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New World Leveling Guide for Beginners

New World Leveling Guide for Beginners

Learn to quickly level up your character in New World Online

New World

The Ultimate Leveling Guide



Times when MMORPGs were all about leveling journey, not the end-game, are long gone (with a few exceptions, but New World is not one of them). Nowadays, most of the content is designed for max-level characters, and players are encouraged to level up as fast as possible. Because of this, leveling has become a chore that simply has to be done before the player can fully experience the MMO's content. While New World offers quite a lot of content for leveling players and does not restrict them in any real way (there is no such thing as level-gated areas in New World and you can go to a high-level zone at level 1 if you wish to do so), most of the fun is to be had in the end-game. However, while the leveling content is quite abundant, it's also repetitive. After ~30 levels, you will notice that you're doing the same things over and over again, the only difference being the rewards that you get. Also, if you only follow the main quest, your level progress is going to be painfully slow. Because of this, chances are you'll feel burned out before ever reaching the end-game. This is why we have decided to make a New World Leveling Guide which will help you reach the max level in record time. In it, we will go over gear, leveling builds, techniques, tips, and tricks that will make your leveling journey as quick and as painless as possible. 


New World Leveling Gear

Before you start leveling, you have to learn a thing or two about the game's equipment system so that you can make a conscious decision on which items to choose for your character. Appropriate gear can shave hours (if not days) from your leveling time. 

In New World, you have a plethora of equippable items to choose from. These items start from the most basic common gear and range all the way to extremely rare and valuable Epics and Legendaries (the higher the rarity of gear the more stats and affixes it gains and thus the more powerful it is). Your character has 14 equipment slots, some of which have to be unlocked, divided into five categories: five armor slots (body, helm, legs, gloves, and feet), three trinket slots (earring, amulet, and ring), three bag slots, a shield slot, and two weapon slots. Here's a short gear category breakdown: 

Gear Breakdown

  1. Armor is divided into three weight categories/types - Light, Medium, and Heavy. These types can be mixed and matched to achieve your desired weight category (also Light, Medium, and Heavy). Each category has a set of unique properties: 
  • Light Category - 20% Damage Increase, Further Dodge (roll), the lowest damage mitigation. This category offers the highest possible DPS, but it sacrifices defenses in exchange. 
  • Medium Category - 10% Damage Increase, Your Debuffs last for 10% longer, Slower Dodge (sidestep), average damage mitigation. A balanced choice, well-suited for all sorts of solo melee builds. 
  • Heavy Category - 15% Block Increase, Your Debuffs last for 20% longer, Slowest Dodge (slow sidestep), good damage mitigation. A defensive choice well-suited for tanks, but not ideal for solo play. 
  1. Trinkets don't affect your weight category and provide a range of useful unique bonuses (they have their own subset of Perks), as well as increase your core attributes - they can grant points to one or more attributes. 
  2. You start the game with a 200 carry limit, which is not a lot and you will struggle to stay unencumbered at the start. Luckily, you will gain Bag Slots at levels 10, 30, and 45. You can use these slots to increase your character's carry weight by, well... equipping Bags. The most basic bags increase carry weight by 50, but higher tier ones are much, much better. You should upgrade your bags as soon as possible, as it's going to maximize your leveling efficiency (the fewer trips back to town, the better). 
  3. The shield adds to your weight category and can currently only be used with a one-handed sword (it has its own skill tree). This means that you should consider unequipping it when using other one-handed weapons so that it doesn't push your weight category up. 
  4. There are no classes in New World, just weapons catered to certain combat tasks (the game features the "holy trinity" of roles - DPS, Healers, and Tanks). Each weapon has two separate mastery tries that have three active skills and a bunch of passives. You can equip two weapons at once, mix and match weapon skills and passives, and create your own playstyle based on it. We will give you some examples of great leveling builds in this guide. 

