Last Updated: August 04, 2022 Reading Time: 15 min

New World Returning Player Guide


New World has changed a lot since release. In our New World Returning Player Guide, we’ve compiled a list of changes and new features the game received in the past year and give you the best tips to help you catch up to current endgame content.

Changes to New World Since Launch

New World has had almost monthly updates since its launch. These updates have added new game modes, weapons, expeditions, seasonal events, and tons of quality of life improvements. Below are some of the highlights that have been added to the game!

Quality of Life Improvements

Some of the best changes to New World are the quality of life improvements. Here are some of the most significant changes since launch:

  • In-game Expertise Tracker – keeps track of your Gear Score progression.
  • Tuning Orbs removed – After the July update players no longer need Tuning Orbs to access expeditions.
  • Improved performance – The New World team has made great strides in the identification and resolution of bugs and performance issues.
  • Inventory Management – All storage sheds are now linked across every territory. Players can easily move items from territory to territory using their storage. The New World team has also mentioned that they are working on a system to help us manage our gear sets better.
  • Fast Travel Improvements – Several new Recall Shrines have been added throughout Aeternum. They have also greatly reduced Azoth costs. Azoth is no longer a bottleneck for travel.
  • Reduced Housing Taxes – The Housing Tax has been lowered to 0.1 to 1% (down from 1-20%).
  • PVP Reward Track – New World PVP is now more rewarding! You will gain XP as you complete activities such as open world PVP, Arenas, OPR, and Wars. This XP will help you level up your PVP Reward Track which grants you tons of loot including amazing PVP gear.

New Game Modes

Mutated Expeditions

Mutated Expeditions are challenging end-game adaptations of the 5 man Expedition system in New World. Mutations are New World’s current version of endgame PVE and are one of the most rewarding activities in the game. Each week there are two Mutated Expeditions available to run.

There are tons of different types of Mutations making each week a new experience. When you complete a Mutated Expedition, You’ll earn a new currency called Umbral Shards (more on this later), and tons of Epic and Legendary drops!


New World Arenas is a 3v3 PVP game mode. Arenas are a “best of 5” format that rewards players with PVP experience and a new PVP currency: Azoth Salt. This format is best enjoyed in a group of 3, though you can queue solo if you want! You can start queuing for Arena at level 20.

In addition to open world PVP, Outpost Rush, and Wars, Arenas have added more diversity to the New World PVP. New World has also mentioned that Arenas have a ranked mode on the way.


Next, New World added a new Music Tradeskill. Music allows players to provide buffs to themselves and their allies! Music Sheets can be found all over Aeternum that will help you learn new songs. Players can use instruments such as guitar, drums, and more to perform.

There are currently 6 buffs that you can obtain from the Music system:

  • Decidedly Dexterous – Increased Gathering Speed
  • Territorial Triumph – Increased Territory Standing Bonus
  • Altogether Now – Increased Group XP Sharing Bonus
  • Song in Your Step – Reduced Player Encumbrance
  • Fortune’s Favor – Increases Yield When Gathering
  • Luck’s Labor – Increases Luck When Gathering

The Music system is an exciting and fun addition to New World with tons of potential for expansion.

New Weapons

Void Gauntlet

The Void Gauntlet is a new Intellect/Focus-based weapon that excels at supporting your group and dealing melee damage with the Void Blade. The Void Gauntlet pairs well with the Ice Gauntlet for damage dealing or supporting a group in PVP. It also goes well with the life staff!


A close-ranged, Shotgun-like weapon that scales with Strength/Intellect. The Blunderbuss is often used in Burst DPS builds. It also has a good selection of utility to round out any Blunderbuss build. The Blunderbuss is most often paired with the Sword and Shield for an Assassin Build or with a Warhammer or Ice Gauntlet for a PVP Tank build.

New Expeditions

New World has added 2 new Expeditions since launch. This brings the total number of Expeditions in the game up to 8.

Tempest’s Heart

The final showdown against Isabella is upon you… Enter the Tempest’s Heart! Pursue the Tempest into a corrupted dimension of reality, through the twisted capital city of Myrkgard. Discover the secrets of her past while you dive deeper into her corrupted mind.

The Tempest Heart is an endgame Corrupted Expedition located in Shattered Mountain. It requires players to be at level 60 and have an average gear score of 550-570. The Tempest Heart has one of the best loot tables of any expedition for both End-game PVP and PVE.

