Ultimate New World Bow Guide

Ultimate Bow Guide (Updated Up To Patch 1.3.4)

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Bow is a ranged weapon in New World. It focuses on dealing single target and area of effect damage mainly mid-range, while also providing high mobility. Learning how to headshot is essential because it automatically makes the attack a critical hit.

New World Bow focuses on dealing single target and area damage
Bow Focuses On Dealing Single Target And Area Damage

The Bow is unique among the weapons because it provides the potential for a significant movement speed increase with little effort or investment. Dodge and Weave provide speed whenever you Dodge and Archer’s Speed when you switch to the Bow or unsheathe your weapon.

Instead of Musket bullets, arrows are affected by gravity and require aim.

You have a quick attack that doesn’t shawn in the tooltip, without aiming you deal 80% weapon damage. To launch a heavy attack, you have to aim for more than 1 sec to deal 170% weapon damage. Any attack with aiming less than 1 sec will deal 100% weapon damage.

Attributes

The Bow scales only with Dexterity, so focus on obtaining as much Dexterity as possible to unlock passive skills on 50 points breakpoints:

New World Bow Scales With Dexterity
Bow Scales With Dexterity

Constitution is a decent secondary Attribute, especially for PvP, 50 points will be enough to unlock 20% effectiveness to all health consumables, but you can get those 50 points with your gear or using +40 Consitution food:

New World Constitution is a secondary Attribute for Bow
Constitution Is A Decent Secondary Attribute For Bow

Builds For Bow

Since most Bow active skills are pretty situational depending on your playstyle, there are a lot of build variations.

1. For example, this build for heavy Area of Effect damage, useful in Expeditions or Wars:

New World Bow Build For Heavy Area of Effect Damage
Bow Build For A Heavy Area Of Effect Damage

If you don’t use heavy attacks, you can take Arrow Range instead of Aim True or Opening Strikes, but you still need 10 points in Hunter skill tree to get elite ability – Concussion.

In the Skirmisher tree, you can pick Infected Arrows and Direct Hit if you’re sure you can land the Poison Shot directly, or the Barbed Arrows and Hooked Arrows to apply bleed and slow. Remember that the bleeding effect from Barbed Arrows doesn’t stack from multiple players using the ability on the same target since the December update.

2. If you don’t like to be stuck while casting Rapid Shot, you can take Penetrating Shot instead:

New World Bow Build With Penetrating Shot
Bow Build With Penetrating Shot

In this build, you can switch between Poison Shot and Rain of Arrows passive skills depending on what you need more, single target damage or putting bleeding debuff from Rain of Arrows.

3. This Single target build is mostly used for open-world PvP:

New World Bow Single Target Build
Bow Single Target Build

Here you can also swap between combinations of Aim True plus Opening Strike and Arrow Range or Mark if you don’t use heavy attacks or have some other players with you to apply debuff and make Mark useful.

4. If you don’t like Rapid Shot for being an easy target while casting it, you can try this mobile build, which becomes more popular:

New World Bow Mobile Build
Bow Mobile Build

5. Mixed build with Rain of Arrows will give you both area of effect and single target damage for different game content:

New World Bow build for both area of effect and single target damage
Bow Build With Rain of Arrows

6. Mixed build with Poison Shot if you prefer this ability instead of Rain of Arrows:

New World Bow Mixed build with Poison Shot
Bow Build With Poison Shot

Basic Rotation:

The most important thing about the rotation is using Rapid Shot before Penetrating Shot. So basically you will do roll – Rapid Shot – roll – Penetrating Shot – roll, etc. If you use Poison Shot, it will be your opener.

Optional Passive Skills

A bit of explanation about arguable skills:

New World Barbed Arrows
Barbed Arrows
New World Hooked Arrows
Hooked Arrows

Both passive skills are from the Rain of Arrows tree. Dealing 7.1% weapon damage each second is not so great, besides, Rain of Arrows sits on 24.4 seconds cooldown. Remember that the bleeding effect from Barbed Arrows doesn’t stack from multiple players using the ability on the same target since the December update. This can be useful in mass PvP, of course. 

