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.

New World Tank Guide Table of Contents

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 Gem Compatible: If you have a Carnelian gem equipped in your great axe, this ability inflicts taunt for 4s when it hits. (Taunt causes monsters to focus only on you.)

Cooldown: 18 seconds


Perform a fast, spinning attack that pulls targets within a 2.5m radius closer to you. Deals 100% weapon damage.

Cooldown: 20 seconds

Gravity Well

An upward swing dealing 99% weapon damage and projecting a powerful tear in reality that creates a vortex up to 10m away. The vortex pulls foes within 4m to its centre and roots them for 1s. Foes within the vortex have their movement speed is reduced by 60% due to the intense gravity. The collapsing vortex ends after 3s with a damaging burst dealing 125% weapon damage.

Cooldown: 30 seconds

New World Tank Guide: Equip Load

There are different situations where you may consider different Equip Loads as a Tank in New World.

Heavy Load

This is your standard Tank equip load. You have more block stability and increased duration on your crowd control. You would ideally use full Heavy Armor and a Tower Shield when going with a Heavy setup.

Medium Load

You might consider this option for the reduced dodge cost, when you setup in a certain way you have access to an extra dodge when using a Medium Load.

Light Load

This is sometimes used for speed running expeditions with well organised groups. You’ll need to use a Round Shield and Light Armor to achieve this setup. This is not for your standard type of Tanking but when you are trying to increase your DPS then you can opt for a Light Load.

New World Tank Guide: Gear Perks

The gear you use as a Tank will usually vary from one piece of content to the next. You can create a general Tank setup but when venturing into harder content you’ll want specific gear that has Bane, Ward and Gems that are specific to the enemy you are fighting against.

Weapon Perks

Sword: Bane Perk depending on which enemy type you are facing, Refreshing Move, Thwarting Strikes (300+ STR) or Enchanted (Under 300 STR). You’ll generally be Light Attacking with the Sword which is reducing cooldowns with Refreshing Move and you’re gaining the additional damage from the Bane and Thwarting Strikes/Enchanted.

War Hammer: Bane Perk depending on which enemy type you are facing, Trenchant Strikes, and any other perk such as Keen, Vicious and Keenly Empowered. With the War Hammer you are mostly Heavy Attacking to gain the benefits of your War Hammer passives, so the Bane perk combined with the increased damage from Trenchant Strikes is good then combining that with any other damage perks to push more damage. You don’t need something like Refreshing Move because you have a War Hammer passive that reduces cooldowns when Heavy Attacking already.

Great Axe: Bane Perk depending on which enemy type you are facing, Thwarting Strikes (300+ STR) or Enchanted (Under 300 STR), any other perk such as Keen, Vicious and Keenly Empowered.

Hatchet: Bane Perk depending on which enemy type you are facing, Thwarting Strikes (STR 300) or Enchanted (Under 300 STR), any other perk such as Keen, Vicious or Keenly Empowered.

Greatsword: Bane Perk depending on which enemy type you are facing, Refreshing Move, Thwarting Strikes (300+ STR) or Enchanted (Under 300 STR).

Bane perks are used in a similar way to Wards; you want to match the Bane to the enemy type within the content you are doing to maximise your damage output. You have Ancient Bane, Angry Earth Bane, Beast Bane, Corrupted Bane and Lost Bane. Each of these offer 5% increased damage against that specific enemy type.

Shield Perks

Tower Shield: Sturdy and Sturdy Energy are the main perks to get on your shield to help with your block and dodge sustain, you can combine those with Refreshing and/or a Shield Ward.

On shields you can get Shield Wards which include Arcane, Flame, Frozen, Lightning, Nature, Slash, Strike, Thrust or Void Ward which reduce your incoming damage from those specific elements by 2%. There are certain damage elements that are used by different bosses so you can utilise these wards to reduce the damage from bosses that do specific attacks.

Armor Perks

Armor: Refreshing, Ward Perk depending on which enemy type you are facing and a Weapon Ability Perk.

When using Ward’s, you have Ancient Ward, Angry Earth Ward, Beast Ward, Corrupted Ward and Lost Ward. These offer 2.5% Damage Absorption against that specific enemy type. Each Expedition is predominantly fighting against a certain enemy type, so you need to match the Ward buffs with the correct enemy type.

With your Weapon Ability Perks, you try to using a number of different weapon perks to gain a number of additional benefits from the weapons you’re using.

