New World: How to Choose and Change Your Faction

What is the best faction in New World? The answer depends on your preferences, each faction's popularity, and who you're playing with.

New World
Photo: Amazon Game Studios

Amazon’s New World is one of the most ambitious PvP-focused MMO experiences in the last few years, but you’re not going to get the most out of the game’s marquee feature if you don’t join one of New World‘s three factions and help your fellow faction members quite literally take over the world.

Of course, the prominence of the game’s faction features will undoubtedly leave most New World players desperately trying to answer the seemingly complicated question, “Which New World faction should I join?”

The good news is that New World‘s faction system isn’t like World of Warcraft: Shadowland‘s Covenant system and other “faction” mechanics in popular MMOs. In other words, you’re not immediately going to miss out on some incredible gameplay benefit or risk nerfing your own character simply because you chose to join the “wrong” faction.

The bad news is that the similarities between New World‘s three factions can sometimes make it more difficult to choose which is the best for you since there isn’t always an obvious best option. That being the case, here’s a better look at how New World‘s faction system works and a little advice on how to pick the “right” faction.

Ad – content continues below

How Many Factions Are in New World?

There are three player-driven factions in New World: the Marauders, Covenant, and Syndicate. Here’s a brief breakdown of the stylistic/narrative differences between each:

Marauders – A military-like group of warriors looking to establish a “free” nation where the strongest are able to stake their claim to the land.

Covenant – A divine order tasked with cleansing the land of evil forces and heretics so that they can establish a new world in their image.

Syndicate – A mysterious organization that relies on intellect and subterfuge to acquire incredible knowledge they believe will help them reshape the world.

At this time, it doesn’t seem like your faction choice greatly impacts the game’s overall narrative (though that could change down the line). However, those who like to role-play as their created character may prefer to join the faction that best fits their personality.

When Can You Choose to Join a Faction in New World?

You won’t be able to join a faction in New World until you complete the “Commitment to the Cause” story quest. Thankfully, that’s one of the game’s earliest quests, so you should expect to reach it within the first hour of play (assuming you can queue into the game that quickly).

Ad – content continues below

This buildup to that quest requires you to speak to all three faction representatives before making your choice, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn a little more about each before making your decision.

What Unique Benefits do New World’s Factions Offer?

Surprisingly, New World‘s factions don’t offer a lot of unique gameplay benefits. If you’re worried about picking the faction that will make your character as strong as possible, you’ll be happy to know that your faction choice won’t greatly impact your personal overall power level (at least not directly, but we’ll get to that in a bit).

However, it is worth noting that each faction vendor does offer unique gear. While those items all offer relatively similar power levels in the long run, their unique visual designs mean that you might ultimately decide to side with the faction that offers the coolest set of endgame armor (if you’re into that kind of thing).

Along with emphasizing your faction’s primary color (orange/yellow for Covenant, green for Marauders, purple for Syndicate), these unique sets of armor stylistically represent the goals and lore of each faction. High-end Marauder armor tends to be heavy plate gear, Covenant armor is clearly based on Knights Templar gear, and Syndicate armor pieces are typically cloth-based items that will ultimately leave you looking like a plague doctor.

Each faction also offers a series of objectives and quests via the job board system, though there doesn’t appear to be a lot of differences between the quests at this time as most of them are variations of gathering missions and PvP objectives.

On the PvP-side of things, being in the most “dominant” faction is certainly preferable. Not only does that mean there are theoretically always more faction members around to help you conquer and defend territories, but playing in a territory controlled by your faction yields additional bonuses. On the other hand, playing in a territory dominated by another faction will likely result in having to pay higher service taxes and, you know, getting killed more often.

Ad – content continues below

What is the Best Faction In New World?

It would be lovely to say that the best faction in New World is the one that’s right for you, but the truth is that the best faction in New World has a lot to do with which is the most popular and which faction your friends want to play in.

Simply put, the faction that has the most members on a particular server is most likely to eventually dominate that server. While New World‘s developers have hinted at “underdog mechanics” designed to help the second and third most popular factions on a server regain territory, it’s not clear at this time exactly how those mechanics work.

Unfortunately, there is also no official way to tell which faction is the most popular on your server prior to picking your faction (though there is an “unofficial” way to acquire that information that we’ll discuss in a bit). While this feels like an intentional design decision meant to help ensure that everyone doesn’t just join the most popular faction right away, it’s still fairly easy to tell which faction is the most popular by keeping an eye out for how many members of each faction are running around the map and which factions currently control which territories.

Anyone who plans on playing New World with their friends should also know that the game’s Companies (essentially New World‘s version of MMO Guilds) can only be joined by people in the same faction. As such, it’s highly recommended that you coordinate with your friends to make sure you all intend to join the same faction if you’re hoping to get the most out of this title’s social features.

So while it hurts a little to say this, it really does seem like the best faction in New World is the one that’s the most popular on your server. So far as that goes, it’s worth noting that the Syndicate and Marauder factions seem to be the most popular at the moment across most servers, though some servers are certainly already dominated by Covenant players.

Of course, those fortunate enough to be playing on servers where there isn’t a significant difference between faction populations can feel free to choose the one they like best and simply see how things play out from there.

Ad – content continues below

How Can You Change Factions in New World?

To change your New World faction, you first need to open up your character menu by hitting the “K” key. From there, click on the “Bio” tab and look for the “Change Faction” option at the bottom left of the screen. This will allow you to swap to one of the game’s other factions, though there are some rules and restrictions you need to know about this process.

  • It costs 100 Azoth (a magical mineral found throughout New World) to swap factions.
  • After you swap factions, you’ll trigger a 120 day “lockout” period. During that time, you will not be able to change factions again.
  • Each faction swap will cause you to lose your previous faction rank and faction badges, and you’ll pretty much be starting from scratch with the new faction you choose to join.
  • You are not currently able to swap to the faction who controls the most territory on your server (if territories are equally conrolled between the three factions, this restriction seems to be based on faction population). Interstingly, this restriction could be used as a way to see which faction on your server is the most popular, though you will need help from another player who has already reached this point in the game to make the most of this information before choosing your first faction.