Right now you're probably wondering what's the "optimal" leveling gear. The answer to that is quite simple - In the case of bags - the bigger, the better. In the case of Trinkets, Armor, and Weapons, it depends on what build you're using. As a general rule, you should focus on your main weapon's primary attribute. For example, if you use Hatchet, you should choose gear that gives you a lot of Strength, however, Hatchet also scales with Dexterity, which means that this stat might also be of some use to you. Moreover, you should never fully skip on Constitution - ideally, you want to have ~25% of your attributes allocated into it for leveling purposes (going full glass cannon is not a good idea when you're leveling). Because of this, affixes like "Of the Barbarian" (Strength + Constitution) and "Of the Knight" (Constitution + Strength) are great for balancing your stat distribution. 


New World Leveling Builds

Choosing an optimal leveling build is a difficult task as it requires you to consider a lot of variables; Do you want to do some PvP while leveling? If yes, are you going to seek PvP actively or will you just defend yourself from attackers? What playstyle do you prefer - are you an all-out offensive player, or a more cautious and methodical one? Are you going to level up solo, or do you prefer leveling in groups? Do you want to focus on grinding, or crafting and gathering? What we're trying to demonstrate here is that New World is a very diverse game and you should choose the leveling build based on your preferences, which won't stop us from recommending our three favorite builds for leveling: 

Hatchet and Bow

This amazing combination of weapons offers unparalleled mobility and amazing sustainability that will allow you to level up with great speed - it's an amazing Power Leveling setup. The following build aims to deal as much damage as possible as quickly as possible while surviving the enemy retaliation, which enables you to farm mobs very efficiently. For Skills, we recommend the following: 

  • Hatchet: Focus mainly on the Berserker mastery tree, but don't forget about Rending Throw, its corresponding passives, Critical Throw, and Exploitation from the Throwing mastery tree. Doing so will give you some nice defenses, a cheat death mechanic, and turn you into a blood-crazed death machine. Moreover, thanks to Berserker's passives, you will become (almost) unstoppable - fully-upgraded Berserk Mode makes you immune to interruptions and stagger effects. On top of that, Fortifying Strikes and Berserking Refresh will greatly increase your overall survivability. 
    • Berserk - Activating this skill makes you enter a Berserk Mode, increasing all attack damage by 20%. Once activated, Berserk Mode stays active for 15 seconds and its 15 seconds Cooldown starts after Berserk Mode ends. This is your emergency button - pres it when things get a beat too hot. 
    • Raging Torrent - An offensive ability that makes you strike 4 times, dealing 90% weapon damage with each hit. With this, you'll increase your mobility while keeping the damage numbers up. 
    • Rending Throw - A thrown attack that deals 110% Weapon Damage and applies a Rend that reduces the target's damage absorption by 10% for 10 seconds. It has a 15s cooldown. Use this after your Bow skills to smoothly transition into melee (having another ranged attack after switching to a melee weapon comes in handy sometimes). 
  • Bow is a fast-firing ranged weapon that offers a deadly mix of Single Target and AoE Damage, while also offering a nice boost to mobility (in the form of active abilities and passives). For this build, we recommend two skills from the Skirmisher's tree, mixed with one from the Hunter tree. As for passives, there are three Hunter passives that are simply mandatory (Bullseye, Long Range, and Concussion) and one Skirmisher passive that's a must-have (Mark). You should take the following Bow Skills: 
    • Penetrating Shot - A powerful Shot that deals 150% Weapon Damage and pierces through targets. It can go for up to 100 meters. Upgrade this with both corresponding passives. This is your opener - aim for the head. 
    • Rain of Arrows - A powerful AoE skill that fires a 7 meters wide barrage of arrows, that deals 150% weapon damage. You should upgrade this with Barbed Arrows passive for an additional Bleed effect that synergizes with Mark. Use this to apply heavy bleeds on your targets. 
    • Rapid Shot - Fires a burst of 3 arrows; the first two deal 100% weapon damage each and the third one deals 125% weapon damage and causes a knockback. Upgrade this with both corresponding passives to increase damage and reduce cooldown. 