Hooked arrows with 15% slow for 4 seconds also doesn’t look useful anywhere except mass PvP.

2. Infected Arrows and Direct Hit:

New World Infected Arrows
Infected Arrows
New World Direct Hit
Direct Hit

Both passives are from the Poison Shot tree. Infected Arrows gives you 40% weapon damage for 20 seconds, which is not a great number at all, those might be useful in mass PvP. 

Direct Hit increases only the direct arrow hit damage, not the poison damage, so it gives you a direct arrow strike for 150% weapon damage instead of 50% weapon damage, which is pretty nice if you can land it because usually Poison Shot is landed on the ground near enemies feet.

3. Catch Me If You Can:

New World Catch me if you can
Catch Me If You Can

Normally you shouldn’t have 3 enemies around you within 3 meters, if you do, it’s time to switch to another weapon or change your tactics.

4. Impale:

New World Impale
Impale

Well, 10% slow for only 2 seconds doesn’t look useful.

5. Hunter’s Insight:

New World Hunter's Insight
Hunter’s Insight

Stamina regenerates pretty fast, and getting only 5 is not enough to make this skill worth a skill point.

6. Battle Precision:

New World Battle Precision
Battle Precision

You might want this skill to increase the duration of your Poison Shot debuff, but it already has 20 seconds duration and 20 seconds is the maximum debuff duration in New World.

7. Knee Shot:

New World Knee Shot
Knee Shot

Theoretically, combined with Impale and Hooked Arrows this could be viable, but there are much more useful skills. Taking into attention that it is an Elite ability of the Skirmisher tree, it definitely needs tuning.

8. Unbreakable Focus:

New World Unbreakable Focus
Unbreakable Focus

Aiming while taking heavy damage is not a great idea, but, if you’re not taking heavy damage, why would you need a 10% reduction? But you can use this skill if you’re fighting with a Bow on a short distance using it like a shotgun.

9. Arrow Range:

New World Arrow Range
Arrow Range

It’s pretty hard to say how this ability will change your aiming, you can try it if you use a bow on a really long range, but it requires some practice since arrows are gravity affected. This is mostly about your own preference.

Bow Active Skills

1. Poison Shot:

New World Poison Shot
Poison Shot

Although 10% weapon damage does not seem like all that much, it does add up and most importantly will force enemy players to play around the cloud or take damage. 

In PVP the Poison debuff prevents enemies from healing, especially during the early game. This is an AOE ability that you fire at the ground (it creates a cloud), so try and predict your opponent’s movement.

2. Evade Shot:

New World Evade Shot
Evade Shot

With Evade Shot adding knockback and Go the Distance adding Haste, this skill is really great for keeping distance with foes in both PvE and PvP.

3. Rain of Arrows:

New World Rain Of Arrows
Rain of Arrows

Both Rain of Arrows and Poison Shot are great for providing DPS support at the range, while your close-range brawlers are fighting it out on the front line. Rain of Arrows is much wider, however, which makes aiming with it more forgiving.

4. Rapid Shot:

New World Rapid Shot
Rapid Shot

This Ability pumps out three fast shots but forces you to stand still. It is great for a single target but does not have any area-of-effect component.

This is a great active skill to follow up your Evade Shot with. Bounce back, fire off three rapid shots, and then drop a poison cloud. The third shot will also inflict a knockback if it connects.

5. Penetrating Shot:

New World Penetrating Shot
Penetrating Shot

When used directly after a bow light or heavy attack, the burst potential quickly becomes apparent. With the ability having 150% weapon damage scaling while being on a single attribute scaling weapon, Penetrating Shot is one of the hardest hitting abilities in the game.

