Like most other MMOs, New World has two basic modes of play — PVP (player versus player) and PVE (player versus environment). In this guide, we’ll cover the best builds for PVE play in New World. Since we’ve previously discussed recommendations for the best solo PVE builds, we’ll now be focusing on New World’s best PVE builds for group play.

We’ll be looking at the best weapons to fill the tank, healer, and DPS roles. Since DPS can be further broken down into melee and ranged, we’ll offer options for both. By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to make the strongest possible team to face all the dangers New World has to offer.

Let’s get started!

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Best Tank Builds in New World PVE

New World Best PvE Builds: Group Guide
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We already have a comprehensive guide to the best tank weapon in New World, if you’d like to check that out. Let’s go over the build again here, as well as a couple of the other best tanking build options for PVE play.

1. Sword & Shield

Our first stop for tank builds is for pure tanking play, and it begins with the Sword & Shield. This build is especially good in group play, and your teammates will be able to count on you to absorb tons of damage.

Skills

For this build, you’ll want to focus on the Defender skill tree. All three of the active skills are good to get and fully upgrade.

  • Shield Rush staggers and pushes back foes, deals 125% weapon damage, and gives you Grit.
  • Shield Bash only deals 50% weapon damage, but it stuns and has both Grit and Taunt Gem Compatibility, making it a must-have for this build.
  • Defiant Stance gives 8s of 30% damage reduction, as well as Grit and Taunt Gem Compatibility. It doesn’t get much better than that for tanking!

All the passive skills in the Defender skill tree are great, but there are two in particular you should pick up as soon as possible.

  • Sturdy Grip reduces stamina damage from blocked melee attacks by 15%
  • High Grip reduces stamina damage from blocked ranged attacks by 15%

Attributes and Equipment

Attributes and Equipment
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For attributes, you’ll want a mix of Strength and Constitution. You could go full Constitution if you really wanted to maximize your hit points, but it’s still good to deal some damage even with a DPS backing you up.

As far as armor goes, you want the heaviest armor you can get your hands on. Go for maximizing your defense. Dodging is a lot less important if your enemies can barely scratch you in the first place. Plus you have a healer if things go real south! Also, don’t forget to equip carnelian gems into that equipment so you can draw the maximum amount of aggro. After all, you’re not much of a tank if you can’t do that.

2. Hatchet

b) The Hatchet Build
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The Hatchet is another weapon with a viable tank build, but it’s a bit unique in that the build is really centered around one specific skill.

Skills

Berserk Skill
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This build wants to grab and fully upgrade Berserk as quickly as possible. On its own, Berserk gives you a berserk mode that lasts for 12s and increases your damage by 20% for the duration. It also has the Taunt Gem Compatible ability (key for any tank build, as it draws aggro when you use the skill).

If you get the Berserking Refresh upgrade, the berserk mode also heals you. The Berserking Purge upgrade removes crowd control effects from you, and Unstoppable Berserk makes you immune to stun and stagger effects.

The other key piece to this build is the capstone, Defy Death. With it, when you take lethal damage, you instead go to 50% health and gain immortality for 30 seconds.

Attributes and Equipment

For this build, I go with my standard tank package. Focus on Strength and Constitution (Constitution more so in the team tank build). Then, with equipment, prioritize heavy armor and don’t forget to slot in those carnelian gems.

3. War Hammer

c) The War Hammer Build
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The third weapon that’s best for tanking in New World is the War Hammer. This build focuses on crowd control effects to supplement the standard tank package.

Skills

The Crowd Crusher skill tree gives you most of what you want for this build. First and foremost is Shockwave. I sing this skill’s praises in a lot of my guides, but I really think it is the best part of the War Hammer, especially for a tank build. An AOE stun just cannot be ignored. Get it, upgrade it, spam it.

Clear Out is another solid active skill to pick up. While it does not stun, Clear Out does knock back enemies, and once upgraded, can knock them down as well. While that isn’t quite as good as stunning them, Clear Out comes with Grit, which is something Shockwave lacks. And don’t underestimate it — resistance to stagger can be clutch.

The third active skill you choose is much more open, as all the options are good. Going into the Juggernaut skill tree for some extra damage is always a good choice. An argument can also be made for getting and upgrading Wrecking Ball, since it gives damage reduction. It’s really your call.

Attributes and Equipment

Holding-War-Hammer-Screenshot
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

I know I’ll sound like a broken record here, but when tanking, you really can’t beat Strength, Constitution, and heavy armor. And, of course, make sure to grab carnelian gems.

Best Healer Builds in New World PVE

New World The Best Tank Weapon
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As anyone who plays New World knows, there’s only one healer weapon — the Life Staff. It does its job well! When playing healer, you’ve got two viable paths to choose. I’ve already made a Life Staff weapon guide, so I’ll just quickly summarize it here.

1. “Pure Healer” Build

The Best Healer Weapon
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First off, you have what I call the “pure healer” build. This draws primarily from the Healer skill tree and, you know, heals you and your allies.

Skills

For this, you want all three of the active skills in the Healer skill tree.

  • Divine Embrace is a solid single target heal, healing the most in one shot.
  • Sacred Ground does great healing over time, and if your party can afford the delay, will give you the most healing for your mana.
  • Splash of Light is a burst heal for when you can’t afford to wait for Sacred Ground.