With this build, you should aim for a 3:1 Dexterity to Constitution stat spread, as it will give you high damage output with a Bow while still benefiting your Hatchet (Dex is Hatchet's secondary stat), and allow you to survive quite a lot of damage.  

Hatchet and Great Axe

This amazing build offers an unparalleled combination of solid DPS and amazing staying power; Hatchet's Berserker Tree makes it almost unstoppable in hand-to-hand combat, and the Great Axe gives it an incredible mix of damage and survivability. As a result, the following build excels when used for leveling solo as well as in groups. When it comes to passives, the mandatories are Against all Odds, Fortifying Strikes, Frenzied Purge, and Defy Death from Hatchet's mastery trees, and Greed, Critical Gains, Feed, Keen Edge, and Blood Lust from Great Axe's mastery trees. As for active weapon Skills, you should take the following: 

  • Hatchet: We propose an extremely simple, yet effective Hatchet setup for this build. Mainly, we recommend that you just max out the Berserker Skill tree. If you do that, you will end up with some nice defenses, which include a cheat-death mechanic, and greatly boost your combat efficiency: 
    • Berserk - When upgraded with all four of its corresponding passives, Berserk becomes one of the most powerful abilities in the game; it makes you immune to interrupts and staggers, it removes all cc effects when activated, it heals you periodically, and it increases your movement speed. 
    • Feral Rush - This versatile ability will serve you as a gap-closer and a solid source of burst damage. It makes you leap at your target and hit it twice. Upgrading Feral Rush will result in it being able to deal extra execute damage and immobilize enemies struck in the back. 
    • Raging Torrent - An offensive ability that makes you strike 4 times, dealing 90% weapon damage with each hit. You should upgrade this ability with both of its passives for an extra attack and a nice movement speed boost. 
  • Great Axe: Thanks to Keen Edge (extra crit Damage), Feed (self-healing when attacking enemies below 30% Health), Critical Gains (self-healing after crits), and Greed (up to 15% extra damage for 5 seconds) Great Axe works wonders in groups as well as when solo. The skill setup we propose is focused on maximizing grouping and AoE damage while also providing an extremely high damage boost against wounded enemies - it will allow you to maximize your mob grinding speed. 
    • Reap - An AoE ability that pulls enemies within 5 meters to you and deals 110% weapon damage. With this, you will be able to easily control multiple mobs at a time and deal with them swiftly. Upgrade it fully. 
    • Execute - This nuke ability deals 200% weapon damage and an extra 100% if used against targets below 50% health, which makes it of the most powerful DPS abilities in the game. Prioritize wounded enemies to maximize Execute's effectiveness and remember to fully upgrade it. 
    • Maelstrom - An AoE ability that pulls targets closer to you and deals 110% weapon damage to them. Maelstrom works extremely well when used in combination with Reap, thus you should use it after it for the maximum benefit. And yes, you should upgrade it fully. 

As for attributes priority with this build, first and foremost you should get Strength (~75% of your total bonus attributes). As for the remaining 25%, you have two options: Get some Dexterity for increased Critical Chance, or get some Constitution. If you choose the first option, you'll become an ultimate (but a bit less resilient) war machine. If you choose the second, you'll lose on DPS but will gain some much-needed staying power. Thus, we recommend the latter option for solo leveling. When it comes to Armor, try sticking to the Medium Category. 

Musket and Spear

This is a great option if you'd like to do some PvP while leveling or if you simply like ganking unsuspecting players, unfortunate enough to find themselves on your way. Thanks to a combination of a bursty Musket and control-heavy Spear, this build is great at debuffing targets, applying potent Damage over Time effects, and generally controlling the flow of the engagement. Also, it is well-suited for all types of content; it works well in PvE and can be used to a good effect in PvP - it's the most versatile of three builds we feature in this New World Leveling Guide. Core passives for the Spear are Refreshing Reach, Strong Conditioning, Finishing Blows, and Exploited Weakness, and for the Musket: Greater Accuracy, Empowering Weakness, Tactical Reload, and Lethal Combo. For Active abilities, we recommend: 

