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Gear Guide

 Gear Guide

Where to start with gear

As an essentially classless game, gear is a key aspect of your New World experience. We’re going to discuss the basics of gear while you’re levelling, move on to your options on gearing up once you hit 65, and then provide some resources for building custom Gear Sets for specific purposes at end-game.


Gear while levelling

You’ll soon notice that levelling in New World goes pretty quickly. As such, you will outlevel your gear before you know it, so it’s not really worth putting too much effort into gear until you reach max level.

That said, if you’re finding your Main Story quest is getting tough, you might want to run through the closest expedition to your level a few times to pick up some gear. You’re going to get more than you need, so how do you choose what to keep and what to throw away?

The two most important things to look at while levelling, are attributes and item weight. Obviously, you choose the item with the highest gear score that meets your requirements in those two categories.

Note: if you’re levelling up your faction at the same time, you can pick up gear from the faction vendor that will tide you over while you level. Don’t go out of your way for it though.

When you look at your weapons, you’ll see that they scale with a particular attribute. First off, it’s good to use two weapons that scale off similar attributes, to maximise your effectiveness. So Fire Staff and Ice Gauntlet both use Intelligence, or Great Axe and War Hammer both use Strength. You can also cross split scaling weapons and focus on their common attribute – so Rapier and Spear both use Dex but also have secondary scaling with Intelligence (Rapier) or Strength (Spear). It’s generally best not to use two completely opposing weapons, like Fire Staff and War Hammer, together.

You want the attributes on your gear to match the attribute that your weapons scale with. The only other attribute that is useful to you is Con. Any attribute that you have no scaling for isn’t useful while levelling, although later on you might spec some up to 25 for the milestone bonus.

When applying new attribute points, or respeccing because you got new gear, be mindful of the milestone bumps for each attribute. These give bonuses, so if you have some points to split between Strength and Con, for example, you’re better off going 150 and 100 instead of 140 and 110.

You can see all the Milestone Attribute Bonuses here.

The way equip load works in New World is that it takes the sum weight of your gear and determines your overall load by thresholds. So you can have one or two medium pieces and remain in a light equip load, etc.

  • Light = 0 – 12.9
  • Medium = 13 – 22.9
  • Heavy = 23 +

You can play around with weight combinations here but ignore the descriptions of each weight category’s bonuses as they have not been updated.

This will depend on the role you play. As you’d expect, heavier armour provides more protection and light armour allows you to dodge further. However, in New World, the damage you do is also impacted by equip load and light armour users do 30% more damage than heavy. Healing is even more affected by equip load, with light armour giving 60% more outgoing healing than heavy armour. The main benefits of heavy, on top of the higher armor rating, are that you don’t get stunned for as long and you get increased block stability.

Hence, outside of PVP, the only people you’ll see in heavy armour are Tanks, with most DPS and all Healers choosing Light armour. As a solo non-healer, you might choose Medium for a balance between protection and damage.

Light Armor

+15% damage

+30% outgoing healing

-10% block stability

0 incoming CC duration

Medium Armor

0 damage

0 outgoing healing

0 block stability

-10% incoming CC duration

Heavy Armor

-15% damage

-30% outgoing healing

+10% block stability

-20% incoming CC duration

Once you hit max level, that’s when you can really start investing in your gear. There are a few different strategies, depending on how much gold you have. But, assuming you just ran through the Main Story to max level and didn’t deviate into crafting or farming on the way, you probably don’t have much gold.

The first thing you can do is head to the Trading Post and see what kind of bargains you can pick up. The aim is to hit 675+ gear score so you can run M1 and M2 mutated expeditions for loot. I want to emphasise that you shouldn’t spend too much gold here, you’re just looking for the right attribute for your weapons, the right weight for your equip load, and a Gear Score that will get your total over 675.

The way Gear Score works is that not every piece is weighted equally. Weapons add the most to your overall score and boots add the least. So keep that in mind when shopping – high GS weapons will do wonders while high GS boots won’t make that much difference. 

