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New World Bow Guide

The bow in New World is a versatile ranged weapon that provides both good AOE damage and some heavy hitting single target damage. It excels at kiting enemies and keeping them at range while being able to pop off abilities to damage and hinder your target.

The Bow deals thrust damage with a short draw dealing 100% thrust damage and a long draw dealing 170% thrust damage

In this guide we will go over the bow’s mastery trees, recommended abilities for different scenarios, and tips to optimize the use of the bow.  

Mastery Trees

The Bow mastery trees consist of the Skirmisher and the Hunter


The Skirmisher tree focuses around AOE damage and kiting your target. There’s several slows in the tree that help aid you in kiting your target, as well as an ability that creates distance between yourself and your target. The three active abilities in this tree consist of Poison Shot, Evade Shot, and Rain of Arrows. The Key passive in this tree is called Knee Shot. 
Poison shot is both an AOE and DoT. Upon hitting a target with this ability or hitting the ground a poison cloud is created. Any enemy that walks into the cloud is poisoned and will take damage over time for a duration. As this ability is upgraded you will receive higher DoT damage, and will do 200% more damage to your target if you hit it directly. 

The next ability in the tree is Evade Shot. This ability is very effective at helping you kite your target. This ability will allow you to leap back, away from your target, and shoot an arrow that will deal increased weapon damage. As you upgrade this ability you will also be able to knock back your target, further enhancing your kiting capabilities, and you will gain haste. Haste is a movement speed buff that will also enhance your kiting capabilities. 

The last ability in this tree is rain of Arrows. Rain of arrows is an AOE ability that shoots a barrage of arrows 7 meters wide that deal increased weapon damage. As you progress through the ability you will also enhance Rain of Arrows to deal DoT damage in the form of a bleed as well. The last upgrade to the ability also applies a slow for a short duration to anyone in the barrage of arrows. 

The Key passive in this tree is called Knee Shot. This passive allows any leg shot to slow your target by 10%. 

The remaining passives in the Skirmisher tree enhance your kiting capabilities by providing you with additional slows and additional movement speed bonuses, as well as, providing you with increased damage. 

It’s important to note here that slows are considered Debuffs in New World. So, a passive like Mark that deals 10% more damage to foes suffering from a Debuff means you will get 10% more damage for your enemies that are slowed. 


The Hunter tree is focused more on precision shooting by rewarding you even further for landing headshots and landing shots a greater distance away. The three active abilities in this tree consist of Rapid Shot, Penetrating Shot, and Splinter Shot. The key passive in this tree is called Concussion. 
Rapid shot allows you to shoot 3 quick arrows at your target. The first and second arrows will deal 100% weapon damage, and the final arrow deals increased weapon damage and knocks back your target. As you upgrade this ability you will receive a large amount of cooldown reduction for Rapid shot if you land all 3 arrows, and the 3rd shot of the ability will have even more increased damage, making this a strong single target ability. 

The next ability in the tree is Penetrating shot. Penetrating shot deals an increased amount of weapon damage and passes through your target and travels an additional 100 meters. It will damage any other targets in a line behind the first target.  Upon upgrading the ability you will also get increased damage after each hit, and increased damage for targets 20 or more meters away. 

The last ability of the Hunter tree is Splinter Shot. Splinter shoots an arrow and once it reaches a distance of 10 meters it will splinter out into 3 arrows, dealing half damage. As you upgrade the ability it will enhance the number of arrows that splinter to 5 arrows, and the cooldown on the ability will be reduced for each shot hit. 

They Key passive, Concussion, rewards you for landing headshots. You will deal increased damage and have a chance to get your arrow back. 

Recommended Roles & Abilities

The recommended role when using the Bow is DPS. The recommended abilities for DPS and some options for PvP are listed below.


Recommended Active Abilities:

  • Poison Shot
  • Rain of Arrows
  • Rapid Shot

Recommended Passive Abilities:

  • Evasive Tactics
  • Closing In
  • Long Range
  • Finishing Shot
  • Surprise Attack
  • Hawkeye
  • Aim True
  • Opening Strike
  • Bullseye

Recommended Key Passive:

  • Concussion
Poison Shot when fully upgraded will allow you to do good single target damage as well as deploy the poison cloud on a group of enemies. The poison cloud is going to poison the enemies dealing DoT damage. 

The Poison Shot coupled with Rain of Arrows is going to allow you to do both decent AOE damage and good DoT damage. Rain of arrows when upgraded will do good AOE damage, apply a bleed to your targets, and slow them, helping out your healers and other DPS in the back line. 

The third active ability that is taken is rapid shot. This is taken to increase your single target DPS by a good amount. This will help burn down enemies much faster. 

The passives taken are going to increase your overall damage output by a significant amount. The slows and haste from the Skirmisher tree are not taken because as a DPS you are going to be focused on maximizing damage output with your AOE’s, DoT’s and high damage single target abilities and light and heavy bow shots. 

The Key passive that you are going to want to take for maximum DPS is Concussion. This will increase your DPS significantly when landing head shots on your enemies. 


The Abilities you take in PvP are going to really depend on what type of role you want to play when engaging in PvP, as well as the other weapon you are going to have equipped. The abilities you take could also vary greatly depending on what type of PvP you are engaging in. For example, Sieges, Open world PvP, 1vXing, etc. 

The below recommendation is just one example of how you could customize your build to suit your activity and playstyle. The below abilities would be suited for open world small scale PvP. 

For more information about specific builds for specific situations see our builds section

Recommended Active Abilities:

  • Poison Shot
  • Evade Shot
  • Rapid Shot

Recommended Passive Abilities:

  • Impale 
  • Dodge and Weave
  • Mark
  • Evasive Tactics
  • Closing In
  • Archer’s Speed
  • Long Range
  • Finishing Shot

Recommended Key Passive:

  • Knee Shot
This particular ability set will excel at kiting your enemy and keeping them at bay, applying pressure with your poison DoT, and landing hard hitting shots with your Rapid Shot. 

Poison shot is going to be upgraded to do much more single target damage on top of applying the DoT to your target. 

Evade shot is a very effective ability to help you kite your target by applying a slow and increasing your movement speed. This will help you create space to land your Rapid Shot and do significant amounts of damage. 

The Key passive Knee shot is taken in order to further enhance your kiting capabilities so you can land more ranged shots on your target. 

The remaining passives are going to increase your kiting ability by giving you more options to slow your target and increase your movement speed. As mentioned earlier, slows are considered debuffs in New World, so the passive Mark will help increase your damage as you're kiting your enemy around with the slows that you are applying. 

This ability set will allow you kite your enemy in the open world and deal good amounts of damage to your target. The idea is to keep them slowed and away so you can continue to land your bow shots.

About the Author:
BDLG is 1 of the 3 founders of StudioLoot. You can find BDLG on Twitch every Tuesday - Friday from 8:00am CST to 1:00pm CST, and creating content on the StudioLoot YouTube channel.