New World: Best Hatchet Build

The Hatchet is a fantastic DPS weapon, allowing you to close the distance, apply debuffs, and deal exceptional damage. As such, it's one of the most popular weapons out there among the players of New World. But, how should you fine tune your build late game? What perks should you be looking out for when picking out end-game gear?

This guide will take you through which stats you should be aiming for, what mastery tree you should be going down, and other choices that will boost your damage for dungeons and PvP content.

Read More: New World Guide: How to Get Azoth

Mastery Tree

With the hatchet, we firmly believe that to get the most damage out of the weapon, you should focus largely on the Berserker tree. While Throwing can turn the hatchet into a useful ranged tool, it pales in comparison to the DPS output berserker can provide.

A hatchet user going berserk, while fighting wolves.
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The Berserker mastery tree and the many passives within it provide boosts to your base damage, without putting too much emphasis on debuffs aside from the Crippling Strike Upgrade to Feral Rush. As such, through focusing on this tree, we'll be fine-tuning our build to further enhance our weapon damage with hatchets.

We recommend taking every skill in the Berserker tree except for the upgrades to feral rush. While Feral Rush is a fantastic gap-closer, it doesn't serve much of a purpose in PvE content - as enemy mobs won't be able to kite you around as much as real players will. This allows you to dedicate yourself fully to upgrading Raging Torrent - which will significantly boost your damage output.

For PvP players we recommend switching this around: upgrading Feral Rush as opposed to Raging Torrent as staying in your opponent's face is important, and you're unlikely to get as much value out of Raging Torrent due to enemies dodging out of the way.

If you have any points left over, invest them in the first line of the Throwing tree, so you can benefit from some of those excellent passives.

Attributes and Stat Focus

As Hatchet's scale primarily with Strength, and with additional scaling through dexterity, it's best that you split your attribute focus between these two alongside some constitution for survivability. Looking at the attribute milestones, every strength bonus from 50 to 300 is useful to Hatchet users - so feel free to push for the next milestone if you're close to one. Dexterity on the other hand only seems to be useful at ranks 50 and 150, with a bonus chance to crit and a reduction to the stamina cost of dodging. As such, we wouldn't recommend pushing hard for higher dex milestones.

Constitution is a fantastic attribute and something you should 100% be putting points into as you level. Even if your focus is on damage and not tanking, the bonus health and damage reduction is incredibly useful to a hatchet user who'll be staying up close to enemies.

Your focus should be:

  • Strength
  • Constitution
  • Dex (max 150)


In terms of gear, you want to stick with a medium weight class. Being ultra tanky doesn't really serve the purpose of the damage build, and while being in light armour does provide a nice bonus to damage, you sacrifice much-needed survivability. As such, we recommend you stick to the middle ground - which provides a 10% damage bonus and a bonus to any debuffs you put on enemies.

In terms of what armour you want to look out for, you'll want any piece of armour with a "Of The Fighter" name. These pieces provide a primary strength stat and secondary dexterity stat, so they play perfectly into the hatchet's weapon scaling. If you've got a little bit too much dex, pieces with "Of The Soldier"provide bonus strength without any dexterity, so make a good alternative. FInally, if you're too squishy, armour with "Of The Knight" in its name provides a primary stat boost in Constitution, with a secondary strength stat. These pieces will be your bread and butter while piecing together your equipment - so keep an eye out for them!

A trading post listing of a piece of armour useful for hatchet users.
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If you're looking for a certain piece, the trading post can be a greatp lace to source some gear if you have the cash.

Gems and Perks

There are a good selection of weapon gems that work well with hatchets - boosting its damage and overall making them more deadly in melee combat. We've split them into gems that are good in PvE, PvP, and both. These are:

  • Diamonds - Deal more damage while at full health
  • Emeralds - Deal more damage while enemy is at less than 30% health
  • Opal - Deal more damage while your stamina bar is not full
  • Jasper - Deal more damage after being hit three times.
  • Amber - A portion of your damage is converted to nature damage.
  • Amethyst - A portion of your damage is converted to void damage.
  • Aquamarine - A portion of your damage is converted to ice damage.
  • Ruby - A portion of your damage is converted to fire damage.
  • Saphire - A portion of your damage is converted to arcane damage.
  • Topaz - A portion of your damage is converted to lightning damage.

Certain gems are better at some content more than others (for example, diamonds aren't very good in PvP due to it being unlikely that you stay at 100% health) but as a general rule these are good gems to place in your hatchets. Gems that apply an elemental modifier can prove more or less effective depending on the type of enemy you're fighting, so it's best to swap them out depending on the foe you're planning on fighting.

In terms of perks, one weapon perk you should keep an eye out for is Refreshing Torrent. This adjusts Raging Torrent so each hit reduces other hatchet cooldowns, so is quite useful for all forms of content as it allows you to stay close with Feral Rush and deal additional damage with Berserk more often. Other perks that work well with this hatchet build include:

  • Enchanted: Light and heavy attacks deal additional damage. Found on both main-handed and two-handed weapons.
  • Refreshing Move: Light and heavy attacks that hit reduce weapon cooldowns. Found on both main-handed and two-handed weapons.

Finally, perks that further improve your critical hits are fantastic for hatchets due to the high quantity of attacks you are swinging at your enemies. As such, you have a decent chance to be rewarded with a crit during combat.

  • Keen: Gain a small amount of critical chance. Found on both main-handed and two-handed weapons.
  • Keen Awareness: Gain a small amount of critical chance. Found on rings.
  • Keen speed: On critical hit, gain a haste buff. Found on shields, main hand weapons and two-handed weapons.
  • Keenly Empowered: On critical hits, gain an empower buff. Found on shields, main hand weapons and two-handed weapons.
  • Keenly Fortified: On critical hits, gain fortify for a short period of time. Found on shields, main hand weapons and two-handed weapons.

With this guide, you should have no problem dealing great damage with hatchets no matter what content you're into! While you're here, read our weapons tier list to find your trusty backup in case the hatchets just aren't cutting it for you.

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