  • Spear: a deadly melee weapon that offers very high reach and a deadly mix of sustained damage, vicious damage over time effects, and annoying debuffs. For this build, we focus on the Impaler skill tree to maximize sustained damage by reducing cooldowns, maximizing debuffs' uptime, increasing critical strike chance, and boosting damage against wounded enemies: 
    • Perforate - Perform a sequence of three rapid piercing attacks, for 70% weapon damage each. This is your Spear opener (if you're already in melee), as using it first will make the other two spear skills deal more damage. Take both related passives as well. 
    • Skewer - Rush forward and Impale your Target on the spear for 125% weapon damage. Skewer also applies a 10-second Bleed effect for 10% weapon damage per second. It is useful for closing the gap and engaging targets in melee after opening up on them with the Musket. 
    • Vault Kick - Vault on your spear forward and kick the target for 75% weapon damage, stunning them for 1.5 seconds. After upgrading it with its passives, Vault Kick becomes extremely powerful. You should use it after Skewer to cut its cooldown by 30%. 
  • Musket: The polar opposite of Bow; slow-to-reload, heavy-hitting, and most effective while stationary. Musket is less reliable than the Bow as the main weapon, however, thanks to its burst damage it's great as a secondary. It works well in the combination with a Spear, as both of them use Dexterity as their primary stat, and Musket's burst damage supplements Spear's kit quite exceptionally. 
    • Powder Burn - Overload your Musket, causing the next shot to deal 110% Weapon Damage and apply a burn status effect to the Target. A very solid opening skill - it deals good damage and applies a nasty DoT effect, especially when upgraded with the corresponding passives. 
    • Stopping Power - A powerful skill that Deals 120% weapon damage, staggers the target, and knocks it back 3 meters. If you take both Passives related to this skill, it will turn into a nasty high-damage Crowd Control ability that will: knock targets back, stagger them, slow them, and reduce their Stamina regeneration. Use this after Powder Burn. 
    • Traps - Throw a Trap that lasts for 20 seconds. When triggered, it causes its target to be Rooted in place for 3 seconds. Traps will let you transition from Spear to Musket in a very efficient manner - after you're done with your Spear attacks, switch to Musket, throw in Traps and follow up with Powder Burn + Stopping Power combo. When upgraded, Traps also provide great crowd control, a high damage boost, and potent self-healing. 

Both of the build's weapons scale with Dexterity, which makes it your primary stat. Boosting Constitution by a bit is not a bad idea either - remember that, with this build, you are primarily a melee fighter. 


New World Leveling Methods

Pretty much anything you do in New World earns you Experience. This means that you can, potentially, focus on things you enjoy the most and you'll eventually reach the max level. In practice, however, it's much better to stick to the activities that offer high exp/hour ratios. If you want to level up fast, you should do a combination of the following activities: 

Town Project Board Quests

To take advantage of this method, you will have to meet some requirements, mainly: 

  • You will need all Refining Skills at level 50, at least. Having these skills leveled unlocks certain Refining-based tasks that offer good experience rewards
  • Weaponsmithing and Armoring at level 50. Same as with Refining Skills, having these leveled enough unlocks their corresponding tasks. 

In each Town, you're going to find a Town Project Board that offers town-specific tasks that will have you gather specific items, hunt animals, eliminate specific enemies, and so on - a large majority of the offered tasks are run-of-the-mill grind quests, however, completing them can be extremely beneficial. These tasks tend to be easy to complete and offer disproportionately high Experience rewards, which means that grinding them results in astonishing experience/hour numbers. While these were nerfed after the beta, they are still your best choice if you have power leveling in mind. 

When you're in a settlement, check what Town Board Quests are currently available and pick ones that are easy to complete, during your regular playing routine, and award worthwhile experience. Easy-to-complete and worthwhile experience are keywords here - you should avoid tasks that require you to gather hard-to-get or end-game materials or don't award enough experience to warrant the effort. For the best efficiency, focus on: 

  • Missions that require you to defeat commonly-occurring animals, like Turkeys, Rabbits, or Wolves. 
  • Missions that have you open Supply Crates. Because everyone likes Supply Crates (and they are commonly found in areas where main and side missions take place). 
  • Missions that require you to craft items that are easy to make and thus won't take you too much time to complete. A good example of this is the 20 Weak Health Potions task. 

