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The bow in New World is a versatile ranged weapon that provides both good AOE damage and great single-target damage. It excels at kiting enemies and keeping them at range while being able to pop off abilities to damage and hinder your target. We cover all this and more in our New World Bow Guide
The Bow deals thrust damage with a hip fire dealing 60% thrust damage, a short draw dealing 100% thrust damage and a long draw dealing 150% thrust damage.
The bow can be used without having arrows equipped to your ammunition slot. Having no ammo will not provide you with any additional damage bonuses. You can obtain arrows for your bow by looting enemies and boxes, craft them yourself, or purchase them from the faction vendor or trading post. There are different tiers of arrows with each tier increasing the damage dealt.
In this guide, we will go over the bow’s mastery trees, recommended abilities for different scenarios, and tips to optimize the use of the bow.
The Bow mastery trees consist of the Skirmisher and the Hunter
The Skirmisher tree focuses around AOE damage and kiting your target. There are several slows in the tree that help aid you in kiting your target. This includes an ability that creates distance between yourself and your target. The three active abilities in this tree consist of Poison Shot, Evade Shot, and Rain of Arrows. The Key passive in this tree is called Knee Shot.
Poison Shot is both an AOE and DoT. Upon hitting a target (or ground) with this ability, a poison cloud is created. Any enemy that walks into the cloud is poisoned and will take damage over time for a duration. As this ability is upgraded you will receive higher DoT damage and will do more damage to your target if you hit it directly.
The next ability in the tree is Evade Shot. This ability is very effective at helping you kite your target. This ability will allow you to leap back, away from your target, and shoot an arrow that will deal increased weapon damage. As you upgrade Evade shot, you will also be able to push back your target. This will further enhance your kiting capabilities, and you will gain haste. Haste is a movement speed buff that will also enhance your kiting capabilities.
The last ability in this tree is Rain of Arrows. Rain of Arrows is an AOE ability that shoots a barrage of arrows 3 meters wide that deal increased weapon damage. As you progress through the ability you will also enhance Rain of Arrows to deal DoT damage in the form of a bleed as well. The last upgrade to the ability also applies a slow for a short duration to anyone in the barrage of arrows.
The Key passive in the Skirmisher tree is Knee Shot. This passive allows any leg shot to slow your target by 10%.
The remaining passives in the Skirmisher tree enhance your kiting capabilities by providing you with additional slows and additional movement speed bonuses, as well as, providing increased damage.
It’s important to note here that slows are considered Debuffs in New World. So, a passive like Mark that deals 10% more damage to foes suffering from a Debuff means you will get 10% more damage for your enemies that are slowed.
The Hunter tree is focused more on precision shooting by rewarding you even further for landing headshots and landing shots a greater distance away. The three active abilities in this tree consist of Rapid Shot, Penetrating Shot, and Explosive Arrow.
Rapid Shot allows you to shoot 3 quick arrows at your target. The first and second arrows will deal 100% weapon damage, and the final arrow deals increased weapon damage. As you upgrade this ability you will receive a large amount of cooldown reduction for the Rapid shot if you land all 3 arrows, and the 3rd shot of the ability will have even more increased damage, making this a strong single-target ability.
The next ability in the tree is Penetrating Shot. Penetrating Shot deals an increased amount of weapon damage and passes through your target and travels an additional 100 meters. It will damage any other targets in a line behind the first target. Upon upgrading the ability you will also get increased damage after each hit, and increased damage for targets 20 or more meters away.
The last ability of the Hunter tree is Explosive Arrow. Explosive Arrow deals reduced weapon damage on direct hit, but explodes and deals increased weapon damage to targets within a small radius. As this ability is upgraded you will receive additional DoT damage in the form of a burn, and increased explosion damage at the cost of a reduced radius of explosion.
They Key passive, Concussion, rewards you for landing headshots. You will deal increased damage and have a chance to get your arrow back.
The remaining passives in the Hunter tree focus on additional damage and mitigation.
The recommended roles for the Bow are DPS and PvP.
The Bow works well as a DPS weapon due to the amount of single target, DoT, and AoE damage output it has. You can single target boss fights, and take down large clumps with abilities like rain of arrows and explosive arrow.
