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New World: Hatchet Builds Guide

Do you like DPS? If you like to hit your enemies hard and fast — or not so hard, but fast enough to make up for it — then the hatchet in New World is perfect for you. Whether you prefer to deal your DPS up close and personal or keep a healthy six-foot distance between you and your opponent, the hatchet’s got you covered. This New World hatchet guide will show you the two primary builds to ratchet up your hatchet.

Let’s get started!

A Tale of Two Builds: Best Hatchet Builds

There are two main builds that the hatchet uses, the first being a melee tank/DPS build, and the second being a ranged/melee hybrid DPS build. Both are fairly different despite still primarily being DPS builds at heart. Before going into the specifics of the builds, let’s detail the skills you’ll be working with.

Hatchet Guide Skill Trees: Berserker VS Throwing

As with all weapons in New World, the hatchet has two skill trees available — the Berserker skill tree and the Throwing skill tree. The names are pretty self explanatory as far as what you can expect, so let’s dive into a more in-depth look at the individual skills themselves.

Berserker Skills

1. Berserk

Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Berserk is the titular skill of the Berserker skill tree and the first row active skill. This means you can purchase it with your first skill point, and that’s a very solid choice.

You enter a Berserk mode for 12s. While in this mode, your damage is increased by 20%. Berserk also has the Taunt Gem Compatible ability. This skill has a 17.7s cooldown, but it is worth noting that the cooldown does not start until the ability ends (so after twelve seconds of Berserk, you have to wait another 17.7 seconds to use the skill again).

Berserk is a super solid skill and the upgrades make it even better. They’re all worth taking. I don’t really have anything bad to say about this ability. The cooldown is a bit long, but for the effect, it’s well worth it. You also have to invest five skill points total to fully upgrade the skill, but again, it’s well worth it.

Berserk is probably the strongest ability the hatchet gets, though I would argue a bit build-specific (we’ll get into that later).

2. Feral Rush

Feral Rush
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Feral Rush is the second row active skill in the Berserker skill tree. It is a two-hit gap closer — you leap forward and hit twice, once for 115% weapon damage, then again for 130% weapon damage. This comes at a 11.8s cooldown.

This skill is good because you get two attacks for decent damage with one skill, but I was a bit disappointed by the distance you jump. As far as gap closers go, it isn’t much of one. Also, I wasn’t thrilled by the two upgrades. Getting to root targets with Crippling Strikes sounds good, but needing to hit them in the back is a bit harder than you might think.

I would rate the ability a solid meh out of ten. If you want it, get it, but I wasn’t overly impressed.

3. Raging Torrent

Raging Torrent
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Raging Torrent is the third row active skill in the Berserker skill tree. This is the part where you don’t hit ‘em hard, but hit ‘em fast enough to make up for it. Activating this skill lets you hit the enemy four times for 90% weapon damage each. This comes at a 14.7s cooldown.

It’s got solid damage, and the final upgrade is really nice, giving you an extra hit. Unfortunately, the timing on the final light attack can be a bit tricky. Personally, I feel the movement buff is less important for the build I’d consider using this in.

Overall, Raging Torrent is solid. It isn’t a big stand out, but could definitely be worth the three point investment if you want it.

Throwing Skills

1. Rending Throw

Rending Throw
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Rending Throw is the first row active skill in the Throwing skill tree. It is a deceptively good ability that does what it says on the tin. You throw your hatchet up to 25m, dealing 110% weapon damage and applying rend (a 10% loss in damage absorption for 10s). This comes at the low low price of a 7.9s cooldown.

The 7.9s cooldown is one of the lowest you will see. You do have to make your way down to the fifth row to fully upgrade it, which is a bit of an investment, and Rending Throw needs to be fully upgraded to really shine. Once you’ve fully upgraded this skill, chaining the attacks reduces the cooldown to 5s, making this move exquisitely spammable.

I didn’t really think much of Rending Throw until I fully upgraded it. It can be spammed like nobody’s business, meaning your enemies are always suffering from rend. This is good on its own, but a lot of the Thrown skill tree’s abilities require targets to be suffering from a debuff to proc, making Rending Throw a great enabler as well. All around, it’s a very solid skill.

2. Social Distancing

Social Distancing
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Social Distancing is not just a good practice when going outside, but a good skill in the Throwing skill tree. Throw your hatchet at an enemy up to 25m for 130% weapon damage and then dodge backwards. On a hit, the target is slowed (15% reduction to move speed for 3s). This comes at a 14.7s cooldown.

Not only does this move jump you backwards to keep your distance from enemies, it also slows them to make it harder for them to close that distance back. A very annoying combination to face. And the upgrades are very solid. Also, the name…that’s just beautiful. There’s not much bad about the skill. It’s only really good for a specific build, but that’s hardly a downside.

In general, it’s very good in a kiting build. It also applies a debuff to enable other skills in the Thrown skill tree, so it works as a solid opener.

