Ultimate New World Great Axe Guide

Ultimate Great Axe Guide (Updated Up To Patch 1.3.4)


Great Axe is a two-handed melee weapon with enough defense, large damage output with area-of-effect attacks that cannot be ignored, and decent crowd control skill, as well as a gap-closing ability, but pretty slow with long cooldowns.

New World Great Axe is a two-handed melee weapon
Great Axe is a two-handed melee weapon with enough defense, large damage output with area-of-effect attacks

It deals Slash damage with its basic attacks and most skills and has the widest-hitting basic attacks in the game. While most other weapons can hit multiple foes with well-placed light or heavy attacks, the Great Axe easily hits multiple foes with its broad, side-to-side swings. The Great Axe also has several ways to heal from damage dealt, making it a good choice for solo content.


The Great Axe scales only with Strength. Once you reach the endgame and are able to have 300 Strength, you will have Grit during light and heavy attacks to avoid crowd control.

New World Great Axe Scales With Strength
Great Axe Scales With Strength

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 20% Effectiveness To All Health Consumables
20% Effectiveness To All Health Consumables For 50 Constitution Points

Minmaxing your character for endgame PvP you can also reach 200 Constitution breakpoint for a 20% armor increase, but in this case, you’ll have 300 Strength only if you use buff food.

New World 200 Constitution breakpoint for a 20% armor increase
200 Constitution Breakpoint For A 20% Armor Increase

Builds For Great Axe

There are two main builds for PvP. 

1. The first one is a build with Charge, Maelstrom, and Gravity Well. Maelstrom is getting more popular after Reap’s nerf. Blood Lust still fits better for PvP, but you have to take almost every passive skill in Reaper tree to get it

New World Great Axe PVP Build With Charge, Maelstrom And Gravity Well
Great Axe PVP Build With Charge, Maelstrom And Gravity Well

Lots of variabilities are possible in this build. You can take Executioner’s Speed instead of Frustration, Death’s Embrace or Unpredictable Strike in Reaper tree, same as Unyielding, Heavy Pull, Enduring Strike or Revenge instead of Crowded Protection in Mauler tree.

Mauler’s Fury elite is also an option if you want Heavy Pull, Gravity, Revenge, and Enduring Strike at the same time.

2. The second one used to be called a meta PvP build before Reap’s nerf, but it still has good PvE and PvP viability with some changes. With this build, you can effectively use Trenchant Strikes or Thwarting Strikes perks, using Gravity Well, and rely on heavy attacks (take something more useful instead of Greed for this).

New World Great Axe PVP Build Which Relies On Heavy Attacks
Great Axe PVP Build Which Relies On Heavy Attacks

Both Charge and Reap active skills don’t have really valuable upgrades so you can take more passives instead. Hunger became pretty arguable because Reap only does 70% weapon damage now, but you can take it instead of Frustration or Death’s Embrace. 

3. The third build is a pure PvE DPS build to deal as much damage as possible with Execute, Maelstrom, and Gravity Well.

New World Great Axe PVE DPS Build
Great Axe PVE DPS Build

In this build, you have healing from Critical Gains and Feed, all damage increasing perks, and, at the same time, defense from Crowded Protection and Unyielding. 

For Expeditions, since you can hit an enemy from the back, you don’t need Critical Conditions and Unstoppable Greed with Executioner and can get Death’s Embrace, Executioner’s Speed, Gravity or Enduring Strike to combine it with Trenchant Strikes or Thwarting Strikes perks and rely on heavy attacks. 

Revenge and Frustration also remain unused since mobs in Expeditions don’t do much attack blocking and you’re not going to block mob attacks either. But for open-world PvE, these skills can be taken. 

The main reason why this build doesn’t fit for PvP is that you don’t have Charge or Reap for gap closing and Execute is too slow.


While leveling this build, we start by taking Greed for the consistent damage and then continue with Critical Gains and Execute. 

We also hop over to Mauler tree immediately, taking Maelstrom and upgrading it with Storm’s Reach to get Gravity Well and its upgrade before we head into any Expedition.

Then, back over to the Reaper Tree to grab Critical Condition and Keen Edge for fairly consistent DPS boosts and Feed for surviving.

If you’re playing only in a group, Critical Condition can be swapped for any other skill early on. As if you have someone tanking for you, you won’t need the extra critical chance when you can backstab.

Go back to Mauler tree and upgrade Maelstrom. Then grab Center of Attention, Crowded Protection, Unyielding, and Heavy Pull (or Enduring Strike) to get to Mauler’s Fury. To finish the build upgrade the Execute tree. 

