Bow Guide and Builds for New World

Last updated on Feb 23, 2023 at 12:30 by Lemoni 4 comments
General Information

Welcome to our guide for Bow, a weapon in New World. Within these pages, you will find everything required to understand how best to play with this weapon in both PvE and PvP.

1.

Bow Overview

The Bow is a powerful ranged weapon that excels at mid-range. While it can be used at far distances, it can be difficult to hit targets. As such, it is most effective while playing close to clumps and taking out priority targets.

2.

Bow Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
  • +High damage output at any distance
  • +Very mobile
  • +Easy to use
  • +Can be used in PvP or PvE
X Weaknesses
  • -Requires arrows
  • -Can be difficult to learn arrow drop
  • -Tough to hit targets at a distance
  • -Requires you to aim at targets
  • -Can be very squishy
3.

Bow Build

  • Rapid Shot Rapid Shot — High damage cooldown that launches three quick shots and staggers targets which opens up a vulernability window to secure kills or interrupt casts.
  • Penetrating Shot Penetrating Shot — High damage ability that can be weaved into another heavy shot. This will go through multiple targets. Try to finish off kills with this ability.
  • Explosive Arrow Explosive Arrow — Great damage option that can be weaved into another heavy attack to potentially one shot squishy targets. This shot fires off quickly and can be used as a source of empower or an execute.

This is the standard Bow build that should be used in almost all PvP and PvE environments. It maximizes damage output and does not require any defensive abilities.

If you need a defensive option for arenas or other PvP content...You can substitute Explosive Arrow Explosive Arrow for Evade Shot Evade Shot and take all the same passives.

4.

Secondary Weapons

4.1.

Rapier

4.1.1.

Flourish and Finish

Use this if you prefer to have a burst damage option. At times, this can be significantly better for players using Dexterity builds. It acts similarly to Riposte Riposte by staggering the target, and it has a follow up ability that can deal damage or be quick mobility. This can be a great way to pick up quick kills on low health targets.

4.1.2.

Riposte

Use this if you prefer to have a survivability option with Riposte Riposte. This ability can be easily at times if used incorrectly. Nonetheless, it will give you a moment of invulnerability and will certainly save your life at times.

4.2.

Hatchet

For a thorough breakdown on the Hatchet and how it can be used, please refer to our Hatchet guide.

This is the standard build option in PvP when using a Bow. It provides survivability and CC escape with Berserk Berserk and Social Distancing Social Distancing. It used Infected Throw Infected Throw as a way to exhaust targets and anti-heal clumps of enemies. Other Hatchet PvP builds take Feral Rush Feral Rush instead.

4.3.

Musket

At times in PvP some players who are on the defensive side of a War will use both a Musket and a Bow. This will allow the player to use all of their high damage abilities, and secure kills at any distance. While it lacks mobility, it is not needed when you are playing on the walls of a fort.

For more detailed information on Musket usage and other aspects of its gameplay, please refer to our Musket guide.

4.3.1.

Stopping Power

Using Stopping Power Stopping Power allows you to have an almost instant second shot at times when it is used right after firing your Musket. This will also stagger the target which opens up the window for a quick third shot to secure a kill.

4.3.2.

Grenade

Some players prefer using Sticky Bomb Sticky Bomb for its high damage and AoE potential.

4.4.

Spear

For more detailed information on Spear usage and other aspects of its gameplay, please refer to our Spear guide

4.4.1.

Javelin PvP

4.4.2.

Sweep PvP

The Spear can complement the Bow with its close-ranged crowd-control and ability to easily take down anyone pushing you.

4.5.

Greatsword

4.5.1.

PvP

This can be a great PvP pairing that allows you to scale full Dexterity and kill close targets and ranged targets. It also has mobility and ways to break out of crowd-control effects.

4.5.2.

PvE

Use this as an AoE weapon when clumps are stacked.

5.

Attributes

400dex100con

This is the most optimal damage split for a bow in PvP combat. In Wars it may be best to go with 150 Constitution, or if you are just wanting to be a bit more defensive.

In PvE, feel free to go as low as 50 Constitution.

6.

Important Perks

6.1.

Ability Perks

6.2.

Weapon Perks

  • Enchanted Enchanted — This will add significant damage to every basic Bow shot.
  • Attunement Perks — This adds a great burst of damage to every attack.
  • Keenly Jagged Keenly Jagged — This will not only add a dot, but a potential spike of burst damage. When this procs, it will instantly deal damage along with the DoT on your Runeglass, and Attunement. All of this comes together for one quick burst of damage, and then leaves its DoT effect to secure kills.
  • Bane Perks — (PvE) Use a Bane perk in PvE.
6.3.