Here’s a list of the gear score modifier for each slot:

  • Weapons – 210
  • Chest – 189
  • Helm and Pants – 108
  • Gloves – 81
  • Amulet, Ring, and Earring – 80
  • Boots – 54

Once you’ve put the base set together, you can run M1 and M2 mutations, and join Elite Chest Runs for drops. Keep an eye out for upgradable Named items and any gear that’s better than what you’re wearing.

Loot biasing was added in Season 3, and what this means is that you have a higher chance of loot dropping that matches whatever you are wearing. For example, I often wear the Attuned Leather Pants, which are medium weight, and nearly all the pants in my storage are medium.

This doesn’t mean you’ll only get the same type of gear you already have, just that most of your drops will be biased that way.

The attribute you have your Magnify set to will also impact the attributes you get on dropped gear.

The areas loot biasing impacts are:

  • Attributes on dropped gear
  • Weight of dropped gear
  • Most common weapon type drops

You won’t see items with Magnify on them until you reach level 65. It’s a special kind of attribute that changes, depending on what you do with it. By default, it add its points to whatever attribute is highest. But you can also select any attribute to apply it to. As you can imagine, this allows items with Magnify on them to be flexible across multiple builds.

The other thing you want to start collecting as soon as you can, even before you start perfecting your gear sets, is protection amulets. These make life so much easier in all kinds of content and are a great investment.

There is a protection perk for every damage type, which gives 15% protection against that one type of damage. This perk is only available on amulets. If you add a matching gem to the amulet, you’ll have 21% protection from one item.

You can check the Trading Post for cheap protection amulets to get started, or you can start investing in some you’ll be able to keep.

If you make sure all your protection amulets have the same attribute (Con or Magnify – personally I prefer Magnify as that gives more flexibility), then swapping them out for different fights doesn’t change anything in your attribute set up.

The first four are for mutations and you should prioritise getting those or something like them. The rest are for specific boss fights or PVP. Slash and Strike protection are your next priority for PVE mutation bosses, Thrust can be good for Outpost Rush, and Arcane and Lightning are niche.

Lifering Amulet (Health + Divine) can be looted at Tor To-Riven in Edengrove and you’ll often see a weapon levelling Lifering farm going that you can join. If you’re having no luck with drops, Azoth Battery (Health – Dense Ennead materia) or Azoth Crystal Amulet (Divine – Dense Mutator materiacan be crafted at the Gypsum Kiln and could be used instead.

The next step is to start designing gear sets around specific types of gameplay. This is where a lot of the fun comes in and to make the most of New World, it’s good to get used to respeccing. You can play any class or style that you have the gear for.

I’m not here to make money for Amazon, but even if you buy nothing else from the Cash Shop, it is worth investing in Gear Set Slots. You can have up to 9 Gear Sets, which can hold your armour, weapons, jewelry, heartrune, ammo, and consumables. These don’t weigh anything so it’s a good place to stash all your potions. 

To equip everything in a set, it’s one click or button press. These are so convenient that I really wish they’d let us buy more of them!

Once you’ve built a set using the advice below, you should put some gems in it. If you’re planning to do mutations, the safest bet is to put Opals in all your armor, plus your Ring and Earring. Depending on the mutation, swap your Amulet to the appropriate Protection.

If you’re going to run M3, you need to use the appropriate gems for the mutation. It’s quite inconvenient to re-gem all the time, so a good thing to do is create four matching gearsets, each with a different gem. Note: if you’re not sure about gems, there’s a good gem guide here.

If you main Healer or Tank, you can make specialised sets for those builds. But if you play a flexible DPS, you need the ability for these sets to work with different weapons and attribute distribution. I recommend building a Magnify set, using mostly Azoth Crystal gear. You’re aiming for four sets, each with:

The four gem types for mutations are:

I use four gear set slots for these and keep my most common weapons in them too. Then I swap around weapons and rings (since rings are usually linked to a damage type) as needed. I keep Opals in my rings and change the gem to the mutation type if needed.

I also keep some spare boots and gloves in my inventory, with weapon ability perks on them. When I’m using a weapon that really benefits from a weapon ability perk, such as Relentless Freedom for the Greatsword, I’ll swap that one in and gem to match (or leave the Opal in if I think I can get away with it). This also helps with the split stat issue for Greatsword, as the pieces I swap in don’t have Magnify. For most other weapon builds, just assigning the Magnify points to an attribute of my choice is enough for the attribute distribution to work.