The bow is also a great choice for ranged PvP due to the amount of damage you can deal from range. Pairing this weapon with a high mobility weapon like the rapier can give you a very good kiting build. You could also opt for a pairing such as the spear to help increase your crowd control and melee damage ability when your enemy closes the gap.
For specific tank and PvP builds you check out the blunderbuss builds in our builds section.
The bow scales primarily off of Dexterity. The following weapons are recommended pairings for the Bow in New World.
The rapier scales primarily off of Dexterity and secondarily off of Intelligence, making this a good pairing with the bow because both weapons will benefit from pushing your attributes points into the Dexterity attribute. The rapier provides you a ton of mobility while using the bow. It also provide some defensive options, and could apply bleed for some additional damage over time if you chose to go that route.
The spear scales primarily off of Dexterity and secondarily off of Strength, making this a good pairing with the bow as well. The spear can provide you with quite a lot of crowd control options that can help you deal with foes that get too close, and can also provide you with some additional damage over time as well.
The hatchet scales primarily off of Strength and secondarily on Dexterity. It will not benefit as much as the weapons mentioned above damage-wise when pumping points into dexterity, but can still be a great option to pair with the bow. The hatchet can provide some self-healing and mobility boosts, and will still do quite a lot of damage at close range even scaling with dexterity secondarily.
You can reference our builds section for specific bow pairings and builds.
In order to effectively level the bow, it’s recommended to take abilities that do high Area of Effect Damage. This will allow you to group mobs together and quickly kill them for fast weapon experience.
It’s recommended that you start by putting a point into the Evasive Tactics passive. This will increase your damage by a significant amount after each dodge. You’ll then want to take your 3 activity abilities with your next 3 bow level-ups in the following order: Rain of Arrows, Poison Shot, and then Penetrating Shot.
This will allow you to begin grouping the mobs into a group and AOEing them down effectively. You can fire off a penetrating shot immediately after a heavy attack for quite a lot of burst damage potential.
Next you’ll want to begin upgrading your activate abilities and begin putting additional points into your passive abilities. It’s recommended that you take:
The overall strategy is to group up mobs together and fire off rain of arrows to deal damage, apply a bleed and slow. Then a poison shot to deal additional AOE and Dot Damage. From there you’ll finish off remaining enemies with Penetrating shot and light and heavy attacks. With the passives Dodge and Weave and Archer’s Speed you will be able to kite the group around without taking much damage if you need to wait on cooldowns.
Every Weapon Ability in New World has a corresponding Perk that can be found on armor and weapons. Most of the perks scale in power with the Gear Score of the item they are on. It’s important to note that you can only benefit from one instance of a weapon ability perk at a time. You can obtain the weapon perks randomly from drops or you can craft gear with the specific perk on it. You can enhance your chance at obtaining a specific perk by utilizing timeless shards.
Some perks can be applied to both weapons and armor. Other perks can only be applied to one or the other. There are also weapon specific perks for each weapon. Weapon specific perks have increased effectiveness if they are applied to your weapon vs your armor. However, there are situations where you do not want to have the weapon perk on your weapon, but instead on your armor.
You can reference our builds section for specific bow pairings and builds.
The Ability perks for the Bow in New World are as follows:
|Weapon Ability Perk||Crafting Mods|
|Enfeebling Poison Shot||Steel Bow Charm|
|Energizing Evade Shot||Starmetal Bow Charm|
|Lasting Rain of Arrows||Orichalcum Bow Charm|
|Penetrating Rapid Shot||Reinforced Steel Bow Charm|
|Refreshing Penetrating Shot||Reinforced Starmetal Bow Charm|
|Empowering Explosive Arrow||Reinforced Orichalcum Bow Charm|
The Opal is the recommended choice for Gem in the bow. This is due to the uptime of the damage increase you’ll receive while dodging. As a bow user, you will be utilizing your dodge roll often so your stamina will likely rarely be full.
The type of gem you will want to slot into your bow is heavily dependent upon your build. It’s also going to vary based on PvP vs PvE activities. You can check our quick reference guide for gems for a full list of gems and their effects.
The bow deals thrust damage with both light and heavy attacks. Thrust damage type is strong against the Corrupted and Beast enemy types. You can check our Damage Type vs Mob Type Quick reference guide for more info.
That concludes our New World Bow Guide. For more on where to level your Bow, check out our Weapon Leveling Locations.