This guide is based on the August 2020 preview event. All information is subject to change before New World is officially released in Spring 2021.
When you first start the game you have a choice of servers. If you are playing with friends or a company, make sure to pick the same server as them. There is a short intro video (which can be skipped by holding any button). Then it is time to create your character.
You only get one character slot per server.
During character customization you can choose your name. Names are unique even across servers but can contain spaces and special characters.
Once character creation is complete you will see another quick cut-scene and then start the tutorial, which will teach you the basics of the game. Make sure to check out our guide of the entire initial quest line that will take you from the newbie beach all the way to level 10 or 11, when you can choose your faction
New World does not have any classes. You can equip any type of weapon and armor at any time and you gain experience with that weapon as you use it, which allows you to unlock more abilities and passive skills.
The game is played with typical WASD movement, although everything can be customized in the settings.
To access the UI, hit "ESC" and you will be able to select a few tabs at the top of the screen. One of them lets you enter the settings page.
The most used UI screens are the inventory, accessed by pressing "I" or "TAB", the character screen ("K") and the world map ("M").
You can access the chat by pressing "ENTER" and you can quickly cycle through chat channels with "~". The chat is customizable, so if you want to filter certain channels, press "ESC" and find the channel settings wheel on the chat window.
To pick up items or harvest resources, get close and press "E". For many things you need the appropriate tool.
You can run with "SHIFT" and jump or dodge with "SPACE", depending on your equipment load. There are 3 different equipment loads that affect your mobility. Light, Medium, and Heavy. New World does not have a traditional jump but more of a jump roll or a side step if you’re over the “light” threshold.
Most things in your inventory can be interacted with by right-clicking and picking the desired option. This is also how you can repair or salvage gear
Fall damage is minimal, so you can usually jump down from very high cliffs without fear of dying.
Levels & Attributes
As you kill monsters, complete quests, gather and craft you will gain experience. You can level up to a maximum level cap of 60.
You can see your current experience progress at the bottom of your screen or by pressing “K” and viewing your character screen. You can see the numerical values by hovering over the bar.
Upon gaining a level you will get an attribute point
to spend on one of the 5 character attributes in the game:
- Strength: Determines melee weapon damage.
- Dexterity: Determines ranged weapon damage, also contributes slightly to damage of some melee weapons such as the sword.
- Intelligence: Increases damage of magic attacks.
- Focus: Increases mana and reduces ability cooldowns.
- Constitution: Increases health.
At level 1 you start with 5 points in each of the attributes. Every level you gain 1 attribute point that you can assign freely, and every 5 levels you gain 1 additional attribute point. That means there is a total of 71 points to spend from leveling up, not counting bonuses from items and gems. Attributes have a soft cap at 60 points, so any point you spend after reaching the cap results in diminishing returns.
You can also gain additional points
in certain attributes through the use of jewelry and gems that are socketed into armor and weapons. Those points also contribute to the soft cap.
You will also unlock additional character perks at certain character level milestones. You can view those milestones by pressing “K” and click the “view milestones” button in the bottom right of the screen.
Level 5: Second Weapon Slot
Level 10: Ring Slot
Level 15: Camping Tier 2 & Third Quick Slot
Level 20: Camping Tier 3 & Earring Slot
Level 30: Third Weapon Slot & Second Bag Slot
Level 35: Camping Tier 4
Level 45: Fourth Quick Slot & Third Bag Slot
Level 50: Camping Tier 5
You gain experience from combat if you hit a mob at least once, get hit by it, or heal another player who is in combat with it. There is currently no tagging, so if somebody else is already fighting a monster, you can join in and get full experience.
While leveling you will generally want to spend your points on your main attribute, so if you are using melee weapons for leveling, raise strength exclusively and only put points in constitution if you have problems surviving.
Another secondary form of character progression is the Standings system, which tracks your contribution to any of the faction-owned territories in Aeternum. All activities you do in a territory award you with small amounts of standing points, and once you have enough to advance a rank, you can use them to unlock special bonuses that apply while you are in this territory.