PvP Perks

  • Resilient Resilient — When possible, aim to have five stacks on your armor set for PvP, every piece should have this.
  • Freedom Freedom — This is a very viable PvP perk that will help you break you out of CC faster.
  • Refreshing Evasion Refreshing Evasion — This is your best source of cooldown reduction.
  • Refreshing Refreshing — This can be an option for cooldown reduction, but it is not as valuable as Refreshing Evasion Refreshing Evasion because of how often you will dodge.
  • Elemental Aversion Elemental Aversion — Having 1-2 stacks of this as a third perk is never a waste. It can help reduce incoming magic damage.
  • Invigorated Punishment Invigorated Punishment — This allows for consistent damage increases and can be a viable option.
  • Mortal Empowerment Mortal Empowerment — This can be very strong in PvP if you feel that you can snowball enough kills to maximize your stacks and not die.
6.4.

PvE Perks

  • Elemental Aversion Elemental Aversion — This perk is a viable alternative in PvP as well, but is overshadowed by other PvP options. It provides great defensein mutated expeditions to help mitigate magical effects.
  • Physical Aversion Physical Aversion — Only projectiles that do physical damage will be mitigated by this perk. As such, it can be useful in PvE as another potential option. It alsoprovides a small amount of PvP value, but Elemental Aversion Elemental Aversion and enemy Ward perks are certainly more defensive options.
  • Corrupted Ward Corrupted Ward — Use this in Dynasty Shipyard, Tempest's Heart, and The Depths, for damage reduction against Corrupted enemy types.
  • Angry Earth Ward Angry Earth Ward — Use this in Garden of Genesis for damage reduction against Angry Earth enemy types.
  • Ancient Ward Ancient Ward — Use this in The Lazarus Instrumentality, The Ennead, and Starstone Barrows for damage reduction against Ancient enemy types.
  • Lost Ward Lost Ward — Use this in Barnacles & Black Powder and The Amrine Excavation for damage reduction against Lost enemy types.
6.5.

Jewelry Perks

6.5.1.

Amulet

  • Health Health — This is the standard pick for all builds, it is free health that will add to the defensiveness of your kit.
  • Divine Divine — This is important for PvE.
  • Stamina Recovery Stamina Recovery — This is a backpocket save when being focused and taking heavy damage. You will receive a burst of stamina that will allow you to potentially get a quick dodge that can save your iife and continue the fight.
  • Thrust Protection Thrust Protection — This acts as a third perk slot that provides more defensiveness against other Dex and ranged weapons.
  • Elemental Protection — This can be a PvE replacement for Thrust Protection Thrust Protection. Use whatever elemental type you need for the mutator being ran.
6.5.2.

Ring

6.5.3.

Earring

  • Refreshing Toast Refreshing Toast — On any earring this perk is a must-have. It allows you to use more health, mana, and regeneration potions by lowering your potion cooldown. It is fantastic for quick self-healing in a pinch.
  • Purifying Toast Purifying Toast — This perk is a must have in many frontline setups. This can be used to remove slows and roots, or it can take off unwanted debuffs or damage over time effects. It is mainly for PvP.
  • Regenerating Regenerating — This is free healing over time that can be taken for survivability.
  • Refreshing Evasion Refreshing Evasion
7.

Heartrune

For Bow players in PvP you have plenty of burst damage, so your best Heartrunes focus on survivability. Using Minor Heartrune of Stoneform Minor Heartrune of Stoneform allows you to break out of crowd-control effects, remove debuffs, and provide defensive buffs.

Stalwart Heartrune of Stoneform Stalwart Heartrune of Stoneform provides one defensive buff and a significant healing over time effect.

In PvE content, you can use either Brutal Heartrune of Detonate Brutal Heartrune of Detonate for extra DPS, or Brutal Heartrune of Grasping Vines Brutal Heartrune of Grasping Vines to clump enemies together.

7.1.

Heartrune Usage Tips

When using Cunning Heartrune of Stoneform Cunning Heartrune of Stoneform, or other variants, you should save this for times where you are stunned or affected by other forms of CC. Alternatively, you can use this right before pushing through a doorway or chokepoint to negate the potential of being affected by CC.

As a Musket or Bow player, you should be using your Cunning Heartrune of Stoneform Cunning Heartrune of Stoneform, or other variants, if you have been hit by another Musket or Bow and have taken significant damage or have a Crippling Powder Burn Crippling Powder Burn on you. Otherwise, use this whenever you are being pushed or are affected by crowd-control.

