Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a great game filled with small choices. Which kind of sword do you use? Which king or emperor do you support? What do you say to that tempestuous sorceress?

I'm here for you, friends. I've played all the way through the game and am in the midst of a second, more complete playthrough as I write this. My second time through has been instructive and has helped me come up with some useful tips for starting out in the game.

Ready? Let's do this.

Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Brush Up On Lore

There's a lot of story stuff to keep track of in Wild Hunt. Woe to you if you start playing unprepared. Before you start, brush up on lore by reading through something like, say, the exhaustive lore-primer I wrote, just for this purpose.

In particular, take a look at the map above. Internalize where the various nations and cities are. (They're explained in that lore primer.) After you finish the opening chapter in White Orchard, a character will talk you through the current state of the world and the war. It's helpful to know where everything is in order to understand what he's saying.

Read Quest Logs And Character Entries Regularly

The game's quest logs and character entries are both written by the bard Dandelion, and can be really helpful for keeping track of what's going on in the story. They're updated as the story changes, so check in on them regularly to see what's new.

Set The Game To "Blood And Broken Bones" Difficulty

Wild Hunt offers four difficulty settings. I recommend playing on the second-hardest one, which is dauntingly named "Blood and Broken Bones!" It may sound scary -- and it can be tough -- but it makes the game a lot more enjoyable. On the next-lowest difficulty, the game starts out a bit tough but you'll be cleaving through bosses in no time, and you won't even bat an eye at scrub enemies. You won't feel like a Witcher -- you'll never have to use signs or oils, and your health will regenerate quickly out of combat. If you'd rather just have a chill jaunt through the game, by all means, lower the difficulty, but if you're looking for a tough, rewarding experience, go for Blood and Broken Bones.

You Can Change The Difficulty Mid-Game

Of course, if you don't like the difficulty you've chosen, you can always change it mid-game. If things are too hard, make it easier. If things get boring, make things harder.

Save Often

Sounds obvious, right? Still: Wild Hunt has an auto-save, but it's worth manually saving as often as you think of it. On PC, quicksave is your friend. You can die unexpectedly in the game, and it's always nice to know you just saved and don't have to redo any exploring or fighting.

Steal Everything That Isn't Bolted Down

In most houses, you can simply walk in, use your Witcher senses to highlight the various searchable things in the room, and begin hoovering everything that isn't bolted down. People will only get mad at you for stealing if you rob vendors while in sight of the city watch. So! Do that old RPG thing where you walk into someone's house, accept a quest from them, and then steal everything they own while making direct eye contact.

Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Loot Every Monster You've Killed

You'll fight a lot of monsters over the course of Wild Hunt. Most of them leave behind bits and pieces you can loot, which you can then use for crafting or sell to vendors. Loot every monster you kill. It's a pain in the arse, but it pays off. In particular, never leave a contract boss-monster, large roaming beast, or destroyed monster nest unlooted. Those give you the best, rarest stuff.

Turn The Music Off, At Least Sometimes

The soundtrack in Wild Hunt is often cloying and overwhelming. At times -- usually in cutscenes -- it can be just right, but when I explored the open world I sometimes wanted the damned cello solos and wailing combat-vocals lady to chill the hell out. Try going into the menu and turning down the music entirely. The game feels different; there's more space as you explore. Every time I do it, I almost immediately stop noticing that there's no music. I usually turn it back on for main story missions. The problem isn't really the game's score but its implementation. Hopefully, someone will come up with a small mod that makes exploration music trigger much less frequently.

Experiment With HUD Settings

You can turn on and off every different aspect of Wild Hunt's heads-up display. I recommend experimenting with what you like and trying to get as few things on the screen as possible. Most importantly, resize the HUD to "small," unless you like the bigger text for readability. The HUD in the game can be crowded and cumbersome, so dig into the settings to get it out of the way as much as possible.

On PC, Turn Off TressFX

Unless you've got a real Brawn-do rig, I recommend turning off the Nvidia-specific TressFX setting. You'll lose the game's special magical hair but gain a bunch of performance in the process. I'm playing on a GTX970 -- when I turn TressFX off, I get 60fps on near-Ultra settings. With it on, I dip down into the 40-50 zone, sometimes even lower. Good hair ain't worth that kind of performance hit.