Weapon Skills & Masteries
Every weapon has its own Mastery Tree
in New World. You can find them on the character screen under the “masteries” tab. These masteries level up independently of each other: the more you use a certain weapon, the more experience you gain in that mastery.
Each mastery has two trees that usually focus on different aspects of the weapon: The Hatchet, for example, has one tree focused on melee attacks and another one that grants access to ranged abilities. In addition to three active abilities that become available as you progress down a tree, there are also various passive skills that you can choose from that give you further bonuses for the weapon. To progress in a tree, you first have to spend one point in the previous tier to unlock the abilities of the next tier. The final tier requires 10 points in the tree, making sure that you cannot get the final abilities of both trees at the same time.
Each mastery can be raised up to level 20, and there are a total of 32 abilities for each weapon (16 on each tree) so you will have to choose between the two trees and their skills. It is not possible to get all of them. You can always re-spec your mastery on the character screen. This is free as long as you are below level 20. Higher level characters and those who have already leveled up their mastery have to spend Azoth in order to re-spec. This will reset the points you already allocated, so you can distribute them again. Your weapon mastery progress does not reset - once you have reached a certain level, you will keep it.
You have a total of three weapon slots and you start out with only one of them available. The second slot unlocks at level 5, the third one at level 30. Use these slots to carry more weapons for different situations. You can easily switch between them using the hotkeys (1, 2, 3). There is no restriction as to what weapons you can carry, so you could bring a melee weapon, a bow and a magic staff all at the same time.
Items have weight and your inventory can only hold so much. You can see your current weight limit using the bar on top of your inventory. If you are overburdened you won't be able to dodge or run, which can be a death sentence in combat, so keep an eye on your inventory and free up some space before it's too late.
Most equipment and weapons that you will find from monsters or chests can be salvaged to destroy them and gain some raw materials. These weigh less than the item itself, so this is a good way to rid yourself of some weight. You will also get important repair parts by doing this.
To repair an item, make sure you have the required repair parts, then right-click on the item and choose repair. It will cost you a small gold fee and a certain number of repair parts. You can always see how many repair parts you have at the bottom of your inventory.
Your inventory also has a quick search, where you can type the name of any item to filter it, and several options of sorting. You can also see your current gold balance at the bottom, and send coin to a friend using the “Give Coin” button next to your balance.
You can increase your carrying weight as you level by unlocking more bag slots and then equipping a bag. The higher tier bag the more weight you can carry. You will unlock your second bag slot at level 30 and your third bag slot at level 45.
Progression in New World is divided into tiers. You start with a simple Tier 1 Sword and the ability to use most Tier 2 items. Once you reach level 20 you will be able to equip Tier 3. Tier 4 becomes available at level 35, and Tier 5, which is currently the final tier, is reserved for level 50 and up.
Generally a higher tier item is always stronger than its lower tier counterpart unless crafted using a very high skill and getting lucky to roll very good perks.
There are various types of armor in New World. You can obtain armor via drops by killing mobs, looting chests scattered around Aeternum or obtaining a crafted piece from the trading post or crafting it yourself.
There are different rarities of amor in the game. Common (gray), Uncommon (green), Rare (blue), Epic (purple), Legendary (orange).
Armor is broken down in Tiers - 1 through 5, and each piece has an associated gear score. The higher the gear score the better the piece of gear, assuming the same rarity and perks.
Each piece of armor has an associated weight. The weight of the piece of armor can be viewed by hovering over the item in the inventory screen and looking right below the image of the item. Each equipped piece of armor attributes to your overall gear weight. There are 3 tiers of gear weight. Light, Normal, and Heavy.
Light - while wearing light armor your dodge is a quick roll that covers a lot of distance. Light armor tends to be less protective.
Normal - While wearing normal weight armor your dodge is a quick hop. This offers a good balance between protection and mobility.