Use Brutal Heartrune of Grasping Vines Brutal Heartrune of Grasping Vines when 3+ targets are stacked together. You want to use this on as many as possible. It can also be used on single-target fights for free damage or to apply Rend.

Try to avoid using Brutal Heartrune of Detonate Brutal Heartrune of Detonate while you have low health or are being focused on. The goal is to start the ability and wait a short duration and attempt to dive in right as the ability detonates so you can catch enemies off guard and not be bursted down.

Save your Detonate for when there are multiple targets stacked on top of one another. Preferably the targets will already be under some kind of CC effect, or exhausted and unable to dodge out of them. It is best paired with something like Gravity Well Gravity Well or Shockwave Shockwave.

Take advantage of down time to charge your heartrune. For instance if you are far away you might as well continue to try hitting targets or structures to build charge.

Your heartrune will charge fast. While it is obviously beneficial to hold for times where there are large clusters of enemies. Do not wait too long and continue to waste your cooldown when you would have had the time to get another one recharged. Get familiar with how quickly you can get it back online and do not hesitate to use it to secure high priority kills.

A Heartrune in PvE is significantly different than PvP. This will charge incredibly fast due to the sustained damage output on single targets. When using something like Brutal Heartrune of Detonate Brutal Heartrune of Detonate this is best used on large numbers of enemies instead of single target. With that being said, use this as many times as possible in a boss fight since it will be available and otherwise wasted.

8.

Gems and Consumables

For more information on how to manage your cooldown hotbar, what consumables to use, what foods should be eaten, or tips on how to be more effective with your consumables in PvP and PvE, please refer to Bow Consumables guide.

8.1.

Gems

8.1.1.

Weapon Gems

Dexterity players will often use an elemental damage gem that matches the Attunement perk on their weapon. This will still deal significant damage because of the primary scaling with base weapon damage. The gem will then split that value by 40% and scale with Intelligence or Focus (Nature). Since you then use an elemental damage Runeglass and perk on your Ring, this will increase the elemental damage dealt by the weapon, its Attunement, and its DoT effect. This also avoids some players increased resistances to Thrust and Physical damage sources.

In PvP combat, it is highly recommended to use a specific elemental Runeglass, such as Runeglass of Arboreal Amber Runeglass of Arboreal Amber. You could also use something like Runeglass of Arboreal Opal Runeglass of Arboreal Opal.

In PvE, you will see the most damage from using Cut Pristine Diamond Cut Pristine Diamond.

8.1.2.

PvP Gems

In PvP combat your optimal resistances will focus on a mix of Slash and Thrust damage. Since you are playing farther back your only real threats are Musket, Bow, or a melee who has Slash damage. While you will also be pressured by elemental damage, you will have Elemental Aversion Elemental Aversion to compensate. This makes your optimal gem setups use Runeglass variants of Cut Pristine Moonstone Cut Pristine Moonstone or Cut Pristine Emerald Cut Pristine Emerald.

When determining if you should use Runeglass of Arboreal Moonstone Runeglass of Arboreal Moonstone (Or other elemental damage) or Runeglass of Sighted Moonstone Runeglass of Sighted Moonstone, it depends on empowerment cap and your skill level. Technically, if you have a maximum 15 stacks of Mortal Empowerment Mortal Empowerment, then you reach empower cap due to passives. The elemental damage bonuses on Runeglass count toward this cap. As such, only when you are at 15 stacks, it is a damage increase to use Sighted Runeglass, such as Runeglass of Sighted Emerald Runeglass of Sighted Emerald, since this is a flat damage increase. This is a very marginal top end damage increase that applies when you are at very high stacks. For all purpose content, it is better to pursue elemental variants.

Additionally, you should always have either Thrust Protection Thrust Protection or Slash Protection Slash Protection on your Amulet.

8.1.3.

PvE Gems

In PvE combat, more specifically mutators, elemental resistance is the main concern.

You can use the following gems in your gear:

  • Cut Pristine Diamond Cut Pristine Diamond (Weapon) + Elemental Resistance Gem x8 + Amulet Protection Perk (Based on mutator elemental effect)

If you would like, you can change your gem setup to counter specific mutator elemental damage, such as a Cut Pristine Ruby Cut Pristine Ruby. But, if you use only Cut Pristine Opal Cut Pristine Opal it will counter mixed elemental damage across a mutated expedition.

8.2.

Consumables

For more information on how to manage your cooldown hotbar, what consumables to use, what foods should be eaten, or tips on how to be more effective with your consumables in PvP and PvE, please refer to Bow Consumables guide.

9.

Rotation and Gameplay

In PvP, a Bow will be focused on trying to kill squishy targets, or healers. In PvE, it will either be used for its high single-target damage, and it will be paired with a second weapon for AoE.

