In the MMO New World, leveling up is not as simple as it is in other RPGs. This is because in New World, there is a lot more to level up than just your character, and leveling up your character doesn’t necessarily do what you would expect it to. This is why we’ve created this New World leveling guide for you.

In fact, while playing the game, you will be leveling up your character, your weapons, your gathering skills, your crafting and refining skills, and your reputation. Settlements can also level up but that is separate from your character and so a subject for another guide. And while this all might seem rather daunting, once it’s broken down you’ll be a top tier logger in no time.

Leveling Up Your Character

Leveling up your character functions largely like it does in other RPGs. You earn exp by completing quests and fighting enemies, and once you get enough, you level.

Simple.

But what do you get from leveling up your character?

The answer is, not much. You get your maxed HP increased and you get three points to divide as you chose among five attributes.

Character Attributes

The five attributes in New World are strength, dexterity, intelligence, focus, and constitution.

Points in constitution further increase your max HP, and points in the other five are tied to the scaling of your weapons, which we will get to in a minute. Finally, every fifty points you put into an attribute unlocks a special attribute bonus, which can be anything from extra damage to increased harvesting speeds.

Leveling Weapons

Now weapons are, unsurprisingly, at the heart of combat- sometimes literally if you’re a good shot with your bow. They are also the closest thing to a class you have in New World.

The weapon types are broken down into four categories, as can be seen in the table below.

One-HandedTwo-HandedRangedMagic
Swords and ShieldsSpearsBowsFire Staffs
HatchetsGreat AxesMusketsLife Staffs
RapiersWar HammersIce Gauntlets
Void Gauntlets
New World Weapon Types by Category

To level up your weapons, all you have to do is kill stuff with them. At any given time, you can have two different weapons equipped. You can freely switch between them during a fight, and it is often times tactically wise to do so. Naturally the amount of exp you gain is determined by how tough the enemy you are fighting is, but if you use two weapons during that fight, you will divide the exp between them.

Weapon Skills

Once you level up your weapon you get one point you can spend to unlock a weapon skill. New World uses a fairly standard skill tree system.

Starting at the top, you can buy one of the listed skills which then unlocks the next row down and so on. Each weapon has two separate skill trees that focus on different specializations.

For example, the bow has one for stealthy sniping, and the other is for a more skirmisher, shoot on the run type approach. Each weapon maxes out at level twenty, meaning you have to divide those twenty points between both of the weapon’s skill trees.

Finally, weapons skills are broken down into active and passive skills.

When a player has a weapon equipped, they can have a maximum of three active weapon skills equipped as well, which gives you a good range of options in combat. The passive skills are quite strong as well of course. So choosing how to allocate your points with different weapons is what will determine your combat build and fighting style.

But do not worry if you’re unsure what to do. Players can re-spec their weapons, and their attributes, for free up to character level twenty. Plus you can try any and all of the weapons, mixing and matching as you please, so you have plenty of flexibility to find out what playstyle works best for you.

New World Leveling Guide: the Gathering, Refining, & Crafting

Next we come to gathering skills. Many MMOs have you gathering resources to craft items, but New World goes in depth, making this one of their core gameplay mechanics. You will find a wide variety of natural resources just by wandering the overworld. In fact, almost any terrain feature you find will be gatherable.

In order to gather a resource you simply need the right gathering tool equipped, then you click on the resource to begin gathering. Doing so will give you exp with that specific gathering skill.

Leveling up a gathering skill will allow you to gather higher level resources of that type. Leveling a gathering skill will also give you the ability to see resources of that type listed on your compass map. This makes it easier to find that sweet sweet iron.

The Five Gathering Skills

  • Fishing requires a pole and is used to catch fish, unsurprisingly.
  • Harvesting requires a sickle and lets you gather plants and herbs and the like.
  • Logging requires an axe and lets you chop down trees for wood.
  • Mining requires a pickaxe and lets you get minerals such as stone, iron, or gold.
  • Skinning requires a knife and lets you get hides/furs and meat from the animals you kill on your adventures.

Once you’ve gathered resources, the refining and crafting skills are what you use to make everything from your arrows (yes, the game tracks your ammunition, and yes it takes up a lot of your inventory weight) to your boots. The refining skills are what you use to turn raw materials into well… refined materials, such as turning iron ore into iron ingots, or wood into charcoal.

The Five Refining Skills

  • Leatherworking
  • Stonecutting
  • Smelting
  • Weaving  

As with everything in New World, you level your refining skills by doing. And leveling them up you lets you refine higher tiers of resources.

The crafting skills are what you use to actually make the weapons and tools in New World. You don’t have vendors in New World, and while you can buy items directly from other players, they are expensive, and not always available, so get ready to craft a lot.

The Seven Crafting Skills

  • Weaponsmithing is used to craft all melee weapons except for the spear
  • Armoring is used to craft all the armor in the game
  • Woodworking is used to craft lumper, planks, timber, and sandpaper
  • Engineering is used to craft the spear, ranged weapons, ammunition, and tools
  • Jewelcrafting is used to craft jewels and gems
  • Arcana is used to craft potion/tinctures and gauntlets/staffs
  • Cooking is used to craft bait, meals, and rations
  • Furnishing is used to craft all the furnishings for your home, if you buy one.