Barnacles & Black Powder

A dark tide rises in Aeternum with the arrival of Admiral Blackpowder and his dastardly crew! Quest givers in the Cutlass Keys settlement and the new docks on the territory’s eastern shore will be looking to offer you loot and renown for defeating the despicable evil within the new Barnacles & Black Powder expedition.

Barnacles and Blackpowder is the most recent expedition added to New World. This Expedition is located in the southern part of Cutlass Keys and requires level 60 to complete.

Seasonal Events

New World has adopted seasonal events that have their own currencies, vendors, and activities. So far there are two major seasonal events in New World.

Winter Convergence

The Winter Convergence is New World’s seasonal winter event. It is centered around collecting gifts for the Winter Wanderer and helping him fight off his “negative” spirit. There are also world events that cause a new gatherable – Gleamite – to rain from the sky.

For a complete guide on the Winter Convergence, check out our Winter Convergence Guide.

Summer Medleyfaire

New World’s latest seasonal event is the Summer Medleyfaire. The Medleyfaire is centered around fishing and music. As you rank up your Event reputation, you will unlock new rewards that you can purchase using Medleyfaire Tokens from the Master of Ceremonies at the Summer Medleyfaire Shop.

For a complete guide on the Medleyfaire, check out our Medlyfaire Event Guide.

Getting to Level 60

Your first task in New World progression is getting to level 60. Since launch, New World has made a ton of changes and improvements that makes this experience quicker and more enjoyable.

Level Range Breakdown

This guide is going to be broken down into several different sections summarized below. The full sections of each level range are in detail below.

Level RangeSummary of Progression
1-5Follow the Main Story on the beach
5-9Head to the nearest Settlement & continue the Main Quests. Join a Faction
9-18Main Questline and side quests until you acquire the Azoth Staff 
18-23PvP & PvE Faction Missions, Side Quests, and Town Board Missions
23-30Amrine Expedition, Elite mobs in Deadman’s Cove, Corrupted portals
30-40Main Story Quest, Starstone Barrows, Corrupted PortalsBrightwood Island,
40-48Main Story QuestThe Depths, Corrupted portals,  Eridanus grind
48-53Great Cleave quests (optional), side quests coupled with main story quest in EdengroveSvikin’s Stand Grind
53-60Main Story Quest, Ebonscale Reach zone quests, Dynasty Shipyard,

General Leveling Tips

  • Make sure to complete all of the quests on the beach before heading to your first settlement.
  • Make sure you are picking up lore pages when you see them, they give XP!
  • Make sure you harvest enough materials before level 12 to reach level 30 in harvesting. You will need 30 harvesting in order to harvest Rivercress for a part of the main story quest. Having your harvesting leveled will save you quite a bit of time from getting stuck at that particular quest. 
  • Mine ore and stone to get your mining to level 10 as soon as possible. You will need lvl 10 mining in order to mine silver for one of the quests. 
  • There is a daily bonus of 200% XP when completing your first 3 faction missions of the day. 
  • Town board missions are on a 30-minute timer. Check them as frequently as possible to pick up easy-to-complete missions.
  • When hitting the main story quest starting with Yonas at level 12 consider stationing yourself in Windsward. When starting the Hermit quest at level make sure to pick up the fast travel point in that area. You will be using this point a lot. Make sure you empty your inventory as much as possible prior to fast traveling to save Azoth. 

  • Stick to the main story quest. You will hit points in the main story that will require you to level more before continuing. Just make sure to return to the main quests when available.  
  • The main story quest will reward you with your Azoth staff. This is a vital part of the game and leveling in general. Make sure you get this. 
  • Elite zones and PvP are both solid ways to gain weapon mastery quickly. 

For a complete walkthrough on getting from levels 1-60, check out our leveling guide!

Leveling Builds

Life Staff/Hatchet

The Life Staff/Hatchet build is great for beginners or people coming back to New World that need to shake of the rust. This build can solo anything in the open world and has decent kill speed due to the hatchet’s quick attack patterns and damage support in the Berserker Tree. This build works best in light armor and you will want to work towards a split stat of around 2 Focus to every 1 Constitution. You will need to use an Amber gem in your hatchet to scale the damage from focus.