  • Open on a target with a heavy shot into a Explosive Arrow Explosive Arrow immediately after.
  • Use Rapid Shot Rapid Shot to do damage quickly or potentially stagger a target.
  • Weave a heavy shot into a Penetrating Shot Penetrating Shot when trying to finish a target.
  • Shoot heavy or light Bow shots at low health targets to secure kills, or to apply damage pressure.
9.1.

Secondary Weapon Priority List and Build Rotation

To learn how to use your second weapon properly, and complete rotation, please refer to our PvE and PvP build pages:

10.

Gameplay Tips

10.1.

Arrow Weaving

Many abilities, such as Explosive Arrow Explosive Arrow or Penetrating Shot Penetrating Shot, can be weaved together with a heavy attack to deal two separate large bursts of damage almost simultaneously. You should try to Arrow Weave as much as possible. To do so, charge a heavy shot, and as soon as it leaves your bow use your ability and fire it.

Be careful, if you use your ability too early it will cancel your heavy shot even if it looks like it is fired.

10.2.

Dodge Rolls

It is important to consistently dodge roll before firing basic shots or abilities. This will apply an empower effect, and provide you with a guaranteed critical hit every 10 seconds.

This makes Refreshing Evasion Refreshing Evasion a BIS perk for Bows because of the frequent dodges. It will result in significant cooldown reduction.

10.3.

Movement Speed Options

Bow builds innately have many sources of passive haste. You can use this to your advantage to have incredible mobility. The Bow has Evasive Tactics Evasive Tactics to give 15% haste after every roll. You can pair this with Dodge and Weave Dodge and Weave to receive 10% haste after swapping to your Bow. This can be an effective 25% haste boost to prevent the need for any rolls.

Evasive Tactics Evasive Tactics can be maintained 100% of the time for improved mobility.

Additionally, when using a Rapier, you will have abilities like Fleche Fleche, Evade Evade, and Flourish and Finish Flourish and Finish, that can be quick mobility options.

10.4.

Headshots

Aiming for headshots is the best way to increase DPS in both PvP and PvE. At times this can be difficult, if you are not confident in your aim you can focus on hitting targets in the chest and you will still deal high damage. Do not aim for the head if you are not confident, you will miss significantly more shots and not secure kills.

10.5.

Arrow Drop

Practice shooting arrows across Aeternum to get a feel for how an arrow drops and arcs. At times you will have to arc shots at targets who are a far distance away to properly hit them.

You can take passives like Arrow Range Arrow Range to help with this, but it is a damage loss to do so.

10.6.

Clump Pumping

As a Bow player it is important to focus on squish backline targets, like healers. While these targets can be more difficult to hit at times, you should always be looking to kill them unless another target is low health and it is a free stack of Mortal Empowerment Mortal Empowerment that you can obtain. As such, do not be a "Clump Pumper" and waste abilities on packs of medium bruisers simply to deal damage and pad your stats. This is not effective Bow play and you will be shunned by the Bow community if you do so.

10.7.

Mortal Empowerment Stacking

One of the major contributors to the strength of a Bow or Musket is Mortal Empowerment Mortal Empowerment. These weapons will allow you to easily pick up kills and then snowball your stacks to have up to 30% increased damage. These stacks are your lifeline. You should be playing your life at all costs once you hit 15 stacks because it will be difficult to re-stack.

To easily secure stacks watch for healers or other squishy players. Once they exhaust themselves you will want to do your best to hit them with all possible burst because they are unable to dodge or jump.

10.8.

Hitting I-Frame Enemies

One of the most difficult things to learn can be how to hit a target with a Bow or a Musket because of how invulnerability frames work. I-frames come when you dodge and a short duration right after you complete the dodge and it prevents the target from taking damage. When trying to hit an enemy, wait for them to dodge, and wait until they have taken one step after dodging to guarantee they will not I-frame your shots.

10.9.

Movement

Effective movement is incredibly important in a build like this, especially when playing in medium. Do not panic and use your entire stamina bar and exhaust yourself, as it may result in death. You can take advantage of jumping, diving (going prone while moving), and changing direction by quickly moving your mouse or taking advantage of quick inputs on your movement keys.

There are many movements in New World that will stagger you in place for a moment when quickly changing direction. If you move left and right or if you jump left and right you will notice there is a momentwhere you will be standing still. To prevent this you will need to use a key input while your character is in the animation. For example, if you hold your left directional key and jump then right before you land you hit your right directional key and jump, you will quickly jump left and right. If you simply run left and right using your directional keys your character will respond similarly. To avoid this you can move left and then right before you pivot to go right, hit the backward directional key and instantly follow up with your right directional key. If you continue doing this back and forth you will avoid the sliding animation.

