New World Tank Basics – Taunting & Threat

Welcome to this Tank Club article about New World Taunting & Threat.

As a Tank in New World, one of your responsibilities is to keep hold of enemies also known as maintaining aggro. This is commonly the most important job for all Tanks in any MMO game.

In New World there are a range of ways for generating aggro on the enemy which we will talk about here. One of the things with New World is that you have both Taunting & Threat. You have abilities that physically apply a taunt to the enemy which is one method of aggro and secondary to that you also have Threat which also makes enemies target you if you are generating the most Threat.

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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.

Taunt Icon

Taunt Icon

This is the icon that appears above the enemy health bar when an enemy has a physical taunt applied to it.

The only downside to following this icon is that you can see any debuffs applied to an enemy whether you applied it or someone else, so you might see this icon even when someone else has the enemy taunted.


You can maintain aggro of enemies even without a taunt by making sure you generate the most threat.

Methods of generating threat:

  • Slotting a Carnelian Gem into a Weapon – This increases your base threat when you attack the enemy (varies depending on gem quality).
  • Healing – You generate threat from healing equal to the amount of health that is healed by the spell used.
  • Damage – Threat is generated by causing damage and the more damage you do the more threat that is generated.
  • ‘Hated’ gear perk – not usually needed when using a Pristine Carnelian but may be helpful for newer Tanks.

Carnelian Gems offer varied levels of threat depending on the quality of the gem you use.

  • Cut Flawed Carnelian – generate +100% more threat.
  • Cut Carnelian – generate +200% more threat.
  • Cut Brilliant Carnelian – generate +250% more threat.
  • Cut Pristine Carnelian – generate +300% more threat.

When using a Cut Pristine Carnelian, you should be able to maintain aggro of enemies without needing to use the Hated trait on your gear.

Enemy not aggroed by you

Untaunted Enemy

When you look at the enemy, if they have the grey outline around their health bar, you do NOT have them taunted or aggroed, so you either need to cause a taunt skill or you need to generate more threat.

Enemy aggroed to you

Taunted Enemy

When the health bar has the red outline such as this one, this is the indication that you have the enemy aggroed onto you. You’ll get this when you taunt an enemy with a taunt skill or when you’ve generated the most threat.

How Does It Work?

You should instigate combat by attacking the enemy with abilities or light and heavy attacks to generate threat and then cast your taunt skill. It’s also a good idea to be the first person into combat as enemies will usually target you if you’re first to be within range of them.

When you have aggro on an enemy, the nameplate will have a bright red highlight around it. Enemies also have a visible debuff above their health bar

Each enemy has its own threat table which means you need to make sure you are generating threat on everything even the enemies that might be stood outside of a stack since they may attack your group members.

Maintain threat and taunt by casting your taunt skills but making sure to spread them out, don’t cast them all back-to-back and then have no taunt available. Make sure you be light attacking enemies with your Sword especially, you should have the Refreshing perk on your Sword which will reduce your cooldowns but also help you to maintain threat. Light Attacking is also good with Hatchets and Great Axes but with War Hammers and Greatswords you’ll want to be Heavy Attacking.