Explore Every Question Mark In White Orchard

The opening area in the game is a self-contained space surrounding the town of White Orchard. It's a good microcosm of Wild Hunt. There's a main quest, a monster to slay, a Witcher contract, and a bunch of unexplored locations which are marked by question marks. See if you can visit every one before you leave White Orchard. If you do, you'll walk out with a good amount of XP, equipment and ability points for when you first arrive in Velen.

Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Visit Every Notice Board On The Map

It's easy to be overwhelmed by the size of The Witcher 3, particularly when you first arrive in Velen. Don't worry, and definitely don't rush. Go through every town, and read their yellow notice boards. They will open up new sidequests and will also make a bunch more unexplored areas pop up on your map.

Find Places Of Power

Places of Power are the most useful question marks on the map. They allow Geralt to briefly power up one of his abilities or increase the potency of one of his signs. They also give you an ability point to save or spend. If you visit as many as you can find, you can quickly become more powerful even before you level up.

Keep Your Gear Repaired And "Enhanced"

You should regularly stop by armorers and blacksmiths to get your armour repaired; weakened armour and dull swords can dearly cost you in battle. Stop at whetstones and armour tables to "enhance" your gear; it costs nothing and will give you a helpful short-term boost.

You Can Repair Gear In Combat

In a nice concession to video-game logic, Wild Hunt lets you repair your weapons while in combat. That means that if you're in the middle of a 15-minute war of attrition with a tough boss and your silver sword becomes damaged, you can just pause and repair the sucker without needing to flail away with a weakened blade. It's a godsend.

Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Pimp Your Horse

Buy saddlebags and blinders for your horse, Roach, as soon as you're able to comfortably afford them. Saddlebags increase Geralt's carrying capacity, and blinders make it easier for you to fight from horseback without Roach freaking out and throwing you.

You Can Leave Gear Lying Around

Weirdly, I haven't been able to find a storage option in Wild Hunt. I didn't craft all the different types of Witcher armour, but if I had, I would have been walking around with a lot of gear that I didn't want to get rid of, which would have weighed me down. Fortunately, I've found a (sorta) solution: You can just drop extra gear somewhere and it won't go anywhere. Find a corner near a fast-travel spot in one of the towns and drop whatever items you want to save for later. I've been doing that for a while now, and have yet to lose anything. An imperfect solution, but a solution.

Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Don't Be A Walking Library

You'll pick up a ton of books throughout Wild Hunt. Unfortunately, books go under the inventory tab with potions and other usable items, and your millions of books will make it difficult to navigate your inventory. At various points in the story, go to your stash spot and drop off all the extra books you've picked up. You can come back and read them later, but you won't have to carry around so much clutter.

Start Talking Like Geralt In Real Life

After a while, you'll develop an ear for Geralt's husky speech patterns. Start talking like he does in real life. Charmingly grunt your way through your orders at the cafe down the street. Grumble at your roommates like a big, scary cat. Sink into the role. Love it, live it.

Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Buy Treasure-Hunt Maps From Vendors

As you find shops around Velen, you'll see they're selling mysterious maps for a low price. Every time you see one of those, buy it and read it. Each one unlocks a "treasure hunt" quest that lets you track down schematics to craft Witcher Gear. Witcher Gear is some of the best gear in the game. In fact…

Don't Worry Too Much About Crafting Normal Weapons And Armour

There's a complicated crafting system in Wild Hunt, but it's not that important. The most important gear in the game is Witcher gear, and the rest of the stuff is kinda skippable. If you have the materials to make a better sword, go for it, but chances are pretty good that you'll find an even better one in a chest somewhere an hour later.

Keep Your Witcher Gear Around

Speaking of that, even if you find a better piece of equipment than the custom Witcher gear you're carrying, don't get rid of the Witcher stuff. You'll need that gear as a component for the higher-level upgraded versions you can craft down the road.

Don't Sell Off Your Rare Crafting Materials

Money is hard to come by in Wild Hunt. It can be tempting to sell the crafting materials you find lying around, but I urge you not to. Things like Dark Steel and Meteorite Ore come in very handy when crafting higher-level Witcher gear, and it can be expensive to buy new materials for crafting. As long as you're looting every container you find, you'll probably have ample crafting materials to make the game's best gear without buying any. Don't sell it; hang on to it.