You should include an Artifact in your four sets. I use Attuned Leather Pants, which have Refreshing, so I only use 3 Azoth Crystal light pieces and add one other medium piece – Graverobber’s Hat or Isabella’s if you want to keep Enchanted Ward and Magnify. The other option is to use Koya’s Kneeguards and lose the extra attribute points but get protection from ranged attacks, Enchanted Ward and no Refreshing so you can have 4 pieces of Azoth Crystal.

You can use these sets in any content, not just mutations. Myrk run? Chuck on the Void set with Slash amulet. Helios? Fire set. Zygoramet’s Arena? Nature set and swap in a Strike amulet.

The importance of full Magnify on the base sets, apart from weapons and rings, is the key. This means you can use the same set as a bruiser, archer, or mage.

There are many ways to get gear, some are faster than others, some are free apart from time and others cost a lot of gold. I’m going to run through these from cheapest to most expensive.

The cheapest gear you can get is something that drops without any need for an upgrade. Most items that you will find, if they’re not Named, will be randomly generated around your loot bias. This means that getting 3 perfect perks is quite rare, while getting the right attribute and equip weight is fairly common.

I store every 700GS drop without evaluating it, just in case there’s a build I want to make in the future that I don’t know about yet. Then when I’m making a new build, the first place I search is my storage.

There is a little-known perk filter built into storage search, so you can type the perk name you’re after in square brackets, for example [keenly jagged] will show all items with the Keenly Jagged Perk. If I just typed [keen], I would get items with Keen, Keenly Jagged, Keenly Empowered, Keenly Fortified, Keen Speed, Keen Awareness, Keen Berserk, Keen Beacon, Keen Tondo, Keen Vault Kick as well.

Note: you need to use attribute affixes to search for them – Dex = Ranger, Str = Soldier, Con = Sentry, Foc = Sage, Int = Scholar.

If you’re lucky, you might have something in your storage that fits the new build.

Next stop is the Gypsum Kiln. If you’re been running expeditions for a while, you’ll have built up a stash of materia. It’s good to store this in a town with a kiln – Reekwater is perfect if you have your inn set there, as it’s right next to the storage shed and kiln. Other places you can find a Gypsum Kiln include Ebonscale Reach, Edengrove, Brimstone, and all the Outposts.

To see whether there’s an Expedition replica that has the perks you want, you can browse the kiln itself, or check this list on New World Database.

Note: the hovered item card shows purple because the final perk hasn’t been applied yet.

Expedition replicas roll at 700GS and will be Legendary. They have two standard perks and the third perk is random. If you want to change the final perk, you can do this by Upgrading.

Now we get to the point where we’ll have to spend some gold. Before getting into the more expensive options, it’s worth checking the Trading Post and seeing whether anyone is selling what you want at a reasonable price. Anything below 7-15k (depending on slot) is worth buying.

To narrow down your search, make sure you use the Perk Filter on the Trading Post. Set your minimum gear score, attributes and then try adding all your perks. You can click “Only selected” to show items that have all the perks, otherwise it will display items that have any of the perks listed.

Crafting is pretty reliable these days and if you only need two exact perks and are flexible about the third, Golden Scarab crafts are a good option. They cost around 7-15k in materials, depending on market values, craft mods used and slot crafted. Chestwear costs more to make than gloves.

If you don’t have crafting skills, trophies, gear, buffs and knowledge, you can always ask a friendly crafter to make gear for you. Most people will craft if you provide the mats, either for free or for a small tip. If you’re on Delos, I’ll craft for you at no cost if you bring me the materials.

You can look up recipes on nwdb.info to see which mats you need (make sure you’re looking at the recipe that requires 3 Golden Scarabs and a Matrix), and if you want Armor crafted, I have a materials calculator here.

The next option is upgrading Named items. A lot of people suggest this as the only way to get gear, but as you can see, there are a number of cheaper options. Upgrading Named items costs about 20k gold and 3 days cooldown, if you don’t pre-purchase your Chromatic Seals.