Heavy - While wearing heavy armor your dodge is a slow sidestep. Heavy armor limits your mobility but offers the best damage mitigation.
You can view your total armor weight in your inventory screen by viewing the top left of your screen.
You can mix and match armor types in order to obtain the weight and mitigation that best fits your playstyle. Armor can also have gem slots. You can insert a gem into the socket in order to gain additional attribute points in a specific attribute. Armor can also have perks that can increase your mitigations and even lower your armor’s equipment weight.
Gear in New World can possess certain perks
(bonuses). For example a piece of armor can have the “corruption ward” perk
that gives you +5% damage absorption against corruption. Both armor and weapons can have perks.
How many perks an item has depends on its rarity:
- Common items have no perks.
- Uncommon items have 1 perk.
- Rare items have 2 perks.
- Epic and legendary items have 3 perks.
When you loot an item the perks will be assigned randomly. Items acquired from faction vendors or quests, as well as legendary or named items, usually come with pre-defined perks.
When crafting you cannot control the total outcome of an item, all its stats and perks will be random. But you can choose one specific perk by using a crafting modifier. There is a wide variety of crafting modifiers; they are generally rare and come from a broad range of sources. Everything from trees and boulders to specific types of creatures have a small chance to drop a crafting modifier. Combine the maximum amount of Azoth with a crafting modifier to attempt the most powerful outcome when crafting.
Combat in New World is action-oriented and does not use a tab-targeting system like in most other MMOs. Instead you have to manually aim your attacks. Hit boxes are very precise and you can often duck under a sword or narrowly dodge an arrow.
You can do a light attack with any melee weapon by pressing the left mouse button and a heavy attack by holding it down longer. Heavy attacks can be used to break somebody's block. You also get up to three special attacks per weapon that are by default bound to Q, R and F. These have cooldowns but often do a lot of damage or have other effects. It’s important to note that cooldowns are shared among all 3 weapons. So if you use your Q ability for one weapon and then switch to another weapon you will have to wait until that cooldown is complete before you can use your Q again on the weapon you swapped to.
It's often very important to block attacks or outright dodge them. You can use SPACE to dodge, but how efficient your dodge is depends on your equipment: if you are wearing very heavy armor, your dodge will not cover a lot of distance and you will still be vulnerable to attack, while a light equip dodge will give you a lot of maneuverability.
A normal Dodge, performed with SPACE and any direction has iframes. This means that you are invulnerable for a short duration while performing the dodge. A SHIFT + SPACE dodge or jump does not have iframes! This is a common mistake by players who are trying to dodge and don't know why they get hit anyway.
Many heavy attacks and skills also give you GRIT, which is a mechanic that will make your attack less likely to be interrupted by damage. You will notice a golden glow around a character who is performing a GRIT ability. Otherwise, getting hit will stagger your character and cause your abilities to get interrupted.
There are three player factions
in the game: The Marauders, the Syndicate and the Covenant. Players can only join a company of their own faction and the choice is permanent, so it's important to pick the same faction as your friends if you are planning to join a company with them.
During PvP quests you will be able to freely engage in combat with players of the other two factions, but never with your own faction.
Doing faction quests (available from your faction NPC in any settlement) will reward XP, gold, and faction tokens. These tokens can be spent at the same NPC to unlock higher tiers of rewards, such as faction-specific armor and weapons.
You can hit "M" at any point to bring up the world map. There you can find all the different territories and settlements in Aeternum, as well as the forts that factions can fight over. If you click on a territory marker you will find information as to the current influence war status, and if you inspect a settlement you can see its current ownership and tax settings. If you own a house in any settlement you will also see an icon allowing you to fast-travel to it (for a fee).
Each territory also has a tab on the worldmap showing your current standing and it is there where you can spend points when your standing increases.
You also have access to a legend that shows the different biomes and resources you can find in them. The map also shows you points of interest that you've already visited, and if you zoom in all the way on a settlement it will show you where you can find certain crafting stations or NPCs.
