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New World has undergone many changes in its first year of release, and the leveling process has also changed significantly. The first 25 levels have been reworked in the upcoming Brimstone Sands expansion, with the current version available on the PTR.

RELATED: New World: Best Weapons, Ranked

This guide covers how you level in New World, what build is the best build to level up fast, and how you can speed up your early questing to reach those higher levels quickly. Much of the game's large-scale PVP and Expeditions are accessed in the endgame, so you'll want to get there as soon as you can.

We updated this guide on September 17, 2022 ahead of the upcoming Brimstone Sands expansions. This is directly related to how you level in the game so we decided this guide needed a refresher!

What Is The Best Build To Level Up Fast In New World?

There are some big decisions to make about what sort of playstyle you want to have in New World. Because the game has a class-less system, you can mix and match a variety of different weapon types and armors.

This guide covers one of our favorite builds for speeding up the leveling process in the early game: the Hatchet and Bow. We also go over some other popular leveling builds that exceed in solo PvE as well as helping you get around the map quicker.

RELATED: New World: Leveling Tips

The Hatchet And Bow Speed Leveling Build

The Hatchet and Bow have so far proven to be one of the fastest ways to level up in New World, mostly thanks to the weapon combination's great movement speed buffs and general sustainability. Here's everything you need to know about making these weapons work for you.

Speed Is Everything

Like almost any MMO ever, getting started in New World means a lot of running. Running from quest location to quest location can add fifteen or twenty minutes to a quest sometimes. That's including the changes in the Brimstone Sands expansion. Leveling is easier now, but you still need to do a lot of running. If you want to go fast, here's how:

  • The Hatchet offers some of the best early game mobility with the Berserk mastery. Considering you're going to be running from quest to quest (before you have access to fast traveling) this little boost can help LOADS.
  • Pair it with the Archer's Speed mastery for the bow (gives you a speed boost every time you switch to the bow) you'll be speeding all over the place.
  • You can even opt for Light Armor and get some slick dodge movement going, although this will make you very squishy during solo PvE.
  • Go for pure Dexterity attributes.


Fighting waves of monsters on your own is going to deplete your health. If you have no means of sustaining yourself during combat, it's going to be a slow grind while you wait to recover.

  • The Hatchet's Berserk mastery is back to save you again. In the third tier down you'll find the Berserking Refresh mastery. This gives you a small period of health regen while the Berserk skill is active.
  • Sustain doesn't really happen with the bow until you've spent some time leveling up the mastery tree, as the closest you'll get is the Hawkeye mastery. This will heal you for 10 percent of the damage you deal, but only if it's a headshot. Pretty neat, though.

What Attribute Points Should You Use?

This is really up to your preferences. There are two major factors to keep in mind:

  • The Hatchet scales off of Strength, and the Bow scales off of Dexterity. It's up to you which angle you want to take with the build.

It's likely that you will open with a Penetrating Shot with your Bow and then switch to the Hatchet for close-quarters fighting with Berserk. If that's the case, opt for more Strength than Dex, something like 150 in Strength and 50 in Dex to get you started in the early game. This will be adapted later in the endgame as you start running Expeditions and taking part in PvP.

However, if you find yourself using the Bow more often, or you're playing with friends, then you might want to spec further into Dex. Some builds will just stack all attribute points into one weapon. It's hard to recommend exactly what you should do with the points. It's a good idea to experiment and find out what suits your style of play.

  • Put your points into Strength if you're regularly using the Hatchet.
  • Put points into Dexterity if you favor the bow.
  • One other tip for Bow dexterity: you get boosts to skinning from the Dex attribute tree, which is a great way to make XP in the early game.

Check out the builds for these weapons below:

Other Leveling Builds You Could Try

Here are some more ideas for builds that work well for solo leveling.

Spear and Musket

As it currently stands, the Spear is one of the best PvP weapons in the game, ideal if you're heading down that route to earn EXP. It's also good at clearing out stacks of PvP enemies with its sweep attacks during group activities. The Musket is perfect for sniping low-health minions as you walk by for that extra bit of exp. You will, however, find yourself squishy in solo PvE. You could also run the Spear and Bow build, arguably the best PvP build in the game right now.

Life Staff and Sword

Yep, yep, yep. This build is super, super strong. The Life Staff is typically a healing item, and while this might not seem like the sort of thing you need to level up fast, it also provides you with some decent sustainability to keep yourself in combat for longer. You are basically unkillable during PvE using this build. Ideal if you want to solo high-level enemies.

This build has been nerfed a bit because healing is now significantly reduced if you're wearing heavy armor, but it's still a great build considering how much sustain you get.

Great Axe and Hatchet

Sticking with the Hatchet, but this time adding in the raw damage of the Great Axe. The Great Axe's AoE potential with Maelstrom makes this a very powerful PvE weapon. Pair that with the sustainability of the Hatchet and you have one strong build. You can respec the Great Axe for PvP, too, by adding Gravity Well and Charge.

How Do You Level Up In New World?

Leveling up in New World is mostly based on how many quests you complete. The faster you complete the quests, the faster you'll level up. There are a variety of different quests that you can complete to earn XP, including the faction missions and town projects besides the main storyline quest.

  • Completing the main quests on their own will not give you enough XP to get to level 60. You will need to complete other quests to hit it.
  • Leveling in New World is...slow. It's a grind. Most MMOs are. Crafting, gathering, and other resource-based tasks are not the most effective method to level up.

Tips To Level Fast In New World

Here are some general tips to give you a headstart in New World. As a side note, these tips are valid at the time of writing, which is before the full release of the game. We will update this article with more info in the future.

What's Happening With Fresh Start Servers?

According to some little teasers from the team behind New World, fresh start servers could be arriving with the Brimstone Sands expansion in October. These would be brand-new servers where everyone starts at level 0, just like the launch of the game. Transfer are not allowed into the server. Everyone starts on a level playing field all over again.

Change Up Your Starting Location

This is really up to you. Jumping into New World now means the game world is already thriving and changing. The extremely busy areas, like Windsward and Everfall, will have more players around to help you out with challenging mobs, but much fewer resources are available. You might opt for somewhere quieter, like First Light.

Complete Town Project Missions

You should take Town Project missions (like killing five rabbits or collect so-and-so) when you get a chance. These reward you with massive EXP, Gold, and Faction standing, as well as help your faction out toward completing their next upgrade.

Town Project Missions have been nerfed pretty significantly in the Brimstone Sands expansion but you now receive more exp for general questing.

Forget About Your Early Game Gear

Don't worry too much about gear in the early game. You'll be getting so much new stuff that there's no need to worry about it. If you die, that's fine, and it's sometimes a quick way of getting back to a nearby town. It's pretty cheesey, but effective.

Fast Travel

You can fast travel from certain Azoth shrines dotted around the map. They're only located in certain areas, but they do make traveling faster if there's one nearby your quest. Lots of new Shrines have been added over the past few updates, and the costs of Azoth travel are now much, much lower than they used to be.

For more tips, please check out our leveling tips guide.

NEXT: New World: Complete Guide And Walkthrough