Welcome to The Tank Club Ultimate New World Tank Guide!

This New World Tank Guide has been created for PvE Tanks, to help coach you on your way to becoming a successful Tank in The New World MMO. 

New World is one of the newer MMO games on the scene and as with every MMO game, there are a severe lack of Tanks! In New World, the playstyle of a Tank is very different to other MMO games due to the combat system having no class variations, the limited available combat abilities and the collision with enemies.

There are some challenges when it comes to playing as a Tank in New World, this game was initially intended to only be a PvP game. A lot of the PvE content was released late in the development and after launch. There are plenty of PvE challenges to overcome and as is the case in MMO games, if you can master the Tank role, you have no problem finding a group to complete that content with.

Before you get started with Tanking, please take a little time to have a read through this guide to hopefully give you an idea about what Tanking is all about in New World

This guide is basically a summary of everything you need to know, whether you are new to New World or just new to Tanking, you should find all the basic information you need to start Tanking.

For a good general build for a Tank, make sure you also check out our New World Tank Build.

If you need any help on anything not mentioned in this guide, reach out to us on The Tank Club Discord.

Updated: November 2022.

What is a Tank in New World?

Tanking in New World is an important role as it is in every other MMO. They play an important part in a range of content in both PvP and PvE but they shine the most within the 5-person group content, Expeditions.

As a Tank you’ll be expected to control enemies and maintain aggro of them keeping them focused on you to allow your group members to perform their roles as Damage Dealers and Healers, and while doing this you’ll need to stay alive.

In addition, Tanks also assist their group by crowd controlling, positioning enemies correctly and providing enemy debuffs and buffs to your group while also managing your Stamina for blocking and timing your skill casts effectively.

When you progress onto the endgame PvE content with things such as Mutated Expeditions, the Tank role adjusts in some situations to become more DPS orientated. There is a lot more to Tanking in New World than just holding block but surviving and keeping the enemies focussed on you are the minimum expectations for all Tanks.

To start your journey as a Tank you simply need a weapon with a gem slot along with a Carnelian gem.

Once you have this you’ll begin to generate “Threat” on the enemy meaning they will aggro to you, and this is step 1 of becoming a New World Tank.

New World Tank Guide: Attributes

When it comes to Tanking in New World, you should apply your attributes in one of two general options.

To reach the number of attributes shown here – you need to apply your attribute points, use gear with only Strength and Constitution perks and use food that has STR and/or CON. You might see a slight difference in your attributes if you are not using gear that is 600+ Gear Score.


This is the most optimal setup for Tanking. It’s aimed at being a more aggressive playstyle and the main reason for putting the 300 points into Strength is to give you GRIT when doing Light and Heavy attacks, preventing you from being staggered by incoming attacks. With the 200 points into Constitution, you unlock 10% increased physical and elemental armor which reduces your incoming damage.

This type of setup helps you to output more damage and maintain good threat levels on the enemy along with ending fights faster, but you will need a good healer by your side since you won’t be blocking as frequently thus taking more damage.

300 STR 200 CON


For a more defensive approach, you would use this setup which stacks more health. This can be helpful when using the lobby for doing expeditions or going into new content where you don’t know the mechanics.

Tank Academy: Attributes | New World

New World Tank Guide: Weapon Options

To assist you with Tanking in New World you’ll need to build your character with certain weapons and skills.

There are currently 9 taunt skills that can be used with 8 different weapons.

When you combine a weapon with a Cut Carnelian Gem and one of these skills – they are Taunt Gem Compatible meaning you’ll physically taunt the enemy to you for a certain time upon using a taunt skill with the gem equipped to the weapon.

New World Taunt Skills

  • Sword – Shield Bash & Defender’s Resolve
  • War Hammer – Shockwave
  • Great Axe – Reap
  • Hatchet – Berserk
  • Greatsword – Roaring Rupture
  • Spear – Vault Kick
  • Rapier – Riposte
  • Blunderbuss – Claw Shot

Sword & Shield + War Hammer

This is generally the most useful weapon setup since you have the defensive and taunt capabilities of the Sword and Shield combined with the Crowd Control offered by the War Hammer, you also have the enemy debuff Rend making this the top choice for most Tanks. It offers a good combination of damage and crowd control.

Sword & Shield + Great Axe

This is another great option but usually more for situations with multiple enemy targets. With the Great Axe you have the possibility of pulling enemies into a stack and holding them in place making this great for add pulls in-between boss fights.

