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New World Greataxe Build Guide

Who doesn’t like swinging around oversized weapons? According to the MMO developers of the world, nobody, apparently (when was the last time you saw a regular-sized sword?). This is true of New World as well, which is why we’ll be taking a look at the best Greataxe builds in New World. We’ll go over the active skills for the weapon, then jump into some builds based off the best playstyles for this massive weapon.

Let’s get started!

Looking for more New World tips and tricks? View all our New World guides.

New World Greataxe Build: Active Skills

As per usual, let’s begin this guide to the best Greataxe builds in New World by going over the active skills in depth.


Reap- Greataxe Build Active Skill
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Reap is the aptly named first-row skill of the Reaper skill tree. Pull your enemy over so you can axe them a question.

With this skill, you extend your axe up to 5m and pull the enemy towards you, dealing 70% weapon damage. This skill has the taunt gem compatible ability. All this comes at a 17.7s cooldown.

This skill brings enemies in close, which is what you want with the Greataxe. The move is a bit situational, but definitely worth grabbing in the right build.


Charge- Active Skill for Greataxes
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Charge is the second-row active skill of the Reaper skill tree. Charge forward 10m and deal 120% weapon damage when you reach the target. If you press the LMB you end the charge early. This ability has grit and comes at a 19.6s cooldown.

This skill is a solid gap closer, which is always nice with a big melee weapon. The timing can be a bit tricky, and the cooldown is a bit long. Overall, though, it’s a good move that’s worth grabbing and upgrading.


Execute - Greataxe Build Active Skill
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

The third-row active skill in the Reaper skill tree is Execute. It’s likely to do what it says on the tin.

This is an overhand attack that deals 200% weapon damage, or 300% if they are at 50% health or below. This comes at a 24.5s cooldown.

You won’t get much better damage than this from any single skill in the game. The cooldown timer is (understandably) quite high, but there’s no question this ability is worth it. Both the damage and the upgrades make for one hell of a finisher.


Maelstrom - Active Skills - Greataxes
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Maelstrom is the first-row active skill in the Mauler skill tree. Spin to win — can I get a Hyaa!?

Perform a quick spin attack that draws in enemies within 2.5m and does 110% weapon damage. This comes at a 19.6s cooldown.

If you want all the enemies coming to you, then this is the skill you need. There’s not much bad about it, unless you count being surrounded by all the enemies as bad.

Great for the right build.


Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

The second-row active skill in the Mauler skill tree is Whirlwind. Can I get another Hyaa!?

Spin and hit all enemies within 2.5m for 50% weapon damage. If you hit a foe, you spin again (up to four times max). You can move during your spin and the ability has grit. This comes at a 29.5s cooldown.

The damage on this skill is solid if you’re surrounded. Plus grit is a nice bonus that shouldn’t be underestimated. The cooldown is steep and the skill is a lot worse when not surrounded by enemies. In other words, it’s good in the right build/situation, but otherwise a bit lackluster.

Gravity Well

Gravity Well - New World Greataxe Build Guide
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Gravity Well is the third-row active skill in the Mauler skill tree. Who doesn’t want an axe strong enough to rip a hole in the fabric of space and time? Okay…maybe just space, but still.

Deal 99% weapon damage and create a vortex up to 10m away. The vortex pulls in all enemies within 4m and roots them for 1s. Enemies in the vortex also have their move speed reduced by 60% until the skill ends. This happens after 3s and comes with a 125% weapon damage AOE! All this for the cost of a 29.5s cooldown.

This is a great crowd control move with solid damage to boot. It’s got a steep cooldown, but given all the bells and whistles, it’s a deserved one. It’s an overall great move, and well worth picking up and upgrading.

New World Greataxe Builds

Now that we’ve covered the active skills, let’s look closer at the best Greataxe builds in New World.

Hack & Slash Build

The Hack & Slash build focuses more on raw DPS and is better suited for solo play.


Strength is the most important attribute here, since that is what the Greataxe scales off of. However, you also want a bit of Constitution to pair with your strength. It’s always good to fortify your HP!


A good case can be made for going either light or heavy with your armor, depending on your preferred playstyle. Personally, I recommend heavy armor, since it lets you focus more on the hacking and slashing without needing to worry as much about the pesky dodging.

Active Skills

First off, you’re going to want Charge. A good gap closer is always nice for aggressive playstyles like this one.

Next comes the bread and butter of this build, this being Execute. You won’t get better DPS than Execute, and with its upgrades, it becomes an even better finisher.

The final active skill is more of a personal choice, but I’m partial to Gravity Well. It is quite strong, and frankly just fun.

Passive Skills

First and foremost, focus on fully upgrading Execute and Charge, though Execute especially. After that, basically all the passive skills in the Reaper skill tree are good picks. True to the name, you’re gonna love it when you kill an enemy (all the ability procs, all of them).


Unsurprisingly, Blood Lust is the capstone to take in this build. Mauler’s Fury is also quite strong, but we simply won’t have the points in the Mauler skill tree to unlock it.

Tank Build

This build is much better for group play, as it is all about making sure the enemies hit you and only you. Also, being surrounded by all the enemies at once is a much better idea when you have some support.


The key attributes are the same as the Hack & Slash build, but mixing up the ratio is the right play here. It’s a personal choice whether or not you want to have Strength or Constitution be your primary attribute, just so long as you put some points in the other.


Definitely go with fully heavy armor for this build — you are a tank, after all. Also, don’t forget your carnelian gem.

Active Skills

First, we want Reap from the Reaper skill tree. The skill itself is nice enough for our build, and is the only Greataxe skill with the Taunt Gem Compatible feature, and no tank is complete without that.

Next is a toss up between Maelstrom and Whirlwind. Do you want to draw enemies in closer, or do you want to deal more damage when enemies are already in close? Either one is good. Normally, I’d say Maelstrom all the way since it draws in enemies (and that’s what a tank wants), but the third active skill we’re picking up already handles that. So it’s up to you!

Finally — you guessed it — Gravity Well. What can I say? It slices, it dices, it drags, it roots, it reduces move speed, it explodes! It basically does everything a tank wants to do.

Passive Skills

Fully upgrading your active skills, as per usual, is the first priority. Dipping three extra points into the Reaper skill tree is a bit rough, but well worth it. After that, focus on the Mauler skill tree. It offers plenty of goodies that reward you for being surrounded, which is what we want.


Yep, Mauler’s Fury is the pick here, big shock. Blood Lust is good, of course, but we’re only putting four points into Reaper, so we won’t unlock it.

Join the High Ground

And there you have it — the best Greataxe builds in New World. You haft to try at least one of these builds immediately, assuming you can hack it. If you enjoyed this guide, leave a comment below and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest in the gaming world, and keep coming back for New World content.

Chop chop, explorer!

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