Sell Extra Monster Parts And Plants

If you're looting all the monsters you kill, you probably will wind up with an excess of monster brains, claws, eyes, as well as various plants and herbs. If you have more than 10 of something, sell your surplus to whichever vendors will buy.

Merchants Level Along With You

You don't have to worry too much about which vendor has Silver Ingots and which sells Meteorite Ore. Merchants will actually "level up" along with you, meaning that once you need to craft more advanced stuff, all merchants will have the materials you need for sale.

Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Use Runes Or Lose 'Em

You can add runes to any armour or sword that has a slot; runes have a variety of effects and can make you much more powerful. Sword runes also look cool. Be liberal with your use of runes; you'll probably wind up sticking a rune in a piece of gear that suddenly gets outclassed by another weapon you found, but it's a risk you'll have to take. Otherwise, you'll wind up with a ton of underpowered, unused runes. (If that does happen, though, sell them. They're worth a fair bit.)

Level Up Your Light Attack And Axii Sign First

When choosing where to spend your ability points, pick carefully at first. I suggest levelling up your "Muscle Memory" light attack boost a few points and putting one or two points into your Axii sign's "Delusion" ability. It's always worth having a stronger light attack, and Delusion can come in handy in dialogue.

Skip The "Sun and Stars" Upgrade

You can spend an ability point on a general ability called "Sun and Stars," which lets you regenerate health out of combat. It makes the game much easier… but I say skip it. I kept it active on my first time through, and as a result never had to carry or eat any food or drink. I'm having more fun without it, using food and drink to regenerate health out of combat. That said, if you want to make the game easier or don't want to deal with regenerating health the hard way, do the opposite of what I just said and get the ability.

Match Mutagens With Abilities By Colour

As you level up, you'll unlock more and more ability slots. You can assign different abilities to those slots, effectively customising your character for whichever strengths you want. It's a cool system. While you do that, be sure to put mutagens next to their like-colour abilities, which will boost the power of the mutagen.

Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Plan your loadout according to maximizing your mutagen boosts, and Geralt will become much more powerful.

You Can Craft Better Mutagens

Here's something I didn't realise my first time through: You can craft better mutagens. You'll wind up with a ton of low-level mutagens from various monsters you can kill; if you go into your Alchemy tab, you can combine a few of those into a single better one.

Make All The Oils And Bombs You Can

You should craft as many oils, potions, and bombs as you can. Crafting in Wild Hunt isn't like some other games; you don't have to re-craft items when you run out of them. Once you've made a potion, you've made it for good; you get three uses before Geralt has to refill his stores by meditating. That means you should craft everything you can, as soon as you can. The more oils you're carrying around, the more prepared you are for any type of enemy. Don't be hesitant about using the things you craft. You can always meditate to get more. In fact, let's make a separate tip out of that.

Meditate To Refill Your Supplies

As long as you're carrying around some Alcohest -- and you almost surely will be -- you'll refill all of your potions anytime you meditate. That's important, particularly on higher difficulty settings. Your Swallow potion is so useful for regenerating health, but you can run out of it quickly. Even if you're in the middle of a dungeon, you can meditate to refill your stocks. Do so regularly.

Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Do Your Homework

Geralt's bestiary is immensely helpful when taking on most beasts, particularly the larger boss monsters that come at the end of each Witcher contract. Never go into one of those fights blind, if you can help it. Do the research necessary for Geralt to unlock the bestiary entry before the fight, then check out the monster's habits and weaknesses. Craft the oil you'll need and memorise the signs and bombs that will be effective. Lean on that stuff hard in combat, and you'll be amazed what a difference it makes.

Prep And Cast Quen Before You Fight

In Wild Hunt, you'll almost always see enemies before they see you. That means you can pause and prepare for each fight. Apply the necessary oil to your blade, make sure you have the right items equipped and, most crucially, cast a Quen shield before you enter combat. Once Geralt goes into "combat mode," he'll regenerate stamina much more slowly. If you cast Quen while out of combat, you'll enter the fight with a shield and a full stamina bar, ready to cast another sign (or another shield) immediately.

Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Take Out Enemies One At A Time

An obvious tip, maybe, but a good one. You'll often find yourself fighting a pack of enemies, be they ghouls, wolves, or humans. Focus on killing one enemy at a time. The fewer there are, the easier it is to manage the others, and the fewer teeth/claws/swords there are that can do damage to you.

ABP: Always Be Parrying

When in combat, you should almost always have the left trigger held down. That will set Geralt to automatically parry most attacks, from most angles. If you want to really duck in under a foe's attacks, you can let your guard down, and if you're feeling really confident, you can time your parries to stagger enemies. But I recommend a default parrying stance for the majority of fights.

Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

If You Knock An Enemy Down, Kill Them Immediately

Sometimes, you'll knock an enemy to the ground. Maybe you'll unseat a horseman with a powerful sign attack or swat a flying beast to the ground. When that happens, close quickly and hit the light attack button. Geralt should stab the downed enemy and kill them outright.

Use Axii On Shielded Enemies

The Axii Sign is extremely helpful in combat, particularly against human enemies. Shield-bearing foes can take ages to whittle down, but the Axii will render them defenseless and open to a heavy attack or two. Some large bosses are similar; they will parry most of your regular attacks, but are weak to Axii.

Dodge, Don't Roll

You've got two evasive options in combat: A quick dodge or a longer roll. As much as I love rolling in Witcher games, I suggest mastering the dodge whenever possible. If you roll too much, your stamina will drain, making it harder to keep casting Signs as you fight. Dodging, however, costs nothing. Some larger enemies have a big enough reach that you'll have to roll to get alongside and behind them. Once you get a feel for combat, the quick dodge winds up being invaluable.

Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Get A Damned Shave, Hippie

Aside from one humiliating forced shave, you can rock a full beard for the entirety of Wild Hunt. Still, I recommend taking Geralt to the barber once and a while. It's a lot of fun to watch his beard grow in, and nicely communicates how much time is passing as you play.

Own Your Decisions

Decision-making in Wild Hunt isn't usually as obvious as it is in other RPGs like Dragon Age and Mass Effect. A lot of the time, you're simply choosing how to respond to someone, whether to support their decision, or whether to be rude or kind.

I don't know how the branching story works, but I often got the sense that the story would branch based on the combined effect of a few small decisions I'd made at various points. Don't agonize over your decisions; rather, go with what feels natural, and don't second-guess yourself. You can't make a "wrong" choice and lose the game, so just let the story unfold as it may.

Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Go Ahead And Don Juan It Up

We've been trained by years of RPGs to think of romance as an either/or scenario. In the world of The Witcher 3, sex is more casual. Geralt can sleep with a number of different women over the course of the game, and the sex scenes are often a lot of goofy fun. While some main characters almost certainly will react to your romantic decisions, I actually don't really think that you have to "choose" one or another person in the way you would in a different game. Be adventurous! Live it up!

Remember What You Know Of Each Character

Sometimes you'll want to affect a certain outcome to a storyline or conversation. To that end, my main suggestion is to remember what you know of each character, and make whatever decision you think would best support them in that moment. Is this person headstrong and independent? Does this person get angry when you try to step in and fight their battles for them? If that's the case, act like you would in real life -- consider how the person you're talking to might feel, and do whatever you think will be most supportive to them in that moment. Basically, use empathy, not cold video-game-decision-making logic. It will serve you surprisingly well.

You Can Go Back And Do Most Sidequests After You Finish The Story

Wild Hunt does come to a conclusion, but you'll still be able to go back and mop up sidequests and contracts once you finish. If you decide that it's time to see the story through to the end, you don't have to worry about missing out on much.

Some Sidequests DO Get Locked Off

That said, there are some narrative sidequests that do get locked off at a couple of no-turning-back points in the story. The game is pretty good about warning you when that's about to happen, though. If you want to see and do everything, make sure you finish all those sidequests before you progress the story.

Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Take Your Time!

There's a lot to do in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Like... a looooooot. Picture a crapload of stuff; more stuff than you've ever had to do in a game. Now double it.

