New World gear score: How to farm to 600 gear score – watermark explained


Many players are approaching the end game of New World, and so the quest for gear score has begun. The New World gear score feature roughly tells you how good your gear is, and many working out what their prebis is for their builds. When you get to the end game, this really matters because of the grind it takes to get your character to its peak performance, especially when it comes to end game wars and elite zones.

By the time you reach level 60, your character should be looking around 500 gear score. From then on your ambition should be to get to 600 gear score, which is the highest gear score you can get at the minute. Here we teach you how to farm your New World gear score, along with understanding if gear score matters and what the New World gear score watermark is.

What is the New World gear score watermark?

new world gear score
The New World gearscore watermark is a secret endgame feature players are only just figuring out. Image via Amazon Games.

The New World gear score watermark is a term that is getting thrown around a lot recently. Now that players are playing the end game, there is a term called the watermark. What it means is that New World has a hidden passive system that dictates what gear you get.

When you’re out in the world, you will slowly increase the quality of the gear you get. Moreso, each different armor type, gear slot, and weapon each has its own gear score watermark. It means you’re going to have to farm gear for every single armor type, slot and weapon over and over to ensure you can get the best gear drops possible.  

To help you understand the system, we will provide you with some examples. Let’s say you acquired heavy armor leggings at 504 gear score, your watermark for heavy armor legging is now set to 504. What that means is your new baseline for that gear type and slot is now 504. If you acquire a 510 heavy leggings, your new baseline is 510. Eventually, you’ll raise that watermark up to 600, ensuring you are now getting the best possible gear score for that item from random drops from expeditions or elite areas.

How many New World gear score watermarks are there?

Once again, you need to do this for every armor type. So, that’s 5 armor slots, with three armor types, meaning there are 15 different New World gear score watermarks for armor pieces. This doesn’t consider the shield slot, which we consider a weapon for this purpose.

As for your weapons, you have:

  1. Bow
  2. Fire Staff
  3. Great Axe
  4. Hatchet
  5. Ice Gauntlet
  6. Life Staff
  7. Musket
  8. Shield
  9. Spear
  10. Sword
  11. War Hammer

So, that’s another 11 different New World gear score watermarks to raise, now totalling 26 watermarks to grind. What makes the New World watermark grind harder is that your loot drops are random. It means you won’t be able to farm the gear you want to reach the 600 gear score watermark on first. Moreso, you cannot cheese the system by crafting legendary gear or buying gear score from Trading Posts. 

New World gear score farms

New World Reekwater
Reekwater has several level 65 elites suitable for your New World gear score farms. Image via Azmon Games.

If you’re looking for ways to farm gear score, your best bet is heading to elite end game zones. One of the most popular wones is Myrkgard. Myrkgard is teeming with Corrupted Portals, world bosses like Captain Thorpe, and it is brimming with caches and T5 Elite chests. These mobs, portals, caches and chests all have the chance to drop weapons and armor, which you’ll need to farm to get those watermarks up fast. You’ll likely get epic versions of gear too, whose gear score will increase when your watermark goes much higher.

Alternatively, expeditions offer the player lots of opportunities to loot gear from various mobs and bosses. Bosses can sometimes drop like five pieces of gear at once for one player, offering quite a quick way to get your New World watermark up. However, it does mean having to craft Tuning Orbs, which might not be the most efficient way to farm your watermark.

Therefore, if you’re looking for efficiency, try and get yourself in a group that can repeatedly farm areas like Myrkgard, Sirens Strand or other end game elite areas. Moreso, farming elite areas offers the chance for players to close corrupted portals, which can give you resources to farm Tuning Orbs to go into dungeons. Plus, you should grind a mix of the two content and locations for your own sanity.

It is certainly worthwhile farming your New World watermarks. The reason why is because New World will eventually get more content. There are leaked weapons and rumours coming out, along with rumoured content like the desert region of the Brimstone Sands. Chances are, the gear score will go up, meaning you’ll have less of a watermark grind to do in the future.

Does gear score matter in New World?

For those still leveling, all of the above will likely be completely new to you. Once when you’re making your way to the end game, you’ll then want to worry about gear score. Gear score is the make or breaks for some of the harder 65+ elite areas, expeditions, or arenas. 

You’re best off not worrying about your New World gear score, as you want gear that gives your build the best attributes. You’ll still want to get gear that offers you good stats too, so your build doesn’t fumble. In terms of gear, you’ll likely want to gather one of the new world legendary weapons quests, craft weapons like Veilpiercer or the Voidbent armor, for example.



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