This is a great ability to follow up Rain of Arrows and Poison Shot with to hopefully hit 2 or more enemies at increased damage.

6. Splinter Shot:

New World Splinter Shot
Splinter Shot

This Ability requires nearly perfect range in order to use it well and generally does not do enough damage to make it a better pick. 

You can hit one target with three arrows from approximately 7 meters. Anything closer will deal 50% weapon damage with one arrow. With more distance, the arrows will split away and not strike your target.

With its passive skills – Scatter Shot and Calculated this ability does have great single target damage, but only viable in Expeditions where you can make a perfect range position.

Gear

Light armor gives you +20% damage bonus and the best amount of movement with a quick roll since normally you’ll keep the distance and don’t take damage.

Medium armor will give you more protection, +10% damage bonus, but you’ll not have a quick roll. You can use it if you’re fighting in close combat pretty often.

New World Equip Load
Armor Equip Load

Also, you can combine different types of armor, light with medium, staying under 13 kg, or medium with heavy, staying under 23 kg. You can change your armor type by simply replacing 3 parts.

Maxed Medium Armor 22,9 lbs build (1L + 2M + 2H): Heavy Chest, Light Pants, 2 Medium and 1 Heavy piece.

Alternative Maxed Medium Armor 22,9 lbs build (2L + 1M + 2H): Heavy Chest, Heavy Pants, 1 Medium, and 1 Light piece.

Maxed Light Armor 12,7 lbs build (4L + 1M): Light Head, Medium Chest, Light Gloves, Light Pants, Light Boots.

Maxed Light Armor 12,6 lbs build (3L + 2M): Light Chest, Medium Pants, 1 Medium, and 2 Light pieces. If you need more in-depth information, how tankier you would be wearing a certain kind of armor of a certain Gear Score, feel free to use the New World Calculator by Mixed Nuts.

Armor TypeLightMediumHeavy
Head1,5 lbs2,6 lbs4,7 lbs
Chest3,5 lbs6,2 lbs11,0 lbs
Gloves1,5 lbs2,6 lbs4,7 lbs
Pants2,0 lbs3,5 lbs6,3 lbs
Boots1,5 lbs2,6 lbs4,7 lbs
Shields2,7 lbs (Round)5,4 lbs (Kite)11,0 lbs (Tower)

Look for Armor with Dexterity on it for best results or with Dexterity and Constitution if you need 50 points to unlock 20% effectiveness to all health consumables.

Gems

Your Bow Gems are often the core of your build, and you should become comfortable with switching between them depending on the situation.

Your Bow Gems are often the core of your build, and you might have to switch between them depending on the situation.

1. Cut Pristine Opal:

New World Cut Pristine Opal
Cut Pristine Opal

Since Evasive Tactics gives you 20% damage boost for 5 sec every time you dodge, you will find yourself on low stamina quite often. This option may give you the most all-around damage output anywhere in the game.

2. Cut Pristine Onyx:

New World Cut Pristine Onyx
Cut Pristine Onyx

3. Cut Pristine Emerald:

New World Cut Pristine Emerald
Cut Pristine Emerald

This will help you to execute enemies running away.

4. Cut Pristine Diamond:

New World Cut Pristine Diamond
Cut Pristine Diamond

Fits more for a group play since you are likely to be at full health while fighting at a distance.

If you’re fighting mostly against one enemy type, for example, farming something, you can use to convert your damage:

1. Cut Pristine Amethyst to fight against Ancients:

New World Cut Pristine Amethyst
Cut Pristine Amethyst To Fight Against Ancients

2. Cut Pristine Aquamarine against the Lost:

New World Cut Pristine Aquamarine
Cut Pristine Aquamarine Against The Lost

3. Cut Pristine Ruby against Angry Earth:

New World Cut Pristine Ruby
Cut Pristine Ruby Against Angry Earth

4. Cut Pristine Sapphire against Corrupted:

New World Cut Pristine Sapphire
Cut Pristine Sapphire Against Corrupted

5. Cut Pristine Topaz against Ancients:

New World Cut Pristine Topaz
Cut Pristine Topaz Against Ancients
Damage Effectiveness SlashThrustStrikeFireIceNature VoidLightningArcane
Ancients-15%+20%-40%+15%+30%
Corrupted+20%-15%-40%+15%+30%
Angry Earth+20%-15%+30%-40%
The Lost-15%+10%+15%+30%-30%
Beast+20%
Ancients are the skeletal enemies adorned in regal clothing. You can find them guarding obelisks and other large-scale ruins found throughout Aeternum.
Corrupted refers to enemies covered in a black and/or red glow. Corruption Breaches are the most common source of Corrupted enemies.
Angry Earth enemies are nature-themed enemies mutated with bark-like skin and similar nature-themed traits.
The Lost are glorified citizens and spectral enemies that inhabit most of Aeternum’s ruined towns, farms, and cemeteries.
Beast refers to any of the wild animals that roam around the New World’s various zones. Wolves, Bears, and Lynxes are just a few enemies that fall under this category.

For Armor gems you can use Cut Pristine Emerald for PvP while fighting against other Bow and Musket users:

New World Cut Pristine Emerald
Cut Pristine Emerald

If you’re already level 60 and farming chests or mobs for gear, you need a Lucky Gem:

New World Pristine Pearl
Pristine Pearl

For other situations to provide generic damage absorption:

1. Cut Pristine Onyx:

New World Cut Pristine Onyx
Cut Pristine Onyx

2. Cut Pristine Malachite:

New World Cut Pristine Malachite
Cut Pristine Malachite

3. Cut Pristine Diamond:

New World Cut Pristine Diamond
Cut Pristine Diamond

Equipment Perks

1. Bow Skill Perks

These perks can be found on armors and weapons, but often slotted on Armor as Weapons have access to better perks overall.

Enfeebling Poison Shot:

New World Enfeebling Poison Shot
Enfeebling Poison Shot

This perk is not that great since you typically want to shoot Poison Shot into the ground to make sure you do not miss your poison cloud. This could be a decent perk for group PvP or Expeditions to help reduce damage if you can land your shots.

Energizing Evade Shot:

New World Bow Energizing Evade Shot
Energizing Evade Shot

This Stamina perk is rather nice because it can help provide enough Stamina to Dodge Roll. Since Evade Shot is normally used to create distance, being able to combine that with a Dodge Roll can help get another Dodge in.

Fortifying Rain of Arrows:

New World Bow Fortifying Rain of Arrows
Fortifying Rain of Arrows

This Perk is nice for adding a bit of survivability to the Bow, which is always nice to have. As this Perk scales with Gear Score in terms of Fortify amount and duration of the buff so you can potentially keep this buff up almost all the time at high Gear Score.

Penetrating Rapid Shot:

New World Penetrating Rapid Shot
Penetrating Rapid Shot

This Perk increases the damage done by Rapid Shot; if you are using Rapid Shot then this is a great Perk but is not mandatory. Choosing this perk depends on how many heavy armor users you meet in PvP on your server.

Refreshing Penetrating Shot:

New World Refreshing Penetrating Shot
Refreshing Penetrating Shot

This Perk is great simply because reducing the cooldown of one of the best damaging Abilities is always a good option. This is a great Perk to pick up on gear but is not mandatory.

Empowering Splinter Shot:

New World Empowering Splinter Shot
Empowering Splinter Shot

Since the Empower granted by it is limited to the next attack, it is only slightly noticeable.