Attributes and Equipment

As far as attributes go, you want to focus on…Focus. That is the attribute that the Life Staff scales off of, after all. You also want some Constitution to keep you on your feet.

For equipment, your best bet is all heavy armor. You won’t be a very high mobility part of the team, as you’ll largely stay in the back and keep your allies up. Pair that with mana potions, and you’re good to go.

2. “Hybrid” Life Staff Build

b) The "Hybrid" Life Staff Build
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The other option for the Life Staff is what I call the “hybrid build”. This is because it does a combination of healing/buffing, with a modest amount of DPS thrown in, rather than focusing on nothing but healing.

Beacon and Light’s Embrace from the Protection skill tree are part of this build to give you a mix of buffing/damage options. As for the third active skill, either Sacred Ground or Splash of Light are solid choices. It’s up to your discretion.

Best Ranged DPS Builds in New World PVE

The Best Ranged DPS Builds
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For this build, you have a couple options. Both the Ice Gauntlet and the Fire Staff are good picks. You can also make an argument that the Bow has a place here. That being said, though, if you want the best ranged DPS option, there is only one choice — the Musket.

1. Musket

Musket-Attack-Screenshot-2
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Skills

We’ll mostly be relying on the Sharpshooter tree for this build. The first active skill the Musket wants is Powder Burn. It does a bit of extra damage, but also applies a DOT effect that is the real killer app here. Then you want Shooter’s Stance. This skill lets you rapid fire without that annoying musket reload you normally have after each shot. It is a must-have for this build.

Finally, you want Sticky Bomb from the Trapper tree. This skill does solid damage and is the only AOE on this list.

Attributes and Equipment

For attributes, you care about Dexterity and basically nothing else. For team play, you will stay in the back and just keep shooting. If all goes well, you won’t even get hit.

As for armor, the options are largely based on personal preference. In my solo DPS guide, I recommend keeping your equipment load light to maximize your dodge, but that is much less relevant in this context since you’re playing with a group and have a tank to protect you.

2. Ice Gauntlet & Fire Staff

b) The Ice Gauntlet and Fire Staff Builds - The PvE Builds
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The Musket is best for pure DPS, but that’s primarily on a single target. The Ice Gauntlet and First Staff shine when it comes to AOEs, which you may prefer in some cases. As such, both weapons play fairly similarly.

Skills

For the Ice Gauntlet, Ice Storm and Ice Shower are both good AOE options, though I am more partial to Ice Storm myself. Also, it is a violation of natural law to play Ice Gauntlet and not grab Ice Pylon. So do it. Always grab Ice Pylon.

For the Fire Staff, Pillar of Fire, Meteor Shower, and Fireball all are solid AOE picks here. Unsurprisingly, the Fire Staff is spoiled for choice when it comes to AOEs.

Attributes and Equipment

For both these weapons, Focus is the stat you care about most. You can go ham on it or add some Constitution if you wish, but that’s up to you.

As for the armor, heavier or lighter are both fine. Again, you will mostly be staying out of the action and ideally not getting hit, so pick what you like.

Best Melee DPS Builds in New World PVE

The Best Melee DPS Builds
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Here, you really have your pick of weapons. Personally, I am partial to the Rapier and the War Hammer, but the Hatchet and the Great Axe are also solid choices. It’s ultimately a matter of personal preference, but each has their standout traits.

1. Rapier

a) The Rapier
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For the Rapier, going the Bleed rout is your best bet. You can do a lot of damage via DOTs, and with the Tondo skill, you can even hit multiple targets. Once again, check out our solo DPS guide for more detail.

Attributes and Equipment

The Rapier cares about Dexterity as its primary attribute. Constitution is an optional second if you care about survivability, but that is less relevant in a group context.

As for armor, keeping your equipment load light in order to maximize dodge and mobility is the way to go for the rapier.

2. War Hammer

b) The War Hammer
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The War Hammer hits hard, especially with Mighty Gavel. However, all these melee DPS weapons do that in one form or another. What really sets the War Hammer apart is the active skill Shockwave for its AOE stun effect. I really don’t need to say more than that.

Attributes and Equipment

For attributes, the War Hammer cares about Strength first and Constitution second. Unlike the ranged DPS options, you’ll be up close and personal. Even the best tanks cannot protect you from all the damage, so survivability is more of a concern for you.

As for equipment, I personally think heavy armor is the best pairing for the War Hammer. It lets you keep smacking away without having to worry about trivial things like dodging.

3. Hatchet and Great Axe

Feral-Rush-Screenshot
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Both weapons are solid expressions of the barbarian axe murderer. The Hatchet does more single-target effects and focuses on rushing down one opponent after the other. Meanwhile, the Great Axe has more AOE and gap closer options.

Attributes and Equipment

Both weapons care about Strength first and Constitution second. As a DPS focus, I would invest more points into Strength, but again, as melee DPS, some Constitution would not be amiss.

For armor, I prefer lighter armor for the Hatchet and heavier armor for the Great Axe. Light armor’s mobility is better for the Hatchet, and heavy armor pairs well with the Great Axe’s wide sweeping attacks.

Join the High Ground

And those are our recommendations for PVE team composition in New World — thanks for reading! Grab your tank, your healer, and a ranged or melee DPS or two and you are ready to conquer the New World.

Good luck, explorers!         

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