For the life staff side, you’ll want to start with grabbing Divine Embrace and Sacred Ground. These are the two main abilities you’ll use to keep yourself going. When you get enough points, Grab Beacon and your set. The goal here is to lay down Beacon and Sacred Ground on your target, then switch to the Hatchet and go to work! You can use Divine Embrace to top you off if you get in trouble. If you feel like you don’t need Divine Embrace often, switch to Orb of Protection and make sure to shoot it at your feet before you switch to hatchet.

For this build, you’ll take the entire Berserker Tree for the hatchet. This build has amazing passives, with one of the best abilities in the game: Berserk. Once you switch over to the Hatchet, start with Heavy Attack, then use Berserk. You can now use your light attack chain and Ragging Torrent to finish your enemy. If you are facing a ranged enemy, use Feral Rush to close the gap as they try to run. You can also try swapping out Feral Rush to Rending Throw to reduce the mitigation of your targets.

Hatchet/Great Axe

Once you get comfortable with the Life Staff/Hatchet build and want to try another hatchet build that can kill things quicker, you can swap out the Life Staff for the Great Axe. You want to use a 2 STR to 1 CON stat distribution and take Gravity Well, Maelstrom, and Whirlwind for your active abilities. This build will allow you to deal large amounts of AOE damage, while still maintaining the utility of the hatchet and self healing of Berserk.

Spear/War Hammer

The Spear/War Hammer Build is a more advanced leveling build that allows you to apply max rend stacks to targets while dealing insane amounts of damage. This build also has Elite CC that can allow you to Stun Lock mobs.

For a full walkthrough on the Spear/War Hammer Build for leveling AND getting started in Expeditions/Mutations, check out our guide!

Expertise 500 – 600

Now that you have reached Level 60, it’s time to increase your expertise. In New World, expertise is how you progress your gear score. It affects both the gear score of the items that drop for you and the effectiveness of your gear. The best way to get your expertise up quickly is to do your daily Gypsum tasks and run the Garden of Genesis and Lazarus Instrumentality expeditions.

Note that while you expertise is below 600, items you buy on the trading post will be scaled down to the middle of your expertise and the item’s gear score. So buying a GS 600 item when your expertise for that slot is only 500 will result in that item’s power effectively being reduced to GS 550. It’s still worth it to buy high GS items if you can to get that initial boost in item power.

For a complete breakdown of how to increase your expertise, check out our New World Gear Score and Expertise guide!


Gypsum is a resource that is found by doing a variety of end-game activities. It can be crafted into Gypsum orbs which are then crafted into Gypsum Casts. A Gypsum cast is crafted for a specific type of gear, and when it’s opened it will guarantee an Expertise increase for that specific gear type, and you will receive an item of that type that will have the corresponding gear score.

Here is a break down on how to collect all your daily Gypsum and the order in which you should obtain them to make sure you :

Gypsum TypeHow To Obtain# Gypsum to Craft Orb# of Orbs per day
Diamond GypsumYou can obtain Diamond Gypsum by gathering any type of node in Aeternum. This usually changes during Seasonal Events such as the Winter Convergence.31
Topaz Gypsum Requires consuming a special Attunement Potion. This potion can be crafted at an Arcana Station or Tier 5 camp. Once consumed, you simply need to kill level 55+ mobs until the Topaz Drops. 51
Citrine Gypsumawarded for completing PvE arenas (Ex Sirens Arena)12
Sapphire Gypsumdefeating the final bosses of The Lazarus Instrumentality and Garden of Genesis12
Emerald Gypsum found in Trade Skill Aptitude Reward Containers11
Amethyst Gypsumfound in Breach Caches71
Ruby Gypsum awarded when completing an Outpost Rush match (must get at least 501 points in the match)12
Garnet Gypsum Earned in 3v3 PVP Arenas12
Obsidian Gypsumdefeating level 60+ open-world named bosses, typically found in Elite Landmarks31


Recent changes have been made to the loot system in Expeditions that make running the endgame Expeditions one of the best ways to increase your Expertise. The best Expedition to farm time-wise is Garden of Genesis. Most groups should have no problem clearing Genesis in around 20-30 minutes. You should get several Expertise increases with each run!

Between your daily Gypsum grind and running some Garden of Genesis each day, you’ll be at 600 Expertise in no time! The Next Step is to get geared up and get to 625 Expertise!

