New World DPS Builds Guide – Best Ranged & Melee Weapon Combos

Maximum overdrive.

One of the most important roles in MMOs like New World is the DPS, short for damage-per-second.. Whereas tanks are responsible for controlling crowds and healers keep the party alive, DPS mains are the primary damage dealers of the group. This means you need to dish out a lot of pain if you want to be effective. In this guide, we’ll break down two great DPS builds — ranged and melee — to help you get ahead of the curve.

There are a lot of different builds available in New World. During our time with the game, these are two of the best DPS builds that we have tested throughout hundreds of hours of gameplay.

Best Ranged DPS Build – Fire Staff and Ice Gauntlet

As a DPS, you’re naturally going to be a bit squishier than the tank in your party. This means you’ll want to minimize any hits you take because your health pool isn’t as high. One great way to control this is to attack from afar using a ranged weapon.

The Bow and Musket are both great weapons but, if you want to build a very effective ranged DPS character, sticking with the Fire Staff and Ice Gauntlet pays off very well. Not only are you able to stack your points into a single attribute — both weapons scale with Intelligence — but you also give yourself access to several magical attacks that can deal large amounts of damage very quickly.

Best Ice Gauntlet DPS Build

In this build, the Ice Gauntlet is going to be your primary weapon, as its skills are the most effective at dealing damage to large groups of enemies. Your main skills here are the Ice Pylon, which casts a small totem that constantly spams enemies with attacks, andrestores mana within a small radius.

The second active skill you want is Ice Spikes. When cast, a large group of spikes are sent outward from the player in a straight line. It’s a challenging skill to use, but you can make use of the various passive skills attached to it, like Deadly Path, which increases the damage output while also adding Stagger to it.

Ice Storm is the final active skill you’ll run on the Ice Gauntlet with this build. When cast, it slows down enemies within a radius, allowing you to bring large groups of enemies to a crawl as they descend upon you. You can then switch to the Fire Staff and hit those enemies with some of your other attacks to increase the damage output. Make sure to pick up passives like Storm Summoner, which reduces the mana cost to cast Ice Storm.

Best Fire Staff DPS Build 

The Fire Staff doesn’t have the opportunity to damage  large groups like the Ice Gauntlet does, at least not with this particular build. However, when paired with the gauntlet, you can easily focus on the more targeted attacks that the Fire Staff offers.

The first active skill we recommend here is Fireball. While this attack does more damage when it connects directly with a target, you can use it to deal damage to groups of enemies as well. The ability creates a three-meter burning field when it strikes the ground (or your target), dealing ten percent of your weapon’s damage per second. You can combine this with the Scorched Earth passive to make it last longer, and if you unlock the Catch skill, can restore ten percent of your mana and reduce the cooldown of all your abilities.

Flamethrower is the next skill you’ll have on the Fire Staff. When cast, you emit a burst of flame from your staff head, dealing 34 percent of your weapon’s damage per second by default. That number can be improved with Infernal Flames. You’ll also want to unlock Pyro Danger to make the cooldown for this skill zero. It’s a great attack to cast when you’re waiting on your other abilities to recharge, and  allows you to keep burning enemies around you.

The final active skill you’ll want with the Fire Staff is Incinerate. Pillar of Fire is also a good option if you’re comfortable going for more targeted spells, but Incinerate offers the highest damage output once you’ve unlocked the various passives connected to it. By default, it creates an explosion that hits enemies for 130 percent of your weapon’s damage, while also causing Burn, dealing three percent of that damage for six seconds. You can create additional stacks of Burn with Scorched, and if you unlock Flame Out!, Incinerate will explode twice.

If you plan on taking part in a lot of PVP battles without much support from others, you may want to swap out the Fire Staff or Ice Gauntlets for the Rapier. Doing so will give you some quick melee-focused attacks that you can use to deal damage to players who get too close. 

Best Melee DPS Build – Hatchet and Great Axe

When it comes to melee-focused DPS, few options out there are as strong as the Hatchet and Great Axe. Not only does this combo make use of the Hatchet’s Berserk ability, but it combines that raw damage output with the usefulness of the Great Axe’s Gravity Well and Reap skills, which let you control where enemies are on the battlefield. 

Best Hatchet DPS Build

Depending on the type of combat you’re taking part in, you may want to change up which weapon is your main. The Great Axe is perfect for dealing with large groups of enemies, while the Hatchet’s various abilities offer more single-target damage options.

For the Hatchet, you’re going to rely heavily on the Berserk skill. When activated, this skill increases your attack damage by 20 percent for 15 seconds. You can also unlock additional passives for it like Uninterruptible Berserk, making it so that you cannot be staggered while Berserk is active.

You should combine it with something like Feral Rush.. Use it and leap forward, dealing 115 percent of your weapon’s damage on the first hit. A second hit will deal 130 percent weapon damage. This move is great for initiating combat and closing the gap between enemies that might be trying to retreat.

Finally, Social Distancing is the last active skill you’ll want on the Hatchet. You can easily clear enemy attack ranges while also dealing 130 percent weapon damage at the same time. Passives like Stay Back will also increase the Slow effect placed on enemies when hit by Social Distancing.

Best Great Axe DPS Build

As mentioned before, the Great Axe is a key part of the loadout here because of its various abilities that let you slow enemies and pull them back to you. This is exceptionally useful in PVP situations when other players might try to run away and heal.

While Charge can be great for closing distances and kicking off battles, we recommend holding onto this one for animation cancelations. When attacking normally with the Great Axe, players can attack twice with light attacks before a longer animation leads up to the third attack. You can trigger Charge during this time to attack much quicker and skip that slower animation. 

One of the most useful crowd control abilities in New World is Gravity Well. As you might expect,it throws a ripple forward that pulls enemies towards its center, slowing them down. This is great for setting your party up with groups of enemies to drop AOE (area of effect) abilities on, and is also generally good for slowing down any players that might be trying to run away.

Where Gravity Well slows enemies down, Reap, one of the most useful skills in the weapon’s arsenal, allows you to pull them back to you. This is great for closing the gap when players try to get away, then you can easily swap back to the Hatchet and cast Berserk to deal a load of damage to the enemy.

Best Armor for DPS Builds

When you’re running DPS builds, you’ll usually want to go with Light or Medium armor mixes. Try to steer clear of Heavy armor as you’ll find yourself bogged down by the Equipment Weight limitations put in place. Being able to dodge attacks and move around quickly is a big part of dealing damage in MMOs, and you’ll want to be able to get in and out of situations as fast as possible. 

You’ll also want to look for armor that has perks that increase your base attributes. For example, if you’re using the Ice Gauntlet and a Fire Staff, looking for armor with Intelligence increases will help you pad your stats a little. Likewise, the Hatchet and Great Axe can benefit greatly from armor that has strength-based perks on it.

It’s also worth noting that while these builds can be used for PVP or PVE gameplay, they are more oriented towards PVP combat, which plays a vital part in New World.

This guide is sponsored by the publisher of New World, Amazon Game Studios. Though no member of that company was in contact with the writer about its content. All writing was overseen by Fanbyte editorial.