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New World Builds: Musket and Rapier | Musketeer Guide

New World Build Guide for the Musket and Rapier, aka, the Musketeer Build. This Musket and Rapier Build focuses on using the Musket at range to pick off both enemies and players, only using the Rapier when enemies get close. This is a PvE and PvP Build that is good both on the landscape while Questing, and also when fighting other players. If you’ve been looking for a good Musket and Rapier Build, then this Guide is for you. You should also check out our Whirlwind Build Guide!

New World Builds: Musket and Rapier | Musketeer Guide

The way this Build works is that you’ll always open with your Musket setting the Burning status effect with the Powder Burn ability. This Skill not only deals slightly increased damage, but deals 20% Weapon Damage per second over 9 seconds. Enemies will take damage as they run at you from this Burn, allowing you to finish them off with a second shot or keep weakening them as they approach.

You can then use the Traps Skill to root the enemy in place, finishing it off with another shot or, attacking it with your Rapier if you want to conserve ammo. The general concept with this Build is that you want to fight at range as much as possible, only using your Rapier when absolutely necessary. You will use a ton of Ammo fighting this way, so I’ll also include in this guide how to make this, and where to find the necessary materials.

Musket and Rapier Musketeer Build Attributes

Both the Musket and Rapier scale with Dexterity and Intelligence, making them a fantastic pairing. Both Weapons scale primarily with Dexterity, so you’ll want to prioritize this Attribute when allocating Attribute points. Place all points into Dexterity when leveling up in order to maximize your per shot and attack damage, only placing points into Intelligence if Dexterity is maxed out. The more damage you deal per shot, the less shots you need to fire, saving ammo and time.

Additionally, getting to 50 in Constitution is not a bad idea as this makes all healing consumables 20% more effective. You’ll be chugging Health Potions in both PvE and PvP through out the game, and more healing can give you the edge you need to win.


Musket and Rapier Musketeer Build Skills

The Skills you’ll want for this Build vary a bit depending on the type of content you’ll be doing, so you may need to shift them slightly. Note that this Build is not very good for Expeditions, so I don’t recommend using it for that. This is because Expeditions have a high focus on AoE damage, and neither the Musket or Rapier are particularly good at this. Additionally, they both deal the same type of damage (Thrust), and many Expedition enemies are resistant to this type of damage.

Musket Skills

Powder Burn – This Skill is your opener to set a pretty strong DoT on the target that’s based on your Weapon’s damage. The better weapon you have, the more damage this will do. Not only does this deal damage as enemies approach you because of the DoT, it’s very very effective against players because when you hit them they usually panic heal, and then they will continue to take damage over time after they’ve healed. This is why I like this Skill, because if you hit them with Power Shot then they just panic heal up the damage, but Powder Burn ensures that you at least keep some of their health gone.

Sticky Bomb – This Skill is a bit unwieldly, but once you get the hang of it, it can do a ton of damage. It’s very situational, but it helps to give you some AoE, which the Musket sorely lacks. It’s good in PvE when you pull too many enemies, and it’s good in larger PvP battles when enemies are grouped together. Also, use it against enemies stuck in your Traps and then fire into them for excellent burst damage.

Traps – This Skill is useful more in PvE than PvP, but it’s good in both, and when it works it’s amazing. It traps an enemy in place, allowing you to get an easy shot on them, and is great against aggressive enemies and players alike. When you upgrade it, you can place 2 down at a time, making it twice as effective.

Rapier Skills

Flurry – This ability deals a ton of damage in a hurry, but it can be hard to complete the full combo. Use it in tandem with Riposte when the enemy can’t move so that you can land all of its hits. If you can land this behind an enemy or a player you will crit every single strike, which is huge damage. Try to do this whenever possible!

Riposte – This Skill is absolutely amazing because it parries an attack, and stuns the enemy (or player), turning the tables on them. This can actually parry many attacks at the same time if multiple enemies (or players) attack into it at once, making it crazy effective in some cases. Use this against enemies who get in melee range first, and either counter attack after, or use the stun to get back out of melee range.

Fleche – This Skill is amazing for this Build. It allows you to dodge through enemies, getting behind them, or away from them as necessary, while damaging them at the same time. Use this to close the distance on players running away to get back in Musket range, or use it to get away from them if you are outnumbered. Dodge through the enemy, swap to your Musket and fire into them before they get back in melee range.

For passives you mainly just want to take anything that increases your overall damage, but one passive that you should rush early on is Tactical Reload. This passive allows you to reload when you dodge once every 6 seconds. This is super important, because often you need to dodge to avoid incoming attacks, and it will interrupt your reload forcing you to reload again. If you have this passive, you’ll reload anyway.

Musket and Rapier Musketeer Build Weapons

You’ll obviously need both a Rapier and Musket for this Build, using the ones the deal the most damage you can find. Make sure you look at the damage each weapon does, and not just the Gear Score.

When it comes to the Musket you’ll want to look for Muskets with Dexterity to help with damage, and other Perks that increase damage as a whole. There is one Perk that increases your Light Attack damage by about 8% or so, which really helps and you’d ideally want this as well. Crit Damage is also good since you can guarantee a Crit by hitting the head of the target. If you get a Gem slot you’ll want to socket it with an Onyx to increase the damage against full health targets. This can increase your first shot damage by as much as 30%!


When it comes to Rapiers, again Dexterity is ideal for increased damage, and increased Light and Heavy Attack damage as well. Crit Chance is also phenomenal, since you don’t always hit an enemy’s back, and you can’t aim for the head like with the Musket to get guaranteed Crits.

Musket and Rapier Musketeer Build Armor

When figuring out what Armor you want to use with this Build, you’ll want Light Armor for +20% increased damage. I highly recommend using Light Armor when PvEing for maximum damage, and it’s also very good in PvP if you are a pretty good shot. Learning to roll away from opponents and to use your mobility is not easy, but it’s the only real way to play this sort of Build effectively. You want to create separation so you can fire shots without the risk of being struck in melee. Light Armor helps with this tremendously.


You want to look for +Dexterity or +Dexterity and +Intelligence on your Armor in order to get maximum damage with your shots. The easiest way to do this is to craft it, or buy it from the Trading Post, as dropped equipment comes with random stats and bonuses. Crafting guarantees you can put Dexterity on your Armor (if you have the right materials). Constitution is also not bad.

Final Tips

Craft the best ammo you can and make sure to use it. Steel Cartridges are usable at level 20, so swap to these when you get there. You can craft ammo if you mine some Salt Peter, which is usually found in caves with wolves or animals. Even one node of Salt Peter can be used to make enough Gun Powder to craft 500 Cartridges or more. Also, note that ammo weighs nothing while equipped on your person, but weighs a lot when in your inventory, so top up but don’t carry more than you need.


Always aim for the head when shooting if possible with the Musket, as this guarantees a Critical Hit. This ensures maximum damage, and there are many passives that increase Headshot damage, so this will only get stronger over time. It’s much harder to do in PvP, but it’s easy to begin combat with a headshot while questing.

Don’t rely on the Rapier as your primary means of attack. It’s fine to use to finish off enemies and players, but don’t charge towards enemies to get in melee range unless they are close to death and you can finish them quickly. You want enemies to come to you, and you want to range down any way that you can.

This Build works very well in PvP, but is hard to use against heavily armored opponents.  When facing Heavy Armor players, try to keep your distance as much as possible and frustrate them with Traps and Fleche. Keep up the pressure on them, and use Riposte when they get in close to turn the tables on them, and finish them off with Flurry.

Stay tuned for more New World Build Guides, and be sure to check out the New World Wiki for more information about the game.

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