Daily Expertise Activity Priority

It’s important to use your time effectively each day in New World as you increase your Expertise to 600. Here is an easy-to-use priority to increase your Gypsum if you only have 30 minutes or 3-4 hours to play each day.

First, craft a Topaz Gypsum Attunement Potion and head to Skysong Crypt. Here you can run between the bosses that spawn here until you get your daily number of Obsidian and Topaz Gypsum. You should also get your daily Diamond here by gathering random nodes along the way. This should only take you around 15-30 minutes tops. The bosses should also give you a chance to drop items that will increase your expertise as well.

Next, find a group to run Garden of Genesis on Normal Mode x2. These should take around 20-25 minutes a piece and will help you earn your 2 Saphire of Gypsum for the day. Not only that, but you should continue to increase your expertise with all the drops you earn throughout the expedition!

If you can’t find a group for expeditions or don’t want to run them, you can also try to join a chest run.

These are advertised multiple times per day on global chat and happen in Shattered Mountain, Reekwater, and Ebonscale Reach. Ask for an invite and try to meet up with the group before the run starts. Chest runs still grant a good amount of expertise and can get you valuable items.

Finally, if you prefer PVP, do your daily Arenas and OPRs to get your Ruby and Garnet Gypsum. If you don’t like PVP, Continue running the Garden of Genesis for more expertise increases through drops. You can also craft or obtain) two Siren Arena Orbs and complete the Arenas for your daily Citrine Gypsum. If you like to craft or gather you can obtain your Emerald Gypsum. It is not currently a good time investment to try to farm your Amethyst Gypsum each day, but that might change in the future!

This should put you at around 2 hours played in-game with TONS of expertise updates. Continue this cycle daily and you should be 600 Expertise in no time!

Getting Gear at 600 Expertise

PVP Gear

There are two quick ways to get geared up for PVP in New World. First, is the New PVP Reward Track. The PVP Reward track holds great 3-perk gear that can help you bridge the gap to BIS gear.

Next, you can find some good PVP gear in some of the Expeditions! Items like the Smooth Bone Ring, Raiders Hat, and the Firevine Battlestaff all come from Expedition Drops! Make sure to use our database to find out where each item drops.

PVE Gear

As you get to expertise 600, keep an eye out for Ward gear for each enemy type. Ward gear can be obtained through drops in dungeons and the open world through Elite Supply Chests. You can also look on the trading post for gear with these perks on it. Here are the Ward perks you will be looking for as you build your sets

  • Ancient Ward
  • Angry Earth Ward
  • Corrupted Ward
  • Lost Ward

Save these sets as you will want to assemble a set for each Ward type for M10 farming later on.

Preparing for Mutations

One of the best PVE sets to get started in Mutations is the Heavy Voidbent set! This is a secret crafted set that only unlocks once you have a Voidbent Ingot! This set is Constitution-based and has excellent Elemental Resistance that should help you stay alive through the Mutation mechanics.

IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU UPGRADE YOUR VOIDBENT FIRST to 625 before you start upgrading your ward sets. You can use Voidbent in every Mutated Expedition saving you tons of Umbral shards as you increase your codex. This will help you get to 625 expertise in each armor/weapon slot as fast as possible and will allow you to run expeditions with different builds and enemies without having to swap gear.

Mutations Consumables

Here is a list of consumables you’ll want to get before you go in to each mutations to maximize damage in survivability!

Expertise 600 – 625

The fastest way to get from 600-625 is to run Mutations and do your daily gypsum activities. Once at level 600, you can start converting your daily gypsum into Umbral Shards as well! For everything you need to know about Umbral Shards, check out our Umbral Shards Guide!


Expedition or Dungeon Mutators in New World are mutations of the normal Expeditions in the game. Mutators are a form of end-game content, and they change the familiar by augmenting the normal and named enemies found within the expeditions. This changes the way the encounters inside the dungeon function vs the normal/vanilla versions of the dungeon.

Once you are able to run M10s, you will start to accumulate Umbral Shards at an accelerated rate. At this point, upgrade each of your ward sets starting with your corrupted ward first. You will be able to use this in 3 of the mutated expeditions. Next, upgrade the rest of your Ward sets and you’re good to go!

New World Returning Player Guide Conclusion

That concludes our New World Returning Player Guide! If you’re interested in more New World Guides, check out our guide section!

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