I keep one of each Named item in my storage, so that I don’t have to farm it if I find a build that needs it. But, if you don’t already have the item, it’s easy to find out where it drops and go farm it. I also recommend buying Chromatic Seals in advance and keeping a buffer of at least three (I aim for 12).

We have an extensive guide to Upgrading Items here.

If you are set on three exact perks and there are no Named items that have two of them, your final option is to make or commission a Prismatic Scarab Craft. This allows to you choose everything about the item so you can make Best in Slot gear. Of course, this comes at a cost.

The Prismatic Scarab itself is made of 10 Golden Scarabs. On top of that, you will need an Azoth Inductor, which is a Bind on Pickup item that costs 25k gold and 75k faction tokens from the Faction Shop. If you’re providing mats for someone else to craft for you, you’ll need to cover the 25k cost of the inductor, plus add a tip for the faction tokens.

You’ll also need Prismatic mats at about 20x the amount of a regular craft, plus 10 Timeless Shard and 50 Attribute craft mods. The three perk craft mods can also be expensive if they are rare and popular.

Finally, we have Artifacts, which are special items that have unique perks. You can find a list of artifacts here, along with information on how to get them.

Many builds will include a couple of artifacts. You can equip one Armor, one Weapon, and one Jewelry artifact at a time.

This is a fairly complicated question, as different perks are good in different builds. We have some links to good build sites below and I recommend looking through them to get an idea of specific perks.

If you’re not sure how you’re specialising or really just want to make a flexible basic set, here are some general perks that will keep you functional. To keep this simple, many good perks have been left out.

  • Enchanted Ward
  • Health
  • Refreshing (on 4 items max)

Azoth Crystal gear is a great general set. It drops in every weight type and in every M2+ dungeon, as well as being able to be made at the Gypsum kiln with Dense Mutator Materia. It comes with Magnify, Enchanted Ward, and Refreshing, and the third perk is random.

  • Vicious, Rogue, or Enchanted
  • Refreshing Move or Keenly Empowered
  • Weapon Ability Perk or Keen
  • Amulet – Health, Protection (see above)
  • Ring – Hearty, Keen Awareness, Damage for your weapon type
  • Earring – Refreshing Toast, Healthy Toast or Empowering Toast, Nimble or Regenerating

The perks above are a very general idea of decent perks. Just about every perk has a way to be used, and some builds will have essential specialist perks. Elemental damage type builds will use a Harnessing perk on every piece of armour, for example. Rather than try to explain all the options, it’s probably better just to look through some builds and get an idea from there.

You can find all this information put together in builds made by various players with loads of experience in the game. When you’re looking at a build, remember that if you don’t have the exact same item, it doesn’t matter, you just need the perks/attribute/equip weight to match.

The idea behind our build section is to share builds from a range of players. Each build comes with a description of how to play it, as well as information about the gear, attribute and weapon ability loadouts.

You can check out our builds here and feel free to submit your own.

This is a beautiful and useful site made by Honzy. As well as a wide range of PVE builds, some submitted by Content Creators and some made through expert knowledge in-house, they also provide some beginner 65 Squire Squad builds. This can be really helpful when you have gear overwhelm, as they’re narrowing it down to single perks per item.

You can visit Mutation Academy here.

Sherlock Gnome has put together an updated collection of build information, which grew out of the original M11 site for PVE speedrunners. He also includes some Dungeon information and general info about things like Buffs and Debuffs, Gems, etc.

You can peruse newworldbuilds.com here.

NW Champ is made by TrickTrick and includes lots of PVP builds as well as some PVE. The builds are quite simple, with attributes, gear cards, and weapon loadouts only. No discussion on how to play the build is provided but the layout is very clean.

Have a look at NWChamp.com.

Hopefully, there’s enough information here to get you started and you’ll learn the rest as you play the game. Making new builds and theory crafting is a big part of what makes end-game New World enjoyable, or you can just perfect your one set and be happy playing that. It’s up to you.

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Landi is an avid furniture collector and regular DPS for Don't Die Alone. She contributes to the Mutation Rotation and Faction Control series of articles.

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