Sword & Shield + Hatchet

With a Hatchet you have the option of great damage but also another really strong method for AoE Taunting without having to physically hit the enemy with anything.

Other weapons:


When using this as a Tank, it would ideally be used in place of the Sword & Shield. It has some good abilities, but it doesn’t offer anywhere near the utility of other weapons for performing Tank duties.

Ice Gauntlet

This is more useful when optimising your Tank for damage and utility in the end game when combined with a Hatchet.

It is possible to use other weapons in some niche builds and situations, but these are the most common and useful options.

New World Tank Guide: Weapon Abilities & Passives

Sword & Shield Defensive

NW Sword Shield Skills

Sword & Shield Offensive

Sword & Shield Offensive

Shields can only be combined with a Sword in New World, and they are also the most useful and effective weapon to use as a Tank.

You get a range of useful abilities and passives by using this weapon – the most useful abilities you’ll want to equip are:

Shield Bash

Deals 50.0% weapon damage, staggering and stunning foes in front of you for 2.0s.

This ability has grit. (Grit prevents you from being staggered by incoming attacks.)

Taunt Gem Compatible: If you have a Carnelian gem equipped in your sword, this ability inflicts taunt for 6.0s to all enemies hit. (Taunt causes monsters to focus only on you.)

Cooldown: 25 seconds

Reverse Stab

A stab attack that deals 175.0% weapon damage and staggers our target.

Cooldown: 20 seconds

Defender’s Resolve

For 8s, reduce the incoming base damage from attackers by 30%.

Taunt Gem Compatible: If you have a Carnelian gem equiped in your sword, This ability cause an 6s taunt to all enemies within 8m. (Taunt causes monsters to focus only on you.)

Cooldown: 45 seconds

Defender’s Resolve is a strong skill as it’s an AoE taunt but also reduces your incoming damage, with the passives you get additional reduction and a heal but it has a huge cooldown. This is why you have to use Reverse Stab – with the Tactician passive you’re able to reduce all other sword cooldowns by 25%, so when using your sword abilities, you make sure Defenders Resolve is used, then use Shield bash for another taunt and also a stagger to the enemy, then you hit Reverse Stab to reduce both of those abilities cooldowns to make them available quicker.

The Defender tree is the better option for Tanks but the Leadership passive in the Swordmaster tree gives 10% increased damage to your group is a strong group buff. You’ll lose a lot of good Tank passives when trying to unlock Leadership but it’s worth it when pushing the end game content, otherwise make use of the more defensive setup.

War Hammer

War Hammer

War Hammers are extremely useful for providing rend, Crowd Control and Damage as a Tank.

These are the best abilities to use:

Armor Breaker

A powerful swing that penetrates 35% of the target’s armor and deals 140% weapon damage.

Cooldown: 12 seconds

Wrecking Ball

Strike the ground with your war hammer, dealing 130% weapon damage and knocking down your target.

This ability has grit. (Grit prevents you from being staggered by incoming attacks.)

Cooldown: 15 seconds


Slam your war hammer into the ground, causing a 3m radius earthquake that deals 80% weapon damage, staggering and stunning all impacted targets for 2s.

This ability has grit. (Grit prevents you from being staggered by incoming attacks.)

Taunt Gem Compatible: If you have a Carnelian gem equipped in your war hammer, this ability inflicts taunt for 6s to all enemies hit. (Taunt causes monsters to focus only on you.)

Cooldown: 20 seconds

Armor Breaker is vital with the Lasting Trauma passive; you provide rend on the targets it hits reducing their damage absorption meaning those enemies receive more damage from you and your group.

Wrecking Ball provides some good crown control by knocking the enemies down which is a much better option compared to something like Clear Out, you want enemies to be stacked up and controlled rather than knocked away.

Shockwave is your AoE taunt skill with the War Hammer but also damages, staggers and stuns enemies so it’s another great crowd control skill. With the Frailty passives it applies weaken to the enemy making them do less damage

With the War Hammer you are focussing on Heavy Attacks and Damage. Upon heavy attacking you reduce cooldowns, you gain empower, have grit plus 12% damage reduction when grit is active so it’s important to Heavy Attack with the War Hammer. You don’t really want to block with this weapon, although you can, if you are about to block an attack it’s best to switch back to your sword.

Great Axe

Great Axe Skills

Great Axes are great for Crowd Control. You can use them during add pulls to assist with stacking enemies so your group can kill them quicker with Area of Effect damage.

These are the best abilities to use:


Extend your axe 5m, pulling foes to you and dealing 70% weapon damage and staggering struck foes.

Taunt G