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New World levelling build: Weapon combinations to get you started

One New World character charges at another with an axe
(Image credit: Amazon Game Studios)

Amazon's New World is set for release on September 28, but you can dip your toes into the world of Aeternum right now. The open beta runs from September 9-12, and while your progress won't carry over, these New World levelling builds should help you make the most of that time. 

As with any MMO, there's an emphasis on levelling your character to unlock more challenging content, such as dungeons, invasions, and PvP battlegrounds. And while our New World tips guide should help set you on the right track, you're unlikely to get to max level during the beta—unless you're really going for it. But it doesn't hurt to make levelling a little easier on yourself, so here are some ideas for a New World levelling build to get you started.

New World levelling build: Weapon combinations 

You have two weapon slots and you should make use of both of them. Not only does this mean you can get the best of both worlds by combining melee and ranged weapons, but you can also make use of the abilities and bonuses from each weapon's skill tree as you level them up.

The hatchet is a solid choice, thanks to its Berserk Mode, which increases your damage and movement speed and grants a passive healing effect. The second weapon you choose will come down to personal preference, but the suggestions below are good starting points.  

Hatchet and life staff

This build will give you tonnes of survivability, so you don't have to spend time healing between enemies. It combines the hatchet's Berserk Mode passive healing with the life staff's healing abilities, though this doesn't mean you'll need to spend a lot of time casting either. The Sacred Ground ability from the staff's healing skill tree will heal for a decent amount of time after being placed. It's also on a reasonably short 20-second cooldown.

Hatchet and bow 

If you want to concentrate on getting through fights quickly, pairing the hatchet with a bow is a solid choice. This build adds to hatchet's Berserk Mode speed increase with the bow's passive movement bonuses, such as Archer's Speed in the Skirmisher skill tree. It's also worth noting that you'll need to craft arrows for the bow before you can use it. 

(Image credit: Amazon Game Studios)

Having said that, the best levelling build is always going to be what you enjoy playing. If you'd rather switch out the life staff for a spear, or the hatchet for a great axe, then go for it. Play around with different weapon combinations and abilities and see what works for you. 

There's no point sticking with a build if you're not enjoying it, and it will only hamper your levelling speed in the long run if you have to force yourself to play. 

Which attributes to target

Each time you gain a level in New World, you'll have an attribute point to spend. The weapons you choose will determine where you'll want to put a lot of your points, but the weapons in the examples above use different stats, so what should you do?

Your choice will come down to which weapon you primarily use, and you should get a good idea of this after the first few levels. It's unlikely that you're going to use them both equally, so concentrate more on the attributes used by the weapon you favour. You can always respec for a small price—though respeccing is free up to level 20, so you can play around with stats during lower levels.

What about armour? 

The weight of your armour affects your mobility and how well you can dodge, so it's essential to consider your playstyle when choosing. There's no right or wrong answer here, but if you're going for a mobile build, the lighter the armour, the better. 

Light armour gives you the least amount of protection but offers a damage bonus—as well as making you much better at dodging. Medium armour still lets you dodge—but not as far—but offers more protection, whereas heavy armour is more suited to tanky characters going for a defensive build.

Sarah's earliest gaming memories involve playing Jet Set Willy on the ZX Spectrum at a friend's house. These days, and when not writing guides, most of her spare time goes into MMOs—though she's quite partial to JRPGs too. She has spent much of the last decade playing the likes of Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, Final Fantasy 14, and World of Warcraft. Sarah has been writing about games for several years and, before joining PC Gamer, freelanced for the likes of TechRadar, GamingBible, and Rock Paper Shotgun. One of her fondest hopes is to one day play through the ending of Final Fantasy X without breaking down into a sobbing heap. She probably has more wolves in Valheim than you.