New World is rather unique as far as MMOs go. Rather than use a class system to build your character, it uses a weapon system. It further differentiates itself letting players wield two different weapons at the same time, swapping between them as needed. We’ve previously covered each of the individual weapons in the game, so in this guide, we’ll be covering some of the best weapon combos in New World.
Let’s get started!
What Makes a Good Weapon Combo?
Let’s start by discussing what traits we are looking for in a weapon pairing. We classify them into three main categories: attributes, playstyle, and complimentary skills.
First up is attributes. This is very straightforward — if two weapons use the same primary attribute, combining them is very point-efficient. You don’t always have to choose weapons that scale off the same attribute, but it’s nice when they line up and you don’t suffer from the dreaded MAD (Multiple Attribute Dependence).
Next is playstyle. Weapons like the Rapier want a more agile, light armor playstyle that focuses on dodging. Weapons like the War Hammer want a more tanky, heavy armor playstyle. As you can guess, combining them creates a problem. Ideally, your two weapons should play largely the same, at least as far as armor choices go.
Finally, there’s the matter of complimentary skills. This essentially means that the second weapon does something the first weapon lacks, or shores up some weakness in the first weapon’s strategy.
What Makes a Bad Weapon Combo?
Let’s return for a moment to playstyle. I said above that weapons with a similar playstyle make for a good combo, but that’s not all there is to it. You need those weapons to approach that playstyle in different ways, or they can easily become a bad combo.
The Greataxe and War Hammer seem like a good combo in that they’re both Strength-based weapons that prefer a tankier, heavy armor build, but they’re too similar — having both of them is redundant. The Musket and Rapier, on the other hand, cover each other’s weaknesses. They synergize in that both prefer a more dodge-focused build, but one is ranged and the other is melee.
This should give you an idea of what sort of synergies to look for so you can figure out good weapon combos on your own.
Best Weapon Combos in New World
Now that we have the basics covered, let’s look in depth at some of the best weapon combos, shall we?
1) Musket and Rapier
I’ve covered these weapons in my guide on the best DPS build in New World, but they’re worth covering again as a stellar example of one of the best weapon combos in New World. Let’s go through each of the points before covering the basics of the build.
The attributes for both weapons line up nicely. Each one scales off Dexterity, so that checks off the first box.
Both the Musket and the Rapier are DPS weapons that favor mobility, dodging, and lighter armor. So the playstyles are very compatible. Check.
Finally, the weapons have very complimentary abilities. Let’s get into that with the build.
a) The Build
The Musket helps you keep your distance and take down enemies from afar. You’ll want to focus on skills like Shooter’s Stance and Powder Burn to lay on the damage. Ideally, the enemy never gets in close and you can take them out from afar. That won’t always be possible, however, and that’s where the Rapier comes in.
Now you see why the weapon’s skills are so complimentary. Take them out from afar with raw DPS and DOTs, but if they get in close, hit them with more DOTs and retreat back to range. This is a very powerful combination, but a rather fragile one, so make sure you’re good at dodging, and don’t take on too many enemies at once.
b) Alternate Build: Bow Variant
Just like in our DPS guide, I want to highlight the alternative version of the above build that swaps out the Musket for the Bow. This version is pretty much the same as the Musket build, so I will just go into a brief look at the differences.
While the Musket is a bit better in raw DPS, the Bow variant has the advantage that the ammunition is easier to craft. Also, some people just prefer to the Bow to the Musket, and I don’t think it is enough of a loss in DPS to discourage going with the weapon you prefer.
2) War Hammer and Life Staff
In our guide to the best solo build in New World, we chose the War Hammer as our top weapon choice. I stand by that assertion, but I forgot to add in the Life Staff as an upgrade. Let’s get into it here.
First, the attributes. Sadly, they don’t line up, but that is only a minor problem. You can evenly divide your points between Strength, Constitution, and Focus, or combine them whatever way you prefer.
The War Hammer and Life Staff don’t directly synergize or conflict when it comes to playstyle, so that’s neutral. It’s really the complimentary skills that make these weapons a great combo.
a) The Build
The War Hammer is a great weapon choice because it has a nice balance of tanking and damage. I said (and stand by) that Sword & Shield is the best tank weapon, but that’s for pure tanking. In that build, the damage is a bit lacking, so the War Hammer is the pick for solo play.
With skills such as Mighty Gavel for raw damage, and Shockwave as one of (if not the) best tank skill in the game, you’re set. Just put on some heavy armor and plonk away at your enemies until they stop moving.
It shouldn’t take a genius to see why the Life Staff pairs so well with the War Hammer here. Just swap weapons to heal up when you need to, whether that’s surviving a fight or topping off your hit points when they’re running a little low. For this build, you can focus on the Healer skill tree exclusively. The choice is ultimately up to you, but the War Hammer plus the heavy armor should make you tanky enough that the healing is all you need from the life staff.
b) Alternate Build: Greataxe Variant
Much like the previous build, you can use a slight variation of this build. Personally I think the Greataxe isn’t quite as good as the War Hammer, but not enough to discourage you using it, if that is your preference. The Greataxe is also fun and has some really nice moves such as Execute and Gravity Well.
But let’s be honest, the Life Staff pairs nicely with pretty much any other weapon, as having one for damage and one to heal yourself is a good combo.
3) Fire Staff and Ice Gauntlet
This is a more niche weapon combo, but still a potent one. Designed as one of the best weapon combos for New World’s PVP war modes, you’ll lay waste to hordes of incoming enemies.
First, let’s look at the attributes. Both weapons scale of off Intelligence, so we have that covered.
As far as playstyle is concerned, both weapons are ranged DPS. There are arguments for either light or heavy armor here, so choose your preference. Whichever you do choose will work fine for both weapons, so we’re good on playstyle.
Finally, there’s the matter of complimentary skills. For the purposes of these PVP modes, these two weapons compliment each other very nicely indeed.
a) The Build
This is a very simple build. In these PVP modes, you have a lot (and I mean a lot) of enemies. So what do you do? You grab the two best AOE weapons in the game and rain fiery and icy death down on all those enemies. The Fire Staff has a bit more raw DPS, but the Ice Gauntlet can deliver some nice slow effects. Also, never underestimate Ice Pylon.
These two weapons are fairly similar, and in other situations might fall into my warning about bad combos because they can be somewhat redundant. But in these PVP modes, that redundancy is working in your favor. You want to make sure you always have an AOE ready to launch so you’re never caught with all your cooldowns going at the same time.
Join the High Ground
We hope you found our guide on the best weapon combos in New World helpful and can choose the right one for yourself. If you think we should include another weapon combo, let us know! And make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more content. We offer regular features on all the best games, including more New World.
Happy fighting, explorer!