2. Armor Perks

Refreshing with Resilient can be a universal choice depending on your secondary weapon:

New World Refreshing
Refreshing
New World Resilient
Resilient

Refreshing Evasion is useful because you’re dodging a lot:

New World Refreshing Evasion
Refreshing Evasion

Physical Aversion is useful for PvP against Musket and Bow users:

New World Physical Aversion
Physical Aversion

3. Weapon Perks

Vorpal is one of the best perks for Bow since you try to land as many headshots as possible:

New World Vorpal
Vorpal

Keenly Jagged is a nice choice since you’ll crit a lot. If you land a critical headshot with this perk you deal a lot of damage over time:

New World Keenly Jagged
Keenly Jagged

Keen and Vicious are still a strong pair of go-to perks:

New World Keen
Keen
New World Vicious
Vicious

Refreshing Move helps a great deal with getting more skill rotations out:

New World Refreshing Move
Refreshing Move

Alternatively, you can use Enchanted and get plenty of damage that way as well.

New World Enchanted
Enchanted

For PvP against healers, you can use Plagued Crits. The maximum amount of healing decreasing is 24% for GS 600 weapons:

New World Plagued Crits
Plagued Crits

4. Amulet Perks

Slash Protection and Thrust Protection cover most PvE and PvP incoming damage:

New World Slash Protection
Slash Protection
New World Thrust Protection
Thrust Protection

Divine will give you more healing and Health – more HP, everything is simple here:

New World Divine
Divine
New World Health
Health

If you really want to heap on the defenses, Fortified Recovery grants a fairly strong 30% Fortify for 5 seconds when hit below 50% health, but has a 90 seconds cooldown for the effect:

New World Fortified Recovery
Fortified Recovery

5. Earrings Perks

Beloved and Evasive can both help you mitigate aggro making you less likely to pull aggro in expeditions:

New World Beloved
Beloved
New World Evasive
Evasive

Purifying Toast and Refreshing Toast are both great utility options for open-world PvP where health consumables tend to be used more. These all also help in PvE as well:

New World Purifying Toast
Purifying Toast
New World Refreshing Toast
Refreshing Toast

You can also grab Refreshing here as well if you don’t manage to get it on your armor.

Nimble helps the somewhat excessive use of Stamina from this build by boosting Stamina Regen slightly:

New World Nimble
Nimble

6. Rings Perks

Keen Awareness is a strong option for higher burst damage potential and Thrust Damage is a small damage boost in general:

New World Keen Awareness
Keen Awareness
New World Thrust Damage
Thrust Damage

Refreshing is also decent Utility with the lowered cooldowns, but that’s also available on armor:

New World Refreshing
Refreshing

Thrust Protection can be useful against other Bow and Musket users:

New World Thrust Protection
Thrust Protection

Hearty will add you enough Stamina for one more additional dodge. If the bow player has 109.5 total stamina and each dodge takes 40 stamina (with 150 Dexterity attribute bonus), a player can dodge twice (leaving the player at 39.5 stamina), wait a fraction of a second for stamina to regenerate to 41, then dodge twice more for a total of 4 dodges.

New World Hearty
Hearty

Blood Letting works great with Keenly Jagged on your weapon:

New World Blood Letting
Blood Letting

Consumables

In this chapter, you can find information about endgame consumables because you don’t really need most of them on low levels. You can easily find the low leveled versions of them because the names only differ by one word, except food. 

1. First of all, you need Health Regeneration Food:

New World Hearty Meal
Health Regeneration Food

Health Potions:

New World Infused Health Potion
Health Potion

And Regeneration Potions:

New World Infused Regeneration Potion
Regeneration Potion

2. Attribute Food:

As a DPS player, you might want to increase your Dexterity. This food gives you an option to put 40 points from Dexterity to another Attribute.

New World Fried Albenaja
Food To Increase Dexterity

You can use food with both Dexterity and Constitution bonus to increase your health and damage at the same time.

New World Rabbit Stew
Food To Increase Dexterity And Constitution

Constitution / Dexterity combination with more Dexterity is also available.

New World Blackened Ray-Finned Barb with Fondant Potatoes and Barley
Food To Increase Strength And Some Dexterity

Also, you can use Constitution food to maximize your health.