Try to avoid: 

  • Cooking tasks. 
  • Fishing Tasks. 
  • Woodlouse Bait Task. 
  • Common Regeneration Potion Task. 
  • The Fish Oil Task. 
  • Oil Task. 
  • Elk Hunting Task (unless you're good with a ranged weapon). 
  • Tasks that require you to hand in end-game materials (these are better utilized elsewhere). 

Important Note: Town project Quests refresh every 30 minutes. This means that the more of them you can do within 30 minutes, the better. 

To make completing these as fast as possible, you will have to invest your azoth - put all non-essential items into storage and burn your azoth to fast-travel between Towns to accept and complete tasks as fast as possible - once you complete tasks in one area, fast travel to another nearby area and repeat the whole process. When you run out of azoth, you're going to have to do some leg work. Also, you can speed up the whole process by stockpiling the relevant materials in each Town (these include Iron Ore, Iron Ingots, Steel ingots, Rugged Leather, Coarse Leather, Linen, Satin, Aged Wood, Lodestone Bricks, and so on) - doing so will allow you to save time by not having to buy/harvest these resources each time they are required. 


This is the leveling method recommended by the game itself - it will allow you to learn the game's story, practice combat, and discover a variety of in-game systems. New World has the main story quest that will take you from region to region and a bunch of side quests that can usually be completed without going out of your way too much.

The questing experience in New World is quite streamlined and side quests often take place in areas where you do your main questline. This means that you can easily kill two birds with one stone - you can complete the main quest and a bunch of side quests simultaneously. Doing so will allow you to over level the content by a bit, which will make all subsequent quests much faster and easier to do. If you were to focus on Main Quest exclusively, you would quickly find yourself level gated - don't do that. 

There's no need to explain this one any further - simply follow the main quest line and pick up any side quest you can, but only complete side quests that can be done on the occasion - don't go out of your way to complete every single one of them or your leveling efficiency will suffer. 

Closing Corrupted Portals

Corrupted Portals are physical manifestations of Corruption that spawn in territories controlled by factions. The more developed the territory's settlement, the stronger and the more frequent the manifestations. You can see the portals on your minimap - minor breaches spawn every 30 minutes and major breaches every 60 minutes. There are four types of Corrupted Portals: Corrupted Hive, Corrupted Grove, Corrupted Portal, and Corrupted Monolith, but they don't differ mechanically - in order to close them, you simply have to clear them out of The Corrupted and seal them off with the Azoth Staff. Closing these Portals not only gives you experience, but also awards azoth, territory standing, and some loot. 

If you have a well-coordinated group, running these can be one of the most effective ways to level up in New World. If your party is strong enough, Corrupted Portals will yield more experience per hour than Dungeons. To run them quickly and efficiently, you will need a group of 10 to 15 players, so you should find yourself a Company that likes to run these. Alternatively, you could ask in the chat. 

Gathering Resources

As previously mentioned, pretty much everything you do in New World awards you with experience. This means that you can solely focus on leveling your gathering skills and you will still progress through levels. This is great news, especially for those of you who want to focus on "trade skills" right from the start. While gathering won't level you up quickly by itself, by combining it with refining and crafting skills, you can level up very cheaply and efficiently by taking advantage of the Market Board Quests (as mentioned in the "Town Project Board Quests section). 



Please remember that Fun should always be the most important factor while playing - trying to play "perfectly" and always seeking to optimize everything will quickly kill your interest in the game. Don't let that happen, play for fun! 

We hope that you have found this guide useful and informative. If you liked it and want us to add more guides such as this one, please let us know! Also, we will be happy to receive constructive criticism that will help us improve our future work so leave your suggestions in the comments section below.