One of the biggest questions facing you in Amazon’s MMO is which New World faction should you join?
Joining one of the three New World factions - the Marauders, Syndicate, and the Covenant - is vital for getting the most out of your time in Aeternum, especially if you want to get to grips with New World’s PvP system.
Your day-to-day activities won’t change that much regardless of which faction you pick, but you will gain access to a specific faction shop, as well as other membership benefits. Joining any faction also has a special set of bonuses, such as discounts on items in territories you control and cheaper fast travel
Wat's more, your role on the continent, how much influence — and how many enemies — you have, and which safe areas of the map you can call home, will all change depending on the faction you pick. So choose wisely!
Even if you don't choose wisely, it's not the end of the (new) world. You can change factions once immediately, and then again every 120 days afterwards.
New World factions exist to govern the continent. Each faction’s end goal is conquering as much territory as possible, and while these groups have in-game lore reasons for pursuing these dreams, the practical benefits are what matter the most.
Factions offer buffs in their territories, which means you’ll have an easier time with any enemies encountered on your home turf. Factions also get to set tax rates in their borders and have general administrative oversight over what happens there.
Adding more territory to your faction means engaging in a bit of subterfuge and warfare. New World lets you fight other factions for land control, but only if you’ve undermined them first. Undermining involves taking on Faction Missions, where you’ll either do routine PvE things such as fighting enemies or PvP tasks that leave you open to challenges from other players.
The PvP element extends beyond undermining. Players from rival factions can attack you outside your safe zones, and your faction can engage in 50 v 50 warfare with rival groups.
Factions also have companies that function like guilds in other MMOs, but these have no effect on your moment-to-moment action.
Finally, every faction has unique equipment you can purchase with faction currency earned from completing PvE missions. The benefit of faction gear is mostly cosmetic. No faction equipment offers any tangible benefit over what another faction has for sale.
You’ll need to reach level 10 before the option to join factions opens, and there’s a set of starter quests to complete once you pick your faction. You can switch factions after 120 days if you decide you want out, but New World won’t let you defect to the strongest faction.
The three factions to choose from are:
- The Syndicate: A secret organization that wants to create enlightenment through forbidden knowledge.
- The Covenant: A zealous faction determined to promote holiness by removing heretics.
- The Marauders: A military faction devoted to creating freedom through conquest.
The answer to which faction to join is: it doesn’t really matter. Joining the larger faction initially is a good starting point, since it gives you a chance to see how things work and whether the buffs make a significant enough difference to your playstyle.
Currently, the strongest faction in New World is The Syndicate. Marauders and Covenant are close behind in North America, though Covenant lags far behind in Europe.
You can check who's ahead by checking out the official leaderboard, here.
If you’re wanting more of a challenge, consider picking the mid-sized or smaller faction, though. It’s a better way to get the most out of your faction, since your faction missions serve a bigger purpose in the struggle to turn the tables. You'll also run into bigger turf wars more often and New World's 50 v 50 faction fights. It's more difficult to get chosen for these in bigger factions, so keep that in mind when you choose.
Amazon also teased an underdog system that gives weaker factions a boost of some kind. It didn’t debut in the beta, but it’s supposed to keep you from being at a significant disadvantage when opposing factions control too much land. As yet, however, we've seen nothing come of those teases.
If you're still getting used to how things work in New World, check out our overviews for where to find rare items such as Fae Iron, Saltpeter, and Petal Cap. Some of the bosses you'll face for quests aren't the easiest to track down either, including Boatswain Ambrose.