You can right-click anywhere on the map to set up a waypoint. This waypoint will show up on your compass and is shared between your party members, so you can use it to coordinate where to move next.
Settlements and Forts
In New World there are pre-determined settlement
locations within Aeternum, so players will not be able to freely build. Each settlement location will have a predefined layout that players will build upon once they take control of the settlement or fort.
Aeternum is divided into distinct Territories, and many of these Territories will have their own Settlement and Fort.
The Settlements are where players socialize, live, craft, trade, work on town projects, and support their faction through faction missions. Settlements also serve as a respawn point for players after death.
A territory’s fort is the major point of defense for a territory. It is what comes under attack during war, which is when the PvP sieges take place. It is also the battlefield used during invasions, which are the PvE horde type mode that New World offers. It is also where players need to go in order to claim an unclaimed territory at the start of a server.
The governor of the company that controls a territory can set taxes for everyone using the settlement’s services. They can also start town projects, that everyone can contribute to. Town projects serve to upgrade a settlement’s crafting stations, activate lifestyle buffs, or build up the defenses of the nearby fort. These upgrades can be lost or downgraded if the territory fails to defend against an invasion by the Corrupted.
In order to be a resident of a territory you must own a home within that territory's settlement.
You do not lose your house or any of your belongings if a settlement changes hands after a siege.
During your time in Aeternum you will gain standing within each of the territories. You can view your standing in each territory by pressing “M” to bring up your map and then clicking “territory standings” on the left.
As you kill monsters, do quests, and other activities within a particular territory you will gain standing experience within that territory. Once you level up your standing you will then be able to choose from some specific perks in that territory, such as, increased storage, increase XP gain, lower crafting station fees, lower property tax fees, increased gathering speed, increased faction token rate, increased housing items, and the ability to own a house in that territory.
Quests & the Journal
There are many NPCs inside of settlements that will give you different types of quests. You can always read up on active quests in your journal ("J"). You also often find lore items out in the world that have a faint blue flame around them, which can be read and added to your journal for some experience.
Regular/story-line quests: Speak to the watcher at the beach, the magistrate in a settlement, or any other character with a white exclamation mark above their head.
Faction quests: Once you have joined a faction, your faction NPC will always have a set of PvE and PvP quests for you. These reward XP as well as faction tokens.
Town projects: These quests can be accepted at the town board in any settlement and usually ask you to fetch some materials to help upgrade one of the town's buildings.
Active quests will appear at the top right of the screen and you can open your journal to choose which ones will be tracked or even abandon them entirely.
Things to always pick up early on:
- Some flint and wood: you always want enough to be able to quickly place a tent if you need to.
- Water, Herbs, any food items: All of these can be used to craft helpful potions and food.
- Sandpaper, Tannin, Sand Flux, Solvent: Necessary for refining. If you don't need them yourself, they will fetch a decent price on the trading post.
Each settlement has a storage space that you can use to store items and materials. Storage is personal and nobody else can take what you leave there, but space is limited. You can increase your storage space by spending points you get through the territory standing system. There are multiple storage boxes in a settlement, usually near the trading post and crafting stations, and they all share the same items.
Items in storage are automatically used when crafting in the same settlement.
However, storage space in different settlements is not shared. This means if you plan to move to another settlement, you have to bring your belongings with you.
There are also personal storage chests that you can place in your house, providing access to the settlement's storage.
Selling Items & the Trading Post
There are no NPC vendors that will buy or sell you things. All trade goes through the trading post, which is local to each settlement - just like storage. Items can be sold directly from your storage, there is no need to withdraw them first.
You can buy a house in any settlement, as long as you have at least 20 standing in that territory and unlocked the House Ownership perk. Your first house will cost around 2000 gold and each house you buy afterwards (in different settlements) costs more - prices differ based on the type of house. Homes can be decorated and offer you a fast-travel option, for a fee of 100g and a cooldown, as well as bonuses from trophies.
