Weapon Tier List
This is put together from my experience with each weapon and the level of potential it has throughout early game and endgame in New World. No doubt there will be some on here that you all may disagree with, if so please drop a comment below about why a weapon needs to shift up or down as I’d love to learn more!
So what qualifies an S-tier? To me, it’s a weapon that has minimal downsides. Choosing this weapon will almost always improve your combat effectiveness and utility.
This is a weapon that was designed with hyper-aggressive players in mind, but because it rewards constant attacks, it really has a place for most players. The Hatchet has two trees, a Berserker tree and a Throwing Tree. The Berserker tree is easily the better of the two in my opinion because of the namesake skill, Berserk, and all the benefits that come with it on a relatively short cooldown. You gain damage increases, movement speed increases, cleanses, and health recovery all while berserk is active.
To complement this skill, the tree comes with two assault-style abilities: Raging Torrent and Feral Rush. Both of these deal high slashing damage, and they become more powerful as the enemy’s health gets lower. This tree also comes with damage bonuses as long as you land attacks. So, in short, this is all gas, no brakes, and works extremely well. The Hatchet has so much utility, survivability, range, and damage baked into it that it’s hard to put it lower than S-tier.
This two-handed monstrosity is built to make life easy for everyone. If you can left-click, you can take care of almost anything that gets in your way. Now, is that a bit of an exaggeration? Maybe. But there’s also a lot of truth in it. The Great Axe has incredibly high base damage and skills that reward successful attacks on enemies.
For instance, you have Greed, which increases your damage as long as you continue to land light attacks, Keen Edge to give a flat critical damage increase, and some insanely powerful skills that dish out large amounts of damage if they hit. You take all this damage and pair it with the movement skills this weapon has like Charge, and Executioner’s Speed, and you have a killer weapon that makes leveling and endgame easier.
Now, why is the Life Staff S-tier? Well, for me, the Life Staff brings so much value to soloing or group play that it’s hard to not place this high. Hear me out. The Life Staff is the only weapon in the game that can heal you in multiple ways – other weapons heal as a passive or side effect of a condition being met. When you are leveling, this weapon is fantastic to have as a secondary tool to save you from a quick death by being able to grant you fortify, recovery, heals over time, or drop an AOE heal that also regenerates mana. I can’t tell you how many times in PvP and PvE that I’ve whipped out the Life Staff to save myself or others from getting killed.
So the question is, would this weapon be as good if the void gauntlet was in-game or if there was another healing mechanic? Maybe, maybe not. But what we know right now is that this weapon is the only way to fill that specific need and because of that, it’s untouchable by others.
Next, let’s move into our A-tier weapons. These weapons are not quite as well-rounded as the S-tier weapons, but they are still amazing to use and consider. That’s one thing I definitely want to cover real quick: the gap between S, A, and B weapons are pretty small. I mean, you can use any of those and have a marvelous time. But there are minor differences that do separate each tier from the rest.
Sword and Shield
This combo is truly one of a kind in New World. No other weapon can be used with the shield and no other combo is as focused on defense and group buffs than the sword and shield. You have a choice of Swordmaster or Defender trees, each of which serves very unique purposes.
The Swordmaster is all about increasing your damage, debuffing enemies, and buffing yourself and others. While the Defender tree is the de-facto tanking tree that gives big buffs to your defence and protecting others, especially with its final node called Defensive Formation which reduces all damage to allies by 30% while blocking. I mean, this is SUCH a powerful passive for dungeons and PvP because it has a small, one-second cooldown to adhere to. Like the Life Staff, this combo is unique and no other weapon comes close.
This weapon is fantastic at both utility and speed of attack. It comes with the ability to inflict bleeds, knockdowns, it’s awesome at keeping enemies at a distance, and since you can throw it, it’s great at attacking from range. Now, the trees we are looking for the Spear are Zoner and Impaler, and each one operates pretty differently. Zoner is all about knockdowns, increasing damage to knocked down enemies, and getting some big boosts of full stamina. Impaler focuses on bleeds, rends, and debuffs.
The final note here gives us a big damage boost depending on how many debuffs an enemy has. The spear is extremely easy to use which makes it perfect for beginners. The one downside is that it deals less damage than DPS competitors like the Hatchet and the Rapier. Also as a side note, I really wish I could wear it with a shield like we see some of the enemies use in the game.
The musket itself is a very powerful weapon however, its biggest downside is the fact you are not mobile when using it at all. And in a game like New World, where mobility is often a deciding factor in PvP and PvE battles, the Musket loses effectiveness. If you can set up shop and just sit back and lay potshots at your enemies, the musket is one of the highest-damaging weapons in the game but otherwise, you’re giving up a lot of defensive capability.