Basic Rotation

Those builds don’t have a rotation, as each skill has its own purpose and doesn’t really fit into a set rotation. In War or skirmishes, listen for your group leader’s call on what to do, as they’ll be determining the best time to use Gravity Well. 

Optional Passive Skills

Most passive Great Axe skills are useful in almost every situation and give a constant boost, but some of them are pretty arguable.

1. Fatal Attraction:

New World Fatal Attraction
Fatal Attraction

While it adds a second hit that Hunger can heal from, it does make you a little less vulnerable as the standard recovery time gets moved to after this attack instead of after the pull.

2. Frustration:

New World Frustration

This is a more PvP-oriented passive, but in PvE some enemies also do blocks.

3. Unyielding:

New World Unyielding

There’s no way to extend the duration of Gravity Well, which makes this a very short-lived bonus. 

4. Executioner’s Speed:

New World Executioner’s Speed
Executioner’s Speed

This is a pretty situational skill outside of PvE due to the requirement of hitting multiple enemies.

5. Mauler’s Resolve:

New World Mauler’s Resolve
Mauler’s Resolve

There’s an armor perk that does this and does it better. While you can still use this in PvP as it does have a lower and not shared cooldown with the armor perk, it’s generally not worth it. If you want to take it over Heavy Pull to reach Gravity Well, that’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do if you wish.

6. Heavy Pull:

New World Heavy Pull
Heavy Pull

This is a pretty niche passive and generally only works well with Gravity, also being taken. Without Gravity, this is pretty lackluster, in general. As a rule, Heavy Attacks will provide less overall damage, as you won’t stack your damage bonuses that require multiple hits nearly as fast. Even after the passives are stacked, they’re still easier to maintain with Light Attacks. This tends to be overrated, as it previously had a bug that made your heavy attacks hit twice. 

Of course, this skill can be useful if you use Trenchant Strikes or Thwarting Strikes perks and rely on heavy attacks.

Great Axe Active Skills

1. Gravity Well:

New World Gravity Well
Gravity Well

Due to its strong area-of-effect crowd control, this ability is popular for both PvP and PvE. Foes who are pulled to the center of the vortex are rooted for 1 second. This can even stop charging foes such as Bison or Elk in their tracks, allowing you to kill them much more easily and quickly. Use Maelstrom on enemies caught in it for best results. 

2. Maelstrom:

New World Maelstrom

This sweeping attack gets an extra swing with Masteries and can destroy incoming projectiles. The fact that it can hit in a 360-degree arc around the player does feel good, and the two attacks are rather quick; however, it does not have the crowd control power of Gravity Well or the healing of Reap.

This Skill AoEs in a very wide area and hits twice when upgraded. It works best on Gravity Welled enemies, but you want to use it whenever it’s off cooldown when facing multiple enemies. 

3. Reap:

New World Reap

This ability allows you to pull one enemy out of a position quickly, isolating them or grouping several enemies together for easy follow-up from any number of other AoE skills in both PvE and PvP. Foes can Dodge Roll out of the pull, so in PvP scenarios, you will want to use this to either bait out a Dodge or movement skill or punish those who have neither ready.

4. Charge:

New World Charge

This ability is used for closing gaps and for crossing through water and off cliffs. You can steer the charge throughout the animation, which allows you to turn corners and go exactly where you want to go. A charge will end when you run into a foe or friendly player, so be careful of bumping into other players accidentally.

If you play mostly small-scale PvP, then you’ll want to replace Maelstrom with this ability; but if you’re playing a large scale, then you’ll replace Reap with this one.

5. Execute:

New World Execute Active

Execute is the Great Axe’s most vigorous attack, but also comes with the longest windup and a rather small hitbox. This skill is great for PvE due to the Masteries, which allow it to always crit versus enemies on less than 30% health. 

Execute is significantly stronger, where you can get a guaranteed critical hit through the Backstab mechanic. Combine this with the other Masteries in the Reaper tree that provides healing for both crits and hitting foes on less than 30% health, and Execute is both a powerful damage dealer and healer. 

In PvP, it can be tough to hit someone who can see the ability coming and move out of the way.

6. Whirlwind:

New World Whirlwind

If you hit a foe, spin again for a maximum of 4 or 7 spins with Masteries. It cannot be interrupted by attacks but does not have the ability to backstab-crit. While this does have some potential in group PvE content, there are other more useful skills to pick up. 


Light armor gives you a +20% damage bonus and the best movement with a quick roll. 

Medium armor will give you more protection, +10% damage bonus, and +10% length of the crowd control debuffs, but you’ll not have a quick roll. 

Heavy armor offers the best protection and +20% length of the crowd control debuffs for the price of lower mobility.

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)

Armor choosing depends only on your preferences. Look for Armor with Strength and Constitution or just Strength on it for the best results.