You will find a lot more details about housing in our housing guide
There are 4 mob types in New World:
Souless wretches of New World. These creatures have eternal life but have it without a soul. They have died on the island in some horrific way, and are now stuck in a half-death state. These are the undead version of mobs in New World
The Angry Earth
Pure Natural Power of the Island fighting back against the people who have come to corrupt it. Nature is trying to imitate the form of humans and animals they see. Some are more humanoid and others are simply a monstrosity. They mask themselves in order to fight back against what they consider to be an infection.
A civilization that actually existed on Aeternum and harnessed the power of Azoth. They used Azoth to power their technology. There are tributes to their society throughout Aeternum. Something happened to the Ancients and no one knows quite what happened. The remains of their civilization are scattered throughout Aeternum loaded with secrets for the players to discover.
In Aeternum the world fights back through The Corrupted. They notice the players getting stronger and building up their settlements, and then fight back. They may block a road or build a summoning portal that summons a lot of enemies of their type into the players area.
Lost can be found mostly near starting areas, the Angry Earth mobs are high level mobs that can be found in the northern parts of the map like Edengrove and Morningdale. The Ancients are found all over the map and you’ll begin to notice the Ancient’s structures. They are often found crossing the stone bridges and in the stone made towers and buildings. The corrupted are scattered around the map as well, and can be found in mining locations, corrupted breaches, and heavily the most north part of the map - Shattered Mountain.
As you start encountering higher-level mobs, they will gain additional abilities. Depending on the type of mob, they might start using healing potions, skeletons might gain a second health bar after you defeat them, and other mobs might have similar surprises for you.
There are several resources within New World. Some can be gathered via gathering skills and some of the resources can only be obtained via looting crates scattered around Aeternum.
You can find general resource locations by pressing “M” and opening your map and then clicking on “Resource Locations” on the left side of the map.
You can gain more in-depth information about resources in our gathering guide.
Crafting is a major focus in New World and has endless progression. Reaching higher levels in these trade skills allows gatherers to track higher level resources, gain bonus materials while refining, and crafters will be able to craft items with higher gear score and more perks, which rival the best items to be found in the game. Perks on crafted items are mostly random but can be influenced using special resources.
- Weaponsmith: Melee Weapons
- Armorer: Light, Medium and Heavy Armor
- Jewelcrafter: Trinkets and Gems
- Engineer: Ranged Weapons and Ammo
- Arcanist: Potions, Tinctures, Magical Weapons
- Cook: Meals and Drinks that provide buffs and health regeneration
- Furnisher: Furniture, Storage and Trophies for player houses
You can craft basic level, low tier items at your camp
, and higher tier items can only be crafted at crafting stations found in settlements. Once in a Settlement Press “M” to open your map and hover over the icons to locate a specific crafting station.
You must have the required refined materials in order to craft a specific item. You can craft items in bulk, and the more you use a specific crafting skill the better you will become at that skill. You are not limited on the amount of crafting skills you can master.
You can invite any player to your group by right-clicking on their name in chat or looking them up in the "friends" tool. While in a group, you can see each other on the map and in the group widget, and you can share a party chat. Experience is not automatically shared and neither is loot.
You can access your friends list by pressing "ESC" and checking the top left corner. It will show you how many friends are online and you can click on the icon to access your friends list, search for players and invite them to your group or add them to your friends list.
New World supports in game voice chat. The default key to use VOIP is push to hold “V”. You can change the keybind and the volume of the voice chat in settings.
While in a group your voice chat defaults to group voice chat and you will have to manually change that if you want to speak to or listen to someone outside of your group.
Another form of communication in New World is using the Ping Wheel. The default key for opening the Ping wheel is Middle Mouse Button. You can signal things such as Moving Here, Attack Here, Someone’s Here, Need Help, Need Healing, and Loot Here. All of which can be individually bound to a specific key without having to use the scroll wheel.