The best New World great axe build for PvP and PvE

The most powerful skills and weapon combinations for the New World great axe

A player holding a great axe in New World near a ruined obelisk.

Want to know what the best New World great axe builds are for PvP and PvE? We’ve had time to test several different builds since the new MMO game launched, and we’ve concluded that outside of the magic weapons, one of the best New World weapons is the great axe. It may be slower to use than most other melee weapons, but it’s a fantastic option for those wanting to chop away at foes in a DPS role.

To build an excellent loadout for New World, you need to spend time killing enemies to level up weapons, choose which skills to equip, and allocate attribute points. Therefore, you should assign your character’s attribute points carefully to maximise the impact of both weapons in your build. While it takes more skill to use a great axe in combat than other weapons, the effort is most certainly worth it.

If you’re running a powerful axe build, particularly the PvE build in this guide, you’ll benefit from tackling dungeons and bosses alongside someone who is using the best New World tank build, using the sword and shield. We also have DPS build configurations for the best New World fire staff build. This guide will go over both of the best great axe builds, though if you’d rather spec into a different melee-focused build, why not try out our best New World war hammer buildbest New World hatchet build, or best New World rapier build instead.

The best New World great axe PVP build

The best PvP build for the great axe is the war hammer and great axe. Your role in this build is to gather foes together, then use AoE skills to deal damage and recover health.

We recommend the following New World gems:

  • Armour – Opal gems (this increases fire and ice elemental damage absorption)
  • Great axe – Emerald gem (this increases damage against foes with low health)
  • War hammer – Malachite gem (this increases damage against enemies afflicted with crowd control)

You should mostly spend your attribute points on strength since both of these weapons use strength as their primary attribute. The rest of the attribute points should be put into constitution to increase your health. You should also wear heavy armour to maximise your defence.

The great axe tree abilities we recommend are:

  • Reap – along with the hunger perk, this is an excellent way to recover health while dealing damage to nearby foes.
  • Charge – since you can’t be interrupted while using this ability, this allows you to close short distances quickly.
  • Gravity Well – this skill also helps with pulling in enemies into a cluster. You can upgrade this skill to soak up all projectiles while the well is active.

The best war hammer abilities are:

  • Shockwave – this is your primary AoE damage dealer, with the added bonus of stunning enemies it hits.
  • Path of Destiny – a good damage-dealer for after you’ve bunched up enemies together in a cluster.
  • Armor Breaker – this is best used against armoured enemies and can be upgraded with passives to make it unstoppable and inflict the Rend status ailment.

The best New World great axe PVE build

The best great axe PvE build is the great axe and hatchet build. It’s great for both solo and team play, but we think that it’s best used alongside a tank to chip away at enemies with your various axes from behind. This gives you automatic critical hits and will heal you with every hit. Adding a tier five emerald gem into your axe also boosts damage against foes with low health.

The stat distribution is the same here as they are in the PvP build: maximise your strength and put the rest of your attribute points into constitution. Your New World gear should be medium armour, and if possible, you should attach warding gems to increase your resistance to elemental attacks.

The great axe abilities we recommend are:

  • Reap – pulls in nearby foes and deals quite a bit of damage.
  • Execute – this is your coup-de-grace as it hits enemies with less than half health for up to 300% of your weapon’s damage. Best used to hit opponents from behind.
  • Gravity Well – good for gathering enemies into a cluster to help ranged DPS attacks hit multiple enemies at once.

For the hatchet, take the following abilities:

  • Berserk – buffs your attack damage by 20% while it’s active, which is excellent when used with attacks such as Execute.
  • Feral Rush – helps you close the distance if you’re far away and hits enemies twice in a row.
  • Raging Torrent – attacks four times at close-range to deal 90% of your weapon damage per hit.

You should now have everything you need to put together the best great axe builds in New World. If you need extra help getting started, check out our New World beginner’s guide or our New World server transfer guide if you’re finding it hard to get into the game. You may also be interested in our New World PvP guide if you’re venturing into PvP for the first time and our New World leveling guide if you want to level up as fast as possible.