New World A Complete Guide To Classes

Choosing the right class is key to starting out strong in New World. Here’s everything you need to know about classes.

One of the distinctive features of New World is the lack of choices when it comes to classes, or at least it seems that way. Just because the game doesn’t include a mechanic where players choose a class during the character creation process doesn’t mean the game doesn’t have classes. Characters can still be Shamans, Clerics, Rogues, or any other class from classic RPG lore, as long as they have the right attribute build and weapon skills. Creative players can even make up their own customized New World classes, an exciting prospect for those who felt limited by games with distinct classes.


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The customization process in New World isn’t just a combination of magic or might, which is already a lot of fun because anyone can use any combination of weapons and elemental power. Like other MMORPGs, New World also divides its players into three different groups. Damage dealers, healers, and defenders. Combat-related abilities can also be combined with certain professions that specialize in creating magical or versatile items to aid in battle, offering even more numerous customization options.

Updated on November 10th, 2022, by Kristy Ambrose: New World has changed in the past year and gone through some dramatic changes. A recent expansion, the Brimstone Sands, and a sale on Steam has revived interest in the game for both new and returning players. Now that new types of damage and weapons have been introduced there are now even more possibilities available for building unique classes, so here are yet more unique ideas for those looking for inspiration when it comes to classes and character builds in New World.

Building a Character


New world Attributes updated

  • Strength. This is the main ability for melee fighters who favor two-handed weapons, with the exception of the sword and hatchet, the only two one-handed weapons on the list. Remember that the hatchet skill is not the same as the woodcutting ax skill. Spear-users also need a few points in Strength, that weapon’s secondary ability score.
  • Dexterity. The classic ability of damage dealers, associated with New World classes like Rogues and Bards, Dexterity covers the most weapon choices of all the attributes. It’s the primary ability score for most of the ranged weapons and the rapier. Swords and hatchets also utilize Dexterity as a secondary ability score.
  • Intelligence. As it is in the RPG world, Intelligence is also important to magic users in New World. This is the main attribute score for Fire Staff, Void Gaunlet, and Ice Gaunlet users. It’s the secondary attribute for Muskets and Rapiers, which are physical weapons that require a bit more finesse.
  • Focus. Needed for Life Staff and to a lesser extent for Void Gauntlet wielders. It sounds boring, but some of the abilities such as “Holy Ground” are impressive. It makes leveling healers that much more efficient, and every MMO needs more healers. It also serves as the secondary skill for the Void Gaunlet.
  • Constitution. Not connected to any weapon use, but a higher Consitution means more hit points which is great for anyone. Defensive builds or melee classes that need to take more hits will prioritize this Attribute.

Characters get one Attribute point for every level they gain. The more a character needs to spread out their Attribute points, the longer it will take to build a character, which is the same way it works in most RPGs anyway. A dual or multi-class character takes longer to level, so players that are building combination classes need to have more patience than others.

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Weapon Mastery

updated weapons mastery screen

  • One-Handed Weapons: The hatchet, sword, and rapier are the options for one-handed melee weapons and only the sword can be paired with the shield. Each weapon gains more abilities as the player levels them up by using them more often, and these abilities fit into different categories that focus on damage over time, defensive abilities, or special finishing moves. Rogues, Rangers, Slayers, and Trappers are all New World classes that would use one-handed weapons.
  • Two-Handed Weapons: Represented in New World by the warhammer, spear, and battleax. All of these weapons deal a lot of damage at close range and the spear has some thrown abilities. Barbarians are one class that would naturally gravitate towards this category, but Fighters that rely on Strength or Clerics that stay on the front line might also consider it.
  • Ranged: It’s a simple choice between a gun and a musket, but that depends on the class the player is building. Rangers, Rogues, and Fighters are frequently archers in classic RPGs, but in New World players can also be experts with guns, and the result could be a Privateer or Mercenary class.
  • Magic: The Ice Gaunlet, Void Gaunlet, and Fire Staff are the magical weapons of Aeternum, so any class associated with magic will put their attribute points into Intelligence and Focus. Healers will lean more towards Focus, while DPS magic classes will need a higher Intelligence.

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Trade Skills

updated trade skills new world

Players that are skilled in certain Trade Skills can make items that augment their New World class in some way. It’s up to the players as to the exact nature of what they use and how. Some skills, like Cooking, can benefit every build in some way, and every character would benefit from leveling it. There’s a grouchy Cook on every voyage of discovery. If a player wants to build a Fighting Farmer or a Herbalist with a Handax, that’s perfectly fine, too.