Now, the musket does have some of the more interesting abilities. You have things like Sticky Bomb, which allows you to stick a bomb that explodes and deals fire damage to enemies, you have traps that you can lay down which will inflict additional debuffs if an enemy runs into them, and you have other incendiary and powerful shots. Overall the only thing that’s holding back the musket from being an S-tier weapon is the fact that its mobility is basically zero.
This weapon has the highest skill cap in the game, in my opinion. A really bad player will be very bad with the rapier and will have low damage output. But in the hands of a good player, the rapier will outperform almost any other weapon in the game. That’s how good it is. Depending on what tree you take, you can focus on bleeds and taking advantage of those bleeds to deal extra damage, or concentrate on dodging, dodge attacking, and procking different buffs.
The rapier focuses on high crit high damage, but because it deals thrust damage you don’t have a huge area that you can deal that damage. Most of your damage output will be comprised of simple thrusts directly to the enemies in front of you and that’s where skill comes in. You can dodge and move around and do everything you want, but if you can’t hit the thing in front of you, or line up your hits, then you’re going to have a very bad time.
Okay, so that wraps up the A-tier weapons, let’s talk about B-tier. These are weapons that either lose to a similar weapon type, aren’t effective in a certain portion of the game, or are just plain not effective enough.
The fire staff is pretty weak early on, but really opens up once you hit level 35. This thing becomes incredibly powerful and its abilities will nuke enemies down into nothing, plus it’ll afflict burns on the enemies dealing damage over time. You also have skills like Burnout which are great for mobility and allow you to move quickly. Both of the weapon trees focus on fire damage and output, but there is one skill you really need to know about and that is the Rune of Helios. This will cause any fire spell to put a rune on the ground, and as long as you stay in that rune you will deal 30% increased damage.
The only downside to the Fire Staff is that it takes so long for it to become good. If you use it early on, you’re going to have a bad experience and might not ever use it again, but once you actually have a good staff and can start making some big investments into what that staff needs, then you’re going to have a great time and be able to burn down enemies quickly.
Now, one of the biggest questions I come across is: should I take the musket or the bow? I mean, both use ammunition, both attack from a range, and both are extremely good, but which one is better? In my eyes, the bow edges out the musket because of its mobility and its versatility. The musket is fantastic at long-range battles or fights where you can stay still and just blow things up. For instance, if you’re trying to pick off other players who are on cannons or repeaters during a siege, the musket works flawlessly. But if you are in the midst of combat, or you get jumped by an enemy, then the bow is better suited for close-quarters to mid-range combat. It has abilities like Poison Arrow, Evade Shot, damage increases when you dodge, and things like huge damage boosts to opening shots make this one slightly better than the musket. However, since the musket deals considerably more damage than the bow in the hands of a skilled player, the bow takes a B.
This was the final magic weapon added to the game and it has a lot packed into it. This weapon is split into two trees, the Builder and the Tempest. Now the Tempest is all about creating different ice spells, like sending out ice spikes, dropping an ice storm to freeze and slow enemies, and having an ice shower come crashing down on enemies to freeze them and apply frostbite. Builder is all about summoning an ice pylon that’ll do the damage for you, plus it aggros, which is nice for a caster.
But one of the key skills in the Builder tree is called Ice Tomb. This allows you to freeze yourself in place in a shield of ice. This will supercharge your mana regen, and give you a break from combat to refresh your health. The downside here is that you can still be attacked and that the shield can break, so don’t pop it and walk away from the keyboard. Another cool feature is that both trees will allow you to regain mana on attacks and will give you some big bonuses if you stand in frosted areas, which are zones that appear whenever you deal damage with a frost-based attack whether that’s your pylon or your blizzard. Compared to the other magic weapons, this one is my favourite aesthetically, but in terms of damage output the fire staff comes out on top 100%.
This is the other two-handed mauling weapon that has quite a few interesting abilities. So, one of the trees is all about tanking and controlling the crowd, just like the name suggests: Crowd Crusher. This has skills that allow you to push back enemies, drop an AoE taunt, or dish out some linear attacks. The other tree is all about shattering armor and dealing big damage and applying debuffs to single enemies. However, when it compared to the other two-hander, the Great Axe, the Warhammer definitely takes the back seat.
The Great Axe just puts out so much damage and has so much utility that it just overshadows this weapon completely in terms of damage output. But in my opinion, if you want to pair a weapon with your sword and shield to tank, the Warhammer comes out on top over the Great Axe. Yes, you do have some gravity wells and pulls with the Great Axe which are useful, however, the Warhammer tree gives you some health recovery, has better AOE taunts in my opinion, and has better crowd-control mechanics. So tanks, if you are looking for a solid secondary, give this one a look.