Leveling up the crafting skills unlock blueprints for crafting new items or higher tier versions of old items, such as a wooden sword vs an iron sword. However, what you can craft is also dependent on the tier of crafting station you are working at, so make sure the settlement you are in has the right crafting stations to meet your needs.

What Resources to Prioritize in New World

Next up in our New World Leveling guide: now that you know the basics of gathering and crafting, there is the question of what to gather and what to craft.

This will depend on what sort of build you are going for and what your general playstyle is (do you prefer to get the best weapon for killing monsters or would you rather have the fanciest house and so on). However, a few resources will be generally more applicable than others.

Iron

Mining Iron New World
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Iron is one of (if not the) most important resource in the game. It’s used in the creation of iron weapons and tools, such as an iron sword, or iron pickaxe. Iron is also one of the ingredients in making steel, which is used to make better versions of all your iron weapons and tools. And if you use either the bow or musket it will be invaluable to you because you will need it to craft the bulk of your ammunition.

Iron is not the most abundant resource and can be a bit hard to find. It usually shows up on cliffsides or mountainsides, but that doesn’t mean ever rockface will have iron veins to mine. Luckily though, if you get your mining skill to twenty-five, iron ore veins will start showing up on your compass map, making them much easier to find, and putting a lot more iron ore in your inventory. So leveling mining early on is very useful.

Wood

Wood is another resource that you can’t get enough of.

Archers love wood most of all because they need it to craft their bows and arrows, but even players who never plan to touch a bow will want a lot of it. Wood can be turned into charcoal at any smelting station, and charcoal is the third ingredient (along with iron ingots and flux) needed to create steel ingots.

Also, green wood is one of the resources needed to create campsites, so you’ll always want to have some on hand.

Logging Mature Tree- wood
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Wood is much easier to come by than iron. You can barely take a step in the over world without tripping over a tree or bush. However, unlike iron, there are, primarily, two types of wood gathered from two types of trees.

Young trees give you green wood, which can be refined into timber. This is used for all your basic needs.

Mature trees give you aged wood, which is refined into lumber. Lumber is to timber what steel is to iron, so if you plan on doing a lot of woodworking you will want a lot of lumber.

Mature trees are just as easy to find as young trees. There aren’t as many in any given area, but you will still have no trouble getting all the aged wood you could ever need. But in order to cut down mature trees you need a logging level of fifty. That may sound daunting but just start chopping down young trees like you want to build a McDonalds and you’ll level your logging before you know it.

Hemp

Hemp Gathering
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Hemp is another resource almost everyone will need. Now before you get too excited, New World uses hemp in the boring way, not the fun way. In other words you will refine hemp fibers into cloth, which is needed anytime you craft clothing or armor (yes, armor requires cloth too, even if it’s steel armor; this game is going for the realism thing here).

Hemp can be a bit hard to find. It is somewhere between trees and iron ore veins in terms of rarity. However, just like with iron ore and mining, if you get your harvesting skill up to twenty-five you can track hemp on your compass map. So harvest as many plants as you can to get that twenty-five early and you’ll be set.

Every time you harvest hemp it gives you harvesting exp so you can keep leveling the skill even if you don’t specifically focus on it.

Flint

At the start of the game, flint is king. You will use it to craft all your basic weapons and tools. Pretty soon though it will fall off in favor of iron. However Flint is the second resource (along with green wood) needed to create campsites, so you will always need some of it, no matter how high level you are.

Flint is really an honorable mention on this list at best. Sure it is necessary, but it requires no skill ranks to gather. Plus, it is everywhere in the overworld. If you need some flint just turn around and you will probably find a small brown rock on the ground to mine. It also litters the ground of any body of water. Wherever you are, there is flint for the taking.

Those are the main resources that every player will need at some point. Most others are more build or playstyle dependent.

What to Craft

When it comes to the crafting skills, most of them depend on your build. If you favor gauntlets/staffs, you’ll want to focus on leveling arcana. Going with ranged weapons or spears? You’ll want to focus on leveling engineering. If you go with a melee build you’ll want to focus on leveling weaponsmithing. However two crafting skills are more generally applicable than the others.

Woodworking

Woodworking is probably the most important crafting skill. You need woodworking to turn your wood into timber and lumber. As mentioned above, you will almost definitely need timber and lumber at some point, regardless of how you play.

Cooking

Cooking is not strictly necessary. One can get buy on raw food. However, cooking is used to create better quality food. And since food is your primary source of healing in New World, everyone can get use out of the cooking skill.  

Your Reputation Proceeds You

Campsite - Reputation
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

The final thing we’re highlight in our New World leveling guide is your reputation.

Another fun aspect of New World is that the map is broken up into different territories. While you go about your daily business of resource management, questing, and murder in a given territory, you will gain reputation exp for that territory. And each time you level up your reputation in a territory, you get to choose a cool bonus to gain while in that territory. These are things like additional player exp, faster reputation gain, lower taxes on trade within settlements.

New World Leveling Guide: Time to Play!

There you have the basics of leveling in New World. While you will dabble in a bit of everything as you play the game, New World is flexible. If you want to do it all, you can. If you only care about being the best swordsman you can be, you can focus on that. Or you can spend all day chopping down trees and collecting rare flowers. Whatever you want to do, you now have a better understanding of how to progress through the New World.

Happy hunting and gathering!        

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