  • Weaponsmithing. Players building a class focused on damage will be able to forge their own weapons provided they prioritize this skill. It’s not related to mastering the use of weapons, but players have more control over the benefits and perks that weapons have when they make them, so it can be another way to build a class.
  • Armoring. This covers virtually all the clothing in New World, regardless of whether it’s light, medium, or heavy, so any class can benefit from leveling the Armoring skill. Like Weaponsmithing, it can give a player even more customization options for their character build.
  • Music. Musical instruments and a related trade skill, Music, have added a new dimension to character building in the game. Adopt this skill as a hobby or make it part of a class build, and players can purchase an instrument or build one.
  • Engineering. Essential for a class that might be an Artificer, Engineer, or Navigator, there’s a lot more to Engineering than ranged weapons. Engineers can also craft Enhancement potions and repair kits, which are useful no matter what build you’re working on but especially good if you use bows or guns.
  • Arcana. Often associated with Alchemy, as this profession involves making and mixing potions, Arcana is also the profession that players use to craft magical weapons. It would benefit magic users specifically, but any class can benefit from the veritable array of useful bottled concoctions that can be brewed for almost any situation, including XP gain.

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Examples of Class Builds in New World

Damage Dealers

new world invincible glitch

  • Pirate: Swashbuckler, Duelist, or Musketeer depending on which weapons they favor, since there are all kinds of Pirates, but this build consists of a rapier for melee and a musket or a blunderbuss for ranged fighting. Replace the rapier with a spear and build a Harpooner or Whaler.
  • Fire Mage: For players that miss that sweet one-two hot-button action from other MMOs, recreate the same experience by equipping a Fire Staff and releasing that greedy inner pyromaniac. The Fire Staff has a variety of different abilities that cover melee, AoE, and some close-range abilities, so players can be creative when choosing a secondary weapon.
  • Barbarian: Call this New World class a Trapper, Hunter, Explorer, or Survivalist, but the essential features are the same. These characters don’t wear a lot of armor, shun the messy details of civilization and when they fight, their most valuable asset is brute force. The first sign of a Barbarian in Aeternum is the size of the weapon they’re carrying, and that big hammer is hard to miss.
  • Shadow Priest. Now that the power of darkness, in this case Void Damage, has been harnessed by the adventurers of Aeternum this class is easier to build than before. This class is ideal in both ranged and melee combat and can also heal depending on how the player uses their talents and what weapon they pair with the gauntlet.

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Life Staff Sword and Shield New World

  • Shaman or Druid: Mix elemental damage with some decent healing abilities, which means a Life Staff, a Void Gaunlet, or an Ice Gauntlet. The gear should be a mix of leather and plate depending on how much melee damage the character will take.
  • Fighting Cleric: Equip your character with a warhammer and a Life Staff along with some heavy plate armor. The result is a dangerous melee fighter equipped with healing abilities, which is great for PvE, PvP, and any group activities.
  • Bard. Focus on leveling the Music trade skill along with a musical instrument, and there are slots on each character for several different options, none of which count as a weapon. Equip a Life Staff and one other weapon that provides options for damage, healing, or party buffs depending on the exact role.
  • Healing Priest: Combine a Life Staff with light to medium armor and any one-handed weapon, depending on what other attributes besides Focus is important for this build. For example, Priests with a high Dexterity attribute score should equip a rapier, while those who depend on Strength can pick up a sword.

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Screenshot MMO New World players fighting sword and shield

  • Frosty Fighter: Any melee weapon can be combined with an Ice Gaunlet, including the sword and shield combo. This Fighter can draw aggressive enemies away from their friends while dealing both magic and melee damage.
  • Hoplite. The Brimstone Sands expansion has added a Mediterranean
  • Mercenary or Knight: This is one of the few times that a character’s class might depend on their Faction. Mercenaries would be Marauders, typically amoral and greedy, while Covenant members would be loyal and fervent holy knights. Both would wear full plate armor and probably use a sword and shield build along with a longbow for weapons.
  • Fallen Paladin: Speaking of the Covenant, a more evangelical fighter who wears full plate might be from that faction. A fallen Paladin, one that has uncovered a horrible secret or broken with their vow, would find a home in the sneaky Syndicate or the mirthless Marauders.

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