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New World Sword & Shield Guide: Builds & Gameplay Tips

New World: Weapon Guides & Builds
New World Sword & Shield Guide: Builds & Gameplay Tips

From choosing the correct build and perks to upgrading your skill tree and socketing gems, our guide helps you master the Sword & Shield combo in New World.

New World Sword & Shield Guide: Builds & Gameplay Tips

New World allows players to equip two types of weapon, each with its own Mastery tree and skills.

This guide is all about the Sword & Shield combo, one of the more defensive weapon setups in the game.

How to get a Sword & Shield

In New World, there are various ways to obtain a Sword & Shield.

  • Dropped by mobs or found in crates
  • Purchased through the it in the Trading Post
  • Crafted by Weaponsmiths

Which weapon to pair with the Sword & Shield

A primarily defensive weapon, the sword & shield combo is designed purely to protect your allies, whether in PvP or PvE. As such, secondary weapons aren't goiing to be of too much importance, but can still prove useful.

A couple options stand out for us:

War Hammer

The best choice to pair with the Sword & Shield, in our opinion, the War Hammer adds more control to your build. Switch from the Shield after a parry to inflict stuns using your Hammer.

We'd recommend the following skills:

Mighty Gavel - New World
Wrecking Ball - New World
Shockwave - New World

Great Axe

Another fairly straightforward choice, the Great Axe allows for group mob control, pulling them in and opening the door for your allies to wreak devastation upon them. 

We'd focus on the following skills for the Great Axe:

Charge - New World
Execute - New World
Gravity Well - New World

The best build for the Sword & Shield

Credit: newworld-builder - New World
Credit: newworld-builder

Our guide focuses on builds that offer ideal balance between the PvE and PvP sides of the game.

It is intended for players who don't wish to waste resources when it comes to allocating skill points.

Whirling Blade

Upgrade this skill twice.

Deal 145% weapon damage to all foes within 2 meters. Cooldown: 15.0 seconds.


Opportunity: Swirling Blade inflicts 5% laceration for 10s.

Tactical Strike: Twirling Blade reduces ability reload time by 10% for each enemy hit.

Shield Rush

Upgrade this skill twice.

Rush forward 5 meters, knocking back foes and dealing 125% weapon damage. Cooldown: 20.0 seconds.


Improved Rush: On successful hit, all enemies within 5m gain 10% Weaken for 4s. (Weaken reduces damage.)

Intimidating Rush: On successful hit, all enemies within 5m of you are 30% Slowed for 4s. (Slow reduces movement speed.)

Shield Bash

Upgrade this skill twice.

Deals 50% weapon damage and stuns foes in front of you for 2s.Taunt Gem Compatible: If you have a Carnelian gem equipped in your sword, This ability cause a 6s taunt to all enemies hit. (Taunt causes monsters to focus only on you.)


Intimidating Bash: Shield Bash causes greatly increased threat and 100% more damage.

Concussive Bash: Shield Bash stun duration increased by 1s.

Alternative Suggestion

For Expeditions, it might be a good idea to take Defiant Stance. This will let you take the aggro, and therefore spare your healer or glass cannon DPS teammates from being targeted.

However, this skill is pretty useless in exploration and PvP.

Passive Tree Build

Empowered Stab

Successful Heavy attack grants you 30% Empower for 5s. (Empower increases damage.)


Swords critical strike chance increased by 10%.


Move 33% faster while blocking.

Sturdy Shield

Grants an additional 15% physical armor.

Sturdy Grip

Stamina damage is reduced by 15% when blocking a melee attack with a shield.

Elemental Resistance

Reduce damage from all magical types by 10%.

Defensive Training

When you block an attack, gain 10% Fortify for 5s.

One with the Shield

When you block with a shield, all shield skills recharge 1%.

Invigorating Bulwark

Grants 15 stamina on hit of Shield Rush or Shield Bash.

Defensive Formation

While blocking reduce damage to all allies within 2 meters by 30%. (1s cooldown)

Why did we choose this build?

The offensive skills in this build are very aggressive, and will allow you to deal enough damage to overcome battles in both PvE and PvP fight.

The passive skills we've chosen provide the defense you'll need, and you'll have good resistance against both magical and ranged attacks.

Stat Point Allocation

Credit: newworld-builder - New World
Credit: newworld-builder

Given the type of gameplay involved with the Sword & Shield, you'll want to focus on Strength and Constitution. We've gone for slightly more STR in this build, so you have more damage to be able to bring down your enemies while remaining tanky enough to survive.

You gear follows more or less the same path, relying on Strength and Constitution.

How to level up the Sword & Shield

New World

Levelling up equipment is pretty easy in New World -- the more you use the weapon, the more experience it will gain.

Be mindful that the weapon doesn't gain experience if you don't use it, so even if you bring it out for a single hit, you'll benefit from the XP.

Camille B

Ton pire cauchemar !

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