The best gems for your Great Axe are:

1. Cut Pristine Opal:

New World Cut Pristine Opal
Cut Pristine Opal

Fits more for PvP, where you’ll be dodging a lot.

2. Cut Pristine Diamond:

New World Cut Pristine Diamond
Cut Pristine Diamond

With all your self-healing, you are likely to be in full health while fighting, which will give you a constant 15 damage increase. It fits more for a group play.

3. Cut Pristine Emerald:

New World Cut Pristine Emerald
Cut Pristine Emerald

This will help finish off low health foes. Works great with Critical Condition.

If you’re mainly fighting 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 Slash Thrust Strike Fire Ice Nature Void LightningArcane
Angry Earth+20%-15%+30%-40%
The Lost-15%+10%+15%+30%-30%
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 mostly against Bow and Musket users:

New World Cut Pristine Emerald
Cut Pristine Emerald for PvP

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

New World Cut Pristine Pearl
Lucky Gem

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

4. There is another option if you are going to farm the Expeditions and have problems with getting the aggro – the Cut Pristine Carnelian:

New World Cut Pristine Carnelian
Cut Pristine Carnelian

Equipment Perks

1. Great Axe Skill Perks

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

Refreshing Charge:

New World Refreshing Charge
Refreshing Charge

The full health requirement really does kill the usefulness of this perk. This is a much more reliable bonus to benefit from in PvE, where everything you engage in will have full Health unless someone else tags it. In PvP, the actual odds of fighting or hitting someone at full Health are pretty low outside the start of duels.

Crippling Reap:

New World Crippling Reap
Crippling Reap

In PvP, this only boosts Great Axe’s already high catch power. Useless, in PvE, as the slow is very short, and you’re pulling enemies to you that will only run to you.

Mending Execute:

New World Mending Execute
Mending Execute

This is a pretty sizable heal that can amount to at least a thousand at the high end with a High CON build. Though, the trigger requirement absolutely kills its effectiveness for PvP. This would only help in 1vX situations where you’re fighting multiple people. The biggest problem is holding out to defeat someone with Execute also gives them time to heal or run. Execute also requires setup to land in PvP consistently.

Fortifying Whirlwind:

New World Fortifying Whirlwind
Fortifying Whirlwind

Since Fortify is capped at 50%, a higher gear score just means you stack it faster. Despite the cap to the effect, this easily makes Whirlwind a ton more viable in both PvE and PvP, though it is still really a niche for PvP. It mitigates one of the biggest issues of Whirlwind, which is making you a sitting duck for a few seconds. While this still doesn’t stop it from being interrupted, it’s still a pretty strong effect overall.

Enfeebling Maelstrom:

New World Enfeebling Maelstrom
Enfeebling Maelstrom

This is a great utility upgrade for both PvP and PvE, which can help its viability in every situation you’d want to use it. Given you’d only run this skill for the potential AoE damage, this makes everything you pull in and land No Reprieve on also deal less damage to you, which helps to mitigate any return damage.

Insatiable Gravity Well:

New World Insatiable Gravity Well
Insatiable Gravity Well

This is one of the best perks for the Great Axe. You heal also heal from both vortexes and initial hits. When used correctly, it can actually just make Gravity Well a huge burst of health restoration.

2. Armor Perks

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

New World Refreshing
New World Resilient

Refreshing Evasion is useful if 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

Rogue and Vicious increase your damage heavily, as you’ll almost always be dishing out backstabs in group play: 

New World Rogue
New World Vicious

Refreshing Move helps a great deal with getting more skill rotations out, which make up a good chunk of your damage:

New World Refreshing Move
Refreshing Move

Alternatively, you can replace Refreshing Move with Enchanted or Keen and get plenty of damage that way as well:

New World Enchanted
New World Keen

Keenly Jagged is a nice choice since you’ll crit a lot:

New World Keenly Jagged
Keenly Jagged

Thwarting Strikes can add a lot of damage if you have 300 Strength or using Enduring Strikes and Unstoppable Greed and rely on heavy attacks:

New World Thwarting Strikes
Thwarting Strikes

Thwarting Counter can be advised only if melees using Grit are extra popular on your server and you meet them in PvP very often:

New World Thwarting Counter
Thwarting Counter

You can also go for Lifestealing, if you want to gain health back on hit:

New World Lifestealing

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

Plagued Crits require lowering the target’s health to 50% first:

New World Plagued Crits
Plagued Crits

Plagued Strikes don’t require anything but a heavy attack, but in PvP, it can be easily dodged, so both options are pretty situational:

New World Plagued Strikes
Plagued Strikes

Plagued Strikes can be combined with Trenchant Crits or Trenchant Strikes for more damage. Of course, you can use them without Plagued Strikes in PvE:

New World Trenchant Strikes
Trenchant Strikes
New World Trenchant Crits
Trenchant Crits

Trenchant Rend:

New World Trenchant Rend
Trenchant Rend

Or Trenchant Recovery for surviving:

New World Trenchant Recovery
Trenchant Recovery

4. For Your Amulet

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

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

Fortified Recovery can give you a nice fortify bonus if you start dipping into lower health:

New World Fortified Recovery
Fortified Recovery

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

New World Divine
New World Health

The Infinity Crystal is a 570 amulet that has both perks and Strength as a main stat. This is probably going to be the best in the slot for a while. It comes from a quest in Shattered Mountain.

5. Earring Perks

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

New World Beloved
New World 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

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

6. Ring Perks

Slash Damage and Keen Awareness are always great options thanks to the damage they provide:

New World Slash Damage
Slash Damage
New World Keen Awareness
Keen Awareness

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

New World Refreshing

Thrust Protection can be helpful against Bow and Musket users:

New World Thrust Protection
Thrust Protection

Hearty will add you enough Stamina for one more additional dodge. If the player has 109.5 total stamina and each dodge takes 40 stamina (with 150 Dexterity attribute bonus), they 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

Blood Letting works great with Keenly Jagged on your weapon:

New World Keenly Jagged
Keenly Jagged

You can also go for Leeching if you want to gain health back on hit:

New World Leeching


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 Strength. This food gives you an option to put 40 points from Strength to Constitution.

New World Roasted Gnufish
Attribute Food To Increase Strength

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

New World Turkey Thigh with Pan Gravy and Spiced Wild Berries
Attribute Food To Increase Strength And Some Constitution

Constitution / Strength combination with more Strength is also available:

New World Carrot Cake
Attribute Food To Increase Strength And Constitution At Once

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

New World Roasted Rabbit with Seasoned Vegetables
Constitution Attribute Food To Maximize DPS

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

3. Powerful Honing Stone will increase your damage. 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 Oakflesh Balm

6. Powerful Incense requires 170 Furnishing levels 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
Infused Ancient 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
Ancient Ward Potion

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

New World Void Absorption Potion
Void Absorption

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:

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

New World Infused Encumbrance Potion
Encumbrance Potion

For more Potions you can check our Arcana Guide.

Weapons To Combine With

  1. Hatchet provides more health sustain through Berserk, Feral Rush can root enemies. You can also make the Hatchet a throwing weapon, which adds a ranged option to your setup. One downside is that these weapons deal Slash damage and appear to be weak when fighting Ancient-type enemies.
  2. War Hammer also scales primarily with Strength and provides a lot of crowd control options. You can use the Great Axe to close the gap and then Stun and Knockdown your foes. It deals Impact damage and covers for the Great Axe’s weakness against Ancient-type foes. The main downside of this combo is that you will have two slower-attacking two-handed weapons that have limited ranged potential.
  3. Spear. Scaling primarily with Dexterity, the Spear scales damage with Strength as a secondary Attribute. This is a strong crowd control weapon whose primary weakness is closing the gap to its foes. Use the Great Axe’s Charge and Blood Lust to get on top of your foe, and then stun them with a Vault Kick and Sweep them to the ground. You could even pair this weapon with Execute to secure a hit in PvP. The main drawback of using a Spear is that it does not scale primarily with Strength, so your damage will be less than if you scaled Dexterity. Also, the Spear can only offer Javelin as a ranged ability so that you will be mainly melee.
  4. Life Staff. For this setup, you would scale Focus instead of Strength and then, use an Amber gem to change some of the damage scaling to Focus. The Life Staff is the healing weapon; it benefits from Great Axe’s mobility and crowd control from Gravity Well. While this combination does less damage than a pure Strength setup, it is incredibly difficult to kill.
  5. Void Gauntlet provides great utility, lots of buffs, and debuffs for you and your team. Single target build for solo play is also possible. Even more, it gives you the ability to cooldown your skills fast.


What is Great Axe used for in New World?

Great Axe has enough defense, area-of-effect attacks, and decent crowd control skill, as well as a gap-closing ability, but pretty slow with long cooldowns. It can be used for both PvP and PvE.

Which attributes do I need for Great Axe in New World?

Strength for more damage and Constitution for surviving.

Which armor should I wear with Great Axe in New World?

Whatever you need most, mobility or defense. You can mix different armor parts and find armor combinations that fit your own playstyle best.

What is the best secondary weapon to use with Great Axe in New World?

Hatchet provides health regeneration and more solo target options. War Hammer gives a lot of crowd control.