More remarkable by the amount of stuff in Wild Hunt is how little of it feels like dull busywork. Most every sidequest has a fleshed out story, involves some sort of fun mystery, or has a goofy or heartbreaking twist. It's worth clearing out your quest roster entirely. Wild Hunt is a hell of a game. Take your time and enjoy it.

Tips For Playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

And there you have 'em; my tips for getting the most out of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It's a fun, expansive game, and I hope you have a good time playing. I'll update this post periodically as I find better or more refined tips, and if you have any tips of your own, I hope you'll share them below. Happy hunting!


Comments

    Don't read the ignorant drivel that comes out of polygon. Biggest advice to follow

      I'm guessing because they gave a dissenting review?

        They gave it a positive review. But 'docked points' because of the games treatment of women. Entirely their prerogative, and not dissimilar to their treatment of reviews on other games.
        I don't usually agree with their views on the mysoginistic aspect of games, but their technical aspect of their reviews are usually pretty good. I figure ignore the number at the end if it upsets you.

          Scoring based on personal beliefs that actually have nothing to do with the game itself, sounds classy.

          Sadly makes me miss the old tactic where a reviewer would take a jab a singleplayer game solely because they were pissy it didn't have any multiplayer...

            Classy? Sounds more like what a subjective review should be. Subjective, based on beliefs and experiences of other video games, and also more generally.

            That's why I like to get a few different takes from different outlets, and know that certain sources or individuals value different things. I find it refreshing to see more political-minded reviews of late. There will never be a shortage of your stock standard IGN-esque reviews (despite a certain group's caterwauling).

            I think it is good (and at the very least, not *bad*) that there is at least some diversity of opinion and approach to game reviews.

            Last edited 21/05/15 1:18 pm

    This is my first time playing a Witcher game and from what I've played so far, it's going to be an amazing game

    These tips on Kotaku have always been really useful and some of the best articles on here. Cheerio again Kirk!

    I recommend turning off the Nvidia-specific TressFX setting

    Ummmm...the reason problems were occurring is because it is actually an AMD thing:

    http://www.amd.com/en-gb/innovations/software-technologies/tressfx

      TressFX is an AMD thing, but, TressFX isn't actually in this game, but rather, NVIDIA Hairworks, so Kirk's still half right, just the other half

    Start Talking Like Geralt In Real Life
    After a while, you’ll develop an ear for Geralt’s husky speech patterns. Start talking like he does in real life. Charmingly grunt your way through your orders at the cafe down the street. Grumble at your roommates like a big, scary cat. Sink into the role. Love it, live it.

    Best piece of advice in the entire article. Time to get right on that.

    Edit:
    Get A Damned Shave, Hippie
    Worst advice in the entire article.

    Last edited 20/05/15 9:24 am

    So is there no way to return to White Orchard once you leave?

      Nah you can go back. Via fast travel points. Went back myself last night and mopped it up. Gained 3 extra ability points from it too.

      When looking at the fast travel map theres an option to view world map, do that then pick white orchard.

    I quick question to anyone that can answer, I was always going to pick this up on PC and play along at the same time as a mate (to help each other out and such), however now that it's crunch time to buy it, I actually think it would be more convenient for me (for a couple of reasons) to buy it on my PS4 instead. Other than higher graphics settings, am I going to be missing out on anything by buying the PS4 edition or is there anything my mate will be dealing with that I will not?

    I suspect both games are identical but I wanted to confirm before purchase.

      Modding capability when Redkit comes out. And PC specs. Only two things that come to mind. Maybe earlier free DLC?

        Yeah that's pretty much what I figured as well. Have now grabbed on PS4

      On PC it looks very close to PS4 (IMHO, I've been playing the PC version maxed out. It looks good, but not 'leagues' ahead)

      You can edit the settings files for better draw distance etc though. So if you have the muscle, PC is 'moddable' out the box.

      Lol, nvm, just saw you already bought it, ignore me then, sorry!

      Last edited 20/05/15 1:32 pm

        :( I can only go medium with sli 670 at 1440p. I think because of my monitor I can't max it out.

          Yer it'll definitely - unfortunately - be because of that. Try putting it into windowed mode at 1920x1080, see if you can go higher.

            Pretty sure I can go quite high on 1080p but I wanna play full screen. EMERSION FTW

              TBH, there isn't that much of a visual difference from medium to ultra (IMO). Less so than low-medium or from tweaking the settings files anyway.