10.10.

Rapier Usage

This weapon pairing makes for incredibly mobile PvP builds that are difficult to catch. The Rapier has unmatched mobility with quick damage options and supplemental crowd-control.

To learn more about ability usage and the intracies of the Rapier, please refer to our Rapier guide.

10.11.

Hatchet Usage

The Hatchet is commonly used for Berserk Berserk to break out of crowd-control, and for Defy Death Defy Death to provide incredible survivability.

To learn more about ability usage and how to use the Hatchet, please refer to our Hatchet guide.

10.12.

Spear Usage

The Bow can be an option to pair with the Spear. While this combination lacks mobility, it does have great crowd-control and damage potential for anyone who is trying to pressure you.

Please refer to our Spear tips for how to use it properly.

10.13.

Musket Usage

This weapon combination is generally only used in defensive Wars where you can play on the walls of the fort.

Please refer to our Musket tips for how to use it properly.

11.

FAQ - Bow

12.

Why Should I Dodge So Much?

The Bow has many passives tied to dodging. When you dodge, you will receive a guaranteed critical hit every 10 seconds, an damage empowerment, and haste. It is advantageous to dodge often. As such, it makes Refreshing Evasion Refreshing Evasion very valuable for cooldown reduction.

13.

What Armor Weight Should I Be?

In almost all cases it is best to play a Bow in light armor to maximize damage and have better mobility.

Medium armor can be an option to help with being more defensive to counter other Dexterity players and still have great damage output.

14.

What Should I Use For Cooldown Reduction?

Generally, in all Bow builds you will be dodging frequently. This makes Refreshing Evasion Refreshing Evasion a valuable source of cooldown reduction.

15.

What Gems Do I Put In My Gear?

In PvP combat your optimal resistances will focus on a mix of Slash and Thrust damage. Since you are playing farther back your only real threats are Musket, Bow, or a melee who has Slash damage. While you will also be pressured by elemental damage, you will have Elemental Aversion Elemental Aversion to compensate. This makes your optimal gem setups use Runeglass variants of Cut Pristine Moonstone Cut Pristine Moonstone or Cut Pristine Emerald Cut Pristine Emerald.

When determining if you should use Runeglass of Arboreal Moonstone Runeglass of Arboreal Moonstone (Or other elemental damage) or Runeglass of Sighted Moonstone Runeglass of Sighted Moonstone, it depends on empowerment cap and your skill level. Technically, if you have a maximum 15 stacks of Mortal Empowerment Mortal Empowerment, then you reach empower cap due to passives. The elemental damage bonuses on Runeglass count toward this cap. As such, only when you are at 15 stacks, it is a damage increase to use Sighted Runeglass, such as Runeglass of Sighted Emerald Runeglass of Sighted Emerald, since this is a flat damage increase. This is a very marginal top end damage increase that applies when you are at very high stacks. For all purpose content, it is better to pursue elemental variants.

It is suggested that you should be around 30% Thrust resistance. You can decide what is best for you and what other resistances you prefer.

In your weapon you will often want to use an elemental damage gem that matches the Attunement perk on their weapon. This will still deal significant damage because of the primary scaling with base weapon damage. The gem will then split that value by 40% and scale with Intelligence or Focus (Nature). Since you then use an elemental damage Runeglass and perk on your Ring, this will increase the elemental damage dealt by the weapon, its Attunement, and its DoT effect. This also avoids some players increased resistances to Thrust and Physical damage sources.

16.

What Magic Damage Should I Use For Runeglass, Attunement, and Chain Damage?

It is best practice to use a magic damage type that is the least likely to be countered. While most players tend not to focus on a specific magic damage type like they do for physical damage, it is still possible. In most cases, players may use extra Ice damage protection due to the Ice Gauntlet, or Fire due to the Fire Staff or Blunderbuss. As such, Nature, Arcane, or Lightning damage can be beneficial options. Nature specifically is beneficial because it will always work in PvE environments because it is never weak to any enemy types.

17.

Changelog

  • 29 Mar. 2023 (gems page): Updated PvE Gems.
  • 28 Mar. 2023 (this page): Perks, gems, and heartrune updated.
  • 23 Feb. 2023 (PvP builds page): Guide added.
  • 23 Feb. 2023 (PvE builds page): Guide added.
  • 23 Feb. 2023 (gems page): Guide added.
  • 23 Feb. 2023 (perks page): Guide added.
  • 23 Feb. 2023 (abilities page): Guide added.
  • 23 Feb. 2023 (this page): Guide added.
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