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New World beginner's guide: Tips and tricks for thriving in Aeternum

New World
New World (Image credit: Amazon Games)

Amazon's New World is one of the easiest MMORPGs on the market to get started with since it cuts out a lot of the overwhelming fluff that other games smother you with. This makes it one of the best PC games to play right now if you're looking for a beginner-friendly multiplayer experience. With that said, it can still be a little confusing to figure out what the best ways to make progress and get stronger are, and poor decision-making early on can lead to struggles down the line.

If you're a new player in New World and you're not sure how to get started on the right foot, don't worry. We're here to help with 10 simple tips and tricks that will give you the edge you need to thrive on the island of Aeternum — both in the early game and in the later stages of your adventure.

Join a Company as soon as possible

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MMORPGs are all about interacting with other players and forming communities. As a new player, the first thing you should do after joining your New World faction is join a Company, which are groups of players from the same faction that have formed a guild. By joining a Company, you can meet new people and team up with them for world exploration, PvE expeditions, and PvP combat. Everything in New World is easier (and arguably more fun, too) with a group of allies, so you should try to find a Company as soon as possible.

Most Companies send regular recruitment messages in the server chatroom, so keep an eye out. Recruitment messages typically include what faction the Company is allied to, what the group's preferred gameplay experiences are, and what kind of "tone" the guild has (for example, some Companies are hardcore, while others are more laid back). Once you spot a Company that sounds like a good fit for you, reply to the recruiter and tell them you want to join up.

Know when to block or dodge

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New World's combat system is similar to many third-person action RPGs, as it features light attacks, heavy attacks, blocking, and dodging. Both blocking and dodging are powerful in New World, but they both come with unique advantages and disadvantages. In situations where you're going up against multiple opponents or foes that use a lot of light attacks, blocking is better because your stamina won't be drained too much. Defending yourself against a flurry of blows is also much easier with blocking than it is with dodging.

Dodging will be the better option when facing opponents that attack slowly, but deal heavy damage with each hit. Trying to block attacks like this will drain your stamina rapidly and can even lead to it being fully depleted, which prevents you from defending yourself against follow-up attacks for several seconds. Therefore, dodging is the best option against slow, but heavy bursts of damage.

Create attack chains with weapon skills

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In New World, every basic light and heavy attack chain has recovery frames after them that prevent you from continuing your onslaught. However, you can cancel these by mixing weapon skill attacks into your combos, allowing you to stay on the offensive. This strategy is incredibly effective, especially if you have two melee weapons that you can swap between in combat so that you always have one or more of your skills ready to go.

This strategy is particularly effective when fighting PvE enemies that can be easily staggered or PvP opponents in duels, as you can quickly dish out a lot of damage without having to worry about retaliation. In PvP, players that don't see this coming may try to block your attacks, thinking that you're just using a standard attack chain. Mixing in your weapon skills can often catch them off-guard and break through their block, staggering them and giving you even more time to attack.

Specialize your character

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While it's true that New World is a classless MMO that doesn't tie you down to any one playstyle, it's nevertheless a good idea to specialize your character with two weapons and two or three main Attributes. Trying to be a jack-of-all-trades will result in a situation where none of your Weapon Masteries or Attributes are leveled up enough for optimal effectiveness at your level, which isn't ideal.

In general, it's best to pick two weapons that synergize well with your preferred stats and stick with them so that you can level up your Weapon Mastery with them and unlock their passive and active abilities in a timely fashion. For example, a tanky character with lots of points in Strength and Constitution will do well with a Great Axe and a Sword and Shield, while someone with lots of Dexterity and Intelligence will be very effective with a Rapier and Musket combo.

Salvage, don't sell

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As you progress through New World and collect more and more loot, you may feel the temptation to sell some of it in the game's player-driven market system. However, this generally isn't a good idea until you get close to the endgame since you can get plenty of money from quests and there aren't many people who are likely to buy junk gear that's likely clogging up their inventory as well.

It's much better to salvage the gear instead, as this will give you plenty of parts and materials that you can use when crafting new pieces of gear or repairing the weapons and armor that you're currently using. In the vast majority of cases, salvaging is superior to selling.

Search locations thoroughly for chests

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As you explore the open world and fight your way through each location, keep an eye out for chests, supply crates, and other containers. A lot of the time you won't find anything other than crafting materials, but you have a decent shot of finding some new armor or a new weapon as well. There's ultimately no reason not to look for chests, especially since most of them aren't hard to find.

In our experience, you'll usually find chests within or close to structures like houses, cottages, and stables. You can also sometimes find lootable containers and objects in settlements, too. For instance, the town of First Light has a well in the center that you can collect water from.

Do high XP missions first each day

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Every day, the first three quests you complete reward you with double XP thanks to a daily bonus. Therefore, an easy way to maximize your XP gains while leveling up is to do tougher and more rewarding quests first so that you get a huge boost from the daily bonus. Using the daily bonus on smaller quests still gives you a decent bump, but you should definitely prioritize larger ones.

Turning on PvP gives you more XP

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If you're not afraid of potentially fighting other players while playing New World, flagging PvP on in the open world by pressing the U key is a good idea. It gives all of your XP gains a 5% increase, which can help you level up considerably. Additionally, killing other players can reward you with large chunks of XP, though you should keep in mind that killing the same player over and over again quickly will yield sharply diminishing returns (this prevents players from exploiting PvP XP gains). Note that in New World, you don't lose items or XP when you die. Therefore, there's really no risk to turning PvP on.

Set up ambushes in PvP

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Building off of the last tip, if you're planning on trying to kill other players in the open world, the best way to do so is to set ambushes by hiding behind cover near roads. Since New World is a third-person game, you'll be able to see approaching players before they see you. This will allow you to catch them by surprise and land the first few hits, which gives you a huge advantage.

If you use ranged weapons like bows, muskets, and staves, it's also a good idea to try to begin your ambush from a high position. This allows you to take several clear potshots at players before they can fight back, especially if they're a melee character.

Invest in housing

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Our last tip is to invest in housing as you progress through the game. Houses are available for purchase in each major settlement, and while they're expensive, they're worth investing in. Compared to standard fast travel between points of interest that requires valuable Azoth currency, you can fast travel to and between your houses without any cost.

You will have to wait a few hours before you can fast travel to a house again, but by owning several houses throughout the map (the max you can have is three) and using their fast travels economically, you can ensure you always have a free fast travel available that gets you close to where you need to go. This allows you to use the Azoth that you would have used on standard fast traveling for crafting bonuses of Weapon Mastery respecs instead, which are ultimately more valuable.

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.