                Yeap. I actually forgot to turn on my sli after installing the game ready driver and I was running on low and Gerald's face looks so awesome for low settings.

          Yeah, higher resolutions are demanding, and this game (especially with hairworks etc) is pretty demanding already. Are you running Hairworks? It performs significantly worse on 6-700 series nVidia cards apparently.

          My 970 can only maintain 50-60fps at 1080p ultra settings if I disable hairworks (Disabled entirely, not just the 8x hairworks MSAA in the config files) and HBAO+.

          With hairworks on, and the settings files edited to 4x hairworks MSAA, I get mostly 50-60fps outdoors, with indoor scenes (or just hair close ups) dropping the framerate to 30-45fps occasionally. (2xMSAA for HW gets around 45-50 indoors, but the hair looks a little too messy, and not worth it over the default hair IMO)

          I still get over/ around a 10FPS boost from editing the hairworks settings to 4x instead of the 8x it has by default, but it's still demanding. If you are running hairworks, my first suggestion is to lower the MSAA on it to 2x and work from there. Sorry for the long post, but I hope it helps.

          Last edited 20/05/15 2:40 pm

            Dude, have you checked this thread out in regards to cutscene fps drops?
            http://www.reddit.com/r/witcher/comments/36jn8s/psa_how_to_fix_30fps_cut_scenes_and_fov_work/

              Does that 'fix' resolve the micro stuttering in pre-rendered cutscenes?

              In my above post I was actually referring to in-game cutscenes (And in-door scenes) with lots of over the shoulder shots, causing frame rates to tank because of the hair lol.

              The Pre-rendered cutscenes are a whole other story. I get 27fps. I'm running the game almost maxed out at 60fps, but the pre-rendered cut scenes run at 27fps?! I don't so much mind that they run at 30fps, it's the micro stutter that bothers me.

    I'm about an hour in (early) but it hasn't blown me away yet. The animations seem poor and the inventory on console just plain sucks (ported from pc I'm guessing?). Still need to get the hang of the controls, looks ok but hasn't been amazing right from the get go like some recent titles have.

      Is Hairworks enabled on PS4?
      http://imgur.com/gallery/LGKhzEb

      I've got a Midrange PC I built a year ago.
      Click spoiler for specs: i5 4670k OC'd to 4.2ghz (3.4ghz standard), 16gb 2044mhz RAM and a GTX-760, mid range card from a few years back.

      I'm able to play the Witcher at roughly 45 fps on Preset medium, HairWorks off, water on ultra, texture quality on ultra, Citizen Density on High and quite a few Post Processing features disabled. The game looks stunnning.

        Not sure but the game looks nice, just the character animations look dated and janky at times.

          These animations?
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd6DtrRu7ac

          I kinda agree, some of the animations have a rather short loop with little to no variations. (The horses tail while riding for example.)

          Still, it's easily forgiveable for such a large game.

        No hairworks on PS4. Hair just has a simple form of cloth simulation, still better than most games though.

        Side note: Hairworks runs significantly better on PC if you edit the settings files and lower the hairworksAA. It's set to 8xMSAA by default!

        I've been tweaking the settings, you'd be surprised how little of a performance hit there is when you double the shadow draw distance and quality.

          I've been keeping up with the threads on the Subreddit at work. I'm intending on changing it to 2x just to see if my PC can handle it. I'm not expecting to have it on more than Geralt, as much as I wanna see Griffons and all that jazz with their hair all fancy in the wind.

          Seems like shadow technology has improved since a few years back then eh?

            yeah, well to give you an example of what to expect: On my 970 (Ultra settings @ 1080p) I gained north of 10fps from dropping the AA on hairworks down to 2x from 8x. Performance not to be sniffed at.

            It's still pretty demanding though (Especially when the hair without hairworks already looks better than most games IMO), but much better.

    After reading through most of this and the lore article yesterday, I'm now afraid of playing the copy of Witcher 3 that's now sitting on my shelf. It seems to be one of those "uber hardcore" franchises that's going to have a rabid fanbase of people who'll lynch me if I haven't read chapter 7 of the 18th book just to understand that one line that character says to Geralt in that one place that's referenced in the first game about an hour in... And how DARE I not know!