Sword Perks

When using a Sword use these perks on your armor

  1. Accelerated Defiant Stance
  2. Diminishing Shield Bash
  3. Contagious Reverse Stab

War Hammer Perks

When using a War Hammer use these perks on your armor:

  1. Sundering Shockwave
  2. Empowering Armor Breaker
  3. Penetrating Wrecking Ball

Great Axe Perks

When using a Great Axe use these perks on your armor

  1. Enfeebling Maelstrom
  2. Insatiable Gravity Well
  3. Crippling Reap

Hatchet Perks

When using a Great Axe use these perks on your armor

  1. Refreshing Torrent
  2. Empowering Rending Throw
  3. Keen Berserk

Jewellery Perks

Amulet: Health, Refreshing & Protection Perk. Divine is another option if you need to boost your healing received.

Protection Perks are the same as Shield Wards which include Arcane, Flame, Frozen, Lightning, Nature, Slash, Strike, Thrust or Void Ward which reduce your incoming damage from those specific elements by 6%. There are certain damage elements that are used by different bosses so you can utilise these wards to reduce the damage from bosses that do specific attacks.

Earring: Refreshing Toast is the most useful perk so you can use potions more often. Then you want Refreshing and something like Purifying Toast, Nimble or Healthy Toast.

Ring: Hearty is vital as it gives you an increase of Max Stamina and Leeching give you some health returned based on your damage. Pair those with Refreshing or a damage perk such as Slash Damage for an additional 4.9% damage with that damage type. You could use Enfeebling if you want to go a bit more defensive.

New World Tank Guide: Gems

Weapons: To make Tanking possible in New World, you MUST use Carnelian Gems on your weapons. Pristine Carnelian Gems are the best to use as they offer the most Threat value which makes it easier to maintain aggro of the enemies even just by hitting them with a few light attacks.

Armor: Onyx gems are the standard most useful gems to use since you’ll mostly receive Physical damage in overland and normal expeditions.

When moving onto Mutated Expeditions you should try to match your gems to the Mutation type. You can use Opal gems as general cover for Mutations or Diamond/Malachite for a mixture of absorption, but this won’t be as strong as using the specific absorption type gems such as

  • Amethyst vs Void
  • Amber vs Nature
  • Aquamarine vs Ice
  • Ruby vs Fire

Jewellery: Follow the same rule as you do with Armor. It’s a good idea to use specific Amulets especially for certain Mutations so if you are going against a Mutation with Nature damage then use a Nature Protection Amulet with Nature Ward IV gem.

Runeglass Gems

These are new additions with Brimstone Sands but it’s somewhat difficult to make good use out of them at the moment since it will be very expensive to continuously switch them out when switching to specific mutation types.

If you have a standard set of Tank gear that you use and you want to introduce some Runeglass gems into your build, then you could do that. If you are a newer Tank and struggle with Block sustain then using some Energizing Runeglass gems will offer you the benefit of regaining Stamina more often.

For more damage you would use Punishing Runeglass gems to offer increased damage alongside your damage absorption.

Another option would be using Leeching Runeglass gems which return 1% of your damage as health for each one you have, so this could be a good way to output as much damage as possible while recovering your health back in the process, especially when using a full set of this.

On your weapons you can also use Runeglass gems. Using an Energizing Carnilian will reduce the threat from the Carnelian to 250% but you’ll gain 4 Stamina for each successful hit every 3 seconds which will be beneficial on a Sword to help with block and dodge sustain.

New World Tank Guide: Damage Absorption

When it comes to stacking your damage absorption to complete certain Expedition Mutations it’s worth noting that every individual resistance is sort of soft capped at 50%.

So, if you have 50% Nature Resistance and then gain Fortify, you won’t gain any additional benefit towards Nature Damage absorption from the Fortify but it would obviously benefit reducing all other damage types that are under the 50% cap and increase your resistance to those.

The reason I say “soft capped” is because if you stack your resistance with perks like Nature Protection and gems like Nature Ward then you can have more than 50% but only if you stack it via those sources.

New World Tank Guide: Heartrunes

Heartrunes are like an additional ability like a special or ultimate ability which you have to generate over time by causing damage, healing, blocking and more. Once you have built up the ability you can then use it to receive the additional benefits from the Heartrune for a short amount of time.

