaknesses of specialized builds, it's generally better to go with something well-rounded as a solo player. Your best bet is to roll with an even spread of Strength, Dexterity, and Focus while using the Hatchet as your primary weapon and the Life Staff as your secondary.

The Hatchet's Berserker skill tree is great for boosting your speed and sustain in combat, while the Life Staff allows you to heal yourself effectively when necessary. Playing solo is less about raw damage output and more about staying alive, and this weapon combo is the best in the game for solo survivability. For protection, medium armor is recommended since it gives you a good balance between damage reduction and dodge speed.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.