      Well plot is simple.

      Witcher 1 : Geralt lost memory, trying to find Yennefer
      Witcher 2 : Geralt still lost memory, trying to find Yennefer
      Witcher 3 : Geralt got back his memory, trying to find Yennefer

      Last edited 20/05/15 11:03 am

        Needed more accuracy:

        Witcher 1 : Geralt lost memory, shagged everyone while trying to find Yennefer
        Witcher 2 : Geralt still lost memory, shagged everyone while trying to find Yennefer
        Witcher 3 : Geralt got back his memory, shagged everyone while trying to find Yennefer

        It's basically I guys quest to shag Yennefer but "making do" along the way.

        Last edited 20/05/15 2:19 pm

      Well.. it's a single player game, so who cares what other people think?

        Unfortunately I have to review the game. So knowledge is needed when writing it.

      If it helps, I wrote a thing on Talk Amongst Yourselves about how the books tie-in to the games: http://www.kotaku.com.au/2015/05/talk-amongst-yourselves-329/comment-page-2/#comment-3334052

    If they would fix the crashing issues a lot of us are having then i could use these tips. As it is the game crashes every 10 minutes or so. Sometimes less. And no word or acknowledgement from the devs as yet.

      I had to underclock my video card using MSI Afterburner to get it to stop crashing... Went from crashing every 5-10 minutes to the game running for 6 hours without an issue.

      All because my card was a 'factory overclock' out of the box (which card isn't these days though?) and apparently Witcher 3 really doesn't co-operate well with a few of them.

        Yeah after a lot of screwing around i had to do the same. Seems ok so far

    You don't need to turn off, turn on, turn off and turn on again the music, just turn it down to about 25% of max setting, you just get a hint of it and it fits just right. The soundtrack adds to the experience, not detracts as Kirk suggests.

    @Kirk Hamilton
    Just a minor correction. The Nvidia specific hair setting is called 'Hairworks'.
    TressFX was the effect implemented in the PC port of Tomb Raider.

    Also note to everyone else: Hairworks does work on AMD graphics cards, but you will experience very low performance due to AMD cards low tessellation performance.

    For any PC users interested:

    Hairworks runs significantly better on PC if you edit the settings files and lower the hairworksAA. It's set to 8xMSAA by default!

    I've been tweaking the settings, as per the nvidia's tweak guide (http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/guides/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-graphics-performance-and-tweaking-guide)

    You'd be surprised how little of a performance hit there is when you double the shadow draw distance and quality. On a 970, maxed out at 1080p (with hairworks AA set to 4x) the FPS is now around 50fps instead of 40fps. And I have larger view distances and resolutions than before as well!

      Thanks,

      That's really good info. Surprised they missed this in the Nvidia Tweak guide. I'll definitely try this when i get home.

      Yeh, I have an AMD card but I read through that article anyway because apart from the nVidia specific things like Hairworks, things generally can be taken away from that information. I increased the water quality to high, since the article showed almost no performance change, and I found the same result.. no noticeable change to FPS. I'm not expecting much more than a 30FPS average for myself since my GPU is rated around 10% lower than min. spec according to game-debate but I have been pleasantly surprised by the game's performance on medium to high settings.. really nice performance

      I'll be tweaking LOD distance next.. I just haven't had time to sit down and tweak all the settings to find the most balanced settings so that I am getting at least 30FPS and getting the most out of the graphics. Having said that though, the game looks and plays amazing even without any further tweaking.

      For the record, I have AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 3.2GHz (Overclocked to 3.7GHz) and a Sapphire Radeon HD7850 2GB OC.

    But Tress-FX. It's what PCs crave!

    By far the most useful tips on Witcher 3 I have seen. Thanks Kotaku.

    Late to get here, but your tip on dropping items is incorrect. I tried this during, interestingly enough, the quest named "A Costly Mistake." Lost dozens of hours worth of gear when I laid my items by the armorer in Crow's Perch and did the quest. When I came back, the loot sacks had disappeared. Fortunately, I had a save to go back to, but still lost about an hour of gameplay. Your other tips were helpful--I just hope too many people didn't get burned laying their items down.

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