New World Roasted Rabbit with Seasoned Vegetables
Strength Food To Maximize Health

To find more food, for hybrid builds please check our Cooking Guide.

3. Powerful Honing Stone will increase your damage and, as a result, threat level. They can be bought or crafted at Smelter if you reach 170 Weaponsmithing level.

New World Powerful Honing Stone
Powerful Honing Stone

4. Powerful Gemstone Dust can be also bought or crafted at level 170 Jewelcrafting.

New World Powerful Gemstone Dust
Powerful Gemstone Dust

5. Powerful Oakflesh Balm can be bought or crafted at 170 Armoring level as well.

New World Powerful Oakflesh Balm
Powerful Okflesh Balm

6. Powerful Incense requires 170 Furnishing level to craft. Otherwise, it can be bought for cheap from the Trading Post.

New World Powerful Incense
Powerful Incense

7. Weapon Coatings give a 15% damage bonus against certain types of enemies. These coatings are usually used in dungeons, where you’re fighting mostly against enemies of the same type, for example:

New World Infused Ancient Coating
Weapon Coating

8. Ward Potions increase your damage absorption against certain enemy types. They can help you mitigate heavy incoming damage. 

New World Infused Ancient Ward Potion
Ward Potion

9. Absorption Potions can help you not only in dungeons but also in PvP against mages. They increase absorption by 15% against certain types of elemental damage, for example:

New World Infused Void Absorption Potion
Absorption Potions

10. Corruption Tincture and Blight Tincture remove afflictions and give 97,5% resistance to these afflictions for 5 minutes.

New World Infused Corruption Tincture
Corruption Tincture
New World Infused Blight Tincture
Blight Tincture

11. Infused Encumbrance Potion will help you a bit with bringing your sack to the nearest warehouse. It lasts 3 minutes and increases the Encumbrance Limit by 100.

New World Infused Encumbrance Potion
Infused Encumbrance Potion

I know that feeling, bro, even one Flint or Green-Wood must not be discarded. 

Weapons To Combine With

  1. Spear scales with Dexterity and provides a lot of crowd control with Sweep and Vault Kick. This playstyle is perfect for an archer who wants to stand their ground and then punish those who get too close. Both of these weapons got thrust-type damage weak against Undead enemies. Besides, this build has few defensive abilities. 
  2. Rapier provides great mobility and damage. Rapier scales primarily with Dexterity. This weapon combination is effective at every range. But at the same time, they both got thrust type of damage weak against Undead enemies. We recommend this combination if you want to be extremely elusive in PvP and PvE, picking when you engage with those whom you are fighting.
  3. Hatchet is a great pick as it deals devastating damage up close, while also packing self-healing abilities so you don’t need to use restorative items like Potions or food as often. It also scales with Dexterity secondarily so it shares the Bow’s points.
  4. Musket has a 2-second long reload animation that can be bypassed by switching to another weapon for those 2 seconds, allowing you to fire off a shot, switch to your Bow, shoot some arrows, then switch back to Musket, and fire right away. Both weapons deal Thrust damage and are weak against Lost and Angry Earth-type foes. Also, with double ranged weapons, you will have limited melee options if someone gets too close. If you enjoy the ranged playstyle and have great aim then this may be the combo for you.

FAQ

What is a bow used for in New World?

Depending on the build you use, the Bow can be a bursting single target weapon or heavy area of effect weapon for any kind of game content.

Which attributes do I need to scale the bow in New World?

The Bow scales only with Dexterity. Constitution is a decent secondary Attribute, especially for PvP.

Which armor should I wear with the bow in New World?

This build is mostly about high mobility and damage, so light or medium armor is recommended. But you can mix different armor parts and find armor combinations that fit your own playstyle best.

What is the best secondary weapon for an archer in New World?

The Spear provides a lot of crowd control and shares Dexterity points.

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