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Which New World Faction should you choose: Syndicate, Covenant, or Marauders?

Factions and Companies in New World explained

Which Faction should you pick in New World, and how do you start and join Companies? Amazon's new MMO New World features both PvP and PvE gameplay, and even though it is theoretically possible to go it alone and still enjoy some of the features, joining up with other players is a lot more fun. The complex social heirarchies of New World are divided up into Factions and Companies — two separate, but linked, types of player organisation. It can all be a bit confusing, though, so below we've laid out the difference between them, as well as how to join a Faction or Company.

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What are Factions in New World?

New World is an MMORPG that sees you take on the role of a conquistador in a semi-historical, semi-fantastical take on the colonisation of the Americas in the 17th century. As part of your mission to claim control of the (conveniently unpopulated) Atlantic island of Aeternum, you can pledge your loyalty to one of three in-game factions. They are:

  • Covenant: a Faction motivated by religion. The Covenant believe themselves to be divinely ordained to colonise Aeternum for the glory of their holy order.
  • Maurauders: a Faction motivated by military might. The Maurauders want to establish Aeternum as a "free" nation governed by the rule of the strong.
  • Syndicate: a Faction motivated by forbidden knowledge. The Syndicate are a secretive organisation who wish to tap Aeternum's natural magical resources to increase their power.

The three factions are in direct competition to control the various Territories that make up Aeternum and, as you can probably tell by the descriptions, are all pretty ruthless in their own way. This is important in gameplay because it sets the stage for New World's 100-player PvP battles, which you can only participate in if you belong to a Faction.

Which Faction should you pick?

You need to have reached at least Level 10 in order to pledge yourself to a Faction, and you'll be required to complete a starter questline before you're fully accepted into the fold of your chosen Faction.

The Faction you belong to determines which Companies you can join (see below) and what unique skins you can apply to your gear to demonstrate your loyalties; and as you'd expect, you can only accept Faction Missions from your own Faction Representative. However, there are no real differences between the three main factions in terms of gameplay: there's no unique benefits on offer beyond cosmetics, and even Faction Missions are fairly generic daily XP quests.

Choosing your Faction, then, really just comes down to which has the lore and an aesthetic that you like. You can also check out the official New World Faction leaderboard for your server region to inform your decision. Joining the biggest and best-performing Faction is an obvious choice for newcomers to the game, as you'll have the largest number of allies and safe Territories to explore on the map. But more experienced players looking for a challenge might prefer aligning themselves with an underdog Faction instead.

Can you change Factions?

It is possible to change your character's faction, and you don't need to sacrifice level or XP in order to do it. You can swap factions via your character's Bio tab in the game menu. However, there's a bit of a catch.

You have the initial option to change your Faction at will, but after that you're limited to switching once every 120 days — and even then, you aren't allowed to jump ship to the current strongest Faction if you don't already belong to it. So while your initial decision isn't final, you will be locked in to your committments for about four real-time months (unless you want to start over with a new character on a fresh server). In other words, don't stress over your choice of Faction too much, but make sure it's one you can live with for a little while.

A group of New World characters prepare to besiege a settlement.

What are Companies in New World?

While Factions determine a player's loyalties on a game-wide scale, Companies are slightly less official — but, curiously, even more formal — groups created and run by players themselves.

Companies have a more defined player heirarchy than Factions do. The player who creates a Company will be its Governor, who oversees any Territories taken by that Company in the name of its Faction, and can assign other players under their command one of three roles: Consul, Officer, or Settler. Settlers have minimal permissions and cannot make any changes to the Company; Officers can invite new players to become Settlers or can kick Settlers from the Company, but cannot promote other players; and Consuls have basically all the powers the Governor does, with the exception of control over the Company's Treasury.

How do you join a Company?

Every Company in New World is aligned with one of the three Factions. As you might expect, you can't join a Company if your Faction loyalty doesn't match theirs — even if that's just because you don't belong to any Faction yet.

Once you have a Faction to call your own, keep an eye on the in-game chat. Even though your immediate party in New World is limited to five players, Companies can have up to 100 members, so you'll often see yellow recruitment chats extolling the virtues of a particular Company which has space available. Right-click on the message to DM the recruiter and request an invite. It's then up to them whether they accept you or not.

You can leave a Company at any time by going to the Companies tab in the game menu and clicking the Leave Company button.

How to start a Company

Any player who has chosen their Faction has the option to start up a Company of their own. Simply open up the game menu and navigate to the Companies tab to choose a name and crest for your Company. Once you're finished, you can begin recruiting straight away via the in-game chat.

The Governor can change their Company name and crest at any time and without incurring any penalties. The only restriction is that the new Company name needs to be available for use on the server when you change to it; you can even adopt the former name of another Company if it's no longer in use.

Now that you know how to join Factions and Companies in New World, consider taking a look at our best New World character builds guide to help you decide what sort of a Covenant, Marauder, or Syndicate soldier you want to be. Then kit out your character with the best gear with the help of our best weapons and best armor guides.

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Rebecca Jones avatar

Rebecca Jones

Former Guides Writer

Rebecca is now geeking out about multi-platform games on VG247, but rumour has it that if you chant "Indiescovery podcast" three times in front of your PC monitor, she'll reappear in the RPS comments section.