With New World just around the corner, you might be struggling to choose which weapon is the one for you. There are plenty to choose from, and each have their own distinct strengths and weaknesses. However, it's true that certain weapons rise above the others, so we've gone ahead and ranked them from best to worst to make your decision easier.
This tier list will start at the best of the best, going through the strongest weapons and justifying their positions there. From there, we'll slowly move down to the rest of the arsenal at your disposal in New World. However, it's worth bearing in mind that New World is an evolving game, so this list will change over time. This guide is meant to help you make a choice, but you should always pick weapons that you find fun to use - especially for PvE content!
- Life Staff
Regardless what type of content you're doing at any level, a dedicated healing / support weapon like the life staff is invaluable. Use it to keep your friends alive while they focus on dealing damage or keeping enemies' attention, and earn the love of everyone around you. There's nothing more useful than a skilled, dedicated healer.
The versatility of the bow was only touched on during the beta of New World, but even with the short amount of time players had to mess around with the ranged weapon, it was clear that it was a fantastic tool for attacking and staying deadly at range. With clever use of movement abilities and crowd control, the bow is exceptional at doing high amounts of damage from a distance.
- Great axe
Those who played the beta may know that the damage of the Great Axe was bugged, making it by far the most damaging weapon in the game. If this would be the case forever, the great axe would be S tier, easy. However, even if we judge it by its intended damage, it still makes the cut. The damage is crazy, and the ability to keep enemies close with abilities like Reap makes you a super deadly melee threat. It's slow. Super slow. But the numerous ways in which great axes can be used easily makes up for it.
The rapier is probably the most oppressive weapon for 1vs1 duelling in New World. While it requires a lot of skill from the user, when mastered it can tear through enemies with a flurry of powerful attacks. The Duellist mastery tree allows you to squeeze even more power out of it, which is worth looking into when playing PvP. It does fall off outside of single-target fights, but aside from that it's brilliant.
- Fire Staff
Of the two magical weapons you have access to in New World, the Fire Staff can be a hugely damaging option granted you invest the right perks into it. Through either of the weapon's mastery trees, you'll gain access to abilities and passives that make your attacks burn even more, both in single target and AOE fights.
The spear is a weird one. It's all about keeping enemies at mid-range, just outside the range of a sword or hatchet, but not too far away where bows or muskets would be better. It's an excellent single target weapon that deals a lot of damage, and is no slouch when it comes to AOE either. It does lack damage compared to other weapons, but its main issue comes from its lacklustre options when dealing with ranged attacks. You'll either have to brave the arrows or bullets coming your way, or come packing your own ranged weapon.
Falling below the bow, you might initially think worse of the musket. It's true, it's more of a damage stick than the versatile tool that the bow is. That being said, if you have the ability to hit those headshots, the musket can be an unmatched source of ranged damage. If you can't hit the head, this weapon becomes way worse - thus its placement here. If you fancy yourself a sharpshooter, choose the mastery tree of the same name and blow enemies heads away, otherwise maybe look elsewhere.
The hatchet can pack quite the punch if you manage to stick onto an enemy, thanks in large part to Berserker and the abilities that compliment it. However, the reliance on being right up in opponents' faces makes it somewhat easy to kite. This can be worked around using the Throwing weapon mastery tree, which allows you to keep damaging even at a distance, but even then you're still not able to perform at your best.
The Warhammer does okay damage, certainly nothing to shake your head at, but its real strength comes from the multiple crowd control abilities it comes with. The Warhammer is great at locking enemies down once you hit them, but where it falls short is the ability to stick on enemies effectively. In PvE, this isn't a problem, but then you'll be wishing you had something that dealt more damage. In PvP, the crowd control is fantastic, but you'll probably want to pair it with another weapon with a gap-closer.
- Ice gauntlets
The ice gauntlets are in my mind the perfect "jack of all trades" weapon in New World. Pretty good damage, pretty good crowd control, and some nice survivability packed in there too. They aren't exactly your 1v1 PvP montage machine, instead you'll find these play a great role in group content - be it PvP battles or expeditions. In PvE, they get the job done. But it might be worth bringing along a weapon that packs a bigger punch (like the fire staff, which compliments this super well) to finish off enemies caught in the ice.
- Sword and Shield
First of all, the sword and shield combo isn't awful, it just suffers a lot from issues other weapons avoid altogether. For one, dodging attacks is incredibly strong in New World, while blocking attacks seems like a less-effective alternative. Then there's the added weight the shield adds, making it harder for users to stay in the light or medium weight classes and kind of forcing you to play as a giant tank. This is workable in PvE content, but best not to try it in anything PvP related. Unless you're a trash tier connoisseur. In that case go wild, you monster.
Now that we've wrapped up our tier list, you should have a better idea of what weapons stand out above the rest, and the unique strengths and weaknesses every weapon has! If you'd like to read more about weapons in New World, read our comprehensive weapons guide, and our weapon perks guide.