I have two favourites that I use for PvE Tanking. Firstly, the Stoneform Heartrune is my favourite for boss fights because it prevents me from being staggered, reduces my incoming damage and heals me. Grasping Vines is the best for add pulls because it causes a lot of group benefit with rooting the enemies and applying both weaken and rend.

More information on Heartrunes can be found here.

Best Heartrunes for PvE Tanks | New World

Grasping Vines Heartrune

Brutal Heartrune of Grasping Vines

Summon vines around you that deal 100% heartrune damage and root enemies within a 4m radius for 3s.

250 Base Damage
10.0% Critical Hit Chance
1.30 Critical Damage Multiplier
30.0 Block Stamina Damage
5.0 Stagger Damage

Enfeebling Vines: Inflicts Weaken on successful hits, reducing the target’s damage by 20% for 8s.
Rending Vines: Inflicts Rend on successful hits, reducing the target’s damage absorption by 20% for 5s but also reducing your stamina regeneration by 50% for 5s.

Stoneform Heartrune

Stalwart Heartrune of Stoneform

Harden yourself with layers of stone, cleansing all crowd control debuffs and granting immunity to both stagger and crowd control debuffs for 5s.

150 Base Damage
10.0% Critical Hit Chance
1.30 Critical Damage Multiplier
50.0 Block Stamina Damage
5.0 Stagger Damage

Fortifying Form: Damage absorption is increased by 10% while active.
Mending Form: Heal for 75% heartrune damage per second while active but outgoing damage is reduced by 20%.

New World Tank Guide: Stamina Management

It is not possible to permanently block as a Tank in New World. You have a Stamina bar that depletes when blocking or dodging and it also does not regenerate while blocking.

If you run out of Stamina while blocking, you become “Block Broken” meaning you are unable to block again for 3 seconds nor dodge.

Some bosses can fully deplete your Stamina bar with 2 attacks.

What this means is you need to be actively managing you Stamina resources.

How to manage Stamina:

  • Hearty perk on Ring is vital and Sturdy/Sturdy Energy perks on your shield, all 3 will help a lot with Stamina sustain.
  • Drop block when the enemy is not hitting you or doing an animation.
  • Light Attack in between skill casts.
  • “Heavy After a Heavy” follow up the bosses’ heavy attack by heavy attacking yourself.
  • Use an Energizing Carnelian Runeglass Gem on your Sword.

Block Break

  • When block is broken you can’t dodge or taunt for 3s.
  • Stamina resets back to full after 3s.
  • You cannot block at 0 Stamina.
  • Stamina doesn’t regenerate while blocking.
  • When releasing block, there is a 1s delay before Stamina is regenerated.
  • Stamina regenerates when attacking.
  • Default Stamina regeneration is 20 Stamina per second.

New World Tank Guide: Taunting & Threat


Tank Academy: Taunt & Threat | New World

To taunt an enemy as a Tank in New World you need a weapon that has a gem slot.

You then need a Carnelian gem; you need to cut it yourself or buy a cut gem.

With the Brimstone Sands update, you can further customise your Carnelian Gem by encasing it to get increased benefits.

Once you have both of these, you also need to be using a certain weapon type that has an ability that applies a Taunt.

Drag the Cut Carnelian gem onto the weapon with a gem slot to activate it.


Taunt Abilities:

  • Sword and Shield
    • Shield Bash
    • Defiant Stance
  • War Hammer
    • Shockwave
  • Great Axe
    • Reap
  • Hatchet
    • Berserk
  • Greatsword
    • Roaring Rupture
  • Rapier
    • Riposte
  •  Spear
    • Vault Kick
  • Blunderbuss
    • Claw Shot

The Sword and Shield has two taunt skills making it very useful for maintaining aggro. Other very good Tank weapons include the War Hammer, Great Axe, Hatchet and Greatsword. Aside from those, the other weapons generally wouldn’t be used for Tanking even though they have the possibility to taunt they don’t offer as much utility.

You cannot rely only on taunt skills to maintain aggro of enemies. This is because at best you would have 3 taunt skills, but they have reasonably long cooldowns and there are sometimes situations where enemies are spread out and your taunt simply won’t reach everything.

Taunt sets your threat a fixed percentage above the current highest threat-holder. So, if you use Taunt to initiate a fight, your initial threat will be rather low meaning you could lose taunt once the taunt timer runs out.