3. Infected Throw

Infected Throw
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Eww, now your hatchet has icky stuff on it. Also, how you can give diseases to a skeleton is a question this guide is not equipped to handle.

Infected Throw deals 150% weapon damage and inflict disease/weaken on the target for 10s. This comes at a 14.7s cooldown.

This is the most damaging ability the Throwing skill tree gets and the debuffs are solid. Not much bad about it. It isn’t as integral to its build as the other two Throwing active skills, though. Overall, it’s a solid move that’s fairly strong. Definitely not essential, though — focus on your upgrades for the other skills first.

New World Hatchet Guide: Builds

Up next in our New World Hatchet guide are our two recommended builds.

1. The Tank/DPS Build

Hatchet with Heavy Armor
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Let’s be honest and call this build what it is — the Berserk build. This is the build for when you want to get up close and way too personal with your hatchet. The plan is super simple. Run up to your target and don’t stop hitting them till they go down. That’s pretty much it.

The Attributes

The Hatchet scales off of Strength first and Dexterity second, so focus your attributes in that order. You can also replace Dexterity with Constitution if you want to focus more on the tank side of the build.

The Equipment

This is a simple build that can be done how you want without too much issue, but I recommend getting the heaviest armor you can and sticking with that. Also, while not the best build for a party tank, this one can definitely work in that slot. So if you want to pick up a Carnelian gem, you can slot that into your hatchet to take advantage of the Taunt Gem Compatible ability.


Unsurprisingly, Berserk is the active skill you care about the most. Buy it and upgrade the bejesus out of it. The damage boost is solid, as are all the upgrades. The other two active skills in the Berserker skill tree are alright, but prioritize Berserk and the various passive skills first.

Unlike most weapon builds in New World, the passive skills are really where this build shines. First and foremost, get all the upgrades for Berserk. They’re all super solid, but Uninterruptable Berserk blows them all away. Being immune to stagger while in Berserk mode is amazing and really solidifies the strategy of start hitting and don’t stop ‘till they’re dead (or I suppose dead again, in the case of those aforementioned skeletons).

Aside from the Berserk upgrades, there are two passive skills in the Berserker skill tree that are top picks for this build. And surprisingly, both are first row skills. Accumulated Power gives you a 30% damage boost for 3s on a target you’ve hit with three consecutive light attacks. Follow that up with Enraged Strikes, which gives your light and heavy attacks a 20% damage boost against targets at 30% or less health and you are really demolishing your enemies.

Finally, I want to highlight an odd choice you might want to slot into this build, though it is totally optional. Aimed Throw from the Throwing skill tree, as well as Critical Throw might be ones to consider. Aimed Throw swaps out your block button for a ranged attack with your hatchet, and Critical Throw upgrades that. I only suggest these because with how much this build wants to attack, attack, attack, you might not care about blocking anyway. But that decision is up to you.

The Capstone

It’s no shock Defy Death is the pick for this build. It really helps with the tanking in the event that your reckless fighting style gets you killed.

2. The Ranged/Melee DPS Build

The Ranged/Melee DPS Build
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

This build is interesting as it can blend melee attacks with a keeping your distance/kiting strategy. It does this by focusing on debuffs to up your damage.

The Attributes

The attribute breakdown is basically the same for this build as the previous one. Strength is the best attribute, then it’s your choice whether you want to prioritize more damage or a bit of survivability.

The Equipment

Here’s where things differ. For this build you want to maximize your dodge, making sure it stays in the light category. This means wearing almost exclusively light armor to keep your weight down.


All three active skills from the Throwing skill tree are good choices for this build, though I recommend primarily focusing on Rending Throw and Social Distancing. While Social Distancing is great, especially as an opener, Rending Throw’s spammability is just so good for the build that it should probably be your first priority. Fully upgrading all three skills is a solid plan, though!

Things get really interesting in this build with the passive skills, as some of them fundamentally change the game in ways passive skills usually don’t. All the passive skills in the Throwing skill tree are good picks that you should grab at some point or another, but there are two standouts in the first row.

Aimed Throw is a skill that replaces your block with a thrown attack to compliment your light and heavy ones. This is great because you’ll focus on dodging in this build and maneuvering around your enemies, so blocking isn’t necessary anyway. Then there’s Critical Throw, which allows your Aimed Throw to score critical hits. This is an ability not to be overlooked.

The Capstone

Persistent Hindrance is the capstone ability for the Throw Skill tree and a no-brainer pick for this build. Since you’ll be constantly inflicting debuffs on your enemies while you run, dodge, and throw, increasing their durations by 30% is phenomenal.

Join the High Ground

That’s it for our New World Hatchet Guide! Now if you bare any grudges in the New World you know the best ways to bury the hatchet. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest New World guides and more.

Happy chopping, explorer!

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